Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Jewels of Truth from Psalm 119

Summary:  Are you seeking wisdom? enlightenment? undeniable truth? guidance for successful living? The inspired writer of the longest chapter of the Bible’s Book of Psalms offers us some timeless jewels of truth and insight for a fulfilled, victorious life. You will not find gems of life-changing wisdom like these in any secular source.

(All Scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Psalm 105; 130  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path… [130] The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Isaiah 8:20  To the law [God’s word] and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

God gave His Word the Bible to us as a “lamp … a light” to give us understanding of His pathways for us, so that we may live a life that is pleasing to Him and beneficial to us.

Jesus declared, “[God’s] word is truth” (John 17:17). The prophet Isaiah warned that if we speak “not according to this word” there is no light in us. Sadly, if we ignore God’s Word, we will speak error in darkness. Instead, God wants us to hearken to His Word and find truth, light, and eternal life.

Let’s look at some life-benefiting jewels of truth from this great Bible chapter, Psalm 119. Incorporate God’s wisdom into your daily life and you’ll walk confidently with the Lord’s sure foundation under you.

Psalm 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

You’ll find God’s words of truth in the Holy Bible. I came to faith in Jesus Christ while reading the full New Testament of the Bible for the first time in 1969. These days, at age 80, I still enjoy and read the Bible avidly. I especially enjoy the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV).

To be quite candid, in 1969 I was most certainly a lost sinner, living my life without God. As I began to read His Word the Bible — I started with the New Testament — faith in Him and His Son Jesus grew in my heart. As the verse above declares, my heart began to be touched by God, and it revealed to me my sinfulness and the Bible’s way to be freed from my sins and the punishment due to them. I came to a place of sincere sorrow and repentance for my many sins, coupled with faith in Jesus Christ, who is shown in the Bible as the Savior sent from heaven to die on a cross for our sins, so that we who come to Him can be saved/born again and spend eternity in the glorious presence of God.

Before I had read God’s Word the Bible, I was an unforgiven sinner. As I did read His Word, faith grew in my heart — faith to take my sins to Jesus in godly sorrow and repentance and to believe that His death on the cross and subsequent rising from the dead took away the guilt of my sins. The crucified and risen Son of God, revealed wonderfully in the Bible, can do the same for you!

Let’s continue on together, looking at more jewels of truth and divine wisdom from God in Psalm 119.

verse 9  Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Sin corrupts us humans. It inflicts both temporary and eternal damage on our soul if we don’t look to God for His one-and-only remedy for sin — that is, Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected.

This verse reminds us that we can indeed be cleansed from sin, by taking heed to the solution in God’s Word. That solution is found in what is called “the Gospel.” That is, that “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:2-4).

God’s Word promises us that by coming to Jesus in repentance and faith (Acts 20:21), we receive salvation by Christ’s death and resurrection for our sins. As a wonderful result, “the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

verse 18  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

I pray this verse, or words very similar, every single time I open the Bible to study it. If we approach the Scriptures with the mindset that our intellect will be sufficient to interpret the words of the Bible, we will fail, no matter what some intellect-prioritizing teacher or professor tells you. During 8 consecutive years of Religion and Theology classes in high school and at Boston College, I took an academic, intellectual approach to those studies. Result? I never found a personal saving relationship with the Lord in all that time of studying the things of God. Then at age 25 I began to read the Bible with an openness to the perfect instructional skills of the Holy Spirit and, lo and behold, the Bible came alive to me and I came to Jesus personally as Lord and Savior.

God Himself revealed to mankind the Scriptures of the Bible. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16) by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to human writers. “…No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

You will gain the greatest benefit from your Bible reading if you open your mind and heart to the guidance of the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures. Say an opening prayer with your request based on verse 18 every time you read the Bible. God will hear and will open your mind, heart, and spirit to “hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).

verse 24  Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

Do you need counseling? God’s Word the Bible is the best counselor, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit (as noted just above) giving illumination to the Word’s truths.

A pastor friend of mine in an Asian nation once told me his counseling method. When someone asks him for counseling, he asks them briefly to describe the counseling issue. Then he sets a time for them to meet. Before that time he searches the Scriptures for the answers to the person’s need. In the counseling session, they discuss the problem and the solutions God’s Word provides. Why does he use that method? Because he understands how the Scriptures excel at being our “delight and counselors.”

A Christian psychologist once told me that he offers to those he counsels the options of psychological counseling or biblical counseling. He said that if they allow him to include biblical counseling, that’s how he can best help them. This trained psychologist understood that the Scriptures of the Bible hold the highest levels of counseling wisdom.

verse 45  And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

I’ve heard non-Christians say, “I don’t want to get saved. I’ll never have fun anymore!” Wrong! I spent my first 25 years without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the 55 years since then I’ve known Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

I can honestly say that I’ve had more “fun” (inner joy, fulfillment, personal peace, and much more) since coming to Jesus for salvation. Without the Lord we walk in darkness, uncertain about life and eternity, and weighed down by the guilt of unforgiven sin. So we fill that void with more acts that lead to more uncertainty and spiritual darkness. After coming to the Lord in faith and repentance for sin, our soul is enlivened by the very real sense of God’s forgiveness and acceptance of us into His family.

As the verse says, we start to “walk at liberty.” Why? Because we are seeking God and seeking to live by the truths of His biblical precepts. Thousands of Bible promises to the faithful begin to function in our lives. And we have the ultimate assurance of a joyful eternity in the Lord’s presence after our life on earth is over. Now that is liberty! And we find the steps to that liberty (in time and eternity) in God’s holy Word.

verse 50  This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Are you feeling down? afflicted? hopeless? or some other downtrodden feeling? There is immediate comfort for you in your time of need. And that comfort is found in God’s Word — “your word has revived me” [NASB] … “your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles” [NLT].

