Can you figure out the following riddle? What is vital for mental and emotional health and for spiritual well-being? You can take it with you everywhere without packing it in your purse or briefcase. It is accessible day and night. It permeates your subconscious and even your unconscious thoughts. It gives you a word to say to anyone, in season and out of season. It fills your heart and home with the best thoughts ever recorded. It saturates your personality, satiates the soul, and stockpiles the mind. It changes the atmosphere of every family and alters the weather forecast every day.
It takes one to ten minutes a day – whatever time you devote to it. It can be done in your bath, your bed, at your desk, driving down the road, or in an airplane. It can be done on the go, in traffic jams, while shaving, at sunup, or before bedtime. It can be done alone, with another person, or in groups. It is profitable whether you are in the nursery or in the nursing home.
It is a way of digging deep into the soul and planting the truth a little deeper in order to achieve a richer harvest. Losing it is like an explorer losing his map or a nation losing her constitution.
Have you figured it out yet? I am tempted to wait another week to give you the answer but I won’t. The answer is memorizing Scripture. It is one of the greatest things you can invest in. A verse learned goes into our memories and from there into our conscience and subconscious minds. From there it appears in the room of imagination, and it shows up in the way we live, think, feel, talk, act, and achieve. You are what you think. Have you considered taking the time to memorize Scripture?
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” - Matthew 4:4
Vickie and I have taken up the challenge to specifically focus on memorizing Scripture. Would you like to join us?
For the next several weeks, I will be focusing in on the benefits and reasons to memorize Scripture. Another discipline that we are going to start up again is corporate prayer. Beginning on Wednesday, September 13, we will begin our Front Row Ministry again. We will meet on Wednesdays from 6:30a to 7:30a in the Worship Center. Please plan to drop in to this midweek prayer time for our church families and our church influence.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 27:3 (NKJV)
Joy in Jesus!
When I was younger, I remember singing hymns from the hymnal held in the pew rack in front of me. Many times when they would announce the hymn I would cover my ears to see if I could turn to it without hearing the number. Some of the hymns were sung multiple times because it was the song leader’s favorite. From time to time one will pop into my head. The same thing is happening today with the choruses. They keep running around in my head and it is an encouragement throughout the day. I love our current songs that we sing today just like I do the hymns I listened to as a child.
One particular hymn is called, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” Look at the words with me.
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word, just to rest upon His promise, just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
O how sweet to trust in Jesus, just to trust His cleansing blood, just in simple faith to plunge me ’neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease, just from Jesus simply taking life and rest and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend; and I know that Thou art with me, wilt be with me to the end.
Chorus: Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!
There is a story behind this hymn. It came out of the darkest hour of Lousia Stead’s life. Louisa, her husband, and their little daughter were enjoying an ocean side picnic one day when a boy who was drowning began to call for help. Mr. Stead rushed into action and tried to save the little boy. Instead, he was pulled into the water and drowned as Louisa and her daughter watched helplessly. It is in the aftermath that the words to this hymn came to life.
Soon after this tragedy, Louisa and her daughter left for missionary work in South Africa. She served for about 25 years and had to retire due to bad health. She died a few years later. Her fellow missionaries loved the song that she had written and they in turn wrote this tribute after her death.
“We miss her very much, but her influence goes on as our five thousand native Christians continually sing this hymn in their native language.”
Do you know what it is like to trust the Lord like Louisa wrote about in this great hymn? You can. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge, his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” Psalm 91:4.
The word rampart also means wall. God wants to be like a wall and keep you from taking the full brunt of the sting of the enemy. Cling on to the Lord today with all of your heart, hope, and trust. He will keep you in perfect peace.
Keep trusting in the only one who can save you and keep you. Take a moment to praise the Lord for keeping a song in your heart in the midst of tragedy.
I am looking forward to worshipping with you this Sunday as we baptize a few believers in our services.
Joy in Jesus!
