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The Word Of God Transforms Us Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2021 1:00 am

The Word Of God Transforms Us Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 16, 2021 1:00 am

Meditation sometimes brings mysticism to mind. Biblically, however, meditation is not merely a calming exercise. It forms you to follow the path that God has for you. Psalm 1 speaks about two men, two paths, and two very different destinies. “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Meditation is how the Bible can renew our minds and cause us to live joyful, productive lives. In this message, you’ll receive steps towards the path of blessing. 

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Race Flores looking to Jesus, founder and perfecter of our Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord and on his long the meditates day and night. Meditation is the means by which the Bible can actually reprogram your mind and cause us to live happy, productive lives from church in Chicago this morning with Dr. Sir teaching helps us make cross the finish line… Or when we hear the word meditation. Some think of Eastern mysticism. Yes, of course. And the reason they think of that is because in the Eastern religions. Meditation is huge.

People are always taught to meditate, but meditating in the word of God is something different entirely.

Here's the difference in the East. They tell you to empty your mind that's dangerous can even be demonic, but the Bible says that we meditate on the word of God.

In other words, we have content were thinking about ideas, specifically God's ideas how different that is and how necessary it is for our transformation. I'm so glad for the many people who stand with us here at running to when we are listener supported.

Thanks in advance for helping us. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do to find more info go to RTW that's RTW

Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now let us listen to God's word, that we might learn to meditate in it day and night. Perhaps you are aware of the fact that Yogi Berra is known often times for having a very witty statement. 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 to others are of lesser importance and that therefore they may not have significant 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 one and I encourage you to turn to Psalm one 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 one.

If you're in a place where that can be done. Psalm one is a song in which we see the contrast a powerful contrast. It has to do with the choice. Psalm one speaks about two men to paths and to 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 and its leaf does not wither in all that he does prospers. The wicked are not so butter 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 or the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way up the wicked will perish. Two men to paths to very different destination. There is the path of the righteous. There is the blessed path. There's also the path of the wicked, and it is the 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 implication, 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 does 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 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 all. Walk with them for a little ways and then I will keep on walking and to leave them behind. But we begin the walk and then the next step is. Suddenly we stand when they stand and finally we set where they set and we find ourselves admitted 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 what you have is then they begin to introduce you to wrong ideas and pretty soon I Europe, perhaps into drugs and all kinds of evil things, because of the impact of the influence of your friends and there are some dam 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 kid raised in fine homes and buying churches who got into the wrong group and they were influence 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 that they began to walk. They stood and then they sat in the counsel of the wicked and in the seat of scoffers and they became a part of them in and imbibed their values. I long ago said that the reason that college kids lose their faith often in college is not because of the intellectual arguments because of peer pressure and blessed is the person who can say no to the counsel of the wicked, and by the way that counsel 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 one. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Psalm one tells us how that minded can be renewed. Your mind is very powerful your mind by example. For example, everybody thinks sailing no no I I had a roommate one time who didn't. Well, he maybe didn't think your thoughts but he did think effect you know there's some evidence that we think all the time even when were sleeping.

Sometimes we: 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 that's a different experience simple fact is this is interesting. Your mind is not matter if it were simply calcium and phosphate. We had 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 hard hot garden where on this path of sanctification that is a dream is 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 to 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 never read a biography of George Mueller, you really ought to know God led him that way. It's not wrong to ask for money of the apostle Paul asked for money when it comes to the ministries of Moody Church in children's ministries. I often ask for money.

I like to ask for money that I have course have nothing to do with in the sense that I am committed to helping ministries and helping those who are sharing the gospel. 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. 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 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 you had to go to work 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 and encouraged Warren reproved, instructed and while meditating on the word of God. My heart would be brought into experimental come union with God and them. Then he goes on to say that this transformation is is invariably within a few moments, my soul has been led to confession, thanksgiving and intercession, and by the way, the next message in the series is going to be on how to use the word of God when you're praying and I'm he says that 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 is 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 me ask you something. What is your first responsibility before God. All your first responsibility you say is to pray us 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 swirled 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 other 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 they read. Yosemite said you know my mind is like a sieve. Well, okay, I would say this that even a sieve. Get some cleansing when water flows through it 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 the 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 as 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 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 we strain the tea through our teeth and that to get the leaves out and that 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 still a benefit but that's not God's will. The text says that we should meditate in the law of God day and night. Dale 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 could tell the difference.

I can identify with the element point never was a great one for holding guard and 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 course, we can't be thinking about God's word all day.

We got jobs to do with God 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 510 minutes. 15 meditating on the Scriptures which is our first responsibility that our souls might be happy. God is able how you meditate all that you need to do is to simply ask the tech some questions you know there I speak about analyzing you analyze, you say, what does this text tell me about God what Google that let's look at Psalm one. What does this text tell us about God, but it certainly tells us that God is faithful to his people. He blesses those whose hearts are perfect award and move 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.

Is there some way in which a God has spoken you. It is there in the text, something for which to praise God. Almost always, there is an 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) Pastor Luther and of course I certainly hope that you listen to running to win next time when this message continues and when we give you more information on the importance of meditating in the word and how to do it were so glad for the many who support this ministry I'm holding in my hands a letter from someone who listens to her Spanish version of running to win.

I need to tell you that we are heard on more than 100 stations in Central and South America, all because of people like you who support this ministry.

She writes and tells us how this ministry has enabled her to get over and to deal with bitterness was one story among hundreds of people whose lives are changed, all because they are listening to God's holy word, would you consider helping us when you join what I like to call the running to win family that is people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do to find more info. You go to RTW

As you might guess RTW stands for running to win. But it's all one word RTW

Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 because of people like you running to win is now in 20 different countries in three different languages. Connect with us today. RTW

Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I know for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Bob was instrumenting to win on W FCM in Murphreesboro, Smyrna, Tennessee.

He has a question concerning communion. He says I attend a small Southern Baptist Church.

Today we began taking communion to our members who were confined in local nursing homes. We were questioned if we should be doing this and if we did, would we be violating the word of God. Can you please shed some light thoughts and wisdom with me. Well Bob I don't think that your violating the word of God at all you know the Bible tells us that we should have communion and if you have people in nursing homes who are believers, most assuredly, you can share communion with them. So matter of fact, I'd even take this a step further and say that it is not necessary for the pastor to do this.

After all, is a Southern Baptist, you will know that one of the distinctives of Baptists and Protestants in general is what is known as the priesthood of the believers so you can go there in the name of the Lord, and you can bless people use Scripture remind them of what they are doing that the cup of course represents the blood of Christ and the bread represents the body of Christ, and that as people contemplate that as they give thanks to God for the redemption that there is in Jesus Christ will be edified. Something else that will happen will give you an opportunity to connect with them to pray together with them and to bless them.

So I would say go in the name of the Lord and to share his blessings with others, and otherwise word from Dr. Erwin looks her thank you Pastor Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Next time I'm running to win. Join us to learn more about the new minds. We can have when meditating on the Scriptures running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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