2007-03-17 - Make the Bible First in Your Life
Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."
Is it? Is the Word of God really a lamp to your feet and a light for your path? I am going to say something here I might regret, but it is an observation. I float among many different groups of conservative evangelical-type traditions. I have noticed that there is joy in many things, but rarely do I meet someone whose true focus is upon the Word of God. Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Pentecostal, Reformed, and any other group you might wish to toss in there, as long as you include yourself, all talk about God's Holy Word, but are easily distracted from it.
There are both good and bad things that distract us from God's Word. The bad things that keep us from God's Word, I will let you interpret for yourself. However, even those things that one might argue are neutral, if they keep us from God's Word, become hurtful to us. Those good things can be the reading of "other" Christian books, church activities, service and involvement in deeds of mercy both through the church and community, and yes even fellowship. All can be distractions that keep us from making God's Word - our delight, lamp to us, or light and guide to our path. These are all good things, but they hurt us when they take away from the primacy of God's Word. For the Christian, there are at least three areas in which he/she is to excel: 1. The study of God's Word. 2. Prayer. 3. Application/practice/holiness. Any activity that consistently takes away from these, for any reason, in the end hurts us. If you are overcommitted to activities, Christian or other, and therefore neglect these hinges of the Christian life, then your priorities need careful evaluation.
God's Holy Word is the focus of this verse, and may I remind you that Scripture is God's revelation to us of Himself. This is where we learn of the one before whom we will one day stand and give an account, the one in whom we live and have our being, and the one who we will, by the grace of Christ, spend eternity. Can you neglect it?
I am not talking about just reading Scripture. I am saying we should be students of God's Word. We must become masters of it. Your pastor cannot master God's Word for you. He cannot be with you at work, filling up the gas tank, or doing the various mundane activities of the day. In every area of your life, you alone stand before God. His revelation to us is how we are taught how we must live. I say "must" live because we are accountable to God how we live, and He has given us a guide in which we learn how others have lived before Him, forsaken Him, and He, in His Word, directs us as to how we should live. But I am convinced that evangelical Christians don't really believe this. How can I say such a thing? It is because I am convinced that most people who, if asked to give a true account, would be ashamed at how they neglect God's Holy Word. It is often for good reasons, those we might be tempted to justify, but upon examination, any reason for neglecting God's Word will fall to the ground and we should be ashamed.
Do you want God's Word to be your lamp and light? You must study it!!! I can hear those reading this saying, but..., but..., but , and I am saying, but nothing. Make it so. Make no excuse. Do not neglect God's revelation to us -- to you, for any reason. Memorize it, pray over passages, and through passages. Learn the outlines of the 66 books. Make it your first book, your only true book by which you define who you are, what you believe, and what you do. It will only then become a lamp to your feet and a light for your path. Neglect it, and the result is included in this verse: you will be walking in darkness.
Soli Deo Gloria,