If you were here at all this week, I hope you not only enjoyed VBS and hanging out with the kiddos, but I also hope that you were touched this week as well. I got to teach the Jr. High this past week and I set a very lofty goal for them on Sunday evening.
You see, every year at VBS, the Jr. High are supposed to do a skit, play, musical or something to show what they learned about that week. So on Sunday evening, I challenged them to memorized all 66 books of the Bible. I told them that they were going to stand up in front of everyone and as a group, recite each book in order. The catch was I wasn’t going to tell them the order so they actually had to memorize the books of the Bible. On top of that, five of them had to recite each days memory verse. If you were here, they did an amazing job.
This past week, the theme for VBS was “Exploring God’s Word”. We spent time looking at how the Bible is the coolest book on the planet. Day 2 we discussed and learned how the Bible has incredible impact on this planet. Day 3 we covered the idea that the Bible is the bedrock foundation to build our lives on. Day 4 we discovered the thrilling theme running throughout its pages. On Day 5 we learned that the Bible is exciting to explore and that we are to learn it, love it and live it. The whole week was built around learning the importance of the Bible and doing what’s in the Bible.
Today I want to start a new series out of a chapter in the Bible that is the longest chapter in the Bible. Not only is it the longest, but this chapter is on the Bible. If you have your Bibles, turn to . Over the next four weeks, we are going to be looking at four different words that are saturated in this chapter.
Next week, we are going to look at the word “delight.” We will learn about delighting in knowing the Bible. The following week (week 3) we will be looking at the word “trust.” We can trust the Bible is true and it has the best principles for life. In week 4 we will look at the words “hold fast.” What does it mean to stick with the Bible even when faced with uncertainty.
Today we’re going to look at the words “guidance.” The definition of “guidance” is “advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty; the directing of the motion or position of something.” What does say about this word? If we just take a look at this definition in greater detail, the first phrase tells us that it is information aimed a resolving a problem. In other words, you are faced with a situation and getting the right information will determine if that situation gets resolved. I don’t know about you, but I like to make sure situations are resolved with as little conflict as possible.
The second statement gives us a different twist. Instead of trying to resolve a problem that has already arisen, it gives us a clue that we can avoid a problem in the first place if we follow the proper guidance. In other words, there are paths we can walk that will get us to our destination the proper way. The right. No corners were cut. No moral compromises. No loosening of our ethics. Why? Because the Bible is God’s word for us (), we can trust that the guidance of the Bible is good and right for us.
As we dive into this word found in , there will be two approaches we are going to take. The first approach is looking at requirements that is for us in order to get the best guidance from the Bible. The second approach is the benefits of heeding the guidance of the Bible.
This idea for guidance is not a new topic. For centuries people have navigated this world through the use of guidance from the sun, moon and stars. People used sundials to give an idea of what time it was. Even on trips today, most might use Google Maps or some other GPS to get to their destination. Because these things already happen in life, it only makes sense that for our lives some guidance is needed in order to get to the destination in front of us.
You see, seeking the proper guidance is really making the right choices by looking in the right places. In order to get where you’re going, you need to be looking in the right places. For instance, if I want to get to the Grand Canyon, should I be looking at a map of England to determine my route? No! Why? Because the Grand Canyon is not in England. That is foolishness to look at a different part of the world to determine my course to somewhere else.
It’s no different trying to build a car engine but looking at the blueprints of a jet engine. You won’t build the car engine because the plans do not match the parts ( you won’t even get a jet engine either). Looking in the wrong places for guidance can lead to bad decisions which leads to more pain in life than we want. Looking in the wrong places can also lead to an empty life because you haven’t looked in the places that actually provide any sort of meaning or hope.
The need for guidance isn’t just about looking in the right places, it’s also realizing that you’re making present decisions that are going to have future ramifications. Decisions we make today will have an impact on tomorrow. The impact can be both positive and negative.Making the right choices today can have wonderful ripples in the future with blessings you never thought of. The opposite is equally true of difficulties because of poor or wrong decisions today.
What we need to know about is the author of this Psalm seems to be in a precarious situation where the enemies seem to be mounting and difficulties are swirling around him. People in authority ridiculed the authors beliefs, shaming his faith. The way this man got through it was a knowledge of and a living of the law. We call that the Bible. Today we are going to look at four requirements for getting the best guidance from the Bible and then we’re going to look at four benefits of heeding that guidance.
I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies.
Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.
May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.