In these days we have enjoyed a mini-series in our church on Psalm 119. I remembered during my study that years ago I taught through much of this Psalm during our Wednesday night Bible Study. At the conclusion then, I shared this list. It’s been slightly revised and I share it again with our church family. These lessons are still undeniable based on reading the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119.
1. To be a man or woman of God, you must be a man or woman of the Word.
This is the #1 question in hiring and evaluating a pastor. Is he a man of the Word? If not, nothing else will matter.
2. Nothing on earth compares to the value of God’s Word.
Not your life. Not your child’s life. Not your wife’s life. Not sex, food, football, trophy deer. Not shopping, talking, time with kids and grandkids. Not music, movies, books, games, your dog or being with your best friends.
Would you die for the Bible?
William Tyndale did. This early Reformer and pioneer Bible translator was subject to police raids on his presses, relentless attacks, attempted traps by secret agents, pirated versions, betrayal by friends and associates. He experienced a shipwreck, lost manuscripts of translation work and was uprooted from his homeland of England.
He persisted because he knew the unique value of God’s Word. He wrote,
“it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth, except the Scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue.”
Arrested in 1535, William Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake the following year. What was his great crime against society? He translated the Scriptures from the original languages into English!
What comforts of life do we sacrifice for the Bible? What are we giving up these days that we might gain the Bible? Tomorrow morning, what will we cheerfully sacrifice or postpone to begin with the Bible?
3. The harder our life, the more hunger we need for God’s Word.
God’s design in trials is to drive us to the Word for wisdom, help and revival of soul. A real education should have challenging tests – otherwise you don’t really know if the students are learning.
4. There’s no true spirituality apart from learning, loving and living the Bible.
Spirituality is culturally popular today. Not religion, but being spiritual. There continues to be interest in angels, visions, near-death experiences and so called trips to heaven and hell. In the last decade there have been numerous magazine features on health and spirituality, prayer and healing, etc. Hollywood celebs jump on board the spirituality bandwagon.
This is all “meaningless meanderings” and idols of the heart if not anchored in truth.
The first trial or tantalizing temptation and this rootless spirituality evaporates like morning dew under the rising sun.
5. When trials come, the way we turn to God is by getting into the Bible.
It doesn’t really matter where you turn in God’s Word. It’s all profitable! You don’t have to go to a section that addresses your specific trial. What we need in trial is God, not relief, not a solution. The Bible mediates God to my soul via the Holy Spirit’s illumination of God’s Word. In the Bible and prayer, I meet with God and hear from God through the pages of Scripture. This is enough and this is what our soul needs.
6. If we neglect God’s Word, we are neglecting God … and our souls.
His Word is His chief means of grace and growth in our lives – preached, taught, read, studied, memorized, meditated upon, obeyed. Neglect the Bible and you neglect your life, your soul, your health. Hunger for it and blessings flow. The Word of the living God is how we grow in respect to salvation.
Neglect the Bible and you neglect your life, your soul, your health.
See Proverbs 2:1-8 and 4:4-9 and Psalm 119:97-104.
7. God and His Word are practically inseparable.
What’s true of God is often true of His Word. The Bible shares many of God’s attributes. This shouldn’t surprise us since He is the source. So, how we respond to one is how we respond to the other. How we respond to the Bible is how we respond to God, because what Scripture says, God says.
8. The key to the Christian life is Spirit-wrought mediation on and application of the Bible.
Proper application and appropriation will include delighting, trusting, and obeying. If we were to think in NT concepts, “walking in the Spirit” and “letting the word of Christ richly dwell within you” is two ways to describe the same experience. You can’t have one without the other. As these companion passages show, both result in the same fruit (compare Eph. 5:18ff with Col. 3:16ff).
Nothing compares and nothing can replace a Spirit-enabled dwelling upon and Spirit-enabled walking in the truths of God’s own Word to man. We may survive for a season on crumbs from someone else’s table. We may putter along for a little stretch running on fumes. But no progress will be made until we daily partake. Fuel your life with truth and see how far the Lord moves you!
Unless otherwise noted, all posts are written by Pastor Chris McKnight