Memorizing James

Just this past month I accomplished something I would have previously never thought possible–I memorized the Book of James in its entirety. It was a challenge posed to me by a Beth Moore study on the book of James that the ladies in our church are working on. To be honest with you, when Beth (yes, I call her Beth because after doing many of her studies you really feel as if you know her) first challenged us with this, I thought to myself, “yeah, right!” You see, I used to be at least kind of smart and was great at memorizing lots of stuff. That was before I had kids. When my oldest son was born, followed by 4 siblings in just as many years, my brain felt as if it had turned to mush. Sure, I have done a number of Bible studies in the past decade, but haven’t done much memorization at all other than a verse here or there.

So, like I said, my first reaction to even the thought of memorizing the Book of James was not so enthusiastic. Anyway, I started in on the study, attending our Bible study group and tackling the homework portion. I found myself starting to say the first few verses of Chapter 1 to myself without really even thinking about it.

” Hmmm….maybe I’ll attempt just the first chapter.”

Surely that is enough of a challenge and can benefit me. As Beth would say, “a little word is better than no word.” Well, I started to seriously work on James 1 and flew through all of it and was into chapter 2 by the end of the first week. Whoa. Okay, maybe I can do all of it.

I prayed something like,” Lord, can you help me out here? I would like to do this, but cannot do it by myself. Please help me to be disciplined enough to see this through. Amen.”
Well, the Lord got a hold of me and I became a memorizing machine. Chapter 2 was soon a breeze, followed by 3, and so on. There were a few small sections where I always got a little tripped up and would need to peek, but other than that it somehow just flowed for me. Amongst my many daily interruptions, the Lord somehow always provided a bit of quiet time every day for me to diligently pursue this.

So, what’s my point? And what recommendatons or tips do I have?

First off is this: If I can do it, so can you. Most everyone I know is pretty busy, including myself. On a daily basis I have what seems to be a million thoughts and details cluttering my mind, not to mention all the little people that depend on me for lots of things. Again, if I can do it, so can you! Really.

Second: Pace yourself. Sure, you may not do it in a month like I did. In fact, Beth recommends stretching it out much longer than that. For some reason this happened quickly for me, but that may just sound nuts to you. That’s OKAY. If you’re in the word every day that is awesome. I usually worked on it for about 20 minutes a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. It is so worth it. You wouldn’t believe how many times the words of James come to mind and I catch myself saying verses in my head over a situation.

Third: Commit to it. This isn’t something you can half-heartedly do all that well. You need to decide to do it and commit to seeing it through. Set small goals for yourself and take it piece by piece.

Fourth: Say it out loud. There’s an article written by Beth’s daughter Melissa about how when James was written, a large percentage of the population was illiterate and there weren’t lots of copies of scripture just floating around. The people most likely would have heard these words spoken out loud. Speaking God’s word out loud on a daily, consistent basis has been a wonderful experience for me. I would literally walk around the house or even outside with my Bible open to James and would say my verses (without trying to peek). Oh yes–my husband, my kids, my dog, and whoever was walking by would get to hear and see me talking to myself. I’m sure I looked a little crazy, but I think it’s a good kind of crazy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fifth: Find a translation that is comfortable for you. No, I don’t use the word comfortable to mean that James will give you the “warm and fuzzies.” James does not mince words, no matter what translation you are reading from. He gets to the point and if you’re not feeling convicted through most of it, you’re either a way better person than I am or you aren’t focusing on his words. What I mean is that you need to find a translation that is most comprehensive and flows the best for you. I’m an NIV girl, so that is what I used.

Sixth: Set small goals. As you reach each one, push yourself to go a little further the next time. When reciting my verses, I would most always start from the top. That is, I would start at James 1:1 and go until I reached the verses that were my current goal.

