“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
One of my very good friends(you know who you are) recently shared with me that she is taking time to memorize scripture more adamantly. We all have certain verses we know by heart ~ John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11,and 1 John 4: 7-8 are a few of mine. I remember sitting in Sunday school as a girl, repeating these verses over and over, some to a tune and some so quickly you couldn’t even understand what I was saying.
As a homeschooling mom, I love to watch my kindergartner repeat verses to me. It touches my heart and I feel proud that MY child is just so dang smart. That’s when God humbles me and reminds me about what really counts. What matters isn’t the memorization itself ~ being able to repeat a verse word for word ~ it’s the understanding of the verse that’s important.
At VBS a couple of years ago my church’s theme was John 3:16. Now, of course, nearly every child there knew the verse and could repeat it to me word for word in exchange for a treat. It was then that I realized that many of the kids were saying it, but they didn’t know what most of the words meant. When I asked if anyone knew what the word “perish” meant, most of the younger kids just stared blankly at me or shook their heads. The same went for the words “begotten” and “everlasting”. It broke my heart because it was then that I saw that I was at fault for not taking time with my own daughter to explain to her what the verse meant. She knows that the verse is about Jesus (Yeshua) dying on the cross and getting to go to heaven someday, but she wasn’t really comprehending the words she had so dutifully memorized.
I am currently reading a book entitled Everything by Mary DeMuth. In the book Mary talks about making vows and how so many times as Christians we break the vows and promises we make. Why is this? Because a vow, Mary says, is something we make out of our own strength. Only by God’s (YHWH’s) strength will we be able to follow through on anything
. Here is what the Bible says:
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD (YHWH) Almighty.”
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
What does it really mean to “hide His word in our hearts?” I think it means more that just knowing where to look up a verse in the Bible or even being able to simply recite that verse. I think it means truly understanding the verse, grasping what it’s really saying, and then applying it to our own lives.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
I looked up Strong’s definition of the word “hidden” as used in Psalm 119:11. The word used there is actually “treasured”. We are to treasure, and keep safe God’s word. His Word is something He exalts above all things (Psalm 138:2). As His followers, who are made in His image (Genesis 1:26), we should do the same. What a blessing it is to have the precious gift of infallable scripture to lead us and guide us until the day He returns. By His strength I pray that I can be more active in hiding and treasuring His word in my own heart.
As Thanksgiving is around the corner I can think of nothing better to be thankful for than the freedom we still share to openly read and own His Word. Fellow believers in other countries do not share so great a privilege.
How about you? What about God’s Word are you most thankful for today?
I would love to hear your thoughts and insights in the comments section below. Until then, Happy Reading!
Yours in Christ,
Today I recommend…
By Mary DeMuth