Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scripture Each Day Keeps Satan Away

“Your word have I treasured in my heart that I may not sin against you.”  (Psalm 119:11)

Do you treasure the Word of God?  I sincerely hope and pray that you do.  It is worth it.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

Regardless of spiritual maturity or experience with the Bible, everyone should partake of the riches of God’s Word each and every day.  In fact, the Scriptures should be the primary focus of your daily musings.  And there is no better storehouse of Biblical treasure on which to muse than the Psalms.

This week I would like to pass on a handy tool to help you read through the book of Psalms in a month.  Just follow this simple formula.  Begin with the date.  For example, if you are beginning on the 1st day of the month read Psalm 1 and then add thirty, which will take you to Psalm 31.  Then add thirty again and again…  As a result, on the 1st day of every month you will have read Psalms 1, 31, 61, 91, and 121.  Using this pattern you will read five Psalms each day of the month.  The only exception to the rule occurs on the 29th.  Psalm 119 would normally be read on this day, but since it is so long, skip it and read it by itself on the 31st.  

Repeat the process for several months and you will not only reap the rewards of the priceless wisdom found on the pages of this great book, but you will enjoy closer communion with God as a result.  Guaranteed!

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)

Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stunted Growth or Spiritual Maturity?

“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity…” Hebrews 6:1

During a casual conversation at a church where I was once a guest preacher, a man told me that his elderly father-in-law had fallen out of bed the previous night. He went on to share how he stopped by the nursing home on his way to church that morning to check on him and, in an attempt to lighten a tense moment over what was an embarrassing incident for the older man, jovially asked his father-in-law, “Why did you fall out of bed?” The old man’s response was quick and to the point. He stated, “I guess I just stayed a little too close to where I got in.”

No matter what our status in the world might be or the vigor of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we all have room to grow in spiritual maturity. None of us can say we have “arrived” until that glorious day when we actually find eternity. Therefore, we must always make a conscious effort to grow in our faith. When we fail to grow we become stagnant. Stagnation yields weakness, and the ultimate consequence of weakness is a fall.

So this week ask yourself, “Am I growing in my walk with the Lord, or am I still ‘…a little too close to where I got in?’”

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
(1 Corinthians 10:12)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dirty Walls and Spiritual Growth

I was blessed to have two grandmothers who were very involved in my upbringing and loved me unconditionally. I carry many memories of them both, but one of my fondest is of their dirty walls. That’s right, dirty walls. Each of their homes displayed a space on a wall that was never washed or painted; that’s because it exhibited a record of my growth. I remember each telling me at various times throughout my childhood to stand up straight as she pressed my shoulders against the wall and rubbed a pencil across the top of my head to mark my height. Then she gently pushed me to the side and wrote the date and my age next to the mark, concluding the ceremony by stepping back and declaring how much I had grown. Bring back memories?

If the Lord were to measure your spiritual growth by marks on a wall, how high would they be? Would they rise toward the ceiling, indicating steady growth in your Christian life? Or would they be just a few inches off the floor? One of the ways my grandmothers made sure that I grew physically was to make sure I was well nourished. Both were extremely gifted in that area. As Christians we must also partake regularly of Spiritual nourishment in order to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Lord. The one true source of that nourishment is the Word of God. Have you partaken lately?

“Like new born babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” 1 Peter 2:2


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Walk Away From Temptation

"And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."  Matthew 6:13

When my oldest son was about six years of age, I remember him “helping” me do some yard work one day.  I laid down the tool I was using in order to go do something on the other side of the house. As I walked away I noticed him gazing intently at that tool I left lying on the ground. Realizing what a temptation this was for a little boy, I issued a stern warning to him not to touch it. I hadn’t taken more than a few steps across the yard when I heard my young son say, “Wait for me Dad. I think I’ll walk with you so I won’t be tempted.”

Why is it that a little child is able to understand and practice a basic biblical principle that many adults grapple with all of their lives? We simply cannot, in our own flesh, resist the temptations we face in our daily lives apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. Our only defense is to make a conscience effort to walk with the Lord and maintain constant fellowship with him. So the next time you are faced with an enticement that is contrary to what you know is right, simply say, “Wait for me Lord. I think I’ll walk with you so I won’t be tempted.”

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."  (Galatians 5:16)

Soli Deo Gloria!