Friday, December 11, 2009
How to Make Your Bible Come Alive December 6th 2009 Psalm 119
(page 4) Practice it. Psalm 119:1-5 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
If you want to learn more about the Word of God, then obey the part you know.
Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
Proclaim it. Psalm 119:13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
Psalm 119:27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
Psalm 119:46 will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
The more of the Word of God you give away, the more of it will stick with you.
3. WE MUST APPROPRIATE THE VALUES OF THE WORD OF GOD
The knowledge you have will become transformational.
It will be a source of victory. Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
It will be a source of growth. Psalm 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
It will be a source of joy. Psalm 119:54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
Psalm 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
It will be a source of power. Psalm 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart
Newcastle Baptist Tabernacle
How to Make Your Bible Come Alive
December 6th 2009
If we do not know, love, understand, practice and obey the Word of God, we will not be victorious Christians.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
Each verse in Psalm 119 deals with the Word of God, to help us to know and understand His Word.
- WE MUST APPRECIATE THE VIRTUES OF THE WORD OF GOD
It is a timeless book.
Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psalm 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
1 Peter 1:23 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
It is a truthful book.
Psalm 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
Psalm 119:151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.
Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
1 Corinthians 14:37If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The word "inspiration" "theopneustos", "God breathed".
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
It is a treasured book.
Psalm 119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
2.WE MUST ASSIMILATE THE VITALITY OF THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible is a living book.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – The word "quick" means "alive".
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
How do we assimilate the Word of God?
Pray over it. Psalm 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
Our eyes will be opened. Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Our hearts will be stirred. Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
Our minds will be enlightened. Psalm 119:73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
Ponder it. Psalm 119:15 will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
Psalm 119:147-148 prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. 148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
When reading the Bible, remember that it contains many different forms of speech: see poetry as poetry, prophecy as prophecy, precept as precept, promise as promise, and proverb as proverb. The Bible is to be interpreted both figuratively and literally. When you read symbolism in the Bible, find out what the symbol stands for and then literally apply it. Ask these questions when studying the Bible:
Is there a promise to claim?
Is there a lesson to learn?
Is there a blessing to enjoy?
Is there a command to obey?
Is there a sin to avoid?
Is there a new thought to carry with me?
When studying the Scriptures: read it through, think it clear, write it down, pray it in, live it out, and pass it on.
Preserve it. Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Memorize the Scriptures. Memory comes with concentration, motivation, and use.
RUDYARD KIPLING'S NOVEL "Kim" is the story of an Irish orphan boy brought up in India. To train him for the Secret Service the British army sent him to the home of Lurgan Sahib, a mysterious character skilled in the art of hypnosis. Lurgan put Kim in a trance, gave him an earthen jar and ordered him to throw it on the floor. The jar broke into fifty pieces. 'Look at it,' whispered Lurgan, 'it shall come to life again, piece by piece.' Kim could not turn his head. The jar, smashed before his eyes, seemed to be coming together. 'Look, it's coming to shape,' Lurgan purred. As Kim shook himself, trying to resist the hypnotic spell, his mind took refuge in a truth that he knew ... the multiplication table. 'It's coming into shape,' Lurgan repeated. 'Two times three is six,' Kim said to himself, 'and three times three is nine, and four times three is twelve.' Kim clung desperately to the repetition of what was true. The shadow outline of the jar cleared like a mist lifting. 'Look, it's coming into shape.' 'No, it is smashed,' Kim gasped, free from the spell that had almost engulfed his mind.
See how Kim saved himself? He clung to the truths which he knew were true-a simple multiplication table. No matter what illusions threatened to swamp his mind, these things were true and sound; nothing could change them. That is what the Psalmist did, and that is what we must do when our minds are confused and our lives are shattered by suffering and evil, and everything about us seems to challenge all that we have ever believed. We can know and cling to the eternal word of truth. The word will stand by us and give our lives a cohesion and a meaning which no pain and suffering can ever destroy.
C.S. LEWIS WRITES: 'There are many rival directions for living, as the pagan cultures all round us show. The word however is truth and in it we find the real, correct, and stable well-grounded direction for living.'
Psalm 119 is one of the most interesting of all the Psalms. It is by far the longest Psalm, consisting of 176 verses. God is mentioned in every verse. The Psalm is presented in the form of an acrostic. It consists of 22 stanzas, each consisting of 8 verses, and each emphasizing in order, a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse in each stanza begins with the letter of the of the alphabet to which the stanza is related.
