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October 6, 2021 8:00 am
The Scriptures benefit. I'm going to show you five areas of life where Scripture benefits the heart of the believer as we walk with the word of God as we go through life when things in life are going smooth, easy to quote the Scriptures that speak of the Lord's goodness. But pastor Don Greene says that it's during the hard times that we need God's word.
The most welcome to the truth pulpit with Don Greene, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio I bill right and today is Don continues in his series called the magnificent word will see that getting the Bible. Deep down into our hearts is a sure path to receiving God's richest blessings, even in the midst of life's inevitable trials. You have your Bible ready. Let's join Don Greene right now for today's lesson in the truth.
Pulpit last time we made the observations that Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Bible and it is the longest chapter in the Bible, and last time we covered what Scripture is what its attributes are today were pivoting into something different. Last time we saw what Scripture is. Today we see what Scripture does what Scripture does and if you would turn to the book of Hebrews chapter 4 for just a moment in chapter 4 verse 12 we see the prism and then Psalm 119 is going to be the light that hits it and radiates out the things that the word of God does Hebrews chapter 4 verse 12 for the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. You see the Bible is not a mere book that is external to us is not simply an external book that gives information to our minds. The Bible penetrates the human heart. The Bible is is so alive and so vibrant as the spirit of God brings it to our mind and applies it to our heart that it has affected does things to us and what it does. You could say in summary form. And then I'm going to break this down into 55 aspects of it that for the believer, the Bible shapes your heart as you go through life. The Bible shapes your heart as you go through life. It is a living book is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of your heart. The Bible, so to speak, personifying it the Bible knows who you really are. The Bible has a way of ministering to your heart. In the times of need. The Bible has a way of reproving your sin when you fall into sin, correcting you training you in righteousness. The Bible is a living book, designed to apply to life and it does things to you in life in Psalm 119 brings that out for us the word of God benefits the believer. It helps us. It is therefore our blessing. That's why Psalm 119 opens on that theme go back to Psalm 119.
Now look at it there with me. We respect the Bible because it is the word of God. And we respect it because it brings blessing to us as well versus one through to again. I just want to emphasize this as we launch into our five points. How blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe his testimonies, who seek him with all their heart you know it's common for people to ask God to bless them right Lord blessed me as I do this and that. Lord, bless my family. Lord bless bless this blessed that wanting God to to give a favorable outcome to circumstances and to give us peace and encouragement as we walk through them. Everybody the praise somehow one or another is looking for God to bless them like that. Well well and good. I suppose the my friends understand this, that the one who is honest about truly seeking the true blessings of the true God understands that his blessings are dispensed and mediated through his word. The word written and the Word incarnate and we need to close the gap in this of that dichotomy in our mind, of wanting the blessing of God, but viewing it as something distinct from Scripture, the one who truly wants the blessing of God will understand and see from Psalm 119 that his blessings are found in his word. How blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the Lord who seek his testimonies with all of their heart and already we see that the Scripture is plowing a dividing line here and you and I we should want to be on the right side of this line between the, the pretenders who only want the gifts that God gives from the honest sincere believer who wants the giver and let the gifts come and go as he sees fit.
Because God dispenses his blessings through his word and it's because Scripture does things in us the Scriptures benefit us and I'm going to show you five areas of life where Scripture benefits the heart of the believer as we walk with the word of God as we go through life. So first of all how to Scripture shape our hearts. Where does Scripture dispense its blessing to you as we see it thematically in Psalm 119 will point number one you find the blessing in affliction, you find the blessing in affliction. And if you've read Psalm 119, somewhat rapidly in the past is going to surprise you, as it did me as I was preparing is going to surprise you how prominent the theme of affliction is in Psalm 119. The writer of this Psalm is a leader of some kind, who is under adversity. He is in affliction, he is feeling the weight of sorrow and trials and yet even in that affliction comes forth out of his life from a human perspective. This magnificent poetic masterpiece that we know is Psalm 119 and I want to walk you through more than a dozen passages to show you this theme. Look at Psalm 119 verse 23 where he says even though princes sit and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. There are powerful men of influence that are speaking and plotting against him and he says I'm setting that aside so that I can meditate on your word. Oh God.
Verse 50. He says this is my comfort in my affliction that your word has revived me the arrogant, utterly deride to me, yet I do not turn aside from your law.
