Before I memorized the book of James, the longest section of scripture I had memorized was the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, which is only 22 verses. I had memorized whole chapters of the Bible, but they were the shorter Psalms like 23 and 100.
So when I was challenged to memorize the book of James as part of the Beth Moore Bible study (James: Mercy Triumphs*), I was intimidated. But I am going to share with you 9 steps I used to memorize the book of James I will be using as I memorize the book of Philippians.
- 1) Decide the book of the Bible you want to memorize. It sounds simple, but really put some thought into it. You may be with this book for a while …
I memorized the book of James as part of a Bible study. But when I decided to tackle memorizing a second book of the Bible, I went back and forth between Philippians and Colossians. I heard they were both great books to memorize, but I finally chose Philippians because I kept coming across verses I loved from that book.
- 2) Choose your version. Beth Moore recommended choosing a different version than you were used to. I found that too confusing and chose the version I am currently using, which is the NIV. And still there were some verses I instinctively memorized in the King James Version because that is what I had used growing up.
- 3) Print out the whole book. For both James and Philippians I copied the text from Bible Gateway and pasted it into a Word document. First I removed all the subtitles. Then I changed the font to a more readable font. Finally I changed the margins and the font size until I could fit each chapter on one page.
For James I found it easiest to focus on one chapter at a time in the beginning, so it was important for me to size the chapters to fit onto one page each. But I kept the paragraphing because I found the paragraphs broke up the text into easier chunks to memorize.
- 4) Protect the text. You can laminate each paper or simply put them into a sheet protector. But doing something to protect the text will also make it more portable.
- 5) Plan some time in your day to work on memorizing the book. I worked on memorizing James during my Daisy walks when Tim wasn’t home. Walking the dog gave me about one or two 10-minute timeframes to practice each day.
- 6) Break the text into chunks. Start with the first paragraph. And keep going until you have memorized the whole chapter. Then move onto the first paragraph of the next chapter.
- 7) Review as you go. This was the hardest part for me. I tried to memorize whole chapters thinking I could connect them later. But then when I went to connect them, I found I had started forgetting earlier sections.
- 8) Don’t give up! It took me two years to memorize the book of James. But that was two years meditating and spending time in God’s word. It doesn’t matter how long it takes so just enjoy the journey.
- 9) After you memorize the whole book — and you will memorize a whole book of the Bible if you keep going and don’t give up. So after you memorize the whole book, repeat it back to God at least once a week, so you will keep God’s word hidden in your heart (advice from Beth Moore).
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11
Rest in His presence.
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