Thirst For God’s Word | Sabbatical Review (1 Peter 2:1-3)

Sermon Manuscript . . .

Thirst for God’s Word

1 Peter 2:1-3

Hi Faith Bible Church and everyone else joining us from around the world. I’m speaking to you from my home in Menifee, California. These are unique times, aren’t they?! As individuals, as a community, as a nation, and as a church, we are all making big adjustments. COVID-19 is on all our minds. It’s affecting all of our lives. We don’t necessarily know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds the future–amen? And so we are trusting our sovereign God, as always.

Listen, if you’re new to these live FBC broadcasts, maybe you’re looking for answers. Maybe you’re looking for encouragement. I want to let you know we’ve been speaking to these concerns for the past four weeks already and so I recommend going back through our FBC live sermon archive. Over the last four weeks, our teaching pastor, Chris Mueller, gave us a biblical response to COVID-19. He showed us how we can have a worry-free response, because we trust in a sovereign God. Our college pastor, Shawn Farrell, showed us that God is worthy of our worship–our attitude of worship helps us navigate life’s trials with the right perspective.

Then Chris showed us what our purpose is on this earth. And then last week, Easter, we looked at how the future affects you today because of the resurrection. If you haven’t heard those messages, you really need to go listen to them–they are so encouraging, and they will feed your soul. For today, I want to continue that trend of encouraging you in the midst of our current circumstances. And I’m going to do that.

But first our elders have asked me to pause in our current ministry series to give you a report on my recent sabbatical. And I want to be faithful to do that, even though visitors to our broadcast aren’t necessarily that connected to the past three months of our lives. Just hang in with me. Let me give my update to our local church family, and then we’ll jump to a text of Scripture which I trust will help us all during this time of pandemic, social-distancing, and economic downturn. First let me address our church family.

Back in January, I entered my seventh year of ministry here, and Faith Bible Church sent me and Sereena into a three-month sabbatical. There were three goals—1) rest, 2) ministry elsewhere, and 3) personal development. Right off the bat, I just want to say thank you! Thank you so much for this opportunity to be refreshed, rested up, and get ready to jump right back into ministry again. I’ve talked to many pastors whose churches do not allow them to do this, ever! And so I want to express my sincere gratitude to our elders and our church family for this tremendous blessing.

Personally, I feel energized! I’m charged up and am ready to go. I love our church. I think being away has only increased our appreciation for FBC. I love ministering alongside you all. I love seeing the Gospel transform lives. What a privilege to be a part of God’s work in this church.

I’ve got to say–our return to body-life is way different than we expected! But God knows and has planned it all. I’ve hit the ground running. I and all our pastors and all our ministry leaders are super busy. We are engaging with the congregation, bringing the Word to bear on as many lives as we can, caring for the saints, discipling, training, planning out significant ministry, and making sure the Gospel is still being proclaimed. We are ready, I am ready to take on this challenging, but God-designed opportunity. So thank you so much!

On a personal front, I was so thankful that we got to minister to our families in New Zealand. We’ve been here in SoCal for six years, and during that time, we really haven’t been able to do a lot of practical things for our parents. So in February, we got to serve them big time. I helped my dad paint his garage roof. We helped him plan a little bit for the future, in regards to downsizing his property. He’s 80 years old and it was such a timely input into his life. We got to eat some Kiwi ice cream too–so good!

Also, we got to help out Sereena’s mother and stepdad by clearing out two huge dumpsters of 30 years of accumulated stuff. And as it happened, while we were there, they decided to sell their property and downsize to a smaller unit, so again the timing was perfect to get after the clean-up project.

First Timothy 5:8 says, “If anyone does not provide for his own . . . “ (and remember there, the context is caring for widows and could generally be applied to caring for aging parents too, I think). Paul says, “If anyone does not provide for his own and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” So listen, FBC–you gave us the opportunity to plan with our parents, provide for them, and help them in very practical ways. And from the bottom of our hearts, we want to say, “Thank you.”

We got to hang out with my sister, Sereena’s sisters, Sereena’s dad. So our time in New Zealand was just a huge blessing. We did some fun things too–here are some pictures for you. As you glance through those, you’ll see some whitewater rafting, jet skiing, Kiwi-style stock cars, family pics, Katie Holzer from FBC, who now lives in New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, Jordan, we drank liters of Kiwi coffee, and I got to meet with a lot of pastors too. Now talking about pastors . . .

