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We interviewed one mom who has challenged her young children to memorize 100 scriptures. Read one to find out how they did it and why.
Cari, tell us about having your children memorize 100 scriptures:
What motivated you to do this? Why was it important to you? What did you want the outcome to be? Did you wish to accomplish more than just memorizing? As a mama, I worry about how much time I have left with my children to teach them and to prepare them for the world. I want them to have the tools and the wisdom that they will need in life to combat temptation and doctrinal error. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were bringing my eldest child, Savannah, home from the hospital, and now she is nearly 9 years old. I know that all I will have to do is blink and she will be headed off to college. What will happen when I’m not there to guard her against false doctrine? What will happen when my children are out on their own and faced with temptation? Will they be prepared? The psalmist said in chapter 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” How do I prepare my children? I must put the word of God in their hearts!
How long did the whole project take? How old were your children when you started? Will you continue on past 100? We have been memorizing scriptures for well over 2 years now. Avery was probably 5 and Savannah, 6. I will probably wait until Grayson is at least 5 before I start with him. We learn one new verse every week, starting on Mondays. I write the verse on a notecard and make them say it daily, along with the ones that they’ve already learned, so that they do not forget them. They must also tell me where the verse is found. We do this Monday thru Friday, like any other school subject, and then take a break on Saturdays and Sundays. We do, however, do this thru the summer as well. We are definitely continuing past 100.
How did you introduce each scripture? My kids really like the flashcard system. On Mondays I introduce the new verse that they will be learning, along with where it is found, and usually by Thursday or Friday they have it well-memorized.
What did you require of them? (Did you require them to be able to tell you the whole verse and the book and chapter/verse numbers? Did you require that the verse be exact word for word? To tell you what the verse means or is in reference to?) Yes, they must be able to tell me the entire verse word for word, along with the reference. I usually do my best to explain the verse to them. I realize that sometimes their depth of knowledge or understanding of the verse will not be the same as an adult’s. As they grow and mature, their understanding will mature as well.
Once it is memorized, did you require them to tell it to you again later? Can they now tell you all 100 verses? How long in one sitting does it take for one child to tell you all 100 verses? Yes, they currently have 103 verses memorized, and they are required to tell me all 103 (along with the references) daily. On a rough day, it usually takes each child about 30 minutes to get thru them.
What version/translation of the Bible did you use? Any specific reason as to that version/translation? We usually use the NKJV or the KJV. Sometimes Savannah’s Bible class teacher will assign her a verse to memorize, and I think she likes for the kids to memorize using the KJV, so that’s what we do for those verses. When her Bible class teacher assigns her a verse, then that’s the verse we work on for the following week.
How did you motivate your children in this? Did you ever get into a battle of the wills over memorization and how did you handle it? When we first started memorizing scriptures, I told my children that when they reached 50, I’d reward them by taking them to Chuck E. Cheese. They apparently thought this was a very good deal, because they did not require much more motivation than that. We kept all of our flashcards in a notecard box with Chuck E.’s picture on it. Once we reached 50, I made good on my promise. Over the summer, my children really wanted to go to Six Flags. I told them that Six Flags was rather expensive, but once they had memorized 100 verses, I would take them to Six Flags. When Six Flags opens in March, we will be taking our first trip there! Somedays my children aren’t so enthusiastic about saying their scriptures. On those days, Avery entertains herself by saying her scriptures with a foreign accent or even singing them at the top of her lungs. Although I think she is well aware that this drives me absolutely crazy, I try not to complain HOW she says them, just as long as she says them!
Did you ever get stuck or “fall off the bandwagon”? What did you do to get started again? The mere thought of them forgetting all of their scriptures after we’ve put that much work into learning them pretty much keeps me on the bandwagon.
