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The Word Of God Transforms Us

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2023 1:00 am

The Word Of God Transforms Us

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer

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January 22, 2023 1:00 am

Meditation can bring mysticism or calming exercises to mind. But biblical meditation is how God renews our minds, leading to joyful, productive lives. In this message from Psalm 1, we follow the steps towards the path of blessing. By internalizing God’s Word, we’re transformed to follow the direction God has for us. 

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Skip Heitzig

Choices, we make them every day. We all need guidance on picking the right forks in life's road. The Bible can give us the guidance we need, and it cautions us on the dangers of failing to meditate in the Word of God.

Stay with us. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly service of worship and teaching with Pastor Erwin Lutzer. Today, Dr. Lutzer brings more of a six-part series he's calling Changed by the Word. After our music, we'll turn to Psalm 1 to find out how the Word of God gives us a new mind.

Here now is Dr. Lutzer. Well, in a moment we're going to be hearing God's Word read to us. Would you join me now as we pray together, give ourselves to the Lord, trust Him, the Holy Spirit of God, to work mightily among us as we open our lives to the Holy Spirit and the Word. Father, thank You that we could be together for all these mercies. We are deeply grateful. Now unite our hearts, we pray, to sing Your praises, to hear from Your Word, and may we be blessed, we ask in Jesus' name.

Amen. I invite you to follow along with me in your bulletin as we read together a selection from Psalm 42. Please read aloud with me on the bold print. This is God's Holy Word. As a deer pants for flowing streams, soul pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day, Where is Your God? Why are You cast down, O my soul? And why are You in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock, Why have You forgotten me?

Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Why are You cast down, O my soul? And why are You in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. Oh, Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure. Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I put my hope in Your holy word. I put my hope in Your holy word. Oh, Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure.

Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I put my hope in Your holy word. I put my hope in Your holy word. I have a living hope. I have a living hope. I have a future. I have a future. God has a plan for me. God has a plan for me. Oh, this I'm sure.

Oh, this I'm sure. Oh, Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure.

Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I put my hope in Your holy word. I put my hope in Your holy word. Your word is faithful. My deep in power. God will deliver me.

Oh, this I'm sure. Oh, Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure. Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I put my hope in Your holy word. I put my hope in Your holy word. Oh, Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure.

Jesus, You're my firm foundation. I put my hope in Your holy word. I put my hope in Your holy word. His word changes us.

Amen. Standing on the promises of Christ, my King. Through eternal ages, let His praises ring. Glory in the highest I will shout and sing those I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God, my Savior. Standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the clouds of storms of doubt and fear ascend.

By the naming word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises, standing on the promises, standing on the promises of God, my Savior. Standing on the promises, standing on the promises, I'm standing on the promises of God.

Oh, yes, I'm standing on the promises. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, Hounted in eternity by love's strong form, Overcome the daily with the Spirit's sword, Standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, yes, I'm standing on the promises of God, I say you're standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of God, I cannot fall, Listening every moment to the Spirit's call, Resting in my spirit as my all in all, Standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God, I say you're standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of God, I'm standing on the promises of God, I'm standing on the promises of God. And when the storms are down I'll say, The promises shall be made. Standing on the promises of God, I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of God.

Aren't you glad that we're called to stand on the promises and not just sit on the premises? God has given us exceeding great and precious promises, and indeed we do stand on them. As we pray together today, I will also lead you in the Lord's Prayer, as it is called, even though the Lord would not have prayed it. It's a prayer that he had us pray, but it's published there in your bulletin, and so at the appropriate place I want you to join me as we have the Lord's Prayer together. Our Father, we want to thank you today for your goodness, for your generosity to us in Jesus our Lord. And I want to thank you today, Father, for the faithfulness of your people here at The Moody Church, the hundreds of people that support various ministries that come here committed, who worship with us, who believe with us, who witness with us. And Lord, for that we're thankful. And we want to pray indeed for our continuing ministry and our financial needs, even as we've mentioned it.

Thank you for the many people who are watching online today. We pray that you might bless them. Help them to feel a part of what is happening right here in our sanctuary. And then, Lord, around the world you know the needs of your people. There's persecution, there's heartache, there's all kinds of tests that are being given to your people. Some, Lord, are subject to death, all because they love you.

