Share-Your-Story Friday. Steve from IL

Steve K.
Memorizing scripture has been very helpful to me in my walk with Jesus. However, as I look back, I more clearly understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint.

I first began to memorize longer passages when I was 16, on a Teen Missions International Missions Trip. I memorized the book of Philippians that summer with someone on my team.

Later, as a college student, I would sometimes challenge/ask someone to join me in a memorizing venture. With various people I memorized the Sermon on the Mount, Ephesians, and James.

Unfortunately I neglected the review part of memorizing, and while I did know these longer passages for a little while, they soon left my memory.

I was discouraged for a number of years – wanting to memorize something new but wanting to know what I had learned before first, before moving on to another portion of scripture.

I then came across His Word in My Heart by Janet Pope – and was finally inspired by the Holy Spirit to finally do the hard work to re-learn some of what I knew before.

I have just finished re-committing to memory the Sermon on the Mount. During the last couple of months, I have been blessed again and again by God through His Word.

The Beatitudes came alive and God spoke to my heart – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” I saw for the first time how the Beatitudes introduce so well the section of scripture, and how over and over Jesus’ commands call us to a righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law.

I was struck by my sinfulness, and how anger is akin to murder, how we are to love our enemies and pray for them, to hide our “acts of righteousness”, and to be anxious for nothing. God has humbled me as I have seen the plank in my own eye and repented of focusing on the speck in my brother’s eye.

As I re-memorized, I found that thinking of God and being aware of Him was more natural, which is one of the greatest rewards for me.

So I encourage you (as I intend to do myself) – take seriously the review and keep the passages you memorize new! The hard part is over, the benefit is now ours to meditate on God and His Word.

7 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Steve from IL

  • Richie

    Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story with us! How cool that you started so young memorizing whole books. I know what you mean about the disappointment in losing a book that you worked so hard to commit to memory. I had to “go back and get” Colossians last year. A habitual review routine not only helps keep the book in our heads but helps God’s message sink down deeper in our hearts. Thank for reminding us of that very important phase. Way to go, Steve! Keep pressing on!

  • warren

    Encouragement to review! Critical! Thanks…

  • Great story Steve, you are right it is a marathon and not a sprint. I would just encourage you to keep chasing hard after God and memorizing his word is a great way to do that. Psalm 119:9 is so true “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. Keep running the race you will never be sorry you did

  • Chérie

    Awesome reminder that reviewing is seriously as important as memorizing. So glad you found Janet’s book that helped get you back to where you were meant to be. 
    Thanks for being willing to share the cycle you went through:
    Memorize, Rejoice, Forget. So many of us have done the same thing. 

    The cycle that works is: 

    Memorize, *Review, Rejoice*.
    (Repeat between asterisks)

    A built in review system keeps this cycle going without any hitches. 
    If you choose to “go back and get” (Richie!…so cute!) some of the other chapters, you will be doubly blessed as you’ve realized the treasure you misplaced and are willing to sacrifice what is necessary to find that treasure and keep it this time by finding a review system. When you find what review system works, please share it with us goofy memorizers as we all learn so much from one another. I hope you will keep us posted on how you are doing. We’d love to hear. 

  • Susan Turner

    That is so awesome. I am encouraged by your story and reminded how God speaks personally to each of us through His Word. I am glad you got it back and I am confident that the others will follow very soon.
    I wish I had started memorizing at the age of 16. However, I don’t dwell on what is lost but press on toward what is to come which is my gain.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Janet Pope

    Hi Steve,
    I love knowing that there are godly young men out there memorizing God’s Word. Thank you for sharing your story. I know your life is an inspiration to other men.

  • Vickie

    Steve, thank you for sharing your story. I too have been struck by my sinfulness when memorizing. The Holy Spirit convicts as we work to memorize, we have to seriously pay attention to His Word during that process and the power of the Word does its work. 2 Timothy 3:16, yes! Thanks for sharing how important review is, and that the hard part is over once we’ve memorized the passage. In review we can truly meditate on the Word and be consistently taught as we open our hearts to each and every verse and to Him.