Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Dannah Gresh: Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth challenging a group of college students.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: I want you to love His Word, to delight in it. I want you to enjoy God’s Word more than you enjoy good food, more than you enjoy getting good grades, more than you enjoy getting a raise, more than you enjoy watching a good movie—good things. I want you to enjoy God’s Word more than any of those things.

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A Place of Quiet Rest, for Friday, January 10, 2020.

What delights you? I bet I could look at everything you’ve pinned on Pinterest and get a pretty good idea. Or maybe I could visit your Instagram page and see at least some of the things you enjoy. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with delighting in whatever you have pinned or posted. As we just heard, a lot has to do with degrees of delight, and getting things in the right order.

In January here at Revive Our Hearts we are encouraging you to get into the Word and to be delighted in that first and foremost. Today is part 2 of a message Nancy gave last year at Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week Conference. The message is entitled: “The Precious Word of God.” It's basically a bird’s eye view of the entire chapter of Psalm 119.

Yesterday we had to stop just as Nancy was in the middle of a list of ten blessings that the psalmist says come from God’s Word.

The first blessing is: wisdom and guidance
Number two: strength and vitality
Number three: freedom
Number four: hope
Number five: comfort in affliction 

Now, here’s Nancy with more on "The Precious Word of God, from Psalm 119."

Number six: life

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life (Ps. 119:93).

We were told, or reminded earlier this week that God created life through the power of His spoken word. And He gives us life through the power of His word. That’s how we gain our life. We cannot live without the Word of God.

Number seven: God’s Word gives us the blessing of deliverance from our enemies. 

I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts (v. 94).

Deliverance from our enemies.

Number eight: peace

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble (v. 165).

Number nine: When we face opposition or evil, as we will and do, God’s Word gives us perseverance and help. 

Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law (v. 61).

The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts (v. 69).

The insolent have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts” (v. 78).

When the psalmist was falsely accused, God’s Word helped him keep his bearings. 

Number ten: protection from sin 

Not just the sins of others, but from our own sin. 

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (v. 11).

Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me (v. 133).

The greatest antidote for sin, especially those sins that hold onto us so tightly . . . What’s the greatest antidote? It’s passion and affection for Jesus and for His Word. As we delight in Him, the delights of sin seem to be something we don’t have to have. Something we can gladly live without.

You see, the writer of Psalm 119 believed that the Word of God was more than sufficient for every need that we might ever encounter in every situation and every situation of life. That’s why as we read through Psalm 119, we see that he longed for God’s Word. He was hungry for God’s Word. 

My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times (v. 20).

What parent wouldn’t love to have his teenage child say that? “Oh parent, my soul is filled with longing for your rules at all times!” Not gonna be said. But it’s something the psalmist felt toward God and His rules. Verse 82: “My eyes long for your promise.” Verse 131: “I long for your commandments.”

A Christian leader in Britain said, “More than two hundred million people in the world have no access to spiritual food, with no Scriptures available in their language.” Yet we in the West, despite owning more Bibles per household than we will ever use, are slowly starving to death because we have lost our appetite, our longing, for the Scripture.

A number of years ago I met a woman named Margaret Nicole, who remembered vividly what it was like not to have access to a Bible. She was a concert violinist who grew up in Bulgaria, under what at the time was one of communism’s most repressive regimes.

When Margaret was a little girl, the Communists confiscated virtually all the Bibles in the country. But there was an elderly woman in Margaret’s town who managed to secret away one Bible, which became a treasure shared by all the believers in that town. Literally each page, one at a time, was carefully torn out of that Bible and distributed, one by one, to the believers in that town. Margaret felt overjoyed to get one page that included Genesis 16 and 17—a page that she cherished and studied diligently. 

Well, when Margaret was in her mid-thirties, she was exiled to the United States. Shortly after she arrived in America, new-found friends asked her, “What do you want for Christmas?” Margaret didn’t have to think long at all. More than anything else, she wanted a Bible! Margaret described the moment when her friends took her to a Christian bookstore to make the purchase. It was the very first time that she had ever seen a complete Bible. 

She said, “There were red ones and black ones and green ones and blue ones and brown ones! Every size, every shape, Bibles everywhere!” And overwhelmed by that sight, that thirty-seven-year-old woman stood in the aisle of that bookstore and wept and wept and wept for joy. 

You may have seen some of those videos on YouTube of people in other parts of the world who are receiving for the very first time the Bible in their own language. As the small plane lands and the boxes are unloaded and they begin to deliver and distribute them, the people begin to grasp and just run over each other, trying to get their hands on a Bible. And then you’ve seen them as they begin to break out into celebration: dancing, singing, weeping for joy—ecstatic to be able to hold and read a copy of the Word of God in their own language. 

So why doesn’t the Bible stir us in that way? Why have we lost our appetite? Why don’t we long for God’s Word? 

Some of you may have seen the Super Bowl half-time show this past Sunday. Here’s what one reviewer had to say about that show. Quote: “There are a number of words you could use to describe Maroon 5’s half-time show performance: empty, boring, basic, sleepy, skippable, unfulfilling, and unnecessary.” 

