Jesus is our resurrection (Week 5)

that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11 (esv)

2013: Bible Reading Week 5

January 29 – Genesis 42, 43, 44

January 30 – Genesis 45; 46:1-12; 1 Chronicles 5:1-6; 2:18-55

January 31 – 1 Chronicles 4:1-23; 7:1-12, 30-40; Genesis 46:13-34; 47:1-12

February 1 – Genesis 47:13-31; 48, 49, 50

February 2 – Exodus 1, 2, 3, 4:1-17

February 3 – Exodus 4:18-31; 5, 6, 7:1-13; 1 Chronicles 6:1-4a

February 4 – Exodus 7:14-25; 8, 9

2013: Bible Reading Week 4

January 22 – Genesis 25, 26; 1 Chronicles 1:32-34

January 23 – Genesis 27; 28:1-9; 36; 1 Chronicles 1:35-54

January 24 – Genesis 28:10-22; 29, 30

January 25 – Genesis 31, 32

January 26 – Genesis 33, 34, 35; 1 Chronicles 2:1-2

January 27 – Genesis 37, 38, 39

January 28 – Genesis 40, 41

2013: Bible Reading Week 3

January 15 – Job 35, 36, 37

January 16 – Job 38, 39

January 17 – Job 40, 41, 42

January 18 – Genesis 11:27-32; 12; 13; 14; 15

January 19 – Genesis 16, 17, 18

January 20 – Genesis 19, 20, 21; 25:12-18; 1 Chronicles 1:28-31

January 21 – Genesis 22, 23, 24

Where do you get life?

“Come on, live a little.”

How many times have you heard that? You were probably being enticed to do something you knew in your heart to be wrong, right?

“But it feels good.”

OK. It’s starting to sound a little like an ABC After School Special, but you get the point, I hope. Sin feels good. It feels like really living. At least, for a while.

But the psalmist knew a better way.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Psalm 119:37

He knew that the temptation to sin with his eyes was very great. It was great because looking on those things felt good. It fulfilled something he longed for. It scratched an itch he had.

I sometimes wonder what the psalmist specifically thought about when he wrote about “worthless things.” If he wrote today, I suspect he would have in mind the kinds of worthless things that one can see on much of television, in movies and on the internet. He would probably include a lot of books and magazines. And maybe he would go so far as to suggest that many of the special things we hold dear — like sports, hunting, and entertainment — are in reality “worthless things.”

Why might he suggest that those things are worthless? Later in the psalm he wrote, “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (119:72). Then he wrote, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (119:103). Then again, “Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold” (119:127).

The comparable worth of even the most valuable things in his time wasn’t even worth considering next to God’s Word. If he had that view of wealth and fine foods, surely the lesser things in our time would have to be included.

For the psalmist, though, the alternative to worthless things was clear: “give me life in your ways.” The psalmist knew that real life — genuine, lasting, joy-filled life — was found only in God and his design for our lives.

But he also recognized that life in God’s ways was not something he could do for himself. He knew that turning away from the worthless things of this world was something he would need help to do. That’s why he asked God. It was a prayer: “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”

God desires to give us life in his ways. He is here as the perfect fulfillment for our lives. Like the psalmist, have you come to recognize the many worthless things from which you try to get life? Have you asked God to give you life in his ways?

So you want to memorize Scripture?

The psalmist wrote,

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

(Psalm 119:11)

There are so many good reasons for memorizing Scripture. For one, the Bible tells us that Scripture guards our hearts against sin. Jesus tells us that out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Whatever we meditate on, whatever we pour our hearts into, will come pouring out of us. Shouldn’t Christians be known for pouring out what is honoring to God and useful to others. And not just useful — life-giving! That’s what happens when we have Scripture in our hearts.

But how should we go about storing up God’s word in our hearts?

Here’s a simple method for memorizing one short passage or verse of Scripture each week.

Day one: Pray. Read the passage aloud 10 times; then, without looking, say it out loud 10 more times.

Day two: Without looking, say the passage aloud 10 times.

Day three: Without looking, repeat the passage once.

Day four: Repeat the passage once.

Day five: Repeat the passage once.

Day six: Repeat the passage once.

Day seven: Repeat the passage once.

Review that passage every day for 1 month. Then review it once a week to retain it in long-term memory.

You can add a new verse or short passage every week using the same method. And make sure to take advantage of the time you have while riding the bus, sitting in a waiting room, etc.

Keep at it and you will begin planting seeds that will bear much spiritual fruit!