Psalm 119:105, The Bible Is A Lamp To Guide Your Feet
1. The Bible Is A Guide When You Read It Regularly
2. The Bible Is A Guide When You Read It Completely
3. The Bible Is A Guide When You Read It Repeatedly
4. The Bible Is A Guide When You Read It With The Holy Spirit
5. The Bible Is A Guide When You Read It And Do Something
Psalm 119:105, The Bible Is A Lamp To Guide Your Feet
Psalm 119:105, The Bible Is A Lamp To Guide Your Feet
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Well, this morning as we look at verse 105 of Psalm 119, I've titled the Message: The Bible Is A Lamp To Guide Your Feet.
The Bible is a lamp to guide your feet, and I think this is something the Lord would have us to really consider and seek to take to heart.
This morning, as we begin to consider this verse and this idea of a lamp and guiding your feet, I would first step back for a moment and ask you to think about your perception of us as a nation.
And I I would challenge you with this.
And some people might bristle against this that I'm about to say, but here's what I'm about to say.
Well, actually I'm not going to keep talking about what I'm about to say.
I'm just going to go ahead and say what I'm about to say to clear things up.
If you think of America as a Christian nation.
I would suggest to you that your information is outdated.
If you think of America as a Christian nation, your information your perception is outdated.
I, I mean, going back.
Into history, I'm not brilliant on history or I don't know a ton of history, right?
But going back there could perhaps be that argument that America was a Christian nation, and that proposition could be valid.
I I would suggest there's a lot of issues with the whole concept of a Christian nation just in Gen.
You know, in the same way that I would say does is there really such a thing as a Christian business?
Like if you think through that realistically, like a Christian business, is the church or a missionary organization or Christian business.
The way that we use the term or Christian nation the way that we use the term, I would suggest you it.
Kind of reflects that we're stuck in a mindset that is no longer really accurate for the situation that we're in, and the conditions that we're in.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been some reports that have been brought forth from a very.
What's the word I'm trying to say here, a very prominent researcher and surveyor of the American nation.
So George Barna he is.
Constantly doing surveys and giving research and statistics about the state of America and the state of where we're at on a variety of things.
But this past week, all of the reports have been coming to light that he was doing, that they have done.
I guess I shouldn't just attribute it to him, the one guy but.
His organization, they they do every year what they call a worldview inventory.
And for 2022 they have now reported their their findings and serving thousands of people and working through you know, all different regions of the nation to to get a good understanding of where people are at and what people have in regards to a worldview now worldview. He defines it. You can.
Look this up if you want to kind of dig into it and understand these statistics a little bit, but the idea is basically a framework for understanding our place in the world and what's happening in the world and what we ought to be doing in the world based on.
On the things that are found in the scriptures, that's the idea of a biblical worldview.
And so in that survey, there's lots of things to get into.
I'm not going to, of course get into a lot of detailed statistics here, but here's a few quick stats from the survey and from the findings that that he brought forth.
In this and so, again, if you want to look this up, just search for American World War engine, world View Inventory 2022 and you'll find it's the Arizona Christian University or something.
Like that that.
Publishes all of the results of this.
But looking at some of the normal or basic tenets of the Christian faith, believing that God is all knowing, all powerful, perfect and adjust creator.
Of all those surveyed, there was 67% who identified themselves as Christian, and so of those 67% who said yes. I am a Christian, 50% of them who were parents of young children said that they believed that God is.
All knowing all.
Powerful and a perfect and just creator so.
Try to understand the picture here.
We're looking specifically at parents of young kids who are shaping and forming the worldview that these children will have as they grow up and move on to adulthood and become members of the community.
67% of those parents surveyed said yes. I am a Christian. I'm a believer in Jesus.
But of those 67%?
50% said, but I don't believe that God.
Is all knowing and all.
Powerful and a perfect and just creator.
So there's a little bit of mixed message here in these results, but then of course you see the column next to it evangelical pastors.
The survey was conducted not just amongst parents but also pastors in the church and a variety of different organizations and congregations, and you can again look up the results on your own.
But 56% of those who would be evangelical. That would be those who believe the Bible is the word of God except for.
That's a name only because at 50.
6% of those who say we believe the Bible is the word of God and we believe the gospel message and we believe, but we don't believe that God is all powerful and all knowing and a perfect ingest creator.
The Christian teaching to believe the Bible as the true and trustworthy words of God. Similar stats. 50% of parents believe that the Bible is true and trustworthy. 55% of supposed evangelical pastors.
Said the Bible is true and trustworthy.