Not everyone is good at memorizing, did one child have an easier/harder time than the other? What did you do to help the one struggling? I used to tell Avery that she was allowed 3 hints. Once her hints were used up, that’s all she got! This motivated her to think hard until the very end, and then usually she’d get down to the last 3, grin, and say, “Okay, I need my hints!” (I’m pretty sure that she really DIDN’T need them, but I gave them to her anyways.)
What scriptures did you chose for them to memorize? How did you go about choosing scriptures? I started out trying to find scriptures that would pertain to their youth or that they could easily relate to…”Let no one despise your youth…” (1 Timothy 4:12) or “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11), “Children obey your parents in the Lord…” (Ephesians 6:1-3),”Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” (Eccl. 12:1) “Do all things without complaining or disputing.” (Philippians 2:14), “And be ye kind to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32), etc. Sometimes I make them learn a particular scripture just so they can get a Biblical definition of something. (Q: What is “truth”? A: Thy word is truth. (John 17:17). Q: What is “death”? A: For as the body without the spirit is dead…(James 2:26) etc) Sometimes we learn verses regarding the plan of salvation, and sometimes we just learn verses that the Bible class teacher assigns. Sometimes the preacher quotes a scripture that I find rather profound, so I scribble it down in my Bible and when I get home I stick it in the “scripture box” for the kids to learn later. They’ve probably memorized more verses out of Proverbs than any other book. Once we started this whole process of memorizing scripture, I started requiring them to write down any familiar scripture that they heard the preacher use in a lesson, and then after the lesson was over they had to go and inform the preacher that they heard him use it, and then quote it to him. I cannot begin to emphasize how beneficial this has been to my children. They are more in tune with the lesson, and they know that if I hear the preacher say a verse that I know they know and they miss it, then I’ll know that they weren’t paying attention to the lesson! They get so excited when they hear the preacher quote (or even reference) a verse that they know! It’s my hope that this not only helps my children, but that it also encourages the preacher to know that they weren’t goofing off or coloring pictures during his sermon, but instead were paying close attention to the lesson that he worked hard to prepare.
Another thing that my children are fond of is a “game” where I ask them a question and they have to answer me with a scripture. And Sometimes we discuss various Biblical topics or even various religious ideas in our home where the scripture memorization has proved beneficial. For example, once I was explaining to my children that not everyone who claims to be a Christian believes that baptism is essential for salvation. Naturally my children began to object to this idea, so I told them, “Well, don’t give me your opinion, tell me where the Bible says that!” They went thru a mental list of their scriptures, and started spouting off Mark 16:16 and other scriptures that they know pertaining to baptism. This is where they start to learn to apply what they’ve memorized. Sometimes I will ask them, “What should I do if I need wisdom?” and they will answer, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). Sometimes I will ask them, “How many faiths are there?” and they will respond with Ephesians 4:4-6. I think this little exercise helps them to reason and to “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11)
What would you say to other parents that are considering this challenge? I would tell them that in the process of trying to “train up” their children, they may just find that they are training their own minds as well! It’s as simple as one verse a week, and it requires nothing but a Bible, a pen, and some notecards. It’s well worth the effort!
Can you share some of the scriptures you have memorized? Or a list to help us get started?
The list of scriptures is as follows (in no particular order):
1 Corinthians 15:33,
1 John 5:3,
1 John 4:15,
1 Timothy 4:12,
2 Timothy 2:15,
2 Timothy 1:7,
2 Timothy 3:16-17,
1 Samuel 12:24,
Psalm 23 (6 verses),
Psalm 100 (5 verses),
1 Thess. 5:22
“The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth.”
2 John 1
Do you realize that the book of 2 John is addressed to a lady? I didn’t realize this until just recently. I want you to read through the whole book (don’t worry it is only 12 verses) imagining that it is addressed personally to you. John obviously knew the recipients of this letter very well and wanted to encourage them. How does reading this book in this way encourage you?
Some scholars think that the “lady” might be a reference to a church and the “children” a reference to the members of that congregation. Read through the book again. How does this change your perspective?
