I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)
It has been rightly observed that a river without banks becomes a swamp. With no edges to direct the water, it does not move; it simply sprawls out and becomes stagnant. Well, the Christian without banks—that is, the “banks” of the Bible, which instructs us and leads us in the way we should go—will inevitably become a spiritual swampland.
So . . . how well have you protected yourself from becoming a spiritual swampland? The answer to that question will be found in the time you invest in meditating on and marinating in the Word of God.
The psalmist knew that the key to keeping his life from becoming a spiritual swampland was the Word of God. He was so committed to live according to the precepts of the Word of God that he hid the Scriptures in his heart to keep him from straying from the path of righteousness. But know this truth: we cannot hide the Word of God in our hearts if we do not spend enough time reading the Word of God!
The Bible is the inspired Word of the Living God, and it has been given to you so that you can know God and His plan and purpose for your life. There are 66 books in the Bible, but there is only one theme: Jesus Christ. The Bible is one Word, given from one God to one people; the more time we spend in it, the better we get to know the One who inspired 40 writers to write it in three different languages on three different continents over the course of 1500 years.
Today’s verse comes from the longest chapter in the Bible, and that chapter is all about the Word of God. As a pastor, I often recommend Psalm 119 to reignite the fires of faith for those who are drifting into a spiritual swampland. The psalmist not only expressed his absolute and unconditional love for Scripture, but he was also faithful to recognize and record the times he had fallen short of its demands.
This, of course, is the confession of all our lives: we sin and fall short again and again. But One came into this world who fulfilled the entire Law of God on our behalf, and His name is Jesus Christ. When we transfer our trust to Jesus, His perfect life becomes our perfect life because God the Father credits us with the righteousness of His beloved Son.
How much time have you been spending in the Word of God lately? Have you ever taken the time to read all the way through from Genesis to Revelation? Remember, the Bible is really God’s personal love letter to you. The Author of Life knows what is best for your life, and the best nourishment of all is found in the pages of sacred Scripture. Daily Bible reading builds strong banks in your life that will keep you from drifting into a spiritual swampland.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!