How about believing that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation? 33% quite a big drop. Parents of young kids who proclaimed themselves to be Christians.
Only a third of them believe that Jesus is the way to eternity with God and the.
Stat for the evangelical pastors is the similar 54%.
Now this is just there's a lot of data here, and there's a lot of you know assumptions that I'm not getting into a lot of details.
Again, if you want to wrestle with any of this, you can dig into the details, but.
This gives us a little bit of a taste, a little bit of a sample, a little bit of an overview of the kinds of things that we are dealing with in our society today.
That is, there are a good deal of people who identify as Christians.
But but they do not.
Practice Christianity the way that the Bible lays out for us.
And This is why it's important as we look at Psalm one, 19105. The Bible is a lamp to guide your feet. Is the the idea for us to consider this more?
Sing in for a lot of people who would say that I'm a Christian.
Do not see it that way and they do not use or refer to the word of God as a lamp to guide our feet.
Now, if you just think about these stats for a second, so 50% of parents of preteen kids, that's that's the the group that was surveyed 50% now.
Here we have parents of preteen kids.
I don't know that these stats are valid or invalid here in this place.
Compared to the rest of the world, right?
Like we look at each other and I think we would probably assume we all believe exactly the same thing and we stand upon the word of God.
It it would be easy for us to have that mindset, but again, I would suggest sometimes we walk into situations, conversations and and.
And there's a lot of assumptions we're coming from the background of hey, we're a Christian nation, and this is a Christian Church.
And so we believe the Bible and and we all practice it and we all do our best to glorify Christ throughout the week.
And then we come to church on Sunday to get refueled and equipped and sent out onto the mission field and and and we can have that mentality and and.
Bud, willing, yes, let's let's strive to be that kind of church.
But the reality is a.
Lot of times.
We are amongst.
People that would be considered Christians who call themselves Christians that we call Christians, or we are those Christians.
Whose lives are inconsistent with the term.
In some ways it's like we're cultural Christians.
You know there are a lot of cultures that have a religion attached to it.
And so sometimes we refer to that as like they're a cultural practicer of this religion, right?
They don't, they don't really believe those things.
They don't really walk in those things.
They don't really.
But culturally they are.
Of this faith, or that faith, and in some ways we are dealing with a culture.
When we're dealing with Christians, we're dealing with those who are culturally Christians.
We identify as Christians and we identify as those who go to a Christian Church, but but they're not.
Truths that we have obtained and grafts hold up for ourselves.
They're just traditions that have been inherited and passed down to us.
Pastor Warren waves.
He says we are told that this is an enlightened age.
But we live in a Dark World and only God light can guide us aright.
Obedience to the word of God keeps us walking.
In the light, this is all really important because we are living in a Dark World.
And if there's any question about that, you just have to spend a few moments reading through the news, walking through some of the situations that are going that are going on all around us in our society, and all around the world.
We're not living in an enlightened age.
We're living in a Dark World.
And more than ever before, we need the light.
To guide us we need the light of God's word, and so Psalm one 19105 presents to us.
That lamp that light to guide our feet and it is the word of God.
Now as the psalmist here is referring to a lamp.
This is the kind of lamp that he is referring to.
It's a, uh, a little vessel that would have a little bit of oil in it and and it would be able to burn enough lights, burn brightly enough for an individual, a single person, and so the idea would be this is not, you know, lighting up a stadium.
Lighting up a room this is.
Your out on a dark.
Dreary night and there's a dangerous path ahead of you and and you have this little light to guide your way and that that's the idea that the psalmist is painting for us.
Here the Bible is a lamp to guide your feet and and nobody elses lamp really can guide your feet.
That that you need to have in your hand this light to be able to guide your feet, you need to be able to grasp hold of these things and be able to see for yourself the way ahead according to the light that God brings through his word and.
This morning I want to encourage you to consider your relationship to the.
Word of God.
And to make sure that the Bible is a lamp, to guide your feet and so five things I'd like to walk you through it here as we consider this verse a little bit more.
Five things that I think are essential for us in order for us to grasp.
Hold of these things that are found in the word of God.
The light that he wants to bring to us and to help us to navigate this Dark World that we live in.
So the first thing is.
The Bible is a guide when you read it regularly.
The idea of the word.
Being a lamp to guide my feet on a light.
For my path.
We need to understand that this guide that the Bible presents itself as.
Not sufficient as a guide if it's not used properly.
Maybe think about it this way.
If you were to give me $100,000 worth of auto mechanic tools.
There would be $100,000 loss.
In those tools.
Because number one, I wouldn't know how to use them.
