Sunday, November 04, 2007

Matt's Messages - Real Christians Delight in God's Word

“Real Christians Delight in God’s Word”
Real Christians
November 4, 2007
Jeremiah 15:16

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.” (NIV)

This Fall, we’ve been learning about Real Christians.

How can you spot a Real Christian?

What are the marks of a Real Christian?

How do you know that you are a Real Christian

How do you know if someone is not a Real Christian?

How do you spot a fake?

We’ve learned, so far, that:

Real Christians Believe the Real Gospel.

There is only one Gospel that saves. And it is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. We’ve sung about it this morning.

Real Christians Believe the Real Gospel.

Second, Real Christians Really Love God.

And Third, Real Christians Really Love People.

When a Real Christian comes to believe the Real Gospel, there is real change inside of them that gives them a love for God and a love for others, even for their enemies!

And then, Real Christians are on a Real Mission. We are called to make Real Disciples of Jesus Christ. Last week, Roger Dorris taught us that Real Christians Really Love Missions. We are both senders and goers on the Great Commission. Ambassadors and senders of ambassadors for the King of Kings.

When I last taught, we saw that Real Christians Really Pray. Real Christians don’t just talk about prayer, they actually do it. And God answers them.

Real Christians Talk to God.

Today, is the flip-side of that talks. God talks to Real Christians. And they love it.

Here’s our title for today:


Jeremiah 15:16. A prayer of the prophet: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

When I was a resident assistant at Moody Bible Institute, as floor-leaders, we were supposed to create a decoration to cover both the bulletin board in the elevator lobby and on each of the doors of the students returning in the Fall.

There was supposed to be a theme and each decoration match the theme with the names of each of the roommates on it.

And most of you probably know what kind of an artist I am–not much of one!

My stick people can’t even recognize themselves!

So, I was in a real quandary as to what I should put on my door decorations my first year as a Resident Assistant.

And then one night, during a dream, the Lord brought this verse of Scripture to my mind and a bright idea for the door decorations.

I bought paper plates! And I put each student’s name on a paper plate and taped them to their doors. Very artistic, eh?

And I bought a plastic tablecloth, red and white checkered and put it up on bulletin board in the elevator lobby. And I stapled up this verse:

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

This is part of a prayer of Jeremiah. It’s one of the darkest prayers in the whole Bible. Jeremiah almost wishes that he’d never been born because life was so dark for him and for the nation of Israel.

But this is the brightest spot in the prayer. And it’s very bright.

“[Lord,] when your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

When God’s words came to the prophet, He ate them.

I think that means that he received them hungrily.

He took in God’s words avidly, passionately, energetically, ardently.

Jeremiah devoured God’s words.

I don’t think that this was literal. The prophet Ezekiel had to do something like that literally, but the Bible never says that Jeremiah had to literally eat a scroll.

I think he’s talking figuratively, evocatively, and powerfully.

“When your words came, I ate them.” Yumm!

Thank you, Lord, your words are Yummy!

Here’s how he describes them: “[God’s words] were my joy and my heart’s delight...”

They tasted so good going down, and then, they were so satisfying and so filling.

Why? Because Jeremiah was real!

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, [why?] for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

You see, Jeremiah was a true believer. Jeremiah bore God’s name. God had put His name on Jeremiah–that’s why Jeremiah loved God’s words.

He was real.

Real Christians Delight in God’s Word.

True believers throughout history have loved God’s Word, the Bible.

The Psalm writers did.

Psalm 1 talks about a blessed man who doesn’t go with the flow of the culture around him, but delights in the Law, the Torah, the Teach of God’s Word. And on God’s Word, he meditates day and night.

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the whole Bible. It’s one long praise of God’s word.

Every verse mentions God’s words in some way!

Listen to this, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path” (v.105), “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” (V.97), “I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.” (V.174)

Here’s what David says in Psalm 19.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

What is your greatest possession and what is your favorite food?

David didn’t know anything greater than gold or sweeter than honey.

So that’s what he used to describe God’s word, and its life giving effects.

The scriptures are more precious than my 401K. They are more precious than Fort Knox. They are more precious than Wall Street.

They are sweeter than Texas Sheetcake. They are tastier than Apple Pie!

That’s how Jeremiah felt, too: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

Is that your feeling about the Bible?

Real Christians Delights in God’s Word.

Donald Whitney tells the story about a man in Kansas City who was severely injured in an explosion. “His face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He had just become a Christian when the accident happened, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in braille. But he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been too badly damaged to distinguish the characters.

One day, as he brought one of the braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash, he thought, ‘I can read the Bible using my tongue!”

That man read through the Bible four times (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, pg. 31)!! With his tongue!

Is that how you feel about the Bible?

Real Christians Delight in God’s Word.

I think that everyone here would agree that the Bible is God’s Word. Holy, inspired, inerrant in the original writings, our rule of faith and practice.

But do we love it?

Are we enamored with the Scriptures?

If you went blind, would you learn Braille just so you could get the Word?

Do we approach the Scriptures like hungry men and women?

Do we eat them and enjoy them?

If you have no desire to know the Word of God, then I doubt that you are a Real Christian.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy.