Verse 61 the cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten your law. Verse 78 May the arrogant be ashamed for. They subvert me with a lie. But I shall meditate on your precepts versus 85 and 86. The arrogant have Doug Pitts for me. Men who are not in accord with your law all your commandments are faithful they have persecuted me with a lie. Help me goes on were not even halfway done yet on this theme. Psalm 119 verse 95 the wicked wait for me to destroy me, I shall diligently consider your testimonies verse 110. The wicked have laid a snare for me. Yet I have not gone astray from your precepts verse 134 redeem me from the oppression of man that I may keep your precepts. 139. My seal has consumed me because my adversaries have forgotten your words, 143 trouble and anguish have come upon me yet. Your commandments are my delight 153 look upon my affliction and rescue me for I do not forget your law.
Verse 157, many are my persecutors and my adversaries yet I do not turn aside from your testimonies and finally in verse 161 princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in all of your words. This is a call, the adversity, the affliction is designed to drive us to the word of God not to not to worry not to human resolutions of the problem now without little tangent aside, let's draw some other things out about this aspect of affliction here beloved. This may come as a surprise for a few of you, Scripture does not promise that the believer will never face trouble, far to the contrary, it tells us that it is through many afflictions that we must enter the kingdom of God. We must you and I we must condition our minds. We must come to the understanding that as we walk through this life. There are going to be a multitude of various kinds of affliction that trouble us that beset us that make life difficult for us as we go through this Pilgrim journey and we need to understand that that's the way that it's going to be the promise of Christ is not to keep you out of that trouble but rather the promises is that Christ will sustain you in it and that the word of God is a living word that can give you strength and comfort in the middle of it so that your your expectations are going to frame the way that you view things if you think that you're not supposed to go through trials as a Christian, you're either going to think that God is treating you unfairly or that you know I must've done something wrong to be in the midst of this affliction when that's just not the case. This is the nature of living life in a fallen world. Joe, five, seven says that man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward affliction of the believing people is a common theme in Scripture and where were to come to that is not to collapse under the weight of it not to be frustrated in the midst of it, but to let this affliction remind us of the theme of Psalm 23. I fear no evil for you are with me. I fear no evil for you are with me. The evil is all about me and the enemies are watching me as you prepare a table before me in the midst of them, but you are with me and, therefore, that is enough.
That is enough to sustain me to sustain me in joy and confidence in faith as I walk through these afflictions and that's what you see. The psalmist perspective coming out as he writes about these afflictions in Psalm 119. With all that affliction that we looked at Psalm 20 passages, give or take. In Psalm 119. What is the perspective of the psalmist on all of that adversity that he was facing know what his answer to it is in humility.
He acknowledges that the affliction brings spiritual benefit to him. The affliction has spiritual benefits for him.
This is remarkable. Psalm 119. For all of its themes of affliction is not written from a downcast frame of mind. Psalm 119. Rather speaks in these terms. Look at verse 67 Psalm 119 verse 67 where he says, before I was afflicted I went astray.
But now I keep your word affliction taught me to put aside my unfaithful ways, and to abide more closely with Christ affliction taught me to stop treating sin is such a casual matter and get serious about sanctification.
You might say before I was afflicted I went astray. But now I keep your word. In other words, he saying there was a benefit to this affliction that I walk through it produced a more sanctified life in my heart. Verse 71 it is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn your statutes for 75. I know the Lord, that your judgments are righteous and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me only your loving kindness comfort me according to your word to your servant, and then in verse 92. If your law had not been my delight that I would've perished in my affliction. What the Scripture do one of the things that Scripture does is that it instructs you in the midst of your affliction if you will take the time to open it and read it if you will take the time to hear it taught, if you will take your time to submit your heart and mind to it. Scripture teaches you as a Christian that there is benefit to affliction. It sanctifies you.
God uses it to sanctify you God in the affliction is being faithful to you, even though it hurts, and that in the end God brings you out and comfort you in the affliction and comforts you through his word.
So what does Psalm 119. Teach us what Scripture does in the midst of affliction. It teaches you, beloved, that when you say I'm feeling the weight and staying of change in affliction, it should cause you to say what that means is I need to go to the word more deeply. I need to renew my commitment to the word not get discouraged. Just go to the word of God and so I ask you I ask you as a pastor, as your pastor for many of you.
