Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.—Psalm 119:11
Why Memorize the Bible?
Memorization works on our hearts to instill faith, cultivate Christ-like character, fight temptation, and enhances prayer and worship. Scripture mentions the following encouragements for memorizing.
- Is one of the most effective ways to “meditate” on the Word of God “day and night” (Joshua 1:8).
- Helps us treasure God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against the Lord (Psalm 119:11).
- Allows us to meditate on the Lord in the “watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6) so that we can fix our eyes on your ways (Psalm 119:15).
- Helps us in evangelism, making the Word of truth readily available to build our own and others’ faith—since “faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Read more from John Piper: Why Memorize Scripture?
Does Bethlehem Have a Bible Memory Program?
Yes, the Fighter Verse program was established under the conviction that Bible memory emphasis should be a church-wide initiative among all age groups for many reasons. Here are five of them:
- Bible memorization has value for young and old alike. Adults as well as children need to be encouraged to memorize the Bible.
- Only emphasizing Bible memorization in children’s ministry sends a not-so-subtle message to our children that memorizing the Bible is for kids but not for grown-ups.
- Few things motivate children to memorize more than when they hear grown-ups quoting from memory the same texts they are memorizing.
- The example of grown-ups ministering to each other with the memorized Word encourages children to use the Word they are memorizing.
- When the whole church body memorizes the same passage, we encourage one another as the verse is reinforced in our ministry to each other and in prayer.
Fighter Verses are memory verses specifically chosen to help believers “fight the fight of faith.” Practically, they are verses we want our people to remember when they are facing a trial (illness, dying, suffering, etc.), temptation, or battling to strengthen or maintain their faith. Bethlehem is dedicated to memorizing a Fighter Verse passage each week because memorizing together adds accountability and encouragement.
In addition, a secondary purpose is to instill in children and adults the habit of Bible memory in the hope that after the Fighter Verses are mastered, they would go on to memorize their own selection of verses or passages.
Below are brief descriptions of the verse sets:
- Fighter Verses: The Fighter Verses focus on the character and worth of our great God, encourage believers to battle against our fleshly desires, and remind believers of the hope of the Gospel. Available in a two-ring binder with five sets of yearly verses.
- Fighter Verses—Extended: The Extended Memory Set is designed for those wishing to memorize longer passages of Scripture. Still structured as a five-year program, this set will walk you through memorizing large segments of or whole New Testament epistles, the Sermon on the Mount, etc.
- Foundation Verses: Foundation Verses are strategically chosen Bible verses for children preschool through age five. The pack includes verses designed to lay a firm scriptural foundation of basic biblical truth that will pave the way for faith response.
Where to Find the Weekly Fighter Verse
- at the bottom of every page of this Web site
- at fighterverses.com
- in the church bulletin
- in the Star newsletter
- on the Fighter Verse bookmark (available at each campus Information Booth)
- in the annual Global Partner Prayer Calendar distributed each Fall during Global Focus
Why Does Bethlehem Use the ESV Bible?
John Piper, a strong proponent of the ESV, finds it to be one of the most literal translations of the Bible. In this article he gives details for why Bethlehem selected this translation for the church.
Are Memory Verses Taught in Sunday School?
We believe that parents play the primary role in spiritual nurture of their children and the church plays a secondary, supporting role. The application of this philosophy to Bible memory is that parents are encouraged to assume the responsibility for Bible memory. In Sunday School verses may be introduced, reviewed, or applied and incentives are given for verses memorized. See A Notice to Parents about Memory Verses.
Practical suggestions for parents in helping children memorize and apply scripture are given in How to Use the Fighter Verses in Instruction and How to Teach Bible Verses to Toddlers and Preschoolers.
|Tools & Tips||Articles||Audio|
|Memory Verse Games||Fighter Verses Again?
by Sally Michael
|The Power of God's Word
by Jason Meyer
(Primary message from the 2012 Fighter Verse Kick-Off)
|Memorizing the Word
by Sally Michael
|Messages on Bible Memory
from Children Desiring God Conferences
|An Approach to Extended
Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis or
Suggestions for Memorizing from this publication
|Helping Children Learn and Understand Fighter Verses
by Tim Johnson
Memorizing Fighter Verses