“THE FORGOTTEN TREASURES”                            By Pastor YAU

Text: Psalm 119:89-96                                                   May 28, 2006

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   A dust covered book: A young boy notice a large book all covered with dust lying on a high shelf. His curiosity was aroused, so he asked his mother about it. Embarrassed, she hastily explained, “That is a Bible. It’s God’s Book.” The boy thought for a moment and then said, “Well, if that’s God’s Book, why don’t we give it back to Him? Nobody around here ever uses it anyway.”

2)   A book we hardly use: In many Christian homes, the Bible is hardly used or even thought about. The only time anyone picks it up to read may be when there is trouble, sickness or death in the family. And even then the person may not know where to look for help that is needed. When was the last time you pick up a Bible, sit down and read it for your own good?

 

WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

1)        The Bible is the Word of God: God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai He used His power to write the words on tablets so the people of Israel could read and understand. This idea of God gave His word in the Bible was further illustrated when Paul, the greatest of all apostles, said in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” The compound word translated “God-breathed” theopneustos, a Greek word that means “from the breath of God” or “His speech.” This is the most important essence of the Bible. It separates the Bible from all the books written by men. No matter whichever language or version of the Bible you use, the theme messages were given by God.

2)        The Bible paths the way to God: Through human history, man has been trying to reach God to meet his spiritual vacuum through many man invented means: religion, philosophy, good work and others. God reveals His nature, attributes, works and love in the Bible through His dealing with man. Through the first four Commandments, God lays down the frame work that man may get to know Him. At the end of His revelation, through the life and work of Jesus Christ, God revealed all about Him to mankind. If anyone who is sincere in seeking the true God, the Bible is the only way to achieve the goal.

3)        The Bible builds relationship: The last six Commandments lay down the foundation for the betterment of human relationship in the family, to neighbors, enemies, property and personal action. Thousands of books have been written and millions of hours of lectures have been conducted to teach people about how to live peacefully with one another and yet men have been waging wars, big and small, through out history. The only way to solve this problem is for men to study and obey the six Commandments.

4)        The Bible improves personal conduct: The last part of 2 Timothy 3:16 reads: “and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” This is about how man may learn to improve himself in his thoughts and behavior. The purpose of doing this is in 3:17 which reads “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for all good works.” Why did men do wrong and how can they improve themselves to do right? All is in the Bible. Reading books written by men from their thoughts and experience may be beneficial, but reading the Book of God is the ultimate authority because He creates us and He knows what is best for us.

 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE BIBLE? The answer of the little boy “Give the Bible back to God” may seem innocent but God never wants His Bible back. He wants us to keep it at home, in office, at school and all other places we may find like the hotel rooms, hospitals and camps. So, what should we do with it? Ask God.

1)   God wants us to read His word: If God only wanted Moses to know what He intended to tell him, He may not need to write down all the Ten Commandments on tablets. He did so that the people of Israel and their children may read them. This is the most basic requirement God set on us: “READ MY WORD.” Besides on Sunday morning at church services, how often you read the Bible on your own? We read many things from news paper, magazines, brochures and even fliers from area merchants. Why don’t we read the Bible, such a useful and important book from God? Most Christians say they love God but seldom read His love letters.

2)   God wants us to understand His word: Reading the Bible without understanding the meaning and teaching of it doesn’t mean much. There are ways we can understand the Bible better: rely on the Holy Spirit by keeping close with God. Spend time in sincere study and meditation. Participate in group discussion in Sunday School and discipleship. Attentive listening in the worship hour and read books and commentaries written by trustworthy scholars. Read and understand the Word of God may shed light on your mind as well as your path of life. (Psalm 119:105)

3)   God wants us to believe His word: We believe the words of many people: our doctors, the pharmacists, the pilots when we fly, the mechanics when our cars have problems and many others. The fact of life: you can’t live a meaningful life without believing someone almost everyday. How about believing the word of God? If we truly trust God is the wisest who has our best interest in mind and is the most powerful, how much should we believe in His word? Trusting God and His word makes life a lot easier when we need direction, advice, support and hope. In a world where everything could happen in a snap, believing in a loving and powerful God is more than just a religious gesture, it is an everyday necessity.

4)   God wants us to obey His word: If you really read, understand and believe everything the Bible says but never really act on it, what is the point of doing all these? Suppose you are sick and have seen a doctor, got your medication, read the instruction, understand all the facts of the medicine, believe that it will get you well. But you never get around to take the medicine, what is the point of doing all the above? Many of us seldom receive the benefits on the power of God in His words is because we seldom follow through in doing what the Bible has told us to do. Obeying His word is obeying God. Apostle James described this unthinkable ignorance in a humorous way in James 1:20-25 “Do not merely listen to the word. Do what it says.” Doing God’s word benefits you, not God or anyone else.

 

THE FORGOTTEN TREASURE: The Bible is like a treasure chest God has prepared for us. There are so much waiting for us to find out. The Scripture quotation today is from the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. All 22 sections follow the 22 Hebrew alphabets with 8 verses in each section. In all 22 sections, the writer expressed his admiration on the beauty and the richness of the words of God and his desire to follow them. In vv. 89-96, we find the following treasures:

1)     God’s word is eternal: It stand firm in heavens and earth. While human words change all the time and we can never tell if they are true or not, God’s word will never change and we can count on it.

2)     God’s word is faithful: God never lies and He always keeps His promises. We need to have faith in God and His word.

3)     God’s word is invincible: Nothing in this world may destroy His word or its meaning. Jesus confirmed this in Matt. 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

4)     God’s word is delightful: God’s word brings hope in time of despair and joy in time of sorrow. His word is the source of comfort and strength in time of pain and suffering.

5)     God’s word is unforgettable: By following the word of God, man may avoid traps and snares to preserve and protect his life.

6)     God’s word is relational: We face dangers everyday and everywhere. By following God’s word, we keep ourselves save from temptation and its consequences.

7)     God’s word resourceful: Wickedness and evil is everywhere in this world. By meditating and obeying God’s word, we are protected from the world’s wicked and evil way of life.

8)     God’s word is universal: There is nothing anywhere and anytime God cannot reach to keep us save and perfect. No matter where you are or how much trouble you may be in, God’s word can always reach out to bring you back to perfection.

 

CONCLUSION: Here are some practice steps you may follow:

1)    Renew your respect of the Bible: Many people lost their Bibles at church or other places but few have lost their valets or purses. The Bible is more than just printed pages of paper it is the word of God. Keep it close to your heart.

2)    Renew your interest on the Bible: Have a set time each day to read God’s word. Meditate on its meaning. Draw wisdom and guidance from God’s word at the start of day. Taste the sweetness of God’s word and nourish your life both spiritually and emotionally.

3)    Receive blessing from the Bible: In John 5:39, Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you know that by them you possess eternal life.” Read the word, open your heart and you will come to believe in Jesus as Lord and savior and have eternal life.