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In Toronto, Canada, a personal worker stepped up to a young man who was standing at the back of a large church building. He requested the young man to loan him his Bible. The young man readily complied with the request. Turning to the fly-leaf, the personal worker wrote these words: “This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.”
How true! Sin and the Book cannot co-exist, for you will either give up on one or the other. If you read the Word of God and, as a precious treasure, store it up in your heart, you will turn away from sin. On the other hand, if you indulge in sin, you will have no appetite for the Book. “This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.”
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa119:11)
Such was David’s wise precaution against sin, yet we have a far higher example of the use of such precautions in the person of Jesus, our Lord. Christ, when tempted by the devil, made his appeal to the Word of God, and in so doing, He teaches us where to find succor and strength against temptation.
God’s Word is God’s answer to sin. In its very nature it is expulsive of sin. It purifies and cleanses from sin. Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (John 15:3) But, how does hiding God’s Word in the heart promote holiness and prevent sin?
First it discovers sin. If you know God’s Word well, you will know whom God approves and delights in. Equally plain to you is the revelation of His Divine Will.
Next, it announces sin. God’s Word in your heart warns you of impending danger. It gives the alarm when evil is close and while there is yet time to escape.
Again, it points out the way of escape, revealing the secret door in the wall. God has promised to provide the way of escape, though oft times we fail to see because of an absence of the light of His Word.
Finally, it strengthens and arms us against danger. Hidden in the heart like a sword in its sheath, it can be drawn out at a moment’s notice. By skillful use, it will put the devil to flight every time. “For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12)
The Christian has no nobler ambition than to live without sin. There is no higher purpose than to live on earth the life of heaven. Hence, may we lay up in our hearts, as a priceless treasure, the Word of God that we “might not sin against our Maker.”
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7).
Isaiah, God’s noble messenger entreated his people to seek the Lord. To “seek,” says Webster, means “to go in search of: to try to reach or come to; to try to acquire.” In order to receive the Father’s richest blessings, there must be a movement Godward on the part of man. There must be a yearning and longing within man to find God and to gain his good favor. God can be found! He is available to those who diligently seek him.
There will come a time when God and His mercy will be unavailable to man. The rich man of Luke 16 is an example of a man who waited too late to seek the Lord. “In hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in flame” (Luke 16:23-24). But, it was too late to call on the Lord; it was too late to plead for mercy.
Hence, it is most urgent that we see the Lord while He may be found. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor.6:2)
“For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
Today is the time for the wicked to forsake his sins and to turn to the Lord. Now is the time for you to surrender to the will of Christ and become his disciple. One must do the Lord’s work while it is day, “for the night cometh when no man can work”(John 9:4)
Be assured of the divine promise that God will have mercy and will abundantly pardon. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa 1:18).
O, delay not to accept the Savior’s invitation! “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1) So spoke David, the shepherd boy who became king of Israel.
One of the most widely acclaimed infidels was Robert Ingersoll. Much of his time and energy was devoted to the work of stamping out faith in God. Across the country he would go, attacking the Bible and undermining faith in the existence of God.
Upon the death of Mr. Ingersoll in 2899, Robert B. Taylor, former governor of Tennessee, wrote: “Tell me not, O infidel, there is no God, no heaven, no hell! Tell me not, O infidel, there is no risen Christ!
“What intelligence less than God’s could fashion the human body? What motive power is it, if not God, that drives those throbbing engines of the human heart, sending the crimson stream of life bounding through every vein and artery?
“Whence and what, if not God, is this mystery we call ‘mind’? What is it that thinks, and feels, and plans, and acts? O, who can deny the divinity that stirs within us?
“God is everywhere and is in everything. His mystery is in every bud, and blossom, and leaf, and tree; in every rock, and hill, and mountain; in every spring, and rivulet, and river.
“The rustle of his wings is in every zephyr; his might is in every tempest. He dwells in the dark pavilion of every storm cloud. The lightening is his messenger, and the thunder is his voice. His awful tread is in every earthquake and on every angry ocean…”
In view of these thoughts, we need only to survey the wonderful world about us to be convinced that there is a Creator. Nature, in a truly eloquent language, proclaims “There is a God!” As the Psalmist was constrained to say, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him (Psalm 8:3-4)
Indeed, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)
May we constantly be aware of the presence and power of the Almighty God who has loved us and given us the unspeakable gift of his Son, Christ Jesus!