On the following page is a short 3 day study of 2 John, I hope you are edified and encouraged by this study.
May you have a blessed day!
“And now I ask you, Lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments…” 2 John 5-6
John wanted to encourage this lady by reminding her of the basic commandment to love one another. I don’t think that she had stopped doing this…John just wanted her to continue loving and to love even more. Now how is it that we do this? By walking according to God’s commandments. God knows what is best for us and what is best for others. So if we follow God’s commands, we will be giving others the best of ourselves and the best of God. To do this, you must love with your whole self (Luke 10:27) and sincerely (1 Cor. 13). Let us honor God by loving him through obedience, wholly and sincerely.
May you give and receive lots of love!
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the father, in truth and love.
2 John 3
How many of us would reject grace, mercy, peace, truth, and love if it was offered to us on a platter? The great thing is that it is offered to us. And the sad thing is that many people reject it everyday.
I hope that your day/week/year will be blessed with grace, mercy, peace, truth, love, and much, much more. I also hope that you share these blessing with others. Show them how much they need it.
May this be a time in which we serve the Lord wholeheartedly and in turn receive His rich blessings.
Grace, mercy, peace, truth, and love to you all!!
“Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.” 2 John 8
Before you start this devotional, you need to read
2 John 7-11.
John commends this lady and her children for the good work they have been doing, but John also sends a strong message: WARNING, You are at risk!! First, He says do not lose what we have accomplished (walking in truth and Love). You have a reward waiting. Don’t Quit. Don’t Stop. And most importantly don’t be fooled by those who teach against Christ. John wants this lady and her children to be on guard and to protect their souls and reject those who do not teach the truth (verse 10). Who are these people? “Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.” (verse 7) Do not associate with them even to the point of not saying hello. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do in order to protect our souls.
Now remember that we are supposed to balance this with love. We are to love the lost and those who don’t know the truth. And reach out to them. Consider Matt. 10:14: The apostles were sent out in pairs to take the good news of Christ to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:7) They were to go out in love and compassion with self-less giving. But if that city rejected them, the apostles were to “shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matt 10:14) Luke and Mark continue this statement with “as a testimony against them.” Those who reject Christ and his truth are to be in turn rejected. We reject them so that we will not lose the reward that is waiting for us.
May you be watchful for false-teachers. And may you receive your reward in full!
For Further Study and Thought:
Am I taking the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner? 1 Cor. 11:20-34
How is Jesus being the bread of life important to the Lord’s Supper? John 6:26-58
How does the Passover relate to the Lord’s Supper? Exodus 12, 1 Cor. 5:7-8
How does the Old Testament sacrifices compare with Christ’s sacrifice? Lev. 4, Heb. 9:11-26, Heb. 13: 10-16, 1Pet. 1:18-19
How does Christ’s body of the Lord’s Supper effect or relate to the church? Col. 1:22, Heb. 10:10, 1 Pet. 2:24, 1 Cor. 10:16-17, Eph. 5:23, Rom. 12:4-5
What does Christ’s blood do for you? Acts 20:28, Rom. 5:9, Eph. 1:7, 2:13, Heb. 10:19, 1 John 1:7
Originally printed in the Spring 2010 issue V3N2
• Abraham to the angels (Genesis 18:1-8)
Question: How did Abraham greet his visitors?(v2)
Question: What are the two things Abraham wanted his guests to feel? (v3)
• Abimelech to Abraham (Genesis 20)
Question: What does this chapter teach you about how God wants you to show hospitality to someone that you may not agree with and who you feel may have wronged you? (v14-16)
• Pharaoh to Jacob (Genesis 45:16-20; 47:7-12)
Question: How does chapter 45 teach us to be hospitable to people who are outsiders?
Question: After reading both verses, what lesson can be gleaned from comparing the two?
• Jethro to Moses (Exodus 2:15-20)
Question: What does this verse teach us about being hospitable to those who are outsiders?