And in my attempt to use them, I would use them improperly, right.
Having all of those tools doesn't mean that I can use them that I know how to use them, that I could fix your, you know head gasket or tune up your car or anything like that.
Having the tool itself doesn't make it effective.
In a similar way, the Bible is a guide, but in order for you to benefit from the guidance that you can receive from God through his word that there is a part that you need to play and that is you need to read the Scriptures regularly.
Think about the picture again of this verse.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
I'm sure you've had those experiences, maybe on some kind of retreat or camp out, or some situation where you're navigating from point A to point B in the dark.
And hopefully you have your little trusty flashlight with you these days.
Maybe you just turn the flashlight on on your phone, right?
And you're you're trying to find your way from place to place.
The picture here is of a path.
And and we can consider that in the sense of the general direction of our lives.
The ways that we are going in different aspects of our lives, the ways that we are walking in the things that we are doing and and then there's the feet which really gets down to the nitty gritty right?
The specific action, the specific detail of a word that we say, a message that we communicate, a decision that we make.
There's there's the general path, the general direction, and then there is step by step.
The very specific thing.
Things that we are doing or need to do in navigating from place to place.
And so this lamp.
On a dark path.
Is really essential.
One of the.
Most scary things we've ever experienced.
I think as a church.
Was on a men's retreat.
When one of our guys went missing.
And we had to call in the staff of the retreat center.
They had to call in the Rangers and there was an ongoing search.
Desperately trying to find before dark this man who went missing.
Once it became dark.
Even with all of their lights, even with all of their.
Experience and techniques and abilities.
The officials said there's nothing more we can do tonight.
We have to wait.
Until morning when the light shines, then we will be able to search again, but.
Not going to be effective to try to continue this search in the dark even with our lights.
This is the idea.
This is the the kind of situation that we face.
We we live in a Dark World and there's a lot of confusion even amongst those who would refer to themselves or understand themselves.
Or maybe you who would consider yourself a Christian.
And there is so much confusion and obscurity to what the truth is and what we ought to be doing, and specific actions for us to take in general directions for us to go.
That there is such a need for us.
To turn on the light and to have guidance in the things that we face.
For us to experience that guidance.
We have to learn how to use the tools.
We have to learn and become familiar with.
The word of God.
I would ask you to consider with me Hebrews Chapter 5, where the author of Hebrews is writing to a people.
That have believed in Jesus.
But now they're kind of wavering.
Maybe not so different than what we might be seeing happening.
Amongst our society and amongst many families around us today.
They know about the things of God.
They believed in God, but but now there's this confusion.
There's this darkness that is crept in.
The author of Hebrews says, let me shine some light on the truth of the reality of Jesus Christ and call you back to the right path.
But even as the author of Hebrews is attempting to do that, he says, you know, I kind of find it frustrating.
There's a a little bit of a roadblock here.
Verse 11 of Hebrews 5, he says.
There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others.
Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things.
About God's word.
You are like.
Babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right.
Solid food is for those who are mature.
Who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong?
The author of Hebrews really is.
Challenging his audience.
It's saying you've been believers for so long, you you've known about God and you've had access to the throne of God and the Word of God for a long time.
And yet I find you in this perpetual state of infancy, where you need somebody else to teach you.
The word of God.
Now we never outgrow the need for other people to teach us and influence us and bring forth the word of God to us, that that's always a need.
But we should outgrow the need for someone to teach us, or else we do not know God's word at all and and the explanation that the author of Hebrews gives here.
Is that solid food?
The idea of picturing you know you yourself digging into the scriptures.
And having a good understanding and a maturity, that's based upon the word of God.
It comes through training.
That there's a skill that is acquired through training.
There's a skill that's required through practice through attempt after attempt after attempt and and and working at it again and going back and running through the course again and and seeking to grasp hold of the truths that are there that that there is some training.
There's some practice.
There's some familiarity that is required.
And that's why I make the point.
The Bible is a guide when you read it regularly.
Because if you don't work hard to train to become familiar with the word of God.
Then it will not be much of a guide for you.
You need someone else to teach you.
And so you're dependent upon somebody else to hear from God and to walk with God.
And it's not going to be as helpful to you if you are not reading it regularly.
It's a tool.
And it requires some experience and we grow and experience as we engage with it.
The devotion to God that he calls us to have.
Pretty recently I walked in to my department at work.
And over heard a conversation that was happening amongst my team.
There was this discussion going on about a very ancient text.
And they were talking about this ancient text that had this diagram on it.
