April

DAY 1: You Are What You Speak
Text: Romans 10:17
Memorize:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:21

Scriptures: Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 1:11-12; Romans 8:15

The outcome of your life is ultimately influenced by what begins in your mind, by what you believe. A single thought can have a viral effect and take over other aspects of your life, ultimately transforming who you are, for better or for worse. Real transformation happened after my old pattern of thinking and speaking was completely intercepted and replaced with the truth of God’s Word:

“I am not timid, but I have power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“I am chosen, accepted, and adopted into God’s family” (Ephesians 1:11-12)
“I have the Holy Spirit, so I am not a slave to fear” (Romans 8:15)
You will notice that each of these confessions is not a word-for-word quotation of the verse on which it is based.

Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to scriptures that counter whatever situation or emotion you face. Then personalize the scriptures into confessions that you keep with you. Finally, speak them over yourself throughout the day, as often as necessary. This will help you begin to genuinely believe what you confess. You must identify with God’s Word in order for it to change your identity.

HYMN: AMAZING GRACE

DAY 2: I Am More Than a Conqueror
Text: 1 Peter 5:8-9
Memorize: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:9;2 Corinthians 5:17;Philippians 4:13;2 Corinthians 5:21

Peter not only likened Satan to a lion, but he said that he is a “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil’s roars might sound something like this:

Threat: “If you step out to do that, I will expose all your dirty secrets and nobody will ever trust you.”


Lie: “The road ahead is too difficult; you should give up now.”
Accusation: “Look at all your failures; God is disgusted with you.”
Roars such as these have tremendous power to evoke overwhelming fear and cause you to retreat, which is just what the devil wants.
Don’t flinch or look away. Stand. Make declarations about who you are and what you have in Christ. When the devil hears you assert your identity in Christ, he no longer sees only you; he sees Jesus. And if he is smart, he will shut his mouth and retreat.

When you stand your ground by meditating on God’s love and declaring His Word, you will beat the devil down.

Activate The Word – I am more than a conqueror. I don’t fight for victory, but I stand in the victory of Jesus. His finished work on the cross assures me of forgiveness, healing, peace, provision, protection, and acceptance of God. No attack, threats, lies, or accusations can steal these away from me – not now or in the future. I declare that in Christ I am above the influences of Satan!

HYMN: OH LORD MY GOD

DAY 3: I Can Do All Things
Text: Philippians 4:13
Memorize:  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me – Philippians 4:13

Scriptures: 2Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:11; 1Timothy 1:12;2Corinthians 12:9,10; Ephesians 6:10

Paul emphasized that the power of Jesus lives inside of each believer. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is one of the most beloved declarations of the faith. We see it on posters and wall art, on bracelets and greeting cards, and even painted on the faces of sports personalities

Paul’s words weren’t those of self-empowerment, turning him into a superman. Rather, Christ’s Spirit in Paul empowered him to endure the difficulties and challenges of his calling. He was strengthened to achieve exactly what God had ordained him to achieve. And most importantly, he was able to go through it all with the joy of contentment and the assurance that God would finish what He started.

What Paul’s declaration means to you is that the Holy Spirit will supernaturally empower you to do whatever God asks you to do.

What is it you have to do? Know that whatever it is, God never planned for you to do it on your own. No, He will do the heavy lifting if you will do the heavy trusting.

I can do whatever God wants me to do! Because the Spirit of Christ is in me, I am filled with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and am empowered to do the greater works He promised. Christ in me gives me strength when I am weak, clarity when I feel confused, the right words when I need them, hope when I feel discouraged, joy when I am weary, and the ability to do whatever God asks of me.

HYMN: IT IS WELL

DAY 4: Don’t Worry About Anything
Text: Psalms 55:22
Memorize: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God Philippians 4:6

Scriptures: Philippians 4:6; 1Kings 8:28;Proverbs 3:6; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 6:25;Matthew 6:34; Ephesians 6:18; 1Timothy 2:1;1Timothy 5:5

Perhaps no emotion is more common to the human condition than fear. Left unchecked, the mind believes that danger is imminent, so it seeks to protect by influencing someone to stop, give up, run and hide, or do anything but what is influencing the feeling of fear.

Surely you have heard someone boast that the solution to worry, anxiety, and fear is to “have faith.” The idea is that faith is the opposite of fear and can simply be mustered up at will to overcome it. Faith, however, is defined by the dictionary as “complete trust of confidence in someone or something.” Its biblical definition is similar: “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, both the dictionary and the Bible describe faith as confidence in a particular outcome you can’t yet see. This can be either positive or negative.

Your faith just has to be directed in the right way. Ultimately worry, anxiety, and fear happen because the measure of faith you do have is misplaced on the negative. Simply put, fear is faith, or the confident expectation, that something bad is going to happen.

Therefore, in order to overcome it, you have to learn how to redirect your faith to positive expectations set by God’s Word.

I don’t worry about anything. I am not influenced by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear, but I have love, power, and self-control. Because God’s Spirit lives within me, I am strong and courageous. I cast all my cares on the Lord, and I know that His peace is guarding my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

HYMN: GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

DAY 5: God chose me
Text: John 15:16
Memorize: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

Scriptures: John 6:70;John 13:18; John 14:13; John 16:23; John 20:21-23; Isaiah 49:1-3

Hearing Jesus assure me with the words I chose you was like a healing salve to my emotions. These three little words suddenly affirmed that although others had rejected me in the past, God chose me from the beginning. They confirmed God’s call on my life, easing my apprehension about whether people would accept me in the ministry.

With this I quickly took these words and personalized them into a declaration: “God—chose—me!”

Yes, you! He didn’t decide to adopt you because of your family history, your impeccable past, or your abilities. He didn’t reject you because of a lack of those things, either. The Bible assures that the only requirement for our adoption into His family is faith in Jesus.

Before the creation of the world, God made a decision about you. Think about that. He saw all the good, the bad, and the ugly of your life, yet He still desired for you to be a part of His family. What’s more, He sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer the excruciating pain of the cross to ensure that you could come into His family. No worldly rejection can measure up to the truth about the lengths God went to choose you.

God chose me! I am not an accident; I am not a mistake. Even before the world began, God desired to have me in His family. Regardless of where I am from or what I have done, because of Jesus, I am a child of God!

HYMN: PRAISE TO THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY

DAY 6: God Has Great Plans for Me
Text: Jeremiah 29:11
Memorize: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Scriptures: Psalm 40:5; Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 55:12; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 30:18; Zechariah 13:9; Job 23:13

Everything God puts His hands on and His words and thoughts to is intentional and purposeful, even if His purposes aren’t immediately clear.

What isn’t so obvious to many today is the purpose for which God has brought them into existence. We should not be surprised that one in five people today struggles with depression, often rooted in feeling purposeless. Treatment frequently involves methods to reestablish the individual’s sense of purpose—things such as creating a routine, setting goals, taking on responsibilities, doing something new, or volunteering for a cause.

Here again, this all reinforces how our beliefs directly impact our lives and thus why it is essential to know and stand on the truth of God’s Word.

Allow God’s promise to transcend time and speak to you today. God’s Word assures that He has a great plan for you. Trust that the circumstances of today will not harm you but that God will use it all to prepare you for what is ahead. Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.

God has great plans for me! Long ago God created me as His masterpiece for a good purpose. I trust that every day He shapes my circumstances and guides my steps to fulfill His plan. I will enjoy the journey, knowing that God is in control and that His plans for me are sure to happen.

HYMN: BE THOU MY VISION, O LORD OF MY HEART

DAY 7: Prepare Your Heart for Good Reception
Text: Romans 10:17
Memorize:  Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Scriptures: James 1:19-21; Romans 10:14; Romans 1:16; Luke 16:29-31; Jeremiah 23:28,29; Mark 4:24

Let’s say you’re a gardener. You’ve learned that you can take the exact same seed and plant it in three different locations and get three different results. In one spot, you’ll get giant tomatoes. In another, you’ll get small tomatoes. And in a third, you’ll get nothing. What’s the difference? It’s not the seed; it’s the soil. The soil must be prepared for the seed.  The same is true when you hear God’s Word. It’s why you can take two people to church, set them side-by-side, and one will walk out thinking God really spoke to him and the other won’t get anything out of the service. The heart of one person was prepared; the other’s heart wasn’t. Your heart has to be prepared for the Word. If you get up late, have trouble finding a parking spot, and are irritated as you rush into church, you’re probably not going to hear God’s voice! You’re not in a receptive mood.

The Bible says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:19b-21 NIV).

For good reception, this passage teaches you have to have four attitudes:

• You must be quiet. You can’t hear God if you’re talking.

