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The Wonderful Word - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2022 12:00 am

The Wonderful Word - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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August 18, 2022 12:00 am

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

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Skip Heitzig
Baptist Bible Hour
Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, the worries of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace. This is L. Sarah Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. We bring you part two of the message entitled, The Wonderful Word. Indeed, the Word of God is wonderful and so enriches our lives. If you would like to help keep this broadcast on the air, we'll appreciate your support.

Our mailing address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Psalm 143, Verse 6, I stretch forth my hands unto Thee, my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land, Selah. My soul thirsts for Thee. Now, if we become complacent, we never have that kind of intensity about our experience with the Lord. What's going to be the result? If we're not opening our mouth, crying out unto God, panting after Him, thirsting after Him, what's going to happen? We're not going to remain the status quo. We're going to start sliding back. Jeremiah frequently used the term backsliding. What does it mean to backslide? It means that you haven't maintained the position that you one time attained.

You have slid back. You're neglecting prayer. You're neglecting the reading of the Word. You're neglecting the things that Christians ought to be involved in on a day-to-day basis. Oh, you make excuses for it.

You've got this thing to do and that thing to do, and you're tired. All of these excuses are there, but there's no panting after God. There's no clear indication of a strong desire, thirst, and hunger to have communion and fellowship with Him. Isaiah chapter 64 verse 6 says, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee.

Here's the problem. We've sinned. We've gone the wrong direction. But nobody's calling on His name. Nobody's stirring himself up. I want to ask you today, how long has it been since you've stirred yourself up? I'm not talking about just working up something in the flesh, but I'm talking about stirring yourself up from a biblical perspective, to go into God's Word and say, Lord, I have grown cold. I have been careless.

I have been negligent. But I've got to have this communion and fellowship with Thee. I want to be stirred, and I pray you'll help me and stir me up, stir himself up to take hold of thee, for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, thou art our Father. We are the clay, and thou our potter, and we are all the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity forever. Behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

So here they come. Lord, we've failed. We have sinned, and we haven't stirred ourselves up as we ought, but we are coming now, acknowledging we are thy people. Lord, we are but the clay.

Thou art the potter. We want to be submissive. We want to be surrendered. We're coming to Thee with that kind of a spirit.

Do you thirst? Do you mourn over your sins, over your failures, over your shortcomings? I'm not talking about going back over a whole lifetime. I mean, all of us could spend the rest of our days mourning over failures of the past, if we have recognized them, and we've confessed our sins, and His promise is He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and then we move forward. But when you sin and come short of His glory again, it's not a matter of just sloughing it off and saying, well, you know, we all have our faults.

No, it's a serious matter. Defend God. Have displeased our Heavenly Father, and true confession must be made before Him. He was thirsting, thirsting for the commandments of God. Oh, I find some who are bold enough to say, well, there are certain commandments I don't like.

And I grant you, there are some that are hard on this flesh. Love your neighbor as yourself. They say, I don't particularly like my neighbor. But He says, love him. Love your enemies.

Oh, that's easy to slough off. I say, well, you know, I don't know, but. And here's how I really feel about it. Love your enemies.

Love your enemies. The lady said to me one time, said, there's a commandment I really do not like. That one that says, be submissive to your husband. I don't like that one. Well, I haven't found any place where the Lord has given you the latitude just to pick and choose and say, I'll take the ones that I like.

I'm sure they're probably husbands that say, I don't like the one about loving my wife as Christ loved the church. That's a lot of love. That's a lot of patience. That's a lot of compassion.

That's a lot of involvement. So it's not a matter of just deciding what we're comfortable with, but to desire the commandments of God that they may be applied in our life. The next thing with regard to this desire and prayer of the servant of God in verse 32, in verse 32, he says, be merciful unto me. Be merciful. A true believer recognizes his need for mercy. You never get to the place that you can come before the Lord and say, Lord, here's what I'm entitled to.

I've done such a wonderful job. Here's what I expect. Here's what I demand. No, we have to continually come acknowledging I need mercy. I am unworthy and undeserving, but I need mercy. And he says, I'm desiring mercy as you have shown it to others. In other words, he knows God is a merciful God. And so in the same manner in which he has been merciful to others in the past, he is asking for mercy. Psalm 106, verse 4, remember me, O Lord, with the favor that thou barest unto thy people. O, visit me with thy salvation. Lord, just as you've been favorable to your people, merciful to your people in the past, I'm asking for mercy now.

You know, when you see mercy in the Scriptures, in the Word of God, that makes them so desirable. You begin to read and you become convicted. You see your failings. You see your sins. You see your neglect.

That can be rather discouraging if that's all you see. But when you see that and you come upon mercy, oh, this is good news. God is merciful. He's merciful to us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, the psalmist says, Jesus, be merciful unto me as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. Next in verse 133, he says, order my steps in thy word.

