Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Knowing His Word

What a heart knows by heart is what a heart really knows,” Dennis Lennon
I read a blog post by Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts. She has spurred in me a desire to go deeper than I have before in knowing God's Word and start really memorizing it. Not just a verse here and there, but really knowing His Word, meditating on it, and memorizing it.

It seems awkward to admit, but I've never tried to memorize a book of the Bible before. I love God and want to know Him more and more. I want a heart and mind stayed on Him and delighting in Him. I want to dream His Word and live His Word. And that starts by knowing His Word. And knowing Him deeper through His Word. I'm thankful for her gentle reminder of how important it is. It feels doable now, somehow. I think I'm going to start with memorizing the book of Ephesians.

If you're considering going deeper and knowing His Word, you should read her full blog post. She gives great links to resources to help memorize. Here are her 7 tips for memorization:

1. Old before New

Always take the old paths. Begin each day by reviewing the memorized verses first before learning the next verse. The goal is retention not accumulation.

2. Rinse and Repeat

And again. The only way to retain learned verses is to review them again and again over an extended period of time. Everyday’s memorization rhythm: Rinse and repeat.

3. Location, Location, Location

Like the mantra in real estate is location, location, location, so it is for really remembering: memorize the location of each verse. Memorize each verse number and don’t skip it. This is paramount and makes it much easier to memorize long passages and not inadvertently skip verses when reciting whole chapters. Location!

4. Take a Mental Screen Shot

Use your mental point and shoot and take a brain “photograph” of the verse. Read each new verse several times, hiding one word at a time, burning each word into your mind like light onto film.

5. Preach it

To yourself. Speak your memory verses to yourself aloud. Preach it aloud to the soul that needs it the most — our own — and say each verse with emotion and feeling. Whispering it while driving, walking, working not only is an easy way of reviewing and memorizing, it’s fulfilling God’s call to meditate on His Word day and night. And saying each verse aloud is a way to work the words deep into our memory: His Words never return void.

6. Repeat it for 100

For 100 consecutive days repeat aloud your memory work — all the verses, or the chapter, or the whole book. This is painless and demands no extra time: do it first thing every morning while getting ready for the day — in the shower, getting dressed, making the bed etc. Repeat it for 100!

7. Sabbath Sanctuary to see the weeds

After your Repeat it for 100, take the last Sunday of every month and make a sabbath sanctuary to read through your memory work. This will help you to “see the weeds” — any mistakes that have crept into your recitation of longer projects/chapters/books. Soak in His Word on a Sabbath — pluck out some weeds. Commit your heart — and mind —- to Him again.
(*Ideas adapted from Dr. Andrew Davis)

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