I wrote a new prayer guide for our church last week and one of the steps in it requires the person praying to read the Word, out-loud, as prayer. I prayed this guideline several times with our people and each time, when I got to this step, I opened the Bible to Psalm 119. This amazing chapter (longest in the Bible) has one overwhelming theme: GOD’S WORD!
As the chapter begins, we are greeted by two familiar verses, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word… I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (v. 9,11).
Here’s a fact: In order to live for God, to serve God, and to know God - I MUST spend time with the Word of God. More and more time. I want to invite you to take a deeper look at this amazing psalm. Here’s some things to assist your study:
Ok, so as we approach the study of Psalm 119, I think it’s helpful to understand how it’s written. It’s extremely organized and methodical in it’s approach – something I, personally, find intriguing to say the least… This amazing chapter is divided into 22 sections of 8 verses each. Each section has a title, such as ”Aleph,” “Beth,” “Gimel,” “Daleth,” and so on. These titles are actually not words; rather, they are the letters that make up the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters which explains why Psalm 119 has 22 sections. Every verse of each section of this song begins with the same Hebrew letter. In other words, all 8 verses of the ”Aleph” section begin with “Aleph,” and all 8 verses of the “Daleth” section begin with “Daleth.”
From beginning to end, Psalm 119 is about the Word of God. There are only a few verses in the entire psalm that fail to mention the Bible. The psalmist may not use the word Bible but he uses many other words that mean the same thing: word, law, ways, paths, precepts, testimonies, judgments, statues, commandments, decrees, and ordinances.
Wouldn’t it be great IF that could be said of you (me): “all about the Word of God”
I travel all across the country and world to speak at conventions, camps, services, conferences, etc… in fact, I’m flying to Portland, Maine this Friday to speak at a Youth Leader Conference for Northern New England. I love seeing young people changed and leaders equipped! But, one of the difficult realities for me to deal with is the fact that each person who attends these events usually returns home with a spiritual buzz but no stamina to keep it going. Experiences like these events are great, awesome times… Yet, the excitement and enthusiasm generated by a camp, convention, conference or retreat eventually dies away and many are left with an emotional hangover.
When it comes right down to it, we must realize that, our spiritual life starves without the Word.
The feeling must surrender to the faith and this comes from hearing the Word of God. A life in His Word, accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s power, has the power to keep you moving upward & onward.
Please … please, listen to me here! All other attempts to gain spiritual growth, to reach and stay on a spiritual plateau lead to frustration. Only a daily dose of the Word of God can keep us excited and enthusiastic in the faith. We rely far too much on: worship music, special speakers, amazing authors, and conferences. Those things are only meant to enhance a life already alive in GOD’S WORD.
Get into the Bible: Go deeper. Read slower. Listen. Take notes. Memorize. Share it with others.
IT’S ALIVE – and when you’re IN it, SO ARE YOU!
… don’t just read it, NEED IT!