Foundations: What Every Christian Ought to KnowApril 3-7
Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,– Psalm 119:1-2 (ESV)
H. A. Ironside told of visiting a godly Irishman, Andrew Frazer, who had come to southern California to recover from a serious illness. Though quite weak, he opened his worn Bible and began expounding the deep truths of God in a way that Ironside had never heard before. Ironside was so moved by Frazer’s words that he asked him, “Where did you get these things? Could you tell me where I could find a book that would open them up to me? Did you learn them in some seminary or college?” The sickly man gave an answer that Ironside said he would never forget. “My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my open Bible before me, I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”
Psalm 119 describes the blessings of living your life based on the Word of God. The psalmist believed understanding the Bible started with giving your “whole heart” toward seeking God. A heart that longs for God always leads to a heart that longs to hear from Him through His Word.
Pastor Jim asked, “Why do you think some people have such a hard time understanding God’s Word?” How would you answer that question? Do you have the desire to dig in for a better understanding of the Bible?
Praise God for providing you with His Word. Ask God to grow your desire to know Him and to know His Word on a deeper level.
The Unique Nature of the Bible
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. – Psalm 119:18 (ESV)
The inspiration of the Bible is seen in its unique survival. All through history it has been a hated book for certain people because of its claim to be the word of the living God. But in spite of all attempts at times by emperors, dictators, and totalitarian governments to destroy it by burning, confiscation, and the imprisonment and persecution of those who read it and preach it, all such attempts have miserably failed-—this remarkable book is still with us and is as widely dispersed as ever.
During the Stalin era in Russia, the Marxist government derided the Bible as a book full of legends, myths, and old wives’ tales. It even established an anti-Bible museum in Moscow to try and convince the people. Yet for all their derision, the authorities were so desperately afraid that people would read it and believe it, that they put them in prison and in labor camps for doing so. Why? Because they knew that this unique book had the power to change people’s lives (Williams, P.)
The Bible is unlike any other book in the history of the world. The Bible can change your life in a way that no other book in the world can change your life. The Psalmist made a simple request that God would open His eyes to see the wonderful things in the Bible.
What are a few things you find wonderful in the pages of Scripture? How do you believe the Bible surpasses any other book ever written?
Praise God for the beauty of His Word. Ask God to open your eyes to a greater understanding of the spiritual truths found in the Bible.
God Inspired the Bible
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
The story is told about a young boy named Timothy who was planning to give his grandmother a Bible for Christmas. He wanted to write something special on the flyleaf but wasn’t sure what to say. So he decided to copy what he had seen in a book his father had received from a friend. Christmas morning came and Grandmother opened her gift. She was not only pleased to receive the Bible, but she was amused by the inscription Timothy had put in it. It read: “To Grandma, with compliments of the author.”
Even though that boy was unaware of it, he had suggested a unique fact about the Bible. It came to us from its Author — God. Knowing who wrote a book often determines whether we’ll pick it up and read it. The Bible, with its divine origin, not only ought to be read, but it demands our respect, our trust, and our obedience. It comes “with compliments of the Author.” (R De Haan) (Our Daily Bread)
“Inspiration of God” means the Bible was divinely breathed. God breathed it “all” without error. According to 2 Timothy 2 3:16, the Bible teaches us what is right, that is doctrine. The Bible teaches us what is not right, that’s reproof. The Bible teaches us how to get right, that’s correction. And the Bible teaches us how to stay right, that’s instruction in righteousness.
When you open up the Bible it is like having a private conversation with its Divine author. If you could sit alone with God, what would you ask Him about His Word?
Praise God as the greatest author of all time and personally breathing His Words into writing. Ask God to help you profit from the doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction from the Bible.
The Ultimate Value of the Bible
“I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” Psalm 119:162 (ESV)
A story was told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. “I couldn’t read it,” the friend explained. “Somebody named Guten-something had printed it.” “Not Gutenberg!” the book lover exclaimed in horror. “That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million dollars!” His friend was unimpressed. “Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German.”
Martin Luther was the father of the protestant revolution and if you found a copy of his personal Bible it would be worth millions. The psalmist uses the illustration of finding a great treasure to describe the value of the Bible. However, the value of God’s Word is far greater than any dollar amount. The value of the Bible has eternal value.
What is your most valuable possession? Why is the Bible even more valuable? Pastor Jim taught we will find great value in the Bible when we read it daily, study it regularly, memorize it consistently, and obey it completely.
Thank God for allowing you to find the treasure of a relationship with Him and the riches of His Word. Ask God to help you not take for granted the treasure you have in Him and His Word.
The Urgent Message of the Bible
Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Psalm 119:89 (ESV)
The story is told of a South Sea Islander who proudly displayed his Bible to a G.I. during WW II. He had received it as a present from a missionary sometime before. The soldier said, “Oh, we’ve outgrown that sort of thing like the Bible.” The native. who had been a Cannibal before he was saved, simply smiled back and said, “Well, it’s a good thing we haven’t, because if it weren’t for this Book……..you would be our evening meal!”
Pastor Jim said the Bible is the difference between life and death. The Bible is the difference between Heaven and Hell. The Bible not only affects our daily living it affects our eternal destination.
Pastor Jim asked, “What is the most urgent message today?” How do you think non-Christians would answer that question? How do you think the Bible answers that question?
Thank God for the certainty His Word gives us about our place in Heaven when we come to Jesus in faith and repentance.