• You have to be calm. You can’t rush God. If you’re frantic, you’re not going to hear God. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

• You have to be clean. Before you can meet with God, you need to take out some emotional and spiritual garbage. You need to get rid of the stuff that stinks in your life. You get rid of the garbage by confessing your sin to God and agreeing with him that what you did was wrong.

• You need to be humble. Be ready to do whatever God tells you from his Word. A prideful attitude won’t work.

HYMN: ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS NAME

DAY 8: Give God’s Word a Gaze
Text: 
James 1:22-25
Memorize:
Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves James 1:22


Scriptures: Jeremiah 11:6; Matthew 7:24; Luke 6:46; Romans 2:13; James 4:11; Obadiah 1:3

James calls God’s Word a mirror. The mirror helps us evaluate ourselves. Once you look at a mirror, you can decide if you need to make any changes before you leave for the day. The Bible helps us do that, too.

You can look at the Bible in one of two ways. You can glance at the mirror, or you can gaze into it. You don’t just glance at the Word of God in a rushed, hurried manner and then leave. Glancing at God’s Word won’t change your life.

Do you want a life that God blesses? It all starts with gazing into God’s Word. James 1:22-25 gives you the blueprint for how to study God’s Word in a way that he blesses.

• Read your Bible. “…          whoever looks intently …”

• Review the Bible. “…        and continues in it …”

• Remember the Bible. “…  not forgetting what they have heard …”

• Respond to the Bible. “… but doing it …”

HYMN: BLESSED ASSURANCE

DAY 9: God’s Word Is Right and True

Text: Hebrews 6:18

Memorize: Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. Hebrews 6:18.

Scriptures: Psalms 33:4; Numbers 23:19; Zechariah 9:12; Romans 5:5; Hebrews 7:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Romans 3:4

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6:18,  “It is impossible for God to lie” (NIV). The only reason the universe works is because God is true all the time. If the Bible has one lie in it, it’s not a godly book. It’s not from God, because God can’t lie. Psalm 33:4 says, “The Word of the Lord is right and true” (NLT). That means the Bible is right and true about salvation and history. How do we know the Bible is historically accurate? The same way you judge any other history:

• The Bible comes from first-person accounts. An historian would look to see if the historical information is written down by someone who saw it, whether it’s secondhand or a fable, written hundreds of years later. The Bible is primarily eyewitness accounts. Moses was there when the Red Sea split. Joshua was there when the walls of Jericho fell. The disciples of Jesus sat in the upper room and saw the resurrected Jesus appear.

• Biblical history was recorded with extreme care. When the Old Testament copyists — the scribes — would copy scrolls from one to another, they’d do so like a photocopy machine! They had a long list of rules they used to make sure it was copied exactly.

• Archeology proves the Bible is true. Archeologists have been able to dig up the places mentioned in the Bible. For example, they’ve found the Pool of Siloam where the blind man was healed and portions of Herod’s temple. The Hittite Empire is a great example of how archeology has shown us that the Bible is historically accurate.

For generations, historians had no record of the Hittites’ existence anywhere else. Yet in the early 1900s, an archeologist discovered 10,000 clay tablets in the Hittite capital. Now everyone knows that the Hittites once existed.

HYMN: TO GOD BE THE GLORY

DAY 10: God’s Word Is Always Ahead of Science

Text:  Psalms 148:4-6

Memorize: Behold, to the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, and the earth and everything in it. Deuteronomy 10:14

Scriptures: Isaiah 40:22; Jeremiah 33:22; 1 Kings 8:27;Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; 2 Corinthians 12:2; Genesis 7:11

Someone may have told you at one time that the Bible isn’t scientifically accurate. That person is wrong. They’ve either never studied the Bible or never studied science.

God sets up the laws of science; he made sure that his Word doesn’t contradict those laws.

Johannes Kepler, the famous mathematician and astronomer, once said, “Science is simply thinking God’s thoughts after him.” In other words, God established the laws of physics, and then we discover them.

The Bible wasn’t meant to be a scientific textbook. You don’t study the Bible to build a rocket. And the Bible doesn’t use scientific language. But the Bible never gives bad science! Not once during the 1,600 years in which the Bible was written does it give bad science. In fact, it’s always ahead of science.

For example:

• For thousands of years, people believed that the earth was flat. But God said 2,600 years ago in Isaiah 40:22 that God is enthroned above the sphere of the earth.

• For thousands of years, people believed something held the earth up. Hindus believed huge elephants did it. The Greeks believed Atlas did it. The Egyptians believed five columns held the earth up. The Bible never says that anything is holding the planet up.

• For thousands of years, people believed that the number of stars were finite. But Jeremiah 33:22 says the number of stars can’t be counted.

In 1861 a very famous book came out called “Fifty-one Incontrovertible Proofs that the Bible is Scientifically Inaccurate.” Today, you can’t find a single scientist on the planet that would agree with any one of those incontrovertible facts. They’ve all been disproved by science.

The Bible says, “Praise him, you highest heaven and the water above the sky. Let them praise the name of the LORD because they were created by his command. He set them in their places forever and ever. He made it a law that no one can break” (Psalm 146:4-6)

HYMN: WHEN WE SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS

DAY 11:  What the Bible Predicts, Comes True
Text: 2 Peter 1:21

Memorize: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2Timothy 3:16

Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:11; Luke 1:70; 1 Peter 1:11; Joshua 14:6; Numbers 16:28; Micah 3:7; Mark 12:36

The Bible is the most read book in history. It’s also the bestselling book in history and the most translated book in history.

Yet it’s more than that. It’s also God’s Word — God’s very breath. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (NIV).

That means the Bible isn’t just a good idea. It is God’s Word to us. One of the reasons I can know that the Bible is true and trustworthy is that it has thousands and thousands of prophecies that have come true and will come true in history. Every one of the Bible’s prophecies have either come true exactly as God predicted will come true sometime in the future.

The Bible contains more than 300 prophecies about Jesus alone — all written a thousand years before he was born. The Bible prophesized about when he’d be born, where he’d be born, and how he’d be born. He couldn’t have manipulated his birth to fulfill those prophecies.

It also predicted how he would die. A thousand years before Jesus died, David described Jesus’ death on the cross in one of the psalms. He didn’t use the word “crucifixion” because no one knew that word then. Long before the Romans were even thinking about crucifying people, David described it.

Only God could have known that.

What are the odds that I could make 300 predictions about you and every one of them would come true? It’s so astronomical you couldn’t write the number down. It takes more faith to believe that the Bible’s prophecies were a coincidence than to believe that God planned them.

The Bible says, “No prophecy ever originated from humans. Instead, it was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God’s direction” (2 Peter 1:21 GW).

During Bible times, nobody wanted to be a prophet. The law in Israel was that a prophet of God had to be correct 100 percent of the time. If you were wrong just once, then you were considered a false prophet and would have been put to death. A prophet better be right!

And the Bible prophecies were right — every one of them. You can trust the Bible because what the Bible predicts comes true.

HYMN: JESUS PAID IT ALL

DAY 12: Trust the Bible. Jesus Did

Text: Matthew 5:18

Memorize: For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Matthew 5:18

Scriptures: Psalm 111:8; Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 44:26; Luke 21:33; Psalm 102:26; 1 Peter 1:25; John 10:35; Luke 11:28

You may have heard someone say, “I trust Jesus, but not the other guys who wrote the Bible.” There’s a problem with that logic.

Jesus trusted the Bible — every word of it! He taught that the Bible was a unique book, above all the others. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”. Jesus says the Bible will last until the end of time. It will accomplish what God wants to accomplish in this world. In John 10:35 Jesus said, “We know that Scripture is always true”. Jesus proclaimed the truth of the Bible. And when Jesus talks about the truthfulness of the Bible, we need to listen.

When Jesus talked about the Bible with people, he would often base his argument about the truth of the Bible on a single sentence or even a single word from the Bible. He believed every single sentence, every single word of Scripture. So if I trust Jesus, why wouldn’t I trust the Bible?

When Jesus talks about the Bible, he doesn’t just talk about it as poetry and history, either. He saw the Bible as something that changes lives. In Luke 11:28 Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (NIV). Jesus didn’t just want us to read the Bible. That’s what you do with poetry and history. Jesus wanted us to obey the Bible. That’s what you do with anything the Creator of the universe writes.

When Jesus talked about the Bible, he talked about it as if the people and events in it were real. He talked about all the prophets being real. He talked about Daniel being real. Jesus believed in Noah and everything that happened with the flood. He believed in Adam and Eve. Jesus believed in the tragedy of Sodom and Gomorrah. He believed in Jonah and him being swallowed by a large fish.

Jesus believed in some of the most disputed stories in the Bible, particularly Noah, Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jonah. People who think that the Bible is mostly good stories that didn’t really happen always point to those four stories.

