Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Studies

How to Memorize Scripture Part I

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Nothing in our Christian life is as important or compares to the value of learning God's Word and then incorporating His precepts into our lives. Thus, memorizing a passage of Scripture is an essential way not only to know His Word, but to know and grow in our Lord and Savior. Yet, many Christians have neglected, even negated this discipline, including me on occasions.


How to Memorize Scripture Part I


Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Psalm 63: 1-8; 119: 9, 11, 72; Matthew 4:4; Philippians 3:10; Col. 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 2:2; 3:15


I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11


Nothing in our Christian life is as important or compares to the value of learning God's Word and then incorporating His precepts into our lives. Thus, memorizing a passage of Scripture is an essential way not only to know His Word, but to know and grow in our Lord and Savior. Yet, many Christians have neglected, even negated this discipline, including me on occasions. We desire the quick way; give me the easiest shortest plan to be a Christian. I am only interested in what is convenient, easy and hassle free. We want something to do that takes little to no work and then we may decide to do it, if we feel like it. Yet, memorizing the Scriptures takes our time, effort, and work; thus, we usually just will not do it. But, consider this: does not God, who saved us and provides for us deserve our best? Doesn't He deserve our best attention and mindset, things we give to others that are so much less important and even fleeing? It is my endeavor here to help persuade you of the importance and veracity of memorizing Scripture, and some tips I have learned over the years to help you do it.


Why We Tend Not to Memorize Scripture


I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. Psalm 119:8


We can come up with all kinds of reasons why we should not or need not memorize Scripture. Perhaps, you are saying or thinking, "I can't because I have a bad memory," or "I just do not have time;" "I have tried this before and I could not do it," or "why should I?", or "I am not a pastor or in leadership." Someone told me once, "I do not need to because Jesus told me I do not have to." I can tell you that I do have a bad memory, and I certainly do not have the time while I pastor, travel, run an international ministry, and then there is my precious new baby. And, I can also certainty tell you that Jesus would never, ever tell you something that contradicts His Word. We are called by God Himself, even commanded to learn, know, ponder on, and memorize Scripture (Josh 1:8; Psalm 1; 15; Is. 8:12; 1 Peter 3: 13-22; 4:12)!


Yet, we tend to not do what He has called-even commanded us to do! We are struggle with this working out of our salvation as described in Philippians 2. We need to work on what hinders us from Christ. I am naturally a lazy person and I would much rather read a "readers digest" version of something-to just get the crux of the matter and move on to something more fun, or just sit and do nothing but watch a movie or read a magazine. Yet, God has called me to pastor and research, which takes much more effort, time, and work than I naturally desire to do. Thus, I have had to learn to discipline myself, practice it, and learn to stick with it, even when I would rather be doing something less intensive or more fun. Because I want to grow in Christ and share with others what I am learning, I have had to learn it first. And, that is what a pastor should be doing, even when we would rather play golf or go fishing (which we can do too, just not all of the time). I had to learn the importance of my call and respond to Christ with my best efforts, my obedience out of love and gratitude so I could be my best and follow His lead.


The effort to memorize Scripture is something all Christians should be doing. It takes time and hard work, but we are to do this with our best efforts and our obedience out of love and gratitude for Who He is and what He has done for us. But, this is not to be a labor of pain or a work of strife that we dread; rather, it is a wondrous and glorious journey because we are getting to know Him more deeply! The memorization of Scripture is not something that engrosses us; it is not something that we do all of the time, or even a majority of our devotional life. Our study, devotional reading, and prayer should take the "lions share" of our efforts, but memorizing must have its place and be a part of our Christian life and walk. It can also be adventurous and fun!


