Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Four Uses For Your Bible
[Adapted from “Sermons in Song,” 2018 by the author]
Psalm 119 is the longest one in the Bible, one hundred and seventy- six verses in all. There is no title or author’s name. This Psalm has twenty-two sections, each one beginning with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is a wonderful tributed to God’s Word. The author uses ten different words to describe God’s Law, referring to the first five books of the Bible, Genesis -Deuteronomy, known as the Pentateuch.
Most people in America own a Bible. Some have Bibles in which they simply store receipts, records, or pressed flowers. Others buy them for decorative purposes. But the written Word of God should be the most important book in your home, and it ought to be used more than any other book you own. The text of this Psalm suggests some practical uses for your Bible. You should:
- Know it in your head (Psalm 119:18). The eye depends on the mind and the will. We all need help to see everything in life that is worth seeing. Anyone can buy a Bible, but, unless a person knows the Heavenly Author, he cannot truly comprehend its meaning because Satan has blinded those who do not believe (John 12:40; II Corinthians 4:4). In other words, if you are not a Christian, you cannot know Scripture in the sense of truly understanding it. That was the case with the Ethiopian eunuch who confessed to Philip he needed someone to guide him (Acts 8:31). But, after you are saved, you will be able to read it with understanding, as the apostle Paul shared with the believers of Ephesus (Ephesians 1:15-18).
- Stow it in your heart. “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sing against You” (Psalm 119:11). As a young boy, I hated practicing piano when my friends were outside playing. But my grandmother would always explain: “Keep practicing because someday you will have something that no one can ever take away from you.” She was right. I could sell the piano and burn all the music, but the knowledge I had received was hidden in my heart. It is one thing to read and memorize Scripture, but quite another to store it away and treasure it within one’s heart and life.
- Show it in your life (Psalm 119:105). Here God’s Word is likened to a light or lamp given to enlighten us concerning the plan of salvation, to illuminate our earthly pathway, and to reveal the heart and will of God. O that we today might be spiritual bookworms, not only going through the Bible, but also letting the Bible go through us! Its eternal light would then flood our darkened souls and warm our cold hearts.
- Sow it in the world (Psalm 119:46). Reading Psalm 126 you will discover that it is an agricultural proverb that can similarly apply to sowing God’s Word. The parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:1-23 encourages us to faithfully sow God’s Word (II Corinthians 9:6), Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). When we are saved, we can share what God has done for us naturally without fear or special training. In the Bible, the demoniac from Gadara, the Samaritan woman at the well, and the man born blind all did so without any formal schooling. Someone has wisely stated: “a Bible in the hand is worth two on the shelf.”
Let us get the dust off our Bibles and begin to know, stow, show, and sow it in the lives of others for the glory of God. Beloved, please meditate on these closing words about the Bible by an unknown, author:
The Holy Bible: This book contains the mind of God, The state of man, The way of salvation, The doom of sinners, and The happiness of believers. Its precepts are binding, Its history is true, and Its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, Believe it to be saved, and Practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, Food to support you, and Comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map and The Christian’s charter. Here is paradise restored, Heaven opened and Gates of hell closed. Christ is the grand subject, Our good its design, and The glory of God its end. Read it Slowly, Frequently, and Prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, A paradise of glory, and A river of pleasure. It will reward the greatest labor and Condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. The Book: The Book of books; The Book of life; The Book of God; The Bible; The Revelation of God to man.
Warnings! This Book will keep you from sin, and Sin will keep you from this Book. Reading and confessing this book will: Terrify the devil, Stupefy the rebellious, Mystify the world, Pacify the critics, Ratify the covenant, Edify the church, Magnify the Word, and Glorify the Lord!