I read an interesting story about an old miner who had lived the life of a hermit deep in the mountains of Colorado. When he died, some of his distant relatives came to collect his valuables.
They arrived to find a miner's shack with an outhouse behind it. Inside the shack, there was an old cooking pot, some mining equipment, and a cracked table with a three-legged chair that stood next to a tiny window. A well-used kerosene lamp stood as the centerpiece on the table.
As the relatives gathered up the miner's possessions, loaded them in a truck, and got ready to drive away, the miner's old friend came walking up. He called out to them, "Do y'all mind if I take what is left in that old shack?"
"Oh, no," they said. "Take it. We have all the valuable stuff. You can have whatever is there." The man thanked them, and off they went.
He walked over to his friend's shack, went in, and looked around for a little bit. Then he reached under the table and lifted up one of the floorboards. Little by little, he lifted out all of the gold his friend had discovered over the previous decades - millions of dollars' worth of gold.
Apparently, the old miner had died with only his true friend knowing his actual worth.
In the same way, our friend, Jesus Christ, wants to make Himself known to us, but we can be like a distant relative sometimes. Yet, if we would get to know Him better, we would discover the riches that He has for us.
And where are these riches? They are in His Word. Jesus said, "In the volume of the book it is written of Me" (Hebrews 10:7 NKJV). In Psalm 19, we find a description of the great value of God's Word in our lives.
First of all, we find that God's Word is perfect: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" (v. 7 NKJV). This phrase, "the law of the Lord," is a Hebrew term that is used to define Scripture. It is speaking of all of God's Word. So we could also translate it to say that the Word of God, or even the Bible, is perfect.
This is in direct contrast to the flawed, imperfect reasonings of humanity today. As society changes, we don't need to flow with the winds of change. We can stand on the firm foundation of God's Word.
Second, we see that the Word of God transforms us: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" (v. 7, emphasis mine). The word convert could be translated, "reviving, restoring, transforming."
God's Word will revive you. It will restore you. It will transform you. You may find yourself in a situation in which you are revived, restored, or transformed by verses you've read a day or a week before, because you had established the discipline of regular Bible study in your life.
Third, we discover that the Word of God gives incredible wisdom: "The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple" (v. 7).
The Hebrew word used here for simple comes from a root word that speaks of an open door. It is the idea of a person whose mind is like an open door. He or she has no control over what comes in or what goes out.
This verse is saying that if you study it, if you memorize it, and more importantly, if you apply its truths, God's Word will make a wise person out of a simple one.
Fourth, we learn that the Word of God is right: "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (v. 8). In Hebrew, this means that the Bible has given us the right path to follow. We don't have to lose our bearings in the fog of human opinion.
That is why we need to read through the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter.
Fifth, we realize that keeping the Word of God makes us happy: "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (v. 8).
Sometimes people are afraid that if they do what the Bible says, then they will be unhappy. But just the opposite is true. By living what the Bible teaches, you will live a happy life.
As you study, as you memorize, and as you read and obey the Word of God, your life will be transformed, and you will be a successful Christian.
Disciples are called first to make a decision, then to make a difference. Tuesday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out, once we’ve decided to follow Jesus, then our goal is to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Discipleship as spiritual replication