We'll be right back. They really give lip service to the Bible, but they really do not understand it. Welcome to Love Worth Finding. As we just heard from pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers, we need to be molded, motivated, and managed by the Word of God if we want to have spiritual power. Yet for many, the Bible remains a closed book. There's no magical way to understand the Bible. It takes work, joyful, thrilling work to understand the Word of God. Psalm 119 gives us a glimpse of that work. If you have your Bible, turn there now as Adrian Rogers reveals how to make your Bible come alive.
Now I want to tell you three things, and there'll be some subsets under these three things, but I want to tell you three things that if you will do these things, I can promise you, and I've prayed over this, I've thought over this. If you will do these three things, I can promise you that the Bible will burst a flame in your heart, in your mind, and in your life. Number one, you must appreciate the virtues of the Word of God. Now, if you don't appreciate the virtues of the Word of God, you're not going to have any desire to learn it or know it. Many people do not understand the great value, the great virtue in the Word of God. You must have an appreciation for the Word of God. Why should you appreciate the Word of God? Number one, because it is a timeless book. Put that in your notes, a timeless book. Look, if you will, now in verse 89, for example, in this psalm.
Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. That is, the Bible is not the book of the month. It is not the book of the year. It is the book of ages. It is an unchanging book. Number two, it is a truthful book.
Do you have that? It is a truthful book. Look, if you will, in verse 142. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. And in a world that has lost its appreciation for truth, you can say without stutter or stammer that the Bible is true. The Bible is a timeless book. The Bible is a truthful book, and the Bible, therefore, should be a treasured book. If you will, in verse 72 of this same thing, he says here, The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
I wonder if that is true of you. Folks, I'm telling you, this is God's treasured book. It is a timeless book. It is a truthful book.
It is a treasured book. So the first point is you must, you must appreciate the virtues of the Word of God. You must appreciate the virtues of the Word of God, because if you don't, you're not going to have any desire to understand it.
Now, here's the second thing. Not only must you appreciate the virtues of the Word of God, you must assimilate the vitality of the Word of God. I chose the word vitality on purpose, because the word vitality means alive. Now, listen, the Bible is a living book.
Hebrews 4, 12, put it in your margin, the Word of God is quick and powerful. The word quick means alive. It is the word we get our word zoo from, a zoology from. It is zoan, and in our case, alive is a word we get our word energy from. It is living.
It is energetic. Jesus, in John chapter 6, was speaking to some unbelievers, and he said to them and to his disciples, listen to it, in John chapter 6, verse 63, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. See, the Bible is vital.
The Bible pulsates with life. Now, this is the reason why I'm saying that not only must you appreciate it, you must assimilate it. You don't just read the cookbook. You eat the meal.
Now, if you don't assimilate it, no matter how much you appreciate it, what good is it going to do you? Now, how do you assimilate the Word of God? Get your pen, write these first things down. Number one, write down, pray over it. Pray over it. Look, if you will, in verse 12 of this chapter now. Blessed art thou, O Lord, here it is, teach me thy statutes.
Have you ever prayed that? Lord God, be my teacher. Pray over it.
Ask God to teach you. When you pray over it, what will happen? Number one, your eyes will be opened. Look, if you will, in verse 18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. God will open your eyes. There are scales over your eyes until God takes the scales off so you can read this book. You may have 20-20 vision, but God has to open your eyes to behold wondrous things in thy law. Do you remember there in the 24th chapter of Luke, after his resurrection, Jesus is walking with those two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the Bible says he began to talk to them about the Old Testament, the law and the prophets, and then here's a great verse. In Luke 24 and verse 45, it says, Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. Wouldn't you like for God to do that for you? Pray over it, and I'm telling you, when you pray over it, first of all, your eyes will be opened, and then number two, your heart will be stirred.
Look in verse 36 of this same chapter. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. If you don't have a desire for the Word of God, why don't you say, Oh, God, please incline my heart. Move my heart. Open my eyes. Stir my heart. And then, folks, when your eyes open, your heart is stirred, then your mind is going to be enlightened. Look, if you will, in verse 73 of this same Psalm.
