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TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

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TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

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April ● May 2018 | THE TEJANO

TIMES ®™ | PG.15

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●You want change ●Read the Bible ● It causes transformation ● It is God’s design ● and God’s plan for your life.

“My one purpose in life is to help people find a personal relationship with

God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Jesus Christ.”

Word by Dr. Rice, Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Never give up).

The Bible is unlike any other book in the world. Nowhere else has God made himself known so clearly. But God did not give us the Bible simply for informational purposes. God gave us the Bible to transform us so that our lives more clearly reflect his Son, Jesus Christ. But before we can understand how God changes us through his Word, we need to look at why we need to be changed. Made in His Image The Bible is clear that God made human beings in his own image (Gen 1:26–27). Because we are image-bearers he also gave humanity a commission to live out: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:28). God made human beings to reflect his beauty as we fill the earth and rule over it under the authority of the ultimate king—God himself. By worshiping God, humanity would reflect his character. Marred by Our Sin But things went horribly wrong. Adam and Eve rejected their identity as image-bearers by rebelling against God word. Instead of joyfully submitting to God they placed themselves at the center of the universe (Gen 3:1–24) and committed idolatry (Rom 1:21–23). Now instead of worshiping God and reflecting his beauty, we pursue vain things like idols and become like them (Ps 115:3–8; 135:15–18; Isa 44:1–20). So because of Adam’s rebellion against God in the garden, we enter this world with a deeply ingrained tendency towards idolatry. We are like the shopping cart with the bent wheel that always pulls the cart the wrong direction. The way idolatry shows up varies from person to person. But no one is immune to it. Unless someone intervenes at the deepest level of our heart and soul we will pursue idolatry in some form or fashion. Image Renewed Praise God that’s exactly what he’s done! As the true and complete image of God, Jesus Christ lived the life of perfect obedience that we could not live. He died the death that we should have died for our sins. He rose from the dead three days later to defeat our greatest enemies: sin, death, and the devil. Forty days later he ascended into heaven, and shortly afterward poured out the Holy Spirit on his people. In addition to making us spiritually alive, the Holy Spirit is the one who opens our eyes to see “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). As a result, we are transformed into true worshipers who worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). As we worship the one true God in Jesus Christ, we become like him. As we see who Christ is and what he has done for us we are transformed so that we more fully reflect the image of Jesus Christ himself (2 Cor 3:18; 1 John 3:2-3). (continue on page 4)

(continued from page 14) They took his clothes off Him. They took long leather whips with steel pellets on the end and beat Him until his back was bleeding. They put a crown of thorns on His brow until His face was bleeding. They put spikes in His hands and hung Him between Heaven and earth. And while on that cross Jesus prayed, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). He loves you so much that if you had been the only person in the world, He would have died for you. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). You’re a friend of Jesus. He laid down His life for you. And then something else happened. On the third day, He rose again. He is alive! And some day, the Bible says, He is coming back. Someday we will look up, and riding on a white horse will be the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ. And those of you who know Christ, those of you who have given your life to Him, you are going to reign with Him. What a glorious future we have, those of us who love Jesus Christ! Now, what does He want you to do? First, He wants you to repent of your sins. The Scripture says, “God … now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). If we are to be saved, if our sins are to be forgiven, we have to repent. Repentance means that you confess you are a sinner and are willing to turn from your sins. Second, receive Christ into your heart by faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” You come by faith. You cannot buy your way. You cannot work your way. You come by simple, childlike faith—like a little child would come to his or her father. Third, openly confess Christ. All the people Jesus called, He called publicly. You must be willing to take a public stand for Christ. Would you do that today? Let Him come and change your life. He will give you a new love for everyone. You will be concerned about your neighbor. It will make you a new father, a new mother, a new boy or a new girl. I am going to ask you today to receive Christ. Say today, “I am willing to turn from my sins; I want Jesus in my heart.” ©1973 BGEA

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TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

