Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Your relationship with the Bible tells a lot about your relationship with God. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You cannot claim to know God if you don’t know God’s Word. You can’t claim to love God if you don’t love God’s Word. You can’t claim to obey God if you don’t obey God’s Word.

I’m just amazed at how many professing Christians there are today who say, “I know God, I love God, I obey God,” but they don’t know the Word of God.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, January 5.

What do you do with junk mail? You probably throw most of it away unopened. But when you get a letter from someone you love, you can’t wait to tear it open and read. Do you treat the Bible more like junk mail or more like a love letter?

Here’s Nancy in a series called “Getting into the Word and Getting the Word into You.”

Nancy: Well, I love this time of the year because it’s—well, it’s new. We get a fresh start, and we set goals, and we put the old year behind us. We’re now looking into this new year with the promise of God’s presence and the desire to grow in our walk with Him.

I don’t know about you, but when I start out the new year I just have this sense that I want to grow. I want to know the Lord better. I want to move into this year with a sense of purpose and direction. I want to come to the end of this year and be able to look back and say, “I love Jesus more than I did a year ago. I know Him better than I did a year ago. I’m more like Jesus than I was a year ago.”

By the time we get to May and June and July, I’ve kind of forgotten all those great desires, it seems. So this is a great time of year to be reflecting on the year ahead and how we can become more the people God wants us to be.

I want to share with you in this series something that I believe is the single greatest factor—now, there are many. But if I had to narrow it to just one factor that would make the greatest difference in this year for you, a greater difference than anything else you could do, it would be what we’re going to talk about in this series.

If you’ll do this one thing over the year ahead, you will look back a year from now and you will say, “I’m not the same person I was back in January.”

That’s what I want to be true in me. I think that’s what you want to be true of you as well. I’ve often said that if I could give only one message to women, it would be this message. Here’s what it is: We want to talk about how to cultivate an intimate love relationship with God through a personal daily devotional life.

  • Time in God’s Word
  • Time in God’s presence
  • Listening to Him
  • Responding to Him
  • Getting to Know Him through His Word, the daily devotional life

Each year on Revive Our Hearts at this time of year we’ve done a series on the Word of God and on the daily devotional life. If you’ve been with us for the last couple of years, you’ll know that we give a 30-day challenge at the beginning of the year. I don’t want this to get old, but I’m going to do it again because I know that some have not done it yet. I want to draw more people in with us, this 30-day challenge.

Here’s what it is: I want to encourage you every day for the next 30 days—I’d like to ask you to do this all year long, but I know that if you’re not in this habit already and you make a commitment to a year, you won’t keep it.

But by God’s grace, I think you can keep a 30-day commitment. Every day for the next 30 days that you will spend some time alone with the Lord every day in His Word and in prayer, just prioritizing your relationship with the Lord in His Word and in prayer for the next 30 days.

We’re going to be telling you about some tools and some resources that we have available that can help you make that a more meaningful time if you don’t already have a track to run on. I want to encourage you at least to take that 30-day challenge. During this series I want to focus on the Word of God, how to get into the Word and more importantly, how to get the Word into you.

I’m going to be challenging you to read the Word of God every day. Every day getting into God’s Word and getting God’s Word into you. We’re going to talk about why to get into God’s Word and how to do it, why it’s so important, what God’s Word can do for us. We just want to talk about this thing of the Word of God, which is so precious.

I don’t know of any better place to look for our study of the Word of God than to Psalm 119. So open your Bible to Psalm 119, and as you’re turning there, let me just—for those of you who are not familiar with this Psalm—tell you that it is the longest chapter in the Bible. It has 176 verses, and it’s all about the Word of God. It’s about:

  • The value of the Word
  • The power of the Word
  • The priority of the Word
  • The blessings of the Word
  • The rewards of the Word
  • How we can, through the Word, have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ

Let me remind you as we look toward this subject of the Word of God that your relationship with God will never be any greater than your relationship with His Word. You cannot claim to know God if you don’t know God’s Word. You can’t claim to love God if you don’t love God’s Word. You can’t claim to obey God if you don’t obey God’s Word.

