God's Word Should Be Part of Us
"And thou shalt bind [God's words] for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8).
When I was in Jerusalem a few months ago, I saw Jews who had little black boxes bound to their foreheads. These boxes had pages of Scripture inside. The Jews had similar boxes fastened to their hands by straps that circled around their arms. God's Word was literally bound on their hands and between their eyes!
In Deuteronomy 6, is God really commanding that pages of the Bible be strapped to our hands and foreheads? Is that what God wants us to do?
Actually, in that passage God was reminding the Israelites of how important it was that they constantly keep His words in their minds. God wanted His people to think about His words all the time so that they would remember to obey Him. He asked the Israelites to talk about His words while at home and while in the streets. He wanted His people to remember His words when going to bed at night and when getting up in the morning. He commanded His people to remind themselves and others about what He had done and about what He expected them to do.
When God said His words should be bound to the heads and hands of His people, He was trying to give His people a picture of how they should be thinking about and obeying His words all the time.
God wants us to memorize His Word, think about it, and obey it so much that it becomes an inseparable part of us. He wants us to keep loving it and trying to understand it more. My pastor sometimes says, "The Bible should be the default setting in your brain. God's Word should be what your thoughts come back to whenever you don't have to be thinking about something else."
God desires that we always keep His Word in our minds and hearts.
» Do I ever memorize verses so that I can think of God's Word at all different times and in all different places? What does Psalm 119:11 tell me about why I should memorize God's Word?
» Have I asked God to help me remember to think about Him (His words) when I am playing and working?
Truth In Real Life
J Gresham Machen
"The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him.”
John Gresham Machen was born into a wealthy, well-known family on July 28, 1881. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a writer, which meant John had every ability to “do something important” with his life. Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth President of the United States, was a personal friend of the Machen family.
But God had even higher, better plans for J. Gresham Machen than just making him a “wealthy man.” God chose Machen to serve Him – making this service the “something important” Machen chose to do with his life. He studied the Bible, and by age 12, he had already gained more knowledge of Scripture than many men have learned when they finish seminary studies. Machen continued to grow up, and he attended the best schools in the world to learn as much as he could about God and the Bible.
In 1914, Machen was ordained to preach. Soon he found himself engaged in one of the most important battles in Christian history. He was not involved in a physical war – although World War I had begun. Rather, he was involved in the battle over the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Machen opposed the worldly religions and opinions of that day and age, ungodly systems of teaching that taught that people did not need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be Christians. Machen also opposed so-called Christians who were living in known sin and acting just like unsaved people.
Machen started Westminster Seminary (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Even though he was offered many important jobs that could have made him very popular, he refused them because those positions would not have helped him to honor Jesus Christ. He chose instead to defend the faith and to do what he believed was right – no matter what!
How old do you need to be before you really start studying the Bible? Machen believed children were not too young. He was only 12, after all, when God began to use him and his knowledge of Bible teachings in a wonderful way! It is never too early for you to begin learning God’s truth – and you are going to need a good foundation of His truth if you want to be strong enough to fight spiritual battles and stay faithful when false teaching comes up against God!
Luke 12: 34 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”