Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:9,11)
THE IDEA BEHIND THESE VERSES is that the Word of God shall be the dominant influence in our lives. There is an Institutional Christianity that is big on buildings, ceremony and religious schedule but lacking in heart commitment to God and His Word. It’s like Mother Hubbard’s big hoop skirt that covered everything and touched nothing. This kind of Christianity is spreading throughout the world, including the churches that say they are Bible churches.
R.A. TORREY was a companion preacher of D. L. Moody and held meetings in Moody’s place in England. One of his books gave me this outstanding thought when I was about to leave my teens: “The Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible.” That is big!
THE LAST TIME I HEARD DR. LEE ROBERSON PREACH, he was in his 90’s and used this passage. He dwelt on it for a while, emphasizing the importance of memorizing the Word of God. He could have preached about a lot of things, but he had chosen to urge us to hide the Word of God in our hearts. He had lived long and knew what it took for people to be successful at living the Christian life.
MY MOTHER CARRIED ME IN HER WOMB to Falling Springs Baptist Church. I’ve been going to church ever since. I remember some of the revival meetings when I was 5-8 years old. I didn’t understand much of what was preached but I understood that they truly believed what they were preaching. One country preacher, in his mid-thirties, conducted the annual revival meeting after the corn crop was laid by and people could stay up at night for 2-3 weeks of meetings.
THIS PREACHER QUOTED SCRIPTURE BY THE YARD as he walked up and down the aisle between the pulpit and the back door. He held the Bible in his hand and waved it in the air occasionally as he walked and quoted it. He brought the Bible stories to life. I was spell-bound by it. No lost time, no wandering off course as he drove his points home like a crew building a ship. No wonder the power of God was so strong in those meetings. I watched people come under conviction by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw the tears on the old wood floor and watched them shake the backs of the benches resisting the Spirit until they gave it up.
THOSE MEETINGS WERE SEALED IN MY MEMORY for a lifetime. The preacher, no doubt, had spent many hours walking with a Bible in his hands, reading and memorizing the Word of God. I can imagine he quoted a lot of Bible to his mule as he plowed his corn field. What a blessing it was! The effect of the Word of God is not always that dramatic. Sometimes it is like a gentle rain that moves in at dusk and continues all night, putting everybody to sleep as it falls steadily on the roof. It soaks into the ground and causes things to grow. The Bible can be thunder or gentle rain.
THE WORD OF GOD IS LIKE LIGHT, A FIRE, AND A HAMMER: The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:130) Not only does the Word give light, Jeremiah tells us: Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29)
JESUS' PREACHING WAS HEAVY WITH THE WORD OF GOD. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) (Quoted from Deut.8:3) He quoted from Moses, the prophets and the Psalms. He quoted most from the book of Deuteronomy. He said: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35) If His words are going to outlast Heaven and earth, shouldn’t we pay attention to what He said?
IN THIS LIFE, WE OBSERVE MEN AND WOMEN ASSERTING THEMSELVES, not realizing how short this life is. Their speech and thinking are without the Word of God, as though God has said nothing. We may be the greatest danger to ourselves. Someone has said that the most dangerous thing in the world is the human will that God has not bridled or restrained. I have no problem believing that. So, if life is short, and we are a great danger to ourselves, there is nothing like hiding the Word of God in our hearts to save us from ourselves.
I BELIEVE THE BIBLE IS A SUFFICIENT GUIDE FOR FAITH AND PRACTICE. It does not need to be re-written; just needs to be re-read. The only English Bible we have that has survived 400 years is the King James translation. It served as the foundation for writing the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution and was the Bible that was preached during the revivals that occurred in our country. If you would like to hear some very good preaching on this, go here. No fiction. Just the facts.
WE CAN MAKE BIG MISTAKES WHEN WE ASSUME that God’s book is outdated. It is more profitable to acknowledge that it is God who knows a lot and it is God who is in charge. He is truth. Jesus said: …I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
THIS SHORT ARTICLE IS ABOUT THE NEED TO HIDE THE WORD OF GOD in our hearts. It is more than merely memorizing. It includes chewing and understanding and submitting to everything God shows us. I’m not smart enough to manage my life. If you think you are smart enough to manage yourself, you’re taking on a big load and you may need someone to help you with picking up the mess. I’ve seen a lot of messes in my lifetime and some of them were mine. I need the Word of God to manage my life.
IF YOU WANT TO HIDE THE WORD OF GOD IN YOUR HEART, you can do it. You can memorize verses right out of your Bible or you can write a verse or two with the reference on half of a 3x5 card. Read it over five times a day and start quoting back to yourself, a family member or a friend….or a stranger. Until you get the hang of it, you may want to set a goal of memorizing no more than 1-2 verses a month.
DON'T TRY TO SET THE WOODS ON FIRE. A slow, steady pace will deliver the goods and in a year’s time you will have twelve verses working at shaping your life. If that’s more than you’ve been doing, it’s progress, is it not? If you want to do more than that, you can always step it up. But, do good solid work when you are memorizing. Be tough on yourself and get it right. Surrender to everything God shows you. We post a new verse about every month. You may want to memorize those verses. Or you may want to pick out your own verses that are the most meaningful to you. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JANUARY 15, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Genesis 36-37 P.M. Matthew 12:1-21
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Song for Today:
Going Home (3:39) ( Gaither)
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