Sermon: A Heart for the Word


A Heart for the Word
Psalm 119:161-168
January 8, 2023

This morning, at the beginning of the new year, we want to remind ourselves about the importance of the Bible.  What do you know about the Bible?

  • There are 66 books in the Bible (39 in the OT, 27 in the NT).
  • There are 1189 chapters in the Bible (929 in the OT, 260 in the NT)
  • There are 41,173 verses in the Bible (33,214 in the OT, 7,959 in the NT)
  • The shortest book in the Bible is 3 John (the shortest book in OT is Obadiah)
  • The longest book in the Bible is Psalms (the longest in the NT is Luke)
  • The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117
  • The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119
  • The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9
  • The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35
  • To read the Bible aloud takes 70 hours and 40 minutes (52:20 for OT, 18:20 for NT)

But (and we know this), that’s not what is most important about the Bible.  What is essential about the Bible is its purpose and intent — as our constitution says, it is “the final authority for faith and life.”  The Bible is God’s revelation to us so that we can be saved and transformed — justified and sanctified.   Spurgeon said of this greatest book ever written, “The words of Scripture thrill my soul as nothing else ever can.  They bear me aloft or dash me down.  They tear me in pieces or build me up.  The words of God have more power over me than ever David’s fingers had over his harp springs.”  Does the Word have that power in your life?

At the beginning and middle of every new year, we spend one Sunday being reminded of the importance of the Word of God in our lives from Psalm 119.  This morning, in the next to last stanza (161-168) we are told:

When oppressed, cultivate affections for the Word and you will know comfort from the Word.

In the previous stanza (vv. 153-160), we said that the psalmist’s message was “When oppressed, be confident in God to see and respond to your need.”  In a similar context of oppression, we see the psalmist advance that theme in this stanza by exhorting the readers to love the Word by obeying the Word and experience the blessings that only that love of the Word can produce. 

Observe four realities of the Word of God:

  1. Circumstances in Which the Word Operates (v. 161a)
  2. Affections to Cultivate for the Word (vv. 161b–166a)
  3. Benefits that Accrue from the Word (vv. 161b–166a)
  4. A Commitment Fitting of the Word (vv. 166b–168)

Download the rest of this sermon on Psalm 119:161-168.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by Tuesday.

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