The Love of God

Billy Graham preached June 1973, to some 1.1 million at Yoido Plaza in Seoul, South Korea. In 1952, I was here in Korea. It was at Christmastime, and it was very cold. I’ve never been so cold in all my life, and I toured along what is now the DMZ. I was at Heartbreak Ridge, and on Heartbreak Ridge there were 12 soldiers who were huddled together. An enemy sneaked through the line. He threw a hand grenade into the middle of them. It was going to go off in three seconds. A soldier saw it and jumped on top of it. He grabbed it, held it to his heart, and it exploded. He died, but his buddies were saved. They took what remained of his body back to the United States, and when they held the memorial service for that soldier, the source of the sermon was the same text that I want to use today: John 15:13. It says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus said this just before He was going to go to the cross to die for the sins of the world. He was having His last meeting with His disciples. And He said, “I have one commandment to leave with you. Love one another” (Cf. John 15:12). Billy Graham preaching in 1970 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, N.Y. A big tornado hit not far from where I live. It destroyed many houses. One man was in the basement of his house, and he had two little boys. He heard the storm coming. He heard the house falling down. He grabbed his two little boys and put himself on top of them. People found them later. He was dead, but his two sons were alive. He had given his life for his sons. The Bible says that God loves you. I want us to think about God for a moment. Do you believe in God? The Bible tells us what kind of a God He is. He is the creator of the whole universe. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), the Bible says. God is not only the creator, but God is a spirit, the Bible says. God does not have a body like yours. And because God is a spirit, He can be everywhere at the same time. When I am here in Seoul, I cannot be in New York at the same time because I am limited by a body. But God is a spirit. The Bible also tells us that God never changes. The Bible says, “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). The Bible teaches that God is a holy God. And because God is righteous and holy, He is also a God of judgment. There is a Judgment Day coming. Jesus said, “Every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). The Apostle Paul said God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world (see Acts 17:31). You will have to give an account of every word you ever said, everything you ever did, every thought that you ever had.

● ● Google ● ● ● Ph.# 325.829.2389 But the Bible also teaches that God is a God of love.

The reason God created the human race in the first place was because He loved. He wanted some other creatures in the universe to love. So He created man and woman and put them in a beautiful garden. God said, “You can have all the fruit in the garden except one tree. There is one tree in the garden that you’re not to touch. If you touch it you will die” (see Genesis 3:2-3). And Eve looked at it, and then the devil came and whispered in her ear, “Take some of it. It will make you very wise, and it will make you like God, and when God said you would die if you eat it, He didn’t mean it.” Eve could stand the temptation no longer. She picked up the fruit and started eating. She got sick. Then the man ate it, too, and he got sick. And every person since then has been sick with a disease called sin. It wasn’t the fruit that made them sick. It was the fact that they had disobeyed God and broken God’s law. And the whole human race has that disease. We read the newspapers. We watch the television. We know that something is wrong with the human race. What is it? The Bible says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The Bible teaches that there are three kinds of death. There is the death of your body. All of you are going to die. We know that, but you can also be alive and your soul dead. Today there are many people whose body is alive but whose soul is dead toward God. And you don’t have peace, you don’t have joy, you don’t have happiness, you don’t have assurance that you’re going to Heaven. It is your soul that’s dead, and your soul needs God. The third kind of death is when your body dies but your soul lives on, separated from God. And the Bible says for that soul, the future life becomes one of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. The Bible has many words to describe the future of the lost soul. The Bible uses the word perish. The Bible uses the word condemn. The Bible uses the word punishment. The Bible uses the words everlasting fire. The Bible uses the word hell. Whatever word is used, this death is a terrible thing: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). But the Bible tells us that God sent His Son to rescue the world in spite of our rebellion, in spite of our sins. God said, “I love you. I love the human race; I want to forgive them of their sins.” But how could He do it? He said, “If you rebel against Me, you’re going to die.” He had to keep His word, or He would have been a liar. So, what did He do? His Son, Jesus Christ, volunteered to come and live among us. “But the Bible tells us that God sent His Son to rescue the world in spite of our rebellion, in spite of our sins. God said, ‘I love you. I love the human race; I want to forgive them of their sins.’” –Billy Graham He made the blind to see and the deaf to hear. But the real reason He came was not to heal. The real reason that He came was not to teach. He came to die. Because on the cross, He took your sins, your death, your judgment, your hell. (continue on page 15)

