The Value of God’s Word
Bargains or Values: What are you Shopping for in life?
Have you ever heard the expression you get what you pay for? What someone was trying to convey in that expression is that value doesn’t come cheap. When we’re shopping for something of value we’re shopping for something that is greatly desired. It’s a must have. And money is no longer the issue, but rather the quality and the value of the object becomes more important.
The truth is that there are some things we don’t mind paying bargain basement prices for – because in reality the quality of the object is not very important to us. But if we need something to last and it is something of great importance to us then we will find ourselves shopping for value rather than bargains.
I want us to spend a few weeks talking about values. In particular, what are the values of Crosspoint? And I want to begin with a value that we just sometimes automatically assume but never talk much about – the value of God’s word.
How could any of us forget just a year or so ago when our gas prices reached an unbelievable $4 a gallon? The last time gas went that high was due to the hurricane that went through the Houston TX area and did great damage to the refineries there. What happened next was an age old principle of supply and demand. As the supply went down the demand became greater and the value of gas went higher. That principle will work in reverse as well. As the supply goes up and the demand grows less the value of an object will lower.
I thought about that this week in relation to our subject this morning. Almost all of us own a Bible. If you don’t own a Bible just let us know and we will be happy to provide you one. We would consider it an honor to provide you with a Bible. Now let me ask a personal question – how many of you own two bibles, more than two? My collection of bibles is a tribute to the history of my eyesight? As my vision worsens, the print of the Bibles I own grows larger.
So I wonder if the fact that we have so many bibles available to us has driven down the value of the bible in our lives. A crucial question we need to ask ourselves is could you or do you live without the Bible? Understand, that the value of God’s word is not based on accessibility but whether we are engaged with the Bible.
When we say that we as a church value God’s word, that value is only as strong as your personal value of God’s word in your life.
You and I make the church so if we don’t personally value God’s word in our own life then we as a church are incapable of making it something we value. So this morning I want to spend some time talking about why and how we can make God’s word a value – something to be desired in our life.
“The Bible is God’s authoritative guide to life. Therefore, we will seek to help every person understand and apply God's word on a daily basis. We believe that in doing so a person will experience an ongoing, life changing, encounter with God.”
Why Should we Value God’s Word?
It’s unique design
- Its author is God Himself—all scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16) No Cut and Pasting is allowed (Generous giving; Grudges –forgiving; Parents-discipline)
- —no scripture is of any private interpretation but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet. 1:20,21)
- The Bible is inerrant and infallible, containing no errors or mistakes. It is flawless, faultless, and without blemish. Which means it serves as the standard of authority
- The Bible is complete and in need of nothing added and in no need to be revised. (Rev. 22:18,19)
It’s a guidebook to life.
Whenever you buy a product it comes with something that most of us men didn’t even realize – an owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is a guidebook written by the designer and it describes the product and how it was originally designed to function. It is the source of truth about that product. It instructs you on how to maintain, operate, and troubleshoot the product.
- The Bible is the owner’s manual to life. It is written by the original designer and it describes how life was originally intended and designed to function. It is the source of truth about life. It instructs us on how to maintain, operate and troubleshoot our life.
- Now like any owner’s manual, our first thought is that it’s too difficult to read and understand.
- We excuse ourselves by saying the Bible is too hard to figure out. If you think that the Bible is too hard then try this:
· Raising kids in a world gone mad
· Having a marriage in a divorce sex crazed society
· Living with integrity in a anything goes culture
· Trying to handle your finances in a bailout world
· Have a career in a dog eat dog environment
It’s not another self-help book. 84,684 self-help books on Amazon alone. You can even buy a book on how to write a successful self-help book.
The flow of our culture today is, “Let’s just do our own thing and figure it out ourselves.” That’s why the thought of evolution is so popular – we’re supposed to be advancing to the point that no one has to help us figure things out.
- You may think you can figure it out on your own and maybe you will succeed for a brief period of time in a few areas. But let me share this thought with you.
If you’re trying to figure out a problem with a computer that you own and you make a mistake, in most cases, we have a warranty and we can ship it back. If you make a mistake trying to figure out parenting, marriage, finances, etc. you can’t ship that back and start over.
- We need a guidebook through life. Jesus told us if we know the truth the truth will set us free.
- You can be free to live life the way it was originally designed to be lives and enjoyed.
