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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

July 7, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: Psalm 119:1-88


Psalm 119:9

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.


As found in today’s verse there is a key to cleansing one’s way from sin. The key is not only knowing God’s Word, hearing it, meditating on it, or simply reading it. The key to cleansing sin from a life is to heed God’s Word, meaning to obey it, attend to it, do it. My mother used to tell me often, “A word to the wise should be sufficient.”  In other words, if I were wise, I would listen to her words and perform them or obey them.”  The same is true with God’s Word.


Jesus made an interesting statement in Mark 4:23. He said, If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. To hear him say that, a person had to have ears that could hear, but He means more than just hearing him, He means to receive that which is heard, to embrace the words, and to live in light of them. To reinforce the thought, in the very next verse, our Lord said, …Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. This indicates that according to whatever measure a person hears and obeys God’s Word, that same measure will be given them, and they will hear, or be given more. This is probably the main reason why many never grow from the “milk of the Word” unto the deeper things of God. They read it, hear it, even think about it, but they fail to heed it.


Peter used the word heed in II Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place…  The Word of God is a light that exposes the dark work of sin in a life. As always, darkness flees from light.


The writer of Hebrews also used the word heed and puts his finger on arguably the number one reason why so many depart from the faith of Christ. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12). Somehow, taking heed is the antidote to a heart of unbelief.


Both Paul and James state basically the same thing, Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. And James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. These are very clear and easy teaching to understand and to hear. Yet, they are not so easy to do.


Think about God’s teaching about turning the other cheek, or going the second mile, or loving your neighbor, these are easy to hear, but difficult to do in the heat of the moment. Yet, the doing of them cleanses from the sin of not doing them.


Back to the point. The cleansing of one’s life is not found in knowing or even quoting the Word of God. It is in the doing of it. From heeding it.


Dr. William T. Howe


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