The Bible You Know by Heart
When I was a kid, we put a lot of emphasis on memorizing Bible verses. I grew up in the Cold War, always preparing for the day the Russians might invade the U.S. (Of course, they would overrun Alabama first!) And if they did, we were told they would take our Bibles away from us; the only Bible verses we would have would be those we knew by heart. So we memorized a verse per week. Even now, when I quote Scripture, I usually quote it in King James, the Bible I learned as a child.
When Jesus was challenged in the wilderness, he answered Satan by quoting the Scriptures. Not only that, He quoted from Deuteronomy. His first answer, “Man does not live by bread alone” is from Deuteronomy 8:3. The second reply is from Deuteronomy 6:16 and the last one is from Deuteronomy 6:13—verses He memorized as a child.
Sometimes when Jesus prayed He would quote scripture. Even the shallowest reading of Jesus’ life could not miss how central the scripture was to Him. This leads to a very important question for us who call ourselves “Christ followers.” Why isn’t the Bible central to our lives?
We read books about the Bible, but we don’t read the Bible.
We memorize song lyrics, but not verses from the Bible.
Why not? Do we not think it’s important to know the Bible by heart?
To know God’s word is to know God’s heart—His words in our hearts and minds. They make a difference. Because what’s in your mind becomes what your heart what wants, and what your heart wants becomes what you do.
How about you? How much can you quote by heart? How prepared are you for the moment the enemy invades? For Jesus, it made a difference. My guess is it should make the difference for you and me as well.