Sean McDowell | July 19, 2021

Memorize Scripture with Me! (A Simple Plan)

Have you ever wanted to memorize Scripture, but lacked a specific plan how to do so? If that’s how you feel, I’d like to invite you to join me in committing Scripture to memory starting August 1.

Before I offer the specific plan, consider three reasons why memorizing Scripture is so important.

First, Scripture memory helps form our character. Hebrews 4:12 makes it clear that the Word of God is alive, active, and pierces our souls. If God’s Word is so powerful, why not commit some passages to heart so God can work in and through us?

Second, Scripture memory helps us resist temptation. In his defense against the temptations of Satan in the desert, Jesus cited Scripture (Luke 4). He had memorized Scripture so he could be ready to lean upon it in times of temptation. Shouldn’t we do the same?

Third, Scripture memory helps us defend the faith. The apostle Peter instructs believers to be ready with an answer for our hope and faith in Jesus. This often involves citing passages for the deity of Jesus, salvation by grace, or the triune character of God. To be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15), we must commit Scripture to memory.

If Scripture memory is so important, then how do we do it? Here’s my simple suggestion: Take one verse per week and read it, ponder it, and practice it throughout the week. We tend to fill up our spare moments by checking our smartphones. What if we use “spare” moments to reflect on Scripture? What if we share the verse of the week with family and friends and encourage them as well?


Why am I sharing this publicly? Two reasons. First, I hope some of you will join me. Why not have a group of people learning Scripture at the same time? Second, it will motivate me to stay disciplined and on track.

I would love it if some of you asked me along the way how the journey is going. If you happen to see me in person at an event (or even on one of my livestreams), ask me to cite the verse of the week or from an earlier week. I will be posting a weekly reminder of our verse-of-the-week on Instagram and Twitter.

Weekly Verses

How did I come up with the list below? I have recently been studying the attributes of God and decided to pick verses that reflect some of His key characteristics. A few come from suggestions people gave me on Twitter and Instagram and all (but one) are in the ESV translation:

  1. August 11 John 1:5: “…God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”
  2. August 8Exodus 34:6: “The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…”
  3. August 151 John 4:19: “We love because He first loved us.”
  4. August 22Psalm 139:7: “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?”
  5. August 29Proverb 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
  6. September 5Psalm 102:27, “But you are the same, and your years have no end.”
  7. September 12Isaiah 46:10: “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’”
  8. September 191 Chronicles 28:9, “the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.”
  9. September 26Isaiah 46:9, “for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.”
  10. October 3Genesis 50:20: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
  11. October 10Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  12. October 17Psalm 100:5: “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
  13. October 24Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
  14. October 312 Peter 1:3: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…”
  15. November 72 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
  16. November 14Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O Lord, you will hear my voice;
    In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” (NASB)
  17. November 21Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  18. November 28Ephesians 2:4: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.”
  19. December 5Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
    That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”
  20. December 121 Cor 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
  21. December 19Habakkuk 1:5: “Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.”
  22. December 262 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

To remember thinking about each verse, I would encourage you to take out your phone right now and make a weekly reminder starting August 1. I set a reminder to go off August 1 and 9am that says, "Verse of the week: 1 John 1:5."

Let's do this!

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell, TikTok, Instagram, and his blog: