Summary: Start reading the Bible every day, because it can: 1. change you (vs. 7) 2. cheer you up (vs. 8) 3. clear your vision (vs. 8-10) 4. convict you of sin (vs. 11) 5. cleanse you (vs. 12-14)
New Habits for a New Year
Part 1: A Daily Diet of God’s Word
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Jan. 18, 2009
*Does anyone here today have any bad habits? Oh yeah. Are there any bad habits you would like to put behind you? Are there any good habits you would like to add to your life?
*I want you to know that by the grace of God we can change!
-Jesus Christ has always been in the business of changing lives.
-Peter, Paul, the Samaritan woman at the well, and once crooked Zacchaeus could all tell you that. -- So could millions of other Christians who have seen their lives transformed in wonderful ways.
*Right now is a great time to start new habits for a new year, and we will start with the single most important habit you need to add to your life: A daily diet of God’s Word. We need to start feeding on the Word of God every day, and David shows us why.
1. First: Start reading the Bible every day because it can change you.
*God’s Word can change us! We see this in vs. 7, where David said, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
*God’s Word turns foolish people into wise people. Psalm 111:10 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” And this Book is the only place where we can find the wisdom of salvation, because this book is the true testimony of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In both the Old Testament and the New you will find the testimony of the Lord Jesus:
-Testimony that Jesus is God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
-Testimony that Jesus loves us beyond our understanding.
-Testimony that Jesus was born as a man to die on the cross for our sins.
-Testimony that Jesus will forgive our sins and give us eternal life -- if we will turn our hearts to Him and receive Him as Savior and Lord.
*Jesus Christ is the great “I Am,” Lord God Jehovah of both the Old Testament and the New. As the pre-incarnate Christ, He is the One who spoke to Moses in the burning bush and said, “My name is ‘I Am’”
*Almost 1,500 years later God the Son humbled Himself to become a man. And here is part of the testimony Jesus gave us in the Gospel of John:
-“I am the bread of life.”
-“I am the light of the world.”
-“I am the door”
-“I am the Good Shepherd.”
-“I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
-“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
-“I am the true Vine.”
*In John 3:31-36, John the Baptist talked about the testimony of the Lord. John was talking about Jesus when he said:
31. “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.
32. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.” (That is, no one receives it without the work of the Holy Spirit in His heart.)
33. “He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.
34. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
35. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
36. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
*When you really believe in God’s testimony about Jesus Christ, He gives you a brand new life that will last forever. “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” God’s Word can change us!
*In 1995, Christianity Today told the wonderful story of some Christian natives in the Amazon region of Peru. These tribal groups of the Bora people have only known Christ for one generation. Just one generation ago they were fearful, aggressive, demon worshippers. All of their contacts with outsiders were marked by violence. But now many of the Bora have been transformed by Jesus Christ. The men treat their wives and children much better. Yes, these believers have problems like Christians anywhere, but more than most people, they can appreciate the difference Jesus has made.
*A few years ago, an anthropologist visited the Bora people and started criticizing the missionaries. He said, “Christianity is for the white man. You people should go back to your old religion and your old ways.”
*An indignant Bora church leader, who remembered the old days, looked at him and replied, “Yes, and if we did -- you’d be the first one in the pot!” (1)