For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Thursday, November 12, 2020

36 Encouragements To Read, Study, Meditate On, Obey, And Delight In God's Holy Word

Psalm 119:20: My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

The point of this sermon is to convince your mind and excite your heart about the truthfulness, beauty, power, and sufficiency of God’s Word so that your will might be moved and encouraged to pursue God in His Word during the year 2021 like you have never pursued Him before! And, if you’ve not been pursuing God in His Word as you should, then another point of this sermon is to tan your hide (convict of sin) so that you might repent and begin to pursue God in His Word as you should.

Ligon Duncan: This Psalm shows us both why we should value God’s Word & how we should value God’s Word.

We need new hearts so God’s Word will not be burdensome: Ezekiel 36:26-27; Jeremiah 31:33

1. Believers Are Holy, Blameless, And Blessed To The Degree That They Obey God’s Word

Psalm 119:1: Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!

Psalm 119:9: How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

2. Believers Desire To Obey God’s Word

Psalm 119:5: Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!

Psalm 119:11: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

3. The Desire Believers Have For God And For His Word Cannot Be Separated

Psalm 119:2-3: Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

Psalm 119:7: I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.

Psalm 119:10: With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!

4. Believers Desire And Delight In God’s Word

Psalm 119:20: My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

Psalm 119:14: In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.

Psalm 119:72: The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Psalm 119:103: How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:24: Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

Psalm 119:131: I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.

Psalm 119:162: I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

Psalm 146:3-10: Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!

Proverbs 21:1: The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

5. Believers Tell Others God’s Word

Psalm 119:13: With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.

John Calvin: In this verse he declares that the law of God was not only deeply engraven on his own heart, but that it was his earnest and strenuous endeavor to gain over many of his fellow-disciples into subjection to God.

Evangelism: Declaring the Gospel to lost sinners.

Discipleship: Helping Christians grow in the knowledge of God and holiness and Christ-likeness.

Our Children: Please teach your children the Gospel and the Bible. Catechism!

6. Believers Focus On God’s Word In Times Of Trouble

Psalm 119:95: The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.

Isaiah 40:15-18, 21-23: Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? . . . Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

7. Believers Are Certain Of The Absolute Perfection And Eternal Nature Of God’s Word

Psalm 119:96: I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

John Collins: The Lord’s broad commandment has no limit to its perfection, because it partakes of God’s own limitless perfection.

Psalm 119:89: Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

Luke 21:33: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

8. Believers Get Life From God’s Word

Psalm 119:25: My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!

Spurgeon: it expresses the spiritual change by which a child of Adam becomes a child of God.

1 Peter 1:23: you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God

9. Believers Get Strength From God Through God’s Word

Psalm 119:28: My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!

10. Believers Avoid False Teaching By Knowing God’s Word

Psalm 119:29: Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!

11. God Enables Believers To Understand And Obey His Word

Psalm 119:33-36: Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

12. Believers Trust In God’s Word

Psalm 119:41-43: Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.

13. Believers Obey God From The Heart, Persevere, And Endure With The Help Of God’s Word

Psalm 119:112: I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Psalm 119:44: I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.

14. Believers Experience Freedom Through God’s Word

Psalm 119:45: I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Ligon Duncan: True freedom is being who God made you to be and doing what God tells you to do.

15. Believers Love And Meditate On God’s Word

Psalm 119:47-48: I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Psalm 119:97: Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Spurgeon: O how love I thy law! It is a note of exclamation. He loves so much that he must express his love, and in making the attempt he perceives that it is inexpressible - and therefore cries, "O how I love!" We not only reverence but love the law, we obey it out of love, and even when it chides us for disobedience we love it none the less. The law is God's law, and therefore it is our love. We love it for its holiness, and pine to be holy; we love it for its wisdom, and study to be wise; we love it for its perfection, and long to be perfect. Those who know the power of the gospel perceive an infinite loveliness in the law as they see it fulfilled and embodied in Christ Jesus. It is my meditation all the day. This was both the effect of his love and the cause of it. He meditated in God's word because he loved it, and then loved it the more because he meditated in it. He could not have enough of it, so ardently did he love it: all the day was not too long for his converse with it. His main prayer, his noonday thought, his evensong were all out of Holy Writ; yea, in his worldly business he still kept his mind saturated with the law of the Lord. It is said of some men that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God's word. Familiarity with the word of God breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity. When "thy law," and "my meditation" are together all the day, the day grows holy, devout, and happy, and the heart lives with God. [The Psalmist] turned away from all else; for in the preceding verse he tells us that he had seen an end of all perfection; but he turned in unto the law and tarried there the whole day of his life on earth, growing henceforth wiser and holier even sick of love, as the church saith, she was sick of love towards Christ: so seemeth the prophet to be sick of love towards the word of God.