And and as you looked at the diagram, there would be like these numbers on the side that would direct you to look at this other diagram to to kind of help you understand it further and to dig in deeper.
And they were all really just kind of mystified and curious about this ancient text.
And so they asked me about it and I said yes.
Indeed there was that it was called the Thomas Guide.
You guys remember the Thomas guide?
When I was a kid, this was Google Maps, right?
Now the Thomas Guide was interesting because it was a full complete set of maps for the region that that it was for, but of course that couldn't fit on one map.
Else you know your whole room would be filled with the map and so it was page after page after page of segments, and then you'd be like following along. OK, so the 91 goes here and then it hits the end of the page.
And then it would tell you jump to page 421 to continue right? So then you have.
To like OK, there we.
Pick up the 91 again and we go and we're going, we're going.
The Thomas Guide was a complete and thorough set of maps.
But you know it took.
From regular use to know how to use them to learn how to be efficient and capable in them.
And I'm fortunate enough to never have had to learn those skills.
I just watched my dad be frustrated with the Thomas guy and says we went cross country.
You know around the nation with nothing but maps and it's just unthinkable to me now, but.
But there was some training required.
There was some in order to use it.
Had everything you needed, but but you had to learn how to use it.
You had to spend some time with it.
You had to work through well, what if I need to, you know, look at the overview.
Or what if I need to get down to the street level?
What if I need to?
Go somewhere that's off the page.
How do I get there?
And it's all there.
But it required some attempts.
Some even missteps, like, oh, I turned to the wrong page and now I'm lost and where my, you know, I, I don't know if.
You've had those.
Experience, so there was a little bit of a transition between.
Thomas guides and Google Maps.
There was MapQuest.
And when I worked at Paychex I was going on site to install software on all these computers. LA County Orange County San Berdino County Riverside County, huge territory and I was I'm terrible at navigation and So what I would do is I would print out.
I'd go to MapQuest.
I'd map the route and I would print out every conceivable issue or problem.
What if I need to stop for gas?
How do I get there from the gas station?
OK, what if I need to?
What if you know and I would have route to from one client to the next client?
But what if that client cancelled in between?
So then I would have a route.
You know, I would have two or three.
Routes to get to my destination because I never knew what was going to happen and on the road I didn't have a Thomas guide but I would have to print out MapQuest ahead of time.
All of these things.
Relate to the word of God in that we have everything that we need right here.
The full map is there.
All of the details are there everything that God wants to deliver to you.
Everything that you need for guidance in your life.
Everything that you need to be the man or woman of God that you need to be.
Is contained in the scriptures.
But you will never benefit from that.
Without putting in some time.
Without reading the Scriptures regularly without spending some time working through the tools that God has provided for you.
Pastor Warren Wiersbe says, I suggest you discipline yourself to spend time daily in a systematic reading of God's word. Make this quiet time a priority that nobody can change.
What we need?
Desperately in our lives as believers is a regular, consistent time with God in his word.
Can I just say please no more ever again?
You familiar with Bible roulette?
It's like I need to hear from God, God, what do you want to say about this?
And so you're just gonna.
OK, but Elijah said I swear by the Lord Almighty and whose presence I stand that I will present myself to Ahab this very day.
I know exactly how to handle my situation now.
Gotta go find a hat.
God can use that. He has used that in many people's lives.
That's not our practice guys.
That's not the way that God generally wants to lead you and guide you.
We need to be reading God's word.
Every other day, you know, but.
Have some type of plan schedule.
Training in God's word and you don't always feel super inspired. You don't always feel like like you have everything you know. Grass and I I see the light now and it's there. It's it's one step. It's one part.
Of the way that the word of God is a guide to us and and we learn to benefit from it as we become more and more familiar with this instrument with this tool that God has given to us.
Set up a systematic reading of God's word and This is why we have set up the my biblereading.com website. And if you're not participating in some kind of reading schedule, I would encourage you join with us. Sign up for. Join with us in the Bible in three years or.
Whatever else God leads you in, that's fine.
It doesn't have to be the exact same schedule, but.
But set up something so that you are spending time regularly consistently in the word of God, and that's.
Why we set up?
Daily reminders by email or by text message through this site so that we get that encouragement.
That ongoing reminder to call us back to the scriptures that God has given to us that we might experience the Bible as a guide by reading it regularly well.
Considering the second thing for this morning in regards to the Bible.
Is a lamp to guide your feet by #2 the Bible is a guide when you read it completely.
Again, verse 105 says your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Think about the picture dark pathway you're navigating from place to place.
You've got your little lamp.
Held there to try to help you spot the obstacles to identify the dangers, to understand the course.
