Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Heart in the Word – the Word in the Heart

Ps 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! 13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. 14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
What immeasurable value there is in committing God’s Word to memory! With his permission I present this practical, workable approach developed by my friend and brother, Joseph Stephens.
Memorizing Scripture
Get Started.
Select a faithful Bible translation you are comfortable using.
Select a passage of Scripture (of any length) that you enjoy reading and thinking about, and that means a lot to you. Make it your personal goal to memorize that passage.
You will need a notebook and something to write with.
Step 1 – Lay a foundation for success.
Every day for one or two weeks spend time simply reading through your selected passage. If time permits read through it two or three times. As you read stay focused on the message.  You may also enjoy listening to your passage repeatedly on audio CD. You might consider listening to a recording of yourself reading it out loud. The purpose of this step is to make yourself thoroughly familiar with your selected passage of Scripture.
Step 2 – Memorize.
Sit down with your Bible, notebook, and a pen or pencil. In your notebook write out the first “bite-sized” phrase of your Scripture passage. Carefully read this phrase out loud to yourself 10 times. Make a little tally mark out to the side with each reading to keep track.
Next, recite the phrase out loud to yourself 10 times without looking at your paper. Again, make tally marks to keep track. (You have now read or recited this phrase out loud to yourself 20 times!)
Now that you’ve memorized this first phrase write out in your notebook the next “bite sized” phrase of the passage. Start from the beginning of the first phrase and carefully read through to the end of the second phrase out loud to yourself 10 times. Then say it out loud to yourself 10 times without looking. Practice it once or twice more just to make sure you’ve got it.
Continue adding on more phrases until you can recite 4 or 5 together. Think of this as forming a chain in your mind: one phrase leads to the next, to the next, etc. Now when you add a 6th phrase use the 5th as your starting point of recitation.
Step 3 – Practice.
Take time each day to practice what you’ve already memorized to keep it fresh. You have more time than you think! Recite to yourself while you’re brushing your teeth, or driving, or folding laundry, or washing dishes. Then add more with the process outlined above.
Patience, Practice, & Persistence are required in equal measure! God bless!

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