I like to think that I hold only to the Bible and to nothing else. I like to think that my heart is loyal only to my Savior and His Word. I like to think that I am single-minded when it comes to this Book of Wisdom called the Bible. Obviously, I deceive myself.
As I sat in church yesterday, I nodded my head in agreement with Pastor Doug. I thought "this is great!" However, at the same time, I was harboring bitterness and anger against a friend. My thought was "YES! I do hold on to nothing else but God's Word! I am not deceived into following any other way. I love my God and I love His Word!" Later, last night, I was venting to Chad (who was either patiently listening to me verbally sort out my thoughts and feelings, or he was fast asleep). At any rate, I heard the still small voice of the Spirit whisper, "if you are holding on to bitterness and anger, you can't be holding on to My Word with both hands and all of your heart!"
I realized, anew, that there is much that takes my heart away from whole-heartedly following Him and His Word. I follow other ways and try to take short-cuts. I doubt. I listen to other voices. And, attitudes and actions that seem innocent grow into sins that choke out my desire to seek Him in His Word.
He has given us "a map"... directions for all we need to live this thing called "life" for His glory. It's all written down in the Bible. It is our life instruction book and when we chase the treasure within, we live our best life for Him!
Be careful to learn, to follow, and to keep following the instructions contained in this letter. With this letter and the directions it contains, you will find your way to a distant place where is hidden a store of treasure more valuable than you can imagine in your wildest dreams.
But, be careful, the journey upon which these instructions will take you is one which involves constant dangers and pitfalls. At every step of the way, your total and unswerving obedience to these directions is not only important, but critical. If you are careful to stay true to the path which I set before you, you will not only take hold of promised treasure, but will experience such delights along the way as to make the journey itself more than worth your trouble.
Again, however, I warn you... doubt will be your unwanted companion, and will often tempt you to look this way, search along another path, to follow your own unreliable "heart", to heed the advice of others you meet who say..."I know this treasure you seek, and where it may be found... follow me!" Test all of this against what is contained in this letter, and if the path these influences would have you take differs in the slightest from my reliable direction, do not be swayed.
Read this map. Memorize it. Obey it. No matter what. And, you, my friend, will be rich indeed!