Would you make them strong for your glory and honor? Lord, we pray for the church worldwide and its advancement. Today, Lord, we pray that you might make us a committed people, that we might know that we represent you in this city, in our various vocations, in our homes, in our ministries.

Do that in and through us, we pray. And now the Lord taught us to pray this. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.

Amen. And as you give, we'll be reminded of the power of God's word. Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, who standeth not in the way of the sinner, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night, day and night, day and night. He shall be like a tree that's planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit and his season. His lethal soul shall never, ever wither, and whatsoever he doeth, shall prosper, prosper, shall prosper, prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chap which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall bury, bury. Praise the crown of all that seems cold. Praise him, all praises hear him call. Praise him of Godly memory most. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen. Perhaps you are aware of the fact that Yogi Berra is known oftentimes for having made very witty statements. One of them was this, that when you come to a fork in the road, take it. Simple fact is that we know that all of life is basically a fork in the road. Every day we are making choices. Some choices are important, others are of lesser importance, and therefore they may not have permanent significance. The choice that I'm going to speak about today has eternal importance and significance.

It is the choice to choose the right path. If your Bibles are open to Psalm 1, and I encourage you to turn to Psalm 1 if you're watching online or if you're listening by way of radio or whatever other means you may be hearing this sermon, would you turn to Psalm 1 if you're in a place where that can be done? Psalm 1 is a psalm in which we see a contrast, a powerful contrast.

It has to do with a choice. Psalm 1 speaks about two men, two paths, and two very different destinies. Let's listen to its words. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season.

Its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Two men, two paths, two very different destinations. There is the path of the righteous. There is the blessed path.

There is also the path of the wicked, and it is a path that leads to destruction. We come to a fork in the road, and we had better take the right path. Now, what I want to do today is to show you how you and I can be transformed by God's word, specifically how we can take the right path, so to speak, and what is involved by that, and therefore, this message could have permanent, eternal implications.

I mean that sincerely. It can have implications for young people and for older people as well as we begin to think about that which is most important. Let's begin by talking about the issue of discernment, and I'm going to speak about steps. Let's use that word, steps, on the way to the path of prosperity and blessing.

What are the steps? The first is simply this, have discernment. What the psalmist speaks about here is being able to say no to wrong ideas, to evil, to the wisdom of the world, and having the courage to be able to say that word no.

Let's read the text. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. What he's saying is that you and I are going to be in an environment where we can be enticed and lured in the wrong way. Here are sinners, here are those who are on the wrong path, and we decide to take a walk with them, and we say to ourselves, I'll walk with them for a little ways, and then I will keep on walking and leave them behind. But we begin the walk, and then the next step is suddenly we stand when they stand.

And finally, we sit where they sit, and we find ourselves amid scoffers leading us astray. The psalmist wants us to understand the progression. There is a progression. First of all, there's association. You walk with them, and then the next thing is you're standing. Now you're identifying with them, association, identification. And finally, they're saying, let's sit down and let's have a beer and let's discuss things, and suddenly you find participation. And what you have is then they begin to introduce you to wrong ideas, and pretty soon you're perhaps into drugs, into all kinds of evil things because of the impact of the influence of your friends.

And there you are. Someday I'm going to preach a message about influence like this, but I need to emphasize right here that what I see in the text is the fact that I have known many good kids raised in fine homes and fine churches who got into the wrong group, and they were influenced because of the tremendous peer pressure, and they ended up going the wrong way, and we say to ourselves, how could that happen? Right here, it explains it. They began to walk, they stood, and then they sat in the council of the wicked and in the seat of scoffers, and they became a part of them and imbibed their values. I've long ago said that the reason that college kids lose their faith often in college is not because of the intellectual arguments.

It's because of peer pressure. And blessed is the person who can say no to the council of the wicked. And by the way, that council comes to us in many ways.

It can come to us through television, it can come to us through the books we read, by the things we see, and of course, most importantly, by the friends whom we adopt. Say no. But you say, but I don't have power to say no.

Where would I find the strength? And that's where I'm going to speak to you now about discipline. And this message could really be summarized on the basis of Romans chapter 12 verse 1. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Psalm 1 tells us how that mind can be renewed. Your mind is very powerful. Your mind, for example, everybody thinks. You say, oh, no, no, I had a roommate one time who didn't.

