“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Psalm 119:14-16 NIV
We often come to January with the best of intentions. As Christ-followers, we are poised and ready to shed off our shortcomings from the previous year and begin again with a new devotion and energy towards our Bible reading and time with the Lord. So often our ability to follow through on this seems to fall flat as school gets back in session and life kicks into full swing. Pretty soon we find ourselves reverting back to our old ways and feeling comfortable there in very short order. Other things seem to quickly re-capture our affections, our time, and our energy.
We can often find that our ‘resolutions’ actually end up being fueled by guilt, commercial marketing, internal and external expectations, pride, simple self-discipline, and positively even, a knowledge of what is best for us and a desire to honor God. But what if our motivation, our why, is not really any more compelling after three weeks than the pull of our comfy and warm beds, the satisfaction of worldly success, the false sense of productivity that comes from busyness, or the ease of turning on Netflix at the end of a long day? We must have a better why, a more compelling and sustaining motivation to fuel our desire for God’s Word, or we will find ourselves wanting. Too often we find our motivation linked solely to the emotional ups and downs of our circumstances rather than the constant reality of the unshakable joy of our salvation.
We need to be prepared for the fact that consistency in God’s Word is hard work and takes discipline, but it is eternally worth the investment of our time and temporal sacrifices. Through Christ we have been given the unbelievable opportunity to behold the glory of the Almighty God. We cannot as the Psalmist writes ‘neglect [His] word’ and take this joyous privilege for granted!
So, what are some motivating and fueling truths about God and His Word…from God and His Word…that we must grasp as we seek to grow in godliness and true worship of our King in 2020?
Scripture is actually God’s Word; therefore, it is sure and trustworthy! (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
God, through His Word, will strengthen your faith (Romans 10:17)
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
God, through His Word, will instruct us in holiness for our endurance and our hope (Romans 15:4)
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
God, through His Word, will transform human hearts (Hebrew 4:12; Isaiah 55:11)
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
God, through His Word, will give you freedom from Sin (John 8:31-32)
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Ultimately, in God’s Word we learn who God REALLY is! (Psalm 19:7-11)
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
The more you read the Bible, the more you get of God himself — and God is infinitely ‘more valuable than gold, and far more satisfying than honey’.
Therefore our motivation for reading the Bible MUST not come from simply the desire to stockpile knowledge or to impress Christian friends with our ability to navigate the Scriptures, or to check off a box to say that we were self disciplined enough to follow a reading plan. NO… our motivation for reading our Bible is that we get to encounter the living God of the universe on his terms as he has revealed himself to sinful human beings. Our motivation is that we might cherish Him and Him alone as our ultimate treasure.
By the power of the Holy Spirit we can see him for who he truly is, our Rock, our Redeemer our Protector, our Father, our Lord, our King, and our Savior. We read because we worship. We read because we are grateful for a God who has saved us from the curse of sin. We read because we stand in awe at His everlasting and unwavering kindness to us, broken and unfaithful people. We search, pray, and study the Scriptures to see Him for who he really is so that we can worship him rightly out of an overflow of rejoicing for the love that he has bestowed on us undeserving sinners. In this, we see the good news of the gospel in all its glory!
So Veritas Church, as we encounter the perfect and holy character of God in the pages of Scripture I pray that we would consider him worthy of our obedience, our praise, and our worship! And let us, no matter our circumstances, rejoice in the Lord by immersing ourselves in the Word of God so that we might treasure our King and Savior over the seductions, distraction, and treasures of this world that so easily captivate us. He is worthy!