Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
BEFORE WE CONTINUE IN THE BOOK OF DANIEL, we need to look at the value of “Bible Concentrate.” Several verses in the Book of Daniel need to be memorized. That’s why I’m diverting a bit before we go further in our study. (I still work at memorizing. I was 84 yesterday.)
ALL THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD, but some of it is more useful to us, and applies to us more than other parts. For example, we don’t live in Israel and therefore all the Scripture that applies to the day-to-day living in Israel doesn’t apply to us. We don’t sacrifice bull calves and lambs in Jerusalem, so all those verses are not binding upon us as a duty. It is important that we know what they did and why, but not so we can also do it. Buried in those Scriptures are principles of our relating to God and to each other.
SOME SCRIPTURES, WE NEED TO DWELL ON MORE THAN OTHERS. The best way to “dwell on” Scripture is to read it often or to single out certain verses to memorize and then study the best way to memorize them. More about “how to memorize” at the bottom of this page. Jesus taught us that some parts of Scripture are more important than others:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)
JESUS POINTED OUT THAT TWO COMMANDMENTS ARE ABOVE ALL THE OTHERS because they include all the others. These two commandments are master commandments. The Bible tells us how to get to Heaven and how to live on our way to Heaven. As you read the Bible, some verses will stand out as being more relevant to you than other verses. As you continue to read and study the Bible, even more verses will become more relevant to you. It is a life-long process. It is the Holy Spirit who is teaching you as you seek the mind of God in His Word.
THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS MADE UP OF 31,173 VERSES AND 1,189 CHAPTERS. Verse and chapter numbers were added hundreds of years after the Bible was written. Verses and chapters are for the purpose of indexing and locating places in the Bible. How many verses should we memorize? I don’t think in terms of how many verses one should memorize. We don’t need to memorize 31,173 verses or 1,189 chapters of Scripture.
THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE ANY VALUE IN A CERTAIN NUMBER OF VERSES. But there is value in memorizing key verses that give us a strategic grasp of the Scriptures. If you need a number, then try 300. We need to memorize at least 300 verses to get a good grip on major Bible things we need to know. If you need another number, then try the number: 1,000 verses. Some people are wired that way, needing numbers to measure what they’re doing. Whatever number of verses you want to memorize, do it thoroughly. Be tough on yourself.
I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY VERSES I HAVE MEMORIZED. Not enough. I’m still at it. For many years I worked at memorizing several verses every year. That practice has served me well and helps me to recall and locate verses when I am thinking, writing and preaching. I’m still working on memorizing. Mostly I spend time reviewing verses I already know because they get gummy and slow. But, I keep finding verses that I need to memorize.
WE DO NOT TAKE IN BIBLE TRUTH BY VERSES. We take in and remember Bible truth by phrases. They stick to us as we hear sermons and Sunday school lessons, as we read printed material and as we read the Bible. But, these phrases that have become a part of us are “somewhere in the Bible.” Many of them we could not find if our lives depended on it.
AND...THAT'S NOT ALL BAD. They are still in us and they are available for our minds to use when they are triggered. But, it would be even better if we can locate them in the Bible, so we can see what comes before them and after them and how they fit into the larger picture. Therefore, it is profitable to memorize Bible verses and to remember the reference. Say the reference before and after the verse. When memorized, if you hear or see the reference, you can recall the verse. If you hear or see the verse, you can remember where it’s found in the Bible. There’s no way to improve on that.
NUMBERS ARE HARDER TO MEMORIZE THAN WORDS because numbers cannot be associated with anything. If you memorize ten verses in a chapter, it is much easier to memorize because you only have one reference to remember and no verse numbers. If you memorize ten verses at different places, you must remember ten times as many numbers.
FOR FORTY YEARS I LOOKED FOR AND READ EVERYTHING I COULD FIND on memorizing and then reduced it down to the simplest terms. If I heard or read about someone who was memorizing Scripture, I bought everything they had, read it, marked on it, and filed it away for safe keeping. That was before computers came along. The U.S. Army had a book on how we learn, so I begged it from my school mate who spent time in the Air Force and absorbed it. Radio preachers, magazines and books contained suggestions on “how to memorize.”
IT COMES DOWN TO: desire, determination, diligence, and demanding of yourself that you do it. Otherwise, you will end up with a pile of books and do nothing about memorizing. Do you want to memorize 300 verses of Scripture? You will have no problem. As soon as it becomes important to you, you will get on the trail and you will do it. If you want to know God’s Word, “nobody or nothing” can keep you from it.
MY 2ND GRADE TEACHER HAD US TO RECITE JOHN 3:16 every morning for four months. Got it! (It was her determination.) For four months we recited John 3:17. (We had 8-month school years.) When I got saved two years later, Evangelist Dan Graham had a box of New Testaments printed for soldiers (WW2) and he would give a New Testament to everyone who memorized ten verses. Before the meeting was over, I had memorized eight verses, plus the two I already knew and had my New Testament. (I still regret losing it.) It was a precious book to me.
HERE'S THE SUREST, EASIEST WAYY TO MEMORIZE SCRIPURE. Go to Staples or some other office supply that does custom printing and buy two packs of 3x5 cards with lines on one side. They may have colors. Pick your color and have them cut the cards in half. If it’s a husband-wife project, get the pink for the wife. If it’s a family project, get pink for the girls and another color for the boys. I do not recommend blue; there’s not enough contrast in the ink and the color of the card. I like the bright colors. Right now, I’m using green. If Staples does not have your color, go online to Amazon. I bought an assortment of cards there last year. You’ll have to pay Staples to cut the cards unless you have a paper cutter. DO a good job on the cutting. You will respect it more if you do.
KEEP A DOZEN OR SO BLANK CARDS WITH A RUBBER BAND AROUND THEM in your shirt pocket with a black ball-point pen. When you decide on a verse, write the reference at the top-left of the card. Write the verse and when finished, write the reference again. You may need to write only the reference at the top and look up the verse when you can. Carry up to a dozen cards with verses written on them (no rubber band) for reading or reciting. This gives you about 25 cards in your pocket. No more than that at a time.
KEEP YOUR MAIN BANK OF WRITTEN CARDS AT HOME WITH A RUBBER BAND around them. At home you will have: 1. Blank cards 2. Memorized cards. Review these cards once a month. 3. Reading cards (cards you are simply reading). 4. Cards you are memorizing. Pick out one of these cards and work at memorizing it for a week. Repeat it at least 5 times a day. Write it 5 times a day. When you can write and repeat the verse easily without hesitation, place it in the 2. Memorized stack. If you choose to follow this plan, you will memorize a verse per week or 50 verses in a year.
SOME VERSES ARE EASIER THAN OTHERS. Repeat and write hard verses more often. If you “stall” on a verse in the “Memorized” stack, moved it alongside the one new verse you are memorizing until it writes and recites without effort. THAT’S IT! That’s all you need to know about memorizing. Mix the above with: desire, determination, diligence, and demanding of yourself and you will have 50 verses in a year.
SLOW, STEADY WORK WILL DELIVER THE GOODS. Jack rabbit spurts are better than nothing but not much better than nothing. Learn the system as well as the verses and it will serve you for life. One last thing: submit to everything God shows you while you are memorizing verses. The Bible tells us to: HEAR, READ, STUDY, MEMORIZE, and MEDITATE on the Word of God. (HRS of M&M’s --- memorize this too.)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Ecclesiastes 1-3 P.M. 2Corinthians 9
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
Thy Word Have I Hid in my Heart (1:11) (Cedarmont Kids)
Give it a little time – You may need to adjust the sound.