VIDEO The Light of the Word – The Set Purpose

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Many young people today can’t imagine trying to find their way without the assistance of GPS in their cars and on their phones. Gone are the days of unfolding printed maps as we drive or stopping at gas stations to ask for directions.

Those of us who are Christians are like modern users of GPS; we can’t remember a day without the guidance of the Bible in our lives. Trying to navigate through life with no direction, no markers, no signs, no moral or spiritual boundaries to ensure we stayed on the right path—it seems impossible for those of us who depend on God’s Word. The psalmist put it best, calling God’s Word a “lamp” and a “light” for our path. In the psalmist’s day, a small oil lamp only illuminated a few feet of the path at night. And it can be that way with Scripture. We know which steps to take today by trusting that our steps will become clearer as we walk by faith.

Make God’s Word your trusted source for guidance and direction by studying it daily and obeying it continually.

I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.  Mary Gardiner Brainard

The Set Purpose, Psalm 119:105-106 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

What’s Your Song?

So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites. Deuteronomy 31:22

Most Americans knew little about Alexander Hamilton—until 2015, when Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote his hit musical Hamilton. Now schoolchildren know Hamilton’s story by heart. They sing it to each other on the bus and at recess. He’s their favorite founding father.

God knows the power of music, and He told Moses to “write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it” (Deuteronomy 31:19). God knew that long after Moses was gone, when He had brought Israel into the Promised Land, they would rebel and worship other gods. So He told Moses, “This song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants” (v. 21).

Songs are nearly impossible to forget, so it’s wise to be selective about what we sing. Some songs are just for fun, and that’s fine, but we benefit from songs that boast in Jesus and encourage our faith. One of the ways we “[make] the most of every opportunity” is when we speak “to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” So “sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (see Ephesians 5:15–19).

Songs can be an indicator of the direction of our heart. Do the words make much of Jesus? Do we sing them wholeheartedly? What we sing will influence what we believe, so choose wisely and sing loudly.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

What should you look for in a worship song? Is there a favorite song you can sing more often? Why?

Father, this song is my prayer to You. (Sing your favorite.

The Promise of Eternal Life

1 John 5:1-13

Our culture is obsessed with longevity. While it’s natural to desire many healthy years on earth, we must remind ourselves life doesn’t end with physical death. The bigger issue is eternal destiny.

There is only one way to assure that we are destined for life in heaven: We must recognize our hopeless, sinful condition, turn to Jesus Christ in faith, and receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of everlasting life. Those who do this get to spend eternity in the presence of the Lord, where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11).

Those who reject the offer of salvation suffer the terrible fate of agony in hell and complete separation from the living God. After death, there is no mercy or grace that can bridge the gap between hell and heaven. The matter must be settled while we are alive on earth (Matt. 25:45-46; Heb. 9:27).

We know from Scripture that eternal life is irrevocably linked to the person of Jesus Christ. As the apostle John wrote, “He who has the Son has the life” (1 John 5:12). Reaching a healthy old age is a laudable goal, but nothing is more meaningful than receiving the Savior and the gift of eternity in His presence.

The Righteous Word

“Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.” (Psalm 119:137-138)

The writer of the book of Hebrews called God’s Word “the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:13). Nehemiah declared that God had “performed thy words; for thou art righteous” (Nehemiah 9:8). Those two concepts merge in the beauty of the Word. “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4). The written Word is righteous; the cause of the Word is righteous. That theme pervades this stanza of Psalm 119. Several synonyms describe this characteristic of the Scriptures.

  • The Lord is righteous, and therefore His judgments are upright. “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way” (Psalm 25:8).
  • God’s Word is very pure (Psalm 119:140), like refined gold. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).
  • Because the righteous acts of the Lord have everlasting consequences, the “law is the truth” (Psalm 119:142)—“the righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting” (v. 144).

Since the psalmist dedicated his heart and life to the clarity of God’s Word, righteous jealousy consumed him on behalf of God because the enemies of the Lord forgot His Word (v. 139). Furthermore, even though he felt “small and despised” (v. 141) and trouble and anguish surrounded him, he still delighted in understanding God’s righteous commandments (v. 143).

May the Lord God strengthen our resolve this day to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). HMM III

The Knowledge of God

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. —Hebrews 5:12

Probably the most widespread and persistent problem to be found among Christians is the problem of retarded spiritual progress. Why, after years of Christian profession, do so many persons find themselves no farther along than when they first believed?…

The causes of retarded growth are many. It would not be accurate to ascribe the trouble to one single fault. One there is, however, which is so universal that it may easily be the main cause: failure to give time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God….

The Christian is strong or weak depending upon how closely he has cultivated the knowledge of God….

Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.   ROR010-012

Lord, I’d like to devote the remaining years of my life and ministry to the “holy task of cultivating God. “Help me to know You first, and then out of the overflow of that growing knowledge can come whatever ministry You choose to bless me with. Amen.

Unity in Worship if Not in Doctrine

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. —Psalm 27:8

Christianity is rarely found pure. Apart from Christ and His inspired apostles probably no believer or company of believers in the history of the world has ever held the truth in total purity.

One great saint believed that the truth is so vast and mighty that no one is capable of taking it all in, and that it requires the whole company of ransomed souls properly to reflect the whole body of revealed truth….

The Spirit always says the same thing to whomsoever He speaks and altogether without regard to passing doctrinal emphases or theological vogues. He flashes the beauty of Christ upon the wondering heart, and the awed spirit receives it with a minimum of interference. BAM076-077

No single doctrinal principle is important enough to displace the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the one name that alone should dominate His Church….It is not union but unity that God wants, and that is a matter of life and love. CTBC, Vol. 5/155

The Wind of God

John 3:8

Nothing in nature was more suitable than the wind as a symbol of the Spirit. “To anyone brought up in the Jewish tradition,” J. S. Stewart explains, “it was natural, almost inevitable, to compare the Spirit of God with the wind. For in the Hebrew tongue the same term was used for both.”

It was to a learned theologian that our Lord spoke of this simple, everyday occurrence—the blowing of the breeze. “Listen to the wind,” He said. “Hear it rustling the leaves of the old olive tree. See the clouds scudding across the face of the moon tonight, driven by the wind.” And then the parallel with spiritual realities: “Nicodemus, can you tell where it comes from, or where it goes? The Spirit is like that.”

He is indeed like that. Unexplainable in human language, but known by what He does. He breathes into men the breath of spiritual life, regenerating, reviving, resurrecting the dead, doing what only He can do.

Harriet Auber sang, “All-powerful as the wind He came,/As viewless too.” Viewless, but powerful! “Of all the forces of nature, wind is the greater Invisible,” wrote David Read. “The painter or photographer can reproduce the sun and moon, the waves of the sea, the snow and the rain; but how do you catch the rushing mighty wind? Only by its effects.”

Like a tropical hurricane, the Holy Spirit uproots deep-seated prejudices, overturns rigid bastions of self-righteous dogmatism, and sweeps the slum-like streets of our self-centered lives, ridding them of the debris which accumulate everywhere until He comes with His cleansing.

Where you see changed lives and transformed homes, you know the Spirit has been moving—invisibly, yes—but what He does provides evidence enough of His presence.

I remember the first time I saw a windmill. There it stood on a farm near our own, whirling steadily in the Nova Scotia wind. When I asked what it was for, someone explained that it harnessed the power of the wind to draw water for the cattle. This country lad was impressed! Now, it would be irreverent to speak of “harnessing” the Spirit, but it is true that to benefit from His ministry a believer must put himself in the path of His power.

The Wind is still blowing! God’s Spirit is ceaselessly active, unseen but mighty, moving over the earth. Not for me to try to force Him to do my bidding but to put myself in the path of His power. Mighty Wind of heaven, move on me today!

Edward Read, Burning, Always Burning