While these two things are true about God’s word and should contribute greatly to our valuing of God’s word, it’s not really what will make the difference as to whether we value God’s word or not.
God’s word is not intended to be informational; But rather transformational.
So how can we embrace and engage God’s word so that it becomes a highly prized and desired value in our life?
I want you to look at Psalm 119:89, 97
It has to become personal to us:
- Verse 89 of the previous section talks about the place of God’s word being in heaven. In verse 97 the place of God’s word is in David’s heart.
- This is the objective for every believer- to take God’s word in heaven and place it in our hearts.
- Verse 89 was informational; Verse 97 is personal.
- It has to move from head to heart
- God’s word will never affect our life unless it becomes personal. This is not just another piece of literature; this is God’s word to us. It’s meant to be personal.
- You have to personalize the Word; it has to cease being a message for someone else and become a personal message to you.
- Are you asking as you look into God’s word, “What’s in it for me?”
It has to be pursued (Vs. 97)
- David uses a comparative word to describe his affection for God’s word. David’s love for the word was greater than his love for any other thing in his life.
- The love David had for the Word is critical in understanding how he became a man after God’s own heart.
- You can’t pursue something with passion if you don’t love it. (Football Vs. hockey) If a person approaches the Word without love and approaches it coldly out of duty, they will quickly give up.
- Often, people read their bibles for a period of weeks or even for a month. At the end of that time period they declare they have benefited little from their time spent in the Word.
- The end result is they abandon their efforts to be in the word. There is no place for abandonment of God’s Word if it is to be valued
- The secret is that David has not been reading God’s word. He has been meditating on the word.
- He’s allowing God’s word to saturate and marinate his life (All the day, etc)
- You can’t value God’s word only on Sunday; you need to make it part of your daily pursuit
- David said, it’s become so much a part of my life that I think about it when I’m faced with my enemies. (Vs. 98)
- Too often we attempt to match those that oppose us with their same tactics.
- If they gossip about us, we do the same;
- If they play office politics we do the same.
- Whatever someone brings against us, we tend to reciprocate, and every time we lose!
- We must choose a different route.
- If we will rely upon God’s word then his principles will be the undoing of fraud and scheming and slander.
- David allowed God’s word to govern his actions, to direct him in difficulties,
- It was part of his day when making decisions (Vs. 99, 100)
- It was part of his day when faced with temptations (Vs. 101)
It has to be experienced
- It satisfies his hunger. (Vs. 103)
When we are hungry for a particular food, nothing else will satisfy. How many times have we eaten a meal, only to say afterwards, “that was not very satisfying.” We had a taste for something, yet what we ate was ordinary, it did nothing to excite our sense of taste.
On the other hand, there have been meals we’ve eaten that afterwards we said, “wow, that was incredible.” It exceeded our expectations and we went away from the table more than satisfied. The same thing is true with God’s word.
- David said, there’s nothing wrong with the food. He uses the expression “how sweet” to show that there is really not anything to compare it’s superiority to.
- David had an insatiable hunger for the word.
- What kind of appetite do we have for God’s word? David is absolutely overflowing with the word of God. He can’t get enough of God’s word.
- Our appetite for God’s word is one of the best indicators of where we are in our spiritual life.
- Do we dread the thought of reading our Bibles?
- Do we approach God’s word out of duty? No one has to beg a hungry man to come to the table. Are you hungry?
- Our goal is not to entertain you, our goal is for you to experience and encounter God
- Did you know that your view of preaching is directly related to your view of the Bible?
- If you have a high view of scripture, a high view of preaching, a low view of scripture a low view of preaching.
- Make a commitment to not just read your bible but encounter God as you read
- Develop your appetite for God’s Word – like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word…(1 Peter 2:2)
Values are important to us in life. They define who and what we are as individuals. When it comes to God’s word – what is your personal value? Do you value God’s word as a take it or leave it book? Or do you value God’s Word as a one of a kind authoritative guide book to life?
If you do are you willing to make it personal, to pursue it and experience it?
I want you to take out your communication card in your bulletin and then I want you to bow your heads. We believe that life is about the next step. In every journey there is a next step.
This morning you’re faced with a next step: your next step will either be a step away from Jesus or a step closer to Jesus. I want you to look over the next steps on your card. What is your next step – maybe you want to take several this week. What is God prompting you to do?