Sometimes, we go through a season when the Bible doesn’t seem to speak to us. We are cold to it. Or it’s confusing to us.

But it is such a gift, friends, such a gift!

Do you know what a gift of God’s grace it is to own a Bible in your own language?

For a thousand years, the Bible was chained to a corner in the Church in the language that only priests and scholars could read. A thousand years of a Latin Bible and a Latin Bible only!

And most people couldn’t read Latin (if they could read at all).

But now, we have all have Bibles in our own English language that we can read!

What a gift!

It’s a delicious meal. It’s words are richer than gold and sweeter than honey.

It is sufficient for our problems. It has answers for the deepest problems of humanity.

It is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that we can be fully equipped for every good work.

It is full of promises, great and precious promises that we can learn and take to the bank.

And it is full of commands, wise and loving commands that teach us how to live.

And it is full of story, God’s Big Story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and New Creation.

A story that climaxes in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen again!

It’s all here!

Eat it! And Love it!

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

Real Christians Delight in God’s Word.

Let me give you 3 short practical applications of this truth.

I had 11 for prayer two weeks ago! This week, just 3.


God’s Word has come in this book (Old and New Testament), now it’s time to eat it!

Read the Word of God.

Do you do that?

Like prayer, it probably won’t happen unless you plan for it.

You need to set aside some time, make an appointment with God to read His Word.

You could read the whole Bible or just a part of it.

I recommend both approaches at different times.

But you’ve got to read it.

It won’t be your joy and your heart’s delight until you do.

I remember reading a biography of Billy Graham when I was at Bible school.

There came a time for Dr. Graham that he had to decide whether or not he was going to believe and preach the Bible. He had some doubts. He new that there were some good answers to his questions.

And he knew that he couldn’t waver between doubt and faith for much longer. He had to choose.

And he chose to believe and to read the Bible. And the rest is history.

Read the Word of God.

What is your plan to do that?

Do you get up early or stay up late?

Do you use one of the plans in the foyer for reading through in a year?

Don’t just read the words to read the words.

These are God’s words! Eat them!


Here’s I’m talking about application.

James says to not just be hearer only, but a doer of God’s Word.

For us to feel the delight and joy of God’s Word, we’ve got to plan to do it. To apply it to our daily life.

If the Word says, “Forgive your enemies,” then we need to forgive.
If the Word says, “Love your neighbor,” then we need to love.
If the Word says, “Hate sin,” then we need to hate sin.
If the Word says, “Eat this book,” then we need to eat the book.

Heed the Word.

Jesus told a story about that, you know?

It’s a tale of two houses.

One built on rock.
The other house was built on sand.

Question. Which house encountered a storm?

Both did, didn’t they?

Both houses encountered a storm.

“The rain came down, and the floods came up.” On both of them.

But the outcome was drastically different for the two houses, wasn’t it?

The house built on the rock “stood firm.” It did not fall.

The house built on the sand “fell with a great crash.”

The difference was in the foundations wasn’t it?

Jesus said, “[anyone] who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

“But [anyone] who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” Crash!

Heed the Word of God.

Is there some area of your life where you are in disobedience to the Word of God?

The storm will come. And Crash!

I am amazed at the number of Christians who do not make the Bible the standard of their life and choices.

As if the Bible didn’t have anything to say about families, or priorities, or church, or relationships, or work, or education, or whatever.

We need to Heed the Word of God.

Of course, that won’t always be easy! Jeremiah was depressed because he loved God’s Word, but no one else did.

If we heed God’s Word, we will often stand alone.

But it’s worth it! It will be our joy and our heart’s delight because we bear His name!

We need to Heed the Word of God.


I’m sure you’re wondering what that means.

Do you know who John Bunyan is?

What book did John Bunyan write?

Pilgrim’s Progress.

I think that that is still the number one best-selling book after the Bible of all time!

Pastor Charles Spurgeon said of John Bunyan:
Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.
We need to be so full of the Bible that it comes out of us all of the time!

I pray that our blood at Lanse Free Church would be “Bibline.”

And that if anyone pricks us, that the Word of God would come out of us. If anyone even gets around us, that the Word of God would come out of us.

Bleed the Word of God! That’s what was happening Jeremiah’s prayer.

He couldn’t help but thank God for the His words.

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”

This month is Thanksgiving Month. And we need to start it by giving thanks for these words from God that are our joy and our heart’s delight.

Because we are Real Christians who bear the name of the Lord God Almighty.

Worship at the Lord’s Table

One reason why Real Christians Delight in God’s Word, is that God’s Word is where we find out the Good News of Jesus Christ.

God’s Word tells us that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring us to God.

And that all who turn from their sins and trust in the Savior alone will be rescued.

That’s what this memorial meal means.

If you have come to eat the words of the Gospel and they are your joy and yours heart’s delight, you are invited to eat and drink this meal with us.

If you have not yet come to know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you are not invited at this time. Instead, use this time to think about Jesus. Who He said He was and what He did.

He is the only way to the Father. And He challenges you to trust and to follow Him today.

We know this on the authority of God’s delightful Word.