By Scott Armstrong
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 11:18-19).
(Read Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28)
As a missionary—and sports fan—who lived in Guatemala several years ago, I discovered that Guatemala hasn’t really found out that there are many other sports outside of soccer. They love their soccer, and players for the national team are heroes after a big win. After an especially big victory over Costa Rica, I listened to the commentator on the radio excitedly praise the player who had scored both goals. I can still hear him encourage the listeners in Spanish to “Bring Juan Carlos Plata into your home! He deserves a place in the kitchen! In the living room! Talk about him in the morning, afternoon, and night! Tell your kids what he just did for Guatemala!”
Although that seems a little bit ridiculous, our verses for today point us in a similar direction. This time, however, it is God’s Word that we should think about and talk about during the day. His words and commands should be “fixed in our hearts and minds,” talked about “when you lie down and when you get up.” Both parents and kids should live and breathe his Word 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We should all be familiar with what he did for us and how his Word instructs us in our daily life.
Does this mean we can’t talk about anything else but the Bible? Are we just supposed to walk around high school and chant memory verses? Of course not. But it does mean that we’re not just getting into God’s Word every day; it’s getting into you. Sometimes we hurry through our two minutes of devotions and ten minutes later can’t remember what we read. According to today’s passage, that is pretty far from what God wants for our lives!
Is God’s Word in you or are you barely getting into God’s word each day? Is it a part of you or is it the essence of who you are? With all of the pressures of being a teen, it might be hard to imagine yourself just soaking his word in like a sponge soaks in water. But it will make a world of difference. When Jesus experienced the toughest of times, God’s Word was so much inside him that he oozed Scripture (Luke 4:1-13). What would happen if you took with you today the verses you just read and carried them in your mind and heart throughout all of the activities, stresses, and temptations of the next 24 hours? It might just change your attitudes, conversations, and the way you react to tough situations. Why don’t we find out? Read those verses again and ask God to help put them under your skin and into your heart and life today.