“Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.” (Psalm 119:129)
Does it ever surprise you to think that the largest chapter in the Bible is dedicated to adoring God for the gift of His Word? Yet the significance of this fact is often lost on us. As a result, people often misunderstand the Bible’s role in their spiritual lives, and they tend to misuse it in one of two ways. The first way is that people study the Bible coldly, never allowing it to stir their affections. Their theology never culminates in doxology. The second way is that people divorce their personal experience of God from the Book He has given to us. They would rather leave the Bible at home to experience God, say, in nature or singing an exciting song in a church service. One lacks affection and the other places it much too far away from God’s revelation.
In either case, there must be a recovery of the plain truth that God gave us His Word in order that we might encounter Him in its pages. As John Piper puts it, “The ultimate goal of reading the Bible [is] that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ.” Indeed, the Bible exists for worship. God desires to relate to us through the Book He gave us. He wants for our inner world—our hearts and minds—to be furnished with what it reveals about Him, so that He might receive glory from our lives. The psalmist understood this; he saw a profound interplay between his exposure to God’s Word and the condition of his inner life:
- “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (119:11)
- “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.” (119:20)
- “…I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.” (119:47)
- “When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD.” (119:52)
- “When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies.” (119:59)
- “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (119:97)
- “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” (119:111)
- “My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.” (119:167)
These are but a few examples—and there are many, many more—but they will suffice to make one thing abundantly clear: an inner world that is furnished by the Word will result in a life that is devoted, obedient, joyful, and full of God’s presence at every turn. In other words, a heart consumed by the Word makes for a life of true worship. This Sunday, will you come ready to delight in the Word of the Lord? Will you prepare to receive His instruction, so that your thoughts and feelings can be consumed by what He has spoken? Will your ears and heart be piqued when the Scriptures are read and preached?
Let us gather around the Word in order that our lives, inside and out, might be shaped by it in a profound way. Come, listen, and worship with all your heart.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- Do you ever misuse God’s Word in your life? Be ruthlessly honest. Do you study it without affection? Do you prefer to experience God apart from it? Pray and ask Him to make His Word your heart’s delight.
- Pray that God’s Word would have a powerful effect among the people of LifePoint this Sunday. Ask that we would be receptive and responsive to what He says.
Set List for Sunday, November 17, 2019:
- Worthy Of Your Name (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
- Holy Ground (J. Cravity, M. Fieldes, M. Malone, B. Younker)
- Heart of God (A. King, J. Myrin)
- Softly and Tenderly (W. Thompson)
- Living Hope (B. Johnson, P. Wickham)