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Internalizing the Law of the Lord (Psalm 119:97-104)Dr Daryl Miller, November 13, 2016
Part of the Living the Grateful Life series, preached at a Sunday Evening service
SUNDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 13
Title: Internalizing the Law of the Lord
Text: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Ps. 1:1 - 2 ).
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:97 - 104
In recent years our nation has experienced great agony as a result of people rejecting and ignoring the law of God. This has given rise to a wave of paganism and lawlessness.
The law of God was addressed to the people of God who had been redeemed by his grace and power. The law was intended to provide guidance toward fulfillment in living the abundant life. The law of God is considered by some to be a negative list of restrictions against which people rebel. But people cannot live effectively without law. To attempt to do so is to invite disaster. The laws of God should be considered as the principles and guidelines that lift us and enrich us so we can live on life’s highest plane. To ignore or to rebel against the laws of God is to experience a way of life that brings self-destruction and unhappiness.
In order for the law of the Lord to be the beautiful and powerful thing that he meant for it to be, each individual must internalize and make personal the good law of our Lord. The psalmist speaks of the value of God’s commands when he says, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Ps. 19:11).
The law was not given by God as a ladder by which people might climb to heaven. The law was given to people who because of their faith were on their way to heaven. The law was given that the people of God might avoid self-destructive ways and that they might give themselves to constructive ways. The people of God should love the law of God rather than resent it. God was seeking to bless the race rather than to bring a blight upon it by the giving of his law.
I. The results of loving the law of the Lord.
The psalmist said, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” (Ps. 119:97).
A. To internalize the law of God brings happiness and prosperity (Ps. 1:1?–?3). People who have prosperous lives are those who delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it day and night. They are blessed with stability and prosperity, refreshment and vigor, and a bountiful harvest. They enjoy the greenery of a tree that is planted by a river of flowing water. The psalmist describes the person who loves the law of the Lord as one who prospers in all that he does.
B. Loving the law of God brings refreshing restoration to the soul (Ps. 19:7).
C. Loving the law of the Lord makes the simple wise (Ps. 19:7).
D. Loving the law of the Lord brings rejoicing to the heart (Ps. 19:8).
E. Loving the law of the Lord brings enlightenment to the eyes.
F. Loving the law of the Lord provides us with warnings in the day of danger (Ps. 19:11).
II. The nature of the law of God.
A. The law of the Lord is perfect (Ps. 19:7).
B. The testimony of the Lord is sure (Ps. 19:7).
C. The statutes of the Lord are right (Ps. 19:8).
D. The commandment of the Lord is pure (Ps. 19:8).
E. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous (Ps. 19:19).
III. How do you respond to the law of the Lord?
Your response can be stated either negatively or positively.
A. Negative responses.
1. The psalmist prays, “Let me not wander from thy commandments”
2. The psalmist determines, “I will not forget thy words” (119:16).
B. Positive responses to the law of the Lord.
1. We would be wise to choose the way of faithfulness to the law of the Lord (Ps. 119:30).
2. We would be wise to walk in the law of the Lord (Ps. 119:1).
3. We would be wise to keep the law of the Lord always in our hearts
4. We would be wise to keep our eyes fixed on the commandments of our Lord (Ps. 119:6.)
5. We would be wise to love the law of our Lord (Ps. 119:97).
6. We would be wise to trust in the law of our Lord (Ps. 119:81).
We are not saved by keeping the law of God perfectly. We are saved by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who kept the law perfectly. Not only was his life sinless, but he also met the demands of the law by dying under the penalty of it as a substitute for us. Christ filled the law full of meaning and lifted the demands of the law of the Old Testament.
When Christ comes into our hearts, he gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit motivates us by the law of love. We must internalize and personalize the law of God if it is to be the blessing that God meant for it to be. Let God’s law have its place in your heart and life. By so doing, you can live the truly grateful life.
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97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 101I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 102I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 103How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (KJV)