Everyone is influenced by someone, so choose wisely

Published 5:46 am Sunday, October 2, 2022

Everyone is shaped by something, by someone or by some influence… Everyone.
No one on the planet is a blank slate, a “tabula rasa” to borrow a term from John Locke.
Each of us is influenced and shaped and molded by things, people and our environment.
I believe that you have to know where you stand before you can take a stand. Our nation’s founders were no different.
If you ever wondered where our founders got their ideas?
They themselves benefited from one in the same person – theological writer and political philosopher John Locke.
John Otis, mentor of both Samuel Adams and John Hancock, stated “The authority of Mr. Locke has been preferred to all others.”
John Quincy Adams said, “The Declaration of independence was founded upon one and the same theory of Government expounded in the writings of Locke.”
Richard Henry Lee suggested that the Declaration was copied from Locke’s “Two Treaties of Government.”
What is truly relevant today is that although this work is only 400 pages long, Locke refers to the Bible over 1,500 times in order to show the proper operation of civil government.
A number of years back, the University of Houston researched the most frequently cited authors in the writings of the founding fathers and concluded that 94 percent of all the citations found in these writings were either to the Bible or to authors who based their conclusions on the Bible.
I believe that if we forget these truths, we could allow, or worse yet, elect leaders that could forever do away with the principles we as a nation were founded upon fundamentally changing America.
What is true for a nation is also true for an individual.
What if our personal devotion to the word of God, its study and its practice is stronger than ever before? What if I am totally immersed in God’s word?
And if so, would my life, my influence or my family be different?
What a wonderful thing it is to have a reservoir of Bible understanding and knowledge to guide and direct us.
You have to know where you stand before you can take a stand.
If you don’t know where you are going you could wind up anywhere.
Knowledge of the scriptures for a Christ follower is not just a nice option… it is invaluable to spiritual victory and success… you, your family, your influence.
Listen to seven verses from Psalm 119, “With my whole heart I have sought you; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments. Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”
Let me first state that I am convinced that a passionate, life-changing encounter with Jesus goes hand-in-hand with a love for God’s Word.
They go together, so learning His Word becomes a pursuit of love.
These traits and practices are bonded together.
What we know is this is, God’s revelation about the truth, life, and the pathway to heaven are found in His word.
Secondly, I am convinced that the Word of God is also a provision for days good and bad.
Can you remember when and where you learned how to drink from a straw?
It has to reach the bottom before you can access all that’s in the glass.
That’s kind of the way it is withdrawing from the reservoir of God’s Word.
You can’t stay up near the top because when the tough times come, when tragedy comes, when disappointment comes, when grief comes, what are you going to draw upon?
The psalmist knows that if he loves what he should love, and hates what he should hate, then he will live as he should live.
Lastly, I am convinced that the word of God is a practice for life.
The Scriptures are like a map. The map tells you how to get to a certain destination.
But just looking at the map won’t automatically transport you to Arizona or England or Peru.
To get there you have to make the effort, pay the price, take the time for travel, and stay at it until you arrive.
A W Tozer once wrote, “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”
Whether it’s the future of a nation or the eternity of an individual soul, the key to blessing and success is a Biblical foundation.
I believe that you have to know where you stand before you can take a stand.
May we never forget from whence we came.

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.

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