I got to preach in seven churches while on sabbatical. Three of those were here, and four were in New Zealand. And I’d like to reflect a little about the state of the church in New Zealand. In addition to preaching, I got to meet with multiple groups of elders, and pastors and men in training for ministry. Those were really sweet times of challenging discussion. We talked about what it takes to equip the saints in the church, and do biblical church leadership training, and discipleship, and other vital aspects of ministry.

Two of those Kiwi churches (Onekawa Bible Church, where our summer teams have gone, and Naenae for Christ Community Church in the capital city of Wellington) are using our FBC Training Center material to train up their men in their local contexts–it’s pretty exciting! Also, out of those discussions came the idea for our FBC elders to go to New Zealand to host an elder conference. Let me tell you why. There is a huge need to help lay eldership teams in New Zealand. Over the last 30 years, God has raised up a generation of faithful preachers. It wasn’t this way in my early 20’s, but now when you travel the country, you can find faithful pulpits, with faithful pastors who have been trained to do good exegesis, and preach sound theology–that’s awesome!

But that doesn’t always mean that churches have developed a sound philosophy of ministry. And not all eldership teams are doing well in leadership, and training, and maintaining unity. So while I was there, we started to make plans for our elders to host a conference for other elder teams there in New Zealand. Now with the Coronavirus, we will put that off for a year, but please be praying for that. This is an awesome opportunity.

Here at FBC we are committed to strengthening churches.  That’s what the Apostle Paul did in Acts 15:41–he traveled from church to church to strengthen them. As a church, we want to do the same thing. Whether it’s New Zealand or Uganda, or Albania, Germany, or the Philippines. We believe missions is nothing more than doing church elsewhere. We take what we do here, and encourage and strengthen churches elsewhere to do the same things. Anyway, all that to say–ministry in New Zealand was sweet. We are making plans for the future. Thank you so much for letting us go and spend that extended time with those churches.

I also wanted to spend some time to prepare for the future of FBC’s counseling ministry during my sabbatical. In Colossians 1:28 Paul says, “We proclaim [Christ], admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). That word “admonishing” is the Greek word noutheteo–it’s from that word that we get nouthetic counseling or biblical counseling. It’s the kind of counseling where we admonish people, help people, encourage people to become like Christ.

Our goal is to present as many people as we can to God, complete in Christ. And we do it by using the sharpest instrument we have–that’s the Word of God.  God’s Word is alive, active, and sharp enough to get to the real issues of a person’s heart. At FBC, we don’t trust psychology. We don’t do therapy. We don’t believe it’s necessary to dig up all your bad memories or find out how you’ve been victimized. We don’t believe you’re a product of evolution. You’re not lacking in self-love. You don’t have a bad self-image. You don’t lack pride. We don’t believe in superficial fixes.

We’re not going to put a band-aid over a serious heart-problem. We aren’t going to try to fix your life now and leave your eternal soul untouched. We believe your greatest need is a Savior. And what we see over and over again is that when people repent and turn to God, all of their lifelong problems can be treated with an entirely biblical perspective–and it works.

Okay, that’s my counseling rant. Listen, we want to have a counseling center that’s different than what the world offers. So our plan is this . . . God-willing in about two years from now, we want to launch a counseling center out of our new church building in Wildomar.  It will be a free counseling service for our community. It will be primarily evangelistic. It will deal with people’s problems, but do it in a biblical way.

We won’t push the Bible aside when we talk about marriage, and depression, and disorders, and guilt, and anger, and substance abuse, and relationships, and finances, and broken homes, and pornography, and suicide, and PTSD. No, we pick up the sharpest weapon we have–the Word of God. It is complete, inerrant, authoritative and sufficient for the work. But here’s the deal–in order to do this, we need to be wise to avoid potential lawsuits. We need to be protected. We need structures that can cope with an influx of cases. We need a budget to supply needed resources. We need training. And most importantly, we need a team of certified counselors.

So to get my head around all of that, I met some internationally recognized biblical counselors in March. I quizzed them big time on what we need, to be set up well–what protections we need to have in place, insurances, certification, etc. I had one trip to Lafayette, Indiana planned which I need to cancel, but otherwise I got a lot of research done. And ultimately, I think we’re gonna be in a good place to pull this off. We have people getting trained up right now. Many are doing ACBC course work. Our goal is to have at least 15 people certified and available for this essential work.

