Hiding Gods Word in Your Heart
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12
To ancient Job, Gods Word was necessary with good reason. Satan attacked him with a force that few have encountered! Gods Word became more important to Job than food. Satan also wants to destroy your Christian life! Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8).
Satan wants you to be completely ineffective for God. The Christian life is a battle, and your chief enemy is the devil. A Christian who starts giving in to Satan will be plagued with discouragement, doubt, defeat, and more. There will be a lack of growth, victory, spirituality, holiness, witnessing to the lost, and a lack of ministering to others. The Word of God is the Christian's main weapon in his battle against Satan. Get a good grip on the Sword of the Spirit, i.e., the Bible.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17)
We remember about 15% of what we hear, 30% of what we read, 60% of what we study, and 100% of what we memorize. Then meditating on what we have learned adds to our deeper understanding of it.
I. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION?
It teaches memorization:
A. By Direct Command
1. Look up Deuteronomy 6:6.
Where are we commanded to have Gods Word? in thine H__ __ __ __.
2. Look up Proverbs 7:1-3.
We are to write Gods Word upon the
T__ __ __ __ of thine H__ __ __ __.
B. By Implication
Read Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:2. In both of these verses, what implies that the Scripture must be in the heart? ______________________
C. By Example
1. Look up Psalm 119:11.
What did the Psalmist do so that he wouldnt sin
against God? thy word have I H__ __ in my H__ __ __ __ .
2. Look up Matthew 4:1-11.
What did Jesus do in verses 4, 7, and 10 to combat the temptation of Satan?
3. The Apostle Paul freely quotes the Old Testament in his sermons in the book of Acts and throughout all of his epistles.
II. HOW TO MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
A. Select Your Verses
1. The more meaningful the verse is to you, the easier it is to memorize.
2. Start a memory list.
3. Memorize a few verses on many topics rather than many verses on one topic.
4. After learning many verses topically, you may want to memorize favorite chapters or smaller books.
B. Use Small Index Cards
C. In your local Christian bookstore you will find verse packets already assembled. Be careful to make sure that the verses are the King James Version of the Bible. These will be packets of verses printed on small cards and arranged topically. Some of the advantages of using the card method is:
1. They can easily be carried in your pocket or purse.
2. They are easy to rearrange and file.
3. They can be fastened to the wall, mirror, and so on, to be memorized while using your hands for other things.
D. Principles Of Memorization
There are three basic principles of memorization to apply. You can remember them by the acrostic AIR.
1. Association this principle would involve studying the context and background of the verse and associating it with that setting.
2. Impression impress your mind in every way possible. Here are some ideas:
a. Quote the verse out loud.
b. Write the verse.
c. Visualize the verse.
d. Involve as many as your senses as possible in memorizing the verse.
Speak it aloud with emphasis. Walk while memorizing and use gestures (both facial and body language).
3. Repetition this is the process of over learning, and it is the key to memorization.
You should learn it so well that you can quote it while your mind is occupied with something else.
NOTE: The human mind has an unlimited capacity for storing facts. Most psychologists agree that most people never use more than 5-10% of their mental capacity. You have the brainpower USE IT!
E. The Method Explained
1. Set a goal of how many verses you plan to memorize this week, this month, and this year. Let's start with a verse a week (52 verses a year is a good beginning).
2. Write the first verse on the front side of an index card. Write the reference at the top on the
backside along with today's date (this helps you keep the cards in order). Prepare several more cards in the same way with future verses. They will look like this:
3. Using the principles of memorization, you work on the verse until you can say it word perfect along with the reference. If it is a long verse, break it into phrases. After applying the principles of association and impression, repeat the first phrase with the reference a number of times and then add the second phrase and so on until you can quote the entire verse with the reference. Now you begin the process of spaced repetition. The first day quote the verse aloud with the reference twenty-five times, checking the card from time to time to be sure you are saying it correctly. Each time you quote the verse, make a mark with your pen on a piece of scrap paper. When you complete your work on that verse for the day you will have made twenty-five marks. //// //// //// //// //// These marks may seem unnecessary, but they will aid you in several ways.
· They give you a specific goal to work towards.
· They help you concentrate.
· They give you a feeling of accomplishment and success when you finish.
· They prevent you from omitting any portion of this important process.
After quoting the verse twenty-five times, write 25 on the back of the verse card.
4. The second day you look at the reference on the back of the card you will be unable to recall the words. With a little work, you can quote it once again without error. Using the marks (////) to aid you, quote the verse and reference aloud twenty times. Then write 20 on the back of the card.
