For these first five weeks of the year, our church is going through a series titled “Core Values” where we are looking at five core values that should shape our Christian lives. We desire to be a people that value what our God values. Therefore, we are seeking to look to Scripture to see what God wants for our lives.
It’s true that what we value will shape how we live. For example, if we value health, we may change our eating habits, increase our time at the gym, and observe our steps throughout the day. If we value wealth, we will do everything we can to obtain financial prosperity.
As Christians, we should have biblical values. The first value that we looked at as a church is a love for God’s Word. We spent our time studying Psalm 119:89-96 which says,
Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies. I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.
We see repeatedly throughout Scripture that God’s people are to love God’s Word.
We read “In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches (Ps. 119:14). We see Peter saying, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation ( 1 Peter 2:2).” God commands Joshua and Israel saying, “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go (Josh. 1:7).”
The question I have when I look at these Scriptures is this: Why should we delight in God’s Word? The psalmist has an answer for us.
The Word of the Lord Endures (vv.89-91)
The psalm writer begins by saying that the Word is fixed, it endures to all generations. The word “fixed” means it is settled. It is established. It stands firm. The word of God is like a pillar that cannot be moved under the most destressing of blasts. How comforting is this truth that the Word of the Lord stands the test of time?
In a world of inconsistency, the word of the Lord stands. In a world of fluid economics, government turnover, political opinions, and relationship statuses, we can be sure that the Word of the Lord never changes. Man’s opinions may change of another, teaching changes, years come and go, but the Word of the Lord will remain unchanged.
Isaiah says it like this, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).” We spend our lives depending on the fickle ways of the world. How often does this lead to depression and a lack of joy in one’s life? We get caught up in the ways of the world, constantly trying to keep up with all that is happening; with the new fads and the way that the world is changing. The changing of the world creates confusion and frustration, but there is one thing in this world that has stood the test of time: The Word of God.
We see in these first few verses that the Word of the Lord is always relevant. There are some that make the argument that the Word of the Lord is outdated. They say that it’s ancient and outdated. Philosophers and skeptics for years have argued that this Bible is outdated. Yet, philosophers and skeptics come and go, but the Word of the Lord remains forever. The reason that the Word is unchangeable is because the God who decreed it is unchangeable.
God’s Word doesn’t change, because God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8) The psalmist says, “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast (Ps. 119:90).” God’s character does not change nor do His promises. How often have we been let down by individuals that have assured us that we can trust them? People tell us that we can trust them, only to break their promises later.
In God, we have one that we can completely trust. We have a God that never changes, never breaks a promise, is always faithful. We may get frustrated with the unfaithfulness of man, but when we look at our relationship with God, how often have we been guilty of the same thing that upsets us with others? How often have we renewed our commitment to God?
How often have we sworn that we would follow Him in faithfulness only to break those promises shortly after? Yet, here we are; still breathing, still living. Paul, writing to Timothy says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself (2 Tim. 2:13).”
Aren’t we glad, that when we read, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1)” we can trust that if we are in Christ, no matter how far we fall from the Lord, we are justified and declared righteous in Christ and our actions will not persuade God to ever go back on His promise that we will sit with Him at His table?
In a world of constant changing, we have a God that is reliable, sure, fixed, and unchangeable. I recently read an article in Harvard Business Review that was titled Don’t Trust Your Gut. The article said,
“Detached from rigorous analysis, intuition is a fickle and undependable guide—it is as likely to lead to disaster as to success. And while some have argued that intuition becomes more valuable in highly complex and changeable environments, the opposite is actually true. The more options you have to evaluate, the more data you have to weigh, and the more unprecedented the challenges you face, the less you should rely on instinct and the more on reason and analysis.”
They argue that one’s intuition should not be a sure way to make decisions because essentially, our intuition, our feelings, are misleading. They argue, that businessmen should trust the data, they should trust the facts; they should trust the tools that they have been given to make decisions.
How true is this today for us as Christians? The world says, “trust your heart. Follow your heart. Trust your instincts.” However, we cannot base our sure foundation on our feelings and our heart. We read in Scripture, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it (Jer. 17:9)?”
Our minds and hearts, our reasoning abilities have all been corrupted by the Fall. We are all corrupted by sin, and it’s something that we’ll have to battle against until Christ returns. We make decisions on what we feel. We may have a strong urge or desire to do something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. Man’s problem is that we rely too much on our deceitful hearts and not enough on the sure Word of God.
I encourage you to rely less on yourself, and more on the sure and fixed Word of God. Instead of saying, “I’m going to do this, because it feels right, we should say, what does God’s Word say about this?” We should take our feelings under the authority of God’s Word. We shouldn’t follow our hearts because we had to be saved from our hearts. Our hearts lead us into sin. Our feelings change overtime, but there is one that never changes. There is one that has stood the test of time because He transcends time. His precepts are sure and trustworthy because they are the Word of a sure and trustworthy God.
What are you following today? Are you following your heart or are you following the Word of God? Let us not be a people that affirms God’s Word as perfect, but live as if it has limits over our lives. Can you imagine a people that live daily under the complete authority of God’s Word? Can you imagine what that would do for our lives? Our families? This congregations?
I love the next verse. “By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants (v.91).” God has created and appointed His creation by His Word. God orders creation like a general orders and appoints His soldiers in battle. In the beginning God created and appointed all of creation. He established the earth, solar system, planets, and galaxies. Not only did He create all of this that we see, but we see from Scripture that He also upholds it all by the Word of His power (Heb. 1:3)
Think about that for a moment. God, by the Word of His power, creates and sustains all of life. He creates and upholds the universe by the Word of His power. He sustains the earth and all that is within it simultaneously by the Word of His power. He keeps the planets aligned, stars hung in the sky, blood pumping through our veins, our hearts beating, plants growing, animals moving. He does it all simultaneously by the Word of His power.
He keeps the earth on its axis at exactly the right degree that it needs to be to sustain life. He maintains its constant temperature and distance from the sun. He appoints the seasons and the weather. He upholds it all from falling out of the sky by the Word of His power. All the while, sustaining our lives every second that we are alive. He knows the stars by name. He knows all of the galaxies that have yet to be discovered. He knows all of the scientific phenomenon completely that seem to boggle our minds.
He knows every one of the people on earth.
He knows the number of all the hairs of our head. He orchestrates the universe and orchestrates our lives here on earth. Each individually and intimately, all by the Word of His power. How amazing is this God that we serve? How truly awesome is he? God is truly awesome. His Works and character should produce an awe inside of us.
Are we not glad that we serve a God that is upholding and sustaining by the Word of His power? He has decreed it all from the foundation and keeps it going by His appointments. Throughout history, the Word of the Lord has sustained life. It remains constant and unchanged. In a world of inconsistency, there remains one that is constant and unchanging. Let us delight in His Word. We delight in the Word of God because we love the God of the Word. He is truly remarkable.
Soli Deo Gloria
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