Why We are Called to Memorize Scripture


Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34


God calls us to have His Words and promises written in our hearts! The way to spiritual maturity and the glory of our reward is not in finding shortcuts, but exercising temperance and commitment through learning, experience, and overcoming adversities. It is a long and difficult process (Acts 14:22; Rom. 2:7). The question is, How can you make memorizing Scripture a reality in your life? See what God Himself has to say; read any or all of these passages below, and in prayer, go over them and match them to these bullet points and ask Him how you are doing with this. By the way, here is the first set of Bible memorization verses for you to practice from:


Deut. 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Josh 1:8; Psalm 37:31; 63: 1-8; 119: 9-11, 72; 105, Prov. 6:20-22; Matt. 4:1-11; John 4:24; 15:7; 17:17; Acts 18:28; 20:32; Rom 12:1-2; Phil. 3:10; 4:6-7; Eph. 4:14; 5:17; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 2:13; 5:11; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16; Heb. 4:12; James 1:21-25; 1 Pet. 2:2; 3:15


The primary reason we memorize Scripture is because we are called and commanded to learn God's Word so we can learn more about Him, what He has done, and what we can do to lead a great Christian life. We are called to meditate on His Word. Have you responded to this call?


·         Knowing God's Word helps us be better at studying the Bible.

·         Knowing God's Word helps fabricate and shape our spiritual growth.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us experience and worship God.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us know and respond to His precepts and call.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us realize that God's Word transforms our minds to think in His ways and live our life better in Him.

·         Knowing God's Word makes it easier for the Holy Spirit to more powerfully guide us!

·         Knowing God's Word stimulates our intimacy and prayer life with Him.

·         Knowing God's Word gives us useful, effective, and effectual knowledge of the Bible.

·         Knowing God's Word gives us practical wisdom, guidance, and knowledge for life!

·         Knowing God's Word helps God use us more and more powerfully.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us in the sharing of our faith.

·         Knowing God's Word gives us success in dealing with sin and temptations.

·         Knowing God's Word gives us confidence in witnessing.

·         Knowing God's Word equips us to be able to help guide others.

·         Knowing God's Word helps encourage the spiritual growth in others lives.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us to overcome life's problems and obstacles.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us be content and at peace.

·         Knowing God's Word helps us to discern false teachings.


Have you responded to His call?


The Basic Plan


How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9


            The "nitty-gritty" for ease in memorizing is to simply select a short passage-a verse or two. Pray, read it, and then read the chapter in an easy-to-understand translation to see it in context. Then re-read your passage at least ten times in the translation you are using, such as the KJV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, NIV or the ESV. Then, write it out on a small card and re-read it at least ten times. Put it away for a few hours or a day, then pick up the card and re-read it aloud several times. You should have it memorized after a week! It does take a little effort, but it is not as hard as most people think. There is no reason to dread or stress in order to know God's Word.


The simple basic plan:


  1. Select a short passage to memorize.
  2. Pray over it.
  3. Read it.
  4. Read the chapter to know its context.
  5. Re-read the passage at least ten times.
  6. Write it out on a small card.
  7. Go over your card at least ten times, reading it out loud.
  8. Put it away and in a few hours or a day, pick up the card and re-read it several times. In a few days, you should have it memorized!


The Big Tip


Now, to make it even easier and more fun, do the above and also use a recording device such as a tape recorder, MP3 recorder, or a smart parrot. This is what I do because I have a terrible memory and learning disabilities I have had to overcome. So, for me, this was the worst of the worst of my stress and dread, but I learned to do it and have fun doing it. By the way, this is a phenomenal memorizing method for any literature, notes, text, readings, etc. Read it, record it, and then play it back anywhere you are-while driving, at the mall, or wherever. You can do this with your notes, study material, information you have to memorize, even terms and words for science, a foreign language, or math formulas. I have found this one of the best ways to study, and it works!


           The key to memorization is this: STUDY! REVIEW! and PERSEVERE! Repetition is the best way to engrave the verses into your mind.


What Do I Memorize?


Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. Psalm 119:2


Start with these passages: Deut. 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Josh. 1:8; Psalm 37:31; 63:1-8; 119: 9-11, 72, 105; Prov. 6:20-22; Matt. 4:1-11; John 4:24; 15:7; 17:17; Acts 18:28; 20:32; Rom 12:1-2; Phil. 3:10; 4:6-7; Eph. 4:14; 5:17; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 2:13; 5:11; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16; Heb. 4:12; James 1:21-25; 1 Pet. 2:2; 3:15.


