Thy Word – Ps 119:105
There’s an old story told of a man who went to his lawyer to finalise his mothers estate. In the meeting the lawyer informed him that his mother had left him a small inheritance. The lawyer read the mother’s will to the man which had left him $20,000 and quote “my bible and all it contains”. The man said “boy I want the money, but the bible, well I know what that contains, don’t want that religious junk. So when he got home he put the thick leather bible up on a high self, and just left it there, didn’t open it. Then he went to Vegas and spent his $20,000 on fast living and fast women. It was gone pretty quick. Then he lived the next 60 years as a poor man, scraping for every meal.
He became so destitute, so hungry, his relatives had to take him into their own homes. And as he was cleaning out his home he reached up to get the dusty old Bible from the shelf. As he took it down, his trembling hands dropped it onto the floor, flinging it open to reveal hundred dollar notes between every page. The man had lived as a pauper, simply because of his prejudice. He thought he knew what the Bible “contained.”
Sadly most in Christendom aren’t much better when it comes to their devotion to the scriptures. They store it on a high self for a rainy day or for when life gets tough, thinking that they already know most of what the bible contains.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
If scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training us in righteousness, then it would seem to me that neglecting the scriptures will render us: untaught, untested, uncorrected, and without training in righteousness. And we all know what children are like who are untaught, uncorrected, and left with no training in right behaviour.
According to this verse, neglecting the scriptures will also leave us inadequate, and unequipped for good works. Which is even more revealing when you read Ephesians 2:8-10
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
We have been saved for good works.
If we’ve been saved for good works, then we must ensure we are equipped to carry out those good works, which therefore means we must be people of the Scriptures, because they have been given to us for this very purpose.
Before we get too carried away, we first need to take a step back. Before we can start talking about scripture training us in right behaviour there is something even more fundamental that necessitates our study of the scriptures.
I’ve spoken to people before while witnessing out on the streets, who have told me they don’t believe the scriptures are the word of God, but they still believe in God and Jesus. And in fact sadly this is extremely common now in whole denominations. They no longer hold the scriptures as authoritative, but they still hold on to traditions about Jesus & God.
My question is, who is Jesus and who is God if you don’t get it from the bible? Where do you get your understanding about God if it’s not from the bible? Furthermore, if you don’t believe the bible is true in what it says, you might as well throw the whole lot out, not just the stuff you don’t like, such as Hell, Judgement, Sin, etc.
- If the bible is not accurate and truthful when it speaks about the judgement and wrath of God, then how can it be trusted when it speaks on the love of God either?
- If you don’t believe what it says about the physical resurrection of Jesus, you can’t believe what it says about the sacrificial death either.
- If you don’t believe what is says about the beginning of the world in Genesis, then you can’t take what it says about the end of the world regarding the new Heavens & new Earth either.
Either it’s all inspired of God, or none of it is.
So the most fundamental reason we must know the scriptures and study the scriptures, is because it is primarily a revelation about God. It teaches us about who Jesus is.
- We know God is trustworthy, because of the testimony of His word.
- We know God is merciful, because we read of it, we’ve seen it and experience it.
- We know God is creative, because we have a record of His creative handiwork, and we can see it all around us.
Everything we know about God is found in here. If you want to KNOW God, then this is your reference. If you don’t want to know God, well, this should still be your reference as it explains the fate of the ungodly too.
What you get out of the bible will largely depend on the motivation behind why you read it. For example:
- Many atheists read it with the goal of finding contradictions; and they find lots of “so called” contradictions.
- A celebrity guru or presidential candidate may read it with the goal of finding some poetic quotable quotes; and they find many wise sayings.
- A religious person may read it with the sole purpose of satisfying their religious duty; and they sleep well at night.
But we should read it because we want to know Him, and this is His revelation about Himself.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3
Jesus is the logos, or “living word”.