I’m just amazed at how many professing Christians there are today who say, “I know God, I love God, I obey God,” but they don’t know the Word of God. They don’t love the Word of God. They don’t have an appetite for it. They don’t have a hunger for it. They don’t obey the Word of God. But they claim to know and love and obey God. It’s just not possible.

You will never have a greater relationship with God than the relationship you have with His Word. As we look into Psalm 119, the first two verses tell us that you will be blessed if you get into the Word of God and get the Word of God into you. I think these first two verses are kind of the theme—the title—the key—to Psalm 119.

Psalm 119, verses 1 and 2: “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.”

This is a Psalm of blessing. People tend to think of the Bible, the Word of God, sometimes as a dry book or a difficult book. They’d rather read a novel or a paperback or a best seller, something that they found in their Christian bookstore. But God’s Word says if you want to be blessed, get into God’s Word and get God’s Word into you.

You see, we want to do our own thing and run our own lives and make our own choices and then expect God to bless us . . . and whine when He doesn’t. But God’s Word says, "You want to be blessed? Get into My Word and get My Word into you."

You cannot be blessed apart from walking in the Word of God. You cannot walk in the Word of God, as we’re going to see, if you don’t read it and study it and meditate on it, if you don’t get into the Word and get it into you. This is the way to blessing.

Let me encourage you as you’re fulfilling this 30-day challenge. One of the things you may want to do is to read through Psalm 119. As you read, mark down some of the blessings we find in this Psalm that come from the Word of God.

Today and tomorrow we’ll look at several of those blessings, but we’re just skimming the surface here. I want you to look into the Word for yourself and find, as you read, what are the blessings that come from the Word of God.

The first blessing I see is in verses 9 and 11 in Psalm 119. The Word of God gives us protection from sin. Purity comes from the Word of God, and purity is a blessing. Protection from sin is a blessing.

Verse 9 tells us: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119: 9).

Let me say, by the way, that this verse isn’t just for men, and it’s not just for young men. But let me say a special word to those of you who are young women, young people. Now that I’m in my mid-forties, I have such a great sense—much more than I ever did when I was a younger woman—of the blessing that it is to get the Word of God into my life.

I am reaping now in my life some incredible blessings that are the result now of some forty years of being in the Word of God and getting the Word of God into me. Do not think if you’re a young person, “Oh, I can get into God’s Word when I’m older.” Get into it now.

You want to be kept from sin? You want to be protected from some sins that your parents and your grandparents and other adults and older people that you know are in bondage to and things they’re struggling with? You want to live a life that’s pure from sin, that’s blessed? Get into the Word.

Don’t wait until you’re old. Don’t wait until you think you have more time. Don’t wait. You say, “When I get out of school—I get out of college, I’ll have a lot more time.”

Yes, that’s what I thought, too. Wait until you get married—wait until you have children—you’re not going to have any more time than you have now when you’re young. We all have the same amount of time.

I would encourage you to take the time while you’re young to get into the habit of reading God’s Word, making it a part of your life. It will protect you. It will keep you from sinning.

“I have stored up your word in my heart,” verse 11 says, “that I might not sin against you.” God’s Word will keep you from sinning, and once you have sinned, God’s Word will cleanse you from sin. Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3, KJV). 

So as I read the Word or God, I often pray and I say, “Lord, would you wash me with the water of your Word. Cleanse me.” And He does. That’s a blessing that we get from the Word of God.

Then a second blessing. God’s Word gives us direction for our path. His Word shows us the way to go, and it keeps us from going the wrong direction. Look at verse 24.

“Your testimonies are my counselors.” My counselors—it’s Your Word.

Verse 104: “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” Your Word gives me understanding.

Verse 105: “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.”

Verse 130: “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”

I don’t have the wisdom I need to face the decisions I have to make in the circumstances that are in my life, and you don’t have the wisdom either. We’re simple. We need understanding. We need light. And where do we get it? From the Word of God.

It will protect you from sin. It will make you pure, and it will direct your steps. It will direct your path. It will be your counselor. Not only today, but tomorrow and next week and throughout the year ahead and for all of your life as you get into the Word, it will be your counselor.

Here’s a blessing you’ll find beginning in verse 28. It’s a blessing of strength and comfort that God’s Word gives to us in times of sorrow and affliction. Strength and comfort in times of sorrow and affliction come to us from the Word of God.

Verse 28: “My soul melts away for sorrow.”

You’ve been there, haven’t you? Times when you just cried so hard and maybe there weren’t even any physical tears left, but your soul was just melting away for sorrow. You didn’t even have words to describe the pain, the agony, the anguish, the loss.

Perhaps it’s the loss of a child. Perhaps, discovering as friends of mine have recently that your mate has been unfaithful to you. There’s just this anguish, this melting away for sorrow in your soul.

The Psalmist says, “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!”

I cannot tell you how many times in my walk with the Lord when I have been hurting, sorrowful, afflicted, that God has taken this Word and ministered grace and strength and comfort to my heart unexplainably. It’s the Word of God. It’s powerful. It does that.

Look at verse 50 of Psalm 119: “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”

Verse 52: “When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.”

Now we don’t think of laws and rules as giving us comfort usually. But the Psalmist says, "I love your laws. I love your rules because they reflect your righteous heart. They reflect You. So Lord, when I get to know your rules and Your laws, I’m getting to know You. Through them I find comfort, through knowing You."

Verse 92: “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

"Lord, I wouldn’t have made it." You can think back, perhaps, to times in Your life when, if you hadn’t had the Word of God—maybe you didn’t even have the strength to read it for yourself, but someone came to your side and read it to you.

"Lord, if I hadn’t had Your Word, if I hadn’t delighted in Your Word in that time of affliction, I would not have made it. I would not have survived. Your Word gives me strength and comfort in times of sorrow and affliction."

By the way, not only does it give it to us, but when we have friends who are in times of sorrow and affliction, one of the greatest things we can do to minister strength and comfort to them is just to read the Word.

Read it out loud. Read it to them. Read it for them. Pray it over them. As you have someone that’s hurting, God has used the Word as a balm, as a comfort, as a medicine to heal and to restore and to give strength and comfort to my wounded soul so many times.

Here’s another blessing we find in verse 98. It says, “Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.”

God’s Word gives us wisdom to know how to deal with our enemies. Now they shouldn’t be our enemies because we hate them, but there are people who are the enemies of God and therefore make themselves our enemies.

How do we deal with those people, with people who are irrational, people who are angry, people who are hostile, people who are rebellious, people who are set against God? Do you have somebody like that in your pathway, somebody in your life?

You may be married to someone like that. You may have a son or daughter like that. You may have a parent like that. And you find yourself like women do who write to us here at Revive Our Hearts in impossible situations—in your marriage, in your children, dealing with wicked, perverse people.

The Psalmist says, “I have wisdom that is greater than my enemies because your commandments are ever with me.”

"Lord, I look to You to show me what to do in this hopeless situation." Listen, women, if you’re in one of those hopeless situations, one of those impossible situations, I’m not saying that getting into the Word will make that situation go away. But I’m saying it will show you how to be the woman God wants you to be in the midst of that situation.

It will show you what to do when no counselor, no therapist, no pastor, no friend, nobody else in this world can show you what to do. God will show you what to do as you get into His Word. He will give you wisdom to know what to do.

Here’s another blessing. Verse 114 of Psalm 119: “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.”

Now when would you need a hiding place and a shield? How about if you’re in a battle? How about if you’re in a struggle? And the Scripture gives us protection and safety, a refuge in the midst of the battle.

We know from Ephesians chapter 6 that we’re all in a battle. It’s not a battle with flesh and blood. It’s a battle with spiritual wickedness and powers of Satan. He is active and alive and working on planet earth and we do battle with him.

We can’t see him, but we’re in a battle against him and we need a place to run. We need a place to hide. We need a place to be safe. We need someone to shield and protect us in that battle. To hope in the Word of God is to find God Himself to be your hiding place and to be your shield.

That’s a blessing that comes from getting into the Word and getting the Word into you. Then I love that verse—it shows us another blessing—verse 165: “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

I thought of that verse yesterday when I was talking with a friend who has become involved in a dispute with another believer, and there’s a conflict that they’ve not been able to resolve between them.

