Through the years, there have been Bible verses that have helped me in my walk with God. And when they do, I commit them to memory so that I can pull them out during the times when I feel I need them.

The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.
An undrawn sword has no ability to slay the enemy.
We have been given a powerful tool to defeat the enemy when he tries to sneak in some lies.

There was an article that was written by Dr. Garry Friesen and published in the October 1981 issue of Moody Monthly that helps us commit Scripture to memory.

1. Set time goals rather than number goals.

Rather than endeavoring to memorize a number of verses by the end of a period, set a number of minutes per day to memorize Scripture. You may stay with a verse for several days but when you set aside for 5 minutes per day, you will have a greater chance of success of making this a long-lasting habit.

2. Read, don’t cram.

Dr. Friesen said that this approach is “like cars on an assembly line—steadily being built rather than thrown together in a hurry.”

Read them a few times and then leave it for the next day. We give up altogether when we try to force verses into your memory all at once by saying them thirty or more times in one sitting. It would be much easier to read the new verse thoughtfully and slowly and then set it aside until the next day.

3. Use a dependable review system.

Some use index cards.

Others put it in their Evernote.
Still, others put it on their desktop wallpapers.

But whatever it is, find what would work best for your schedule, routine and lifestyle.

Below is the list of 52 verses that helped me through the years. Hope you’ll find these helpful as well.

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2 Corinthians 5:17. 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8,9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Isaiah 40:28. 
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.

John 14:6.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Jeremiah 32:17
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Psalm 30:5
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.

Psalm 77:14
You are the God who performs miracles.

John 16:33. 
In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!

Psalm 20:7. 
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God

Psalm 121:3. 
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.

Isaiah 26:3. 
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Psalm 54:4. 
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 73:23. 
I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

Psalm 30:5. 
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 100:5. 
The Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

1 Cor 15:58. 
Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Prov 16:7. 
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

Is. 43:2. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.

Psalm 84:11. 
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Psalm 16:2.  
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Isaiah 41:13
I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Philippians 4;6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Deuteronomy 8:18
You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Isaiah 40:31
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

1 Peter 5:5
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Isaiah 59:1
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.

Matthew 18:19
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Psalm 103:1-5
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Jeremiah 31:3-4
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Psalm 56:3
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


What does it mean to be blessed? Different people have different definitions of what it means to be blessed.

– Getting a parking in SM Megamall on a Sunday?
– Buying the bag you’ve always wanted on sale?
– Landing your dream job?
– Getting your dream house paid for?
– Finally getting a boyfriend?

Psalm 1:3 tells us that a blessed man is “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLESSED?

Fruitful.
A blessed person is fruitful. This doesn’t just speak of material blessings for it goes way beyond that. Fruit is excess life. Fruit comes when there’s life. A blessed person is a person full of life where people desire to be with.

Flourishing.
A blessed person is like a tree where its leaves don’t
wither. He is sustained because it is connected to the life source – water. You and I will only be able to flourish and be sustained as we are connected to the Life Source – the Living Water, which is Christ.

Prosperous.
Success follows a person that is blessed. It happens because God is the One who leads him.

HOW TO GET TO THAT POINT?

How do achieve becoming a blessed person?

The Psalmist tells us first what he is not.

He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.To walk with someone means to participate in whatever they’re doing. Furthermore, it means to do life with that person. A blessed man does not have those who reject God and His Word as his best friend.

He does not stand in the way of sinners.
To stand in the way means to be on
 the same path. They may not necessarily be the best of friends, but they end up doing the same things. They end up going the same direction as they do the same things. 

Romans 1:32 (NLT) says, “They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”

He does not sit in the seat of scoffers.
To sit in the seat of scoffers means to be in fellowship with them and embrace all that they embrace. They end up living the same values in the end.

WHAT THEN IS THE WAY TO BLESSING?

If there was a simple life hack to a blessed 2018, it would be this – delight and meditate.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law, he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)

A blessed man delights and meditates in God’s Word. They go hand in hand like pen and paper, comb and hair, lock and keys, ball and glove. The more we delight in God’s Word, the more we will meditate. The more we meditate, the more we will delight in it.

But this will have to stem from a relationship with God. Apart from a relationship, it will be a chore and an obligation.

Think of a young man pursuing a girl in courtship. He can’t keep himself from being with her and talking to her. He loves to talk to her and so does she. Communication is key to any relationship. Without communication, it will die.

We speak to God through prayer and God speaks to us through His Word. But without the relationship, reading the Bible will become a duty because we have to read it rather than a desire to do so.

As we read, let’s meditate on God’s word. The word meditate is synonymous with the word ruminate where it literally means ‘to chew the cud.’ Sheep, goat, giraffe and the like have chambers in their stomach called the rumen where they keep the food and regurgitates it back to their mouth for chewing. The process is repeated many times.

To meditate on the Word is to read the Word, hide it in our hearts then bring it back to our mouths to speak it and back into our hearts to reflect on.

