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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

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

This morning, the importance of Scriptural understanding is as vital as it has ever been. When
one "looks for answers" in this old world, there is no source to match the wealth and treasury of wisdom and understanding of the Holy Scriptures to find solutions to modern-day problems. If we truly want to end social diseases and community dysfunctions, obeying the Scriptural mandates regarding marriage and family would see the demise of these issues. Should one verily seek to know their course and purpose in life, reading modern books for their lives will not compare to the Book that teaches us how to pursue God-fearing lives. Modern-day books may have nuggets here and
there, but the teachings of God's Holy Bible are still as fresh, vibrant, and relative to the here and now as they were when originally penned by Divine Inspiration. But, let us look at our personal conduct and regard to Holy Writ this morning to see how it is that we should grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

There are many reasons for studying the written word of God, and several of these reasons are good and noble in thought. But, David here brings out the primary reason that we should study these things, and that is to not sin against God Almighty. While our new man is burdened by our personal sins when we go astray (such as lying or stealing), there are transgressions that may go unnoticed by us (sins of omission) by failing to study the Bible and hide its contents in our heart. Scriptures declare that forsaking the assembling of ourselves together in public worship ought not be done. (Hebrews 10) But, without reading God's word, we may not come to that conclusion in our own perspective. Scripture declares that we are to outwardly confess, believe, and trust in the name of Jesus Christ. (Romans 10) But, lack of knowledge about our Dear Saviour (such as His name,
work, and promises) will keep us from acknowledging and professing Him as we should. Therefore, we need to understand first and foremost that keeping these precious words in our heart keeps us closer in paths of righteousness with our Lord.

Study, meditation, and keeping of these words of life also keep us from being ill-prepared for
earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. Sometimes, I must, regrettably, re-learn or be re-taught the same principles of Holy Writ over and over. Paul upbraided the Hebrews at the end of Hebrews 5 for needing to be re-taught basic concepts again when they should have been at the point of teaching them. Our Saviour rebuked Nicodemus in John 3 for being a master in Israel and not knowing the things that He was teaching. When we fail to hide the  word of the Lord in our heart, we will never go on unto perfection in the knowledge of Christ the Lord.
It should be a shameful thing to stand in ignorance of the basic tenets of Scripture after years of service in the church among the Lord's people.

Another point of hiding the word in our heart is that it is more difficult to be swayed and lose
something. We have all heard the expression "learned that by heart." Many times, we can say things (or sing things) without having to think about them because we treasure them in our heart. Grandmothers do not have to think about their grandchildren's birthdays. Mathematicians do not have to think about certain principles and equations. Builders do not have to think about common codes and laws. These things are kept close, and therefore, do not have to be thought back out as they are special. May our knowledge of the goodness of God through His word be so that we do not have to ponder about some deception before us. We will know that it is a deception by its clear contradiction to God's Holy Law. May our knowledge of His precepts be such that we know what the right course is to pursue as His treasure is buried deep within our soul. There is a verse from a
hymn that we love that says, "May we receive the word we hear, Each in an honest heart; And keep the sacred treasure there, And never with it part." The things we hear proclaimed from Scripture in preaching need to be kept and never parted with due to lack of use.

Finally, again getting back to the pivotal point of this thought in not sinning against our Father which
is in heaven by our conduct and actions, we find that it is pleasing to our Father when we do not stumble about in ignorance. It is pleasing to Him when we are not carried about by every wind of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of the sleight of men. He has given us a great gift in His word that should be utilized often and regularly. By keeping these things close, we can build line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. Things will not come flooding in at once like a ruptured dam, but continual meditation and study of them will build bit by bit like the construction of a large building.

May our construction be sound, balanced, and continual so that we are built up as a tower and light that testifies to the goodness of God in our lives. In so doing, we will have closeness of fellowship with our Master and be a good ensample to our communities.  Most importantly, we trust to engage ourselves to these things to not sin against Him.

In Hope,

Bro Philip