Tying Good Knots by Randy Rowley 8/4/11 ©


On the second Friday in April, five friends and I headed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for a weekend FCS hog hunt.  As the hogs on that ranch only moved in the late afternoon and at night, we spent Saturday afternoon bass fishing on the ranch’s largest stock tank (pond).

I tied a 1/2 oz. dark perch-colored Rapala Jointed Shad Rap (a round bill crankbait that runs at a medium depth) to my line and made a few casts.  Suddenly, I felt a tug on my line as I was reeling in my lure.  I tugged back.  The bass fought hard for a minute or so, but I finally got it to shore.  It was the biggest black bass that I’d caught from a stock tank.  We didn’t have a ruler or scale, but we agreed that it exceeded 20” and four pounds.

After we took a couple of pictures, I released it back into the lake.  I then caught a couple of two-pounders.

After a few more casts, another big bass hit my lure, and I set the hook.  The bass jumped out of the water and shook its head, then suddenly my tight line went limp, and the bass was jumping around like mad trying to shake my lure out of his mouth!

I examined my fishing line and saw that the Trilene knot I used to attach my lure to my line with had unraveled.  The big bass that I caught earlier had probably weakened the knot, and I had forgotten to check to see if it was still strong after reeling it in.

The skill of tying knots is a fundamental one that every fisherman must learn.  It’s usually taught from a father to a child or an older child to a younger one.  Many fishermen think that good (strong) knots are the most critical factor to success in fishing.

They’re more important than:

  • quality reels, rods, line, lures, and other fishing equipment;
  • line, hook, and lure size;
  • lure color, sound, and smell;
  • casting and bait presentation skills and knowing how to select the right lure for every situation; and
  • owning at least three of each kind of artificial lure known to man.

The fact is that without a good knot, a hook, lure, or swivel will come off of the line when a fish strikes or a fisherman casts, leaving a limp line and a frustrated fisherman.

It may surprise you that the Bible speaks to the importance of tying good knots.  Deuteronomy Chapter 6 begins to lay down the law to the children of Israel, who are finally about to take possession of the land that God had given them.  Deuteronomy 11:18–21 says, “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 that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

God literally expected his children to tie his commands onto their garments and bodies.  They put them on strips of cloth and tied them on their clothes and around their hands.  They even had little boxes that contained God’s laws that they tied to their foreheads.  To do this, they had to know how to tie good knots.

There are three reasons for us to tie God’s word to our hearts today.

The first is to equip us better to share the Good News.  Sometimes when we have opportunities to share the Good News with the lost, there is not a Bible, gospel tract, or smartphone on hand.  Tying the Roman Road of Salvation to our hearts will ensure that we can effectively present the gospel when we have an opportunity to share it.  It states, “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23), “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The second reason to tie God’s word to our hearts is to lift the spirits of those who are overwhelmed, worried, and weary, including ourselves.

When I’m experiencing a trial and start to get overwhelmed, I remember James 1:2-4 (NASB), which states, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have {its} perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

When I begin to worry, I remember Philippians 4:6-7, which states, “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

When I’m discouraged with my ministry, I remember Galatians 6:9-10, which states, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

The third reason to tie God’s word to our hearts is to keep us from sinning.  There have been many times when I have been tempted to sin, and remembering a passage from God’s word kept me from sinning.

Psalms 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

When I’m tempted not to forgive, I remember Matthew 6:14–15.  Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

When I’m tempted by materialism, I remember 1 John 2:15-17, which states, “Do not love the world nor the things of the world, for he who loves the world the love of the father is not in him.  And all the things of the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life are not from the father but from the world.  And the world is passing away and also its lusts but he who does the will of God will live forever.”

I encourage you to develop a habit of tying God’s word to your hearts.  If you already have this as a habit, I encourage you to periodically review the verses you have tied to your heart because they will unravel, and you will quickly forget them if you’re not using them.  As a teenager, I tied the book of James to my heart, but just like the knot that held my lure unraveled when that big bass hit it, most of what I had tied to my heart eventually mostly unraveled from lack of review.

It is never too late to begin tying God’s word to your heart.  Start with short verses that speak to you.  Once you have tied those to your heart, it will give you the confidence to tackle longer passages.

You can tie God’s word to your heart – all that it takes is time and resolve.

Randy and his largest stock tank bass to date
Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

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