Here Are Three Steps To Building God’s Word Into Your Life

My favorite chocolate bar is M& M. Why? Because for me it represent two important words: Memorize and Meditate Scripture. The foundational Bible verse for my Blog site is Revelation 3:20 “Jesus is at the door waiting to be invited in for an intimate time with a believer. It’s a ‘daily appointment’, ‘some personal time’, or many like to call it a ‘Quiet Time’. Nothing new, from the beginning of time, daily God seek company with Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. This morning I came across a meditation written by John G Butler that fits so well with the basic philosophy of my blog.

John G Butler, ‘Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals’

  1. MEMORIZE IT

As a newly born again teenager, I got started on consistent Scripture memory. Nothing has so powerfully affected me spiritually as this difficult but life-changing discipline. Here are three reasons for doing it:

  1. To transform your mind in order to live out God’s will: “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
  2. To help you win the spiritual battle over sin and Satan: After 40 days of fasting and prayer, Jesus was tempted by Satan. In all three instances, He won over the Enemy by quoting Scripture that was appropriate to the situation, “Jesus answered, It is writtenit is writtenit is written… ‘” (Matthew 4:4, 6, 7) If Jesus deemed it necessary to utilize the Scriptures in this manner for spiritual victory, how about you and me?!
  3. To equip you to help others spiritually: Ever have the experiences of fumbling with your Bible in trying to find a verse? Memorizing key Scriptures supplies you with the tools to intelligently and powerfully minister God’s Word to others. “The Scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work.” (2 Timothy 3:17 — Phillips Translation)

 

II. ANALYZE IT (or Meditate)

Years ago, I remember reviewing a pre-med student’s memory verses. He had them down cold! Boy was I impressed! Then I began asking him what the verses meant, and he didn’t have a clue! So, as you are in the process of memorizing a verse or passage, ponder and mull over its meaning in your mind. Dig out its definition by studying it in its context.

III.PERSONALIZE IT

While you are memorizing Scripture, ask God where and how He wants you to change in applying its truths to your life. Someone once said, “God did not give us the Scriptures to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”

Every person I know who is dead-serious about his walk with God has made an earnest effort to memorize God’s Word.

QUESTION: Did you, this morning, open the door to Jesus? Did you take time to read the Bible (God’s own word)?

 

Prayerful Meditation on The Scriptures

I personally enjoy Prayerful meditation on the Scriptures. The rewards are very real. It’s a channel used by the Holy Spirit to teach us deep lesson. Dwight Hill in his book ‘Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals’. offer five suggestions.

  1. Meditation on the Scriptures should not be viewed as a method or system, but as an attitude: Faith, openness, reverence, expectation, and supplication.

This people draw near to me with their wordsbut they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for me consists of traditions learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13 nasb)

  1. Meditation can actually be quite difficult at times. Thus, we should not judge its value on how

Let me understand the teachings of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” (Psalm 119:27)

  1. It is only if we have a heart fixed on obeying God without reservation that a little effort goes a long way. When we are resisting Him through disobedience or compromise, no amount of effort can produce the desired result.

I have more understandingfor I obey your precepts.” (Psalm 119:100)

  1. In our pride, we don’t want to be beginners. In truth, we will never be anything but beginners. Given the challenge in learning to effectively utilize meditation for spiritual growth, we would do well to recognize the need for a mature mentor.

Whatever you have learned or receivedfrom me, or seen in me – put into practice.” (Philippians 4:9)

  1. Often, what first seemed easy and rewarding suddenly becomes utterly impossible. We struggle with inner confusion, coldness, and lack of confidence. We find concentration difficult. Our imagination and emotions wander – or run wild. We often feel dry and desolate. Repugnant fantasies buried deep within us take over. We totally lose interest in spiritual matters.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I doFor what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15, 19)

So don’t give up, because God promises you that “the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday...” (Proverbs 4:18) (GW)

 

 

Why people grow weary and lose heart?

