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That I might not sin …

Why is the truth so important and why is it so far to find? 

Let’s sit back and consider how this affects us as 21st Century Christians, living in Western society. Apparently in a typical day we receive around 3,000 messages, bits of information thrown at us from hither and thither and absorbed by our senses of sight and hearing, then processed by our brain and stored away in some hidden recess of the mind. It has been said that if you stand in Times Square, New York, and slowly move around, in a twenty minute period you will receive around 500 visual messages from billboards, neon signs, light poles, sandwich boards, flyers, buildings, cabs, buses and buildings.

What is this doing to our soul? This has only really happened over the last century, it’s a new phenomenon but how does it affect our ability to absorb and act on information? It’s frightening if you think about it – and we haven’t even discussed the internet, TV, radio, mp3s and video.

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. (Psalm 119:9-11)

We really have to walk around with our eyes open and make a conscious decision whether we are going to be swayed by the messages that are thrown at us, or by meditating on the word I have hidden in my heart

… That I might not sin against You!

There’s the rub. Those messages that are bombarding us, what is their purpose? They are there to sway us into buying something or doing something. They are not there to enrich our soul. We haven’t asked for them. How many of these messages are going to … entice you into sin?

Yes, very old-fashioned. Sin. But we must constantly remind ourselves that, simply by walking through our High Streets, we are exposing ourselves to temptations and enticements that we are probably too deadened to recognise as such. We need divine coping mechanisms … That I might not sin against You!

The truth. God’s Word.

How many of us have memorised whole chunks of Scripture, words hidden in our heart? It was far easier in Jesus’ day. As I commented in How The Church Lost The Way:

“Jesus and his contemporaries, in common with Jews before him and after him, would have had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. Jewish boys would study the Torah (The first five books of the Bible) at the age of five, the oral “Traditions” at the age of ten and be trained in halachot, rabbinic legal decisions, at the ripe old age of fifteen! Scripture would be memorised as they didn’t have laptops in those days, or even ready access to writing materials. They knew God’s Word like some of us know the Simpsons, past storylines of our favourite soaps, or the traits and foibles of the latest movie star.”

It can be a struggle unless we see it as a labour of love, as something that we actively desire to do, to have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Was Jesus goy?

Let’s not concern ourselves with questions that we should already know the answers to, but instead treasure God’s Word in our hearts, so that we can have the real answers to the questions the World should be asking.

For the previous article in this series, click here.

For the next article in this series, click here.

To find out what is my favourite book of the Bible, click here.

You can reach Steve with any comments or questions at the Saltshakers Web Community website.

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