Now, whatever you may think about that particular band or that show or that type of music, it’s amazing to me, having seen it, that anyone could call it “boring.” I could think of some other adjectives I might use, but not “boring.” If you missed it, the pyrotechnics, the special effects on steroids! But the problem is that we are an easily bored culture. It takes more and more to thrill us. Nothing surprises us, nothing shocks us, nothing fills us with wonder. We’ve lost our ability to be astonished. 

I believe the response of some to that Super Bowl half-time show is the way a lot of people feel about the Bible—even a lot of believers. We try to read our Bibles, and our eyes glaze over sometimes. Because it doesn’t stimulate us, it doesn’t entertain us, it doesn’t thrill us, it doesn’t seem really satisfying, really filling. So what do we do? We turn to other things that we hope will satisfy us and bring us pleasure and joy. And in the process, we lose our appetite for the food that truly satisfies. The bread of life that Jesus said it is impossible to live without. 

Proverbs 27, verse 7 tells us that “One who is full loathes a honey, but to one who is hungry, everything bitter is sweet.” I saw this illustrated in an American woman who was living in another country who began contacting and interacting with a blogger from our ministry. Through the course of several weeks just exchanging emails, this woman’s heart and eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit. God gave her repentance and faith, and she gave her heart to Christ and was beautifully converted. 

Several weeks later, she sent an email to the blogger that she’d been corresponding with. She said,

I’ve just been reading the Bible online and printing out certain sections. But I’d really like to have a whole copy that I can actually hold in my hands. I went online to find one to purchase and found that the selection and variety of Bibles is more overwhelming than standing in the cereal aisle of a U.S. grocery store—so many choices! 

Well, needless to say, our blogger immediately sent her a Bible. And this woman, a brand-new believer, was ecstatic. She wrote,

What a thrill it is to have a Bible! I stayed up way too late last night reading mine. It’s a whole different thing when you get to hold a whole copy of it in your hands, and reading continuously without Internet lapses, slow connections, etc. Thank you so much!

Now, fast-forward eight months from the time she received her first Bible. And she was asked by a group of non-believers to lead a study so that they could learn more about her faith. She wrote to ask us to pray for her. She said, “I’m not a public speaker. I am so not equipped for something like this. I’ve only read the Bible through twice! And I’ve never even been to a church that believes the Bible!” 

Here’s a baby Christian that is just eight-months-old in Christ who has already read through the entire Bible twice—and the first part of that, online. Eventually, this woman lead her children to Christ, she has lead many people to Christ as her family has been transferred to different countries around the world, and her daughter is now a student at Moody Bible Institute. How precious is that? 

I’ve been reading God’s Word ever since I could read—about fifty-five years. I’ve not read it as frequently, or faithfully, or fervently as I wish I had. In my teens, and as a young woman in my twenties, there were times when I struggled to believe that this really was the inerrant word of God. And I’m thankful for people who listened and who helped me walk through some of those seasons of doubt.

Years ago when the founder of our ministry died of a brain tumor, after we had pled with God for months to spare his life, I went through a really dark period for about eighteen months. I felt that every time I opened God’s Word, tried to read His promises, they seemed to mock me. But here’s what I love: the Spirit in these and other seasons kept drawing my heart back to the Book, back to Himself. For this Book leads us to Jesus, the Living Word. 

I could not have imagined, years ago, as I was reading through the Bible over and over and over and over again, what incredible cumulative joys, riches, blessings, and delight it would bring to my life. 

For the past year I’ve been using a journaling Bible. It’s got wide margins with lines on the sides. I’m about halfway through. I just passed the halfway point. I’m not trying to hurry. I’m just meditating, journaling, praying, reflecting, turning verses over and over in my heart like a precious jewel that I want to see from every angle. I'm writing—tiny writing—writing, listening, praying it back to the Lord. I want to tell you this has been so sweet to me.

My husband can tell you I love the time I’m able to spend in this exercise. It is precious, it is sweet, it is rich. Some days I’m in too much of a hurry. Some days I’m passing too quickly I’m sure over some really rich passages. But I am getting into God’s Word, and it is getting into me. It is so, so precious.

About a year ago when Greg Thornton first asked if I would be willing to speak at this Founder’s Week and he told me what the theme was, I knew I had to say “yes.” Because God began to put a burden in my heart—not just a burden, but something I was eager to share with you—and that’s a love for the Word of God. And here’s my burden for you, and for me as well, because I need this every day in a fresh way: I want you to love His Word, to delight in it. 

Yes, it is inspired and inerrant and infallible and true. Yes, it is powerful, it is important, it is sufficient, it is authoritative. It is all the things that Moody Bible Institute stands for and teaches and proclaims. But in addition to all those things and more, it is also beautiful and desirable and satisfying. It is also sweeter than honey. It is also more precious than much gold. Yes, we ought to study it and know it and obey it and share it with others. But I want you to also love it. 

