Monday, April 26, 2010

Sword Training

What will help you to overcome the temptations and trappings of the world? What will help you to recognize false teachings?

The last two Sunday mornings we have looked at “Testing the Spirits” from 1 John 4:1-6. We found that the truth of scripture in the Bible is one of the criteria by which we test the spirits of the prophets (or preachers and teachers). If we do not read, study, pray over, and meditate on God’s Word we set ourselves up to be deceived. When we are deceived we more easily fall prey to the temptations of the world.

Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Jesus quoted this scripture (from Deut.8:3) when He was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He knew that the Word of God is a powerful weapon against the world, the flesh and the devil. Paul urges us in Ephesians 6:17 to take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Rhema is the Greek term for “word” both in this verse and in Matt. 4:4. A rhema is an utterance, a saying, a spoken word. We need to know God’s written word so well that we can speak it whenever we are tempted or whenever someone tries to deceive us.

So what is your plan for studying God’s word? Do you have a consistent strategy for reading the Bible and memorizing portions of it? I encourage you to do the following:
  1. Set a specific time aside daily for prayerful Bible reading.
  2. Decide on a course of study (where in the Bible will I start and how much to I plan to read each day).
  3. Pick a verse each week and try to memorize it (write it down; post it where you will see it daily; say it to yourself constantly; pray it to God).
  4. Follow through on your commitment and ask someone to hold you accountable.

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