Restoring the Soul
Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (KJV).
The source that gives ultimate light is the sublimely described Scriptures. Psalm 19:7-9 has six synonyms for God's Word and twelve qualities ascribed to it. Each of these 18 descriptions of the Word of God is an inspired photo of the divine power of God's Word. It is sufficient. It can absolutely meet its purpose!
How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2 'Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
3 'When thro' fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
4 'The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, tho' all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!'
Has it ever struck you how rapidly our culture has slid away from God? This morning we will examine just one reason why this moral erosion has crumbled the foundations of our nation. Ironically, the one culprit which has been the major cause of the rapid and deep slide into immorality in the last forty years is generally promoted rather than opposed by those leading the crusade against immorality. That culprit is psychology.
Psychology's redefining of sin as sickness has excused immorality and thus encouraged it. Instead of being held accountable and called upon to repent, the sinner is diagnosed as in need of "therapy." Everything from disobedience to murder is excused these days as some kind of syndrome or addiction.
Adulterers are now "sex addicts" whose insurance covers lengthy "treatment" at Christian psychiatric hospitals. Christ's command to "Go and sin no more" (in Jn. 8:11) is "too simplistic" these days.
The explosion of crime, rebellion and immorality has coincided with the exponential growth of psychology since the early 1950s, a growth which is still accelerating. There was a 43 percent increase in the number of Americans in the 10-19 age bracket committed to psychiatric hospitals from 1980 to 1987, while the number of private psychiatric beds per 100,000 persons more than doubled in the five years from 1983 to 1988. What a growth industry! Psychology has been rightly called the only profession that "creates the diseases which it claims to cure."
The firm discipline which children need and the Bible commends (Prv 13:24: 22:15; Heb 12:6, etc.) is now called "child abuse," and children have even been taken by government agencies from Christian parents who lovingly "applied the rod." What once was recognized as laziness, disinterest, stubbornness or rebellion is now excused as some new "syndrome." The number of children diagnosed as having "learning disabilities" nearly tripled from 1977 to 1992! Difficult children are placed on Ritalin after they and their parents have been convinced by some therapist of their abnormality, a stigma (and excuse) which will probably be with them for life. In spite of its addictive nature, disputable evidence of its helpfulness, and many reported incidents of violence and suicide brought on by withdrawal from it, Ritalin is currently being given to about 1 million American children. Whatever did we do without it?!
"The law of the LORD is". The Word of God is the Divine Teacher. God is the instructor. The Word of God is His divine instructions. The book is the revelation of our Creator's will! We have the LORD'S rules for living life.
A Session With the Divine Teacher
Is His Divine Word...
So how is it with you? The Word of God is designed to be our Divine Instructor. As our Divine Teacher, we sit in His classroom as He asks us:
- Is my Word at work in you? COMFORTING YOU? Psalm 119:82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? REJOICING YOUR HEART? Psalm 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? QUICKENING YOU? Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (KJV) This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. (NKJV)
- Is my Word at work in you ? ILLUMINATING YOUR PATH? Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? ADMONISHING YOU? Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (KJV); 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PRODUCING OBEDIENCE IN YOU? Deuteronomy 17:19-20 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? SANCTIFYING? John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PRODUCING FAITH IN YOU? John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PRODUCING HOPE IN YOU? Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? CLEANING YOUR HEART? Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (KJV)
- Is my Word at work in you? REGENERATING? James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (NIV)
- Is my Word at work in you? PROMOTING GROWTH IN GRACE? 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (KJV)
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