Isn’t it amazing when God answers right away! This morning (December 11, 2020) He did, and let me briefly explain.
To begin my morning engagement with the Bible, I usually pray that God opens my eyes to clearly see what’s in His Word. That happened “right off the bat” as I began to read Psalm 119:9-16 (NET) with verse 9:
9 How can a young person maintain a pure life? By guarding it according to your instructions!
Verse 9a articulates the urgent question a Christian must ask; namely, how can I “maintain a pure life?”
This is not easy in a society that is in a “moral free-fall.” As reported in a November 23, 2020 article entitled “Pastor John MacArthur: “America’s in a Moral Free-Fall” in Christian News Now (link: Pastor John MacArthur: “America’s in a Moral Free-Fall” | Christian News Now ). John MacArthur makes a chilling summary:
America’s in a moral free-fall. Just look at it as I would as a pastor. You murder the babies in the womb, if they survive the womb you try to seduce them into transgender sexual deviation when their young. If they survive that you corrupt them with a Godless education. If they survive that you have divorce in the family, and if they grow to be adults you drown them in a sea of pornography. This is a nation so far down in the sewer of immorality and wickedness that nothing surprises me. In fact I would be shocked if a judge said ‘Open all the churches and close all the strip clubs.’ “
But, after asking the question, the Psalmist immediately gave the answer under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
By guarding it according to your instructions!
That’s it in a nutshell! The highway for a holy life is obedience to God’s Word. The balance of vv. 9-16 presented the following guidance for one to guard their way “according to Your instructions.” Briefly, these are:
• I will with all my heart seek after God
• I will store up God’s Word in my heart
• I will praise God
• I will proclaim aloud God’s revealed Word
• I will rejoice in a holy life
• I will meditate on Scripture
• I will focus and follow the lifestyle taught by Scripture
• I will delight in God’s Word
• I will not forget God’ Word
• I will ask God to not allow me to stray from His command in His Word
• I will ask God to teach me His Word
Note the sequence in a personal sense: (1) God’s guidance to me is contained in God’s Word (i.e., the 66 books of the Bible), (2) if I ask, God will teach me His Word and keep me from straying from His Word, (3) I will strive after God and His Word through Bible engagement with the goal being to obey what He teaches me from His Word, and (4) I will praise God and rejoice in living in a fashion consistent with His Word.
Note that the Psalmist meditates on God’s Word and stores up God’s Word in his heart. A person cannot do either of these unless he or she engages the Bible.
I believe it is fair to say that every Christian ought to try to increase their Bible engagement whether that means going from “essentially 0 to 15,” “15 to 40,” “40 to 70” or “70 to 100 and beyond.”
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change. Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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