The little Greek word egkakeo describes a person who no longer is living life in step with the Holy Spirit. Instead, he has grown selfish and self-contained, exhibiting little concern for others.

Seven reasons:

  1. A failure to maintain a vital life of prayer — “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1)
  2. A failure to keep in mind the privilege of our divine calling to minister — “Therefore, since through Gods mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)
  3. A failure to keep in mind the fact that we will share in Christ’s triumphant resurrection — “We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presenceTherefore we do not lose heart… ” (2 Corinthians 4:14, 16a)
  4. A failure to keep in mind the immediate task of promoting believers’ spiritual welfare and the glory of God — “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart… ” (2 Corinthians 4:15, 16a)
  5. A failure to take the long view in reaping the fruit of our efforts — “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
  6. A failure to trust that God has a larger purpose when fellow believers suffer — “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” (Ephesians 3:13)
  7. A failure to press on in righteous living, even when you don’t feel like it — “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Questions:

  1. Do you still have that spring in your step?
  2. Do you still look forward to getting up in the morning and getting at it for God?
  3. Or did you allow a dry rot of self-centeredness set in?

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Inspire by John G Butler writing

Start living for God early in life

 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)

I always admire Daniel determination to stay clean in a very corrupt environment. He was in his teen years when he took such a bold stand in front of the most powerful man of that time. What a great example for today Christian youth.  Lets pray for our own children and grandchildren that they will emulate “Daniel” dedication.

The words of the song, “Dare to be a Daniel,” emphasize this truth. Our verse reports that Daniel did a very daring thing. He made a holy resolve in his heart. We note the calendar in the resolve, the character of the resolve, and the courage in the resolve.

Calendar in the resolve. We often make resolves early in the year. Daniel made this resolve early in his life, for he was no older than a teenager when he made this resolve. You do not have to be up in years before you start living for God. It is better to start living for God when old than never; but when you start living for God early in life, you give a lifetime for God and prevent many wasted and sin-scarred years.

Character of the resolve. “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” There are two important notes here about the character of Daniel’s resolve. They concern the site and the subject of the resolve.

First, the site. The resolve was made in his heart. It was not just words to impress people, but it was in his heart which gave it strength. Too much dedication today is only outward. It does not come from the heart and it will not last.

Second, the subject. The resolve had to do with purity, for Daniel would not “defile” himself with the king’s food and drink. Many folk resolve to do a lot of things, but few resolve to live a holy life. But the resolve to holiness is the kind of resolve we need more than anything else.

Courage in the resolve. Daniel had to have much courage when he made this resolve, for he was a captive under the authority and custody of wicked men, and he was going against the king’s wishes. If you are going to live a pure life, you will have to have courage. It will not be popular and many will protest and mock. But stick with your holy resolve, for it will bring you Divine blessings.

Extract from John G Butler, Daily Bible Reading: Sermonettes #1

Retirement

 

What a challenge? A person need a perspective that is larger than life. To have such motivation God must be in the picture.

Is there a time limit on losing our lives for the Gospel? I don’t think so. (Luke 9:23, 24; 14:33; 1 John 3:16)

When does one fold up his tent to go and play?

In my weariness, I dreamed of hitting that magical age of retirement and cruising a bit. You know, buy the big sedan, throw in the “sticks,” and meander across the country. Ease up. Back off. Slow down. In a word, “retire.”

Then I read of missions expert, Dr. Ralph Winter, who along with his wife, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His response? “I can see the finish line, and Ive decided to sprint for it.” Retirement? No way.

I thought of Billy Graham, who, in his late-80’s, with Parkinson’s disease, is still holding city-wide crusades and satellite conferences that affect millions… or more. Retirement? No way.

Or Bob Cockerel, who, in his 40’s took time away from business to make trips to Africa to teach in a Bible school. When in his 60’s he was diagnosed with cancer, he bought a one way ticket and disappeared into the bowels of that continent to finish what he had started. Retirement? No way.

