This week’s sermon looks at ‘The holy Bible & the holy Believer’, with preaching from Chris Hughes.
The shortest verse (John 11 v 35) in the bible is famous for having only 2 words; the longest chapter in the Bible (Psalm 119) has 176 verses and a lot more than two words! Today we are only going to consider verses 9 – 16, so no need to panic! They begin with a question – “How can a young man keep his way pure?” The answer given is – “by living according to your word.” But how is this achieved? By cultivating 4 attitudes towards the word of God.
1 – Hungering for the Word of God.
Note the hunger of the Psalmist for the Word of God that he might remain pure – “I seek you with all my heart” (v 10); “Teach me your decrees” (v 12; “I will not neglect your word” (v 16.)
If you are hungry for the Word of God, then this will manifest itself in you being committed to 3 things: –
A – Personal Bible Reading – You will read the Bible on a daily basis.
B – Group Bible Study – You will be a member of a small group.
C – Public Worship – You will attend a church where the Word of God is publicly
read and expounded (1 Timothy 4 v 13.)
2 – Holding the Word of God.
Note how the Psalmist holds onto the Word of God – “with my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth” (v 13); “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways” (v 15.)
You hold onto the Word of God by engaging in 2 important disciplines: –
A – Remembering – You will be committed to learning Bible verses.
B – Reflecting – You will meditate (Psalm 119 v 97) on those verses by way of focused thinking.
3 – Hiding the Word of God.
Notice where, and for what reason, the Psalmist does this – “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (v 11.)
You allow the Word of God to take up residence (Colossians 3 v 16) in your heart that it might act in a restraining capacity when it comes to the temptation to sin; being mindful that although sin does have social and relational consequences, ultimately all sin is against God (Psalm 51 v 4.)
4 – Heeding the Word of God.
Notice the Psalmist’s commitment to obedience – “by living according to your word” (v 9); “I rejoice in following your statutes” (v 15.)
You heed the Word of God by implementing what it says (Matthew 7 v 21 & 26; John 13v 17.) There must always be a personal application, an action strep to be taken that will result in rejoicing.
Challenge – Jesus once prayed for his disciples – “sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth” (John 17 v 17.) When we HUNGER after and HOLD, HIDE and HEED the Word of God, then we will be kept pure. Are you cultivating these 4 attitudes?
1 – Three indicators were offered of a spiritually hungry Christian. Are you committed to all three? If not, what needs to change?
2 – Memorise and meditate on 2 Bible verses of your choosing this week?
3 – What difference does it make to your attitude to sinning when you know that ultimately all sin is against God?
Title: The holy Bible & the holy Believer
Reading: Psalm 119 v 9 – 16
Preacher: Chris Hughes