The need for Scripture memory cannot be overemphasized. God's Word teaches that we are in a spiritual warfare with Satan (Eph. 6:12). And the only offensive weapon with which we have to fight him is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Therefore, it is vital that we have God's Word in our hearts in order to get victory over Satan. This is why we read in Psalm 119:11, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." A good example of this truth is Christ's temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). Each time He was tempted by Satan, He responded by quoting Scripture, and afterwards Satan went away defeated.
Not only is Scripture memory vital for getting victory over Satan; it is also essential for staying close to the Lord throughout the day. When His Word is in our hearts, regardless of where we are, we can meditate upon it. And therefore, we are prepared for whatever comes our way. How wonderful it would be if we could say with the Psalmist, "O how I love Thy Law! it is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97).
As we face various trials during the day, we can recall certain verses for guidance and strength. And when we experience tragedies, we can meditate on verses which give comfort and peace of mind. Moreover, when we are unable to sleep at night, we can make good use of our time by meditating on Scripture. Not only can this help us draw closer to the Lord, but it may also help us to get a better night's rest!
With a little time and effort you can successfully memorize God's Word and have one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. In Joshua 1:8 we read, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." What a wonderful promise! And it can be yours to claim if you set out to memorize God's Word with a view to obeying it and knowing Him better.
Many people who begin memorizing Scripture do not get very far because the method they are using either requires a lot time or does not have a good system of review. However, an excellent method for memorizing and reviewing Scripture has been developed and proven successful by Ron Hood. His method is designed so that even a person with a poor memory can memorize hundreds of verses. But it will require some discipline; so you must set your mind to this blessed task and make a determination to do it. One thing that will help is to always keep in view the blessings that come from God's Word. "For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her" (Prov. 3:14, 15).
If you do not have any particular verses in mind to memorize, you might want to start with those which are listed below. They deal with some of the basic aspects of the Christian life and can be a tremendous help in your walk with the Lord.
When you have selected a verse, quote it 25 times the first day, 20 times the second day, 15 times the third day, 10 times the fourth day, 5 times the fifth day, once a day for 45 days, once a week for 7 weeks, and then once a month thereafter.
This may appear to require a lot of time, but actually it does not take as much time as you might think. An average verse normally requires no more than eight seconds to quote one time. Therefore, it should only take a little over three minutes to quote 25 times. Moreover, you can memorize as many as a thousand verses, and when you get them all into the monthly review, you only have to review about 30 each day. And that should only take five to ten minutes.
It is best to begin by memorizing a verse a day, preferably in the morning at the same time you have your devotions. This will help you get in the routine, and after a month or so it will likely become a habit. It is recommended that you use 3"x5" cards to write the references on and to keep track of the number of days you are to review them. You do not need to write the verses down because once you have them memorized (usually does not take more than a week), it is not necessary to continue looking at them. You only need to look at them occasionally when you are unsure about a particular word or phrase, and you can use your Bible for that. If it is not handy, just make a note of the reference and look it up at a later time. The reason for this is so that you will not have to carry around so many cards. Also, it will save some time not having to write down the verse. You might want to use the following procedure.
Abbreviate the reference, and each day put down beside it the number of times you are to quote the verse.
When you begin your weekly review, transfer the reference to another card and divide the card into three columns. Put down the day of the week you began and the date seven weeks subsequent to that day so you will know which day of the week to review the verse, and you will know when to begin your monthly review.
When you begin your monthly review, transfer the reference to another card and divide the card into four columns. Put down the day of the month by the reference so that you will know which day you are to review the verse each month.
The following is a topical arrangement of verses to memorize:
SIN: Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 23
GOD'S JUSTICE AND MERCY: Psalm 103:11; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:13-15
SALVATION: Acts 3:19; 4:12; 16:31; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION: 1 John 2:3-4, 15, 29; 3:9-10, 14; Romans 8:5, 9
GOD'S WORD: Psalms 199: 1 1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21
PRAYER: Psalm 91:15; John 15:7 1 Thessalonians 5:17
TEMPTATION: 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 2:18
CHASTISEMENT: Hebrews 12:6-7,11; Psalm 94:12; 1 Corinthians 11:32;
SPIRITUAL STRENGTH: Ephesians 6:10-11; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
VICTORY OVER SATAN: Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:4; 5:4; Revelation 12:11
FEAR: Psalms 3:6; 23:4; 34:4; 91:5; Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7
LOVE: Matthew 5:44; Galatians 5:14; 1 John 4:8
JOY: Psalm 16:11; John 15:11; 16:22; 17:13
PEACE: Psalm 4:8; John 14:27; 16:33; Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7
PATIENCE: Psalm 27:14; 2 Corinthian 6:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:5
PERSEVERANCE: 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatian 6.9, Hebrews 12:3
DEATH: Proverbs 14:22; 2 Corinthians 15:54; Revelation 14:13