A Word In Season

Daily Spirit & Word, 462: A Word In Season.

Bible Memorisation: Benefit #7 Usefulness in the Kingdom of God.

Good morning my friends, it’s a cold, wet March morning here in London, but I’m back in the study ready to praise and worship the Lord. Today we’re on the final Benefit of Bible Memorisation, but I thought it good to just remind ourselves of what we’ve looked at so¬†far;

  • Benefit #1: Goodness comes from the Good you store up in your heart.
  • Benefit #2: Knowing How to Use the Sword: God’s Word. And the benefit of the Helmet of Salvation.
  • Benefit #3: Knowing God’s Word Gives Believers True Hope and Peace For Times of Despair.
  • Benefit #4: Divine Expectations: Eating not for one or two but for thousands of souls.
  • Benefit #5: It’s an Anchor for the Soul: Fastened to the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Benefit #6: We’re only as strong as our weakest link: In the Chain that leads to the Anchor.

Now we come onto the Seventh Benefit: But to be honest, I could think of Seven Hundred Benefits of Storing God’s Word in your heart ūüôā However, Seven gives us something¬†manageable.

¬†Benefit #7: You’ll Be Useful in the Service of the Kingdom: A Word in Season.

Since I’ve been a very young Christian, I’ve gotten into the habit of getting up early to spend time with my Lord Jesus. I do that because I’m a weak Christian and I know how much I need the Lord every day. I also do it because since 1984 I’ve gotten to know the Lord and how His Word impacts my life and the life of others around about me. He gives me words in season, it’s like everything that happens, every conversation or event is¬†filtered¬†through God’s Word. He brings to mind the right word when it’s needed. He also reveals His secrets to those who love Him; His friends. It’s such a privilege and a joy to be used by the Lord to help others into His Kingdom and to build others up whose flame is flickering in the winds of trouble and hardship.

You too will be useful in the service of the Kingdom when you store up God’s Word in your heart, He’ll give you a Word in Season for others too. Don’t underestimate how POWERFUL knowing God’s Word can be. I remember reading a book by Jack Deere “Surprised by the voice of the Spirit”… He was a wonderful man of God, highly educated and knew the Bible inside-out, but one day he was given the task of taking Sunday School, He thought with all his Bible knowledge it would be a breeze, he’d be able to answer any of the children’s questions. Well it didn’t go quite like that, because the children asked practical questions about why God did stuff and why He allowed certain things; Jack was stumped and went home and repented of his pride and arrogance. He asked the Lord to help him to be better equipped to assist the children, then came the voice of the Spirit.

Once, years later he was in his office at Theological¬†College, and a student came into the office who’d been struggling with his course work. When Jack looked at him he got a picture of a banner over his head with the word; “Pornography” written upon it. Jack had gained wisdom from years of spending time in God’s Word, in prayer and knowing Jesus, and he knew enough not to just blurt it out. He asked the student if he was struggling with things? He said in a hushed voice, “Yes Professor Jack”… Jack said, “Is there anything blocking your access to Jesus?” (or something like that) The student blurted it all out, his struggles with¬†pornography¬†etc through tears the student repented and turned again to the Lord.

My friends, you’ll get words from the Lord in Season; A few weeks ago a woman in our fellowship was given a word from the Lord; “Let the children worship”: We thought we were quite good at being inclusive in our worship times, but we were neglecting the¬†children’s¬†full involvement in every aspect of our gatherings. So we’ve repented and we’re encouraging the kids who come regularly, who love the Lord, to be involved in prayers, Bible reading, singing and playing instruments: not just a All Age Worship Services, but every week. The Word: “Suffer little children to come unto me, and do not hinder them, for their’s is the Kingdom of Heaven”. ¬†Praise the Lord for His WORDS in Season and for giving us ears to hear.

Here’s the WORD for today;

Isaiah 50:4-7¬† “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.¬†5 ¬†The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.¬†6 ¬†I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.¬†7 ¬†Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”

Can you recognise who Isaiah is talking about? It is of course a prophetic word about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember how he was mocked, spat upon, beaten etc… Yet those words are also prophetically true for every single BELIEVER who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ.¬†How? Well the Lord will awaken you in the¬†mornings, He’ll awaken you and give you an ear to listen, like one being taught. You’ll learn from the LORD Himself as you set your face like flint to serve the Lord God Almighty with your life. The more you store God’s Word in your heart and life, the more He’ll use you in the Service of His Kingdom.

