Today’s Scripture: “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” Psalm 143:5
We continue our series with another verse from the book of Psalms. Yesterday, we talked about meditating upon the Word, contemplating the Word, delighting in the Word, and remembering the Word…and today we are talking about pondering on the Word.
Meditating, contemplating, and pondering all have to do with our thoughts. They have to do with keeping the Word of God fresh upon our hearts, upon our minds, and upon our lips. This Word of God that less than 25% of Christians now read on a daily basis is the sustaining source upon which all of us should be basing our lives upon.
Yet, it’s necessary to go over a series like this because the Holy Spirit is trying to remind us of the importance of the Word of God. It’s truly a shame that we’ve had to take such a long time on this topic, but what’s even more of a shame is that the Holy Spirit felt it necessary for us to have to get in to this.
I admit that even I can always spend more time in the Word of God, but the awesome thing about writing on a daily basis is that I also have to read the Word of God on a daily basis. Like I’ve said a few times if it wasn’t for the Word of God, and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost I wouldn’t have anything to write about. So, let’s get into today’s message, and see what it is that the Holy Spirit would have to say to us today.
Today’s verse in our old friend, The Amplified Version of the Bible reads this way: “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I ponder the work of Your hands.”
Not too long ago I watched a two-part message on YouTube by one of my all time favorites Evangelist Donnie Swaggart. Yep, you would be correct in your assumption that he is indeed the son of Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. His message was simply titled: “The Old Paths”.
The point of his message was that today’s preachers have strayed far, far away from the paths of old. I can guarantee you that you would never hear some of the old-time heavyweights of the faith like Kenneth Hagin Sr, Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon, CS Lewis, Smith Wigglesworth, Billy Graham, and others preach the kinds of seeker friendly messages we hear coming from the pulpits of America today.
In fact, I have found that more of the preachers on television these days like Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Bishop Eddie Long, and the list could go on forever are all about prosperity, feel good religion, thinking your way to a better life, and one of the most dangerous is this doctrine today about how everyone is going to be accepted into heaven. No, not all of the before mentioned guys are preaching this garbage, but what I’ve found is that if I want good, solid biblical teaching from guys like Dr. David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley, Jack Graham, Tony Evans, Adrian Rogers, and a few others…the only place I can find good Bible teaching is on the radio.
In pulpits across the country the emphasis today is upon being seeker friendly, filling the pews, and offending as few people as possible. We have coffee-house churches, churches in bars, and churches that have live secular music and magic shows and other things in their church. The emphasis is on the entertainment of the body of Christ rather than the enrichment and equipping of the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry.
Do you know why all of this is so? Do you know why the letter Paul wrote to Timothy is more prophetic about the day in age in which we live today? Do you know why we’re now living in the perilous times, and the day where we heap up messages for people who have itching ears? Do you know why preachers are more concerned about offending their members instead of being afraid to offend God? Do you know why there are so many weak kneed, powerless Christians running around today that have no idea what they believe or why?
It’s because they have forgotten the days of old, they have forgotten about the work of the Lord’s hands, and they no longer ponder, meditate or contemplate the Word of God. They claim the Bible is outdated for today’s society so rather than teach them the Word of God they would rather teach out of Rick Warren’s latest book. Instead of studying and preparing messages the old-fashioned way (by studying the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct their sermons) you can go on to many websites today and download and print out ready-made sermons complete with scriptures (that are incorrectly divided), illustrations, jokes, and even stories that the poster of the message used.
This departure from the delight of meditating, the passion to study to show themselves approved to God, and an over all devaluing of the Word of God has a direct link to the decline of morality in the church. It’s the reason churches today are willing to accept that maybe the Bible’s view on same-sex marriage is wrong, the divorce rate in the church is just as high as the divorce rate in the world, there are pastors having affairs left and right, and then I get back to the lack of substance in the messages being preached today…all of this is directly linked to the devaluing of the Word of God.
Today’s church services are three songs, a half-hour to forty-five minute message with no substance or challenge to anyone’s lives (because we now need to be entertaining and seeker friendly so we don’t offend anyone…but God.), and then they’re home before or shortly after kick off for the Sunday NFL party or NASCAR race or whatever else people think is more important than getting a good, solid Bible based message.
During this series on “Why Read The Bible?” we have gone over many subjects, but what bothers me is that we have to have a series like this to begin with. I don’t understand how a preacher can talk for an hour, and feel like he’s done his congregation any good by not teaching or preaching the Word of God. The most basic of the Christian walk is that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. In Romans chapter 10: 14 – 15…Paul writes: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
And how shall they hear without a preacher? Hear what? The gospel of peace, the good news, and the very Word of God that faith comes by hearing from. How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” Paul writes.