I’m pumped up. I really believe this is one of the most exciting, fruitful, front-line ministries of our church. It will come with challenges. It will be stretching. It will require a ton of prayer. We will encounter hard things. But it’s gonna be awesome. So listen–I mention all of that, because I want you to pray for us please. Maybe you could join our team and become a certified counselor. Maybe you don’t want to be a counselor, but you could do childcare for people who are in a session. You could make snacks for the people involved. You could provide some administrative support, making appointments, etc. There’s a lot of jobs here. Most importantly, please ask the Lord to use this church to impact our valley.

Lastly, I just wanted to say how much we missed Sundays and mid-week fellowship here at FBC. I’m talking about the action of fellowship, the actual interactions–face-to-face. Can you imagine not attending church for three months? Actually, maybe now you can because you aren’t attending. For us during that time, we were in other churches and doing ministry and that was sweet, but there’s something about being a part of a home church, isn’t there? Where you’re connected, people know you, people look out for you and there’s that ongoing input of life-on-life discipleship–you can’t beat that. It’s an essential part of our Christian growth.

Hebrews 10:25 says, “Don’t forsake getting together!” Don’t drift away. Some people make a habit of staying away. Don’t do that. Listen, Sereena and I learned big time the value of regular contact with people in our church. And I think we are all learning that lesson right now, aren’t we? As a church, we are desperately using Zoom for community groups and Bible studies, and FaceTime to stay in touch with families–and it’s essential.

Listen, if all you’re doing during the COVID pandemic is watching the Sunday service and nothing else, then you’re not doing fellowship. You’re not connected. You’ve got to make a change! Sign up for something. Get connected. And then when this is all over, you continue that commitment into face-to-face as well.

There are basic Christian disciplines which cannot be overlooked. No matter what the season of life or the external circumstances (good times and bad times, wartime and peacetime, in sickness and in health, in economic stability and in financial unrest and need, in lockdown and in freedom), there are essential basic practices which Christians must continue. One is fellowship–I just talked about that. And another is found in 1 Peter 2:1 to 3. It’s a great passage–that’s where we are headed this morning.

But before we continue, let’s just pause. We’re going to take break, and I want you in your setting to take these next two minutes to find that passage in your Bible. It’s in your outline. It’s going to be on the screen too. Then when you’re ready, please read those verses twice through. If you’re alone, read it out loud to yourself twice. If you’re in a family group, please read these verses out loud together–have someone lead, but read them together. And then have someone lead in prayer, asking that the Lord would speak to your hearts through these verses. Would you do that–you’ve got two minutes to read and pray together now.

Our conviction is that during the COVID-19 lockdown, we need to continue basic Christian disciplines. One is fellowship. Another is a steady, consistent diet of God’s Word. If we’re not feeding on the pure milk of the Word of God, we are going to starve ourselves to malnutrition. We’re all talking about staying healthy during this pandemic. But let’s make sure we are just as committed to staying spiritually healthy too. It’s so easy to slip into seasons of laziness or lack of discipline when it comes to basic Christian practices. That’s why I thought this passage would be an encouragement to you.

In 1 Peter 2:1 to 3, what we find are six certainties regarding the believer’s thirst for the Word of God. And I promise you, if you will take these six convictions and apply them to your life during this lockdown (and indeed for your entire life), they will radically change you forever. You will vaccinate yourself from spiritual illness and even spiritual death. It’s all about having a healthy diet during the pandemic. I want to show you the Context, Charge, Craving, Consequence, Course, and Cause of thirsting for God’s Word–let’s jump in.

1.  The Context of Thirsting for God’s Word  Verse 1a

Look at the very first word in verse 1–Peter says, “Therefore . . .” He’s referring back to chapter 1, especially the last three verses. Look at them. Peter says to his readers in verse 23, “You have been born again.” And it wasn’t perishable things that birthed you again. It was “through the living and abiding Word of God.” God’s Word is alive and active–it doesn’t perish. I’m just thinking through verse 23 with you, and look at verse 24. Flesh and grass and flowers–they all die. They don’t live forever. But verse 25, “The Word of the Lord lives forever!”