Getting God’s Word Inside Your Head: Means taking time to be with the Lord, in His Word, in Prayer, in Praise, in the Spirit. Once you’ve started, you’ll never want to stop, because you’ll see quickly how the Lord will use you for service in His Kingdom.

Yes my friends, by getting to know the Lord and His Word you are useful for Service in God’s Kingdom, but how?

It will keep you; Pure, you’ll have the ready sword of the Lord, you’ll remain fixed to the Anchor the Lord Jesus Christ, because you’ll always be aware of your need for Him. You’ll experience His hope and peace in times of despair. He’ll fill your heart with Divine Expectations that you’ll want and know how much God wants all people to come to know Him as you do, you’ll be filled with His compassion and love for all people, you’ll be transformed into the likeness of God’s Son Jesus Christ daily as you come to Him in His Word. You CAN do it! Begin today!

 Matthew 6:33 Kingdom Service. Seek First The Kingdom of God.

The LORD know ALL of your needs my friends, but He’s commanded us to seek first His Kingdom. To put it in first priority order in our lives and then He’ll give us everything else that we need to survive. He’ll also reveal to you the secrets of the Kingdom.

Matthew 6:25-34¬†“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?¬†26 ¬†Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?¬†27 ¬†Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?¬†28 ¬†“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin.¬†29 ¬†Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.¬†30 ¬†If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?¬†31 ¬†So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’¬†32 ¬†For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.¬†33 ¬†But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.¬†34 ¬†Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

¬†Is God’s Kingdom First Priority in your life today?

God bless and have a great day with the Lord. Keep singing and praising Him all day long.

My song that’s been in my head since I woke up is, “I’ve got Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, deep in my heart. Deeep in my heart, Deep in my heart…” ūüôā I’m praising the Lord now.

Don.

 

NOTE:

The Bible Memory Training Course

Many people tell me; “Oh I’ve got a bad memory, I can’t retain facts, it’s too hard to¬†commit¬†to memory” etc, etc… But I can prove very quickly that no matter how old you are, you’ve got a wonderfully functioning memory. It’s a gift from Father God who made you.

 

  1. A) You can remember you house number right? How did you learn that? You know where the number is on the door or gate of your house. You can see the number in your head and you’ve probably touched it and remember what it feels like. That’s HOW we begin to train ourselves to remember the Bible.
  2. B) You can remember all your brothers and sisters, your children and grandchildren’s names can’t you? Yes because you’ve built up a moving picture of them in your mind. You can see them running, smiling, and saying stuff to you. You know them and can see them and you remember their names. If you use your imagination you even know¬†what¬†they smell like. That’s how we can train our minds to remember anything.
  3. C) You can remember, sometimes where you parked your car? LOL. I know, I even forget where I parked if I’m in deep conversation with someone, we seem to go into automatic and close the door and walk away and immediately forget what floor of the car park we were on. But when you take time to take note, you’ll find your car instantly.
  4. D) You don’t need to write a single thing down again, shopping lists can be a thing of the past. For years I’ve been able to instantly recall lists of upto 50 or 100 things, it’s just training and¬†practice. I learned an awesome little technique that we’re going to share with everybody soon on our little Bible Memory Course.

However, when I’m attending a lecture or a seminar, I always take notes. It helps me to think through what the speaker is saying and aids recall later, but once I’ve learned something, it¬†seems¬†to stay with me forever.

It doesn’t require endless repetition of verses over and over again. After a while, you’ll be able to¬†commit¬†verses to memory quickly and it will take a fraction of a second to review those verses. Our minds are not limited by time, we can instantly recall facts, times, dates, numbers and names. Even quicker than Google ūüôā You’ll never forget your first day at Secondary School or your first date with a boy or girl? You can see their faces and remember their smile and the perfume they wore? Why? Because they were SIGNIFICANT events in your life. Now all you have to do is train your brain to make everything you want to remember just as significant. It’s easy and once you begin to see the benefits of having a trained memory, you’ll never look back.