Or Mother Teresa, who died at 87, with 3 garments to her name, and $100.00 in the bank. Herself feeble and ill, she continued feeding and loving the disenfranchised to the very end. Retirement? No way.

I am reminded of that farmer who made it big. Or rather God allowed him to make it big by blessing his land. So he dreamed of larger barns and “party time“. Wanted to cruise. And God’s answer? “No way!”

The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself… ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goodsTake life easy; eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you? This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.‘” (Luke 12:13-21)

QUESTION Tell me, is there a fire burning in your soul for the things that break the heart of God? Most everyone in the world knows about Coca Cola, but have yet to once hear the name “Jesus.” Yeah, let’s visit the grandkids, take the cruises, and play golf now and then. But retire? No way! Personally I have made a decision to sprint for the finish line, giving it 110% until I drop. How about you?

John G. Butler
Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.

The Real Reason Most Of Us Fail To Spend Consistent Time With God

 

Another interesting reading from John G Butler done during my Quiet Time this morning. I hope it will be useful.

It’s not lack of discipline. But lack of appetite. If we don’t have a hunger for God it is because our affections have been drawn away to other loves. To name a few:

Recently a young professional shared with me the dryness of his times alone with God. He said that the Scriptures seemed flat. Irrelevant. He then explained that in his job, he and a team of analysts routinely submit reports to their superiors that affect company policy. It is a common practice, he informed me, to shade the reports in a manner that will put the team members in a favorable light with their higher-ups. If he chooses not to go along, his career is put in jeopardy. So play along he does.

Is there any doubt as to why he has little appetite for the things of God?

Last night I dined with a businessman who, for the past 3 years I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to motivate to spend consistent time with God. We’ve had “quiet times” together, talked about priorities, personal discipline, how to meditate on the Word. You name it. All to no avail.

John,” I asked, “hows your time with God?” Embarrassment, fumbling. Then, “Dwight, I wont lie to you. Its not very good.” Yet this man spends 10 hours a day in his career, and untold hours in church work. But he will not carve out personal time with God.

Let’s be honest. We find time to do what we really want! So the issue is not discipline, but appetite.

If we cannot recognize the value of simply being alone with God, as the beloved, without doing anything, we gouge the heart out of Christianity.

QUESTION: How would you evaluate your appetite for spending time with Christ? Are you eager? Or is it obligatory? If your times with God are the blahs, what do you think is the root cause?

John G. Butler, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.

On Becoming Like Jesus

 

During my devotional reading came across this devotion that I did found this very inspiring writing. The author is John G. Butler, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.


If we desire to be like Jesus Christ, then there are four of His characteristics we are to emulate:

1. Give up all our rights:

“Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be. For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God’s equal.”

Prayer: “Lord, I relinquish all my rights: To family. To finances. To recognition. To pleasure. To quietness. To health. To privacy. To be loved. To be treated with respect. To justice.

2. Become nothing:

“[He] stripped Himself of all privilege.”

Prayer: “Lord, I surrender my position. My status. My heritage. My career. My capabilities. My resources. My experience. My reputation. My education.

3. Become a servant:

[“He consented] to be a slave by nature and [be] born as a mortal man.”

Prayer: “Lord, I abdicate my desire to climb the social and economic scale. I renounce all my rights. I ask you to give me a heart to serve you and others on your terms, not mine. Lord, I love to be regarded by others as a servant; help me to be joyfully willing to be treated as a servant.

4. Surrender to His Lordship in total obedience:

And, having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dyingthe death of a common criminal.” (Philippians 2:5-8 – Phillips Translation)

Prayer: “Lord, I choose to obey you on your terms, not mine. Whatever the cost: Loss of health. Status. Finances. Family. As did Jesus, I pick up the cross you have assigned me, and by your grace I will carry it to the death. In Jesus Name. Amen.