And you ask, “So how did these people receive the Word of God?” Verse 25 answers that question–look at it. It was the Word that was preached to them. So here’s the context that Peter has in mind. These people had heard preaching–and it wasn’t any kind of preaching. It was the preaching of God’s Word. God’s Word is alive and active forever. And it’s because of the everlasting power of God’s Word that they got saved. They were born again!

So with all that in mind, Peter says in chapter 2 verse 1, “Therefore, you’ve got to do something.” You were born again by the power of the Word of God–now you’ve got to do something. You say, “Well, what do these Christians have to do?” The answer is in verse 2. This is the “Charge” (or you could say the “command”) to thirst for God’s Word. Since the Word of God has caused them to be born again, this is what they have to do.

2.  The Charge to Thirst for God’s Word  Verse 2a

Look at verse 2 (I’ll come back to verse 1, in a second–but look at verse 2). Peter says, “thirst insatiably for the pure milk of the Word.” That’s the charge. The Word of God caused you to be born again–now you’ve got to thirst for it! How did you get saved? Through the Word of God! How do you grow as a believer? Through the Word of God!

But notice here, Peter does not say, “Read the Word, study the Word, meditate on the Word, teach the Word, preach the Word, search the Word or memorize the Word.” He doesn’t say any of those things–you can go to other passages of Scriptures for those. Peter is more concerned about the heart. He’s talking about appetite. He’s talking about being hungry for something. Thirst for the Word, not because you have to, but because you passionately want to.

We don’t spend time in the Bible because some rulebook told us we must-we do it because we are starving for it. We can’t get enough. We drink it up and when we are done, we’re still thirsting for more. And yet, here’s the paradox of this verse–it’s still a command! “Thirst!” God is giving us an instruction, and He expects us to do it. It’s a command. It’s a charge. You say, “Well Nige, how do I do this?”

It’s like breathing. It’s both built into our physical nature that we just breathe (it’s what mammals do). And yet, there are times when we have to tell ourselves to breathe. When Sereena and I did that whitewater rafting trip in New Zealand, our group stopped at some rocks, and the guide told the group to climb up there onto a high rock formation and jump into the water. Some people didn’t want to do it–it was high.

Sereena and I both did. I imagine you’ve had this kind of experience. You take a breath, jump into the water from high up and you go deep. And as you go down, there’s this internal drive to get to the surface to breathe again. But you also have to make that happen. You have to decide to swim to the top. You’ve got to move your arms and kick your legs to get there. Both the desire and the action go hand-in-hand.

It’s the same with thirsting for God’s Word. There’s that internal drive to have your spiritual appetite satisfied, and yet you also have to make it happen. There’s a command to be obeyed–“. . . thirst insatiably for the pure milk of the Word . . .” Sometimes you just have to make yourself thirst. I’ll be honest–there are times when I wake up in the morning and I’d rather be doing something else. There are demands—work, chores, e-mails, voicemail, ministry, text messages, deadlines, people.

There can be distractions too—Facebook, Instagram, sports, TV, hobbies. All kinds of things can get in the way of spending time with God. And when that happens, we need to remember this charge. You have to make yourself obey the command, even if you don’t feel like it.

I remember when I first started cycling back in New Zealand. I was way out of shape, and my friend Tony Page would call me up and say, “Today, Nige, we’re gonna do 50 kms.”  And I’m like, “No! I don’t want to do 50 kms. That sounds painful.” But with his encouragement, I’d make myself get ready, pump up my tires, put on my lycra, make up my drinks, and set out. And once I got out there on those beautiful country roads with cows, sheep, green paddocks, clean rivers, no traffic–it was awesome. And I’d think to myself, “What on earth was I complaining about?”

It’s the same with thirsting for God’s Word. Sometimes you just make yourself do it. It’s a command to be obeyed. And then once you’re with God, listening to His voice, meditating on His Word, you think to yourself—”Oh Lord, You are so good. Your Word is so refreshing. It’s just what I needed.” You see, there’s an internal appetite, and there’s an external discipline that must be exercised.

Now look at verse 2 again. Peter says, “thirst insatiably for the pure milk of the Word.” I just want to clarify here–Peter is not comparing milk and meat, like Paul does in 1 Corinthians 3. When you read Paul in 1 Corinthians, he’s saying some parts of Scripture are milk and some are meat. But that’s not the point here in 1 Peter. Peter is definitely not saying that we should go after only the easy parts of the Bible. He’s not saying thirst for the easy doctrines and easy commands and leave the hard ones alone. No, in this context Peter is saying all Scripture is pure milk. All of it will satisfy your appetite. All of it will quench your thirst. All of God’s Word is pure milk.