If Jesus really believed in Jonah, then I should, too. I don’t know how God created a fish that could swallow a guy, but he did. I trust in the Bible because Jesus trusted in it.

HYMN: A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD

DAY 13: Truth Is Eternal

Text: Matthew 24:35

Memorize: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 119:89,90,152; Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:26; Matthew 8:10

The Bible is the most despised, derided, denied, disputed, dissected, and debated book in all of history. This Bible has been under attack for centuries — for everything you can imagine.

Yet the Bible is still the most read, most published, and most translated book in the world. And, most importantly, it’s still changing the lives of those who apply what it teaches.

One of the reasons I believe the Bible is God’s Word is that it has survived so many attacks throughout history.

Despite all the attacks throughout history, today the Bible is the greatest single source of culture. It’s the greatest single source for music, art, and architecture. If you take the Bible out of culture, you would destroy most of the major music, artwork, and architecture of the past 2,000 years. Even much of our English language comes from the King James Bible.

The Bible has flourished in spite of unrelenting attacks during the past 2,000 years. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV). The only item on the planet that will last is the Word of God. Everything else will burn up, because truth is eternal.

Voltaire, the famous French philosopher, was a brilliant atheist. He wrote a number of tracts deriding the Bible. He once made a very bold statement: “One hundred years from today the Bible will be a forgotten book.” Today, everyone has forgotten that quote — not the Bible! After Voltaire died, for nearly 100 years, his homestead was used as the book depository for the French Bible Society. They sold Bibles out of his house! It’s now a museum. People have forgotten Voltaire. Nobody forgets the Bible. No matter what attacks come the Bible’s way, it always survives — and it always will. You can depend on that.

HYMN: CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS

DAY 14: God’s Word Can Do the Impossible

Text: James 1:18

Memorize: He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creation. James 1:18

Scriptures: James 1:18; John 6:63; Jeremiah 2:3; John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:15; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 14:4

God wants to use his Word to give you a fresh start in life.

Without God’s Word, we could never be saved. We wouldn’t be headed for Heaven. We wouldn’t know about Jesus’ death on the cross. We wouldn’t know about God’s purposes for our lives.

Without the Bible, we can’t know God.

God wants to give you all of that — but it starts with his Word. Through the Bible, God recreates our life. When I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, God uses the Bible to give me a fresh start, a do-over. The Bible calls it being “born again.” In James 1:18, the Bible says, “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth” (NIV).

The Bible is often compared to a seed. Once the Bible takes root in your heart, it begins to sprout and grow and bear fruit. As God’s Word does that, God changes your life for the better.

Jesus says this in John 6:63 about his Word: “The words I have spoken to you — they are full of the Spirit and life” (NIV). God’s Word isn’t just words on a page. It’s spirit and life. It’s spiritual power. His Word can transform society and transform history. It can do the impossible. It can change your life.

D.L. Moody, a famous Chicago pastor from 100 years ago, said, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge; the Bible was given to change our lives.”

How do you need your life changed? What part of your life do you feel powerless to change?

The Bible says the Word of God can change things that you cannot change on your own.

Make God’s Word a regular part of your life, and get ready for the impossible!

HYMN: DOWN AT THE CROSS

DAY 15: Jesus Paid for It All

Text: Ephesians 5:25-26

Memorize: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Scriptures: Ezekiel 18:9; Romans 5:16; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 1:30; John 15:4; Galatians 5:16,25, 1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1

You don’t have to live with guilt, regret, or shame anymore. Too many people are stuck with memories from their past that they can’t get over. Either you’ve been hurt and have resentment or you’ve hurt someone else and you have guilt.

God doesn’t want you to carry that heavy baggage throughout your life. He wants you to be free. That’s one reason God gave us the Bible. He uses his Word to eradicate our guilt.

I remember many years ago, when I was preaching, a woman came up to me in tears. She began to pour out a very sad story to me, complete with all the bad mistakes she had made. She was distraught and weeping profusely. She kept saying how very guilty she felt.

Then I read her 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV). It’s the soap-dish verse. God says he’ll give you a bath; he’ll get rid of the dirt on your life, forgive you, and wipe away your sins.

Then I took her to Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” She asked, “You mean all the things I’ve done wrong in my life, God’s not going to punish me for?” Nope. “Why?” she asked. Because Jesus paid for those things. “What about those I’ll commit tomorrow?” she asked. Jesus paid for those, too.

