Family Devotion – Memorization

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The family should work together on memorizing passages of scripture. You can memorize sections of scripture up to a chapter or more in length by simply taking a verse at a time. Memorize a phrase or sentence, making sure not to start the next phrase until everyone has the current phrase well memorized.

Before going on, be blessed and motivated by this video of captivating “preaching” straight from the scripture: Ryan Ferguson presents Hebrews 9 and 10

To start memorization of a phrase, the first day dad reads it twice then reads it a few words at a time letting the family repeat those words. The next day the few words at a time are read and repeated back, two or three times. This continues for a couple more days. Then on the 4th or 5th day, Dad reads the whole phrase and the family attempts to say it back, again two or three times. By the 6th or 7th day, the phrase should be memorized. After the first phrase is memorized, the next phrase is started. All previous phrases in the passage should be repeated each day.

The key is consistency. There’s no need to rush through as if it’s a contest. The point of memorizing is to better understand the scripture so you can fulfill it. After a passage is memorized, it must be retained. Many of us memorized verses as a child but if we don’t use it, we lose it. So after the passage is completely memorized, it should be repeated in its entirety once a week for 2 months. We do this during the drive to church Sunday mornings. After the 2 months is done, the passage should be repeated in it entirety about every 3 weeks. So far with this method, we’ve been able to retain passages memorized more than 2 years ago. Using the Sunday morning drive is great since it’s a consistent weekly time when the whole family is together and it sets your mind on the Lord as you prepare to worship with your church family. As one or two of the passages are repeated, dad can emphasize parts of the passages and reinforce family practices and attitudes that may need attention.

Catechism questions/answers and church creeds can also be memorized with this method. We’ve done this with questions 37-45 of the Catechism for Children. Some day, we hope to memorize all 144 questions. Memorizing catechisms and creeds should be done in the context of scripture reading and study so the family realizes the meaning and importance of what they are memorizing.

If you commit memorizing important and beautiful truths and review them regularly, over time you will see God use them to transform your family and conform every member to the image of Christ.

These are some of the scriptures we’ve memorized. Some are various verses from a chapter or two put together into a single passage. Some are complete chapters. Files are attached for convenient printing, with each passage formatted and centered nicely for a single page. As we start memorizing a new passage, each one in the family gets a copy and a copy is placed on the refrigerator. This helps fill our home and hearts with the wisdom of God.

Colossians 1:9-12
Be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Psalm 106:1-3
Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD, Or can show forth all His praise? How blessed are those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times!

from Isaiah 9
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

II Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

from I Chronicles 16 (excerpts)
Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that He has done,
His miracles and the judgments He uttered.
Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Tell of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and He is to be held in awe above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy are in His place.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures forever!

from Proverbs 8 (excerpts)
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
By me kings reign and rulers decree what is just;
by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
And now, O children, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord,
but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

from James 3
Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart,
do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable,
full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

from Titus 2 & 3
Show all good faith, in everything adorning the doctrine of God our Savior.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live
self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of
our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us
to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people
for His own possession who are zealous for good works.
Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities,
to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one,
to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us,
not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy,
by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those
who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.
These things are excellent and profitable for people.

Psalm 103
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His word, obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all His hosts, His ministers, who do His will!
Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

from Matthew 6
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field,
which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’
or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

from Catechism for Children
Q. 37. What does every sin deserve?
A. The wrath and curse of God.

Q. 38. Can anyone go to heaven with this sinful nature?
A. No; our hearts must be changed before we can be fit for heaven.

Q. 39. What is this change of heart called?
A. Regeneration.

Q. 40. Who can change a sinner’s heart?
A. The Holy Spirit alone.

Q. 41. Can anyone be saved through the covenant of works?
A. None can be saved through the covenant of works.

Q. 42. Why can none be saved through the covenant of works?
A. Because all have broken it, and are condemned by it

Q. 43. With whom did God the Father make the covenant of grace?
A. With Christ, his eternal Son.

Q. 44. Whom did Christ represent in the covenant of grace?
A. His elect people.

Q. 45. What did Christ undertake in the covenant of grace?
A. To keep the whole law for his people, and to suffer the punishment due to their sins.