Thy hands have made me and fashioned me. Give me understanding that I may learn thy commandments. How often, in sermon preparation, have I put my pencil down, have I bowed my head and say, Oh, my God, help me to understand this. God, give me understanding. Now, all of this is under the heading, we must pray over it. When we pray, friend, our eyes are open, our heart is moved, our mind is enlightened to understand the Word of God.
So, now we're talking now about how to assimilate it. Number one, you pray over it. Number two, you ponder it. P-O-N-D-E-R, you ponder it. Look, if you will, in verse 15 of this same Psalm. I will meditate in thy precepts.
Do you see that? Look, if you will, in verse 147 of this same Psalm. I prevented the dawning of the morning and cried and I hoped in thy word. That is, I got up early in the morning and I trusted in your word. That is, I had a quiet time.
Look, if you will, in 148. Mine eyes prevent the night watches that I might meditate in thy word. You see, it takes time. If you have to rise an hour early, do it.
If you have to stay up an hour late, do it. Do it with a pen in your hand. Take a pen. You see, if you don't, you know what it tells me?
You're not expecting to receive anything. If you're expecting to receive something, you're going to get ready to write it down. You say, well, I'll remember it.
I hope you do. But the weakest ink is better than the best memory. You simply get a pad. When you open the Bible and you pray, then you ponder it and you get ready for God to speak to you. And when you read the Bible, use your sanctified common sense.
Don't just jump into the middle of a chapter, the middle of a book somewhere. No plan, no rhyme, no reason. And you see, the Bible is like any other book.
It has all kinds of forms of speech. You see poetry as poetry. You see prophecy as prophecy.
You see precept as precept. You see promise as promise. You see proverb as proverb. For example, if you try to turn the proverbs into promises, you lose your religion. The proverbs are not promises. They're proverbs. What is a proverb? A proverb is a general principle, generally applied, brings a general result. For example, in the book of Proverbs, there are ways to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.
But you can do all those things and get hit by a truck. You're not very wealthy anymore. You left it all. You're certainly not very healthy and you weren't too wise.
You looked both ways. What I'm trying to say is this. A proverb is good, but don't try to turn the proverbs into promises.
Look at the Bible and look at these. Is this a precept? Is this a prophecy? Is this poetry? Is this prose? Is this proverb?
Is this promise? Hey, folks, did you know that God gave you a mind? Now, God doesn't zap you with knowledge. You have the mind of Christ. Use your mind as you study the Bible. You ponder the Bible. Sometimes people ask, well, is the Bible to be interpreted literally or figuratively? Have you ever heard that?
You want to know the answer? Yes. It is to be interpreted figuratively and literally all at the same time. For example, the Bible is full of symbols. In the book of Revelation, the devil is symbolized. The devil is symbolized as a dragon. A huge dragon. He has a tail so long that he sweeps a third of the stars from heaven. Now, you tell me if there's a dragon with a tail long enough to sweep down all the stars of heaven some billions of light years away.
That's a pretty big dragon. He's talking about the devil. The stars are the fallen angels that fell out. That's symbolism. It's full of symbolism. The Bible is full of symbolism. But you find out what the symbol stands for and you literally believe it. Don't say, well, that's just symbolism. There is no devil.
No, no. That's symbolism. There is a devil, you see. The yellow arches, that's McDonald's, right? Now, if you see those yellow arches, would you say, oh, well, that's just a symbol.
There is no McDonald's restaurant, no such thing as hamburgers. No, you wouldn't say that. That's just a symbol. You find out what the symbol stands for and then you literally apply it. So what I'm trying to say is when you get the Word of God, you pray over it. Then you ponder it. You begin to ask God to teach you. I have given you this before, but I want to give you six questions. You ask these six questions. Number one, is there a promise to claim?
You're looking at a passage. Is there a promise to claim? Number two, is there a lesson to learn? Number three, is there a blessing to enjoy? Number four, is there a command to obey? Number five, is there a sin to avoid?
