Our current Bible study has fascinated me ever since we started the book in the fall of 2021. It is Thirty-One Verses to Write on Your Heart,* by Liz Curtis Higgs. We are almost half-way through it, but the first verse is the one I love the most. Our group meets monthly, so we savor two chapters each month.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
Our Bible study members have frequented the Gull Lake Ministries Women’s Conference in past years. The conference is a three-day event, and you can choose one or all days to participate (gulllakeministries.com).
This year we were fortunate enough to see and hear Liz at Ladies Day the first day. She is spontaneous and knowledgeable with a really great sense of humor. We spent two one-hour sessions listening to her and I could have come back for the remaining two days of the conference. Her focus was on women of the Bible – those women that are mentioned briefly, but she drew such a picture of each that I walked away with an image in my mind of each woman.
In her book, she writes: “Whenever I read a familiar verse, God reveals a richer, deeper meaning. And when I find a passage I’ve not read before? Pure joy!” (Page 2)
In each chapter, Liz dissects each verse bit by bit, sometimes a word at a time! Although she generally uses the New International Version, she also relates descriptive words from other versions, i.e., “loyalty and kindness” from the New Living Testament; “grace and truth” from the Complete Jewish Bible, and then pulls the focus together.
This proverb spoke to me – pure joy! Love and faithfulness are things I have written about in past devotions and those two descriptors portray my dear Mother. I will always believe that a large part of Mom’s longevity was due to her unwavering faith. And love, a one-word depiction of what she figured life was all about. My Grandmother worked on Sundays, but she made sure Mom, as the oldest, walked her four siblings to the Methodist church nearby every Sunday.
The next phrase, “bind them around your neck” reminds me of a pearl necklace – a thing of beauty that rests on the arteries and connects the head to the heart where your spirit resides.
Write them on the tablet of your heart. Liz made a point of asking us to memorize the verses in her book and gave us many tips on the best ways to accomplish this. Paraphrasing, she wrote that you may not always have your Bible handy, you may lose your tablet or cell phone, but if you memorize verses, they remain within you….no one can “take them away.”
Prayer: Loving God, you have provided scripture that is “God-breathed;” the more we learn, the more our lives are connected to you. Amen.