August 9, 2019
In all my years of ministry, I’ve found one thing to be true: If you do not love and obey the Word of God, you cannot live in victory. Living by the Word of God will determine the outcome of your life. The key is knowing and understanding what God says about that. Where do you get that knowledge? His Word.
The Bible is like no other book. Knowledge of truth transforms. When in the 1800s, Louis Pasteur advanced the germ theory of disease and Joseph Lister pioneered the concept of sterile surgery, countless lives were saved. In any realm of life, no matter where you live or what you do, knowledge of the truth transforms.
This is true in business, school, home, work—everywhere. That’s why I want you to study your Bible and know what it really says. It will teach you how to live by godly principles, and that will transform your life. The Bible will burst aflame in your hand and heart.
But you must make the effort. There’s no cheap, lazy, or magical way to understand the Bible, but it’s not an impossible task. In fact, it’s joyful and thrilling.
First, if you don’t appreciate how unique the Word of God is, you won’t be serious about studying it.
It’s not the book of the month or the book of the year. It’s the unchanging book of the ages.
“Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89
“Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that Thou hast founded them forever.” Psalm 119:152
“Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth forever.” Psalm 119:160
“But the Word of the Lord endureth forever.” 1 Peter 1:25
Forever! The Word—the Bible you hold in your hand or have on your shelf—is complete. Done. Settled in heaven. Dust it off and get it into your heart.
Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination. Atheists like Voltaire have railed against it. Agnostics through the years have cynically sneered, liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible, and materialists have simply ignored it. How then has the Bible stood the tests of time after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because it is eternal, settled in heaven.
Thousands of years have passed since it was written. Empires have risen and fallen. Civilizations have changed again and again. Yet the Bible stands, indestructible.
“Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth…Thou art near, O Lord; and all Thy commandments are truth…Thy Word is true from the beginning…” Psalm 119:142, 151, 160.
When Jesus stood trial, Pilate asked Him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus had already answered that in John 17:17 when He said to the Father, “Thy Word is truth.”
In a world that has lost its belief in truth, you can say without apology, “The Bible is truth,” in spite of…
· frontal attacks from liberals who deny it
· rear attacks from those who say, “I know what I feel or think. I don’t care what the Bible says.”
· attacks at the flank by people who don’t necessarily deny the Bible but want to replace it with psychology, philosophy, or other things—as if the Bible itself weren’t good enough.
If you’re looking for truth, you’ll find it in the Bible, because the God of truth cannot speak error.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 2 Tim. 3:16
“Inspiration” is a Greek word used only once in the Bible—right here—and it literally means “God-breathed.”
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). God didn’t simply breathe upon the writings of men like Paul, adopting their words as His own. No, Bible writers held the pen of God as He breathed the Scriptures out.
The Bible says “the Word of the Lord,” “the Word of God,” or “the Lord said” 3,808 times. If it’s not the Word of God, it’s the biggest bundle of lies ever unleashed on planet Earth. The Bible is absolute truth.
“The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” Psalm 119:72
Saints and heroes of the faith have pillowed their heads on the Word of God as they walked through the chilly waters of death. Martyrs died for the witness of Jesus Christ, holding the Word of God as flames came around their feet.
The early Church preached and proclaimed it. They never questioned it. They claimed it, loved, lived, practiced, trusted, and obeyed it.
Is that true of you? You will never have a victorious Christian life if you do not love this book.
“For the Word of God is quick [alive], and powerful.” Hebrews 4:12
Jesus said, “… The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
Unlike great works of literature, the Bible pulsates with life, for its Author is the Creator of the universe, in Whom all things consist and in Whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
Use it a nourishment for your mind and heart. You don't just read a cookbook, you eat the meal. If you don't, what good is it? For the Bible to become a living, breathing, life-giving reality for you, you must absorb it.
How can you do this?
“Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me Thy statutes” (Psalm 119:12).
Often in my sermon preparation, I’ve put my pencil down and bowed my head, saying, “Oh God, help me to understand this. God, give me understanding.” Have you prayed, “Lord God, be my Teacher”? Pray over the Word and ask God to teach you.
When you ask, several things will happen:
“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” Psalm 119:18
You may have 20/20 vision, but God must open your eyes to behold the wondrous things in His Word.
“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” Luke 24:45
Walking with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus began explaining to them about the Old Testament, the Law, and the Prophets. When you ask Him, God will do that for you.
“Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.” Ps.119: 36
If you don’t have a desire for the Word of God, ask Him to give it to you: “God, please incline my heart. Move my heart, open my eyes.” When you pray over the Word, your heart will be stirred.
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments.” (v. 73)
When your eyes are opened and your heart is stirred, your mind will be enlightened.
Begin to do these now.
¨ Stow it in your heart,
¨ Show it in your life,
¨ Sow it in the world.
And your Bible, a timeless, truthful, living treasure, will burst aflame in your heart.