Well, he maybe didn't think your thoughts, but he did think. In fact, you know, there's some evidence that we think all the time, even when we're sleeping. Sometimes we call them dreams.

I'm sure I told you about the pastor who dreamed he was preaching, and then he woke up and found out he was. So that's a different experience. The simple fact is, this is interesting. Your mind is not matter.

If it were simply calcium and phosphate, we'd have no human responsibility. To put it clearly, your mind isn't just brain. In fact, let me shock you and say, you don't need a brain to think.

Tell that to your teacher tomorrow morning. You don't need a brain to think. Someday you're going to die, and your brain will disintegrate and turn back to earth and to dust, and you'll be more alive, and you'll be thinking more clearly somewhere than you've ever thought before because your mind, your soul is powerful. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.

You are not what you think you are, but what you think you are. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could become spiritual by osmosis? Go to bed at night whenever we wanted to, and during the time when we are sleeping, God is working in our hearts and developing our spirituality. And then, you know, we wake up in the morning, and suddenly we have a heart hot for God, and we're on this path of sanctification.

That is a dream. It's not the way it happens. Discipline. You must be committed to giving God and the Word, as we shall see in a moment, time and energy and focus. That is absolutely essential.

Sorry. Can't happen any other way. The meat and the milk of the Word must enter into your soul. And Jesus made it very clear that if our minds are empty, if they are allowed to be empty, then what happens after that is all kinds of ideas and demons come in, and we ask ourselves the question, how can our soul be strengthened?

How can our mind be renewed? Now, there was a man by the name of George Mueller. George Mueller had orphanages in England, and he decided that he would run them without ever asking for money. That's the way in which God led him. He had hundreds and actually thousands of answers to prayer. I mean, the kids were hungry.

There was no food. People stopped by whom he didn't ask to stop by. If you've ever read a biography of George Mueller, you really ought to. Now, God led him that way. It's not wrong to ask for money. The Apostle Paul asked for money. When it comes to the ministries of Moody Church and children's ministries, I often ask for money.

I like to ask for money that I, of course, have nothing to do with in the sense that I am committed to helping ministries and helping those who are sharing the gospel. But that's the way George Mueller was. But every morning, and I have to summarize here for lack of time, he would get up early. And by the way, discipline involves getting up a little earlier than you do now. You have to prove the power of mind over mattress.

You just need to do that. And he would get up early, and he would pray. For 10 years, he did that. But after he prayed, his thoughts were still anxious. He was thinking about all kinds of things, and his heart was not at peace.

But, you know, he had to go to work, just like you and I have to. And then he learned something. He says, before, my practice for at least 10 years was to give myself to prayer after having dressed in the morning. But now there was a transformation of his thinking. He saw that the most important thing for him was to read God's Word, to meditate on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed. And while meditating on the Word of God, my heart would be brought into experimental communion with God. And then he goes on to say that this transformation, he says, invariably, within a few moments, my soul has been led to confession, thanksgiving, and intercession. And by the way, the next message in this series is going to be on how to use the Word of God when you're praying. And he says, I discovered that as I turned these verses over in my mind, that there was food for my soul. The result is, he says, there was always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession that grew out of it, but my soul was satisfied. Now, what is food for the inner man, he asks? Not prayer, but the Word of God, and here again, not simply the reading of the Word of God so that it passes through our minds as water passes through a pipe, but considering it, pondering it, meditating on it.

Let me ask you something. What is your first responsibility before God? Oh, your first responsibility, you say, is to pray.

It's to do this or to do that. The first responsibility you and I have is to be satisfied with God. When you're satisfied with God, saying no to temptation is pretty easy. When you're satisfied with God, it doesn't matter all the circumstances that swirl around you, because at the end of the day, your soul is satisfied with the Almighty. Something like John Piper, who is kind of famous for having said that God is most glorified in us when we are satisfied in him.

I think I quoted that correctly. How do we get there? We get there through meditation. By the way, you know, there are people who read the Word of God, and we've all done this, and then we close the Bible, and we have no idea what we've read. You know, somebody said, you know, my mind is like a sieve.

