Summary: This message looks at how we can get the word of God into us and be transformed by it.
The following set of sermon notes reflect a message that I preached today at Jubilee Church London In some ways this sermon was connected to the three-part series on Revival I recently preached if only because the last message God’s Reviving Word was also based on Psalm 119. The earlier messages, "Revival" and "Reviving Prayer" are also available.
You can download the audio (you may need to right click and save the file onto your PC) at http://www.adrian.warnock.info/2007/06/sermon-missional-bible-study-psalm-119.htm
There is one word that is coming to us again and again at the moment, that it seems that God is wanting to drop into our hearts is the word “missional”
Often when I hear the word “Missional” I am afraid that I have to confess I think of a scene from one of my favorite films - “Blues Brothers”. In it the two rouges who are the stars go to church and “see the light” it is a little tongue in cheek to be sure but they conclude at the end of the sequence “We are on a mission from God!” Well we really ARE on a mission from God. Like so many great films, the rest of the film simply tracks the journey of its main characters - as they seek to complete the mission they felt God had gave them. You can watch the clip here on my blog below thanks to YouTube.
What is a mission? Well to me a mission feels a whole lot like a journey. I would like to take us together today to what we can think of as the map for the journey – our mission instructions if you were. We will learn today how to handle this Bible in such a way that it will help us on our journey – keep us going in the right way – so we can fulfill this glorious mission he is putting in front of us.
If you are not a Christian here this morning, we will give you a chance to join us on our great journey, but lets see what the writer of the longest chapter in the Bible had to say about making sure we don’t loose our way on this great missionary journey God has set before us…
Lets turn to Psalm 119
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it
according to your word.
It doesn’t say how can we keep pure – by sitting still and doing nothing…. We are meant to be “on a journey” doing something!
This book shows us the way – word is not just head knowledge we want to keep pure…by the word.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
James 1:19-27 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
There is a guarding, but a DOING in those verses…
How do we keep pure – guard hearts by the word – not just about keeping self away from certain people – At least part of how we learn to guard our ways is in the reading of the mistakes of others. If the man who wrote this wonderful psalm can become an adulterer and murderer we should be alert and careful!!!
Flee temptation….Like Joseph.
But not just do nothing – withdrawal from world is not the answer – the cry of the missionary should be to be “in the world but not of it” too many Christians are “of the world but not in it”
Religion is I obey so I can be accepted. The gospel is I am accepted so I can obey." Tim Keller
But the Christian life is not merely about obedience and trying to guard and stop doing certain things. We are supposed to be looking for something positive too – lets see the next verse.
How then can we get this life-giving word into us? We will see in psalm 119 several ways in which we should respond to and appropriate Gods word. The first thing to note is that we have to have an attitude that when we come to God’s word we are in fact coming to him, and expecting to meet the risen Jesus through its pages. The psalmist says