 

Benefit #7: You’ll Be Useful in the Service of the Kingdom: A Word in Season.

 

Hope and Peace in Times of Despair

Daily Spirit & Word, 457: Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

 

Benefit #3: Bible Memory Training: God Gives Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: True Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

 

The Blackest Night of My Life:

As I write this morning, I’m reminded of the blackest night¬†of my life, the day whilst at Theological College we were about to attend the Leavers Ball. Someone came running to me and said, “There’s an urgent telephone call for you”. It was the day’s before the advent of¬†Mobile¬†Phones. We, Julie and I, took the call in the little phone booth that students used. My wife had left our children (five of them) in the care of friends in Plymouth, two of them with our Minister and his wife. The call was from his wife, she relayed the devastating news as only a Christian could, “You daughter is OK, but she’s been assaulted” When someone says that about your most precious daughter your mind goes into a whirl. I had to ask her again and again for the details, even then not fully comprehending. She was reluctant to tell us too much, fearing that we’d have an accident as we drove back from London to Plymouth. All I remember asking was; “What happened?”.

The next thing I can recall as clear as light was hugging my sobbing wife, she was¬†inconsolable, but I just hugged her. Then just before we were about to dash off home an brother in the Lord who’d become a great friend over the years of college said, “Let’s kneel down and pray to the Lord”. It was the last thing that I wanted to do at that moment, I wanted to get into the car and head-off as fast as we could. But I knew Charity was right, so we got on our knees before the Lord Jesus and through tears we both prayed. Charity was a strong-tower and declared Jesus peace over Julie and I.

It was on the way home, in the darkness and driving rain that it happened. We were passing a little hillock in Dorset and on the top of the hill I saw a bright light giving of strange beams, like a searchlight, it was hard to make out, but it was there, then it pointed up into the sky; Julie was driving at almost 100 miles per hour. No amount of my telling her, “slow-down” made the slightest bit of a difference. As I looked out of the rain’s tears on my car’s window, I saw that light pointing up into Heaven; then all of a sudden the Lord’s PEACE flooded my soul. In that DARKEST NIGHT of my life, PEACE and CALM like I’d never know before. The light pointing to heaven reminded me of my prayer and Charity’s prayer for peace. It was a miracle.

I knew we were heading home to the tragic news that my precious ten-year-old daughter had been raped at knife-point with many terrible things done to her in that attack. Her childhood stolen and destroyed by a¬†viscous, evil¬†and callous act. That one horrible night led to years of deep heartache and slowly getting back to ‘normal’, but when that PEACE came in the driving rain it stayed with me throughout those years and I was the only one in the family to turn to the Lord and receive His peace, hope, joy and comfort. The Lord was preparing me to be a¬†source¬†of strength for everybody else in my family. My wife blamed hereself and for years couldn’t make decisions, my daughter had night terrors for years, screaming in the night. But the PEACE, it came from above and would not go away.

I remember a few months afterwards reading Psalm 23 with my daugher who’d been attacked, and she said, “That was me wasn’t it? I walked through the valley of the shadow of death” I said, “You most certainly did”. Then she asked me, “Why didn’t Jesus rescue me?” I said, “He did, you are here today to tell the horrible story and one day you’ll be able to give strength to many more people who are going through hard times”.

There was a verse that I’d learned on the day we got that horrible telephone call; when we received the¬†tragic¬†news, you know how a verse sticks out¬†sometimes¬†when your reading God’s Word. Well I committed it to memory quickly, not knowing why the¬†Spirit¬†had illuminated it, it came flooding back into my mind after seeing the beam of light on the hill:¬†Isaiah 26:3¬†“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” You know my friends, I can testify to the truth of that verse from God’s Word. He DID keep me in His PEACE. Though there were times when I could easily have turned the other way, Jesus was always there for me and keeping me in His perfect peace.

