What Should I Memorize Next?

What's Next Concept
Many who memorize book-by-book agonize over what to memorize next. Some try to find a book that will match their life circumstances, but this isn’t always necessary. Remember Job. God’s answer to him didn’t address suffering at all. God revealed HIMSELF to Job, and that was enough.

We memorize because we want to know God and walk closely with Him. Our God chose to reveal himself through a composite of 66 books—diversity with unity.

All Scripture books have value so you can’t pick the wrong one. For me, whatever I choose for my next passage ends up being exactly what I need. People ask what my favorite book is. “The one I’m working on right now.”

I love them all.

My advice: choose a variety of topics, authors, and styles to give you a wide spectrum of insights. By memorizing from different authors, you will get distinct, though complementary, perspectives. Notice, for example the different authors in these passages and books:
• Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): Matthew quoting Jesus
• Philippians: Paul
• 1 Peter: Peter
• Luke 1-2: Luke
• Hebrews: author unknown
• Isaiah 40: Isaiah
• Psalm 19: David

Choose both poetry and prose, Old Testament and New Testament. Add some history, prophecy, biography and doctrine. Memorizing from assorted texts will build a powerful arsenal and enrich your overall experience. It will stretch you in healthy ways. You’ll see God with fresh eyes and delight in what you see.

Consider the treasure found in this combination:
• Deuteronomy 5-6: law
• Ruth: history/biography
• Ecclesiastes: poetry
• Haggai: prophecy
• Luke 24 (road to Emmaus): history/gospel
• John 17: Jesus’ prayer for believers
• Acts 1-5: history
• Colossians: doctrine

One caution for new believers—because what we memorize takes hold of us, and influences how we think and live, I would recommend staying in the New Testament for a while because it provides more complete revelation. Then branch out as you get established in the faith.

So much to memorize—so little time!

I’d love to hear from you, how memorizing assorted authors and books has benefitted you. Which books and passages have surprised you? Challenged you? Energized you?

10 comments to What Should I Memorize Next?

  • Holly

    Oh, that’s me. How I agonize and I will even switch books after memorizing just a few verses in one book because I want to make the “best” choice. But they are ALL best choices for any time in my life, just as you point out, Janet. Thank you for that reminder.

    I don’t have many books down yet, but memorizing different authors has been helpful in keeping things straight in my head because their style of writing are different.

    “So much to memorize – so little time!” Well said.

  • Chérie

    This is the best info ever for new and established memorizers. 
    I have a (LONG) list of what I hope to memorize. It changes often because I’m constantly adding to it. 
    This post is wonderful and I’m going to come back to it as people often ask me this same question. 

  • Janet Pope

    I would like to do one of the minor prophets next, but I can’t decide which one. Any suggestions?

  • Chérie

    Hmmmm…minor prophets? Wow. That would be interesting to see what happens and what you learn.
    When I was little, I used to love to sing them super fast in the Sunday school song of the OT books.
    ….I can still do it… So funny…
    Here is a link to Chandler’s killer series on Habakkuk?
    Might be something to pique your interest in that book.???

    “The Damage of Silence”

    The link is to the 1st of 11 sermons in the series on HABAKKUK. They are awesome.

    • Paulette

      Thank you for the link.We will begin to listen to this.I remember teaching our kids that song,oh what great memories.thanks for the giggle.you are fun. Thank you.

  • Amy Calvetti

    This is such good timing for me. Back in August I decided I was going to memorize Romans 8. I had just completed James 1 so I figured I could do Romans 8 even though it had about 10 more verses. I have to say I have only made it through vs. 11. I just haven’t felt the hunger to memorize like I did with my other verses up to this point. Because of this I have decided to put this one on hold for the time being. I’m going to focus instead on 2 Peter 1:3-8. This is the focus of our 2015 women’s retreat I’m helping to organize. I’m hoping to get that hunger back that I felt since I first started memorizing this past April. Thank you for sharing, Janet.

  • Janet, I love that you said “…you can’t pick the wrong one.” So true. The first chapter I memorized was Romans 8, and it was life changing for me. Just what I needed because of my problem with condemnation accusations from Satan. I speak that chapter or portions of it almost daily. Working on Sermon on the Mount now, just committed Matthew 5 and 6 and its just like I’m in an intense one on one with Jesus on how to be happy, make an influence for the kingdom, love unconditionally, give, pray, forgive others and trust my Heavenly Father for everything. Can’t wait to get into chapter 7! John chapter one, I adored, Philippians 4, holds the reigns in my thought life. Psalm 1 – a staple for every believer, I think. I’m still new at this, my second year, and I crave it, I love it and never want the desire to diminish. I love the minor prophets, again, you can’t pick a wrong one!

    • Hi Vickie, I love your thoughts. Every chapter holds something for us, and many times things jump out later, when reviewing, that we never saw before. Still pondering which of the minor prophets to do, but I’ll let you know.

  • Chérie

    I just wanted to encourage you in your memorization. I’ve had times like that. Many of them. Times where I’m not as hopped up on catnip about my current verses as I was for something prior. I always force myself to finish the chapter, but I don’t think that is necessarily the right thing for everyone. 
    1 Peter 1 is so rich, and you will glean so much from it, and after your womens retreat , Romans 8 will be there waiting for you with new truths that you will be ready to feast on because of how God worked in your heart with 1 Peter 1. Romans 8 is a challenge to memorize for sure, but it is a key chapter to have etched in your memory as the enemy uses “condemnation” against us every moment of the day.

  • Just want to say I love this community – Amy sharing her heart, Cherie offering encouragement – Janet always there with inspiration, I’d love to meet everyone that shares a love for the Word of God so much that they want it etched in their hearts and minds. Just want to say to you all, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Philippians 4:23