In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God. Jesus is the Creator of all things.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3
God spoke all things into existence. Here we see the Word at the beginning, speaking it into existence. As we read it, we begin to see Jesus. We see His handiwork, and the shadow of His redemptive work beginning to take shape. The ark that saved eight people from Judgment, the blood on the door posts that protected people from Judgement. The picture builds and builds of the coming Messiah. Then when Jesus shows up on the scene, the Pharisees miss it. Not because it wasn’t obvious, but because their hearts were proud and boastful. The Pharisees looked to the scriptures for eternal life, but they erred in this respect: They looked into the letter of the pages for eternal life, rather than recognising the One to which the letters revealed. They thought that if they just followed the instructions in the book they would be fine, but they missed the big picture, they didn’t see Jesus.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:39-47
They were looking at the miniscule details of the law, but missed the big picture. The scriptures have always pointed to Jesus. They foretold His coming, His crucifixion, His resurrection. They foretold the very day He was to ride in on a donkey. But they missed it.
Even after the first report of Him rising from the dead, we get this insight on the road to emmaus.
“And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:25-27
The disciples weren’t that much better than the Pharisees, and to be honest we’d be even worse. We claim to be “Christ’s ones” (Christians) and be people of the book, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re probably more biblically illiterate than a 12 year old jewish boy from Jesus’ day. They memorised huge portions of scripture. I’m not sure I could do more than a few verses from any one chapter. If I was to ask you where the Messiah was to be born, obviously we know because it’s already happened and we know the Christmas story, but do we know where it’s foretold? [Micah 5:2] What about where it foretells He was to be cut off? [Isaiah 53:8] We need to be careful when we criticising the pharisees, because we’re often no better.
We too can try follow each command given by the disciples, and seem to be doing the right actions. We can get up early, pray for 30 minutes everyday, put off smoking, alcohol, lying, stealing, go to church six times a week, but if we don’t know Jesus, if we miss Him in all this, it’s all for nothing.
Thankfully we can learn from the mistakes the Pharisees made, and all the Israelites. We can look back in hindsight and learn from their stuff-ups.
“Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:6-12
Time and time again Israel failed to heed the words of God. And these have been recorded for our benefit and our instruction. But of course it’s of little use if we don’t read it. The only way we can heed God’s word,and know what He says in it, is to read it. What better motivation than to know that He has magnified His word up to that of His own name and reputation.
“I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.” Psalm 138:2 NASB
Or in the NLT “I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises [or word] are backed by all the honour of your name.”
God is serious about what He’s said, and what is written. What authority did even Jesus go to when tempted by Satan? He went to the scriptures; “For it is written”, “For it is written”. Right from the beginning the enemy has been trying to subvert God’s word; “Did God really say”? He knows that if he can get you to reject or neglect God’s word, then he’s got you right where he wants you.
So just to recap point one; how can you know who God is without a revelation of Him. God has invested Himself into His word so that you can know Him.
Good news of Salvation
The second part to this is the issue of salvation. Salvation is not some ethereal mumbo jumbo that we just make up in out heads. Salvation is a person (Jesus Christ), but it comes by putting our trust/faith in Him. So on the foundation of Point 1, we need the scriptures so we know who Jesus is, and what He has done. And then as the scripture says “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God”, we can exercise faith in Him.
When we go out and preach Jesus to the world, we are (or should be) sharing the testimony of Jesus from the scriptures. We explain the righteous requirements of God from the scriptures. We tell of the coming judgement from the scriptures. And we share the great news of Jesus’ payment for sin on the cross and resurrection from the dead, from the scriptures. And then as the Holy Spirit does a work in their heart and they believe the word that is spoken concerning Jesus, they put their trust in Him to save them. And the Spirit regenerates them and they are converted!
But if we’re not preaching from the scriptures then what are we preaching, and what will the person be putting their trust in? This is why Christendom is full of unbelievers, because they have been sold a message that is not founded in the scriptures. It’s all about happiness, life enhancement, feeling better about ourselves, and being apart of a big community. But it lacks the testimony of God concerning their sin and His coming judgement, and it lacks the true testimony about Jesus Christ Himself. That verse in Romans 10:17, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God” is not saying that faith is produced by hearing, but that faith is only possible after hearing, because without the hearing of the word of God, there is nothing to have faith in. A crude analogy would be that to have coffee, you need a cup. The cup doesn’t produce the coffee, but without the cup the coffee has nothing solid to rest in. As you read the whole of Romans 10 you see that Israel heard the word of God, but they did not believe it. They had the cup, but they put no coffee in it.