How beneficial would it be to have your lamp?
So only a segment of the light is getting through.
So that only a piece of the light that is being brought forth is reaching the path that is in front of you.
How much benefit do you get from?
In a similar way, the word of God for us is essential and and it's not just.
One particular piece or segment.
But there is a complete picture that we are needing as we spend time with God in his word.
I would have you considered this from Colossians Chapter 2.
The apostle Paul says in Colossians 2 verse 16 and 17, don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink.
Or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or sabbaths.
For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come.
And Christ himself is.
That reality, what do you get from partial light?
And think about that for a minute when there's partial light, you get shadows now.
The scriptures were provided to us by the Lord, moving upon the hearts of his people to write down his words throughout history.
Throughout thousands of years, right and.
As he was doing that, he was revealing himself.
Progressively to the people that, in a way that they could receive and handle and be able to walk with him in the way.
That he was calling them to.
And if we limit ourselves to one piece.
We just have our favorite book of the Bible or we have our favorite testament.
Of the Bible.
Now certainly the New Testament plays an important role for us as believers in Jesus today.
But if I only know the New Testament.
I have an incomplete view of God.
There there's there's some shadows being cast that I don't quite fully see and understand.
I'm not suggesting that you can't be a Christian if you only know the New Testament, but I'm suggesting that there's a a fuller understanding of who God is and what he is like and what he desires, and we can get to know God better as we expand.
Our time in the word of God to all of Scripture.
If I only have.
A grasp on the Old Testament.
There's going to be some shadows cast, and that's what Paul is talking about here in Colossians 2.
Some people are caught up in these holy days, Paul saying and and they're requiring others to engage with them in these holy days and you have to follow these strict procedures for this feast or this festival.
And he's saying look, these are.
And they were appropriate for the time they were the light that was appropriate for the time, and they were casting shadows of Christ.
But now that Christ has come, now you expand the light that God has provided into the teachings of Jesus.
And now you understand he is the fulfillment of those things.
And so the shadows are removed because now you have more light and understanding in who God is and God desire and plans for us.
And it can be a dangerous thing for us to limit ourselves to our favorite passages to our favorite, you know, most enjoyable things to read or or just have our kind of favorite subjects to spend time in in the scriptures.
Because we can.
In our overemphasis of that, have these dark spots.
In our faith and.
Then we find ourselves.
Making big deals out of festivals and fetes and become legalistic because we don't have the full lights.
That Christ has fulfilled those things.
Or we find ourselves calling ourselves Christian, but not believing that God is all powerful and all knowing and a perfect and just creator.
We identify as Christian but.
We don't even believe in I.
I didn't include this.
Stat, but it was like something like.
Believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit.
And and but I'm a Christian, but I don't believe in the Holy Spirit.
There's these shadows there's these gaps there's this darkness in my understanding because.
I haven't really partaken.
Of the whole Council.
Of God's word.
But just bits and pieces segments.
And there's a lot of shadows.
Because I I haven't explored further and opened up the light that God has provided.
The apostle Paul in acts chapter 20, writing to or not writing to you, but actually talking to the Ephesian elders as he was on his way to Jerusalem.
He's saying goodbye to them.
Visiting them, he spent a good deal of time, three years with the church there in Ephesus, and establishing the church and teaching.
The word of God to them.
And as he's on his way to Jerusalem, understanding I will probably never see you guys again, he says, I declared today that I have been faithful.
If anyone suffers eternal death, it's not my fault.
For I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know, or you might be familiar with it from the new King James version. I haven't shown to declare to you the whole Council of God's word.
The whole council.
All that God wants you to know.
Notice what Paul is saying here.
There would be.
Reason to fault Paul if he did not teach.
That God wants us to know if he hadn't taught the whole Council of God's word, that the full message and deliverance of who God has revealed himself to be in what God has declared in his word.
And so there's a necessity for us as we engage with the word of God to not just have a piece to not just dive into one portion.
But to work to develop a good understanding of the whole Council.
To work our way through those challenging passages to work our way through those difficult things.
To know what God says, all of the word of God.
Second Timothy Chapter 3 talks about this.
So the entire complete scriptures are useful for us and beneficial for us.
God can use them in our lives to bring us to maturity and to do the work in us that God wants to do.
And so we need to spend time reading the word of God regularly.
But we also need to make sure that we don't just limit that to a certain portion.
We need to expand that and work our way through all scripture.
AW Tozer said this famous quote, the Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed, is the shortest route to spiritual perfection and we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others.
Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.
The whole Council of God is necessary for us if we want the guidance from God that light to our path.