Well, okay, I would say this, that even a sieve gets some cleansing when water flows through it. This is the only place I'll ever have the opportunity to tell you this true story. I was on tour when I was a young professor in Canada, and this guy and I, we were in the home of a widow, and she asked whether we wanted tea, and we said yes, and this dear lady, she was so nervous. She was shaking.

Why? I don't know. But what she did is she took the tea leaves, and she put them into the cup, and then she took the hot water and poured it through the strainer into the cup. Are you all following this? Of course, on top of the cup, you have swirling around all of these tea leaves, and we began to laugh because we had had a long day, and have you ever been in a giddy mood when just anything makes you laugh? And we had to cover for ourselves. We didn't want to embarrass her. And then, you know, we strained the tea through our teeth, and, well, yeah, to get the leaves out, and we enjoyed it. But, you know, even that strainer with clear, hot water flowing through was a lot cleaner after she used it that way, than before, I'm sure. So even if nothing sticks, it's still of benefit, but that's not God's will.

The text says that we should meditate in the law of God day and night. D.L. Moody said that whenever he hoed potatoes, he had to put a stake in the ground as to where he had hoed, because he did such a poor job, you couldn't tell the difference. I can identify with D.L. on that point.

Never was a great one for hoeing gardens. And the problem is, that's the way we read God's Word. So the next step, the next step is meditation. In his law, he meditates day and night.

You cannot meditate, unless after you have read God's Word, there is something within your mind that satisfies your soul and will occupy your thoughts all day. Of course, we can't be thinking about God's Word all day. We've got jobs to do.

We've got business that needs to be attended to. But it is amazing how often our minds will go to God's Word throughout a whole day when we begin the day with God and we have spent five, ten minutes, fifteen meditating on the scriptures, which is our first responsibility, that our souls might be happy in God. You say, well, how do you meditate? All that you need to do is to simply ask the text some questions. You know, there I speak about analyzing. You analyze, you say, what does this text tell me about God? Well, let's look at Psalm 1. What does this text tell us about God? Well, it certainly tells us that God is faithful to his people. He blesses those whose hearts are perfect toward him, who meditate in the law of God. That the way of the transgressor is a way of deception because God knows their ways and they are like chaff that the wind blows away. It teaches us about God. Is there a promise to be believed?

Absolutely. If you meditate day and night, you will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. All there is in the text. Is there some encouragement to you? Is there some way in which God has spoken to you? Is there in the text something for which to praise God?

Almost always there is. And next week, when I preach the next message, I'm going to give you some examples, some further examples of how to meditate. You analyze, you personalize. Let me tell you this. Don't ever close the Bible having read it unless there is some food for your soul.

Jesus said, men shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. And you and I have anxious thoughts. We have busy thoughts.

We have sensual thoughts. And as a result of that, we aren't concentrating on the word. And while it may do us some good, very little good until we close the word and say, I have something that will feed me for the day. Now, you know that many of us, and some of you might not know this, here at the church, we are having a challenge that was given out and hundreds of people are listening to the entire New Testament or reading it in 40 days.

How do we integrate this? I mean, I realize that we're already spending maybe 25 minutes a day listening to the word. And some of us, by the way, are caught up. I just wanted to throw that in there. And there's some who aren't caught up, but keep doing it. The fact is, before I begin to listen, I say, Lord, open up my heart that I might behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Give me something. And of course, it's something like trying to take a drink out of a fire hydrant. I realize that because the word just goes floating past you when you listen to it. It's the first time I've ever listened to the scriptures in such a concerted way. But every day, I'm struck with something and it lodges in my mind and I think of it during the day.

Just the impact of God's word, there are phrases, there are verses, some way, some way I am transformed. Now, what you do is you analyze, you personalize, you say, what do I have today from your word, O Lord? And then, very critical, you memorize. Many of us don't memorize scripture the way in which we used to. But verses of scripture will stick in your mind. That is the best way, the very best way to meditate in the law of God day and night is to memorize. It'll be in the back of your mind. And by the way, before you go to bed at night, don't be watching the news because what'll happen is your anxious thoughts will come to the surface and so forth. What you ought to do is to reiterate God's word in your heart before you go to bed and then when you wake up in the morning. Day and night. You say, well, how can it help me during the night?