So we have a charge to respond to–a command to keep. Psalm 1:2 says the godly man’s “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His [God’s] law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). Oh folks please, during this season and indeed for all seasons, would you not become undisciplined? But rather, would you commit to a super intense pursuit of God’s Word? It’s the powerful, living, abiding Word of God that will get you through any season of life. Now maybe you’re asking, “How intense should my thirst be?” Good question. Look again in verse 2–we’ll call this . . .

3.  The Craving of God’s Word  Verse 2b

This craving is described also in verse 2, “thirst insatiably for the pure milk of the Word like newborn babies.” The word for baby that Peter uses here is not just a baby. It’s not just any baby–it’s a baby born just now, a brand new baby, a baby who only knows how to do one thing and that is cry until he or she is fed. That’s all they want. You don’t have to tell a baby, “Now baby, I know this is hard, but your gonna have to be hungry now.” You don’t have to do that! In fact, when a baby is thirsty, that baby will cry, and kick, and scream until it’s satisfied.

We need to be like that. We need to be like that baby who will cry, and kick, and scream until we get fed the Word of God. Job said in Job 23:12, “I have treasured the words of [God’s] mouth more than my necessary food.” Do you crave God’s Word more than food? Be honest–if you had to do without one or the other for a day, which would it be? Food or God’s Word? What’s easier for you to do without–no food or no Bible? Or maybe I should put it this way–what’s more common for you, no food or no Bible?

Just think back over the past month–count how many days you have gone without food, and compare that to how many days you’ve gone without the Bible. Now that’s a challenge. Would you take a minute here, and just between you and Lord–would you search your heart and ask the question, “What do I love more–food or God’s Word? Comfort or God’s Word? Security or God’s Word? Safety or God’s Word?” Search your heart now and ask God to make that clear to you in prayer. Let’s take one minute in silence alone with the Lord . . . Amen.

I trust you asked the Lord to help you to grow an even greater appetite for the Scriptures. If you were genuine, I am confident He will answer your prayer. Well let me encourage you now. I want you to see . . .

4.  The Consequence of Thirsting for God’s Word  Verse 2c

If you will do this, the result (or consequence) of your action is seen here at the end of verse 2–and it’s this. It’s “so that you may grow by it in respect to salvation . . .” That’s it–if you will thirst after God’s precious Word, you will grow. Literally Peter says, “You’ll be nourished up.” I love the way Peter retains the imagery of feeding the soul with what it needs. If you want to avoid spiritual anorexia, then you need to have an insatiable thirst for the Word of God.

The picture is dramatic–you either shrink and shrivel up as you starve yourself of the goodness of God’s Word, or you blossom and grow to higher levels of faith and maturity as you commit to a consistent diet of God’s revelation. Oh and by the way, Peter is not talking about past salvation (that’s when someone gets saved). And he is not talking about future salvation (that’s when Christians are glorified in the presence of God). He is talking about present salvation–today. Sanctification today–obedience today. If you want to grow in faithfulness to God’s commands today, you have got to thirst for His Word today.

In John 8:31 Jesus said, “If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” In other words, we can’t call ourselves disciples–we can’t call ourselves Christians if we aren’t living in God’s Word and living out God’s Word. Now I want you to see this–there is a course to travel in order to get to the point where you can thirst for the Word like this. There are some prerequisites to craving the Word of God. Some things to take care of first. We’ll call this . . .

5.  The Course toward Thirsting for God’s Word  Verse 1b

Go back to verse 1 again, “having put aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies and envies and all slanders,” then you can fulfil the charge to “thirst insatiably for the pure milk of the Word.” In other words, before you can obey the command of verse 2, first you’ve got to take care of some business in verse 1. The phrase, “having put aside” is an aorist participle in the middle voice. That means that the action of verse 1 has to take place before the action of verse 2–and it’s something we‘ve got to do to ourselves–no one else can do it for us.

Here’s the point–if you don’t put aside the sins listed in verse 1, it will be absolutely impossible to thirst for God’s Word. You can’t do it. It won’t happen. One action has to come before the other. There is a course towards thirsting for God’s Word that cannot be avoided. This is the prerequisite. Now look at these five areas of sin in verse 1. First he says, “having put aside . . .”

