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Why Should Children Memorize Scripture?

Why Should Children Memorize Scripture

Here are four top reasons to encourage children to memorize Scripture:

1. Children have amazing memories.

Children memorize easily. In fact, they often memorize effortlessly. Since memorization is so easy for them, they are memorizing constantly. They will memorize either what the world has to offer them or what we have to offer them. Why not take advantage of this God-given gift for the benefit of our children’s spiritual growth? This “window of opportunity” is open for about twelve years. After age twelve, memorization is harder — unless a child has been trained in the habit of memorization.

2. What is learned in childhood is often retained for a lifetime.

It is so much harder for adults to memorize Scripture than children. We often feel handicapped because we do not have more Scripture memorized. For many adults, the verses they know well (those which come to mind as an automatic response) are verses learned in childhood. So seize the moment! (more…)

Are You Prepared to Fight the Fight of Faith?

Fight the Fight of Faith

My main reason for memorizing Scripture is not to teach anybody anything but to fight unbelief in my life. To fight discouragement in my life. To handle the sorrows that come across my life.

The devil is constantly shooting at me to be discouraged about myself, my family, my church, and the world. And the only way I know to fight back is with truths from God that counter that.

—John Piper, Desiring God

Those of us who believe in and receive Jesus as Savior are brothers and sisters in the family of God, fellow workers in God’s kingdom spreading His glory and the message of salvation from generation to generation to the ends of the earth, and fellow soldiers fighting the fight of faith.

As we are engaged in the ongoing battle of continuing in the faith, every Christian must speak truth to his soul, fighting not only the temptations of the flesh but also battling for faith. The assaults of the enemy come in the form of lies which threaten to diminish the joy of our salvation and our love for the gospel, belief in the promises of God, a hunger for God, single-minded devotion to Christ and our appetites for the spiritual rather than the temporal.

The Fighter Verses program is designed to equip you to fight the fight of faith by memorizing God’s Word. Each week individuals, families and churches are all encouraged to memory a verse or short passage of Scripture together. Are you prepared to fight the fight of faith?


Fighter Verses

Verse Collections

Fighter Verses Collection

This core memory program of 260 passages is broken down into five yearly sets with one verse or passage to be memorized each week. The verses chosen for this collection focus on 1) the character and worth of our great God, 2) battling against our fleshly desires, and 3) the hope of the Gospel.

Extended VersesExtended Memory Collection

The Extended Memory Collection is designed for those who wish to memorize longer passages of Scripture. Still structured as a five-year weekly memory program, this collection encourages you to memorize Philippians, James, Romans 5-8 and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), plus an additional set of larger passages from various books of the Bible that are considered key to the life of faith.

Foundation VersesFoundation Verse Collection

The Foundation Verses are 76 verses of foundational truth designed with toddlers and pre-readers in mind. The collection includes verses designed to lay a firm scriptural foundation of basic biblical truth that will pave the way for faith response along with illustrations to help children remember each verse.

 

 


Fighter Verses WebsiteGetting Started

Are you excited to start memorizing Scripture? Begin by visiting FighterVerses.com to learn more about Fighter Verses, discover how to get your whole church on board and find tips on how to memorize and review verses. You will also find our weekly devotional blog there. Feel free to jump in and start memorizing along with us…we are just finishing up Set 1. Or, start preparing to begin a new set in January.

The Fighter Verses AppNext, download the Fighter Verses App for iPhone or Android. This will give you a wide array of resources to help you memorize wherever you go or whenever you have a few spare minutes. You will find all of the verse collections, quizzes, songs, study resources and an in depth review function to help you keep verses memorized.

For additional help in memorizing, check out some of our other Fighter Verses resources:

Fighter Verses Songs

The Fighter Verses Study

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.—Ephesians 6:10-12

Resource Update: We are excited to release the Fighter Verses Songs for Set 2 on CD and iTunes in early 2017! Watch the blog for more details.
Unfortunately, we are not able to release Set 2 of the Fighter Verses Study this year. We hope to provide more study resources for Fighter Verses in the future.

