before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What is in a Word? INVESTIGATE

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15).

   My mind is a little peculiar.  Sometimes things jump out at me.  It is rather strange.

   Real life example- I am sitting in my house, minding my own business, when I see three books on a shelf.  They are on unrelated subjects, and all I can see are the titles on the binding.  But for some crazy reason, my mind starts to try to find how the books are the same and how they are different.  I note that the three books were authored by three different people, that the binding are three different colors, yet that the lettering are all gold colored.  The symbol of the publisher is on the bottom of each book, and each were published by a different publisher.
   Especially the words grab my attention.  My mind sets to work, checking to see if the titles have the same amount of syllables.  Then I start counting to see what letters all three books bindings have in common and discover out that each book contains three L's, if you include the author's name with the title.  I do all this while seated, and never even touch the books.  After this ordeal, my mind is satisfied, that is until I sit here again.  Then my mind will want to check on those titles again, just to make sure that they haven't changed.  

   Another instance- I am sitting at a friend's home.  I see a sentence stenciled on the wall, a clever decoration.  My mind starts to dissect, going through the alphabet, checking to see what letters are used in the sentence, and which are not included, if all the vowels are present or not, etc.  I count to see which letter is used most often in the sentence.

   This type of thing has been happening ever since I learned to read at age 3 1/2 to 4 years of age.  Most times when this happens it really doesn't make much difference, except my mind is getting a workout.  It can even be a mental strain, and sometimes I have to purposefully think of something else.

   But there are some benefits that rise from it at times.

   When looking at a word, I am often struck by the wondering of where that word came from.  I think back to whether I have learned what roots it came from, and search for related words.  For instance, the words course, courier, current, cursive, and cursor key, are related words, derived from a root cursus meaning "to run".  Therefore, when I see a word with the same root, my mind checks it to see how it fits.  From childhood, I have been fascinated with words and their history.
   Moreover, I appreciate the richness and depth that is to be had in the English language, and how words can be grouped in "families".  There are words that can be used to communicate the same meaning, but each can have also its own flavor, and specific dynamic.  For instance, sauntered, ambled, tiptoed, and stomped are all words that can be used to describe someone walking, but each conveys a varying attitude, manner, and quality.  Seeing how words can be the same and different has often been an aid in learning and adding words to my vocabulary both in and out of school.

   Other times, when I see a word, I see words inside the word.  By dissecting these inner words, I can understand the meaning or application of a word.

Let's take a look at the word INVESTIGATE.

INVESTIGATE: to search into; to examine with care and accuracy; It comes from the Latin, investigo, "to follow a track, to search."

Dissecting the word from the viewpoint of studying the Bible, we find certain inner words...

IN - You need to get IN the Bible.  Open it, ask God to teach and shew you what you need to know.  If we don't get into the Bible, how can we expect to know it?
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy word." Psalm 119:18
"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:130

INVEST - Spend time in the Bible.  Invest time hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Scriptures.  It is worth the investment.  And remember, where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:97

VEST - The vest covers your heart.  Don't just get knowledge for your head.  Take the truth to heart.
"Give me understanding and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart"
Psalm 119:34

I - See how the Scripture applies to you personally.  Don't just say, "Oh my brother needs to hear that!"  Consider yourself first and see if you line up with God's word and where you need to repent and confess sin and do things God's way.  Then you can share with your brother what the Lord is teaching you and encourage him to do the same.
"I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto thy testimonies" Psalm 119:59

GATE - A gate swings.  It is active.  Put hinges on the truth of the Bible you have learned and swing with it.  Live according to the precepts and principles of the word of God.
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" Psalm 119:105

   Let us be diligent to study the word of truth, to be approved workmen!  Let us not end up ashamed because we neglected the Book of the Lord!

   Let the words of the psalmist be reflected in our desire for the LORD and His word...

"Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation according to thy word.

So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.

So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.  

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 

And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes." Psalm 119:41-48

   There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.


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