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April ● May 2018 | THE TEJANO

TIMES ®™| PG. 03


TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

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(continued from page 2)


Tool for Renewal So where do we see the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ most clearly? In the Bible. God has given us the Bible to tell us who he is, what he has done for us, and how we should live. He uses the Bible to change us so that our lives demonstrate that we bear his image.

Find a day that you can abstain from these apps completely and interact with your phone as little as possible. Replace that time with Bible reading, a walk in the woods, time with friends, reading a good book, spending time in prayer, or taking a nap. You’ll find that there’s a real world you often forget to interact with.

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Psalm 19:7-11 gives us a beautiful description of the various ways that God’s Word changes us: The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Look at all the things that God’s Word does: revives the soul, makes the simple wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, and warns us. No wonder David describes God’s Word as more desirable than gold and sweeter than the sweetest honey! Notice David’s response to what God’s word is and what it does (19:12-14): Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Reading God’s Word reveals our sin to us, and calls us to confess it and turn away from it. It prompts a desire in God’s people to pursue spiritual growth so that what we say, think, do, and feel reflects the one who is our rock and our redeemer. This transformation, however, does not take place in isolation. We hear, read, and study the Bible not only as individuals, but as part of a community of fellow believers—the church. God has given us other Christians to learn from and learn with as we take in God’s Word. As we hear God’s Word preached and taught, study it together in small groups, and talk about it with other believers, God uses his Word to transform us into clearer reflections of his Son, Jesus Christ. So the next time you open up your Bible, take a moment to pray that God will change you to resemble Jesus more closely. That is a prayer that God loves to answer!

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FIND SOMEONE TO SERVE Sometimes our spiritual lives stagnate because we become overly preoccupied with our own interests. A thriving walk with the Lord shouldn’t just give me joy but should propel me out to love others in the name of Jesus. Work through your local church or a group of friends to find someone else to serve. This can be something as simple as taking someone a meal or helping in their yard. Either way, getting outside of your own interests and focusing on other people can help us refocus the direction of our lives. GO OUTSIDE

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A Call to Prayer 1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men 2 for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony that was given at just the right time. 7 For

this reason


was appointed as a herald (official messenger), an apostle, and

a faithful and true teacher of the

Gentiles. I

am telling the truth;


am not lying

about anything. 8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or dissension.

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As I write this, I am currently sitting in my living room, and for the rest of the night as I continue, I can find myself slipping into a state of depression. However, when I make the time to get up and go outside, even if it is for a little air or a little walk, I find myself with more energy and focus when I am done. This is likely related to our addiction to our distractions, whatever the case may be, but getting outside gives me more joy and seems to reju- “FOR venate my mind and spirit. SING When your spiritual life seems dry, look for something that could bring you joy. Find some good music focused on the goodness and grace of God. Sing along with it, praying the entire time that God would use this to bring joy back into your life. I think we see this in the Psalms. The Psalmists continually point to singing out to God from the pit of despair as a remedy for our pain and feeling that God is distant. READ A CHALLENGING BOOK Find a good Christian book that is different from the Christian books you usually read. If you usually read light devotional literature, find a weighty theological book and take the time to truly wrestle with its message. (Here’s a list to get you started.) If you are usually wading through 500-page theology books, read a shorter book on prayer, a collection of sermons, or a devotional book on the Christian life. What you might find is that getting into something out of your usual stream will stir your mind and heart in a way that they haven’t been in a while. TALK TO A FRIEND One other mistake that often leads to spiritual dry spells is us unintentionally isolating ourselves. Because we are “connected” to so many people through the Internet, we often forget to spend time with the flesh and blood people around us. If you’re wallowing in difficulty and spiritual stagnation, set aside some time to get with some Christian friends and spend time together. You’ll find that it’s encouraging to you and gives you a chance to be encouraging to them as well. Again, I don’t recommend that you go try all of these tomorrow, but choose a couple, commit to them, and pray that the Lord would fan the flames of your love for Him in the Holy Ghost and fire.