As we begin 2018, let us endeavor to meditate on God’s Word in a greater measure. Remember what Joshua 1:8 says.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

 

 

 
 
 

I am currently on a short study leave for a couple of weeks with 20 plus pastors, campus missionaries, and leaders from our Every Nation global family. While it is a lot of hard work because of the course requirements, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to get further equipping.

We are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Do your best to present yourself as one approved.

We are saved by grace, but the outworking of that grace is expressed in our day to day life. Paul said that “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

God’s grace was evident as he worked harder.

A worker who has no need to be ashamed.

The gospel is God’s power unto salvation. And because of that, we are not to be ashamed. (Romans 1:16). We have been given the privilege of sharing the greatest message of all time – the gospel of Jesus Christ. By it, we are reconciled back to our relationship with the Father.

Rightly handling the word of truth.

When we share God’s Word, it is a privilege. But with every privilege comes responsibility. We are to rightly handle God’s Word. We don’t have the luxury of sharing personal opinions for it is not what we think that’s important; it’s what God says that is.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for Your Word. It is living and active. It is like a double edged sword that pierces the heart. Help us to rightly handle the Word with clarity, accuracy, and conviction from the Holy Spirit. May we share it with as many as we can for we know that it brings life to the soul that is dry, weary and in need of Your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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How does one stand in the midst of persecution?
When we understand and appreciate the new birth we have received, then it enables us to stand firm in the faith in the midst of testings.

Bishop Manny Carlos shared an insightful message yesterday at Victory Fort and I’d like to share it with you.

1 Peter tells us that we have been “born not of perishable seed but of imperishable seed through the living and abiding the Word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)

The regenerative work of the Holy Spirit inside us that turns us from lost to found, dead to alive, causes us to experience the new birth and in turn transforms the way we live.

Here are the blessings of the new birth:

1. The new birth brings spiritual insight.

Jesus said that unless we experience a spiritual rebirth, we cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

We are given new lens when we are born again spiritually. Being born again is not a religion but an experience once we embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a result, scales from our eyes fall and we see things from a different perspective.

2. The new birth imparts spiritual life.

Because we have experienced rebirth (1 Peter 1:23), we just don’t live in the physical but also in the spiritual.

There is now genuine joy, authentic peace, sincere love for we have received it from the one who is our Joy, our Peace and the One who is Love Himself.

3. The new birth produces spiritual hunger.

Appetites change as new cravings are replaced.

1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Because we have experienced rebirth, we are now alive spiritually. And hunger is a good indicator of life. When a baby gets hungry, it means s/he is needing nutrition to continue to grow. A child who never gets hungry has a major problem. If this continues, soon, he will be lifeless.

If you and I have truly been born again, a hunger for the Word will surface for His Word brings daily sustenance.

Job declared in Job 23:12, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”

May we love God’s Word, treasure it, devour it and apply it to daily life.

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Here’s a simple 21-day guide that will start you off in this journey. Blessings!

 

 

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As we start the fast today globally in Every Nation, I read Day Zero in our Prayer and Fasting Guide (download here). But since it’s also Day 1 here in Manila, I will read Day 1 as well.

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I remember in the old house we were in, my wife and I had a problem with the faucet in our bathroom. Because the water flow was so slow, to be able to brush your teeth, we had to wait about a minute for the cup to be filled. We endured this for several weeks until we got a plumber to help us with our faucet. In 10 minutes, he figured out the problem thus a cup could be filled in 3 seconds instead of a minute.

What you tolerate, you will never change.

I’ve heard that many times on different occasions. What you will allow to continue in your life, you will never see changes. God desires to sanctify and change us into the image and likeness of God. But if we stay stuck in our ways, we won’t be able to move forward.

The Bible says in Matthew 22:19 that “you are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Change happens all the time. But genuine and lasting change in the life of a person can only happen when God does it. By His power and the power of His Word, we are transformed.

The starting point is with the gospel. We can try to write 10 steps to change or 7 stages to transformation but if they don’t start with an understanding of what God has been done for us rather than what we can do for God, then we only find ourselves frustrated as with many of our New Year’s resolutions.

Jesus became flesh.
Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life.
Jesus was crucified.
Jesus was buried.
Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Scriptures declare that Jesus is Savior and Lord. (Acts 2:36)
And the power of God is the gospel for through it, many are saved. (Romans 1:16)

 

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Watch Pastor Jim Laffoon as he explains further …

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Worldviews are what dictate how a person behaves. It is our life lens. If we wear sunglasses that are blue, then everything around us will be blue-ish. Having a Biblical Worldview is having the Bible as our life lens.

When my daughter was 8 years old, we were in an amusement center whereParenting World Changers.001 they gave tickets to get prizes like stuff toys. When we got to the Skee Ball, beside our machine was one that had a bunch of tickets unclaimed.

When I saw it, I told her, “Look, free tickets!”
She stared at me with a weird look and said, “Dad, if you get what isn’t yours, isn’t that stealing?”

She got me.
“I was just checking, honey.” Haha.

I grew up with a worldview of “finders keepers.”
Hers was “getting what is not yours is stealing.”

The Word of God has the power to shift our mindsets to right thinking.
And right thinking leads to right living.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

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