Now Available: The Fighter Verses Study, Part D

Fighter Verses

The Fighter Verses Study, Part DDo you long to have the Word of God engraved on your soul; to be instructed, counseled, and convicted by Scripture; to have your worldview shaped by the Word, and not by the World? Memorizing the Word makes it possible to meditate on the Word, which carries the potential of shaping our thinking and our affections.

The Fighter Verses Study is a devotional for families, small groups, classes and individuals. Each week’s lesson is based on a verse or short passage that will equip you to “fight the fight of faith.” A series of questions, which can be answered personally or discussed in a group, will lead you to a better understanding of the verses. You will be challenged with application questions, inspired by prayer points and encouraged to journal and memorize the passage.

The Fighter Verses Study, Park D is the final quarterly installment of the year-long study and includes 13 lessons. The verses studied, which mirror Set 1 of the Fighter Verses Bible Memory program, include:

Titus 3:4-6 (Work of Christ)
Isaiah 46:9-10 (Sovereignty of God)
Proverbs 1:10 (Battling Sin)
Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trusting God)
Proverbs 19:11 (Battling Anger)
John 15:5 (Life in Christ)
John 14:2-3 (Eternity)
Psalm 125:1-2 (Trusting God)
Psalm 141:3-4 (Speech)
1 John 1:8-9 (Battling Sin)
Psalm 23 (Guidance of God)

Each quarter of The Fighter Verses Study is a stand alone part that can be done in any order. Feel free to start with Part D to coincide with the Fighter Verses schedule, start the year-long study now or pick and choose the a part that features your family’s favorite verse or a theme you want to study together.

Learn more about The Fighter Verses Study

Download a Sample of the Study

View the Scope & Sequence for Part D

Order Now!

We pray that The Fighter Verses Study Part D will help you, your family or your small group discover the joy of mining the Word of God as you learn together to observe, interpret and personally apply it. And may God’s Word be imprinted on your mind and firmly established in your heart!

 

 

 

Using Foundation Verses in Your Parenting

FV_Foundation2

Back when my children were younger, there was a phrase I often repeated: “Give me a verse.” This was usually in response to a sinful attitude, word, or action presenting itself. It was my way of reminding them (and myself) that all of our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions need to be shaped and come under the authority of Scripture. For example, suppose a hypothetical grandson of mine is complaining about having to eat his vegetables before getting a cookie for desert. Mommy reminds him of a verse he knows:

Do all things without grumbling… (Philippians 2:14, ESV)

Or suppose that same child is mad because he didn’t get things his own way. He wants to be the boss! Mommy reminds him of a verse he has memorized:

No one can serve two masters… (Matthew 6:24, ESV)

God is the boss! You must do things His way, and not your own way. Verses like these can then be used to help children understand their sin nature—“What is it that makes us want to grumble and complain? Why do we want to do things our own way instead of God’s way?”—and provide wonderful opportunities to share Gospel truths with them, such as, “We are sinners. We need Jesus!”

But “give me a verse” should not be used only as a means of correction. Our children should also be able to call to mind verses that remind them of God’s goodness and greatness in the very “ordinary” experiences of daily life. When my 2-year-old granddaughter delights in playing outside on a beautiful sunny day, mommy could ask, “Who made the beautiful sunshine?” and then remind her of a verse she has memorized:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, ESV)

Or,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… (James 1:17, ESV)

All of the above presupposes that they first have verses memorized. And it’s never too early to begin Bible memory. My daughter and son-in-law are using the CDG resource, Foundation Verses, to introduce their young children to Scripture memory, and as a parenting tool. The resource includes the above four verses, plus 72 more. They are strategically chosen Bible verses for children 2-5 years old. The ring-bound pack includes 76 short verses designed to lay a firm Scriptural foundation of basic biblical truth that will pave the way for faith response. Each verse has a picture prompt to help non-readers remember the passage.

You can find out more about Foundation Verses here.

Now Available: Part B of The Fighter Verses Study

Children Desiring God Blog // The Fighter Verses Study Part B Now Available

Children Desiring God is excited to announce the release of Part B of The Fighter Verses Study. This devotional equips families, small groups and individuals to fight the fight of faith and they study and memorize Scripture.

