Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.
~Psalm 119:97, NLT
Obedience is the instrument of spiritual knowledge.
This is the 13th stanza of Psalm 119 and like all the rest, the subject is the word of God. Never has there been so many helps for bible study. I highly recommend BLUE LETTER BIBLE which is a free online tool that has been a tremendous help to me. I don’t know where my Lexicon is because I use the one online. BLB has a concordance, a lexicon, various translations, cross references and many more helps in one program. I thank God almost daily for all these helps which save me hours in time. I also thank Him for good books and commentaries by men such as Warren W. Wiersbe. BUT we must beware, Bible Study is not the end within itself, it is a means to an end. Bible Study for the sake of bible study leads to an inflated self view and a very passive faith. It is much like eating. We eat so we can work. When eating becomes the end instead of the means, we get fat and lazy. We get to the point where we live from meal to meal with no work in between. This is how some folks live, from bible study to bible study, or conference to conference with no obedience in between. I know women who don’t miss their bible study group but they are not faithful to worship attendance and they are not engaged in any ministry of any kind.
Dr. Wiersbe thinks that Jeremiah might have written Psalm 119 but stanza 13 sound much more like Solomon. I don’t think Solomon wrote this Psalm but this stanza doesn’t sound like Jeremiah. Some times we focus on head knowledge but what we need is a heart knowledge of the word and this means we must be taught by the Author Himself. Pure intellect cannot grasp the deep truths in God’s word. God teaches us through the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit. If we are to learn from God Himself, some conditions have to be met:
- We must love the Word of God and meditate on it [v.93-100]
- We must obey the Word of God–God doesn’t want big heads, He wants obedient hearts [v. 101-102]
- We must enjoy [delight in] the Word of God [v.103-104]
If the bible is boring to you, this indicates a problem. It could mean that you are not saved but not necessarily. Bible Study is like anything else, you must develop the passion and that takes time. You are not going to wake up one morning with a passion to study the bible. The way to get started is to read the bible through several times in various translations. You discipline yourself to do this by making a commitment to read 3 chapters per day. Do this for three years in a row and you will have a passion. The passion will become so strong, you will not need a discipline, you will be excited about studying the bible. You desire to study the bible will be greater than your desire to watch TV. BUT, you must remember, our Bible Study is not the end but the means to the end. We study it not just for pure delight but to equip us to serve Christ and others. It is better to study and meditate on one verse per day and then incarnate that verse in your day’s activities than to study an entire chapter without obedience.
- Praise the LORD, I am getting back to normal energy wise: the block party and one night of little sleep had me dysfunctional on Monday. I have a prayer need for my Widow Ministry. I am not going to tell you what it is, that would be a hint. I am going to ask you to pray that God provide the need.
- We have a busy week: STEW today [5:30-7:00], Ministry project Thursday, Pat Vandiver has surgery on Friday and another Ministry Project on Saturday in Ashville, Alabama. No day trip for Big Mama and I this week.
- Larry Garner got a good report yesterday and he goes back today. He was feeling much better last night when I spoke with him on the phone.
- Big Mama and I will miss Sunday morning: LORD willing, I will be preaching at Southside Baptist in Decatur. We will get the biscuits and donuts there, LORD willing.
- Don’t forget: we pray for two people everyday–our President and our Pastor. Our pastor is traveling today, preaching in Michigan tomorrow and will be back Saturday, LORD willing.
- I had my first mess of turnips from the garden last night and a tomato sandwich for breakfast yesterday morning. The tomatoes came from Jerry Segars green house. That boy has a green thumb but right now he is distracted: he is hunting deer.
- If you look at the very bottom of Wade’s web page you will see his itinerary and it reads like this: Michigan, Dallas, Denton, San Antonio, Atlanta, Danville, Nashville, and Los Angeles. Need I tell you: Danville is the smallest place on the list. You may have to click on the play arrow at the bottom for them to scroll.