Here is a guide I used when I was on Staff with Campus Crusade in the 80s:


Scripture Memory Verses



New Creation

2 Cor. 5:17

Col. 2:6

Col. 2:9,10

Christ Centered

John 15:5

Phil. 1:6

Gal. 2:20

Word Centered

Matt. 4:4

Acts 20:32

Col. 3:16

Prayer Centered

John 16:24

Matt. 21:22

1 John 5:14,15


John 14:21

John 15:10,14

Heb. 5:8


1 John 1:3

Acts 1:8

1 Pet. 3:15



Fact of Sin

Rom. 3:23

John 3:19

Rom. 3:12

Penalty of Sin

Rom. 6:23

Heb. 9:27

Rom. 5:12

Penalty Paid

Rom. 5:8

1 Pet. 3:18

1 Cor. 15:3,4

Salvation a Gift

Eph. 2:8,9

Rom. 3:24

Titus 3:5

Must Receive

John 1:12

Rev. 3:20

Rom. 10:9,10


1 John 5:11,12

John 5:24

1 John 5:13


Lord's Promises


1 John 1:9

Eph. 1:7

1 John 2:1,2


1 Pet. 5:7

2 Cor. 1:3,4

Matt. 11:28


1 Cor. 10:13

1 John 5:4,5

2 Cor. 2:14


1 Cor. 15:58

2 Cor. 5:10

2 Tim. 4:8


Rom. 8:16,17

1 Pet. 1:3,4

Titus 3:7

Second Coming

1 Thess. 4:16,17

Titus 2:12,13

John 14:2,3



Follow Christ

Luke 9:23

1 John 2:6

1 Pet 2:21

Separate from World

2 Cor. 6:17,18

Rom. 12:2

1 John 2:15,16

Strong in Temptation

Jam. 1:12

1 Cor. 16:13

1 Pet. 1:6,7

Endure Suffering

Phil 1:29

1 Pet. 4:12,13

Heb. 12:3

Spiritual Warfare

Eph. 6:10,11

1 Tim. 6:11,12

2 Tim. 2:3,4


John 20:21

2 Cor. 5:19,20

Mark 16:15


Spiritual Fruit


John 13:34,35

1 John 3:23

Gal. 5:22,23


John 15:11

Phil. 4:4

2 Cor. 6:10


John 14:27

John 16:33

Phil. 4:6,7


Heb. 10:36

James 1:2-4

1 Pet. 2:20


Acts 27:25

Heb. 11:6

Rom. 4:20,21


Phil. 2:3,4

Matt. 20:26,27

1 Pet. 5:5,6


God's Word


2 Tim. 3:16

2 Pet. 1:20,21

1 Thess. 2:13

Read It

Rev. 1:3

1 Tim. 4:13

Deut. 17:19

Study It

Acts 17:11

2 Tim. 2:15

Ps. 119:9,11

Love It

Ps. 138:2

Jer. 15:16

Job 23:12

Meditate on It

Ps. 1:2,3

Josh. 1:8

Ps. 119:148

Hear It

Rom. 10:17

James 1:22

Luke 11:28


From: Campus Crusade for Christ International



Let Us Be Doers of His Mighty Word!


Check out some passages that tell us that discipleship and mentoring are not an option, but a command:  Matthew 28:16-20; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Galatians 6:1-10; Mark 1:35 - 2:12. We must follow out of obedience, and mentor in a multigenerational lifestyle, caring for the total person. This will move us from just playing church to really being a church.



Richard Joseph Krejcir is the Founder and Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry. He is the author of several books including Into Thy Word, A Field Guide to Healthy Relationships and Net-Work. He is also a pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (M.Div.) and holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Practical Theology from London (Ph.D). He has garnered over 20 years of pastoral ministry experience, mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a Church Growth Consultant.


© 1984, 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D., Into Thy Word Ministries 

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