Fanning the Flame of God’s Word in Your Life
(Emblems of the Word of God)
By Matthew Black, Pastor
Text: Psalm 119:33-40
Date: Wednesday, June 03, 2009, 7pm
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Introduction: Open your Bibles to Psalm 119:33-40. Tonight I am burdened to remind you to get into the Word of God—it will cleanse you and prune you. It will keep you close to God. You have no power of yourself. You will fail and fall if you do not stay in the Word. So the title of tonight’s message is: “Fanning the Flame of God’s Word in Your Life”.
Psalm 119:33-40, “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. 39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. 40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.”
I. The Word of God is a Pruning Tool.
What is the Father's knife? Although He may use things like suffering in the purging process, the divine pruning instrument is the Word of God. "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
We are spiritually purged, or cleansed, through "the word." Affliction is only the handle of the knife where God gets His grip. Have you ever noticed how much more sensitive you are to the Word of God when you're in trouble? God’s Word is the sweetest during trials.
§ David said in Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
§ John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”.
§ Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word”.
Do you want to be cleansed tonight? Get into God’s Word. We live in a wicked, carnal world with many temptations. Those temptations are like Velcro to the heart and mind. Temptations are like leaches. Unless you get a good knife, you cannot get the leaches off. The Word of God can cleanse you of:
· Thought patterns
· Habits from your old sinful life
· Wrong attitudes
We need to be pruned. We need to cut the deadness out of our lives. The only way that is possible is through the Word of God.
II. The Word of God is a Protective Belt. Ephesians 6:14, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth”.
A. The Belt in the Roman soldier’s armor kept everything in place. If your armor is not in place, it is easy to trip up on so many things.
B. The Belt in the Roman soldier’s armor was in the center of his being. Without being in the Word of God, your heart will be attacked. You are likely to become insincere, hypocritical, and mechanical.
Insincerity, formalism, and going through the motions occur because the Word of God is not at the center of your life. Is the Word fresh to you each day? Are you sincerely living it out?
C. The Belt in the Roman soldier’s armor was important for protection. This is why Peter says in 1 Peter 1:13, “gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”.
In Peter’s day, men wore long robes that hindered them if they needed to run. Their robes could easily get caught on a rock or a briar bush. To prevent that, they would need to “gird up the loins” of their robe so they could travel unhindered. In the same way, our thoughts are often flying loose into places that can hinder our walk with Christ. We have the temptation to live according to our former life style. We need to “gird up the loins” of our mind and live seriously in the light of the Word of God!
III. The Word is a Lamp and Light. Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”. It keeps us from stumbling and it shows us where to walk and how to avoid the traps of the devil.
A. Light has a directive quality. He has left us with an infallible guide. 2 Peter 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”.
Light is a wonderful thing!
1. Light helps us to see in darkness; Gives Direction; Keeps us from stumbling
2. Light helps us to feel secure
a. We have a tendency to fear things we cannot see.
b. Things that scare us in the night are really nothing when we see them in the light. So it is with God’s Word. It gives us guidance and understanding in the trials that would bring great fear to most people.
B. Light has a penetrating quality. You cannot make fence slats so close that it keeps out all light. When you read the word it will invade into the most secret corners of your life. The Word of God is the eye of God in your life. It uncovers and penetrates even the motives.
C. Light has an illuminating quality. Like a lamp, God’s Word makes manifest Ephesians 5:13-14, “All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” God’s Word reveals to us the true nature of sin. . With Isaiah, we must see the holiness of God and cry out, “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5). Only those who have seen the majesty of God can feel the razor-sharp edge of God’s holiness cutting open the cancer of their iniquity.
It reveals the depth of sin and the holiness of God. Light is a radiance that comes from a celestial body like the sun, moon, or the stars. This light helps us to see. It gives us sight. When we speak of the Word of God being a light, we are saying it helps us see things from God’s perspective.
IV. The Word is a Fire. Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Cf. Jeremiah 20:9, “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
A. The Word of God is like a fire in its burning. It burns with conviction. It does not leave you alone. You can run but you cannot get away from a fire. Fire represents the power to consume. It takes over whatever it touches and burns whatever is worthless. It burns wood, hay, and stubble, but the gold, silver, and precious stones are left. If you stay in God’s Word, it will not leave you alone. It will chase you like a forest fire.
B. The Word of God is like a fire in its warmth. God’s Word comforts us when we are in despair. A fire causes cheer, comfort and serenity. The farther one gets away from the fire the less he is warmed and comforted.
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
You may not have a friend in the world, but all you need is to know through the Word of God that Jesus is by your side. He is the only one on planet earth that can say, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
C. The Word of God is like a fire in its molding effect. Even the hardest of materials become pliable under the fire, and then it can be formed into. The human heart is so hard that without the fire of affliction, it will not be pliable. Ephesians 2:10, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Are you totally surrendered and melted to whatever God says to you? Are you saying to God tonight—“mold me, make me after your will”? Do what you will in my life? It is a painful thing to say and to pray. But we must do it.
V. God’s Word is like a Hammer. Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
A. God’s Word is like a hammer because a hammer itself can do nothing without the hand of the Designer.
1. The one who hammers is the one in total control. A hammer is used according to the wisdom of the Designer. God is the potter, and he can mold and chip us however he wants.
He asks in Jeremiah 18:6, “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter‘s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”
2. God uses the hammer of His Word to design a Christlike heart in us. So when the hammer of life comes crashing into your soul, pick up the Word of God, and let God shape you. It is then that you can say with Paul in Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son”.
B. God’s Word is also like a hammer because a hammer is used to break rocks into pieces.
1. So the Word of God, like a hammer is able to break the hardest hearts. He can humble the pride of the hardest and oldest of sinners. Jesus loves to save BIG sinners, but first He has to show them that they are great sinners.
2. Look at your former life. Look at what you were. God broke your hardened heart with the hammer of His Word! You and I need the constant impact of God’s Word on our hearts!
Isaiah 51:1, “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” God with His powerful Word breaks us from our former lives as a hammer breaks a rock into pieces.
VI. God’s Word is like a Mirror.
§ James 1:23, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass”.
§ 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”.
The Word of God will not lie to you. It will show you what you are. It goes beyond a mirror, it will show you what you will be one day with Christ.
You are an heir with God and a joint heir with Christ.
VII. God’s Word is like a Sword.
§ Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
§ Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”.
VIII.The Word of God is like Food. It satisfies spiritual hunger and thirst.
§ John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst”. We cannot survive long without food or water, eventually we will die. The same thing with God's word, if we do not read it, we will eventually die spiritually.
§ Job 23:12, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
IX. The Word of God is like a Seed. Christ speaks of a parable in Luke 8:11, He says, “The seed is the word of God”. The Word of God is a seed that you put into your heart. You put it in there and in time it brings return. It will not return void. It will accomplish God’s will in your life.
§ The seed of God’s Word initially brings us new life! 1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever”. The Word of God is that which is planted in our hearts, like a plant that grows and is engrafted into our hearts. It makes us born again and changes all our desires. It is the seed of Christ, it produces fruit that is godly and Christlike.
§ The seed of God’s Word becomes engrafted into our life like a seed that grows into a plant and overtakes our hearts. James 1:21, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”