The Fighter Verses StudyThis 13-week study includes verses 14-27 from Set 1 of the Fighter Verses Bible memory program. Each part of the series is an independent study that can be done by itself or together as a year-long study. Each of the 13 lessons is based on one of the Fighter Verses and includes an introduction to the context of the verse; an in depth look at each part of the verse with questions that will lead you to a better understanding of the text; application questions; prayer points and an encouragement to journal and memorize the verse.

Resources for Part B include a Discussion Guide for group leaders or individuals and a Study Guide for group participants. A Journal and children’s Coloring Book to accompany the study are also available.

We pray that The Fighter Verses Study Part B will help you, your family or your small group discover the joy of mining the Word of God as you learn together to observe, interpret and personally apply it. And may God’s Word be imprinted on your mind and firmly established in your heart!

Learn more about The Fighter Verses Study

Download a Sample of the Study

View the Scope & Sequence for Part B

Order Now!

“Ever since the beginning, the Fighter Verses plan for memorizing Scripture has been part of my spiritual warfare, helping me fight unbelief and Satan and sin. …What could be more valuable than teaching families not only to know the Scriptures, but also to linger over them as they discuss and color, and to pray them into reality.”

–John Piper, Founder and Teacher, desiringGod.org

Free Fighter Verse Devotional for Your Family

The Fighter Verses Study

In yesterday’s post, I quoted Albert Mohler, who made a passionate plea for Christians to pursue serious Bible knowledge. Parents, here is crucial portion from Dr. Mohler’s words:

Parents are to be the first and most important educators of their own children, diligently teaching them the Word of God. [See Deuteronomy 6:4-9.] Parents cannot franchise their responsibility to the congregation, no matter how faithful and biblical it may be. God assigned parents this non-negotiable responsibility, and children must see their Christian parents as teachers and fellow students of God’s Word.

There are many good resources available to help parents “mine” the Word of God with their children. The new Fighter Verses Study Guide is one of these resources. How does it help in the mining process? Here is an example from Fighter Verse 4:

Part 1: In Awe of God

God’s Wisdom and Knowledge

Think about an incident or situation in which you or another person responded with amazement or awe, perhaps a time when you saw someone doing an amazing stunt. What caused that feeling of, “Wow, that is incredible!”? The apostle Paul had the same sense of awe, but for a totally different reason. This is how he expressed his awe:

Romans 11:33-36—Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

  1. What is Paul in awe of? 

 

  1. What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? 

 

Here is one illustration that shows the difference between knowledge and wisdom:

  • Knowledge is knowing that motorcycles can be dangerous. Wisdom is having the good sense to wear a helmet and to drive carefully.

Complete the “wisdom part” of the next few examples. 

  1. Knowledge is knowing that icy roads can be slippery. Wisdom is… 

 

  1. Knowledge is understanding that if you disobey your parents you will be punished. Wisdom is… 

 

  1. Knowledge is understanding that paint can stain a wooden table. Wisdom is…

 

Wisdom is taking your knowledge and making good decisions and right actions because of what you know. It is taking the information you have and making a good choice in what you do.

Paul understands that God has more than just knowledge. God uses the knowledge He has to make good decisions. That is why he says:

Romans 11:33b—How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

  1. What does unsearchable mean?

 

  • God’s judgments—or His decisions and plans—are so wise that we can’t even understand the goodness and rightness of them. They are “inscrutable” or mysterious to us.
  • We cannot clearly understand the ways of God. His understanding is so great that we wouldn’t understand an explanation of why God does what He does. We just wouldn’t “get it.”

 

  1. When we say, “Oh, my!” what does that mean? 

 

  1. What does Paul mean by the expression, “Oh, the depth…”?

 

  • “The depth” shows Paul’s amazement at the extent or the amount. He is in awe of how much wisdom and knowledge God has.

 

As you can see, the directed questions and comments slowly walk you through the text to discover the meaning.  But it doesn’t stop with this short example…Enjoy this passage further by downloading the entire week’s study material here. It’s filled with other helpful questions, explanations, illustrations, application, prayer points, etc. By God’s grace, you and your family will have a deeper and richer understanding of the passage, leading to a greater love and awe of God and desire to walk in His ways.