How can it help me during the day when I'm busy with other things? Well, remember that story about the couple that was visiting in France and they bought a vase. Actually, I think it was a jewelry box. And they were told by the clerk in France that it would glow all night.

They put it in their bedroom and it didn't glow all night. So finally they found someone who could read the instructions and read French. And what the person read was this. It said, put me in the sunlight during the day and I will glow all night. So they did that.

Yeah, it glowed all night. The word of God has such transforming power that when you and I are exposed to it in a meaningful way, it will guide us and direct us even during the darkest hours of our experience. The power of God's word. The next step in the process, we've spoken briefly about discernment, discipline, meditation. I want to say something about growth. Look at the promise that is here.

And he is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit and its season and its leaf does not wither and in all that he does, he prospers. What beautiful imagery. 1968, I studied in Israel and we went to the Sinai Peninsula and actually spent the night at St. Catherine's Monastery which is at the base of Mount Sinai. But it was a four-day trip. Two days there, one night there and then back as I remember. But you go through this hot desert.

I mean it was over a hundred degrees and there is absolutely no evidence of life anywhere. And then in the distance you see trees. What does that tell you?

It tells you oasis there. And that's the way we're to be in this world. Like a tree planted by the streams of water. I don't need to tell you, do I, that when you look at the world, all of the wells are dry.

We are in an arid area. You see these poor folks on television trying to somehow gain importance by some way, some way, by their appearance, by this, by that. Everybody is clamoring for significance and trying to find it. And it's all dry and it's all empty. God says you are different. You are planted before the rivers of water. You're planted there beside the stream and in the midst of a world that has very little hope, in the midst of an arid land, you're the tree.

People say, you know, that person has something that I don't have. The first image is that of the tree. The second is the streams of water.

And what are the streams of water? Well, obviously it's the word of God, but it's also the people of God. As we gather together with the people of God, as we begin the process of meditation, as we are serious about pursuing God. You know, one of these psalms that I ought to preach on in this series, I don't think I have it scheduled to do that, is Psalm 119, where the Bible is mentioned in virtually all of the verses, I think, except three. And it has something like 160-some verses, if I remember correctly. But it talks about the fact that, blessed are those who seek God and seek His word with a whole heart. That's the transformation that takes place. And He will bear fruit.

That's what it says. Apples, oranges, peaches, pears, bananas, His fruit in His season. Of course, the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, all of that is born.

Why? Because once the inner life has been addressed, fruit can't be manufactured. But from the inside, it begins to flow out. And what is it that brings about that transformation, but God's holy word? Many years ago, I talked to a friend. He actually is in heaven now, but he lost his first wife to cancer. And I said to him, I said, I said, Bob, you don't seem to have any bitterness toward God over this terrible trial.

I said, how did you and your wife cope? And those were in the days, by the way, before CDs and all of the things that we have today. He said that he bought the New Testament on records.

Now, you can tell that that was a long way away, a long time ago. But he said, we played the New Testament. We listened to it. He said, when I became anxious or angry, I began to read God's word. And then these are critical words that he said. He said, the word of God in our hearts squeezed all the fear and the negativity out. Jesus would agree with that, considering the illustration he gave about the demon who left the man, the man was empty, and other demons came in. The vacuum of your mind will be filled somehow. May it be filled with God's holy word.

How do we nail this down for ourselves? Just let's look at the text again, shall we? First of all, notice that the path of the wicked leads to ruin. The path of the wicked leads to ruin.

Verse 4, the wicked are not so. They're like the chaff that the wind drives away. That doesn't mean that they are annihilated by any means. What it means is they don't leave anything behind of eternal value. They may leave money. They may leave their fame. They may leave a certain admiration of men. They may leave all that behind. But there's nothing permanent that is a spiritual legacy.

The imagery is, of course, of wheat being threshed and the wheat falls down. The chaff is blown away. It's the end of it. No eternal contribution to their children, to their family, to their church, their lives.

It's just simply gone. And they will not stand in the judgment. That means that when they're judged, they're in trouble. They will not be able to stand against the judgment. Because, you see, they have not come under the protection of God's salvation and therefore the Bible says that they will not stand in the judgment.