So, those are my main recommendations based on my own personal experience. I am by no means an expert as this was the biggest passage I’ve ever done before. I can say without a doubt that every minute spent in memorizing these words was hands down worth it. After memorizing I am eagerly looking forward to digging into these scriptures even more and applying them to my life. As I said before, James is full of challenging and convicting stuff. But it’s good stuff. Sometimes we need a good “kick in the pants” so to speak (or at least I do).

Blessings to you all,
Rachel

11 thoughts on “Memorizing James

  1. You don’t know me, but I did a Google search for “beth moore” “memorizing james”, and your blog was listed! CONGRATULATIONS on memorizing James!!! I came online looking for some others that had done it or are working on it, because I needed a little cheering on. I’m trying to do 5 (sometimes 6) verses each week. I’m currently able to do James 1:1 through 3:15. God is so amazing! I haven’t memorized Scripture in SO long, because I too thought my brain had turned to mush. I loved how Beth challenged us to ASK GOD FOR THE ABILITY!!! (Not James but . . . Ask and ye shall receive!!) He has been blessing me with the ability! It’s work, but it’s been wonderful. But I realize I still have a long way to go, and I don’t want to give up. As you say it some days, pray for me? Thanks!

    1. Good for you for even getting that far! Yes, I definitely do NOT take the credit for being able to do this–it was so much a God thing, because normally my memory is not that good. I will pray that you can continue memorizing the rest. As I mentioned in the post, it is very much worth it.

    2. I found an amazing website called Masterofmemory.com. It is run by a young man who shares all kinds of tricks to help people memorize things. The website is amazing! He also has a free daily video course you can sign up for on memorizing the book of James! He says all you need is 15 min. a day and in 30 days you will have the whole book memorized. I’m on day 5 and I completely believe it. Please check out his web-site. I am so excited about memorizing James!

      1. That would be great if you could memorize the whole book in 30 days! It took me five months of about 15 minutes each day, with some days being up to 30 minutes. In the long run, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete it — just that you’re spending time in the Word with the Author and hiding His Word in your heart.
        I can still say the whole thing today, almost 2 years later! I’m amazed at how often God brings it to mind and that I’ve been challenged and encouraged by it. And since then, I’ve also memorized the whole book of Philippians. I think I’m going to work on Hebrews 11 next.
        I’m so thankful for Beth Moore’s challenge to memorize Scripture. Even more thankful for the Holy Spirit’s power to do it!

  2. Yay, God! His Spirit is alive and powerful! The same power that raised Christ from the dead is still available today! I said the whole book of James for the first time this morning!

  3. Hello! I too did a google search for this very topic and landed on your page. I am going to attempt this beginning today and am a little nervous of failure. Thank you for the motivation!

  4. Valerie, I just finished James. Don’t be nervous take it slow and ask God to help you. Memorizing it is amazing the first time you can say a whole chapter will be amazing. I started in April and i am just now finishing up. It was great. I’ll say a prayer for you.

    1. Valerie, Watch the short video Beth Moore does about memorizing James. Very helpful! The biggest thing? ASK GOD FOR HELP!!!!! We know He wants us to know His Word, and He answers prayers that are within His will, so He will definitely help you! Give Him all the glory as you go, and it’ll be amazing! I’m so thankful Beth challenged us, the Spirit convicted me to do the challenge, and that I now have five whole chapters of Scripture deep within me. I can still quote it now, four months later!

  5. Hey Rachel! Thanks so much for this post, I too searched Beth Moore’s plant to memorize James on google & got your post! I did the James study in 2012 and had my first son the night my Tues. night women’s group saw the last video. Preggo brain didn’t work in trying to memorize the whole book back then. But The Lord has been calling me to memorize the book of Colossians and I knew Beth recommended a certain number of verses per day. I memorized Col 1:1-5 this morning in about 20 min, so I think that’s the pace I’ll use, unless He decides to supernaturally speed up the process. Thanks again for your testimony & God bless you & your full quiver ๐Ÿ™‚ ! Sharla Robertson (livingamplified.com)

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