~Proverbs 7:1-3 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Keeping the Lord as the center of our lives takes work on our part. Our natural desire is to sin. Therefore, we must replace that desire with God’s Word. We must allow the word of God to touch every area of our heart. Solomon advised his son of this very same thing.

God tells us that His word will give us life! Jesus said:

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

God’s word points us to life – God’s word points us to Jesus – God’s word points us to His salvation!

~Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Today’s text points us to the first thing that we must find in God’s word and that is life! After we have found eternal life, God encourages us to keep His word ever present before us. Our eyes read the blessed words and we received life – now we must keep our eyes (the window to our hearts) fixed on His word.

The Lord tells us to bind His word on our fingers. One commentary said that this was to be inscribed on rings to wear on one’s fingers. A ring stays on the hand all day – it goes through each task we do and is ever present in all situations of daily living. So must God’s word play an integral part in our daily lives. Everywhere we go, it should be with us. I think of my wedding ring in this analogy. I rarely take my ring off – only for baking. In fact, I feel as though something is missing when it is off! I get that “feeling” that all is right when I put it back on 🙂 I know that is silly to some of you but have heard other women say the same thing 🙂 How perfect an analogy it is when I compare this to God’s word bound to my fingertips! Something is missing when I do not have it – I get that “feeling” that all is right when I am reading it!

Lastly, the author tells us that we should have God’s word written on our hearts.

~Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

When we memorize God’s word, we can readily turn to it when we are tempted. We can call upon any portion of Scriptures at any time we need it! As well, we don’t necessarily

Today’s text, therefore, teaches us to keep our eyes focused on God’s word, keep it ever present before us and to hide it in our hearts so we can easily turn to the precious words of our Heavenly Father!

I will close with an excellent quote by Dwight L. Moody:

The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.

Gleaning Gold

~Isaiah 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Nuggets of Truth

Isaiah’s words of having “perfect peace” are more meaningful than meets the eye. There can be no perfect peace without Jesus Christ. Without salvation, man is treading water in a sea of despair – searching for happiness through things and circumstances. However, Isaiah states that God will keep us in perfect peace. How?

It is wonderful how God’s Word perfectly explains itself. Verses are supported elsewhere making for a wonderful explanation of God’s plan for us. Jesus Christ gives peace to those who wish it.

~John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

He is the keeper of peace.  It is His to give!  No one can have true peace without Him. Why? Because He gave His life for us to have peace. He fulfilled the Old Testament peace offering for our sins. Only Christ could fulfill this offering as He was perfect and without sin. He gave His life, shed His blood so we could have this peace.

~Leviticus 3:1-2 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.  And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

This peace is provided by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for our sins.  It is this acceptance, this trust in Him, that brings eternal salvation. No more do we need to worry where our eternity will be spent because Christ took care of it on Calvary. Now that we have the peace of knowing where we will spend eternity, we continue our Christian walk working for the Master.

Refining the Gold

Today’s verse says that we will also have peace if our minds are “stayed on thee.” When we are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, nothing can persuade us to move in another direction away from God. Our faith is firm – our beliefs are strong – our walk is straight and focused.

Nothing can convince us that salvation is dependent on anything else but Jesus Christ’s perfect work on the cross. We place our minds, hearts and lives on Him for salvation. It was His righteousness that paid that peace offering. It was He who was able to justify salvation because of His sinless life. It was His blood that was sacrificed for us. It was His blood that cleansed us and pardoned us. Without Him, we cannot even hope to be good enough to enter Heaven!

After we have trusted in His perfect sacrifice and peace offering on our behalf, He promises that He will keep us in perfect peace. There is nothing better than perfect. Perfect means no deviation. It is above all else and cannot be removed. Noah Webster defines it as:

1. Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; a perfect work; a perfect system.

Our Peace Offering was finished by Jesus Christ. His sacrifice was complete and not defective – it was a perfect work – His salvation is the perfect system for mankind! That is why there is perfect peace to those who trust in Him! Many pretend they have this peace but once left alone in the dark of night, they ponder and know in their hearts that they are a sham.  There could never be perfect peace if we had to depend upon ourselves for salvation. There could never be perfect peace if we had to depend upon ourselves to keep our salvation. Why? Because we are not perfect! We are most assuredly defective!  What peace He gives the true born-again believer.

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Gleaning Gold

~Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Nuggets of Truth

The Apostle John exhorted the believers not only to read this “difficult” book of the Bible but also to hear what God had to say.  Moreover, he did not stop there. He added the little word keep in the latter part of the verse. We can’t just read and hear but we must keep and not part with what God has taught us. Noah Webster defines the word “keep” as:

To hold; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart.

