Since becoming a Christian on Easter Sunday 1977, I have loved the word of God. Lately, though, there has been a sense of urgency about it like never before. My wife has even noticed a difference in me, and we both realize this new hunger for the word happened around the time we saw the Nightline Face-Off on ABC. Watching Carlton Pearson speak such outlandish ideas really stirred my spirit and caused me to look at the Bible in a new light.
I want to share a message with you preached last week at a church here in central Florida at the Lisbon Church of God and again yesterday at Liberty Lighthouse Church of God. It is my belief we need to read and study God’s word now more than ever; we are living in perilous times, and the word of the Lord is our strength in times of trouble. It is our life and we need to hear from God. Let me encourage you to study this powerful book and receive God’s richest blessings.
The Word of God
Lisbon Church of God
Friday, April 17, 2009 am Service
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)
This book I hold in my hand is not the figment of someone’s imagination, nor is it just a book of good stories. It is not a collection of fairy tales and it is not some old, antiquated, worn-out book that no longer has relevance in today’s world. It is the matchless Word of God, written on the pages of history. It is pure, holy, good, powerful, immutable, never ending, always faithful, always right, always on time. It never loses its luster, it never fades nor does it ever fail to satisfy the thirsty soul.
It has healed me, delivered me, given me hope, brought peace to my soul, testified there is a God who loves me, cleansed me, made me whole. Its pages contain good news, victory, romance and the greatest love story ever told. It cannot fail, it cannot lie, it cannot be washed away by public opinion or government regulations. It cannot be destroyed, it shines as a beacon to all who seek its wisdom. It destroys vain thoughts, it guides lost souls to the Cross of Calvary. It is the immutable Word of the one true living God; it cannot fail.
Some men loathe it while others find comfort and peace in its life-giving pages. Some run and hide from the words it speaks, while others embrace every word between the covers. Some have denied the importance of it, while others esteem it to more important than their portion of food. Look at Job 23:12: “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. (Job 23:12, ESV)
What does the Word teach?
- Judges 16 teaches me to flee from the enemy. Look at the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson judged Israel power a special anointing, but Delilah was his downfall. Day by day his soul was vexed by her constant barrage of tormenting accusations. He finally gave in and told her the secret of his incredible power. You know the rest of the story. Church, he should have moved on, but didn’t.
- II Corinthians 6:17 tells me to come out from among the world and be separated unto the Lord.
- Romans 7:7 lets me know what lust is.
- 1 John 2:1 gives me hope. For many people, it is nearly impossible to allow the Lord to minister to their lives. The word of God assures us there is hope. Child of God, quit struggling with guilt, shame and despair. God knows right where you are and will deliver you from sins dark clutches.
What is the primary purpose of God’s word? We need look no further than Dueteronomy 4:9-10 for the answer.
9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’
Look at the two important realities here:
- That people may learn to fear the Lord all their days.
- That they they may teach the word to their children.
Judges 2:10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
Joel 1:3 Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
II Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,  a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
II Timothy 3:15-17 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God  may be competent, equipped for every good work.
There are scores of Christians who believe their lives are done for if they sin. I do not advocate sin, but I do lift up the advocate of our souls – Jesus Christ the Righteous. 1 John 2:1
Psalm 119 is perhaps the most complete portion of scripture regarding the word of God. Look at some of the main points:
It makes us clean – 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
It is to be rejoiced over – 119:14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. NOTE: If we spent half as much time and energy reading the word of God as we care for our wants and desires, we would be better off by far. Too many people care more for their “stuff” than loving God’s eternal word.
It gives light – 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
The following information comes from Matthew Henry’s commentary:
God’s glory, (that is, his goodness to man) appears much in the works of creation, but much more in and by divine revelation. The holy scripture, as it is a rule both of our duty to God and of our expectation from him, is of much greater use and benefit to us than day or night, than the air we breathe in, or the light of the sun. The discoveries made of God by his works might have served if man had retained his integrity; but, to recover him out of his fallen state, another course must be taken; that must be done by the word of God. And here,
I. The psalmist gives an account of the excellent properties and uses of the word of God, in six sentences (Psa_19:7-9), in each of which the name Jehovah is repeated, and no vain repetition, for the law has its authority and all its excellency from the law-maker. Here are six several titles of the word of God, to take in the whole of divine revelation, precepts and promises, and especially the gospel. Here are several good properties of it, which proves its divine original, which recommend it to our affection, and which extol it above all other laws whatsoever. Here are several good effects of the law upon the minds of men, which show what it is designed for, what use we are to make of it, and how wonderful the efficacy of divine grace is, going along with it, and working by it.
