By Heart

7 07 2014

He is seven years old, cute as a button, and taller than he should be. I watched him drag his feet as he walked with his mom toward us before church was about to begin. Mom arrived first saying that he had something to tell us. “Go on,” she prodded. “Tell them.” I looked at him expectantly, not sure if we were in for a confession or a celebration. He squared his shoulders, took a deep breath, and started. “Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus….”


I grinned as he went through and named all thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. He stumbled just a little bit in the middle of the Minor Prophets, but he made it to the end and we cheered. It was obvious that he had worked hard to learn them by heart. He had a shy, proud smile as we high-fived his big accomplishment.


Study after study reports that Biblical illiteracy has reached alarming levels in our society. The studies don’t just refer to people in general, but specifically point to the distressing lack of basic Bible knowledge among Christians. Knowing how to open your Bible, work through its pages, discover what it says, and imprint its message on your heart is essential to growing in Christlikeness. If we want to look like Jesus, we have to know what Jesus looks like. The Bible is the place where God reveals His heart, His will, His character, and His purpose. Knowing the Bible allows us to know God better.


My Jesus Resolution today is to imitate my little friend. I want to have his heart for learning about God and His Word. I want to invest myself in knowing the Bible. Learning the books of the Bible by heart is not just about learning a list. It is a first step into being able to trace God’s grace through history, understanding His deep desire for me, and becoming familiar with His voice. I want to be able to celebrate with others when they learn something new about God in His Word. I want His Word to be on my heart, so that I can know His heart.



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