Anyone can read and anyone can hear. But not just anyone can keep in their hearts the Scriptures they have learned. Keeping denotes an act of hanging onto the doctrine that we have learned and not departing from it.  When we keep, or hang onto a doctrine we have learned, it means we are practicing it.  You’ve heard the old saying, “You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk!” A person who puts into practice what he has been taught is truly a disciple of God’s Word. That is why it is important to study the Bible and get the meat that God wants us to grow by.

This is so important that God speaks of it twice in Revelation:

~Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Refining the Gold

We don’t have much time left. Read, hear and keep what God has given to you as you do your Bible studies. What are you doing with those verses that you are reading or hearing preached? Do you apply them to your heart? Are you abiding by what God has taught you? This is how the believer grows in Christ.

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(Pro 30:5) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Pro 30:6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

When I was first saved, I came across so many people, saved and unsaved, who believed that God’s words could be found in the Holy Bible. However, as time has passed in my almost 28 years of salvation, the numbers are decreasing by leaps and bounds. Is it any wonder that we do not see true repentance anymore? We see many who say the sinner’s prayer but their hearts are far from sincere. Their lives don’t change. They still sin the same old sins. They go on with their lives as if nothing ever happened. They don’t have the peace that comes with salvation. Instead, they have only managed to experience a temporary “feel good” event and they will search for that same “feel good” event over and over. They will continue to go to church and perform the same religious routine hoping that they have covered all their bases. But where is assurance of their salvation? There is none because they base their salvation on their church or something they did. True assurance of salvation comes with complete peace and eternal security because all of it rests on Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. It is He who paid the price for our sin – completely. Nothing we can do or say can add or take away from Christ’s gift of grace to us.

God’s Word is so important and it is the only thing that can reach the lost. (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Is it any wonder that focus on God’s Word has been shifted in today’s world to different “versions” and compromises between “religions”? Jesus said, (Luk 4:4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. If we are to live by every word of God as if it were food, it stands to reason that we would be provided with that word/food so we can live by it. Correct? Just as God provided manna to the Jews in the wilderness, how much more will He provide us with our manna through the Bible in our wilderness journey as pilgrims here on earth?

Jesus also said Luk 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.Therefore, there is nothing that man can do or say which will be above His word. To say that magisterium and tradition supersede or even work “in conjunction with” the Bible is a lie. Jesus says that man is not above Him. No pope – no magisterium – no tradition is above Him. His Word is final. His Word is complete. He is our Master and His word is above all. The latter part of the verse says that everyone that is perfect shall be as his Master. How can we be perfect? Let the Word define it for us: (2Ti 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Ti 3:17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. This is not talking about sinless perfection but about how we can live by God’s words and can be guided by them because we have the perfect Word of God with us.

It’s important to understand that the Lord has left us equipped with His words and we will be judged accordingly. Many households in the United States have a Bible on their bookshelves – some have several. But how many people ever read that Bible? It amazes me that it is still the number one seller on the book market yet our world is getting more evil with each passing day! It’s important to do the things which are commanded within the Bible’s pages but how can you do them unless you read? Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Over and over we are commanded in God’s Word to DO the things which God says. Over and over, the Word speaks of obedience to God and His word – not obedience to men and the traditions of men. God will not allow compromise, my friend! He is not a compromiser and certainly will not compromise His Word! Why would God say one thing in His Word and then 300 years later, through the pope or the councils, that it’s O.K. to do differently than He had previously commanded or add to what He previously commanded?

Anyone who allows church traditions and cult leaders to guide them are being led by a lie. We do not have to be blind – God has left us the light of His Word to guide us. Luk 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? These liars preach just enough of the Bible to set a trap for their “following” and then they lead them straight to hell. But the responsibility does not lie with these liars. The responsibility lies with the one who allows himself to be trapped into their lies. We each must take responsibility for what we hear and what we believe. The sincere heart will be led by the Spirit of God to salvation. But the insincere heart will be sucked into every wind of doctrine. (Eph 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Therefore, it is important to remember that we have the correct doctrine found in the Word of God. Paul encourages the Ephesians not to be tossed about with false doctrines. How can you encourage someone to recognize false doctrine unless you have the real thing right then and there for them to compare with?

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(Psa 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

Stop for a moment and think about what this verse means to you. Pick it apart in your head and see what you come up with – specifically the words commanded, keep, precepts, and diligently.