Lets read the previous verses, Rom 10:14 “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”
What does a preacher do? Preach the word of God. What does the hearer do? They listen to it. Then when they hear it, they can believe it, or reject it. Only if they hear and believe can they call on the name of the Lord. As Paul says, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” They must hear the word of God before they can believe in it and call on God. And this phrase “Call on the name of the Lord”, is one that’s been widely abused over the years. What it is not, is a simple sinners prayer where we get someone to recite a few words then declare them to be saved. The word “Call” [epikaleō] here is most often translated as “Surname”. E.g. “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark” Act 12:12, or “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter“ Acts 10:5. Notice even this verse has the word “Call” but this one means to “send after”. Like “call for Dad to come for lunch”. But to call on the name of the Lord is to appeal to Him as your authority. When you call on Him you are coming to Him as your authority, your Lord. That’s why you can’t call on Him if you don’t first trust Him. It’s not some petty sinners prayer that has no repentance and trust in Jesus.
Paul continues his argument, Rom 10:16 “However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”” Notice the similarities between this and “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Lord who has believed our report? We’ve spoken the word of the Lord, but no one has believed it. No one has trusted it, or had faith in what we’ve reported. Therefore Paul concludes in the very next verse “So [or therefore based on this] faith comes from [or after] hearing, and hearing by [or by means of] the word of God.” Without the word of God, there is nothing to trust in.
I encourage you to meditate oven Romans 10, and try to grasp the overall picture Paul is painting. Earlier in Romans 4 Paul touches on this same point “For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” Faith is not guaranteed when the word is preached, but without the word, faith has no substance. “Now faith is the assurance [or substance] of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Romans 4 also deal extensively with faith in Jesus unto righteousness.
You know seeds are a fascinating thing. A seed has all the nutrients it needs to start growing. It doesn’t need any soil to grow into a small seedling. But without soil or nutrients it won’t grow any further. It’s got just enough to get started. When we preach the gospel we are giving a person a small package of the word of God. Just enough for the person to trust in and be saved. But if they don’t get their roots deep down into the word of God themselves, they won’t grow. Sadly many don’t go beyond this point, they remain on just the basic understanding of salvation and don’t go any further.
I say all this about faith because if we are not filling ourselves with the word of God, how are we to fulfil one of the most basic tasks of the Christian life; that of sharing the gospel. With no knowledge of the scriptures, what gospel will we be preaching? How will we know if we’re preaching the right gospel, if we don’t search this book and understand what the great news about Jesus is! Without scripture, how can you know how to be made righteous? Will we live the rest of our lives on the little bit of information we heard at the time we got saved, rather than study it ourselves to ensure not only that we have indeed believed the right gospel, but that we pass on the right gospel to others. I love what Paul writes to Timothy: “And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.“ The holy scriptures made him wise concerning salvation, and taught him to have faith in Christ Jesus.
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
Here Paul repeats what he had been telling them in person. Notice how each point of the good news which he passed onto them was based on the scriptures. He was reinforcing the point that everything he preached was the fulfilment of Gods word. They were trusting in God’s word, which Paul had made known to them. Paul was always teaching and expounding from the scriptures. He wasn’t just making up some feel-good motivational speech like most preachers do these days. Everything was based on God’s word.
Again in Acts 17:2 we read: “And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,” Here Paul is doing what he’d made a habit of doing, going to the Jews on the Sabbath and reasoning with them from their Scriptures. Revealing Jesus to them.
So just to recap point two; we must know the scriptures because they show forth the way of salvation. What is the good news without the scriptures. The good news is that the promised Messiah has come. That He died for our sins, was buried, raised to life then seen by many, all based on the scripture, and that through faith in Him we can be saved.