As a pastor I’ve officiated at a lot of funerals. I can often sense the comfort of God’s Scriptures bringing some level of refreshing to the hearts of mourners. On various occasions in my own life, even very painful times, the Word of the Lord has lifted and comforted my heart.

verse 54  Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

I love to sing in worship. But what I love most is to sing Scripture songs in worship. Jesus told us that His words “are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). In more than a half century of walking with the Lord, I have found that the most spirit-stirring, life-giving songs of praise and worship seem almost always to be those that quote or closely paraphrase the biblical Word of the Lord.

As a case in point, let’s look at the uplifting worship song: Blessed Be the Lord God Almighty. Note how the first three lines are from the Bible's "Lord’s Prayer":

• Line 1: Father in heaven, how we love you … [Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in heaven”]

• Line 2: We lift your Name in all the earth … [“Hallowed be thy name”]

• Line 3: May your kingdom be established in our praises … [“Thy kingdom come”]

• And the rest of this great worship song likewise includes various Scriptures.

The point: God’s “statutes,” His Word, make the best songs with which to worship Him. I take issue with much of today’s worship music that emphasizes “I...I…me…me…my…mine…”, etc. Worship music is to worship the Lord God and His Son Jesus!

verse 89  For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

This world is full of uncertainty. There seem to be almost as many moral codes as there are people! Opinions are like noses: everybody has one. In contrast to that, is there any single, unvarying, perfect, eternal foundation of truth? Yes! It’s found in God’s holy Bible.

“Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven” — settled … established … unchanging … utterly reliable … of divine, not human, origin [“forever…settled in heaven”] … needing no change as societies change for the worse.

Devour God’s Word, read and learn it daily. It will fill you with truths that stand the test of time. It will give you a firm moral code and a worldview that is pleasing to God Almighty. You’ll find all that and more in God’s perfect, unchanging, timeless Word.

verse 97  O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Don’t let your Bible reading become just a “duty.” Let its marvels grip your heart and soul. Relish its revelations of Almighty God and His marvelous Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Take joy in His absolutely reliable promises to those who come to Him through Jesus that you are now God’s son or daughter and will one day pass on to heaven and begin an indescribably joyous eternity with God Himself.

Love His Word! Cherish it as your preferred reading. In addition to reading it, stop from time to time and quietly ponder and meditate upon a verse that the Holy Spirit brings to your attention. You will find that, in time, you’ll be so Word-conscious that it will be in your thoughts, in your “meditation all the day.” You won’t have to force that; it will happen. And you’ll be blessed by it.

verse 99  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

The thought above is not intended to cause pride or arrogance. But it is telling us that by consistent great diligence in learning the Word of God, we can rise to the level of our faithful teachers, and even perhaps surpass them in our knowledge of God’s holy Word. That’s not a bad thing, provided our motives are godly.

It’s not a contest, no, not at all. Rather, each of us should have a pure motive of desiring to become deeply and excellently grounded in God’s Word. And in doing so with daily study and great persistence, we may find ourselves becoming well skilled in ministering God’s Word, even to the point of surpassing some of those who have faithfully taught us. This is fine, provided that all such thoughts are centered 100% on being all that you can be as a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind the purpose of all effective ministry — “If any man minister, let him do it … that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11).

verse 155  Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.

Don’t be surprised and get all bummed out when you see unbelievers around you acting in evil ways. The reason is simple: they are not seeking God’s ways and the truths in His Word, therefore “salvation is far from the wicked.” They stay in their wickedness, being as Jesus said, “of [their] father the devil, and the lusts of [their] father [they] will do” (John 8:44).

Do you have unsaved family, friends, neighbors? Take the approach recommended by the inspired writer, the great apostle Paul: “The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25-26).

Approach them with kindness, with patience, ready to share God’s word with them (“apt to teach”). But do that sharing “in meekness,” because you can share the Word, but only God can give them conviction of heart and repentance and a desire to acknowledge the truth of the Word you have shared graciously with them. Let this always be your approach, and you might be surprised at the favorable response some will have to the Word of God Almighty.

verse 165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Know and love God’s Word, and this verse promises two nice results: (1) you will receive great peace from God; and (2) you’ll not get constantly offended by all the evil words and actions you hear and see all around you in this fallen world. You’ll understand it all in the context of God’s redemptive plan for the ages and your part in it.

Walk in God’s peace. Let His Word shield you from all the potential sources of offense around you, remembering that God’s Word says, “It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11, NIV). And that leads to our final verse just below — a readiness to speak up for the Lord and His Word.

verse 172  My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

Let this be our desire each day, to have occasion for our tongue to speak God’s Word. There is a desperate, dying world around us, filled with lost souls. You have the answers, the saving Gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

Go about your day with 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) in mind: “in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Filled with God’s holy, life-giving Word, you become a godly spiritual weapon in the Lord’s hand as He brings someone across your path with a hunger in his or her heart. You are there as an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), His commissioned representative as both the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) and the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13).

With the Lord’s gentle leading, be open to Him bringing people under your hearing. Share the Word of God with them in love and kindness and graciousness. That Word has divine power to be Spirit and life to the hearer and to turn them to eternal life in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What an honor that He uses us to be part of that Gospel-sharing process!


You might enjoy our related sermon on "Whose Report Will You Believe? God's Report in Scripture? or Man's?"


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Pentecostal Sermons and
Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, PhD