"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11 (ESV)
You may have heard this verse stated a little differently if you grew up in a church that used the King James Bible: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee."
The word for "hid" or "store" is actually "treasure" in the original Hebrew (the language by which the Old Testament was written).
What a powerfully profound thought! The Psalmist is actually casting a vision for the necessity of treasuring God's word SO much in our hearts, that it actually leads to less sin in our lives. I don't know about you but less sinning seems pretty cool!
Ask yourself this question: "What do I treasure the most?" In other words, what has captured my heart's affections more than anything else? What is it that has taken the supreme position in my heart? The answer to this question is found in whatever it is that we spend the bulk of our thoughts, energy, and resources on. If we truly self-assess, the answer to the above question is sobering.
The fact is there will always be something vying to be the treasure of our hearts. God desires for Himself to be our ultimate treasure because only He can truly satisfy us:
"For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things." Psalm 107:9
One of the greatest ways we can know how all-satisfying God is (and for our kids to know this), is through treasuring His Word. King David talks about "meditating" on God's Word day and night so that he can be "like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." (Psalm 1:3).
So the question that we need to be asking at this point is "How do I treasure God's Word in my heart?"
Consider these three thoughts:
- We need to actually read God's Word. I can't just assume that all of you are doing this. Read a past post in which I presented some helpful starter tips for how to read the Bible.
- We need to get into a rhythm of reading God's Word. Many people give up on reading the Bible, mostly because they never gave it a chance. The Bible isn't easy reading. It's not like a Tom Clancy novel. It takes practice, focus, dedication, and discipline. To truly understand the Bible is to actually become a student of it (Of course you're going to need the Holy Spirit to do the heavy lifting of this in your own heart. See John 14:26).
- We need to memorize God's Word. When Moses commanded Jewish parents in Deuteronomy 6 to teach their children all about God, and to do it at all times of the day, I have a feeling this is what he had in mind. Nothing plants Scripture more into our hearts and the hearts of our children than memorization.
Let me elaborate a bit more on number three. In our home, we make Scripture memorization a part of our weekly and monthly rhythms. This year, we are trying to memorize some 20 different verses or passages of Scripture in our home. My children are ages four, seven, and nine and they all participate. Some of the verses are more difficult but we work at it together, help each other, and keep each other accountable. Sometimes we make up silly songs to help us memorize the verses. But mostly, we just repetitively say the verses over and over again. The kids love the challenge and we are all being reminded daily of the promises of God from His Word - And guess what? We are treasuring Christ more.
Because Scripture memorization is so important, and hopefully I have helped you see the value, I want to invite you and your family into this. So I'm throwing out a challenge. Let's memorize Scripture together. Beginning this month, I am going to present a #verseofthemonth on the blog, accompanied by a free digital art print that you can print and display in your home (in your child's room or kitchen or family room - wherever you hang out a lot) as well as free wall papers for your tablet and phone.
These monthly downloads will be sent at the beginning of each month via the Kid Theology newsletter. To sign up, click this sentence.
Also, I would love to see some videos on instagram and facebook with your kids reciting their monthly memory verses with the hashtag #KTverseofthemonth. Who is with me? Don't forget to sign up for this month's verse and the free downloads that I will be sending out very SOON!!!