5. The third day repeat the same procedure. You again will have to look at the verse to refresh your mind. Quote the verse fifteen times using the marks (////), and write 15 on the back of the card.
6. The fourth day quote the verse ten times and write a 10 on the back of the card. By now you will be remembering much of the verse without having to look back at it to refresh your memory.
7. The fifth day quote the verse five times and write a 5 on the back of the card. Do not be discouraged if you forget the verse from day to day as you are learning it. In order to memorize something, you must learn it, forget it, learn it, forget it, learn it, and you've got it. Sometimes it may even take four or five sessions of working on a verse before you can recall it word perfect.
8. Once you take a verse through this five-day procedure the backside of your card will look like this:
25, 20, 15, 10, 5
9. For the next forty-five days, quote the verse once
a day and put a slash mark on the back of the card. At the end of forty-five days the card will look like this:
25, 20, 15, 10, 5
//// //// //// //// //// //// //// //// ////
10. By this time you will have worked on the verse for fifty days (25,20,15,10,5, and once a day for forty-five days). You will know well enough to quote it in your sleep! Now it is completely memorized. Take your second and subsequent verses through this entire procedure. You can memorize a verse a week this way or a verse a day. If you memorize several verses a week the procedure for the first verse and the subsequent verses will overlap. You will work on verse one, then do verse two, three, and so forth. It will not take you long. Once you have taken a verse through the first fifty days, review it once a week for seven weeks and then once a month thereafter. For complete information on this memorization plan invest in the book How To Successfully Memorize & Review Scripture, by Ron Hood. It can be purchased at our church bookstore. It is the best method of Bible memorization on the market. You will be pleased with the spiritual growth that you will experience from hiding God's Word in your heart.
F. Start Today!
1. Choose a time of day that you can consistently devote to memorization.
2. Use the verses you memorize. Here are some suggestions. Use verses:
a. In witnessing
b. In letters to friends and relatives
c. In teaching
d. In counseling and comforting
e. In defending the faith
f. In answering questions
g. In prayer
h. In combating temptation, worry, and evil thoughts
108 BIBLE VERSES ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD MEMORIZE
Sin Rom. 3:10,23; Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 6:9,10
Death and Hell Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 21:8
Christ died for us John 3:16;
5:8; 1 Pet. 3:18 Rom.
Salvation in Christ John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5,6
Not by works Rom. 4:4,5; Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5
Must repent Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22; 26:20
Must receive John 1:12; John 3:36; Rev. 3:20
Assurance of salvation John 10:27,28; Phil. 1:6; 1 John 5:11-13
Confess sins daily Psalm 38:18; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9
The Word of God:
Inspiration 2 Tim. 3:16,17
Hear it Rom. 10:17
Read it Rev. 1:3
Study it 2 Tim. 2:15
Memorize it Psalm 119:9-11
Meditate on it Joshua 1:8; 1 Tim. 4:15
Obey it James 1:22; James 4:17
Prayer Matt. 21:22; Phil. 4:6,7; 1 John 3:22
Christ the center John 15:5; 2 Cor. 5:14,15; Col. 3:23,24
Fellowship Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:25; 1 John 1:3
Surrender Rom. 6:12,13; Rom. 12:1,2; 1 Cor. 10:31
Witness Matt. 28:19,20; Mk. 8:38; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:19,20
Holy Spirit 1 Cor. 6:19,20; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 5:16,17
His presence Josh. 1:9; Isa. 41:10; Heb. 13:5,6
His protection Psalm 34:7; Psalm 91:10,11; Proverbs 1:33
His provision Matt. 6:33; Rom. 8:32; Phil. 4:19
His peace Psalm 119:165; Isa. 26:3; John 14:27
His forgiveness Psalm 86:5; Psalm 103:10-12; Eph. 4:30-32
His guidance Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5,6; John 7:17
His strength Psalm 27:14; Isa. 40:31; Heb. 4:16
His victory 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Cor. 15:57,58; Phil. 4:13
The following is an excerpt from the Way of Life Advanced Bible Study Course "How to Study the Bible," available from Way of Life Literature in book and video.