We continue to look at John’s description of Jesus according to Revelation. Jesus is the Son of God (Rev. 2:18); the one who searches hearts and minds (Rev. 2:23); the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars (Rev. 3:1); the one who is holy and true and who has the key of David (Rev. 3:7); the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation (Rev. 4:14); the Lord, who is worthy to receive glory and honor and power (Rev. 4:11); the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David (Rev. 5:5); the Lamb that has been slain (Rev. 5:6-7); the Lamb who lives (Rev. 5:8-9); the Lord of lords and King of kings (Rev. 17:14; 19:16); the just Judge who is Faithful and True and the warrior on the white horse (Rev. 19:11); the Word of God (Rev. 19:13-16); the Lord, the God who inspires the prophets (Rev. 22:6); the Beginning and the End (Rev. 22:13); and the Bright and Morning Star (Rev. 22:16).
These names represent Jesus as the promised Messiah, the one who died and was raised to life again to defeat death. He is a loving and powerful God who loves his people yesterday, today, and forever. This same Jesus takes residence in the believer. We have a powerhouse packed inside of us who always spills out wherever we go. Praise his Holy Name!!!
We just announced some exciting news about our new youth pastor. His first Sunday will be onSeptember 10. This Sunday we will have an insert about he and his family in our worship folder. We have some exciting things happening at the Naz.
May you live out Jesus today in all of your endeavors today. I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday and then having a great Picnic on the Lawn at 5:30pm. There will be lots of games and activities, and most of all, new friends to meet.
Joy in Jesus!
John described God as “him who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev. 1:4, 4:8). This phrase echoes Exodus 3:14-15, where God spoke of himself as “I am” as he revealed his name to Moses. Jesus also referred to himself as “I AM” in John 8:58, declaring himself to be God. John declares that not only is God who he says he is now, but he is also the same God he was throughout history, and he will continue to be the same God in the future. So let’s look at the names for Jesus revealed in Revelations.
Jesus is the Christ (Rev. 1:1; 20:4). He is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, the ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5); the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8-13); the son of man (Rev. 1:13) who holds the sharp double-edged sword (Rev. 1:16); the First and Last (Rev. 1:17); the Living One who lives and was dead (Rev. 1:18; 2:8); the one who holds the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:18); the one who holds the seven stars and who walks among the seven golden lampstands (2:1).
As I was looking at the names and titles of Jesus in Revelations, I thought it could be a little overwhelming for one Faithbuilder because there are many names to describe the totality of who Jesus is. For it presents Jesus as the promised Messiah, the one who died and rose again to defeat death. Yet He came for you and I. His love is unconditional and will never run dry. He is the Almighty God! As the Psalmist says, “There is no god like our God.”
This week I had to fly to a conference and I always love to fly the busy skies from really busy airports – not! They say to be a couple of hours early to your flight so you can be sure and make it through all the checkpoints. I drove and made it there right at two hours before my flight. The problem came when I got confused in the construction and parked at the wrong terminal. I didn’t know I was in the wrong place until I walked 15 minutes to get to the ticket counter. I had to go all the way back to my car and drive clear around to the other side of the airport, find a parking spot, and go through all the hoops to make it to my flight. Needless to say, I was in a mad rush to make it to my flight before they took to the sky without me.
I did finally make it and had about 20 minutes to spare before the flight boarded. I was praying as I was walking. Ok, maybe I was running. But all I know is that I got through the lines in record time without cutting or being short with people. Even with a travel problem, God is faithful in keeping me in perfect peace. I know that may not compare to the problems of this world, but my God is faithful with everything I release to Him.
Next week I want to continue to look at the names of Jesus in the book of Revelation. He is more than we can even fathom. My prayer is that you will be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is for you today. His love surpasses all knowledge, even the knowledge of who He is. He is so many things to everyone in the universe and yet he cares for all of our coming and going. Praise the Lord for his continued watch care for all of his children.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene