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Scripture Memory

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The Psalmist writes "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." How does one hide the Word of God in ones heart? Psalm 119:11.

There are several ways. Daily Bible reading and personal Bible study are two. A third is what we will be looking at in this article.

God says, "I will engrave my law on their hearts." The process of engraving requires the cutting into the surface of an object images, patterns or words that one wishes to preserve. Science tells us that our memory is produced and retained in our brains in a similar way. Electrical impulses produce chemical reactions in our brains that in turn produce permanent change to the brain's surface that we call memory.

Therefore, the process of memorization is in fact the act of engraving information on our brain. God does indeed engrave His law on our hearts (the seat of the will and emotions). We can indeed hide His word in our hearts, so that we will not sin against Him.

Many people say things like, "I just can't memorize." or, "I have a bad memory." Setting aside the issue of someone suffering from a valid medical condition, these statements are not true. We in fact memorize all our lives. Do you know your name? Do you know where you live, where you work, the name of your spouse? These are all things that we have memorized. So, what is the problem for the average person when it comes to Scripture memorization? Well there are two things. One is the importance that the person places on memorizing God's Word. If it is a high priority, the person will devote the effort needed to accomplish the goal. The second issue is finding a systematic way to memorize.

There are a number of courses available that teach memorization skills. It is not my purpose to promote any particular one over another. At Discipleship International, we use the Topical Memory System, by Navpress, as part of our Core Curriculum. This course has been found over the years to be a simple and effective method of memorization. The main principle behind this method is that of over learning.

Over learning is the process by which the scriptural passages (information) are "engraved" upon the brain. By frequent and systematic recitation of the passage learned, a person becomes so familiar with it that the person appears to have automatic recall or a photographic memory'. Like most overnight successes' though, this ability takes many hours of hard work and review.

The keys to success, regardless of what system you use, are: desire and hard work. These are not only required to learn the verses but are needed in the one "skill" you will always need -the desire to review, review, review.

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