You know, as I do what today’s message talks about and ponder upon what I’ve been writing over these last 20 days now, one thing that I can honestly say is that I have no desire to teach anything that isn’t found in the Bible, and this pastor and ministry will always strive to be more concerned about offending God that it’s readers. I don’t think that I have some great wealth of knowledge about anything, and like Paul I have determined not to know anything except Christ crucified, and that we’re all sinners in need of a Savior.
Listen, I may be the pastor and founder of this ministry, but when God called me to this ministry He made it very clear that everyone that would become a part of this ministry were not my sheep…they are His. He also made it clear that I am accountable for what I feed His sheep. So, I am here to boldly proclaim and declare that this ministry shall not and will not depart from teaching and preaching and reading the Word of God. The very foundation of this ministry is the Bible, and there’s no point where I can look at today’s society and think that the Word of God is outdated.
In fact, I believe it’s quite the opposite. I’ve written this a few times in this series too. What other book in history is there that it still writing it’s story today? Is there any other book has been written that you can honestly say is still having it’s story unfolding today? I can tell you that there’s no novel written today that’s more powerful then this Bible that everyone today seems to think is irrelevant for today, but that is exactly what’s needed in order to change the world.
We have twelve messages left in this series, and I can assure you that once this series is over we whatever series we do next will not be about someone’s latest book…it will be something that’s good, solid Bible teaching. I don’t know about any other preacher out there today, but I want beautiful feet…and the only way I know to have beautiful feet is to continue to preach the gospel of peace…and that’s what this pastor and this ministry intend to do.
Points for Pondering:
I guess maybe it’s a little late after 20 messages to figure out that none of you are really answering these questions. So, I guess I’ll rename this section to reflect what I hope that you are doing. If you’re not answering them, I hope that you’re at least using these questions to challenge your heart and mind. I hope that you’re using these questions to think and meditate upon what your attitude towards the Word of God is. I hope that these questions have helped you to figure out that reading God’s Word isn’t a suggestion, but a command…and something that’s meant to help us learn how to reflect the Writer of the Word of God.
- What are some of the great works that this verse is talking about?
- Why is a good thing to look back at the things God has done?
- What are some of the great works that God has done in your life?
Conclusion & Prayer:
I feel it necessary to repeat once again my personal pledge to all of you who follow Christlike Ministries NWA. That personal pledge is this. Christlike Ministries NWA will not ever stray from teaching the Word of God. This pastor and this ministry is committed to good, solid Bible based messages with just a touch of personal reflection, wisdom, and understanding…but what I have to say in these messages isn’t nearly as important as the Bible verses in which we cover in them.
I don’t ever want you to take what I write, and not test it according to the Word of God. I am a man, I am human, and while I do my best to write messages that are inspired by the Word of God and the Holy Ghost…the truth is I’m capable of writing things in error. I do know that as long as I stick to the Word of God I will most likely write good, sound messages, but I still want you to look up the Bible verses. I want you to understand how I come to the conclusion and commentary I come to because you understand it, and see it in the Word of God…not because I write it.
My friends, we simply must return to having a passion and fire for the Word of God that out burns our passions for anything else. “Preach The Word” is burning in my heart and mind on a daily basis because that’s what is going to make the difference. What I write won’t amount to a hill of beans, but what does matter is the Word of God.
In these last 12 messages I hope that you’ll continue to follow along, but more than that my hope and prayer is that you’ll rediscover a fire and passion for the Word of God that can only be quenched and satisfied by spending quality time in God’s Word.
I never really know who is reading these messages, but I maintain that the most important thing to me isn’t that you read these messages or that Christlike Ministries NWA becomes something great…the heart of this pastor and this ministry is to equip you with the ability to have a strong, intimate, personal relationship with God. That is really the hope and mission and vision of this ministry…we’re an Ephesians 4:12 ministry…our goal, job, mission, vision or whatever you want to call it is this…equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,”
My prayer is that we have helped to encourage, enlighten, and equip you to embrace whatever it is that God is calling YOU to do.
Jesus, teach us to delight in Your Word the way the Psalmist did. Teach us the value of meditating, contemplating, and pondering upon Your Word. I continue to pray, Lord God, that You would burn within us and me a passion and fire for Your Word that burns hotter and more intense…and is never fully satisfied. For those of us with smoldering fires, Lord I pray that You would fan the flames in our hearts, and forgive us for being cool to lukewarm about Your Word. Jesus, we love You, and we thank You for all You are doing in us, with us, and through us in this series…and I pray that as it continues You’ll burn in us a deeper, hotter, more intense longing for You as well. I give You all glory, all honor, and all praise…and ask these things in Your Name…Amen & Amen.