God’s Word cleanses the dirt, cleans up my mind, and washes my body. It gets all the dirt, the junk, the grime, the grit, the shame, and the sin out of my life.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:25-26: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”

HYMN WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

DAY 16: God’s Truth Will Set You Free

Text: John 8:31-32

Memorize: So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. John 8:31

Scriptures: John 2:2; John 15:7; 2 John 1:9; John 15:4-9; 1 Samuel 12:14; John 8:36; John 6:55

Nothing can change the lives of people like the Bible. I’ve seen alcoholics and addicts get their lives sober and clean because they started reading the Bible. I’ve seen God’s Word turn self-centered, narcissistic men who abuse and misuse women into godly husbands, wonderful dads, and upstanding citizens in the community.

Laws can’t change human hearts. If I believed they could, I’d be a politician. I have zero faith in politics to actually change the greatest problems on the planet. You can make laws to outlaw racism and bigotry, but no law will turn a bigot into a lover of people of other races. Only God can do that.

Jesus said it like this in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in my Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NKJV).

Secular universities all around the world have the second half of that verse printed in stone on university buildings: “The truth shall make you free.” But those same universities ignore the first part of the verse. Your own opinions and the opinions of others won’t set you free. Only the Bible will. Even when obeying the Bible is hard and uncomfortable, it will set you free.

Do you believe everything you read online? Of course not! Do you believe everything you watch on TV? No. Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper and in “People” magazine? No. Why do we spend more time reading and watching what we know is a lie than reading what we know is the truth?

The fundamental question you’ll face in life is this: What will be your authority? Will it be God’s Word or the world? Will it be what God says is true or public opinion? You need to decide, and you need to do it soon.

If the Bible isn’t infallible, inerrant, and flawless, you’re in a heap of trouble. The Bible tells you how you can be saved. It tells you that your life isn’t an accident. The Bible tells you how to be forgiven. It tells you how God can use you for good in the world.

HYMN: TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS

DAY 17: Faith Is God’s Word Activated

Text: Exodus 23:29-30

Memorize: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Scriptures: John 6:66-71; John 15:4-9; 1 Samuel 12:14; John 15:8; 2 John 1:9; John 2:2; John 1:47; Exodus 23:29-30

Most of us aren’t confident or courageous. Most of us are flat out scared to death. We’re afraid to take risks, afraid of failure, and afraid of dying. We’re not walking confidently because we’re not people of faith.

Do you want to be a person of faith? Faith is God’s Word activated. The Bible says in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ” (NIV).

If you’ve ever read a verse in the Bible and all of a sudden thought, “I can do this! I can do this!” you’ve just had your faith activated by the Word of God.

It’s the difference between the Bible and self-help books. Self-help books often give you helpful insight. They can tell you the right thing to do, but they just don’t give you the power to do it. Self-help books tell you that you should stop worrying or you should give up all your bad habits. Helpful, yes, but you don’t have the power to keep the advice. Those books aren’t alive.

But God’s Word not only tells you what to do; it gives you the power to do it. And it increases your faith as you do it.

When I read the thousands of promises in the Bible where God says he’ll act on our behalf if we obey him in some manner, it gives me confidence. I know that if I do what God asks of me, he has promised a certain result.

For instance, God had promised the Israelites the Promised Land. They were going to go across the Jordan River into Israel and take on some tribes that were already living there. They didn’t think they could do it. They thought the goal was too big.

In Exodus 23:29-30, God is saying to the Israelites, “You know these enemies? They’re bigger than you. But I’m not going to give you the whole land in the first year. You’re going to take it over a little bit at a time — one battle at a time. You’re growing stronger. When you’re strong enough to handle it all, you’ll get it all.”

HYMN: YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN

DAY 18: Have You Claimed Your Inheritance

Text: Acts 20:32

Memorize: And now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. Acts 20:32

Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 14:3;1 Peter 1:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 5:5;Acts 9:31; Acts 11:23; Hebrews 9:15

You have an inheritance coming to you. If you read God’s Word, the Bible promises one for you. The Bible says in Acts 20:32, “I commit you to God and to the Word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified”. An inheritance is what you get for being part of a family that’s rightfully yours.

Pretend your father is Warren Buffet, and he dies. If you never took the time to read the will, you’d be foolish. You wouldn’t get what was rightfully due to you. You wouldn’t benefit from what belongs to you as a child of Warren Buffet.

When you become a follower of Jesus, you’re not just a believer — you’re a belonger. You become a part of God’s family. Family privileges come along with that decision. You have a spiritual inheritance.