The last point I want to make is that if we are to be sanctified, then we need to know the scriptures.
What is sanctification? Sanctification is a consecration and purification of your life. To be set apart for God’s purpose and use. To be like Jesus.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Firstly, all scripture is God breathed, it came forth from God. Although it may have been written by man, it ultimately came from the mind of God. And what is this scripture profitable for? Is it profitable for happiness, a good job, fame and fortune? Maybe not. But of primary purpose is it’s ability to teach you sound doctrine. It’s ability to test and prove you, and restore and correct you. And of course proper education in the right way to live.
It does all this so you may be completely adequate and furnished to perform every good work. It doesn’t just make you a great person so everyone will want your autograph. It makes you exactly how God wants you, so you can carry out the work He has given you. So how will you carry out that work if you’re not equiped and trained by “all” the scripture He has inspired. That is, everything in this book. (minus the title page, index and cross references).
Now it may be important to mention that most of the bibles we have are english translations. No translation is going to be 100% perfect in every respect, but it still carries with it the same inherent ability to equip and train you. Even more so when you do proper study and look up the original languages and do word studies, all of which is ridiculously easy nowadays.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
God’s word is not dry and dead. It is living and active, and it will not return void, but it shall accomplish that which God purposes, and shall succeed in the thing for which God sent it. It’s able to judge your thoughts, and your intentions.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
How is your mind renewed? Do we sit on the floor with our legs folded and hum a noise over and over? That may empty the mind, but it doesn’t renew it. As we read the scriptures and appropriate what it says, we will begin to think and act differently. Just read the rest of Roman 12, Paul is giving a list of instructions:
- Don’t think to highly of yourself
- Don’t have hypocritical love
- Abhor what is evil
- Cling to what is good
- Be devoted to one another
- Give preference to one another
- Don’t lag behind in diligence
- Be fervent in spirit
- Serve the Lord
- Rejoicing in hope
- Persevere in tribulation
- Be devoted to prayer
- Help the brethren
- Practice hospitality.
- Bless those who persecute you
- Rejoice with those who rejoice
- Weep with those who weep
- Be of the same mind toward one another
- Do not be haughty in mind
- Associate with the lowly
- Do not be wise in your own estimation
- Never pay back evil for evil
- Be at peace with all men
- Never take your own revenge
This is a list of things we need to think differently about. How do we renew our minds? We meditate on chapters like this one. We repent where we’re wrong, and change our thinking to be inline with Scripture. Repentance & renewing the mind are part of the same process Repentance is a change of mind, renewing is a complete renovation of the mind. Our minds started to be renewed when we first repented and beloved the gospel. But it should never stop there, we are to continue repenting and renewing our minds.
“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” 1 Thessalonians 4:2-4
Sanctification is God’s will for us. He wants us to be consecrated for His use. He wants us to be purified and holy for His purposes. And that means we must learn how to possess our vessel (body) in a consecrated manner.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” Titus 2:11-15
Again we have been instructed to deny ungodliness, and to live righteously. Jesus gave Himself to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify a peculiar people to Himself. This whole process of sanctification is done in what some call “Active Passivity”. We must be faithful (active) in our responsibilities and duties, and God will be faithful in His. God is the One who does the work in our hearts and minds, but He uses His living word in that process. He is the One who guides and directs us, but He uses His word in the process.
Ps 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The psalmist knows that it’s God’s word that lights his way and guides his steps. It can be a lamp and light to us too, but we have to at least be faithful in reading it. It can’t be a light and guide us if it doesn’t reside in us.
The psalmist also said in this psalm that: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.” Ps 119:11. Having God’s word stored in our hearts, protects us from temptations and helps in times of need. “Establish my footsteps in Your word, And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.” Ps 119:133.
Having God’s word doesn’t guarantee we won’t ever fall, but it will certainly help to reduce the falls and heal the bruises. Even this psalmist experienced failures. In verses 135 & 136 he says “Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Your law.” Ps 119:135-136. But that didn’t stop him from continuing to devote himself to it. He goes on to say “Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it.” Ps 119:140. Is that something we can truely say about God’s word? That we LOVE it. We know we should love it, but do our actions show it? Does the habit of our lives prove it?