Effective Bible study requires both
(Deut. 17:19; Rev. 1:3) and STUDYING (2 Tim. 2:15). READING and studying are two different things. It is crucial, first, simply to read the Bible. There is probably no other one thing that can help a believer better understand the Bible than simply reading it and reading it and reading it. It is necessary, also, to study the Bible. This involves slowing down the pace, doing word studies, analyzing individual passages, doing topical studies, outlining books, using commentaries, etc. This is the point at which we begin to use Bible study tools. Reading
SOME TIPS ABOUT READING THE BIBLE
(1) READ IT SYSTEMATICALLY. That means read it all of the way through. Why should the Bible be read systematically? First, the Bible is not merely a series of writings; it is one Book; and to be understood it needs to be read and studied as one Book. Each individual book of the Bible complements the other books, and as the Bible is read systematically the pieces gradually fit together.
I supposed I knew my Bible,
Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
Now a snatch of Genesis,
Certain chapters of Isaiah,
Certain Psalms (the twenty-third)
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs--
Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.
You who like to play at Bible,
Dip and dabble, here and there.
Just before you kneel a weary,
And yawn through a hurried prayer;
You who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book--
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude impatient look--
Try a worthier procedure
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible through!
-- Amos R. Wells
(2) READ AN INDIVIDUAL BOOK OF THE BIBLE REPEATEDLY UNTIL THE THEME AND MEANING BECOME CLEAR. Well-known Bible commentator G. Campbell Morgan read a book of the Bible 50 times before commenting. Evangelist R.A. Torrey advocated reading a book 12 times. Dr. Bruce Lackey advocated reading it at least 10 times in order to get the right meaning. The exact number of times is not the essential thing; what is essential is that you read the book or passage enough so that its meaning becomes clear and its individual parts begin to fit
together and make sense. This is why it is good to have a plan to read the Bible through at least once a year. To do this requires reading about three and a half chapters a day. A yearly Bible Reading Schedule can be very helpful. There are many of these available. The Perpetual Bible Reading Schedule is a system whereby you read one portion from four different parts of the Bible each day:
Historical (Genesis - 2 Kings), Devotional (1 Chronicles - Song of Solomon), Prophetical (Isaiah - Malachi), and Doctrinal (New Testament). The average amount read each day in this plan is less than four chapters. It is available on the web at http://rejoicing.com/bread.html. The Good Book Company Bible Reading Plan also uses a Bible portion from four parts of the Bible, the history and prophets of the O.T., the wisdom books of the O.T., the N.T. Gospels, and the N.T. Epistles. This is also available on the web at http://www.olywa.net/mmccahan/gbbiblereadjan.html. Back to the Bible has five different Bible Reading plans: reading the Bible by the Chronological order of the books; reading the Bible by the Historical order of the books; reading the Old and New Testament together; reading from beginning to end of the Bible; and a blended plan which is a combination of the others. These can be found at http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/journey. My favorite reading plan is to read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice during the year, and there are reading plans that help the Bible student accomplish this goal.
(3) KEEP A POCKET BIBLE OR NEW TESTAMENT HANDY so that you can make the most of any extra time during the day by reading a portion of Scripture. So much time is wasted that could be better spent. One well-known secular writer read an entire large history of
during the minutes he had to wait each day for his meal to be brought to the table. Britain
(4) One can also have some of the benefits of reading the Bible by LISTENING TO IT ON CASSETTE OR CD in the car or at home or elsewhere.
(5) DIVIDE YOUR BIBLE STUDY TIME INTO TWO PARTS: The first part just for reading and the last half for studying. It doesn't take very long to read the three to four chapters required for one to read the N.T. through twice in a year and the O.T. once. (a) You can do your reading and studying at one sitting. (b) Or you can divide them into two separate times during the day. (c) You can also focus on reading during the first part of the year, while focusing on study the second part of the year. For example, during the first part of the year you could read 10 chapters a day and thus read the Bible all the way through in a mere four months (the Bible contains 1189 chapters). That would leave eight months in the year in which to apply yourself to the study of the Bible.
(6) DIVIDE YOUR BIBLE READING INTO MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS (Psalm 119:147-148). A good habit to develop is to read a portion of Scripture in the morning and in the evening. Some possibilities: (a) Read a portion of the Old Testament in the morning and a portion of the New Testament in the evening. (b) Read the Scriptures systematically in the morning, three or four chapters a day, proceeding through the Bible; and then read more devotionally in the evening, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead to various passages.