Question: Are you hospitable to those who help you or do you leave them alone like Jethro’s daughters did?
• Rahab to the Spies (Joshua 21:1-16)
Question: After reading this verse, do you think God allows someone to use their social status as an excuse to not be hospitable?
Question: How does God want us to be hospitable to people in trouble?
• Man of Gibeah to the Levite (Judges 19:16-21)
Question: Does this verse teach us that we should wait for someone to ask for help or should we recognize someone who is in need and offer help?
Question: How does this verse teach us to be hospitable to someone who is in need?
• The widow of Zarephath to Elijah (1 Kings 17:10-24)
Question: Does God excuse you from being hospitable if you are poor?
Question: How was the widow able to be hospitable?
• The Shunammite woman to Elisha (2 Kings 4:8)
Question: Does God expect wealthy people to be hospitable?
Question: How did the wealthy Shunammite woman show hospitality to Elisha?
• Martha to Jesus (Luke 10:38; John 12:1,2)
Question: How did Martha show hospitality to Jesus?
Question: Think about Jesus’ status among his followers. Martha opened her home to Jesus who was God’s son. Has someone’s social status or fear of how they would judge your home ever prevented you from being hospitable in your home? How do you think God feels about that?
• Pharisees to Jesus (Luke 11:37-44)
Question: Why was the Pharisee surprised?
Question: What important lesson does this teach us about hospitality?
• Zacchaeus to Jesus (Luke 19:1-10)
Question: Did Zacchaeus invite Jesus to his house or did Jesus invite himself?
Question: How did Zacchaeus respond?
• Lydia to Paul and Silas (Acts 16:15)
Question: Do you think Lydia’s invitation for Paul and Silas to stay at her house was contingent upon whether they found her to be a “believer”?
Question: Do you think this means that God expects believers to be hospitable?
by Beth Drake
Originally published in the 2010 Winter issue N3V1
As you clean out your closets and dust away the cobwebs this spring, take a little time to do some spiritual cleaning as well. A good house cleaning will only last for a little while, but an in-depth cleansing of your spirit can have an eternal influence.
Week One : Clean Your Mind
Our thoughts can quickly become our actions so it is important to start our spiritual cleaning with a clean and pure mind. The garbage that we are regularly presented by the world can take hold in our minds and cause us to become more like the world.
Passages to Study:
Week Two: Clean Your Heart
David prayed that God would create in him a clean heart, and we would do well to offer the same prayer on this week of our spiritual cleaning. A clean heart draws us closer to God, which is necessary if we want to be truly clean.
Passages to Study:
Week Three: Clean Your Mouth
Once your heart is clean, your language should follow. The way we speak shows others what is in our hearts. A clean mouth does not use bad language or engage in negative conversation about others. A clean mouth does not give voice to complaints, but instead offers praise to God and encouragement to those around us.
Passages to Study:
Week Four: Clean Your Spiritual Closets
Sins that we hide deep inside can destroy us and our relationship with God and others. Make this the week you clean out your spiritual closets and confess your sins and receive forgiveness.
Passages to Study:
Week Five: Throw Out Last Year’s Clutter
We all sin (Romans 3:23) and sometimes the sins of others are directed towards us. But the Bible teaches that we should have a forgiving attitude. Make this the week you throw out the clutter that bitterness leaves inside. Offer forgiveness to those who have sinned against you.
Passages to Study:
Week Six: Let some “Son” Light In
After a good cleaning, it’s always nice to throw open the windows and let in the fresh air and sunlight. On this final week of spiritual cleaning, we need to let the light of God’s only son, Jesus, shine into our lives. We have been called into fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord. When we have “son” light in our lives, we can let our lights shine before others so they too can glorify God.
Passages to Study:
1 Corinthians 1
By Valerie Enoch
Orginally printed in the Spring 2009 issue,