Creative Idea: Fighter Verses Encouragement Cards

The Fighter Verses Coloring Book

A while back, I noted how the new Fighter Verses Coloring Book could be used during sermon time for young children (see that post here). Since then, my daughter has come up with an additional idea—using the individual pages for home-made encourage cards. Here is the scenario: We have a family member who is going through some intense and difficult chemotherapy. My grandchildren wanted to cheer up cousin Matt, so my daughter printed out an encouraging FV coloring page for each child to color. The children then mailed the finished pages to cousin Matt—and yes, he was thrilled and encouraged to receive them!

So, along with getting a Fighter Verses Coloring Book for your children, consider getting an electronic copy, too.. One $5 coloring book will provide your children with 52 notes of encouragement to choose from. It’s a great way to encourage your children to minister to others—giving them comfort and hope from the Word!

Crumbs Add Up

 

The Fighter Verses Study

You probably have noticed our emphasis on Scripture memory in the month of December with the release of our new Fighter Verses Study and related resources. And, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the thought of a systematic Bible memory program during this busy holiday season. Like me, you may feel tempted to say, “I just don’t have the time right now!” I found this illustration over at the Gospel Coalition to be really encouraging:

The demands of life swamp my days. I might as well drain the Everglades as carve out an entire morning for memorizing Scripture. But on most days I have time to put a crumb on the tip of my tongue and carry it from one room to the next, like an ant (Prov. 30:24–25).

Crumbs add up. Memorize Scripture for 15 minutes each day, five days a week, for two decades, and you will have devoted 1,300 hours to SLTSM [Systematic Long-Term Bible Memorization].

Learning from the ant has motivated me to be methodical while practicing other disciplines; I’ve developed parallel strategies for writing, praying, and sermon prep. “Ant-like” methods for spiritual disciplines multiply over time.

(From “7 Benefits of Systematic Long-Term Bible Memorization,” by Chris Brauns.)

Proverbs 30:24-25—Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer;

They WILL Memorize Something

My granddaughter—a mere two years old—is already memorizing. She is not exceptional in this regard. Children have an amazing God-given ability and inclination to memorize. The question becomes: What will they memorize? In this short video clip, Pastor David and Sally Michael talk about making the most of these young years.

 

 

Change Coming to the NIV Fighter Verses

Changes Coming to the NIV Fighter Verses

It has been a wonderful privilege to encourage you since 1997 to hide God’s Word in your heart through the Fighter Verse Bible memory program.

On January 1st, 2016, Children Desiring God will update all of the Fighter Verses resources in the New International Version (NIV) from the NIV1984 version to the NIV2011 translation. Due to restrictions from the publisher, we can no longer offer the 1984 NIV version after December 31. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you.

The Fighter Verses App

NIV2011 will replace NIV1984 verses in our Fighter Verses App in the next couple weeks.  This change will show up on your smartphone or tablet the next time you update your app from iTunes or Google Play.

Fighter Verses, Extended Verses and Foundation Verse Packs

You may purchase NIV1984 Fighter Verses, Extended Verses and Foundation Verses packs from our website through December 31, 2015.  Starting January 1, all NIV Fighter Verses resources purchased through our website will be in NIV2011. These NIV1984 resources will be on sale through the end of the year (Limited quantities available).

We know changing or updating translations can be difficult when memorizing. We pray this change will not deter you from the wonderful discipline of Bible memory.  Memorizing the Word is crucial to our fight of faith. Consider just a few amazing realities of God’s Word:

Every Word of God proves trueProv 30:5
God watches over his Word to perform itJer 1:12
God’s Word never returns emptyIs 55:11
God’s Word is truthPs 199:160
God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged swordHeb 4:12
People are saved by God’s WordJam 1:18
People are sanctified by God’s WordJohn 17:17
People have joy through God’s Word
Ps 119:14
God’s Word will remain forever
Is 40:8
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us
John 1:14

At this time, all Children Desiring God NIV curriculum will remain in the 1984 version. Curriculum and Fighter Verses resources in the English Standard Version (ESV) will not be effected by this change.

 

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