I want you long for it. I want you to be eager to spend time with the Lord in His Book. I want the hours you spend in His Word, the hours I spend in His Word, to be the sweetest, most deeply satisfying thing in your life and in mine. I want you to enjoy God’s Word more than you enjoy any sin that has a grip on your heart. I want you to enjoy it more than you enjoy YouTube or Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. 

I want you to enjoy God’s Word more than you enjoy good food, more than you enjoy getting good grades, more than you enjoy getting a raise, more than you enjoy watching a good movie, more than you enjoy following March Madness next month, more than you enjoy hanging out with friends, more than you enjoy making love with your mate—good things. I want you to enjoy God’s Word more than any of those things. 

So how do we cultivate a hunger for God’s Word? It’s pretty simple: by eating it. 

By eating it. You know, when you eat physical food, the more you eat, then less hungry you are. But when it comes to God’s Word it’s the other way around. The more you eat, the more you long for it. When we don’t have an appetite or a longing or a love for God’s Word, do you know why it normally is? It’s because we haven’t been eating it. Now, there can be some other reasons, but I think that’s one of the most common reasons. 

And in order to eat the Word of God, we may need to disconnect from some lesser things that are distracting us, leaving us empty, leaving us unsatisfied. 

How do we find delight in God’s Word? Dr. Easley said it yesterday morning. I was going, “Yes!” He said, “I implore you! I implore you! Get your nose in the Book!” Get your nose in the Book! Read it! Read it! Read it when you feel like reading it. Read it when you don’t feel like reading it. Read it until you do feel like reading it. Soak in it. Marinate in it. Meditate on it. Turn to it first, not last.

I often encourage women who come to me in need of hope or healing or wholeness; women who are carrying some great burden, some great need, some great sin, some great issue in their past. One of the things I often say is, “You need to get megadoses of Scripture.” 

I’ve been fighting some bronchial stuff over the last several weeks. And my sweet husband has kept me supplied with megadoses of Vitamin C and Zinc and few other things—megadoses.

There’s not a one of us in this room who doesn’t need more Scripture than what we’re currently getting if we want to love it more, delight in it. We sang it this morning: 

Your word is living light upon our darkened eyes,
Guards us through temptations, makes the simple wise. 
Your Word is food for famished ones, freedom for the slave,
Riches for the needy soul.
Riches for my needy soul. 
And riches for your needy soul.


("Show Us Christ" by Bob Kauflin & Doug Plank)

I want to give you a thirty-day challenge. Today is the . . . Is it the sixth or the seventh? Sixth of February. (I’ve overdosed on Vitamin C; I’m forgetting what day it is.) I think if you take this thirty-day challenge, you’ll lose track of the days and you won’t want to stop after thirty days. I want to challenge you to read the Word and to take one step. Ask God to show you what that step should be to grow in your love for God’s Word and your delight in it. That’s it.

Now I know that many of us in this room are already daily in God’s Word. Although, I’ll tell you this. I’ve asked over the years as I’ve talked about the importance of getting into God’s Word and getting God’s Word into us, I’ve asked many groups. How many of you would say . . . I’ve asked pastors’ wives; I’ve asked Bible study teachers . . . how many of you would say that at this season in your life you do not have a consistent daily time reading God’s Word. And invariably, the vast majority of hands in the room will go up. 

So I don’t want to assume that that’s a habit for all, or even most, of us here. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But for the next thirty days would you just say, “Lord, I want to get megadoses of Your Word”?

Now, by that I don’t necessarily mean that you need to read through the whole Bible in thirty days. Maybe for you it’s taking Psalm 119 and living in it for the next thirty days. Or a shorter passage. Maybe it’s journaling. Maybe it’s just lingering; maybe it’s reading more, or more habitually. The Holy Spirit will show you how to grow in these next thirty days. And then, prayerfully, for the rest of our lives to love and delight in the Word of God.

Would you pray with me?

I would close by praying the prayer of Jeremiah who said in chapter 15: “Your words were found, and I ate them. And your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” And oh Father, may we find Your words, may we eat them, and may they become to us, in us, and then through us to others, a great joy and a delight. For Your glory and for the sake of Your great name, We pray it. Amen.

Amen. Thank you. 

Dannah: What a powerful reminder of the beauty, sweetness, and preciousness of the Word of God. That's Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth speaking last year at Moody Bible Institute. If you’re like me, I feel like I always have room for growth in the area of getting into God's Word. At least, I continually need to push the reset button on my passion. I feel like that today as Nancy challenged the audience at Moody to get into God’s Word every day for thirty days. We’d like to help you do that. Sign up for our 30-day Bible Reading Challenge. When you get to the website, you'll find the transcript of today’s program Just click on the 30-day challenge and sign up. It's that simple. We’ll send you email encouragement every single day reminding you to get into God's Word.

Nancy also mentioned she’s been using a journaling Bible. We have one available for you. Find can find out more at ReviveOurHearts.com. If you’d rather call, our number is 1–800–569–5959. I'm so excited to tell you that next week we are going to dig deeper into Psalm 119, this time with the help from a pastor’s wife and author Kristie Anyabwile. You don’t want to miss it! Have a wonderful weekend. Soak in the Word of God, and then Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth challenges you to enjoy God’s Word. The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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