Thursday, October 14, 2010

God's Word: Boundary-setter

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 119:89-104

TO CHEW ON: "I have restrained my feet from every evil way
That I may keep Your Word." Psalm 119:101

It's one thing to declare our belief in the inerrancy of God's Word (our subject yesterday), but quite another to give that Word such an elevated place that it impinges on our lives, curtails our activities, and changes our habits. That's what the psalmist tells us he does.

1. He is so convinced that God's Word is the real thing, that he has put muscle into getting familiar with it: "Your law has been my delight" (vs. 92); "I will never forget your precepts" (vs. 93); "I have sought Your precepts" (vs. 94); "I keep Your precepts" (vs. 100). Then he lets it dictate his action or inaction: "I have restrained my feet from every evil way" (vs. 101).

2. He gives greater regard to God's Word than common sense -- the wisdom that's available to everyone, even his enemies (vs. 98), the wisdom of experts (vs. 99), and the wisdom of experience (vs. 100). In our time that might look like someone who refuses to compromise honesty and integrity even when the boss and the culture at the workplace encourage lying, taking cash payments to avoid taxes, fudging expense accounts, that sort of thing.

3. In fact, he sees all of life through its filter (vs. 104). We'd call that having a Word-centred (or Christian) worldview. Whole books have been written on this. Let's just say, such a biblically centred filter will quickly set you apart from the humanist, the atheist, the agnostic the pantheist and all manner of "ists" among your acquaintances.

I ask myself, do I know God's Word well enough to make it the filter through which I view life?

Do I have such confidence in it that I prefer it when other "wisdom' conflicts with it?

Does it affect my behavior? Do I let its teaching about moderation and self-control keep me from overdoing it while eating or shopping? Do I obey its advice to control my tongue and refrain from gossip, slander, hateful speech, outbursts of anger? Does it restrain my feet to the extent of keeping me away from a questionable movie or TV series when I know the images and language are sure to erode the standards of purity and holiness He has set for me? Have I let it be my boundary setter?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the Bible. Help me give its principles and teachings not only lip-service but life-service. May I have the courage to live by it no matter how odd, foolish or naive that may make me appear to those around me. Amen.

MORE: Word-quotes to think about

"Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!" --Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"In most parts of the Bible, everything is implicitly or explicitly introduced with "Thus saith the Lord". It is... not merely a sacred book but a book so remorselessly and continuously sacred that it does not invite -- it excludes or repels -- the merely aesthetic approach. You can read it as literature only by a tour de force... It demands incessantly to be taken on its own terms: it will not continue to give literary delight very long, except to those who go to it for something quite different. I predict that it will in the future be read, as it always has been read, almost exclusively by Christians." --C.S. Lewis

"Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy." --R. C. Sproul

"The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that." --Mccosh

Quotes from Tentmaker Bible Quotes

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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