Number six, is there a new thought to carry with me? Are you preparing a Sunday school lesson? You get any passage of Scripture, any passage, and just look at it and just ask those questions and you've got your lesson.
I promise you. Just six simple questions as you look at the Word of God. You prayed over it and you said, oh God, open my eyes. You said, dear God, move my heart.
You said, dear God, give me understanding. And then you look at the Word of God and you ponder it and you think about it and you've got a pen and you write these things down. You read it through.
You think it clear. You write it down. You pray it in. You live it out and you pass it on and it's yours. Number one, you pray over it. Number two, you ponder it. Number three, you preserve it.
You preserve it. Look, if you will, here in verse 11. We're back in our psalm again. Look, if you will, in verse 11. My word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee. Look, if you will, in verse 16.
I will delight myself in thy statutes. I will not forget thy word. That means that you preserve it.
You hide it down in your heart. You can remember far more than you think you can remember. Don't tell me you can't remember. You could not function if you couldn't remember things. We function by memory. And memory comes with concentration. Memory comes with motivation. Memory comes with use.
Your mind is a marvel and you can remember far more than you think you can remember as you preserve the Word of God. When women go off, they want to buy pretty boxes. My wife has this love affair with little boxes, pretty little boxes. And sometimes people bring from overseas boxes.
And sometimes they, oh, they're intricately carved and they may have jewels and so forth on the outside of them. You've seen these little boxes that they sit around. And you see a beautiful box like that and you say, what a marvelous little box. And then you look inside. You know what's inside? Rubber bands, gym clips, toothpicks, and old breath mint inside that beautiful box. Your mind is like that box.
You've got all this junk in it. What a marvel God gave you when God gave you a mind. And so you can't meditate on the Word of God unless it's there. Or your mind is like a garden.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to grow weeds than flowers and vegetables? Well, when Adam fell, his mind became a garden of weeds. And in order for your mind to preserve the Word of God, you've got to cultivate your mind.
You have to weed your garden. Now next, not only must you preserve it, you must, here's the fourth thing, you must practice it. Look, if you will, in the first four verses, Psalm 119, Blessed are the undefiled in the way who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity.
They walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. All that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes. It's not enough to recite the promises without obeying the commandments. Simple secret. Do you want to learn more of the Word of God?
Do you? Then obey the parts you know. That is so simple. The Bible says, To him that hath shall be given.
The rich get richer. The more you obey, the more you learn it. Keep the Word of God. You say, Well, there are a lot of the Bible I don't understand. Do you know what Mark Twain has reported to have said? He's reported to have said, It's not that part of the Bible that I don't understand that gives me so much trouble. It's the part I do understand. Now listen, there may be mysteries and things you don't understand about the third toe and the left foot of some beast in Revelation, but I tell you, you can understand when the Bible says, Love one another, can't you? You can understand when the Bible gives you clear and plain commandments, and if you will begin to keep these, the Word of God, it will become real to you. Next, you must proclaim it.
This is the fifth of these things you do if you are going to assimilate it. Look, if you will, in verse 13. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
With my lips. Look in verse 27. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts.
So shall I talk of thy wondrous works. Look, if you will, in verse 46. I will speak of thy testimony also before kings and will not be ashamed.
Look, if you will, in verse 172 of this same psalm here. My tongue shall speak of thy word, for all thy commandments are righteous. You see, give it away. Let the Word of God be in your mouth, constantly in your mouth. Stow it in your heart. Show it in your life.
Sow it in the world. The more of the Word of God you give away, the more of it will stick to you. Now, here I've got to move to the final thing. Look, what we said is this. You must appreciate the virtues of the Word of God. Number two, you must assimilate the vitality of the Word of God. And number three, it is then that you can appropriate the values of the Word of God. That is that this knowledge that you have is going to become a transformation. I'm just going to give you the outline. I can't fill in the points.
You just write them down. Number one, it'll be a source of victory. Verse 45, just as Jesus overcame Satan in the wilderness with the Word, you will overcome.
