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Actions for Life or Death


Guard Your Heart
   Proverbs 4:20 - 23 typifies a father making a plea to his son to adhere to his words because they are important:
   My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health [healing] to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
   Verse 23 is of great importance because here we are told to guard our heart, for out of it are the source and outgoings of life, whether they be good or bad. How can others tell which they are? “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh," Luke 6:45. Matthew 12:34 – 35 says the same thing:
   O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
   If your heart is filled with good things, then good things will come out of your heart, manifested in the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22 - 23); while, if your heart is filled with evil things, then your actions will be as the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19 - 21) and “they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh, Galatians 5:21.
   Jeremiah 17:9 tells us of two adjectives which properly describe our heart.
   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
   The Hebrew word `aqob (aw – kabe’) translated as “deceitful” here, also lists the syno- nyms of fraudulent, crooked and polluted. The He- brew word ‘anash (aw – nash’) translated here as “desperately wicked” also lists synonyms of woeful, incurable and sick.
   Yes, indeed, things which proceed out of the mouth, meaning come from the heart, Yahshua speaks of what those items can do to man and some are listed in Mark 7:20 – 23, And Yahshua said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
   One can now appreciate the importance of Proverbs 4:23,
   Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
   The Hebrew word natsar (naw-tsar') translated as “keep” here, means, in a good sense, to guard, protect, maintain, obey, etc.
   So, one is to guard their heart, for out of it comes the source and outgoings of life. A further reason of this importance can be found in each of the following four Scriptures:
For Yahweh shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, Ecclesiastes 12:14.
I Yahweh search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings, Jeremiah 17:10.
Who [Yahweh] will render to every man according to his deeds, Romans 2:6.
Be not deceived; Yahweh is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, Galatians 6:7.
   Yes, a good tree brings forth good fruit and a corrupt tree evil fruit and we shall be judged accordingly.

Good Versus Evil
   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of Yahweh after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members, Romans 7:21 - 23.
   In these verses, Paul warns us of the existence of two laws within each of us: the Law of the mind - used to serve Yahweh and do good, and the law of the flesh – used to serve sin and do evil. Paul also tells us of this same conflict in Galatians 5:16 - 17:
   This I say then, “Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
   We must be continually on guard against, and watchful of, fleshly lusts because, in a moment of weakness or hesitation, Satan will be there to swallow us up.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, 1 Peter 5:8.
   This is why, when we feel temptation coming on, or during difficult times, we should go to Yahweh and seek protection. This what is spoken of many times in the book of Psalms. For reminders read Ps. 9:9; 14:6; 46:1, 7, 11;59:16-17;62:6-8;91:2-9; and 94:22.

Refuge — A Place of Deliverance
   Yahweh tells us that His children do have a place of refuge,
In the fear of Yahweh is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge, Proverbs 14:26.
   And, He also says He will dliver the righteous ones from trou- ble,
The righteous is delivered out of trouble, Proverbs 11:8.
   "He that diligently seeketh good procureth favor" (Prov. 11:27) for "a good man obtains favor of Yahweh" (Prov. 12:2) because it is his desire to do good: "the desire of the righteous is only good"(Prov. 11:23); “the thoughts (or plans) of the righteous are right (or just)” (Prov. 12:5); and “to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward” (Prov. 11:18).

Yahweh’ s Favor
   The word “favor,” in Prov. 12:2 (see last paragraph), is an interesting one. On the outside one might believe it to mean a friendly regard for or an approving attention given, as Webster defines it. However, the Scriptures give a much more meaningful explanation of what this “favor” is, as Ps. 5:12 reads:
   For Thou, Yahweh; wilt bless the righteous: with favor; wilt Thou compass him as with a shield?
   The secret of all blessings is whether Yahweh delights in us. A careful study of the following Scriptures will show what it means when Yahweh delights in us. Deut. 10:15; 2 Sam. 22:20; 1 Kings 10:9; Ps. 18:18 - 19; Ps. 22:8; and Ps. 147:10 - 11.
   Yes, Yahweh delights in those who fear Him and He promises deliverance to them. This is why Yahweh's favor is compared to a shield in Ps. 5:12. A shield is a protective device and the Hebrew word zinnah, translated “shield” in Ps. 5:12, is the largest possible shield which is to cover the entire body.