In other words, he has not only a desire to be forgiven, but a desire now to change his course of action. Lord, I pray that you'll order my steps. Yes, I've sinned, I've come short, I've missed the mark, I've done wrong in the past, but now I want my steps from here on out to be in the right path.

Order them, oh Lord. I want to be surrendered to thee. I just pray that you'll take charge and that you'll direct me and guide me in the right path. Psalm 86 and verse 11 speaks to this, teach me thy way, oh Lord. I will walk in thy truth, unite my heart to fear thy name.

And that's something we see over and over again. The psalmist is constantly praying, Lord, teach me, teach me, teach me. I don't claim that I know it all. I know that there's so much that I do not know and I want to know it and I'm praying, Lord, be my teacher. But teach me what? Not just so I'm gaining knowledge and having it in my mind, but teach me that I will walk in thy truth.

Lord, I want to apply it. I want to know how to live in every step that we take. Then we ought to ask the question, is this something that is ordered in God's Word? When I'm deciding to go down this path, am I in harmony with what God has commanded in His Word? Am I getting a little too close to the world? Am I traveling in dangerous territory? Though others around me may see no harm in this, if there's something that's convicting me, must I not be very cautious in my steps and pray, oh Lord, order my steps?

I want them to go in the right direction. Fix my footsteps so I can walk to your glory. I care about where I'm walking.

I don't want to just walk anywhere and everywhere and just do what pops in my mind and do what everybody else does. I'm willing to be devoted to Jesus Christ, to die to self. That biblical principle is almost forgotten in many circles today.

Many talk about being able to name the blessing and claim it and if you've got enough faith, you're just going to be enriched and have things more comfortable as you go along the way. What about dying to self? Dying to your own selfish desires? Dying to the world? Paul talked about the world being crucified to Him through the death of Jesus Christ.

Order my steps. And then in verse 134, he says, deliver me from the oppression of man, so will I keep thy precepts. In other words, if the oppression, the trouble, the opposition, the enemies that he's facing would hinder him in rendering the service that ought to be rendered, he's praying, Lord, deliver me. I've had people ask this question, well, all right, you've preached about how God uses our trials, our sufferings, our sicknesses to a good advantage, then why do we pray if somebody's sick that they'll get well? Good question, but the scriptures reveal to us that it is in order that we pray for the sick. James chapter 5 says that one may call for the elders of the church, confess their sins and be anointed with oil, praying for their healing.

The Apostle Paul himself prayed for those that were sick and asked others to pray for those that were associated with him that were sick. There's nothing wrong with praying to be delivered from oppression, from opposition, from harm that would befall us that would impair us and hinder us in being involved in the service of God. But even when we are oppressed, we never have the right to say, because of this trouble, I'm going to neglect doing what I ought to do. In other words, somebody else has done wrong, so that entitles me to do wrong.

Not the case. We are to do right if everybody else in the world took the wrong turn and started doing wrong, that doesn't excuse any of us. We're to do what is right. It's amazing how many times people try to use that as an excuse.

Well, but look what he did, look what she did, look what they did, look what happened. It doesn't matter. Here's what God's Word says. So if there is persecution while we're to rejoice, if we're persecuted for righteousness sake, but if there is persecution that would be hindering us, oppressing us, keeping us from the service of God, there is certainly nothing wrong with praying to be delivered from the oppression. But if that continues, we continue to do what's right, and we continue to trust God in the midst of it and trust God to teach us whatever lessons he has in store for us. Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verse 74, that he would grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear. What's then the reason for being delivered from the hand of our enemies?

To serve him. If the enemies have hindered us, made it possible for us to move forward, pray that we may be delivered out of their hands, but the purpose of being delivered is not just for our personal comfort, but that we might serve him. And then in verse 35, 135, he says, make thy face to shine upon thy servant, and another request, teach me thy statutes. Lord, I want to understand them, but make thy face to shine on me. This seems to speak of the fact that while there are seasons that the Lord hides his face because of our disobedience, there are seasons when we are struggling, when we have disobeyed, and we've come before the Lord and acknowledged, we've sinned, and we're praying that he will enable us to get back on track, but here seems to be speaking of those times when we are walking with God's approval. Not that we're ever to a state of sinless perfection, not that we're ever to a point that we have no more ground to gain. The apostle Paul himself is saying, I've pressed toward the mark of the high calling, still pressing on, but when we have truly repented, when we have turned from our sin, when we've turned from things that have weighted us down, when we've turned from things that have hindered our fellowship with God, and now we're walking under his smile. His face is made to shine on us. Numbers chapter 6 verse 22, and the Lord spake unto Moses saying, speak unto Aaron and unto his sons saying, on this wise he shall bless the children of Israel saying unto them, the Lord bless thee and keep thee.

