These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
When God first gave His commandments to Moses they were etched in stone tablets. Then God’s word was transferred to scrolls and later into books we call the Bible. Today you can access the word of God on your computer or cell phone. Without question we live in an age in which God’s word is easily accessible and readily available. But we should never forget the place where God intended for His word to reside. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” God desires that His word be written upon the hearts of His people.
I took a course in college called The Literature of the Bible. Approaching the Bible from a literary perspective was indeed fascinating so I threw myself into the study. Day after day, I looked at structure, form, historical background, and varying opinions on authors and their identities. One morning during my quiet time, I suddenly realized that my view of God’s word was changing. This new approach to reading scripture as literature resulted in an impersonal response to the text. The Bible had become just another great literary work. I was analyzing the Bible instead of allowing it to analyze me. Upon this realization I fell on my knees before God and asked that He restore the personal power and meaning of His word to me.
I’m not suggesting that studying the Bible as literature is wrong, but you should raise the caution flag when it fails to speak to the issues of your life or profoundly affects your choices and behavior. God’s word should be deeply personal and richly meaningful. The Bible is so much more than just a collection of words and ideas. It is God’s instruction, counsel, commands, and His primary means of communicating with you.
In today’s focus scripture we are told how to write God’s word upon our hearts. First, “Impress them on your children.” No question that this practice benefits a child. You have read, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”(Proverbs 22:6) What we may miss from this important principle is the benefit to the one doing the training. When you teach and train from the principles of God’s word you also learn and grow. One of the greatest lessons you learn from training and teaching others is that you cannot live by the “Don’t do as I do – do as I say” principle. Children learn more from our behavior than by our words.
Secondly, to effectively write God’s word upon our hearts, we must speak back those things that the Lord has taught us from His word. God says, “Talk about them…” One of the healthiest family discussions is that which involves the application of God’s word to our lives. The bond between husband and wife is strengthened when God is a vital part of the relationship. More than implied, His word should be applied. When God has taught you something or is working in a special way in your life don’t keep it to yourself. His blessing to you will be a blessing to others.
Thirdly, writing God’s word upon our hearts means His word must go with us wherever we go and in whatever we do. “When you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
I can’t emphasize this enough, “Start your day with God.” Read God’s word and then confess it back to Him. Where you are falling short ask for His forgiveness and then His enablement in overcoming that deficiency in your Christian walk. When you have a specific need or concern in your life ask God to talk to you about it. Then take what He has revealed to you through His word and carry it with you throughout your day.
How often I have heard people say the Bible is just too hard to understand. You would think they had come across a foreign language for which they need an interpreter. In reality, what they are saying is they don’t like what the Bible says. You cannot be committed to hearing from God without undergoing challenges to your current thinking and behavior. The greatest interpretation of the Bible is its interpretation of you. How much of God’s word is written upon your heart?
For more on this topic, check out this article: Why the Bible Is the Greatest Book Ever Written
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.