The Bible is filled with wonderful Scriptures to help guide, and teach on many different topics. In multiple places, the Bible, and specifically God (Deuteronomy 11:18), says to keep what the Scriptures say in our hearts.
Memorizing Scripture has many benefits that help kids in the here-and-now, but one of the most important things that it will do for them is to put God’s love, important words, and morals into their hearts for years and years to come. Having the Bible to lean on will help kids when a parent is not by their side for a significant moment or decision. The more Scriptures kids can memorize, the more likely it is that they will make God honoring decisions as they face temptation or those big adult decisions that will eventually come about in each one of their lives.
Giving short Bible verses to kids to memorize is a great way to challenge the brain and change up the rhythm of Sunday school. After sitting down and being quiet for the story, asking kids to get up and talk or shout (if you’re brave enough), gives them the freedom to engage and release some of the energy they may have been holding in while listening to the story.
There are thousands of verses in the Bible, and many of them may be short, but there are some that are especially worthy of memorization for kids. Below are 15 verses that have an excellent application for kids to hold onto and do a beautiful job of showing how much God truly does love them.
1. JOHN 11:35 - "Jesus wept."
One of the shortest verses in the Bible, John 11:35 is by far one of the easiest to memorize. Kids of pretty much any age can learn this verse written by John together. It is also a great verse because, for some, the idea of Jesus and what he could do can seem inhuman. This verse shows that Jesus was a real human, cried, and had feelings just like kids do.
2. 1 JOHN 4:19 - "We love because he first loved us."
In this profound verse, John is writing to Christians, and he does a great job of explaining in such simple terms why we love. It also makes sense - sometimes Scripture can seem to use a lot of words, and feel hard to understand - but this verse plain and simple, explaining why we love at all.
3. ACTS 16:31 - "They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.'”
Paul writes what he and Silas are explaining to a jailer about salvation. The jailer asks what many kids may end up asking as well. In Acts 16:30, the jailer says, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”. The verse is short, simple, and presents a clear answer to a question that may be asked by a non-believer who is curious about salvation.
4. COLOSSIANS 3:2 - "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
Paul writes here, in a letter to the people of Colossae, instructions on how to live as those made alive in Christ. It is a great, short verse and an action that kids can put into practice in real life for themselves. The things kids fill their minds with as children will follow them into adulthood, and this verse is so helpful to explain what they need to think about, even at a young age.
5. COLOSSIANS 3:20 - "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."
In the same chapter of Colossians, there is another great verse that solidifies a parent’s authority in a kid’s life. It is short, to the point, and while most of Scripture does not address “children” specifically, this verse speaks directly to them.
6. GENESIS 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
The very first verse in the Bible is a classic and is short as well. It gets down to the core of where everything began. The first part of the verse also has a catchy line that is used throughout poems and novels as well, “In the beginning,” which makes it easy for kids to catch onto and remember.
7. HEBREWS 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
This verse is catchy as well and is one that is great for when things get hard. It is a good, solid verse to memorize and hold onto as a reminder that when everything feels out of control in life and can feel like it is changing by the day, especially in the present culture. Jesus Christ does not change.
8. LUKE 6:31 - "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
This verse is used in current culture as a general moral or often referred to as “the golden rule,” but little do many know that it stems from a Bible verse in the book of Luke. It is a great guiding principal for kids to learn and will serve them well for the rest of their lives if they apply it faithfully.
9. PHILIPPIANS 4:13 - "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Here is another classic verse often used in current culture among athletes and successful people alike. It is a great verse to memorize as a daily affirmation for when things go awry, or the feelings of worry overwhelm us. These words remind us that there is power in us, but it is not up to us. The power and strength are there because of Christ.
10. PSALM 119:11 - "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
This particular psalm is the longest one but has an awesome short verse that talks specifically about memorizing Scriptures. “I have hidden your word in my heart,” or in other words, memorization. It discusses one of the reasons why memorization is so important. It is great to help avoid sin; Jesus even used his memory of Scriptures to battle temptation and the urge to sin as well.
11. ROMANS 3:23 - "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
In Romans, this specific verse is a great verse to memorize to help with humbleness. It talks about how “all,” not only certain people, or the people that are hard to love, but “all have sinned.” As humans, it is natural to place others below and put our own lives up on a pedestal, but this verse puts everyone in the same category. We are all sinners.
12. PROVERBS 18:10 - "The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
There are many great short verses in the book of Proverbs that kids can memorize and hold in their hearts. The passage is a particularly relatable one as it brings the Lord to life in a way that kids may know through fairy tales or other stories. Towers are well known safe havens in medieval stories with kings, princesses, castles, etc. This verse about the Lord, like a tower being a safe haven, will be familiar to kids.
13. 1 CHRONICLES 16:11 - "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always."
Here is another great verse to memorize that is also an action. The world is slowly becoming more and more of a distraction to turn the mind away from the Lord, and this short verse reminds kids that the Lord is where they should always be looking.
14. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16 - "Rejoice always"
This verse is short and can be fun to shout! A great way to help with memorization can be adding motions or different tones of voice. The passage is one that compliments a shout and a jump exercise too!
15. JOHN 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
While this verse may not be the shortest in the Bible, it is very well known. The Scripture reference is often found quoted in everyday life. It does a great job of summing up God and His love for the world.
Want more short Bible verses for kids? Check out Ministry Spark to see their list of 66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize. You can also visit Ministry To Children to see the list they have put together with 52 Bible verses for kids to memorize.