We in the West have a great deal of responsibility on us. We have abundant access to not only the scriptures, but other related resources. We have concordances, and dictionaries, and history books and maps, and a lot of free time. Will we squander the blessing we have, or make the most of it? You may disagree with me on the “free time” part, but in general it’s true. It just depends on the definition of “free”. When we load ourselves up with nights of meetings and parties, and events and sports, and you name it… this is merely how we choose to spend our free time. These are all just optional extras. We all have free time, we just choose to spend it in other less profitable things, like, watching TV, or YouTube, or Netflix.
Now please don’t get the impression that I’ve got this all sorted. By no means. That’s one reason I choose to study this subject, because I need it as much as the next person. And don’t go away thinking that you can’t partake in any social activities. Of course you can. But it’s a matter of balancing your priorities.
I’ve realised more and more over the past couple of years just how much the christian church lacks in scripture knowledge. And I know from personal experience how little you can get by on before you realise how unhealthy you are.
But I made the conscious decision a while back that I was going to put in place by various means and practices, ways by which I could consume more scripture. One way for me was to deliberately take up a job on the other side of the city. This forced at least 6 hours a week of driving into my schedule where I can’t watch videos, text people, eat food, or do many of the other things that so easily distract me.
I can just sit in traffic, and listen to God’s word over and over through my stereo. Now that’s no replacement of other means of study, because it’s a bit hard to look up bible dictionaries and cross references when you’re driving, but it at least gets the appetite going. It’s a simple but efficient way to soak in God’s word.
Now you may not be in the same position as me, but I’m convinced we all have plenty of time. We all have the same 24 hours a day. It’s just a matter of where you choose to invest that time.
May I challenge you to take a stocktake of your time? Evaluate what you spend your time on, and where your priorities are. We are of little use if we are not being trained and equiped by God’s word. If we throw away the scripture as our reference and authority, all we’re left with is the opinions of man, and boy do we have plenty of them. That’s the last thing we need.
We need Jesus, and we learn about Him in the Scriptures. To trust Jesus is to trust His word. You can’t separate Jesus from His word. His word is a revelation and expression of Himself. Being people of His word doesn’t mean we remove the work of the Holy Spirit, quite the opposite, the Holy Spirit uses God’s word to guide and sanctify us. Some have a picture of bible theologians being dry and boring prudes or theological doorstops, and sure many are, but the one who genuinely seeks God as they read His word will be made alive. They will have rivers of living water flowing out of them.
A lot of what I’m saying hear has a small caveat, in that, if you are in a situation where you have absolutely no access to the scriptures, lets say like a North Korean prison, then I believe God is very capable of still guiding you. But if you do have access to the scriptures, but you refuse to read them, why would God give you other special revelation when He’s given special revelation to you right here in His word. He’s unlikely to reward your laziness.
Some may argue that Paul’s audience didn’t have the scriptures: firstly they likely did, but also Paul was sharing the word of God with them. Remember Paul had met the risen Christ, plus Paul was intimately familiar with the scriptures. He wasn’t preaching himself but he was preaching Christ. He had determined not to know anything among them except Christ Jesus and Him crucified. But we who now live many generations later, we have it all recorded here, in God’s word. As you become more and more familiar with the scriptures, you’ll realise just how much of the New Testament is actually quotes from or themes from the Old Testament books.
Don’t be like the man who let the Bible sit on his top self his whole life and never realised the treasure hidden inside. This is not a book for a rainy day, this is a book for every-day.
~ Published by Chris Sandford
This message was originally written for a Sunday morning sermon and was first preached on 1st May 2016 at Cornerstone Gospel Church in Frankston Australia. Quotations may be taken providing they remain in context with the message. Permission is granted to use and distribute this document providing it remains unchanged and attribution is provided.
Scripture quotations on from the NASB unless otherwise stated.