Today, we will pick apart a verse in light of this series and walk away, hopefully, with an understanding that God’s Word is our final authority in all things.

Many of you know how much I love Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. It amazes me to see the differences in definitions between his dictionary and today’s Webster’s dictionary. It saddens me, as well, to see how diluted definitions have become through the years. For example, if you were to look up the word sin in both dictionaries, you would be absolutely amazed.

Noah’s definition of sin is as follows:

Sin
SIN, n.

1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law. 1 John 3. Mat 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam’s apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Mat 12.

2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.

3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]

4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.

SIN, v.i.

1. To depart voluntarily from the path of duty prescribed by God man; to violate the divine law in any particular, by actual transgression or by the neglect or non-observance of its injunctions; to violate any known rule of duty. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned. Psa 51.

2. To offend against right, against men or society; to trespass. I an a man more sinn’d against than sinning. And who but wishes to invert the laws of order, sins against the’ eternal cause.

SIN,for since, obsolete or vulgar.

Merriam-Webster’s On-line Dictionary:

Main Entry: sin
Pronunciation: ˈsin
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sinne, from Old English synn; akin to Old High German sunta sin and probably to Latin sont-, sons guilty, est is — more at is
Date: before 12th century
1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible c: an often serious shortcoming : fault
2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
synonyms see offense

Do you see what I mean? Think about this for a moment. We as a society have been raised on Merriam-Webster type definitions. Therefore, our thought process when we read our Bible is in line with the definitions of today. When the Scriptures were translated into English, they were translated using words “of that day” and the meanings of that day.

So keeping that in mind, let’s look at our verse for today dealing with God’s Word. To the Christian living today, reading today’s verse would have this meaning: “God commands me (bids me) to follow His Word.” Do I fear that statement? Not really. It’s more of a directive to me than a command, actually.

However, to the Christian of the day at the time of Noah Webster, it would mean: God requires me to obey Him; and He is ordering me to possess in my heart and mind His precepts, statutes and commandments with steady application and care!” That definitely has more impact, doesn’t it?

I came up with that “translation” using Noah’s 1828 Dictionary. So let’s look at the relevant definitions.

Command
COMMAND, v.t.

1. To bid; to order; to direct; to charge; implying authority, and power to control, and to require obedience.

We will sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. Exo 8.

2. To govern, lead or direct; to have or to exercise supreme authority over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Keep
KEEP, v.t. pret. and pp. kept. [L. habeo, and capio.]

1. To hold; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Precept
PRE’CEPT, n. [L. proeceptum, from proecipio, to command; proe, before, and capio, to take.]

1. In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct.

No arts are without their precepts.

2. In law, a command or mandate in writing.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Diligently
DILIGENTLY, adv. With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently.

Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God. Deu 6.

With those definitions now before you, I pray that this verse will impact you. (Psa 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

God is adamant about His Word being kept, otherwise He would not command us to keep it diligently. Would the Lord command us to keep His Word diligently if it could not be preserved through the years? Again, we know that the God of Glory is able and the Creator of all things is powerful enough to preserve it without fault. To say otherwise limits the God of Heaven and it is foolishness.

Since we are commanded by the God of all to keep His Word diligently (With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently), then we would be careful not to allow the doctrines of man or church traditions, etc. to over rule what God has said in His Word. My on-going challenge with a dear catholic soul has been this very topic. The catholic church teaches that the Scriptures, church tradition and magisterium (words from the church leaders) are equal. Therefore, the poor catholic either lives in a state of confusion or simply trusts church tradition and church leaders’ words. Much of the Catholic church traditions and the church’s words differ from what the Word of God says. This would definitely cause me to be confused.

Who would you obey? Would you obey what God has commanded of you? Or would you obey what the church leaders have told you to do instead? I’m sure to the catholic it is a conundrum. But to the born-again believer, it’s a “no brain-er.” We obey God because His Word is truth. (Joh 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. God’s Word is above all things. (Psa 138:2) I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (emphasis mine)

If God magnifies His own Word above His own name, do you not think that the Bible would be error free and preserved? God will not accept your excuse that you obeyed the church fathers and traditions even though they disagreed with the Bible. He just won’t go against His own word, my friend! This applies to the Christian as well. Do you think that you will go without chastisement when you don’t obey that which the Word has commanded you to do? God’s Word is not a suggestion of guidelines. God’s Word is our very bread and water and we should desire it just as much as we desire to keep our bodies alive with food. (Luk 4:4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

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