But if you walked through your entire life and you didn’t know what benefits were available to you as a child of God, that would be sad — and foolish. God wants you to grow and know what’s available to you from him. You need to read the Bible to do that.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “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.”

The purpose of the Bible is to help you live out the purpose God has for your life; it’s God’s inheritance that’s due to you. God wants you to be thoroughly equipped for what you’ve been made to do. To do that, he does four things through Scripture:

• He teaches you. God shows you the path on which you should walk.

• He rebukes you. God shows you when you’re off the path.

• He corrects you. God shows you how you can get back on the path.

• He trains you. God shows you how you can stay on the path.

That’s how God’s Word helps you grow and get that great inheritance God has prepared for you.

HYMN: COME INTO MY HEART, O LORD JESUS

DAY 19: God Frees Us through His Word

Text: Ephesians 5:26

Memorize: To sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word. Ephesians 5:26

Scriptures: Leviticus 8:6; John 3:5; John 13:10; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Colossians 3:16; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 4:12

Truth be told, you can’t even fathom your full potential. Only your Creator can. Only God, the one who made you, knows all you are capable of being. Your parents, your spouse, your friends, your boss — they only get a glimpse of your potential.

Only God knows what you’re truly capable of.

Most people live for the approval of others. They spend all of their time worrying about what others think of them. Your life has been limited by replaying tapes in your head of people who lied to you. They may not even mean to lie to you, but they still do. They’ve told you that you can’t do something that you shouldn’t even bother because you’re not worth much anyway.  You’ve played these tapes over and over in your mind. And they’re lies. The people that made those statements about you have no idea about your potential. You have to talk to your Creator for that.

Only he knows what he can do through your life. And only he can unlock that potential. How does he do it? The Lord frees us through his Word. Jesus said this in John 8:31-32: “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NLT). God’s Word will unlock all you’ve been made to do and be. Through it, you’ll be able to do things you’ve never thought possible.

How do you do that?

1. Learn God’s Word. God won’t unlock your potential until you actually open the Word and learn it. You won’t unlock potential by osmosis. You’ll start to do it by learning what the Bible says.

2. Accept God’s Word. The Bible has to be the authority in your life. You may not like what you’re reading, but if you want God’s best for your life, you need to accept what it says as the final authority for how you live.

3. Obey God’s Word. You can’t just learn God’s Word and accept God’s Word. You have to do what the Bible teaches. You don’t get blessed for the parts of the Bible you know. You get blessed for the parts of the Bible you do.

HYMN: HAVE YOU BEEN TO JESUS FOR THE CLEANSING POW’R?

DAY 20: A True Disciple Continues in God’s Word

Text: Ecclesiastes 4:9

Memorize: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. Ecclesiastes 4:9

Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 4:9; Ecclesiastes 4:8; Exodus 4:14-16; John 4:36; 2 John 1:8; Numbers 11:14

It’s a really important step to commit to reading your Bible regularly for a short period — maybe a few weeks. It’s a great way to get started, but you should never leave it there. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31 NASB). It’s the long-term commitment to learning from Jesus and his Word that makes us his disciples.

How do you continue in the Word and stay connected with Jesus through his Word for the long-term?

1). Make the decision to do it. It starts with your commitment. Don’t wait for a better time to make God’s Word a regular part of your life. Start your commitment today.

2). Make a declaration. Announce your intentions to others. Hold yourself accountable. If you keep your commitment to God a secret, it’s easier to slip up.

3). Make a determination. Don’t allow anything to knock you off your commitment. Be absolutely determined to make this a permanent habit in your life, particularly in the early months. If you start skipping days, it’ll be much harder to stay committed to God’s Word.

4). Double up. Get a spiritual partner to come alongside you for support and encouragement. This is someone with whom you can share what you learn in your quiet times. It could be someone in your small group, a friend, or a family member. The Bible says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT).

Spending time with God should be a lifelong habit — not a passing fancy. Research shows you need to do something for about six weeks straight to build a habit. Make God’s Word part of your life today — and the rest of your life.

HYMN: JESUS IS TENDERLY CALLING THEE HOME

DAY 21: God’s Word Causes Radical Change

Text: :  2 Timothy 3:16-17

Memorize: The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

Scriptures; James 1:22; John 1:14; Ezekiel 37:27; Psalm 85:9; Luke 9:32; John 2:11; John 17:22; John 18:37; Hebrews 2:14

I was once asked what the best translation of the Bible was. My answer: when you translate it into your life. That’s what Bible study is all about. If you’re not translating God’s Word into your life, you’re not studying the Bible the way God intended.

