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Learn from the Word

Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 3:06 PM

Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the bible. What a wealth of treasure it is. How would it bless the life of anyone and particularly the young person. If you haven't looked at it recently please pick up your bible and read it carefully and thoughtfully.

Every verse of the total of 176 verses talks of learning the word of God and to know his laws and statutes. The entire book uses a long string of nouns. They are word, laws, testimonies, ways, precepts, commandments, judgments, his laws, and ordinances. These are given that we might know the right ways of the Lord. The writer of Psalms tells of his love in knowing the will of God. Our love for the bible is greatly enhanced if we understand that in keeping the rules that God gives us brings to us real joy, happiness, and peace. I have come to love the Lord for his rules he has given us. In obeying them guarantees what is really good in life.

One of these things is the Word of the Lord. I counted each time the Psalm used this word and it was used a total of 26 times. Let me write verses 119:9-16. "Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his ways? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all thy judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of the testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto all thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statues: I will not forget thy word."

The Psalmist knew the word of God and profited greatly from it. We seem to live in a day when so many youth and children are unaware of the good things God warns us about. I remember days in my childhood we had what we called sword drills and had public contests of what we learned. The constant study and repetition of God's Word equipped us for a good life. Sadly not enough children desire to know, learn, and use the Bible the Word of God to man.

This writer was brought up in church, Sunday School, and other good things for youth. I learned a lot. We memorized verses and we would be given a chance to show what we had learned before our church or some class. What a valuable thing for us kids to do.

We were blessed to have good, Godly teachers to teach us and work with us. Even doing this we still needed to stay in the word. When I was about 16 years old I began to feel the Lord might have something for me to do in a Christian vocation. I struggled with this for about two years and at eighteen I went forward in our church and told the people, the Lord was calling me into the ministry. My church rejoiced and licensed me with their recommendation to pursue this decision. I preached my first sermon at the Childress Baptist Church in October 1952. The next spring the Red Oak Baptist Church was losing its young pastor and they invited me to come down and preach for them until they could get someone. I was a student at Arkansas State College in Jonesboro. I preached a few weeks and they asked me if I would like to become the pastor. Of course I wanted to get started somewhere somehow. I was just over 19 years old. I was sure glad to have a place to learn and get my feet wet.

My how glad I was but I was feeling so inadequate. I had been to church all my life but never before as a pastor. I was so young and green about what I was undertaking. Actually, it was one of the most successful pastorates I ever had. I don't know how much the folks learned but I sure learned a lot. Those good old souls were so good to me and with all my foibles and mistakes they were patient and encouraged me. How fortunate I was to have such a good, little church to begin with. I tell you this is to say how much I needed to feed on the Word.

I had a job at the college at the WigWam. It had an Indian name to match the football mascot. I worked there before and between classes. But I reserved one hour each morning to go ba ck to my dormitory and read my bible and try to get up a sermon.

Nothing ever prepared me for my new work as a pastor like that hour of study that I did. I thought I knew a lot about the bible but I soon learned that I was so unprepared. This is some of the best study I ever did in my life. As I learned more I got more confident. I learned to stand on my feet before people and not be too scared. I served that little church during my college days. Knowing the will and ways of the Lord came from my going deeper into God's words, his precepts, and statutes. Have you ever read the bible through in one year? If not give it a try. You will be so blessed.

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By Rev. William Piercy
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Rev. William Piercy is pastor of Blackwater Baptist Church near Manila.
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