In the end, no matter how famous they may be, the fact is they live the lives without permanent significance. Now, that's the path of the wicked. What about the path of the just? The Bible says that the Lord knows the way of the righteous. Well, doesn't he know the way of the wicked?

Of course. Whenever you come across the word know in the Bible like that, it means God has regard for. You know, the Lord knew the nation Israel. Well, of course, in terms of intellectual knowledge, omniscience, he knows all things. But notice that the Lord knows the way of the righteous. He has regard for it.

And I missed the phrase, not deliberately, just didn't comment on it. And whatever he does prospers. Why? Because it's the blessed life.

It's not the life of lies that is the life that leads to ruin. It is the blessed life. He's like a tree planted and whatever he does prospers.

Why? Because he has God's blessing. Is there anything more wonderful in all the world than us being able to say we've been blessed by God?

I mean, what an unbelievable honor God gives us. And it's there through the meditation of the word. It's not going to happen just by listening to sermons, not going to happen even singing wonderful songs. It will only happen when you meditate in the law of God day and night.

That's the transformation. That overcomes oftentimes addictions and the anxieties and the fears and somebody who does that can take false accusations. They can take injustice and it doesn't destroy them because their core is anchored in God's word. Here's perhaps a final lesson, and that is this, that if you want to enjoy the path of the righteous, if you want to do that, how do you do that? This is what Jesus said, enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter it are many. Those are the folks you see whose advice we should avoid.

We should not walk with them, stand with them, and sit with them because they are scoffers. And many a child has been destroyed and an adult because of bad friends. So don't enter that way, but for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those who find it are few.

Isn't that amazing? Are you among the few? Now when you come to Christ, the way in which you and I get on that narrow path is, first of all, we're confronted with him. You don't get on the good path, the path of the righteous, apart from Jesus Christ.

It's the only way. And if you're listening today and you've never entered into a personal relationship with him, you can receive him as your Savior because of your need and your sin that you can't save yourself. Self-salvation does not work.

We need to be saved by someone qualified to save us, and that is Jesus. You know, this past week, Rebecca and I flew to Dallas because her sister-in-law died after 20 years of a lot of suffering. There's nothing like attending a funeral to make you realize what reality is really all about. Well, the answer is simply this, that here's a case in which a woman lived for God and even though she died young, her three children and grandchildren will rise up and call her blessed.

Why? Because Mom believed in God and she chose that righteous path through Jesus. By the way, when you look at Psalm 1, what you discover is what you find all the way through the Bible. You have the path of the wicked and you have the path of the righteous. And I always want to say, where's the middle path? Where are the people who are too good to be lost forever but they're not quite good enough yet for heaven?

So they're not on the righteous path, but nor should they be classified with the wicked either because they're good people. Answer, there are only two paths. Jesus said the broad way and the narrow way. And being at that funeral, knowing that she had been on the narrow way, I couldn't help but think of the verse of Scripture that comes from Proverbs chapter 4, that the path of the just is like the light of dawn which shines brighter and brighter to the fullness of day. That's the path of the righteous. And that's the path I hope that you're on. That's the path that Jesus died to bring us on. And once we're on that path, we're committed now to meditate in the law of God day and night. And that is the path of blessing.

Begin today to meditate on God's Word and you'll grow and you will be transformed. Father, we pray your blessing upon us today. Help us to know that you call us to love you, to serve you. We thank you today that because of your Word, we have been transformed. In Jesus' name, Amen. In Jesus' name, Amen. On today's Moody Church Hour, Pastor Lutzer told us how the Word of God gives us a new mind. The fourth in a six-part series on Changed by the Word. Next time, we'll learn how to enrich our prayer lives by praying Scripture back to God.

Be listening then to learn how the Word of God helps us pray. Changed by the Word can be yours on CD. We'll send the entire series as our thank you for your gift of any amount to The Moody Church Hour. Call 1-800-215-5001. Let us know you'd like to support Moody Church's ministry. Call 1-800-215-5001 or you can write to us at Moody Church Media, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Online, go to That's Join us next time for another Moody Church Hour with Pastor Erwin Lutzer and the Congregation of Historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 08:10:05 / 2023-01-22 08:28:04 / 18

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