When You Pick the Scriptures Up the Scriptures Pick You Up

For Lord’s Day, September 17, 2023

Dear Saints,

Recently during our Wednesday night studies of the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, the second half, “But Deliver Us from Evil,” with the Puritan Thomas Watson, we reviewed 13 means to use to be kept from the acts of sin.  I’d like to review number seven, where Watson writes, “If you would be kept from the evil of sin, consult the oracles of God; be well versed in Scripture.”  And he quotes the following Bible verses:

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

Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Earlier in our Wednesday studies with Watson on the first part of the sixth petition, “And Lead Us Not Into Temptation,” he similarly listed one of the ways to not let Satan’s temptations prevail against us unto sin (and also number seven as it turns out) is to, “Make use of the Word.”  And he quoted Ephesians 6:17: And take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Remember the window behind the pulpit in our sanctuary?  It reads, “Spiritus Gladius,” which means, “Sword of the Spirit,” to remind us to keep our Bibles open and our hearts open to it.  And we must yield it always and get it sharpened, or sharpen our hearts with it rather (Hebrews 4:12), and learn how to use it better together each Lord’s Day in worship to serve our King better each week. Watson writes:

“He who travels a road where there is robbing will be sure to ride with his sword; we are traveling to heaven, and in this road there is a thief who always besets us in every place where we go.  He meets us at church, he does not miss a sermon, he will be tempting us there; sometimes to drowsiness: when any sleep at a sermon, the devil rocks them; sometimes he tempts by distracting the mind in hearing, sometimes he tempts by questioning the truth of what is heard. … We must have skill to use this sword, and have a heart to draw it out, and it will put the devil to flight. … It was a saying of Luther, ‘I have had great troubles of mind; but so soon as I laid hold on any place of Scripture, and stayed myself upon it as upon my chief anchor, straightway my temptations vanished away.’”

Similarly, in one of our recent cassette conversion uploads of Pastor Bell’s messages on knowing Satan our enemy, “The Devil is Out to Kill Us,”  he said just before the sermon (now edited out) something I’d like to bless you with here:

“Many times as you’ve been down and when you pick the Scriptures up, the Scriptures picked you up.  Happens all the time in the life of the Christian.” 

Beloved, let us be lifted up in lifting up the Lord by lifting up His Word and find He cleanses and equips us for saying no to Satan and yes to Jesus while further enjoying His other-worldly peace and abundant life each day along the way into eternity.

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant

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