¬†Isaiah 26:3¬†“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

The full meaning of that verse became¬†apparent¬†about a year later when I shared my testimony in Northern Ireland. At the end of a week of Evangelistic mission activity in the small town of Warren Point. In the Town Hall on the last night I shared my story and what had happened to my daughter, but I kept the focus upon how the LORD had given His peace and hope in my heart. In Northern Ireland during the mission, it was the height of ‘The Troubles’, but whilst the mission was going, we only saw one riot in Downpatrick. The Town Hall was full, and so many people were crying that night and when we gave an invitation for people to receive the Lord Jesus, I think everybody in the hall came forward to be prayed with. It was awesome. Even a Minister, who’d been ordained for years, who I’d become friends with during the mission, but through the conversations we’d had, I knew that He’d never trusted in Jesus for Salvation, because Ministry was a job for him a vocation of choice to serve the community. He came forward and through tears made his confession and gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The PEACE has been with me in many troubled times since, but I’ve also been reminded, I need to turn and trust in the Lord always.

My friends, tragedy may come into your life, but whenever the Lord gives you a text from His Word, you’ll be wise to commit it to your memory banks. He’ll use it again and again and again and again, to bring strength and comfort and deep knowledge that He’s faithful to all his promises in his word. He KEEP you in Perfect Peace when you fix you mind upon Him.

Isaiah 26:3¬†“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Psalm 77:17 ¬†“The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.”

Psalm 77:17 (Amp).

Since that Blackest Night of My Life: I’ve had countless scriptures the Lord has given me to remember forever, they come either just before or during the times of despair and need. Psalm 77 (Easy to remember) 7/7 you know the shops that are open 24/7 seven days a week? Well, I remember that Heaven is OPEN 7/7. 24 Hours a Day Every Day. Though we may not be able to sleep sometimes for fretting, when we turn to the LORD, He’ll give us His PEACE and HOPE even in Despair. In the Darkest Nights of your life, He’s with you and is available. Call to Him for He is near.

Also Psalm 40 The whole psalm, but especially Psalm 40:9-10 was given just before the Mission to Northern Ireland, it really did come true in the Town Hall in Warren Point.

Psalm 40:9-10 “I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10.¬†I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.”

Also Romans 12:28-39 (NIV)

Today, I proclaim AND declare to everybody who’s reading this message; “God’s PEACE be upon you today. May you KNOW and Experience His PERFECT PEACE. AMEN!”

Jesus is ALWAYS faithful.

Have an awesome day with Jesus, be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

Psalm 77:1-20 (NIV)

  1.  [For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.] I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
  2.  When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.
  3.  I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah
  4.  You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
  5.  I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
  6.  I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit enquired:
  7. ¬†“Will the Lord reject for ever? Will he never show his favour again?
  8.  Has his unfailing love vanished for ever? Has his promise failed for all time?
  9. Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”¬†Selah
  10. ¬†Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
  11.  I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
  12.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
  13.  Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
  14.  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
  15.  With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
  16.  The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
  17.  The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.
  18.  Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
  19.  Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
  20. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 40 (NIV).

Romans 8:28 ‚ÄúAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.‚ÄĚ

Romans 8:35 ‚ÄúWho shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?‚ÄĚ

Romans 8:37-39 ‚ÄúNo, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.‚ÄĚ

 

Bible Memory Training: Benefit #3 Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

 

The Helmet & The Sword

God’s Word The Sword of The Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word, 456: The Helmet & The Sword

Seven Benefits of Memorising God’s Word.

Benefit #2: Knowing God’s Word; The Sword of The Spirit.

¬†Ephesians 6:17¬†“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Good morning my friends, today I want to highlight one of the practical aspects of Bible Memorisation, but also pointing out one of the dangers too.

First the Danger: There is a tendency within the human heart, some think it noble, right and good, and there are some aspects of it that are great in the workplace and world; they are INDEPENDENCE of spirit, STRENGTH, DETERMINATION and ABILITY. When we see these evident in our children we praise and honour them. However, the danger of being able to memorise the Bible is that we could mistake that for our relationship with the Lord Jesus and the need of being¬†dependent¬†upon the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture and give us the strength to live the Christian life. Without the Holy Spirit, simply using our own human faculties, we’ll never truly understand or be able to apply the Word of God to our lives, because the things of the Spirit are foolishness to the world (or the man without the Spirit cannot understand the things of God). So we must get that relationship with Jesus Christ right first, then maintain it and then being led by the Spirit memorise / internalise God’s Word. There are some people in the world who could / can memorise the whole Bible and mesmerise others with the¬†talents, but still not become a dependent believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why the Helmet of Salvation comes before the Sword of the Spirit in the list of the Gospel Armour in Ephesians. When we put it on daily, we’ll be remembering that we’re saved by God’s Grace through our Faith and Trust in The Lord Jesus Christ and not by mere Human effort or ability.

