In one of the more striking statements of the Bible, Romans 1:16 calls God’s word, “the power of God unto salvation.” His word is, “living, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12).” Since His word is so important, shouldn’t we consider how to apply its power to our lives? Psalm 119:97-104 tells us that God’s word fulfills our deepest needs:
Need to Internalize (Psalm 119:97) — Do not be content with mere memorization of Scripture, but rather meditate upon it day and night. Try memorizing a verse, and then think about it often throughout your day. How powerful God’s influence will be if we allow His word to consume our thoughts!
Need to Learn Wisdom (Psalm 119:98) — Are you disappointed with the way your choices often turn out? Want to make better decisions in dealing with others? Consult God’s word daily, and His word will show you how to seek what’s best!
Need For Spiritual Understanding (Psalm 119:99) — Some believe that the secret to happiness is found in filling our minds with secular wisdom. All the education and teaching the world has to offer cannot compare with the understanding we get from God’s testimonies. Fill your heart with the words that bring salvation!
Need to Trust God (Psalm 119:100) — Experience is often a good teacher, but trust in God’s precepts is a better one. God gives us better understanding than experience ever could as we obey His commandments.
Need for Restraint (Psalm 119:101) — God’s power will never be fully available to us until we learn to control ourselves. His word can teach us what is wrong, but our individual duty and challenge is to restrain our feet from taking us down an evil path.
Need to Stand Fast (Psalm 119:102) — Trees with no root structure do not bear much fruit. Likewise, a Christian who “rides the fence” between God and the world is failing to realize his potential in the Lord! How deep are your roots? How committed are you to honoring God with your life (Rom 12:1-2)?
Need for Spiritual Appetite (Psalm 119:103) — Many people have no appetite for Scripture. Such folk often allow a diet of “junk food” (i.e. busyness, entertainment, materialism, laziness, divided interests, etc.) to replace the only kind of nourishment that will cause them to grow spiritually! The Psalmist regarded God’s word as, “sweeter than honey.” Enough meditation on God’s word will cause our appetite to grow as well, but it takes dedication to develop a hunger!!!
Need to Discern (Psalm 119:104) — Right and wrong are not always as clear as black and white. Often, the wrong choice comes clothed in a fancy and attractive package. Our ability to turn away from sin is directly related to our desire to know what God’s word has to say on any given issue! It’s difficult to, “hate every false way” if we do not recognize what is false!
Since the Scriptures are powerful (Rom 1:16, Heb 4:12), God’s people ought to be interested in how to tap such a vast resource. Psalm 119 is not only the longest chapter in the Bible, it is written entirely about the Bible! Some more characteristics that show us the power in God’s word are these:
The Word Clarifies (Psalm 119:105) — His word is described as a lamp and a light. Consider the following: what other book can teach you what you must do to be right with God? The Bible clarifies where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going! That’s powerful information for living!
The Word Brings Righteousness (Psalm 119:106) — It is not possible to be righteous without some kind of revelation from God. Thankfully, He has given us His word which is able to make us complete in Him (2 Tim 3:17). As we become doers of His word, we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus (1 Jn 1:7).
The Word Revives (Psalm 119:107) — When trials and storms threaten to sink us, God’s word can revive our fallen spirits. The burdens of life would be too much to bear alone, but we have a God who tells us He is always with us (Heb 13:5). His word is powerful enough to revive the weary traveler.
The Word Motivates (Psalm 119:108) — Because of the love that God has shown us, we are motivated to love Him (cf. 2 Cor 5:14). We gladly offer our lives to Him because Christ gave His life for us (Rom 12:1-2). His word gives us the ultimate motivation to give Him the, “freewill offerings of our mouth.”
The Word Prioritizes (Psalm 119:109) — We have control over every decision that we make, and yet God’s word teaches that some decisions are better than others. It spells out in vivid detail that we can and should have priorities in life. Seeking His kingdom and righteousness are at the top of the list (Matt 6:33).
The Word Comforts (Psalm 119:110) — Even when the road we travel is difficult and fraught with danger, God is still there, reassuring us through His word that the journey is worth the struggle. Don’t ever forget that God’s way is not the easiest way, but it is the best way!
The Word Brings Joy (Psalm 119:111) — The Psalmist said that God’s testimonies were, “the rejoicing of my heart.” What an attitude to have about Scripture! Many Christians look at God’s testimonies as a burden rather than as an occasion for rejoicing. Think about it: He has told us that He still wants a relationship with us, despite our sin and shame. That’s good news, and an occasion to rejoice!!!
The Word is Eternal (Psalm 119:112) — Because God’s word will always stand, it will always be relevant to humankind. We can spend a lifetime delving into the power contained in God’s word and yet never fully realize the joy and peace that come from serving Him. Let’s incline our hearts to perform His statutes all of our lives!