In my spiritual life, one of my constant prayers is that God would give me a hunger and appreciation for His Word. I have learned quickly that I can't walk spiritually with a daily intake of spiritual nourishment from the Word of God. Psalm 19 teaches us that God has revealed Himself to us through His Word.
Some might ask, "Pastor, why is it so important for me to read the Bible daily?" Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. Think about that! The longest chapter in the Bible talks about the importance of the Bible! This chapter gives us many reasons for studying the Word of God.
Here are four benefits:
Psalm 119:9 says "How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word." The Bible will cleanse a believer. One of the great promises of heaven is the final removal and defeat of the sin nature. Unfortunately, as long as we are in this body, there will be times when we sin and offend God. The Bible shows us the reality and presence of our sin and teaches us how to be cleansed. "Take heed" the Bible says. That means to listen, perk up, and obey what is said.
Simply put, the Bible teaches us about repentance, the way to cleansing. In the Proverbs, Solomon repeatedly says, "My son, listen to wise instruction..." Here's the wisest instruction ever given: Do what the Bible says? One of the Bible's great commands/promises is found in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us... and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The Psalmist also said in verse 11 "Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Here's the truth: You WILL sin. Here's the greater truth: That's no excuse!!! God has called us to live holy lives. Our pursuit is always His holiness. The prescription here is that we would hide His Word in our hearts. Internalizing the Word of God is a great weapon to avoid encroaching sin. Verse 105 says "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet..."
People often say to me "My memory is not good enough to memorize Scripture." It may take you longer than others, but I believe you can do it. And, it just might save you a lot of heartache and trouble. In fact, I've found that long before people quit church or walk away from the Lord, they first stop reading their Bible. It never fails.
Verse 32 of the Psalm says "I will run the course of your commandments, for you shall enlarge our hearts." Have you ever felt God leading you to a work or a task but you didn't feel you had the strength to accomplish it? I know I have. Well, the Word of God gives us that strength. When we "run the course" (to respond energetically) of His Word, we find the strength to do the work He calls us to. Literally, our hearts are enlarged, meaning we have no fear. Large hearts do large work for God and His kingdom. Large hearts also take large amounts of time daily to hear from God's Word.
In verse 89, the Psalmist speaks to God and says "Forever, O Lord, your Word is settled in heaven." Wow! What a promise! In a world that is so unsteady and unsure, the Word of God is completely and totally sure and settled. There is no doubting with God, only faith. There is no disbelief, only trust. We know that God's promises are sure and His Word is true because He cannot lie. He does not change; He is forever the same.
The Word of God gives us a first hand encounter with the deeds God has already done that prove He is true. The Bible also gives us promises that we can cling to and trust as we live our lives. Truly, we have "Blessed Assurance".