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Vol.  9  No. 9 September 2007  Page 9
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Louis Rushmore


That I Might Not Sin Against Thee

By Louis Rushmore, Editor

    A computer is nothing more than a big doorstop or a boat anchor, unless it is programmed with an OS (i.e. operating system). Productive work or an error-ridden mess, computers are reliable to produce according to the input, beginning with the operating system. If the operating system is error-ridden, the output will be faulty. If the operating system and data input is reliable, the resulting computer work will be reliable, too.

    Frankly, humans are not much different from computers respecting input and output. One’s words and conduct will be praiseworthy if God’s Word is thoroughly instilled in him. Contrariwise, if God’s Word is not instilled in a person, one can expect his words and conduct to be faulty.

    Just what have we instilled in our hearts, the hearts of our children and others around us? I remember a three-year-old niece of my wife who could cuss on par with the proverbial sailor, indicating the wrong sort of input as well as the absence of instilling the Word of God in that young mind. Maybe not so obvious, what have we instilled in our hearts, the hearts of our children and those over whom we have some influence? What we have in our hearts and minds will determine where we spend eternity!

    The first step in refraining from sin, which will keep us out of heaven, is to instill the Word of God in our hearts. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart” (Deuteronomy 6:6). “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

    The context of Deuteronomy 6:6 emphasizes that one’s primary affection must be for serving Almighty God (Deuteronomy 6:5; cf. Matt. 22:37-38). There cannot be two or more “primary” affections in one’s life (Matthew 6:24). One cannot seek Jesus first and one or more other pursuits occupy a primary place in one’s life (Matthew 6:33). There is a sense of urgency with which one serves Jesus Christ when he realizes the true importance of spiritual matters and the relatively unimportance of physical or material matters. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Where does the sense of urgency and importance lie in your life and in your family?

    Further, the way that God’s will is instilled within one’s mind and heart is through complete saturation in one’s life with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 speaks to this complete saturation with the Word of God in one’s family, which doubtless rarely occurs today. From childhood on, God’s Word needs to saturate our lives. Adults, likewise, need their lives saturated with the Word of God. With what are our lives really saturated, today; is it the Word of God or other, less noble things?

    It is not possible to fill one’s heart with the Word of God and at the same time provide space within one’s heart for anything antagonistic to the Word of God. It is not enough for there to be a void within one’s heart of evil things, because evil will fill the void unless the void is filled with the Word of God (Matthew 12:43-45). The apostle Paul taught Christians at Colosse to allow the Word of God to dwell in their hearts (Colossians 3:16). We instill God’s Word within our hearts by making it our daily, day-long meditation. “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97). “…in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2). What have we and our families instilled in our hearts?

    We must consider the Word of God in our lives as more essential to our well being and survival than food, water or air itself. Though physical food is necessary to sustain physical life, spiritual food is much more needful for the eternal soul. Job considered spiritual food (the Word of God) more essential than physical food (Job 23:12). Jesus taught that (eternal) life is sustained by the Word of God, rather than by physical bread (Matthew 4:4). Each of us needs to ask himself, “Do I crave more for physical food or spiritual food that will save my soul eternally?”

    Only the Word of God can guard our well being by guarding the steps we make throughout life. The Word of God is a lamp to guide our steps (Psalm 119:105). Our steps will not slide if they are wholly guided by the Word of God (Psalm 37:31). Do we continually consult the Word of God whereby it can safeguard the steps we make throughout life?

    We must retain the Word of God within us in order to live eternally with God in heaven (Proverbs 4:4). Eternal life is in the Word of God and implementing the Word of God in our lives. Many things that clutter our lives may make their way to the yard sale, be discarded or simply heaped somewhere, but the Word of God must be retained. The Word of God (Truth) is priceless, worth all we have to acquire it (and keep it) (Proverbs 23:23; Matthew 13:46). Are you and I truly implementing the Word of God in our lives?

    God’s message to humanity respecting his Word is constant. Under Judaism, only by heeding the Word of God could one expect to live (spiritually) (Proverbs 7:2). Precursor to heeding the Word of God is intense familiarity with the Word of God (Proverbs 7:3). Is the Word of God written on my heart and yours?

    In conclusion, sin is the enemy of humanity, which threatens to destroy both present and eternal happiness. We must, then, earnestly try to refrain from sin. We must repent of sin when found in our lives. We can best distinguish between sin and righteousness by instilling the Word of God in our hearts (Psalm 119:11; Hebrews 5:14). Each of us needs to answer for himself or herself whether God’s Word is instilled in our hearts; this will require frequent personal introspection (2 Corinthians 13:5). “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). “0 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD” (Lamentations 3:40). Assuredly, if we are guilty in our own hearts, God also will condemn us (1 John 3:20-21). One’s evil conduct convicts him as wicked (Titus 3:11).

    Nothing is more important than the Word of God in our hearts, manifesting itself in our lives. We must retain the Word of God in our hearts and lives. The Word of God has always been man’s best guide, and it will always be man’s best guide (Jeremiah 10:23).

    Allow the Word of God to guide you to become a Christian, and afterward to be and remain a faithful Christian all your life. The plan of salvation in the New Testament includes hearing God’s Word, believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Deity), repenting of sins, publicly affirming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and being immersed in water in imitation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17; John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matthew 10:32; Acts 8:37; Romans 6:3-5). The Second Law of Pardon removes the sins of Christians who repent and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).

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