The law of the Lord is perfect. It is perfectly free from all corruption, perfectly filled with all good, and perfectly fitted for the end for which it is designed; and it will make the man of God perfect, 2Ti_3:17. Nothing is to be added to it nor taken from it. It is of use to convert the soul, to bring us back to ourselves, to our God, to our duty; for it shows us our sinfulness and misery in our departures from God and the indispensable necessity of our return to him.
The testimony of the Lord (which witnesses for him to us) is sure, incontestably and inviolably sure, what we may give credit to, may rely upon, and may be confident it will not deceive us. It is a sure discovery of the divine truth, a sure direction in the way of duty. It is a sure foundation of living comforts and a sure foundation of lasting hopes. It is of use to make us wise, wise to salvation, 2Ti_3:15. It will give us an insight into things divine and a foresight of things to come. It will employ us in the best work and secure to us our true interests. It will make even the simple (poor contrivers as they may be for the present world) wise for their souls and eternity. Those that are humbly simple, sensible of their own folly and willing to be taught, shall be made wise by the word of God, Psa_25:9.
The statutes of the Lord (enacted by his authority, and binding on all wherever they come) are right, exactly agreeing with the eternal rules and principles of good and evil, that is, with the right reason of man and the right counsels of God. All God’s precepts, concerning all things, are right (Psa_119:128), just as they should be; and they will set us to rights if we receive them and submit to them; and, because they are right, they rejoice the heart. The law, as we see it in the hands of Christ, gives cause for joy; and, when it is written in our hearts, it lays a foundation for everlasting joy, by restoring us to our right mind.
The commandment of the Lord is pure; it is clear, without darkness; it is clean, without dross and defilement. It is itself purified from all alloy, and is purifying to those that receive and embrace it. It is the ordinary means which the Spirit uses in enlightening the eyes; it brings us to a sight and sense of our sin and misery, and directs us in the way of duty.
The fear of the Lord (true religion and godliness prescribed in the word, reigning in the heart, and practised in the life) is clean, clean itself, and will make us clean (Joh_15:3); it will cleanse our way, Psa_119:9. And it endureth for ever; it is of perpetual obligation and can never be repealed. The ceremonial law is long since done away, but the law concerning the fear of God is ever the same. Time will not alter the nature of moral good and evil.
The judgments of the Lord (all his precepts, which are framed in infinite wisdom) are true; they are grounded upon the most sacred and unquestionable truths; they are righteous, all consonant to natural equity; and they are so altogether: there is no unrighteousness in any of them, but they are all of a piece.
II. He expresses the great value he had for the word of God, and the great advantage he had, and hoped to have, from it, Psa_19:10, Psa_19:11.
1. See how highly he prized the commandments of God. It is the character of all good people that they prefer their religion and the word of God, (1.) Far before all the wealth of the world. It is more desirable than gold, than fine gold, than much fine gold. Gold is of the earth, earthly; but grace is the image of the heavenly. Gold is only for the body and the concerns of time; but grace is for the soul and the concerns of eternity. (2.) Far before all pleasures and delights of sense. The word of God, received by faith, is sweet to the soul, sweeter than honey and the honey comb. The pleasures of sense are the delight of brutes, and therefore debase the great soul of man; the pleasures of religion are the delight of angels, and exalt the soul. The pleasures of sense are deceitful, will soon surfeit, and yet never satisfy; but those of religion are substantial and satisfying, and there is no danger of exceeding in them.
2. See what use he made of the precepts of God’s word: By them is thy servant warned. The word of God is a word of warning to the children of men; it warns us of the duty we are to do, the dangers we are to avoid, and the deluge we are to prepare for, Eze_3:17; Eze_33:7. It warns the wicked not to go on in his wicked way, and warns the righteous not to turn from his good way. All that are indeed God’s servants take this warning.
3. See what advantage he promised himself by his obedience to God’s precepts: In keeping them there is great reward. Those who make conscience of their duty will not only be no losers by it, but unspeakable gainers. There is a reward, not only after keeping, but in keeping, God’s commandments, a present great reward of obedience. Religion is health and honour; it is peace and pleasure; it will make our comforts sweet and our crosses easy, life truly valuable and death itself truly desirable.