The Upright Word of God

The precepts of the Lord are upright, rejoicing the heart ~ Psalm 19:8

Not only does God’s word rejoice our hearts, seeing women get into God’s word pretty much makes our hearts ecstatic around here. Anyone who’s spent time around me when I am studying the Bible or leading a class knows that I can light up like Danny DeVito’s house in Deck the Halls over the smallest observation or insight. Of course we all love a party right? So when the word brings rejoicing we are all in!

But rejoicing is not the only benefit of God’s word. Consider just some of the benefits of the Word of God:

God’s word is the standard for truth. The psalmist declared, “The sum of Your word is truth.” Psalm 119:160. Jesus, when He asked God to sanctify His disciples in the truth, also declared, “Your word is truth.” John 17:17. We know that Jesus Himself is described as the Word in John 1, and later in John 14 we see that Jesus, God’s Word, is the Truth.

In a world that espouses relativity, making such declarations about God’s Word, the Bible as we know it, as being THE truth can be uncomfortable. I would point you back to yesterday’s post, and consider point one. Where do we place our faith? In the Word of God. Are you firmly persuaded of God’s word? Rejoice! It’s truth!

God’s word trains us in righteousness. As we seek to live authentically in our faith, we look to His Word, the truth. As we do this, something amazing begins to happen. It teaches us, trains us, transforms us. Paul, the apostle, told Timothy that Scripture was profitable (beneficial) for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness,” why? So that the man/woman of God would be artios – adequate, complete, sufficient – equipped for every good work. 1 Timothy 3:16-17.

We often look at our deeds as righteous, but apart from Jesus, apart from the word, we have no idea what righteousness looks like. The more we study His word, the more we come to know and understand the righteousness of God, the better prepared we are to walk in the good works we are called to. See again Ephesians 2:10 

God’s word approves (refines) us. One of my favorite verses has always been 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” I had always focused on the last part of the verse as the take-away for the entire verse – until recently when I studied it a little more closely in the context of the whole of 2 Timothy.

The word approved ~ dokimon, in the Greek ~ means proven, refined as by fire. The letter to Timothy speaks to the suffering he will soon face as a follower of the true gospel. Paul is warning him not to shrink back but submit himself to the refining process. When we accurately handle God’s word, and don’t shrink back from its truth, allowing it to refine us, we will have no need to be ashamed when we stand before God someday. Hallelujah!

God’s word guards against sin. “Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” ~ Psalm 119:11 When we know the truth contained in God’s Word, we are less likely to miss the mark of His standard for our lives. And one of the best ways to ensure we know His Word is to memorize it. I found a great article over on the kyria blog about this today.

First Corinithians, chapter ten tells us that the things that happened to those who have gone before us were for an example, and were written down for our instruction. When we are tempted, the temptation provides a way of escape. Often the way of escape for me comes in the form of a Scripture verse that comes to mind in that split second before I am going to act on an impulse. It serves me well when I choose to embrace that Scripture and walk away from the temptation. If I am armed with those verses, I have a way of escape.

Finally, God’s word teaches us about Who He is, What He Does for us, the benefits of knowing Him and belonging to Him:

Psalm 103 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3 Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4 Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5 Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Sisters, what benefits have you received from the Word of God? I would love to hear your stories!

As an added benefit of leaving a comment today (and because tomorrow’s my birthday and I love a party!) I will use random.org to choose one comment whose author will receive a free copy of Kay Arthur’s wonderful book “LORD, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 days” Winners will be announced on Friday!

I hope you win!

Rejoicing with you,

Tina

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Copyright (c) 2011. Rejoicing Our Hearts. Tina M. Picard ~ All rights reserved.

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