We need to expand our understanding of the word of God, not just to certain passages or favorite things.
But to work our way through.
All of what God has said and revealed himself, and again, that's why we as a church go through the Bible in three years.
That's why I encourage you.
Repeatedly, that's why week after week, I say, hey, this week in our reading in the Bible in three years you know we've gone through these passages.
Now we find ourselves here that that there would be this ongoing call and reminder. Listen if I teach 1000 messages that you hear and you take one thing away from them, let it be this.
That you need to have your own personal time with God in his word on a regular basis like that is the drive.
Of you know.
Everything that that my mind always comes back to that my heart always comes back to that if I do nothing else but help you get.
Involved in an ongoing regular, consistent time with God in his word.
I've done my job.
Because God will take care of the rest with you personally as you walk with him in his word that is so essential for every believer.
It's a guide when you read it completely.
If you don't read it completely, you've got some dark areas, some shadows.
Some gaps in your understanding of who God is and what he desires of us.
Jesus, in responding to Satan's temptations in the wilderness in Matthew 4/4.
We are to live not by bread alone, but by every word.
By every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Looking to all that God is said and all of it does not have the same weight and we don't all apply everything exactly the same way.
There's there's some work to do in learning what context is and what different types of passages are that there is some training and some some exercising that has to be done, but.
We need to do that work and to learn to develop those skills.
So that we can have the full light of God counsel on the path that lies before us.
Well, thirdly, the Bible is a guide.
When you read it repeatedly.
The Bible is a guide when you read it regularly, completely and then now, repeatedly. Verse 105 again says your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Picture in your mind that dark path.
You have your little lamp.
Trying to navigate from point A to point B.
How much benefit do you get?
On that dark path.
From a memory of the light that you had last year on that path.
It's like we go to the same temp site every year, right?
So now I'm at the campsite again this year.
And oh, it's a dark path to the bathroom. I think I remember how to do it. I don't need to bring my flashlight, I'll just remember from last year's light how to get there.
And maybe you have a lot of confidence in that because.
Maybe your bedroom is this like Mission Impossible scene.
Where there's a path from your bed to the bathroom.
Where you have to do gymnastics and Kung Fu.
And you know.
Then you're like.
And you could do it all in the dark.
With your eyes closed, half asleep because you've got to memorize, right, you placed everything there.
But here's the thing.
The paths that were on.
We didn't put all the obstacles in that place.
The paths that we're on, there's obstacles.
There's traps set by the enemy, there's obstacles that have changed day to day.
There's new dog poop on the path that wasn't there last time.
New dishes to sprain your ankle in new routes to trip over.
Previous lights in memory of previous light is not really effective.
On a dark path.
What you need is the light to shine on the path right now.
So that you can see.
The steps that you need to take.
When it comes to the scripture, we should never come to a passage and think I know what this says already.
Not necessary, I've read the Bible.
I've read it cover to cover, that's enough.
I got it.
I got it under my belt boom, achievement unlocked.
Got the badge and I'm good to go. I don't need to spend anymore time in that. I've read that once twice, 10 * 100 times.
It's not sufficient.
Because as you come to that passage today, you're in a different place than the last time you read it.
Hopefully by this time you have.
A little bit broader and deeper understanding of the Lord, and so now as you read through it again, there's more the Lord has to show you from where you are now and your new understanding.
Because of the growth that is accomplished, but also in your life, you're in a different place and you face different.
Opportunities and new dangers.
There's new things happening in your life, new attitudes that you've developed since the last time you went through that passage.
New thoughts that you've had new.
Messages that have been communicated to you.
New deception that is attempted to take over your.
Mind there's, there's.
All kinds of things that have changed since the.
Last time you were in that scripture.
And so it's necessary to shine light on your path again from.
Well, that passage that scripture that you are very familiar with think about what the Lord told Joshua in Joshua chapter one, verse 8.
As Joshua was starting out his mission of taking over for Moses and leading the people into the promised land, a challenging task, a rough path ahead.
God says, here's what you need to do.
Joshua study this book of instruction continually.
Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.
Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
God tells Joshua study this book continually.
Now, if you think about it.
Can you study continually without studying repeatedly?
Like just think practically, what would that take?
What would it take to study continually without repeating any part that you would have to measure out?
Pace yourself and basically ration off OK?
There's 31,000 verses in the Bible, one verse a day that gives me 85 years.
So I don't want to repeat myself so I I can only.
Do one verse a day.
And I'll do that verse continually.
But then the next day I'll do the next verse continually and.