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TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

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…Acts 4:11 He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and recognized that they had been with Jesus.…


• Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory. To him be glory evermore. —Romans 11:36 (TLB) Have you ever wondered why God placed us on this planet? What our purpose is in being here? It is because God is love. There may be life on other planets, but I believe man is unique in the sense that he was created in the image of God. God created on this planet as it were “little gods” whom He could love and who would return love to Him. Reverently speaking, God was lonely. He wanted someone to love and who would return love to Him. That sounds incredible, but the Bible tells us that God loved, and so He created and put us on this planet.

HOW DO YOU FIND PURPOSE? HE CHANGES US . . . that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. —Ephesians 6:19

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The word “mystery” means beyond human knowledge or understanding. God’s mysteries baffle the unbelieving, but bless the believer. The mystery of righteousness, like some of the other great mysteries of God, we cannot comprehend, but we know it works. We stand amazed at this great mystery which enables God to change the human heart, its attitudes, its desires, and its nature. God, a holy God, who loves righteousness and hates wickedness, through a process of redemption has refashioned us in the image of Himself. How marvelous! For generations He has been applying His righteousness to the hearts of men. Even in our time, with its complexities of living, God is in the business of changing men and women by the mystery of righteousness.

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April ● May 2018 | THE TEJANO

TIMES ®™| PG. 05


TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

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L6 S3 = WHY I DEVOTE MYSELF TO SCRIPTURE MEMORY #spiritual growth #Memory Verse #scripture #It is God’s word that I trust.

One of my earliest memories of church as a young boy was working on memory verses, thanks to my dad. Though my middle and high school years I was devoted to anything but Scripture, the verses I learned during early years stuck with me. I became a full believer at the age of 12 after the death of my older brother and the men who taught me how to follow Jesus encouraged me in the discipline of Scripture memory. The passages and individual verses I learned in those early years as a believer shaped my Christian growth and set the course for the rest of my Christian life. Ps 23; Matt 6:5-15, etc. My greatest struggle with Scripture memory is daily consistency, and I doubt that I am alone. Many of us suffer from the disease of being great starters but fumbling on day to day follow through. This daily discipline of learning, memorizing, and reviewing Scripture is necessary for any Christian. We think our greatest problem is “finding” the time to work on Scripture memory, but, in reality, our real struggle is in giving Scripture memory the attention it deserves. When we understand why we must do something, often the how starts to take care of itself. In this issue, I want to cover why we need to devote ourselves to Scripture memory. In a later issue, we will come back and cover the how. Memorize Scripture for Encouragement Believers struggle with discouragement, doubt, and melancholy (sadness, just plain feeling down on yourself), more often than we like to admit. Memorizing Scripture can aids us in our fight against discouragement and despair by reminding us of God’s goodness, God’s love, and God’s providence. Having passages like, Romans 8:28, James 1:2-3, or Psalm 23 at your disposal when you feel like you are drowning in despair would be of great advantage to you. (continue on page 7)