16. Believers Are Comforted By God’s Word

Psalm 119:52: When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD.

Isaiah 26:3: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

17. Believers Sing God’s Word

Psalm 119:54: Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.

Psalm 119:171-172: My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes. My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.

18. The Delight Believers Have In God Motivates Them To Obey God’s Word

Psalm 119:57: The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words.

19. God’s Word Moves And Motivates Believers To Praise God

Psalm 119:62: At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules.

Psalm 119:164: Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.

20. Believers Call Affliction And Suffering Good Because It Causes Them To Learn God’s Word

Psalm 119:71: It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

Spurgeon: If we would be scholars, we must be sufferers.

21. Believers Seek God’s Word

Psalm 119:45: I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.

Psalm 119:94: I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.

22. God’s Word Makes Believers Wise

Psalm 119:98-100: Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.

Spurgeon: Disciples of Christ who sit at his feet are often better skilled in divine things than doctors of divinity. For thy testimonies are my meditation. This is the best mode of acquiring understanding. We may hear the wisest teachers and remain fools, but if we meditate upon the sacred word we must become wise. There is more wisdom in the testimonies of the Lord than in all the teachings of men if they were all gathered into one vast library. The one book outweighs all the rest.

Acts 4:13: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

23. God’s Word Motivates Believers To Turn From Evil

Psalm 119:101: I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.

D. A. Carson: Pastor was committing adultery; reading God’s Word convicted him; he confessed and resigned

John Piper's Mom: She wrote in his Bible: "This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book."

24. God’s Word Shows Believers How To Live

Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

25. Believers Remember God’s Word, Even In The Face Of Death

Psalm 119:109: I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.

Spurgeon: It is a special proof of grace when nothing can drive truth out of our thoughts, or holiness out of our lives. If we remember the law even when death stares us in the face, we may be well assured that the Lord is remembering us.

26. God’s Word Is The Heritage And Joy Of Believers’ Hearts

Psalm 119:111: Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.

John Calvin: The law of God was more precious to him than all the pleasures, riches, and possessions of the world.

27. Believers Love God’s Word Because It Promises Judgment And Justice

Psalm 119:119: All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies.

28. Believers Tremble At God’s Word

Psalm 119:120: My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.

Isaiah 66:2: All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

29. Believers Are Sad When Others Don’t Obey God’s Word

Psalm 119:136: My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

30. Believers Know And Believe Everything In God’s Word Is Righteous, Good, And True

Psalm 119:137-138: Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules. 138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.

Psalm 119:151: But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.

Psalm 119:160: The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

31. Believers Make Pursuing God In His Word A Priority In Their Lives

Psalm 119:148: My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.

32. Believers Stand In Awe Of God’s Word

Psalm 119:161: Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.

Gideon Bibles: The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, & the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, & its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, & practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, & comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword & the Christian’s charter. Here too, Heaven is opened & the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, & the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, & guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, & prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, & a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, & be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, & will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

33. Believers Find Peace And Stability In God’s Word

Psalm 119:165: Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

34. Believers Obey God’s Word And They Obey From The Heart

Psalm 119:166-168: I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments. My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly. I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.

John Calvin: By the word soul, he expresses still more forcibly than before, that he had the doctrine of the law enclosed within the deepest recesses of his heart.

35. Believers Are Helped Through God’s Word

Psalm 119:175: Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.

36. God And His Word Are Worthy For Believers To Suffer And To Even Die For

Psalm 119:69: The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts

Psalm 119:87: They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.

Who is the greatest Man Who ever lived Who died for the sake of God and His Word?

The Word Made Flesh: John 1:1-3, 14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

Christ’s Passion Was God’s Holy Word
To Turn From It Would Be Absurd
He Loved It Did It Spoke It Heard
And Was The Word In Flesh Conferred
Yet Though He Did All Undeterred
God’s Wrath On Him Fell Fully Stirred
He Died Then Stomped On Death The Third
By Faith His Righteousness Transferred
In Him Your Sin Has Been Interred
So Now Like Him You Love The Word
And Trust And Do It As Preferred!

I strongly encourage you to consider and pray about reading the whole Bible each year. Here are two Bible reading plans to consider:

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