For example, the stanza before us, verses 49-56, is related to the 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is Zain. Each of the 8 verses in this stanza begin with the letter Zain. No wonder this Psalm has been called, "The Alphabet of Divine Love."
No one knows for sure who wrote this Psalm, yet it obvious that it was written during a time of suffering. The Psalmist mentions his suffering in 66 verses of the Psalm. In our text, in verse 55, he speaks of his suffering as being in the night. The writer of this Psalm in going through one of those "night seasons" of the Christian life. It is a time of darkness in his life. The primary theme of the Psalm is God's Word which is referred to in 173 of its 176 verses. The Psalmist uses eight synonyms for the Word of God:
· Commandment occurs 22 times.
· Judgments - 19 times.
· Law - 25 times.
· Precepts - 21 times.
· Saying - 19 times.
· Statutes - 22 times.
· Testimonies - 9 times.
· Way - 13 times.
· Word - 24 times.
Mike Yaconelli wrote in The Wittenburg Door: "I live in a small, rural community. There are lots of cattle ranches around here, and, every once in a while, a cow wanders off and gets lost ... Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, 'Well, the cow starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.'" Christians can nibble themselves away from the fold moving from a tuft of activity here to a tuft of interesting doctrine over there, never noticing how far they have strayed from the truth
The word must be put into practice ... like using an instruction manual. When we have experienced the reality of God's presence, truth, and power in difficult circumstances, we will never forget it. We may read it, learn it, repeat it, and think we have it, and yet it may slip out of our minds; but if it has once given us life or renewed that life, there is no fear of its failing from our recollection. Experience teaches, and teaches effectively. How wonderful to have the word written on our heart with the pen of experience. It allows us to take risks that otherwise might be impossible for us to do. When we see the reality with which we can trust God we are much more confident. 'Consider carefully what you hear...With the measure you use, it will be measured to you-and even more.' (MARK 4:24)
The more you use the word the more powerful it becomes as a life force. The word of God must be second nature to us and it will impact our lives with eternal consequences. The written word will continue to touch lives. It has tremendous power.
Many people have risked their lives to own a copy of the word that we take so much for granted. In the 1930's Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers. In Stavropol, Russia this order was carried out with a vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated and multitudes of believers were sent to - prison camps - where most died for being enemies of the state. Last year a team of Christians were working in the city. When they had difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow, someone mentioned the existence of a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin's day.
After much prayer by the team, one member finally got up the courage to go to the warehouse and ask the officials if the Bibles were still there. Sure enough, they were. Then the officials said the Bibles could be distributed to the people of Stavropol. The next day the team returned with a truck and several Russian people to help load the Bibles. One helper was a young man-a skeptical, hostile, agnostic student, who had come only for the day's wages. As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared. Eventually they found him in a corner of the warehouse, weeping.
He had slipped away, hoping to quietly take a Bible for himself. What he found shook him to the core. The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It had been her personal Bible! Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in that warehouse, he stole the one belonging to his grandmother - a woman persecuted for her faith all her life.
The word has eternal consequences. Just as the grandmother was transformed through the word, so was the grandson. Transformation is possible for all of us and will continue as the Holy Spirit speaks to us.
Martin Luther wrote 60,000 pages yet hoped "all my books would disappear and the Holy Scriptures alone be read." "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me, it has feet, it runs to me; it has hands it lays hold of me." "A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or cardinal without it."
Plato. . . compares men who have never tried to face the truth to prisoners in a deep underground cavern, who have been so chained. . . that they cannot turn their heads. In front of them is the rocky wall of their prisonhouse. Behind them and above them is a causeway, on which fires are burning, and along this causeway pass wayfarers singing and conversing and bearing burdens, whose shadows are thrown by the firelight on the cavern wall, and whose voices are reflected back from it. The imprisoned denizens of the dark cave, seeing only these flickering shadows, take them for substance and realities; and hearing only these vague echoes, take them for songs and voices.
Imprisoned in self-chosen darkness, steeped in emptinesses, how few among living men even care for that wisdom which consists in seeing the things that are, and seeing them as they arel Let a man but once catch a glimpse of the true light and he learns utterly to despise the dim rushlight of this world's tinseled stage. Let one ray out of eternity shine down upon him, and for him the world and the things of the world shrivel into insignificance.