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All Christians experience spiritual dry spells. There are no exceptions. We will go through periods where God seems distant, prayer is difficult, Bible-reading feels dead, worship doesn’t excite, and a sense of purposelessness descends on us. When you run into a spiritual desert, what do you do? I want to suggest ten strategies for dealing with a spiritual dry spell. I am not saying that you try all ten, but rather that you try several of them in order to help regain your focus and experience the joy of your walk with the Lord again. REMEMBER THE GOSPEL Spiritual dryness is almost always accompanied by guilt and shame. We start thinking that real Christians shouldn’t struggle like this. When we hear other Christians talking about their rich spiritual lives and all the things the Lord is teaching them, we want to run for the hills because we don’t have a similar testimony to give. Christian, remember that you are not accepted by God because you have a thriving spiritual life. God justifies you before him and reconciles you to him through your faith in Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection. Look to Christ and let him take away your guilt and shame. Remember your salvation comes from him and not from your own efforts. CHANGE YOUR BIBLE READING ROUTINE Sometimes our Bible reading plans stand in the way of us engaging with God’s word in a meaningful way. While a plan is a good guide, set it to the side for a while if you need a change of pace. If you’ve been reading three to five chapters a day, slow down and dig deep into one or two paragraphs. If you’re reading shorter sections, take the time to read a whole book or section of a book in one sitting. This kind of change can help to reinvigorate your passion for God’s word. DRIVE DEEPER INTO YOUR PRAYER LIFE The first thing to dry up spiritually is your prayer life. You don’t pray out of guilt and shame, so now you have guilt and shame for not praying. The only way through this is to pray until you feel like you have prayed. Remember that you only come to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ and that he welcomes you into his presence based on Jesus’ merit and not your own. GET SOME SLEEP We make a serious mistake when we try to act as if what is happening with our bodies does not affect our spiritual lives. When you run day after day on too little sleep, it impacts every area of your life. You are less alert in prayer and Bible reading. You have less stamina to war against sin. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your walk with the Lord is to get eight hours of sleep. GO ONE FULL DAY WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS We do not realize how much the internet affects our attention span and our spiritual lives. The pull of our phone’s apps and social networks beckon us at the worst time. If we are not careful, we can spend hours a day scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and YouTube videos while ignoring the word and prayer. In addition, the presence of our phones decreases the quality of conversations that we have with other people. (continue on page 13)

April ● May 2018 | THE TEJANO

TIMES ®™ | PG.11


TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

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April ● May 2018 | THE TEJANO

TIMES ®™ | PG.07

(continued from page 9) A second way to overcome spiritual dryness is through prayer. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jesus taught in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Persistence in prayer is a virtue (Luke 18:1). A third way to overcome spiritual dryness is fellowship with other believers. One of the strengths of the early church was that they spent time with one another. Acts 2:46–47 notes, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” God’s purpose for His people is fellowship, encouragement, and true relationships.

Get your time back. Sitting in traffic for hours feels like you’re going nowhere. If you’re tired of spending more time in your car than you do at home, then,


“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:1–2).

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David was likely experiencing a time of spiritual dryness when he wrote this psalm:

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(continued from page 6)

At the end of the same short psalm, we have a change in attitude:

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“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5–6). How did David break out of his spiritual dryness? He trusted in God’s love; he chose to rejoice and sing, based on unchanging spiritual truth; and he remembered God’s goodness in the past. Jesus promised, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Living water from our Lord is a sure cure for spiritual dryness. Learn from these readings and apply it as much as possible to your personal life and feel the change as God works His part to your desire for change. Nothing happens over night. As we know everything takes time. Prayerfully try to use scriptures as much as possible. It will become a habit. Tho some wording may not make sense but to the Lord it does. This is where the Spirit comes to our aid when we do not know what or how to pray. With utterance He the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us... Romans 8:26 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. amen

