December 19, 2008

What's Hidden in Your Heart? 
by Laura MacCorkle, Senior Entertainment Editor

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11, NIV

As a young child, I was enrolled in a Bible memory program that I ... wait for it ... hated

I know it sounds awful, and hated is truly a strong word. But that's how I felt at the time (and when you're a child you secretly think that word, even though your parents tell you not to say it ... well, at least I did). 

So yes, I did not want to memorize Scripture. I did not want to recite these verses to my "hearer" at church each week. And I did not want to go to the program's Bible camp each summer. 

No, I would have rather been playing outside. Climbing trees. Riding my bike. Swimming in the community center pool. Drawing. Playing dress-up. Reading. Anything else besides memorizing Bible verses.

I'm sure you can remember something that your parents made you do as a child that you didn't like either. At the time, you were young and couldn't see how what they wanted you to do was actually good for you or going to be beneficial for you in the long haul.

Now, as an adult, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that my mom and dad required me to hide God's Word in my heart. I may not always remember the references, but the words (and the meaning) are hidden deep within me. And they always rise to the surface at just the right moment. 

It's amazing what I have retained in my memory bank since childhood. And as I see the very real possibilities of our religious freedoms in our great country being stripped away, I cannot help but think I should begin memorizing even more. 

Will we someday live in a nation that outlaws God's Word? Or one that requires us to possess only a government-sanctioned or "revised" translation? I don't know for sure if it will come to that, but I think it's possible. Judeo-Christian views and values are certainly being challenged and tested as never before.

Until that time, I am encouraged and reminded by Scripture with how I should apply God's Word in my life:

Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

James 1:22-25: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.

How about you? Is the Word of God informing and transforming your life? Or is it just a dusty big book that sits on your bedside table? Do you regularly open it and peruse its pages, searching for scriptures that comfort you or convict you to the core? Or is it just a prop that you pull out only for special occasions like the Christmas season?

Take time to consider how you are applying the Bible in your life today. Hide it in your heart so it will be firmly rooted and help you grow stronger in your faith

Intersecting Faith & Life: Do you remember this childhood song from Sunday School class? Sure, it's a little hokey. But the meaning goes deep! Make it your anthem for today.

The B-I-B-L-E
Yes, that's the book for me
I stand alone on the Word of God
The B-I-B-L-E

Further Reading

Psalms 119:105, NIV
2 Timothy 2:15, NIV