7 Signs of Passion for God’s Word
July 27, 2017 Year A
Psalm 119 is a psalm that has as its theme the Word of God. This psalm looks at the facets of God’s Word as one would look at the different sides of a diamond. In this section, the psalmist reflects on the passion he has for God’s Word. He shares seven signs that one has a passion for God’s Word in their lives.
SEVEN SIGNS OF PASSION FOR GOD’S WORD
1. I obey God’s Word (Psalm 119:129)
“Your decrees are wondrous; therefore I obey them.” (Psalm 119:129, CSB)
You can see if someone is passionate about God’s Word by their obedience. The psalmist, like James in the New Testament, says that we should obey God’s Word, and not just read or listen to it.
“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22, CSB)
The first sign that I have passion for God’s Word is if I am willing to obey it.
2. I grow by understanding God’s Word (Psalm 119:130)
“The revelation of your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.” (Psalm 119:130, CSB)
The second sign of my passion for God’s Word is that I choose to let it help me grow. A Christian does not grow spiritually by just learning. Spiritual growth is not just about practice. The difference between normal growth and spiritual growth is the importance of “revelation.” Revelation is connected to a relationship. Revelation means that God reveals Himself to me when I read the Bible. I don’t just learn a skill, a piece of knowledge, or a fact like I would in a textbook. Instead, when I read God’s Word, it opens me up to a relationship with God. God reveals things to me in a personal way. I experience God and that helps me to have faith that I need to live in this world as well as for eternity.
3. I long to spend time with God’s Word (Psalm 119:131)
“I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commands.” (Psalm 119:131, CSB)
Here, the psalmist compares his passion for God’s Word to an animal that thirsts for water. Just as a person longs for water when they are thirsty, a person who is passionate for God’s Word thirsts for more of God’s Word.
The third sign of passion for God’s Word is whether I am willing to invest my time reading God’s Word. People who are passionate about a relationship with God long for their time with Him. They look forward to their next time of nourishment from the Word of God. The longing is a sign that one is still passionate about a relationship with God. That hunger and thirst reveal a dependence upon God.
4. I take guidance from God’s Word (Psalm 119:132-133)
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your practice toward those who love your name. Make my steps steady through your promise; don’t let any sin dominate me.” (Psalm 119:132–133, CSB)
Another sign of passion for God’s Word is the ability to take guidance from it. For every step of obedience, there needs to be a direction. If I am going to follow God and obey Him, I need to know where He will lead me. Here, the psalmist reminds us that the path to following God is paved by His grace. The directional signposts of the road of my relationship with God are filled with promises. So when God guides me, I can be certain that He won’t fail me.
5. I depend upon God’s Word to help me (Psalm 119:134)
“Redeem me from human oppression, and I will keep your precepts.” (Psalm 119:134, CSB)
If I am passionate about God’s Word, then I trust that God’s Word can be trusted to help me. Life is full of uncertainties. But God’s Word is certain. If I know that God’s Word is clear and certain, then I can depend upon God’s Word to help me.
6. I receive positive direction from God’s Word (Psalm 119:135)
“Make your face shine on your servant, and teach me your statutes.” (Psalm 119:135, CSB)
If I am passionate about God’s Word, and I trust that it is certain, then I can have a positive outlook about the Word’s impact on my life. If I am told to obey God’s Word, then I must believe that outcome to my obedience will have a positive impact on my life.
Life may be hard. But God’s Word teaches me that God will be with me. He won’t abandon me. As I serve God, I will see positive results from following God’s direction. This leads me to the final sign of passion for God’s Word.
7. I am saddened that people don’t follow God’s Word (Psalm 119:136)
“My eyes pour out streams of tears because people do not follow your instruction.” (Psalm 119:136, CSB)
A person who is passionate for God’s Word will be saddened that people don’t follow God’s Word. If I am passionate about God’s word, then I learn to refrain from sin. I will also be saddened by people who choose to not follow God’s Word. Sin in other people’s lives will sadden me. The more I read God’s Word, the more compassion I will for those who don’t know the Word. This compassion will lead me to obey God’s Word – the first sign of passion for God’s Word – which will include sharing the Gospel with those who don’t follow God’s Word.