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


On the second Friday in April, five friends and I headed to a ranch near Mercury for a weekend FCS self-guided hog hunt.  The hogs on that ranch only moved in the evening and after dark, so we spent Saturday afternoon bass fishing on the ranch’s largest stock tank (pond).

After catching a few largemouth bass with a Rapala Rattlin’ Rapala lipless crankbait (that runs at variable depth, but usually shallow) in Tennessee shad color, I switched to a Rapala Jointed Shad Rap (a round bill crankbait that runs at a medium depth) in dark perch-color.  As I was reeling in my lure, I felt a strong tug on my line.  The bass fought hard for about a minute before I got it to shore.  We didn’t have a ruler or scale but agreed it exceeded 20” in length and four pounds.  After taking a couple of pictures, I returned it to the water.

I then caught a couple of two-pounders.  After a few more casts, another big bass hit my lure.  The bass jumped out of the water, shaking its head.  Then, suddenly, my tight line went limp while the bass continued to jump and shake its head, trying to throw my lure!

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

The skill of tying knots is a fundamental one every fisherman must learn.  A father usually teaches it to a child or an older child to a younger one.  Many fishermen think 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;
  • knowing how to select the right lure for every situation; and
  • owning at least three of each kind of artificial lure known to man.

Without a good knot, a lure, hook, or swivel will come off a 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.  In Deuteronomy chapter 6, Moses begins to lay down the law to the Hebrews, who were finally about to take possession of the land 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.”

The Hebrews put God’s commands on strips of cloth and tied them to their clothes and around their hands.  They even had little boxes containing God’s laws they tied to their foreheads.  They had to know how to tie good knots to do this effectively.

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

The first reason is to equip us better to witness (share the redemption of sin through Christ to the lost).  Sometimes there’s not a Bible, gospel tract (a booklet containing the good news of redemption of sin through Christ), or smartphone on hand when we have opportunities to witness.  Tying the Roman Road to salvation to our hearts ensures we can effectively witness when God gives us opportunities.  It says, “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 today is to lift the spirits of those 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 says, “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 says, “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 says, “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 today is to keep from sinning.  There have been many times when I’ve 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 that Jesus said in Matthew 6:14–15, “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 says, “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.”

When I’m tempted to lust, I remember 1 Corinthians 6:18, which says, “Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”

I encourage you to develop a habit of tying God’s word to your heart.  If you already have that habit, I encourage you to periodically review the verses you’ve tied to your heart because they’ll unravel – you’ll 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 unraveled from lack of review and rememorizing verses I’d forgotten.

It’s 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 it takes is time and resolve.


A bass trying to throw Randy’s lure

Categories : Devotionals

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Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.