Here is the link to Eric Liddell’s devotional list for May.
David had a deep longing for God. In Psalm 42 he describes the longing as that of a thirsty deer. Yet,David’s longing was frustrated. He was in exile and couldn’t worship with God’s people at God’s house (42:4). He was discouraged and in despair. But, he refused to stay there.Instead of letting his circumstances rule him, David turned to God in faith. He reminded himself to “hope in God” (5,11). He reminded himself that God would deliver Him. God’s lovingkindness will not fail. He would praise Him again.
Read Psalm 42 today. Ask yourself, do I have this type of passion for God? Am I disturbed when I can’t be with God’s people in God’s house? When I am discouraged, do I turn to God, or to something else?
May give you a thirst that can only be satisfied in Him.
Mark 9:24 has one of the most genuine confessions I have ever read: “I believe, help my unbelief.” This cry for faith comes from a father whose son is assaulted and tormented by demon. The disciples can’t help. He is beginning to fear that no one can. Yet, he hopes. He hopes that Jesus can. So, in the face of his fears, he shouts out, “I believe, help my unbelief.”
Here is what James Edwards has to say about this in his commentary on Mark (p.280).
True faith is always aware how small and inadequate it is. The father becomes a believer not when he amasses a sufficient quantum of faith but when he risks everything on what little faith he has, when he yields his insufficiency to the true sufficiency of Jesus. . .True faith takes no confidence in itself, nor does it judge Jesus by the weakness of his followers. it looks to the More Powerful one (1:7) who stands in the place of God, whose authoritative word restores life from chaos. True faith is unconditional openness to God, a decision in the face of all to the contrary that Jesus is able.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus is more than able. He is compassionate. He will respond when we cry out to Him with even the weakest faith, I believe, help my unbelief.
If you are interested in starting a Scripture Memory program, I recommend using John Piper’s Fighter Verse System. You can get the current week’s from Desiring God here , or you can see a whole year’s worth here (you might need to do a search on fighter verses, I can’t seem to link the exact page directly). I would add the following review system.
- Add the assigned verse each week to your daily review list.
- Once you have six weeks worth on your daily list, begin moving them to a weekly review. I do this by moving the oldest verse on my daily list to Monday. Once I have six weeks worth I begin adding to Tuesday.
- Don’t forget to add a new verse to your daily list as you move one off!
- Once you have filled every day of the week, begin moving your oldest weekly review verses to a monthly or quarterly review plan.
- I’ve been using this system since the beginning of the year and find it very manageable. If you use Outlook or a PDA you can put the verses into a repeatable task to remind you. Plus, if the verses are in the notes of the task, they are always there to review.
If you are already memorizing scripture and want to begin memorizing whole books of the Bible I recommend reading this article.
Remember, having a review system is the key.
Here are some encouragements to memorize scripture that I found in Dear Timothy. They are in the chapter by Andy Davis.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-7 we are commanded to “impress” the commandments of God upon our children. We are to teach our children wherever we are, whenever we are with them. It will be very difficult to fulfill these commands if we are not memorizing Scripture (see p.88)
“Sanctification occurs when you have totally immersed your mind day after day, month after month, years after year in the constantly flowing truth of Scripture.” (p.89)
John 15:7-8 reminds us that if we remain in Christ and His words remain in us, we will bear fruit. Memorizing scripture allows God’s Word to abide in us in ways that simple Bible reading and study do not. (pp.90-91)
Tomorrow, I will have some suggestions on Scripture memory plans and review.
I am continuing my journey through Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Tom Ascol. Today I was reading Tom Ascol’s chapter, “Establish Priorities.”
The chapter is structured around one basic question, “What, in order of priority, has God called you to be?” While he is aiming this question at pastors, it is appropriate for every Christian to consider and answer. So, “what in order of priority, has God called you to be?”
Here are Tom Ascol’s answers to help prime your thinking. They can be easily modified to your situation.
- A sincere, devoted follower of Jesus Christ. (Don’t take this for granted!)
- A husband. (“As a husband, it is my responsibility and privilege to reassure my wife that she is more important to me than any other human relationship that I have.” p.29)
- A father. (Don’t neglect your family for the sake of your ministry or your job)
- A pastor. (For those not called to ministry, insert your vocation here)
- A helper. (We need to serve others outside our immediate family and church)
Personally, I find Tom Ascol’s question and answer regarding priorities to be insightful, helpful and convicting. I don’t think they should be reordered: God, family, job, servant seems to be a very biblical balance. I pray that God will grant me and all of you the grace to set right priorities and live them out to the glory of God.
P.S. You can find an article which seems to cover the same material as the chapter in the book here.
Job 31:1 is a very important verse in my battle for personal holiness. America is a society that is built around sex. It is used to market virtually everything. We have long abandoned any sense of modesty. For men, this makes Biblical obedience difficult. Jesus is clear that we are not to look at a woman with the goal or intention of lusting after her. So, we need to follow the advice of Job – make a commitment not to look! We also need to follow the example of Joseph – flee!
One thing that has helped me is an agreement my wife and I have. We never go to a movie unless we have carefully researched whether or not it has inappropriate sexuality or nudity. We use www.kids-in-mind.com. I highly recommend it. Although I wouldn’t check any reviews that have a 6 or greater for sexuality. The explanation of why it got the rating, while done as tastefully as possible, can get a little racy. You may want to set the bar even lower. My wife also helps me by drawing my attention to her when we pass certain stores in the mall. When she is not there, I make an effort to look away or towards the ground.
These are just a few habits I’ve developed over the years to covenant with my eyes in an effort to avoid lust.