God’s word, the Bible, is essential to our spiritual growth and to our understanding of our identity in Christ.
Psalm 119 gives many examples how we can use the Bible.
- sing the word (172)
- speak the word (13, 46, 79)
- study the word (15, 48, 97, 148)
- store up the word (11, 93, 141)
- obey the word (8, 44, 57, 129, 145, 167)
- praise God for the word (7, 62, 164, 171)
- pray that God would act according to his word (58, 121-23, 147, 149-52, 153-60)
How many of these are you doing? How often? These are the best indicators of what we really believe and feel about the Word.
Faith is about taking action in the moment, trusting God to guide you–not waiting for miracles to arrive fully formed.
God’s will for our lives is often revealed to us in retrospect. We take action and then look back and see how everything came together…how this person crossing our paths led to this happening, and so forth.
God’s will for us is so immense and complex that it could never be revealed to us in an e-mail. We must go out and meet it!
The Sabbath isn’t a day; it’s a person. The Sabbath is Jesus. He’s your REST.
Jesus never did any work to be accepted. Jesus did all His work BECAUSE He was accepted. He wants you to enter that rest by affirming that the Father loves you in Jesus Christ, who died for the forgiveness of your sins, including all the ways you have lived without rest and have gone to the wrong places to find rest. Jesus died so that you could rest in His work on your behalf, knowing the Father says over you in Jesus, “This is my beloved child with who I am pleased.”
Our busy-ness masks what it means to be productive. Productivity isn’t about “doing more” or even about “accomplishments.”
Does a tree “accomplish” bearing fruit? Or is the fruit merely a manifestation of what was inside the tree all along?
Fruit comes in due time, looks different in different stages, and is good to behold and eat.
Are our deeds–those produced by busy-ness–the same?
1. I ought to delight in it (vs. 14, 24, 47, 70, 77). It is sweet like honey (vs. 10b), the joy of his heart (vs. 111), and positively wonderful (vs. 129). The Bible can be dull at times, but taken as a whole it is the greatest story ever told, and those who know it best are usually those who delight in it the most.
2. I ought to desire it (vs. 5, 10, 17, 20, 40, 131). The psalmist so desired the Word of God that he considered suffering to be a blessing in his life if it helped him become more obedient to God’s commands.
3. We ought to depend on it. We are desperate for the encouragement found in God’s promises and rules (vs. 50, 52).
What we believe and feel about the Word of God are absolutely crucial, if for no other reason than that they should mirror what we believe and feel about Jesus. Jesus believed unequivocally all that was written in the Scriptures. If we are to be his disciples, we should do the same.
Read Psalm 119
1. God’s Word says what is true (vs. 42, 142). In a world full of fake news, airbrushed photos, and contrived social media posts, we can know what God’s word is entirely and always true. It’s firmly fixed in the heavens; it doesn’t change (vs. 89). There’s no limit to its perfection; nothing in it is corrupt (vs. 96).
2. God’s Word demands what is right (vs. 75, 86, 128). God does not lay down arbitrary rules. He does not give orders so that we might be miserable. His demands are always noble, always just, and always righteous.
3. God’s Word provides what is good (vs. 1-2, 6, 9, 24, 28, 43). It provides wisdom (vs. 98-100). As the people of God, we believe the word of God can be trusted in every way to speak what is true into everyday life.
Many people want to grow spiritually without losing their independence to a church. That’s why I often hear, “I like Jesus, but not Christianity or churches.” Sometimes they’ve had bad experiences with churches. These people, for the most part, do want a relationship with Jesus, just not His Body or His Bride (2 metaphors that God uses for the church).
Sometimes this is understandable. I hear horror stories all the time that make me cringe and had I experienced them I, too, would be hesitant to get too involved with a church again. Some churches are unpleasant. hey are filled with judgmental, self-righteous people. Yet, staying away, is just another form of self-righteousness.
Besides, there is no way you can grow spiritually apart from a deep involvement in a faith community. You can’t live the Christian life to its fullest potential without a family of believers for love and accountability. You can’t get to know Jesus deeper if you want nothing to do with His Body or His Bride.
Would you want to get close to someone who didn’t like you or your spouse?