Bible Memory: The Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God.

The Spirit Enables You to¬†Wield¬†the Sword (God’s Word) When Required.

Ephesians 6:17¬†“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Internalized Scripture keeps our minds in good working order and when required we’ll be able to recall the right scriptures for whatever situations we face in life.

John Ruskin, the brilliant British social critic whose views about art and architecture were influential during the Victorian and Edwardian periods of English history, testifies to this. Ruskin was an author, poet, and creative thinker; and today Ruskin College in Oxford is named for him. Leo Tolstoy described him as ‚Äúone of those rare men who think with their heart.‚ÄĚ

When he was young, Ruskin’s mother insisted that he memorize seventeen different chapters of the Bible, word perfect, six of them from the Old Testament. She also assigned an additional eight psalms.

When he was fifty-five, Ruskin said that memorizing these chapters had ‚Äúestablished my soul in life.‚ÄĚ He said that though afterward he learned many things from many teachers, the ‚Äúinstallation‚ÄĚ of the Bible into his brain became ‚Äúthe most precious and on the whole the one essential part of all my education. For the chapters became indeed strictly conclusive and productive to me in all modes of thought.‚ÄĚ

My friends, All truth is God‚Äôs truth, it can be found in Creation itself, the mathematics of the Universe for example, but Scripture is His revealed truth and provides the intellectual foundations for all the rest. God’s written WORD provides the historical, philosophical, theological, and psychological scaffolding within which all other facts become united. It reveals the wisdom of God regarding everything from daily life to eternal life. Without the engraving of Scripture in our minds, we‚Äôre left with a brain filled with the rantings and ravings of a confused human intellect, which is in fact foolishness to God.

Jesus Modeled How to Use God’s Word (The Sword of the Spirit).

At the beginning of His ministry, when Jesus faced Satanic temptation in the wilderness, He used verses for the Old Testament. Of course Jesus knew God’s Word completely: He is the Word (John 1) He‚Äôd knew the full meaning of the Old Testament and often explained what it meant from a Divine¬†perspective. Throughout His ministry Jesus often quoted verses, in the last, most stress-filled, anguished and painful moments of His life, Jesus again quoted Old Testament Scriptures, such as: ‚ÄúInto Your hands I commit My spirit‚ÄĚ (Luke 23:46 NKJV) and ‚ÄúMy God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?‚ÄĚ (Matt. 27:46 KJV). These are direct quotes from Psalm 31 and Psalm 22. Our Lord was quoting Scripture as He was dying upon the cross, that’s how internalised God’s Word was in our Saviour. He really was the living Word.

If Jesus embodied God’s Word and demonstrated to us how to think clearly during those six torturous hours upon the cross, just think how much they can help us through the stress and strain of each day in our lives. When we recall Bible verse, when we bring them to mind, sometimes the Holy Spirit will bring them to our remembrance, they¬†become¬†like fountains of life-giving water for the thirsty wanderer in a dusty dry desert.

Today we’ve seen that we need both; The Helmet & The Sword.

The Helmet: Knowing Jesus as Lord and Saviour: Daily knowing and remembering that we’re saved by God’s Grace, through Faith and Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Sword of The Spirit: Is our only offensive weapon in Christian warfare against spiritual forces of evil in this life, so what better use of the time the Lord has given could we have than being employed in retaining His Word for life.

Bible Memory Course:

If you’d like to know how to get God’s Word into your Memory Banks (Stored for Life), we’ll be running an Online Bible Memory Training Course / Alongside a Group / Class in Church. Let me know if you are interested.

Have an Awesome Wednesday with Jesus.

Don.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #2 God’s Word: The Sword of The Spirit.

God’s Word The Sword of the Spirit.