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. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (NIV)
I don't think that many of us tie the Lord's commands onto our bodies or doorframes as the Israelites of old were commanded to do. But thinking about whether we should literally follow this command and tie little Bible verses to our heads and hands got me thinking about how to take this command to heart.
I think the point of God's command to the Israelites was to impart on them the absolute importance of remembering his commands and his Word. God had made a covenant with the Israelites to be their God and that they would be His people. This entailed living as God commanded rather than living like the peoples around them.
And for the Israelites, as it is for us, it was very easy to forget God's Word and to start admiring and copying the lifestyles of the unbelieving nations around them. You see, if we don't know and remember God's commands and teachings, it is so easy to stray from the path he has for us.
So how can we keep focussed on God and always remember His word so that it reflects in our lives? How do we fix God's words in our hearts and minds? The obvious, and sometimes difficult, one for us to do is to study God's word on a regular basis. It's easy for me to get so absorbed or stressed out with my life that my Bible reading lapses, to my shame and my loss. Making sure you always carry a Bible around with you (be it a slimline paper version, on your tablet or on your phone) can help to remind you to never stop studying God's word.
Some Christians choose to enact a modern version of "write them on the doorframes of your houses" by putting up artworks with inspirational and encouraging Bible verses in their homes. In our modern era, there are even clothing, bags, jewellery and homewares available to us emblazoned with helpful Bible verses. It is also important to regularly read God's word to those who cannot read and to discuss it with our children, families and each other.
So let me ask you today: what are some ways you use to keep yourself diligent in reading God's word and teaching it to or discussing it with others? Do you struggle, as I do? Or do you have advice for those of us who struggle?