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A number of years ago, desperate turmoil in our marriage led my husband and me to a dramatic conversion to Christ and a journey to find restoration and healing for our relationship. We were cultural Christians before that, but certainly not followers of Christ as we understand it today. The thing is— accepting Jesus into our lives as savior and Lord didn’t fix everything right away. In fact, for a season it got worse. This is because we, as imperfect people, had to learn how to allow our perfect God to work through us and transform us.
The Lord used so many tools, teachings, and special encounters with Him to bring this about, but today I want to share with you one piece that mattered tremendously: the power of God’s Word. Never doubt that it can change everything when we write it upon the tablets of our hearts (Proverbs 7:3). I can honestly say that choosing key bible verses to memorize was a critical part of our personal healing process.
I can remember those early days after inviting Jesus into my life when my thoughts were still overcome with fear, doubt, and a movie reel of terrible memories from the past. I couldn’t focus on reading my bible, I couldn’t sense the Lord’s presence, I could hear nothing above the noise of the enemy’s voice in my head taunting me. This is when my spiritual mother handed me a copy of Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind and taught me to take captive every thought and make it obedient to the mind of Christ. She told me, “Don’t just kick the ugly thought out, replace it with the Word of God.”
So my mind would rage with fear and anger, my emotions would be wrought with pain, and I would choose to say—
“NO. I take captive my thoughts and make them obedient to Christ, in the name of Jesus. Lord help me right now replace the lies of the enemy with the promises of your Word.”
And then I would start reciting a bible verse to back up my proclamation:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
And I would not stop speaking it (or writing it) until that scripture replaced and shut down the negative thoughts in my mind and emotions.
It took a while. At first, I was doing this constantly. But the Bible says: “Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” (James 4:7) and eventually that’s exactly what happened.
Memorizing scripture was my only hope for winning the battle that the enemy was waging between my ears, and I recommend this strategy to others constantly.
The list of scriptures below are some of my favorites and the ones I believe were most powerful for me, but I would always encourage you to find the verses that speak most personally to you. You’ll know when you find one! Something inside of you will click when you read the right verse and you’ll think— “I need that one.” When that happens, make note of the verse immediately and add it to your list to memorize.
Some people have an easier time memorizing than others— but we can all do it if we pursue the task with diligence. Here are some memorization tips that will help you to memorize effectively.
1. Set a goal and a deadline for memorizing each verse.
If you leave it open, it’s likely to never happen. I recommend a goal to memorize one new verse a week.
2. Establish a habit of practicing.
Whether it’s while you’re in the shower, walking your dog, or driving to work—pick a time each day that you can devote to your memory work.
3. Learn one small fragment or sentence at a time.
For example, if you want to memorize Matthew 11:28-30, do it in segments. Don’t add the next piece until you have mastered the first. It might break down like this:
Part 1— Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Part 2— Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
Part 3— and you will find rest for your souls.
Part 4— For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
4. Repeat the sentence out loud over and over.
At first, you will need to reference your bible to recite the verse. After you have repeated the phrase several times, you will be able to look away and still recite the verse correctly.
5. Write and re-write the verse.
Some people find that, in addition to reciting the verse out loud, writing it down helps them commit it to memory.
6. Create flash cards.
Use standard index card to write out each verse. I typically put the Chapter and Verse on one side and the Bible Verse itself on the opposite side.
7. Review the verses you previously memorized.
Once you have mastered a verse, don’t let it get dusty. During the time that you spend learning a new verse the following week, take a few minutes to recite the verses you have already memorized to keep them fresh and accessible in your short term memory.
I’m excited for you!! Please let me know your very favorite verses and any that you would add to this list as top bible verses to memorize!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will do this.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.
1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
HOW GOD SEES YOU
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
THE CHRISTIAN WALK
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
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