The person I was talking to was obviously agitated over this situation. He said he had dealt with it, but I could tell there still wasn’t peace in his heart about it. All I did at the moment was just say, “Could I just pray for you in this situation?” And I did.

The verse I was thinking of was Psalm 119, verse 165: “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

What somebody else does to you cannot steal your peace or trip you up in life if you love God’s law. Because if you love God’s law, you love God. As you love God, you will experience His love for you, and you will realize that you have everything that you need.

So God’s law, God’s Word keeps us from stumbling and gives us peace in every circumstance and situation of life.

Last year as we issued the 30-day challenge, we received some encouraging letters and emails from women who took that challenge and shared what a blessing it was to them to begin this habit of getting into the Word of God.

Let me read to you one of the letters we received, and this woman expresses some of the specific blessings she received as she got into God’s Word. She said,

I’ve learned so much through this 30-day challenge. I believe I’ve only missed one day. The journey has been incredible. God has put a new longing for Him in my heart. I need Him so desperately. I asked Him if He would wake me every morning, which He has done faithfully.

When I started this study, I was at the end of my rope in my marriage. I’m so tired of being the invisible woman. My husband is a super father, an excellent provider, and a very focused man. What he set his goals on, he goes after. But sometimes I feel like I am just his roommate.

Well, I told the Lord on him. And the Lord began changing my heart. Am I ever going to learn gratefulness?

I decided I was going to focus on falling in love with my Savior all over again. I know you’re smiling. You know what happened next, don’t you?

God said love your husband no matter what. Love and respect him just as you would me. I cried and said I didn’t know if I could do that. God told me His grace was sufficient. Every time I told him I didn’t know if I could do something, the very psalm I was reading that day would answer my cry. Every single time.

There were times I really didn’t want to hear it. But I had committed to do this. I would then see it through, only to find myself unable to contain the joy in my heart. There were some days when all I did was cry because I hurt so much. But even on those days God heard my cry and he comforted me.

My husband and I have many hurts from the past. We’ve got a long way to go before we’re truly one again. But God is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I still have much forgiving to do.

These are things God has shown this woman as she’s been in the light of His Word. She said,

This is a journey, and the path is not always easy. But after these past several weeks, I do not want to do it alone. I cannot do it alone. May I never go back to my own way.

Thank you for caring. Thank you for being honest and for your book A Place of Quiet Rest [which is what God used to help get her challenged to get into the Word].

That book was so encouraging many times when I felt I was alone in how I felt about my quiet times.

Here’s a woman who, after just 30 days, getting into the Word and getting the Word into her, found that she was experiencing all kinds of blessing, direction, peace, light, protection from sin, exposure of sin that needed to be confessed—so many of these blessings, comfort in her affliction she was experiencing as she began to get into the Word of God.

That’s where you’re going to find whatever blessing you need in your life—the same place. It’s in the Word of God.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been explaining where she finds true, solid direction for life. Well, you’ll find it in the same place. Nancy will be right back.

Everybody knows you should read the Bible. It doesn’t mean everybody does it or enjoys it. Even Nancy has struggled to be consistent in God’s Word during various seasons of life. She writes about the distractions that keep us from the Bible in a book called A Place of Quiet Rest.

She doesn’t just identify challenges to developing a consistent devotional life. She also shows you how to overcome those challenges. She shows you practically how to develop this important habit, and she inspires you to want to spend more time alone with God.

Read A Place of Quiet Rest, and watch your quiet time improve dramatically. We’ll send you a copy of this book that has helped so many women. Just make a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts. When you call with your donation, ask for A Place of Quiet Rest.

The number is 1-800-569-5959, or visit our website at ReviveOurHeartsRadio.com.

Do you ever spend time reading out loud? Reading books to your children is valuable, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Discover the joy of reading the Bible out loud tomorrow.

And now let’s pray. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: Oh Lord, how I thank you for the incredible riches and blessings that we find in Your Word because we find that when we get into Your Word, we come to You

To get to know Your Word is to get to know You. And in Your presence we find peace and comfort and strength and wisdom and protection, and all that we need we find in your written Word and in Christ, the living Word.

So Lord, give us, I pray, a fresh desire to seek You, to know You, to get into Your Word and to let it change our lives. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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