Yahweh’s Favors
   • Yahweh is our buckler:
ahweh is a buckler to all those that trust in Him, Psalm 18:30b.
   • Yahweh is our defense:
My defense is of Yahweh, Psalm 7:10a.
   • Yahweh is our shield:
Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, Genesis 15:1b.
Thou art my hiding place and my shield, Psalm 119:114a.
Behold, O Yahweh our shield, Psalm 84:9a.
   • Yahweh shows favor to His People (everlasting life):
For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of Yahweh, Proverbs 8:35.
   • Yahweh shows favor to His People (preservation):
Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O Thou my Elohim, save Thy servant that trusteth in Thee, Psalm 86:2.
   • Yahweh shows favor to His People (security):
   By this I know that Thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me, Psalm 41:11.
   • Yahweh shows favor to His People (mercy):
For in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee, Isaiah 60:10.

Must Do Good
   Yes, to obtain Yahweh's favor we must be good and do good as we are told:
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of Yahweh: but he that doeth evil hath not seen Yahweh, 3 John 11.
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Messiah. Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Messiah, doing the will of Yahweh from the heart. With good will doing service, as to Yahweh, and not to men, knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of Yahweh, whether he be bond or free, Ephesians 6:5 - 8.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of Yahweh are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry. The face of Yahweh is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth, Psalm 34:14 - 16.
   We should let our conversation, our behaviour, be good to all people, no matter who they are,
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith, Galatians 6:10.
Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you, Titus 2:6 – 8.
But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices Yahweh is well pleased, Hebrews 13:16.
   By doing so, others learn of the workings of the Holy Spirit in us and we are promised glory, honor and peace for doing so,
But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile, Romans 2:10.

Labor For Life
   The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin, Proverbs 10:16.
   We are to be laborers with Yahweh,
For we are labourers together with Yahweh: ye are Yahweh's husbandry, ye are Yahweh's building, 1 Corinthians 3:9.
   We must perform the work of Yahweh and not the work of men,
And now I say unto you, Re- frain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought. But if it be of Yahweh, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against Yahweh, Acts 5:38 - 39.
   It is true we are to be willing workers ― or we should not eat,
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat, 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
   This can be taken to mean not only physical food but also spiritual food.
   We must project our energies along the narrow (straight) way which leads to everlasting life and its riches and not along the wide (broad) way which leads to destruction, for everyone will receive his due reward,
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour, 1 Corinthians 3:8.
   We are told to follow after righteousness (I Tim. 6:11) and not after wickedness for "the way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh" (Proverbs 15:9) and "Yahweh is far from the wicked"(Prov. 15:29). "The root of the righteous shall not be moved" (Prov. 12:2) because his foundation is built upon a rock and not upon the earth,
Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great, Luke 6:47 - 49.
   The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes presents a very good question in chapter 1, verses 2 and 3:
   "Vanity of vanities," saith the Preacher, "vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?"
   Yes, what profit is there in man’s labor if it is done under the sun (connected with earthly things and done apart from Yahweh)? A man may increase or multiply his possessions whether they be houses, vineyards, orchards, forests, servants or gold and silver (Eccl. 2:4 - 8) but what profit is there in this type of labor? Ecclesiastes 2:11 gives the answer:
   Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
   Vanity means that which soon vanishes.
Yes, I hated all my labor which I had taken (toiled) under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me, Ecclesiastes 2:18.
   If a man labors only for the riches of this earth there is no profit in doing it because it will be left to others to enjoy. But, if a man labors for heavenly riches, namely everlasting life, no man can take this away nor will it be left to another, for this incorruptible crown of life shall not fade away.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able, Luke 13:24.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible, 1 Corinthians 9:25.
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away, 1 Peter 5:4.

-Elder Roger G. Meyer

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