Now, after 85 years I've studied continually without any repetition, that's.
That's not what God intends.
In fact, Joshua didn't have the whole Bible, he only had the first five books right.
The books of Moses.
There's only 5800 verses in the first five books.
That's one verse a day.
For 16 years.
OK so I got to do a quarter of a verse a day.
Let me do the math no, no, obviously the point is, if God is calling him to study continually, that means he's going to be revisiting passages that he has read previously and known and understood.
God doesn't say study it until you can recite it.
He doesn't say study it until you've read it at least once or twice.
He says study it continually that there is going to be this ongoing revisiting.
Of the scriptures of the passages of the truth that you know really well, Joshua and that will guide your path and lead you to prosperity in the mission that I've called you to it.
It will lead you to victory in bringing the people into the promised land in the the path that I have set.
To follow this instruction to Joshua to be continually.
Immersed in the word of God and that by default means we will be revisiting.
Those passages that we have known and studied previously, and that's good for us and important for us, Peter tells us in Second Peter chapter one.
He says I always remind you about these things, even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth.
You have been taught.
And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live.
And then he goes on in the passage to say, and I'm about to die.
And so I'm setting up things so that you will be reminded even after I'm gone.
Of these things.
The reminder of truth is so important for us.
It reinforces the truth. It reinforces and and fortify's our position and our understanding in God. And so Peter says it's it's essential that I remind you of these things, Paul told the Philippians in Philippians 3.
Hey, it's not tedious for me to tell you the same things over and over again.
It's it's helpful for you.
That's why I do that.
And so we read through the Bible in three years and then we go back to the beginning and read through the Bible again.
Maybe in one year, maybe in three years, maybe in 10 years.
I don't know, but.
Well, we go back to the beginning and we do it again and then we go back to the beginning and we do it again.
Then we go back to the beginning and we do it again because we need those reminders to solidify in our hearts the truth and.
There's some decay that happens as we have been apart from that passage, and we've forgotten some things and.
Our convictions about some things have weakened a bit.
But then we come back to the word of God to that passage again, and it's reinforced, and it's strengthened, and we are positioned then, to stand strong in the face.
Of opposition and doubts and challenges that come.
From all directions in our lives.
In Psalm chapter one, it talks about.
Delighting in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
Now again, there's no way to do that.
Meditating on a day and night without repetition without going back and revisiting passages that.
We have not been in for some time.
It's built in to God design for us that we would come back again.
And so again, I would encourage you to consider what what's your Bible reading plan?
What's your plan to visit these things regularly and frequently and and to come back to these truths and and to work your way through the word of God?
Us, you don't have to wait till we start over to join with us through the Bible in three years.
'cause we're in songs right now.
We'll finish up the Old Testament this year, work our way through the New Testament next year, and then we'll be back at the beginning.
And so in three years.
Guess what you'll be.
Right here and.
So whether you start right now or you start at the beginning or you start in the middle or somewhere out like after three years you you loop back around, you'll you'll get through the whole word.
And three years isn't a magic number.
I'm not suggesting that that's like, you know, I found it.
This is the way, no, this is just the course that got us put before us.
As a church, and so I encourage you join with us, but if God puts a different course on your path and calls you to spend time in the word, but let it be that systematic, regular, ongoing and plan for the repetition ING start over when you're done so that you work through again and refresh yourself in those things.
Fourthly, the Bible is a guide.
When you read it with the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is a guide when you read it with the Holy Spirit, it's important to understand it's a spiritual book.
If you're picturing again that dark pathway, you're you're working your way in that that forest, or in that dark field and trying to find the path.
How useful would that lamp be?
If it didn't have oil to fuel the fire.
Or if you didn't have batteries for your flashlight.
The Holy Spirit
Working in our lives and speaking to our hearts.
Is the fuel that brings lights and fire.
To our time with God in his word.
The Holy Spirit is the one who enables us to understand.
What God has said, Paul tells the Corinthians in first Corinthians 2.
We have received God spirit.
So we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the spirit using the Spirit's word to explain spiritual truths.
But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God spirit.
It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it.
For only those who are spiritual can understand what the scripture means.
There is a lot of benefit and wisdom that a person who does not believe in God can receive from reading the Bible.
But they will never reach the true meaning.
The full depths without the working.
Of the Holy Spirit.
You and I as we come to spend time with God.
In his word, especially as we're working through various passages and difficult passages and challenging things and things we haven't seen for a long time and things we've never heard people teach on because nobody likes to teach those passages right, like as as we work through those things we.
We are those as believers in Jesus Christ who have received the Holy Spirit.
