In a world, where entertainment is always at our finger tips, it can be hard to maintain the daily habit of reading the Bible. The Bible takes work to read and social media is so easy and fun. You can literally scroll all day long and still have more to see.
But God’s word is a treasure!
Psalm 119:1 says:
Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
The Bible says that those who walk in the law of the Lord are blessed.
I know for some they might replace the word blessed with…
But the one who follows God’s word — knows that this is not the case!
The word blessed also means happy.
Sin is fun for a season – but that fun eventually runs out. The result of sin is a feeling of separation from God. And being separated from God – in the end – leads to emptiness, a lack of purpose and an eternity separated from all of God’s goodness. The enemy lies to us and tells us that God’s way is boring, but we must reject those lies – those who follow God’s word will be blessed.
Did you know that the book of Psalms is the longest book of the Bible?
This shows us how important worship and praise is to the Lord.
Today I want to take a look at the longest Psalm, which also happens to be the longest chapter in the Bible. That Psalm is Psalm 119.
The theme of the longest chapter, in the longest book of the Bible is…loving God’s word.
Psalm 119 is believed to be written by King David and it is a form of poetry, written in an acrostic style. It was written using the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the 22 stanzas, begins with a different letter and each stanza is 8 verses in length.
Psalm 119:2-4 says:
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
What must we do to be blessed?
1.) Keep God’s testimonies. (v.2)
Don’t just read God’s Word – keep it.
2.) Seek God with your whole heart. (v.2)
Don’t just listen to God’s word – but really work to seek God in prayer, worship, and the reading of his word.
3.) Walk in God’s ways. (v.3)
Don’t just pray, worship and read God’s word – but walk in God’s ways – apply it to your daily life.
4.) Keep his commands diligently. (v.4)
Don’t just apply God’s word in some situations, but work diligently to obey God’s commands all of the time.
It’s important to note that it is God’s word that we are to seek diligently to follow – not man made rules and legalism. Sometimes people in the church like to add their own convictions to God’s commands and put those on other believers. We each should follow our own convictions and if the Bible does not specifically say it – we should not feel bound to following man made rules nor should we put that heavy burden onto other believers.
Psalms 119:5-8 says:
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!
The struggle is real.
While we know that we will be blessed for obeying God’s word- the reality is – the struggle is real. The Psalmist prayed and asked the Lord to help him remain steadfast. We too need to pray and ask the Lord to help us.
Also, we need to be learners. We don’t automatically know what God wants from us – that is why we need to be in his word daily, so we can learn his righteous ways and then keep them.
David said, “Do not utterly forsake me!” While his desire was to obey God, he knew he was unable to do it perfectly. Jesus was the only perfect man to live and so all of God’s commands eventually point to Christ and our need for salvation and his forgiveness for our sins.
That is the beauty of grace.
We do not have to live perfectly because Jesus did that for us and then died on the cross for our sins – all we must do is repent and believe.
We are so loved!
Psalm 119:9-10 says:
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
How can a young man keep his way pure?
David asks this question, and while it’s important that both young and old and both male and female, all remain pure, young men have an extra challenge that David knew well. Peer pressure, the desire for independence, along with temptation around every corner – can lead to young men falling into sin. The world encourages the young to sow their wild oats, so they can settle down later. But bad habits created at a young age are hard to break.
God’s way is not the way of the world.
God’s word warns against the temptations that stand in the way of young men becoming godly men. When we give into temptation, it becomes easier and easier to continue to give in and soon bad habits are reinforced, and even brain chemistry can be altered. Breaking bad habits is not only difficult but hard to resist once we’ve given in repeatedly. Often times, the only way change comes is through difficult trials, as a result of bad choices.
So, how can we remain pure?
Psalm 119:11 says:
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
David says that he stored up God’s word in his heart, so that he would not sin against God.
Where did he store God’s word?
In his heart.
Where is the heart?
When we read God’s word, the goal should be to take it inside – into our heart and mind. We need to know God’s word even when the Bible is closed, so that when we are faced with temptation, we don’t need to look up a verse. We already know what is right and wrong and we choose to do what is right.
A life that is honoring to God does not happen accidentally.
It takes effort.
One of the best commentaries on the complete Bible is Matthew Henry’s commentary. Matthew’s father challenged him, as a young boy, to read one verse a day from Psalm 119, all year long. This meant that he read this very long Psalm, twice a year. If you have ever read his commentaries, then you know how much Matthew Henry had a deep love for God’s word.
May this be said of us as well, that we are…
women who have a deep love for God’s word.
If that cannot be said of you – take Matthew Henry’s father’s challenge – and begin reading one verse a day, from Psalm 119 – all year long and see how the Lord changes your heart.
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