It will be a source of growth. Verse 32, people say, oh, pastor, I'm just so weak in my physical life. I just hardly get out of bed. I just don't want to go to work.
I'm just so weak. What's the matter with you? You been a doctor? No. You got a disease?
I don't think so. Man, what are you eating? Well, I have this restaurant I go to on Sunday sometime if it's not raining, and I get a meal there. That's all I eat. You mean that's all you eat? You just go to this restaurant on Sunday and you get a meal there if it's not raining? That's all you eat? Yeah, I'm just so weak.
Friend, listen. All this is just to whet your appetite. If you don't learn how to feed yourself the Word of God, you're not going to grow.
The Bible says that as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby. It's a source of growth. It's a source of joy. Verses 54 and 111, these things have I spoken unto you that your joy might be full. It's a source of power. The Word of God is quick and powerful. It's a source of guidance.
Verse 105, thy word is a lamp unto my path and a light unto my feet. The Word of God, the Word of God, it will give you all of these things. You want joy. You want power. You want victory. You want to be able to overcome. You want these wonderful things.
You can appropriate them, but you can only appropriate them after you assimilate them, and you can only assimilate them if you appreciate them. And I'm promising you that if you'll do that, it will be transformational in your life. Now, could we just sum up the Bible right now for those of you who are not Christians or maybe you've never been saved? Can I just give you the Bible in shorthand? The Bible addresses one problem, and that problem is sin. The Bible has one villain, and that villain is the devil. The Bible has one hero, and his name is Jesus. The Bible has one purpose, and that is the glory of God. Do you know Jesus?
Do you know him? You see, this book is a two-edged sword. If it doesn't cut to heal you, it will cut to slay you. It's a saber of life unto life or death unto death. And God wants me to tell you something today, and it's going to come right out of this book.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever, that means you, that whosoever, that means anybody believes in him, puts their faith, their trust in him. They will not perish. They will not die and go to hell. They will not. But they'll have everlasting life.
That's what we sang about. Do you know Jesus? What an important question to end today's lesson. Do you know Jesus? Would you like to put your trust in him fully today? Pray something like this with me right now from your heart of God in heaven. I know I've sinned against you. You are holy.
I am not. I cannot live a sinless life, but Jesus did, and I put my full trust and hope and faith in what he did for me on the cross. Come into my life right now.
Change me from the inside out. I believe your Son died in my place and rose again to new life, and I ask you for that in my life right now. I submit to you. I trust in you. In Jesus' name, amen. If you placed your faith in Jesus just now with a prayer like that, let us celebrate with you and help you dig into God's word. Go to our Discover Jesus page at lwf.org slash radio. We have answers that you may need about your faith.
We have a response section. You can share your testimony or how this message has made a difference in your life. Click the Discover Jesus tab at lwf.org slash radio today, and let us hear from you.
Welcome to God's forever family. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD and mention the title How to Make Your Bible Come Alive. This message is also part of the insightful series The Bible, The Book of the Ages. With that complete collection, all 12 powerful messages, call 1-877-LOVEGOD, or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio.
Or you can write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Thank you for studying in God's word with us today. As you read scripture, dwell on these six questions Is there a promise to claim? Is there a lesson to learn? Is there a blessing to enjoy? Is there a command to obey?
Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a new thought to carry with me? We hope you'll tune in next time for more profound truth simply stated right here on Love Worth Finding. A listener wrote on our Facebook wall recently with this word of encouragement. She said, Adrian Rogers is trustworthy in his theology and presentation of God's word.
I feel his messages are relevant to today's current issues. It is so true, and we are honored to share the truth of the gospel for such a time as this. That's why Love Worth Finding is proud to present a new documentary, nothing but the truth, in partnership with the film's producers. When you donate to the ministry right now, we want to send you a DVD copy. This documentary exposes the cultural erosion of biblical truth in America and also provides viewers with access to faith-strengthening truth from God's word. Request the DVD, Nothing But the Truth, when you call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD, 1-877-568-3463, or give online at lwf.org slash radio. And thank you for your generous support of Love Worth Finding.
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