The Benefits of Hiding God’s Word in Our Hearts

The Works of Thomas Manton: 22 Volume Set

In volume six of his Works, Thomas Manton has a series of sermons on Psalm 119. This is great devotional literature. Each sermon is around nine pages long. These sermons are outlined well so it’s easy to follow along. Yesterday I read Manton’s sermon on Psalm 119:11 (In my heart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you. NET Bible). In this sermon Manton listed several great benefits of having God’s word stored up in our hearts. Here’s his list – I’ve edited it for length and readability:

It will prevent vain thoughts. A person who has a pocket with more worthless items than silver coins will frequently pull out the worthless items than he will the silver coins. So vain thoughts will more come out of our minds unless the Word dwells richly in our hearts. The mind works upon what it finds in itself. Therefore, if we would prevent wicked thoughts and vain musings all day, we must hide the word in our hearts.

It will help us instruct ourselves. “In the night my heart instructs me” (Ps. 16:7). When we are alone and there is no pastor, Christian friend, or Bible nearby to give counsel, the Word hidden in our heart will do so. We may draw out of our heart that which will be for our comfort and refreshing. A Christian is to be a walking Bible, to have a good stock and treasure in himself.

It will supply us in prayer. One great reason for barrenness and leanness of soul in Christians is because the word of God does not dwell plenteously in them. If the heart were often exercised in the Word, the promises would hold up our hearts in prayer, enflame our affections, and we would be better able to pour out our hearts before the Lord. When we have a good store of the Word of God in our hearts it will burst out in prayer.

It will be a great help to us in all business and affairs of life. Concerning the teachings of the Word, “when you walk, they will lead you…the commandment is a lamp and teaching a light” (Prov. 6:21-23). Upon all occasions the Word will be ready to cast in seasonable thoughts. A man that is a Bible to himself – the Word will be ever working in him, urging him to duty, restraining him from sin, directing him in his ways, seasoning his work and employments.

It is a great relief against temptations if we have the Word ready. The Word is called the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). Those who are out and about in time of danger must not be without a sword. We are in danger, and we have need to hold the sword of the Spirit. The more ready the Scripture is with us, the greater advantage in our conflicts and temptations. It is a great advantage when we have the Word not only by us, but in us, ingrafted in the heart!

It is a great relief in troubles and afflictions. There is remedy in the Word for all maladies. To have a comfort at hand is a great relief.

It makes our conversation and company with others more gracious. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt. 12:34). When we have a great deal of hidden treasure in the soul it will get out by way of the tongue. “Let God’s Word dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16). If you have God’s Word in your heart, your speech will be seasoned with it.

Thomas Manton, Works, volume 6, pages 101-103.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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