Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart." Proverbs 7:2

As I reflect, God is giving us wise advice in this portion of Scripture; it could also be understood as a command from our loving Lord for us to obey. Even a warning, perhaps.

According to Webster, the word guard, as used in this context, means to protect or defend.  Some other synonyms include to shield, shelter, to watch over, keep safe, preserve, save and secure.

I have found in this day and age, that the language of our culture and the teachings of some Christian resources challenge us to apply this precious counsel more than ever before.

In my 50 plus years on this earth, swear words that flow from the mouths of people of all ages has changed dramatically- both among Christians and non-Christians.  When I was a young girl, growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, tolerance for swearing was low.  I remember adults threatening to wash out their children's mouth with soap if a cuss word was even uttered from their lips. If in school, you were sent to the principal's office.  And no teacher ever spoke in like manner.  Profanity was simply not allowed on television shows or in movies.

 Spin ahead to 2011 and those same words are tolerated by the public at large and the thought of punishment seems lost in the corridors of our minds.  I am confident there are Christian believers out there who are still "guarding" the word of the Lord and the principles He teaches.  Yay for them!!!!!  Because today, it takes courage and fortitude to be different, as Christ instructs us to be.  In Matthew 5 He said,"You are the salt of the earth; but if your salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?""   

Some may call me old fashioned and not up to date on the latest trends in cultural language development.  I am solid in my convictions and content to rely on the Word of God and not those of professors and researchers (who have studied the world and people He made but for a brief time).  If I were in a college language logistics class, I would probably not agree with what they call logical/reasonable conclusions.  Just from my recent research, around 20 references in the Holy Scriptures proclaim swearing is a sin.  Period.  Using God's name in vain is probably the most noted but certainly not the only one.

Along this same vein of thinking, guarding God's word's as your most precious possession has many other benefits. Just having it in your thought processes is remarkable !  And it is amazing to me how the Holy Spirit brings a verse to mind at just the right moment - to comfort, to give counsel, to remind me of God's abiding presence and love or perhaps to help minister to a friend in need. It is indeed a precious treasure to have within oneself - the very Word of God. Think of it!!  Reflect upon this reality.

It is also a helpful and important tool in this day and age.  I have become more keenly aware of this fact in the past ten years.  The Holy Spirit has warned me many times.  And  because I have some knowledge of what the Scriptures teach, red flags pop up in my head, so to speak, when I hear or see something that just doesn't fit with what God teaches. Unfortunately, during one such experience, those warnings came about in a Christian atmosphere.  I heard swearing and I heard sermons that were not based on Biblical facts but on men's ideas. It grieved my soul greatly and was hard on my faith.    

For some reason, some believers think we must move ourselves into the world's value system in order to reach others for Christ. We must become like them, entertain them, feed them, let them color our world instead of us coloring theirs.  That simply is not true and not Biblical at all. I believe a swaying from God is happening more and more in our society.  And thus the warning - "guard my words as your most precious possession."

Last week I was preparing a Sunday School lesson for middle-aged children.  The curriculum seemed Christian based.  Once I got to digging into the lesson I realized the author had written something - a concept the entire lesson was based on - but it was not found in the Bible.  I researched several versions of the Bible, along with footnotes, to distinguish this error.  I believe the Holy Spirit was also helping me. I struggled for hours over this lesson. Finally, with much relief, I decided not to teach it - for it was not based on the truth. My point being?  Check out what is "out there" against the teachings of the Scripture.  Guard what God has given us.  Stick to the truth like glue!!!

I believe we, as followers of Christ, must be alert, educated, filled with the Holy Spirit and courageous in the days to come.  God knew.  That is why He included such wisdom in His Word.  He knew we would need it in what some Christians are proclaiming are the last days. 

 There are some signs of what the Bible foretells as the last days of the earth as we know it.  But I truly do not know if we are living in that time - only God knows.  I leave it in His hands.

In the meantime, I am on guard.  Reflect upon this verse as you walk with Christ, your Lord and Savior."Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think."  Romans 12:2a

p.s. And some encouragement -  "Don't hide your light, let it shine for all." - words of Jesus as noted in Matthew 5 

 Remember . . . . . . .God is with us!

What are your reflections on this topic?