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Pray Always

Memorize Scripture for Meditation and Prayer “I don’t know what to pray for.” We often use this as our excuse for slacking in the duty and privilege of prayer. When you don’t know what to pray for, Scripture memory provides fuel for the fire in your prayer life. Take a passage that you are learning and read it over and over again in your mind. Stop and think about each word. Repeat the passage several times while emphasizing a different word with each repetition. As you repeat it, think about how this verse should lead you to praise God or thank God. Ponder how this verse might reveal a sin of which you should repent or an area of your life in which you need the strength to obey. When you give this kind of attention to Scripture memory and the related discipline of meditation, you will have plenty to of fuel to reignite your prayer life. Memorize Scripture for Your War with Sin “I have stored up your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” The author of Psalm 119 helps us to understand how we can fight against our sin. Scripture reminds us who we are in Christ and why we should put sin to death. Biblical passages warn us of the danger of sin, the beauty of the Gospel, and the blessings of obedience; so shouldn’t we store them in our hearts so we can grow? Memorize verses related to the area of sin you are struggling with and store them up in your heart as ammunition for the battle. Memorize Scripture for Conversations with Others Have you ever been in a conversation with a person you thought you could help and just couldn’t remember the Bible verse you needed to give them? We’ve all been there. Scripture memory saves you from being Concordance crippled. Take the time to memorize basic verses related to the message of the Gospel and several topics related to the Christian life you can use in your conversations with people. You will find you are much more effective in these discussions if you have biblical passages at your disposal. We don’t always have the luxury of having a Bible in our hands. Even though we might have a Bible app in our pockets, on our phones, what if you don’t know the location of the passage you are attempting to remember? The best answer for this is Scripture memory. We need to know, understand, and live out the Bible’s message, and Scripture memory is an integral (basic) component of our growth. I even use my cell phone to google what ever part of scripture I am looking for in a serious time of need. There is all kinds of ways to learn without end.


TIMES ®™ | April ● May 2018

Find us on Google or Visit Our Home Page: ● PH.# 325.829.2389 ● E-Mail: ● ● ● “WHAT IS SPIRITUAL DRYNESS, AND HOW CAN I OVERCOME IT?”

When people say they are “spiritually dry,” they usually mean they feel distant from God or are struggling to grow spiritually. They don’t see God working, the burdens of life press in, and they begin to feel discouraged. They search for God “in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)—it is a time of spiritual dryness. There may be several reasons for spiritual dryness. Sometimes spiritual dryness is due to personal sin. Sin can cause us to feel distant from God because we are attempting to live for ourselves instead of living for God. Unconfessed sin can cause us to lose the joy associated with our salvation (see Psalm 51:12). We can remedy the time of dryness by confessing our sin to God (see 1 John 1:9 and Psalm 32). And we must take God at His Word: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). To be “double-minded” is to maintain a dual loyalty, such as trying to serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). Attempts to do so will dry us up spiritually. Some people feel spiritually dry because of physical, mental, or emotional pain. When we are sick, it is often more difficult to focus on God or spiritual things. After Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, he ran a great distance because he feared Queen Jezebel would put him to death (1 Kings 19:1–5). He was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and he wanted to die. God gave Elijah sustenance and rest (verses 5–8) and then used that time of weakness to work in Elijah’s life in a new way. God sometimes allows a person to reach a low point before intervening in a powerful way. The time before that intervention can feel spiritually dry. The Israelites trapped by the Red Sea are an example (Exodus 14). The people were caught between Pharaoh’s army and the sea. There seemed to be no escape. God seemed to have led them into a death trap. Yet it was during this time God chose to intervene with a miracle that is still talked about thousands of years later: He divided the sea to allow the Israelites to escape on dry land! God offers some solutions to our spiritual dryness. We have already noted God’s command to draw near to Him with the promise that He will draw near to us. In addition, we are called to seek God through His Word: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16– 17). In God’s Word we see the faithfulness, mercy, and love of God. It is God’s Word that sanctifies us (John 17:17). (continue on page 10)

April ● May 2018 | THE TEJANO

TIMES ®™ | PG.09

2018 Issue #5  

●Feeling Spiritually dry? ●Find out How God Uses the Bible to Change Us. Happy Blessed Mother's Day!

2018 Issue #5  

●Feeling Spiritually dry? ●Find out How God Uses the Bible to Change Us. Happy Blessed Mother's Day!