Summary: As another year is about to begin, and many resolutions are being made, let daily bible reading be one of the top resolutions on your list
A Habit For Life
Reading: Psalm 119:1-10
It is almost the end of another year; New Years Day will be this Thursday which for many of us means New Years resolutions are in order. And that idea, the desire to make this coming year better then the one now ending, the desire to change for the better, is at the heart of our lesson today. I would like to encourage everyone to begin a new habit in this New Year, what I call a habit for life. This habit will bring benefit to each of us, not only in this next year, and all the years which may follow but more importantly, benefit for life eternal. The 119th Psalm is an epic song to this habit, 176 verses full and almost entirely devoted to the idea of knowing, and keeping, the word of God.
John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of our country, once stated:
"So great is my veneration for the bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the bible once every year."
The habit I encourage all of us to take up and practice, the resolution I urge us to make (and keep!) is the daily reading of the Bible, the word of God.
I.Why we neglect the word
A.Psalm 119:16 (NASB) “I shall delight in your statutes; I shall not forget your word.”
1.If we are honest we admit we do not always delight in the statutes of the Lord.
a.Now why is that? We know we should read and study the Word of God, but we also know this does not always happen in our daily living.
2.Our Spiritual lives are often like our physical lives.
a.In the same way that we know we are supposed to read and study the Bible, we also know we are supposed to eat right, get plenty of exercise, and floss our teeth.
[To help motivate us all in this regard, I wish to point out why it is so important to develop the habit of daily bible reading...]
II.The power of God’s word to save
James 1:21b (NASB) …in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
A.God’s word saves us by producing faith
Romans 10:17 (NASB) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
1.Without faith it is impossible to please God - Hebrews 11:6
2.Without faith in Jesus we cannot be saved
John 8:24 (NASB) Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
3.The word of God will produce this faith
John 20:30 - 31 (NASB) Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
B.By God’s word we are "born again"
1 Peter 1:22 - 23 (NASB) Since you have in obedience toqvb://QVB/70648034/syncglossary/35655 the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
1.Jesus stressed the necessity of being born again: John 3:3-5
2.The rebirth involving water and spirit comes when one has received the "incorruptible seed" of God’s word; in particular, the gospel
James 1:18 (NASB) In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
C.God’s word supports the saved
1.Paul frequently spoke of this value of God’s word.
2.(Paul speaks to the elders of the church at Ephesus)
Acts 20:28 - 32 (NASB) Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.