These Words Shall be in Your Heart

By Karla Schettenhelm, Children's Ministry
This month in Sunday school we are having a fun competition, the February Football Frenzy! Part of this competition is encouraging the students to do their memory work.

February Football Frenzy

The children will earn yards and points, and the class with the most points at the end of February will win the challenge!
Gain Yards by...
  • Coming to class
  • Bringing a visitor
  • Doing memory work
Field Goal (3 Points)...
  • Bringing a visitor who knows the memory work
Touchdown (7 Points)...
  • Learning the bonus memory work for the month
In addition to the contest, special surprises will be handed out all month! The contest is fun, but the real excitement is in strengthening our relationships with Jesus!
Memorizing God’s Word is important for many reasons.

First, God commands it!  Colossians 3:16 tells us to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
God wants us to know His Word.

Another important reason to memorize God’s Word is because Jesus did. He used Scripture often in His ministry. Just one example of this is when Jesus was tempted.  He told the devil several times, "It is written" and then quoted God’s Word. To be a disciple of Jesus means to follow Him and know and read scripture the way He knows and reads scripture. If Jesus looked to Scripture as His guide, we should also.  And if it’s going to be our guide, we need to know it.

As the written word of God helped Jesus in His temptations, it also can help us. Psalm 119:11 says, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."  Ephesians 6:17 tells us the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  God gives us His word to protect us and keep us from temptation.

Knowing God’s Word also helps us when we need comfort and guidance.  Psalm 46:1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Knowing what God says helps us know how He wants us to live our lives, and it reminds us that He is always with us.

There are many other reasons to Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16). However, I am only going to mention one more. Christ commands us to Go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Our great commission is to share Him with others. We are best prepared to do this when we know the Word of God. When we have God’s Word stored in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), we can draw on what we know and spread The Word to others.

Tips for Memorizing

So, memorizing God’s Word is important. How do we do this? There are many ways to memorize, and what works best for one person does not necessarily work best for another. If you already know a memorization method that works for you, try it in learning God’s Word.

The following are some techniques that might be helpful in memorizing Scripture:
  • Read through what you are memorizing, and figure out what it means. Understanding helps with memorization.
  • Read what you are memorizing several times. Reading out loud is more beneficial than reading in your head; then you are hearing as well as reading.
  • Write what you are memorizing.  Read what you have written. Write again, read again, etc.
  • Write what you are memorizing on an index card and carry it with you. Read it several times throughout the day. See if you can say the verse without reading it.
  • Write what you are memorizing on several index cards. Put one on the bathroom mirror, one on the refrigerator, one in the car, etc. Read and say the words whenever you are in these places.
  • Have someone work with you on what you are memorizing. Have the other person say the words, you say it back to them. Have them say some of the words – you fill in what they don’t say.
  • Use physical motions to go with the words. If this is possible (depending on what you are memorizing), it really helps to put body movement to the words.
  • Find a song that has the words you are memorizing or make up your own song! There are many Bible verses that have songs as well as songs about the books of the Bible and other things. Old VBS CDs and YouTube are good sources for some of these songs.
  • If you are memorizing a long passage, break it into smaller chunks and learn one part at a time (using the above methods), and then put them all together.
If you are a parent and your child is doing memory work, I would encourage you to memorize along with your child. If you are not a parent at all, or if your children are grown, I would also encourage you to memorize God’s Word. The reasons for memorizing Scripture do not change whether you are 3 years old, 33 years old, or 93 years old! So get yourself some index cards and start, or continue, memorizing the Word of God.
Cover Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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