Monday, September 21, 2015
Psalm 45:1 My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
If all access to the Word of God was denied, how much of it would you still be able to meditate on from memory?
Are you satisfied with your answer?
I’m not! I do not believe for one moment that I have hidden enough of God’s Word in my heart. My thought life is proof of that, and from my thoughts comes sin. Sin is the product of my word in my heart, not God’s. I need to memorize His Word more. My heart is too often stirred by sinful themes, not noble ones. I spend far too little time reciting my verses for the king.
I think you will agree that the Word of God is not the basis for most of our conversations with God or with other people.
Several years ago I conducted a funeral for the sister of a member of our church. A man from Africa who had befriended this Christian woman while she was in the hospital asked if he could speak. Before he began, he prayed. I was deeply challenged and moved by his connection with God in prayer, and I instantly knew why – he prayed the Word of God. He began every sentence of his prayer with this statement – “We are persuaded from Scripture which says…” and then he would quote a verse from the Bible, followed by a request of God using the verse as his basis for asking. He knew what the Word of God said so he could pray with faith and authority.
I desire all of my conversations with God and with people to be the same. The Apostle Paul said “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” My desire is to proudly practice and proclaim the principles of God’s Word in every part of my life.
But it seems we have a long way to go to reach the point of using the Word of in our everyday conversations with people. Why is that? Either we don’t know it well enough or we choose not to use what we do know. Both are sad confessions of our self-centered lives.
We may use principles we have learned from God’s Word in our conversations with people, but how often do we acknowledge the source of those principles?
We quote sports heroes, political figures, weathermen, and famous Christians but fail to quote Christ Himself.
We read and recommend all the latest best-sellers from Christian authors but spend little time reading the original source of all spiritual truth.
We buy the latest self-help books to deal with the issues of our lives, but ignore the Book that teaches self-denial as the foundation of abundant life.
Even some of our churches have changed their philosophy of Christian education. The ratio of God’s Word to entertainment and man’s philosophies is way out of balance – almost to the point of the total exclusion of God’s Word.
Entertaining videos for children have replaced the direct teaching of the stories and truths of the Bible.
Youth ministries have turned from personal Bible study designed to know God and integrate His truths into everyday living to trusting a stranger to teach lifestyle management skills on DVD.
Adult Bible studies use very little of the Bible and a lot of books containing man’s opinions of what the Bible says.
I am not advocating the banning of books and videos from church ministry – they are useful and have their place. But when they become the end in themselves rather than being simply a springboard into a deeper study of the Word of God, then they are being used incorrectly.
I propose to you that an enthusiastic teacher who knows, lives, and talks God’s Word will garner more attention and have a greater impact on children and adults than the best produced video. To say that a media presentation is more effective because we live in a media world is to deny the very foundation of our created existence, which is relationship.
People do not relate to videos – they relate to teachers. Videos have their place and can be used effectively, but they can never replace the truths that will be caught by people of all ages as they see it taught and modeled by their mentors.
I am especially concerned about the lack of Scripture memorization that takes place in our personal lives. When was the last time you intentionally studied a verse or passage of Scripture so that you could memorize it? When was the last time you sat down with your children and reviewed their Bible memory verses from AWANA that week so that you could be assured they were truly committing it to memory? How many additional verses do you learn together with them during your family devotions during the week?
My friends, this is serious. The reason that we are being sucked into the world’s philosophies and secularized lifestyles is because we have not memorized God’s principles and do not know His truth.
What will we do about it?
Our first priority must be to memorize God’s Word and then use it in every aspect of our lives. Let its truths guide every decision we make. Let the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing in God’s sight because they are based on His truth. We must use the Bible in our everyday conversations. Be unashamed to give credit to God for our beliefs and opinions. Put everything about our life into the context of God’s truth, and put God’s truth into the context of everything in our life.
We are to be the living proof of God’s living Word. Let His Word come to life in you and in how you live. Let your heart be stirred by its noble themes.
May my heart overflow with a pleasing theme as I address my verses to the king.