And so we need to allow the Holy Spirit to invite the Holy Spirit to shed light on the word of God.
As we're reading through it.
And as believers, we have the opportunity to know and understand what God is saying through his word.
Pastor David Guzik puts it this way.
It is helpful to have wisdom from others and what they have seen in the scriptures.
Yet at its core, the Bible can be understood and Christians do understand it.
Christians do understand the Bible.
Because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within.
Everyone who has been born again has the Holy Spirit dwelling within, and we have the opportunity to engage with God to hear from God and receive from God the truth that he is revealing through his word.
There are some surface truths that can be gleaned.
Off the surface.
Just by reading through, you know, without knowing God and without having a relationship with him.
But for those of us who know God, who have been born again, who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within.
There's great depth.
There's brilliant light.
That is, in store for us we have access.
To receive from God through his word.
Jesus told us in John Chapter 14 that he was sending the Holy Spirit.
To bring light to teach us the things that he has taught us in, to remind us of the things that we have already learned.
And so we must not neglect.
The working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we spend time with God in his word finally point #5
The Bible is a guide when you read it and do something.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Listen, a light does no good.
If they're lighting a path but taking no steps.
A light does no good if you light the path and.
Then go a different direction.
The way to receive the benefit of the light.
Is to walk in the light to take the steps that are lit before you.
James tells us in James chapter one.
Don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you're only fooling yourselves.
And based on those survey results, I think we can come to the conclusion there's a lot of people.
Who are fooling themselves?
Who identify as Christians call themselves Christians think their Christians and perhaps engage with the word of God, but.
But there's this part that's lacking, that is the holding onto believing it and acting according to what God has said Charles Spurgeon said.
It's true the head needs illumination, but even more the feet need direction, else head and feet may both fall into a ditch.
I like his practical wisdom.
There we we want to be illuminated.
There's intellectual things that we can just.
Wow, get really.
Dipped deep into in the word of God, but.
But we must not limit it to that. We must allow God's word to instruct. This is how I relate to my spouse.
This is how I am in the workplace.
This is how I believe and in what God has said and what God has done.
This is how I engage with the community around me.
This is how I live.
This is how I save.
This is all of what God has said.
Putting it into practice, doing something about what God has said and revealed in his word.
The Bible is a guide when you read it.
And do something.
It's not a guide for you if you read it.
Leave the same way and don't have any impact or change in your.
Life as a result.
It's not a guide, then you're lighting a path and then going a different direction.
And you're bound to stumble.
When you read it.
And then do what it says and put it into practice and learn how to live out what God has said in his word.
The Bible is a lamp to guide your feet and I want to encourage you to make sure.
That you have a well lit path ahead of you by reading the Bible regularly, completely, repeatedly.
Allowing the Holy Spirit, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to you and breathe life into the words that you're reading and to teach you how to take it and to do something.
There was a man named Niemann.
In Second Kings chapter 5.
Who had the disease of leprosy, and he was not from Israel, but he heard about the Prophet of God who had.
Was able to work miracles and so he sought out this prophet.
The prophet told him.
Go dip in the Jordan River seven times.
Neiman was furious.
He thought I would thought he was going to come out.
We've over me.
Do some kind of ceremony.
There's going to be something you know, fanfare or something.
And he was about to.
Go away angry.
And not receive a healing, but his servant said, hey, if he had asked you to do something fantastic, you know something incredible.
You would have done it.
He asked you to do something simple.
Why not try it?
Why not do it?
And so he went, and he dipped in the Jordan.
And he came up the 7th time, clean washed.
Healed of the disease.
Because he was willing to take the simple instruction and put it into practice.
The Bible is a lamp to guide your feet, and maybe that doesn't really satisfy you on the surface.
And you're like I want something more elaborate, more ceremonial, more.
Put the simple instruction to practice.
Open up the word of God every day.
Read it through all the way, go back and do it again.
Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
Learn how to and seek to take the things that you're reading and learning about of God and put it into practice in your life.
Listen, it's a simple, simple instruction, I understand, but God will transform your life exponentially.
As you invest time with him in his word, let's pray, but I pray for each of us that you would help us to have a healthy appetite for you and your word.
And God, that it would be something that is a part of our lives every day that we seek you that we learn of you that we learn to shine light on our path by examining your word and the things that you want to speak to us.
And so, God, I pray that you would fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we might understand, Lord, that you would.
Uncover that her eyes would be opened.
To the amazing truths.
That are found in your word.
Teach us Lord lead.
US build us up and mature us.
We pray as we seek you in your word in Jesus name we pray.