Where do you really turn when affliction hits when the temperature of affliction goes up. Does your attention to God's word go up or is there an inverse relationship. There we need to take these things seriously responding to the word of God and receiving the word of God in your affliction is the key to allowing Scripture to do its work to comfort you and to sustain you in it and so it immediately challenges us at the most difficult points of life to consider what do we think about Scripture. If it is the word of God and it does comfort us in affliction, then wouldn't it make sense to be expecting you to be particularly in the word of God, when affliction hits rather than turning to alcohol, rather than turning to worldly amusements, rather than turning to any other matter of of of earthly worldly comfort are sinful means of coping with things isn't that obvious that if if the word of God is what it is and you are who you say you are, then it would seem that you would be in the word of God, particularly as your trust and as your refuge for your soul as you're going through these difficult trials and so Scripture shapes our heart and affliction shapes our hearts in another way. Point number two. It shapes our hearts for understanding for understanding as you read Psalm 119 are struck by the fact that first of all, the psalmist loves the word of God right. I mean, this is just obvious and will talk about this more, but he loves the word of God is the object of his highest affection and because listen watch this. These things are linked together. This is connected together because he loves the word of God. He wants to understand the word of God and he asks God to help him understand it better. There is a prayerful devotion to the word that is not simply looking for to solve our problems or give us strength.
There's this prayerful devotion seeking to have a deep comprehension of it. Psalm 119 verse 12 Blessed are you, oh Lord, teach me your statutes. Verse 18 open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law. Verse 26 I have told of my ways and you have answered me, teach me your statutes. Verse 33 teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding that I may observe your law and keep it with all of my heart. You see, this is somebody who doesn't simply want a greater theological attainment alone.
He wants to understand the word better so that he could practice it better in his life is not simply mental gymnastics that he's engaging in as so much scholarly literature seems to be in the Christian world, at least at times he wants it so that it will affect his life.
He will conform him to obedience. That's what he's asking for God. I want to walk in the path of your commandments. I delight in them. Therefore, teach me teach me. I come to you, and I asked the spirit of God to be my instructor as I pursue the word of God.
Verse 38 establish your word to your servant, is that which produces reverence for you. Verse 64. The earth is full of your loving kindness, O Lord, teach me your statutes were 68 you are good and do good, teach me your statutes. Verse 73 your hands made me and fashioned me, give me understanding that I may learn your commandments, but versus 6873 together.
He he honors God for his attributes. He recognizes that he is a creature made by the hands of the same God and in recognition of the goodness of God in recognition of God's role as creator and his life. He says teach me, teach me your word. Teach me through your word who you are. Teach me who I am, so that I might be able to walk in your commandments, Scripture leads us.
It compels us to this kind of worldview.
Psalm 119 verse 108 were looking at the fact that Scripture shapes our hearts for understanding and 1080, except the free will offerings of my mouth the Lord, and teach me your ordinances. My favorite in verse 125 it's foolish to talk about favorite things is if you're competing the word of God with one another, but this one just been so familiar's from the very beginning of my Christian life that it just stands out to me. Psalm 119 verse 125. I am your servant. Give me understanding that I may know your testimonies verse 130 the unfolding of your words gives light it gives understanding to the simple as the word is taught to me.
Oh God, as it is explained it gives understanding understanding that is available even to the simple, even to the uneducated.
It does not require advanced degrees in theology and biblical studies in order to understand the word of God. The humblest of believers through across the world. Throughout the centuries have been able to know and have a profound depth of the understanding of God and the gospel in the way that it applies they have profound understanding because this word is there meditation in the spirit of God is is their teacher and so it gives understanding to the simple is not the were opposed to scholarship scholarship is great. The key thing to understand is that the word of God is not simply available to the scholars who study it, a lot of times of the word of God is hidden from them because are approaching it with a heart of pride and arrogance. Instead, and so the simple, humble believer has in the word of God. That which can give him understanding so you ask for it. You pray to God for it. Verse 135 make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes. Verse 144. Your testimonies are righteous forever. Give me understanding that I may live. Finally, verse 169 let my cry come before you oh Lord gives me understanding, according to your word. Miss it. You can't miss it. What the psalmist is doing in theological terms as this. He is can pressing his need for illumination. He needs the health of God to expand the capacity of his mind to understand its deaths and expanding his mind to understand the application of it to is why isn't it obvious from Psalm 119, that the believing heart is consumed with a desire to understand the Scriptures, the blessings and benefits of earnestly studying God's word is nothing like available to all regardless of our station in life are teacher Don Greene will continue in this series called the magnificent word next time here on the truth pulpit.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to hear this message again, or perhaps share it with a friend or loved one. Just go to the true pulpit.com. There you'll find all of God's teaching along with a library of other study materials to help you live your life on a solid foundation found only in God's holy word.
That's it for today on Bill right will see you next time on the truthful