What was the first Bible verse you memorized as a child? Was it The 23rd Psalm? Was it The Lord’s Prayer? Was it The Golden Rule? How did you learn it? Can you still quote it today?
Singing scripture is one way to learn it. When I was a child we had lots and lots of scripture songs. One of my favorite was Psalm 119:11 in the King James Version, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee!” I sing scripture all the time with our boys and girls and I especially love it when they ask to sing their favorites! They seem to really love it.
Many of us learned Bible verses because we were participating in a Christmas pageant. It’s funny how those verses can come back in new ways each time we revisit them with each passing year. Just the other day, a dear friend from this church who is praying for healing for my wife, Julie, reminded me of Luke 1:37 in a text message, “Nothing will be impossible with God.” These were words that brought me encouragement in the moment that day. These were the words the Angel Gabriel said to Mary when mentioning old Elizabeth, who although thought to be past child-bearing years, was pregnant with John the Baptist. Similar words were spoken to Abraham under the Oaks of Mamre in Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” when referring to the fact that Sarah, although 90 years old and well past child-bearing age, would conceive and give birth to a son before the year was done. No wonder she laughed and her child was named “Isaac” which means “he laughs.”
Scripture verses are such a joy to learn and the art of applying them to current circumstances is wisdom indeed.
I love to see children get excited about learning Bible verses together. This summer I was visiting my granddaughter, Sofia, and her best friend, Olivia was over for a playdate. (see picture) I was enjoying talking with my daughter-in-law, Kelly, and Olivia’s mother, when she let me know that all of the five-year-olds in Olivia's class had learned Psalm 100 for Thanksgiving. So I asked Olivia’s mother to film her reciting it and whenever I need a pick-up I get out my cell phone and hear that child say, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth….” and by the time she finishes the entire Psalm with “….God’s faithfulness continues to every generation” and says “Goodbye!” I always have a smile on my face. It’s amazing how children love to recite scripture.
When my sister, Jill, and I were in grade school our father decided to teach us to recite Psalm 1. He brought a chalkboard to the dinner table and as we learned each verse he would erase it. By the end of the meal we could recite the whole thing. It’s something my sister and I still enjoy doing together from time to time.
Isaiah 40:8b tells us, “…the Word of our God will stand forever.” I believe that helping children memorize scripture is one of the most important things we do.
What were some of the first scripture verses you learned as a child?
What verses do you think are important for our children to learn?
Would you like to help be a Bible Memory coach for some of our children?
I’d love to hear from you!