When I was a new christian my church had a really neat program for newcomers to the Lord like myself. Part of which required memorization. They had these cards with Verse references from the bible neatly organized under various topics such as Salvation, Discipleship, Witnessing, Prayer, Love etc.
There was maybe one hundred or more verses to get started. The purpose was to flood the mind and heart with the word. Jump start your new life.
It wasn’t easy for me to memorize in those days, as my brain cells acted more like a pin ball machine rather than taking in and processing information because of the drug abuse I subjected my body to.
At the time It would actually have to read a line two or three times before I was able to zero in on its meaning. God had quite a bit of work to do to get my mind rewired. The memory project helped immensely.
Once I got the hang of it I devoured those verses like they were M&Ms or popcorn. Once you start its impossible to stop until they are all gone. In fact looking back on those days it was the one thing that I can say that helped me the most in laying a good solid foundation in my christian life. I am so thankful for those days. I still have my original bible and every time I memorized a verse I would circle its reference with a red pen.
As time went on and I grew older, got married had kids etc memorization became a thing of the past. But the word of God remained in my heart, never to be taken away. Even when it seems to lay dormant sometimes for years like it did in me when I put my bible aside and found myself off the straight and narrow. The cares of the world got the best of me and there was a long period of time where I floundered like a fish out of water seemingly taking me further away from God, his word and his love.
Coming back to the Lord many years later I realized that if I was to renew my relationship with the Lord I needed once again immerse myself in the Word. Another jump start. I started to read the bible again and realized that I had all these verses memorized some forty years prior. I knew it would be quite a task to re-memorize them but somehow I knew I needed to get the Word flowing through my veins as quick as possible and what better and easier way than to get back to the basics.
I took out my old bible, dusted it off and started going over any verse circled in red pen. I was amazed at how quickly those scriptures came back to me in full. I was a little rusty at first but before I knew it I had the word flowing freely from my head to my heart.
A year later and I am constantly being reminded of verses popping in my head and able to quote verbatim giving me the full power of the word for any situation that may arise and anytime doubt would try to cloud my heart. Once again it became a great tool to have God’s word constantly on my mind and heart.
I have even been able to memorize a few new ones that I know will be helpful down the track. It is not as easy as when I was younger so I am very grateful for the insight my spiritual parents in the Lord had in instilling in me the importance of hiding the word in my heart.
“Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee” Psalm 199:11 (KJV)