These words are very familiar of course. The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace and they shall put my name upon the children of Israel and I will bless them. The Lord make his face to shine upon you. The Lord's face is not going to shine on you when you're rebelling against his commandments. His face is not going to shine on you when you're refusing to do what he said.

His face is not going to shine on you when you're walking openly in disobedience. He's praying, Lord order my steps so that then thy face may shine upon me. And then finally, we see here a response to evil. A response to evil.

First, we observe the wonder of God's law. Secondly, the desires of his servant. And thirdly, a response to evil.

A response to evil. Verse 136, rivers of waters run down mine eyes because they keep not thy law. Weeping. Weeping because God's law has been broken. Weeping because the breaking of that law dishonors the lawgiver. It's not just a matter of whatever inconvenience it may have caused me, or how I might be personally irritated by it, but I'm weeping because the lawgiver, the holy God of heaven, is dishonored.

They keep not thy law. Weeping because of the harm that may be done to others who are law-abiding individuals. One who breaks the law of God may be harming someone else. And so the psalmist says, I weep as I give thought to that scenario. Now, when he talks about weeping because of the sins of others, there's certainly plenty of times we need to weep because of our own sin, but he's saying in this case, rivers of water, I didn't just shed a few tears, but it was like a river of water running down from mine eyes because they keep not thy law. But he's not talking about having a vindictive spirit, looking around at others who are walking the wrong path and just filled with a personal resentment and anger toward them.

You'd soon get into Pharisaism and have a self-righteous attitude, or you're like the disciples who were so confused about such a matter. We read of it in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. It says in the 53rd verse, And they did not receive him, that is, talking about Jesus, they did not receive Jesus because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples, James and John, saw it, they said, Lord wilt thou that we come in fire to come down from heaven and consume them even as Elias did? Well, obviously they meant well. They said, you know, fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice on the altar and Elias, and he had 800 of Jezebel's prophets put to death.

These people didn't receive you and we'd just like to handle it now. Lord, let us rain down fire from heaven. And, you know, you can get into that frame of mind if you're not careful. And I'm glad that everybody that might want to rain fire down from heaven is not able to do it. So you be careful that you're not one of them.

You don't want to join in that number. But he turned and rebuked them and said, ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives but to save them. And they went to another village. He didn't come to destroy but to save. When therefore you are made to weep because of the sin of others, it's not with this antagonistic vindicative spirit, but that you are grieving because God is dishonored, others may be harmed, and grieving because of the condition of that sinful rebellious entity. Jeremiah chapter 9 verse 1, oh that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people. Jeremiah the prophet said, I would want to weep day and night when I see how the people have suffered because of their sin.

Chapter 13 verse 17, but if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride and mine eyes shall weep sore and run down with tears because the Lord's flock is carried away captive. Makes us think about the expression of Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations when he says, is it nothing to you all ye that pass by? How can you look upon the desolation of the city and be unmoved? I wonder sometimes when we see the coldness and indifference, when we see the falling away of so many today, when we see the struggling of many little churches, how can anybody look at that and be unconcerned? Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by? Jeremiah says, I weep because of these things.

Because of these things. And then Jesus himself sets the example in Luke chapter 19 verse 41, and when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known even thou, at least in this thy day the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round about, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee. And they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Lost opportunities. You knew not the time of your visitation, and Jesus wept over the city. When you see young people sometimes going astray, when you see those that once walked in a way of righteousness turning aside, those who once embraced the truth of the gospel turning a deaf ear to it, or you're not made to weep.

When you see the ungodly attitudes that are prevalent with so many in our land today, the humanistic philosophies that have replaced some of the concepts in earlier times that were respected. Do you not weep? Romans chapter 9 verse 1, Paul says, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were a curse from Christ for my brethren my kinsmen according to the flesh who are Israelites to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises. I confess that I don't fully understand that sentiment that Paul says I could wish myself a curse from Christ because of these who are in darkness and unbelief.

But we're talking about a burden that was real. We're talking about whether it was the prophet Jeremiah or the apostle Paul or superior to it all, our Lord himself when he wept over the city, rivers of water running from the eye, rivers of water run down mine eyes because they keep not thy law. Do you weep and weep for the right reason?

And does that mourning spirit drive you to the Lord for the help that we so desperately need? The wonderful word. Thy testimonies are wonderful. Therefore, doth my soul keep them?

Because they are wonderful, because it is a unique book, because God is the author of it. Therefore, I keep them. I want to do what God said. They will each pray today that God will help us in making that real in our life from day to day.

Oh, they all. This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior all the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 23:38:19 / 2022-11-27 23:47:43 / 9

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