Download this free scripture coloring sheet and phone wallpaper of Psalm 19:14 to help you meditate on and memorize God’s word.
This summer, I felt convicted about my lack of Bible scripture memory. A friend had commented on how she wished she could be like me and remember scripture. That statement stunned me a bit and I was quick to point out that I’m actually not good at memorizing scripture. Instead, I have to search for phrases of verses that pop into my head and then jot down notes that include the entire text as well as the exact reference.
But that conversation spurred me to ponder my need for scripture memory, such as when a Bible isn’t always handy and mom life doesn’t give me the chance to slow down to research a familiar passage that comes to mind. More than that, I realized scripture memory is what helps me to turn to God first in moments when I may at times turn somewhere else first. And having His truth at the tip of my tongue gives me confidence in my identity as God’s child.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
Instead of getting too caught up in what’s going on around me, scripture recall is helping me to look up and focus on God. Then, I find myself praying the words of scripture, verses that I’ve memorized as well as snippets of verses that are familiar, but I can’t recall the exact reference or part of the verse. (There’s a good chance those verses will go on my memory list for the future!)
At any rate, I’m excited to be on this new journey and to continue to grow toward God.
Where to Start
Once I realized how much I needed to memorize scripture to better glorify God in all areas of my life, I had to figure out where to start. A few years ago, I had briefly begun the reputable Navigators’ Scripture Memory Course. But after several weeks of following the system, I’m a bit ashamed to admit that the pragmatic approach overwhelmed me and took away some of the luster for me. And so I tabled the spiritual discipline of memorizing scripture until I was convicted about it this summer.
Instead of jumping back into that pragmatic course, I decided to start afresh with a more laid-back approach, choosing verses that stand out to me as I’m studying the Bible, listening to sermons, reading books and enjoying podcasts. Because I’m so drawn to acts of discipline (control is a personal weakness), I wanted to take a step back and let God lead when it came to my memorization verses. And that is how things are playing out so far.
As much as I’d like to say my schedule is one new verse every week, I have to remind myself over and over that it’s not about checking a box, but instead my journey of growth to get there.
Tips for Memorizing Scripture
I’m far from an expert in this area, but some of the ways I’m memorizing scripture include writing it every day in my journal or reciting it in my head while I’m in the shower, loading the dishwasher, waiting in carline or even swimming laps in the pool. And as great as it is to say it to myself over and over, it’s also important to say it out loud. And one way I do this is by saying it to my kids, often in the kitchen, because all roads in my home lead to the kitchen! My heart sings for joy when I hear one of my kids (mainly my 7 year old daughter) jump in to say a verse with me because she’s picked it up simply from me saying it aloud.
Besides these methods, I’ve felt the desire to meditate on each verse through something visually and creatively calming, such as coloring. As I was on the hunt for scripture coloring pages to help me memorize and reflect on God’s word or enjoy with my kids, I couldn’t find many options of the verses that I’m memorizing. So I took it upon myself to create a special coloring page for each verse as an act of worship. And while I’m at it, why not create a phone wallpaper to also help me see the verse over an over again as I’m memorizing it?
So that’s my rationale behind this post and any subsequent related posts. Why not share the some of the resources that are helping me to memorize scripture?
Though it makes me feel rather vulnerable to share my thoughts as I’m meditating on these memory verses, I thought I’d follow up each coloring page and phone wallpaper with some of my own learnings (if nothing else, for my kids to read one day).
My Thoughts on Psalm 19:14
When I was pondering what scripture to use as my first memory verse, Psalm 19:14 jumped into my head. It was short and sweet and straightforward. Perfect!
But in all seriousness, I chose this verse because I want my words to reflect a heart that is so teeming with God’s word that it spills over into everything I not only do, but say.
And as so often happens while I’m studying the Bible, one verse makes me think of another and before I know it, I’m on a not-so-wild-but-timely-ordained goose chase. I happened to be reading through 2 Corinthians while I was memorizing this first verse and, of course, Paul’s exhortation to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5b) struck a chord with me. It reminded me that not only are my words an active choice, but my thoughts or meditation is an active practice as well. I need to train my thoughts and focus my attention on God before any words ever make it out of my mouth. Easier said than done—I would know!
When I study a verse, I read through several translations to get a better feel for what the scripture is relating. For this verse, I resonated with The Living Bible’s translation of Psalm 19:14: “May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you.” As a wife, mom and middle-aged female, my words are so crucial to not only my livelihood, but my day-to-day ministry in my home and in my community. My words can build up my husband and my kids—and just as easily tear them down without me ever lifting a finger. That kind of power is scary!
Apart from the words that I use with my family, I realized there is also the temptation for women, especially, to dip into gossip. None of us like to admit we participate, but gossip is a slippery slope and I’ve found myself convicted after I’ve walked away from conversations and wondered how a quick chat ended up there. So for me, Psalm 19:14 is a weapon to fight against the slippery slopes while encouraging me to use my voice to glorify God in all that I do.
How do I fight and how do I glorify God? It starts with the meditations of my heart, making sure I’m reading and meditating on God’s word daily. I’m learning that all of the answers to life’s biggest and smallest problems can be found in His word, if I’ll just read it and absorb His promises.