I feel like this guy just pulled a ribbon, and unraveled the word of God for me. I can’t explain how timely this sermon was that I found on the gty.com website!
God is after your heart. He wants you near Him, and in fellowship with Him. Give Him everything, pray that your heart is opened to His word, and to His voice.
Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (aka everybody in the world watching), let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance, the race that has been set before us.
If this great weight that you are wearing on this spiritual race is preventing you from running efficiently, and running to begin with, LET GO OF IT! In Christ’s powerful name, throw it off!
This is His instruction to us about our purity. 1 Thess 4:3-8
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
That last sentence is frightening. Reject this instruction, and you are rejecting God, AND the Holy Spirit He gives to us.
I am going to memorize a verse a week, here is this week’s.
Nehemiah 8:10: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Why do we read the Word of God?
I had a realization this week. I woke up at 6AM and went into my backyard and sat, reading. I felt so refreshed, renewed and joyful, my day was completely focused on glorifying Him, and there was a peace about everything. I realized ws that there is no competition! Whether it is in reading the Bible as EARLY as possible, or as MUCH as possible, or even in comparing how many points you can discover or take from the passage. It is simply resting in His presence, and seeing who He is from the word. I have been caught up in the raging-battle side of my faith, that I haven’t taken a step to retreat and enjoy Him in the midst of everything.
How will you enjoy His presence today? It can be with stillness, prayer, praise, a fellowship meeting, or a memorization, at your own pace. God’s waiting for you to slow down and meet Him.
…the end draws near, and my time has come. But still my soul sings your praise unending. 10, 000 years and then forevermore.
Mark 5: Jesus Restores a Demon-possessed man. (CLICK HERE TO READ FIRST)
I have been reading this passage for a few days, and it seems like every time I read it, something new is revealed to me. I want to highlight key points that stood out for me. The first thing is that, at a glance this story seems totally un-relatable. I mean, come on…a demon-possessed man? What’s the application for my life? However upon further reading I felt it was a direct parallel to my life as a Christian. Here is this man, completely isolated from the village and from the people, living in the tombs of the mountains. He is literally being tormented day and night by the demons within him. “Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” When I read this I was filled with sadness for him. This passage highlights such characteristics of our God that we need to hold on to.
1) God has FULL authority, over spirits and demonic powers. Ephesians 6:12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. THESE THINGS EXIST. Do not live your live in naive ignorance of the battle raging on around and within us. A Legion in those times was a military measurement referring to 3000-5000 men in a platoon of soldiers.
2) Jesus met him first. He came out of the boat, and the man ran and fell on his knees, yelling, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” I feel this is an image of Jesus in our relationship. He is already present, already waiting, already desiring to have us in our entirety and in our devotion to Him. All we need to do is MEET him, it is an active thing that the man did–running from a distance.
3) I feel the man who was living in the wild, was in unrest. Night and day, living unclothed, in misery, and probably battling depression, cutting himself, tormented by the evil within. He wanted out, he cried in pain! The parallel for me here is that the life he lived is like the sinner’s life who is unaware to the pain they cause to themselves and the misery they are in but in their torment all they need is the simple meeting of Jesus. To come to the highest authority on earth, in heaven, and in hell. The result? Restoration.
4) Jesus has a command for the man. “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” This is what we need to be doing. Going to our own circles of friends and family, and sharing with them the amazing things that have happened in our spiritual lives, not by our doing, but by God’s alone.
Praise of the day: http://youtu.be/sDkFL7yCGps
“You are the way, the truth and the light, we live by faith and not by sight, for you. We’re living all for you.” -Hillsong
Had Bible study for the first time in a while. AND WOW, how refreshing to get back to the basics of who my God is. His Love alone is worth meditating on for weeks, days, and it’s funny how, when you don’t look at the truths regularly, they begin to fade in your mind, and slowly the accuser makes his way into your thoughts. Don’t let them fade!!
Here are more cue card verses. Read them outloud!
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..” Isaiah 49:15-16
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Psalm 139
Sometimes you have to admit….you’re lazy. You can’t be bothered to pick up your Bible at 6AM, especially when you have to be ready for the day by 7AM. But, howcome? This is the King that gave the ultimate sacrifice to have union and fellowship with us!
My action plan against laziness is to FORCE the Word of God to penetrate my heart and mind. Hebrews 4: 12 says, For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I make little cue card bible verses, and basically trap myself into reading His Word. Make these cards nice, coloured, use construction paper, get creative! Put them up on the wall, bulletin board, or door so that each time you walk by, you read them OUTLOUD. Let the power of His words shake you as you recite them, and aim to memorize each one. When you are done memorizing them, put a little sticker next to the card.
Here’s a starting list..
Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.