All Malice–if you harbor ill will toward somebody, you can never thirst for the Word. It doesn’t matter how long ago the offence took place, if you still haven’t dealt with the angst in your heart towards that person, it is impossible to thirst for God’s Word–it can’t happen.

All Guile–if you have any kind of guile, falsity, cunning kind of deceit in your life, it is impossible to thirst after the Word of God.

Hypocrisies–hypocrisy is when you pretend to be someone you’re not, putting on a mask. It’s a show to impress people, when the real you hasn’t changed at all. If you’re a hypocrite, you cannot thirst for God’s Word.

Envies–if there are any kinds of envies, the kind that the disciples were plagued with. Remember when they argued over who was going to have the honored place in the Kingdom? If you envy someone else’s life, position, or stuff, you cannot thirst for God’s Word.

All Slanders–if you are in the habit of disparaging someone or speaking falsely about someone behind their backs. If you practice the art of back-biting, it will be impossible to thirst for the Word of God.

So what’s the answer? You’ve got to put those things aside—repent. Turn away from those evil actions. That means every time you plan to spend time in the Word of God, you need to pray first and repent of these sins. Ask the Lord’s forgiveness. Make big changes in your thoughts and habits to clear the way so God can speak to you through His Word. If you don’t do that, there will always be a roadblock. You’ll never get to enjoy the Bible. You’ll try and try, but you’ll never feel like it’s fruitful.

Some of you wonder, “How come reading the Bible isn’t that appealing to me? Why can’t I develop an appetite for God’s Word like David’s?” It could be that you’re holding onto sin–and that’s the reason why you can’t thirst. So repent. Take care of verse 1, so you can enjoy verse 2. Now there’s a second reason why some people don’t develop an insatiable appetite for God’s Word, and it’s found in verse 3. We’ll call this . . .

6.  The Cause of Thirsting for God’s Word  Verse 3

“. . . thirst insatiably for the pure milk of the Word . . . 3if you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Literally, “if you have already tasted that the Lord is delicious.” The point is this–anyone who has already experienced that the Lord Himself is really good to taste, that person will naturally want more of Him. It’s like a child who has just tasted soda, or ice cream, or candy–once they have that initial taste, they want more and more and more, cause it’s just so good!

The problem is this–not everyone has tasted that Jesus Christ is good. That’s why verse 3 starts with the word “if”, because not everyone has. Some people have never tasted the goodness of God. Listen, if you don’t have an insatiable thirst for God’s Word, it could be because you have unconfessed sin in your life–the kinds of sin listed in verse 1. And you need to put those things right to open up the way to a right response to the Word of God. Or verse 3 says, it could be that you’ve never tasted God’s goodness in the first place–you’re not saved. You think you’re a Christian, but you’ve never really experienced God’s grace. You’ve never really developed a personal relationship with Him.

Maybe you’re religious, but you don’t really know Jesus. And if that’s the case, it’s no wonder you don’t wake up every morning desperately looking forward to spending time with the Lord in the Scriptures. You need to be born again, and maybe this message is a wakeup call to you to get right with the One true God Who hates sin and has sent His Son to die for your sin and give you a righteousness you don’t deserve.

If you’re a believer and you do have that thirst for God’s Word, would you thank Him for granting you that appetite? It’s a gift from God Himself. And pray that the Lord would enable you to grow in His grace and develop great habits–listening to good sermons, personal time in the Word, audio Bible, good Christian books, commentaries, theologies, Bible study, memory verses? All of these will grow you in sanctification and godliness.

I’m gonna pray for us in a minute, but first would you take a moment to determine who you are before the Lord? Are you the person who’s doing well in these things? Would you thank God for that? Are you the person who loves the Lord and just wants to strengthen your thirst even more? Are you the person who needs to turn from sin in order to remove the blockade to developing that appetite? Or are you the person who doesn’t even know what it’s like to live with this kind of thirst for God? Search your heart now and ask God to make that clear to you in prayer. Let’s take one minute to do that . . . Amen.

Oh Father, our prayer is that we might be able to say with the psalmist, “O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:16, 24, 35, 47-48, 72, 92, 97-104, 111, 113, 127, 159, 167, 174). Oh Lord, would you please grant us that same heart? For your sake and for your own glory. Amen.

About Nigel Shailer

A pastor and elder at Faith Bible Church and head of the counseling ministry.

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