(7) DIVIDE YOUR
TIME BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. I have also found that it is good not to read continually in the Old Testament without also reading some in the New. One can forget that we no longer live under the Mosaic Law and that it was given to lead us to Christ. The law can actually hinder rather than strengthen the spiritual life if it is used improperly. Always be careful to look at the Old Testament through the eyes of the New. It can be helpful, though it certainly should not be made into a hard and fast rule, to read the New Testament at least twice as much as the Old. There are many ways to divide your time between the Testaments. For example, you can read a READING
section in the Old Testament and a section in the New Testament every day. Or you can read an Old Testament book and then a New Testament book, or any combination thereof. As already noted, a good plan is to read the New Testament through twice in a year while reading the Old Testament through once. That is 1449 chapters, so one only has to read an average of four chapters a day to do this.
TIPS ON CONCENTRATING ON BIBLE
Following are some suggestions to help you concentrate properly upon the
Word of God:
(1) A QUIET,
PRIVATE PLACEIS REQUIRED. I have seen Christians trying to study the Bible in a room where other people are talking and a radio is blaring, etc. That is not wise, and it is not honoring to the Lord, who deserves our undivided attention. The Bible is the very Word of God. Would it be proper to invite God over for a visit and then have many other things going on at the same time as He was talking to us? On some occasions when I have visited people in their homes to talk to them about spiritual matters, they have kept the television on and have continued watching it even while I was trying to talk with them about the Word of God. That was very disrespectful to me personally and, more importantly, to the message that I was bringing. There have been occasions, especially while traveling, when I have gotten into my car and driven out to a country road or, if in a city, to the backside of the parking lot of a large shopping area in order to have a quiet and private place for my Bible study time.
(2) ASK THE LORD TO HELP YOU KEEP YOUR MIND ON HIS WORD. If you find your mind frequently wandering during Bible study, lay the matter before the Lord. Tell Him that you desire to grow in knowledge of Him and His Word,
explain your problem to Him, and beseech Him to help you concentrate.
(3) IF YOU ARE PARTICULARLY WORRIED ABOUT SOME MATTER, CAST IT BEFORE THE LORD (1 Pet. 5:7) and trust Him to take care of it for you; then turn your full attention to His Word.
(4) HAVE PEN IN HAND AS YOU READ. Just the action of picking up one's pen and being ready to write things down or to mark in one's Bible causes the mind to focus more on the reading.
(5) REMOVE THINGS FROM YOUR BIBLE STUDY AREA THAT ARE DISTRACTING. I know a pastor who removed all of the bright colored covers from the books in his office, because they distracted him when he was trying to study the Bible.
(6) BE CAREFUL ABOUT USING A COMPUTER DURING BIBLE READING TIME. I use my computer to study the Bible, because it is so efficient, but I do not use my computer when I have my daily devotion time in the Scriptures and when I am just reading the Scriptures. It is too easy to get distracted with other things on the computer.
(7) BE CAREFUL ABOUT EXTRANEOUS THOUGHTS. When you are studying the Bible, it will often happen that thoughts about other things will rush in and you will be tempted to leave the study of the Bible and to rush off and take care of those things. For this reason, it is a good idea to have pen and paper handy and to jot down thoughts so that you can take care of them later. This way, you can put them out of your mind for the time being and proceed with your study. If you get in the habit of allowing yourself to rush off and take care of other things, you will be crippled in your ability to study the Bible fruitfully.
(8) GO BACK AND READ THE PASSAGE AGAIN. When you find that your mind has wandered during the reading of the Scripture, it is important to go back and read that passage
again until you have understanding of what you are reading, even if it takes several readings. It is better to read one verse with clear understanding than to read an entire chapter with the mind drifting to other things.
(9) TRY NOT TO READ THE BIBLE WHEN YOU ARE TIRED. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, and it is better to read the Bible when you are tired than not to read it at all. But the wise Bible student will arrange his schedule in such a way that he can study the Scriptures when he is alert.
(10) IF YOU FIND YOUR MIND WANDERING, IT MIGHT HELP TO PUT THE BIBLE READING FIRST BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE IN THE DAY. I have found that if I start reading and studying other things first, it is much more difficult to concentrate on the Bible.
(11) SOMETIMES IT IS HELPFUL TO READ THE BIBLE ALOUD IF YOU FIND YOUR MIND WANDERING. This can help you maintain your concentration.
(12) A LARGER PRINT BIBLE can also help with concentration because it is easier to read and the pages of the Bible are not as cluttered with type.
(13) BE PERSISTENT. Don't let the devil defeat you in your Bible reading. If you find yourself unable to concentrate for a period, don't quit. Just go back at it the next day and the next and the next. There are ups and downs in Bible study as there are in everything else in life. The best tip for effective Bible study is to just keep on keeping on!