God gave us the Bible to transform us, not simply inform us. It should give us a bigger heart, not a bigger head. In the Book of James, we’re told, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22 NIV).

In other words, God wants our beliefs turned into behavior.

God makes his purpose for the Bible even more explicit in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (NLT).

The purpose of the Bible is more than just showing us what is wrong in our lives or how we should live. God gave us his Word to radically transform our lives.

The Bible describes God’s truth as milk, water, bread, and meat. What do all those things have in common? If you don’t eat or drink them regularly, you’ll die. We were never meant to live without the Bible.

The Bible is essential to our lives because it gives us life. In fact, the Bible also talks about Jesus as the Word of God. John 1:14 says, “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” God gave you the Living Word —Jesus — to be the author and finisher of your faith, and he gave you the written Word to prepare you to live out your faith.

HYMN: JESUS, MY SAVIOR, TO BETHLEHEM CAME

DAY 22: Biblical Meditation Is Thought Digestion

Text: Josuah 1:8

Memorize: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.Psalm 19:14

Scriptures: Genesis 24:63; Deuteronomy 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalm 1:1-2; Psalm 19:14; Psalm 119:11,15,97,99;Matthew 7:21,24

I can remember hearing great sermons or in-depth Bible teaching and wondering how the teacher found all those great nuggets of truth in God’s Word. That’s why I wrote my first book 35 years ago: to help people like me. “Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods” shares 12 methods of Bible study, such as the chapter summary method, the topical method, and the verse-by-verse method.

One of my favorites is the devotional Bible study method. If you were to summarize the devotional method in one word, it would probably be “meditate.” For many, the word “meditate” is a bad word. They associate it with Eastern or New Age religions. Some Christians, when they think of meditation, picture people folding their bodies into pretzels and contemplating the lint on their navel.

That may be Eastern or Buddhist meditation, but it’s not Christian meditation. The Bible uses the word “meditate” 29 times in the New International Version to describe a believer’s devotional life. God wants us to meditate.

He promises us that if we meditate on Scripture, he’ll bless us. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (NIV).

So, according to God, you have to meditate on his Word if you want to be successful.

So how do you do it? Grab a dictionary and look up a synonym for “meditation,” and you’ll probably find the word “rumination.” You probably don’t know that word unless you happen to be a farmer. Rumination is what a cow does when she chews her cud. She rolls her cud over and over in her mouth.

That’s similar to how you meditate on Scripture. Cows eat the grass, chew it up, and send it to their stomachs pretty quickly. There it lies in the stomach, soaking up all of those acids and chemicals. Then, after a while, the cow burps it back up with a new and renewed flavor, chews on that grass and some other grass, and does the whole process over again. Cows repeat this several times. They get every ounce of nutrition out of the grass.

HYMN: JUST AS I AM, WITHOUT ONE PLEA

DAY 23: Meeting God through His word

Text: 2 Timothy 2:7

Memorize: Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19

Scriptures: Joshua 1:7-8; 2 Timothy 2:7; Deuteronomy 6:4-9;James 1:21-25;Luke 8:15;Colossians 3:16-17

As God’s Word, the Bible is to be engaged in a special way. It isn’t just a “happy thought for the day” or “rules to be memorized,” something we read to earn God’s favor, or a means to get the things we want. Scripture engagement is about meeting God. It is a relational process. When you come to Scriptures, are you meditating on them, letting them be on your heart, talking about them, letting them be planted in your life, looking at them intently, and retaining them? In short, when you read the Word of God, are you letting the Scriptures dwell in you? Talk to God about how you have been handling his Word. Below are a number of passages that teach us how we are to come to Scripture.

“Scripture engagement is interaction with the biblical text in a way that provides sufficient opportunity for the text to speak for itself by the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling readers and listeners to hear the voice of God and discover for themselves the unique claim Jesus Christ is making upon them.”

HYMN: MUST I GO, AND EMPTY-HANDED

DAY 24: What is the Word of God like?
Text: 1 Peter 1:23
Memorize: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:21; Psalms 119:105; Hebrews 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:20-22;Jeremiah 23:29;Ephesians 6:17;Hebrews 4:12-13

God knows that for us to understand something we often have to relate a new idea to an old idea. The Bible describes itself using a number of metaphors. Those metaphors help us to understand Scriptures in a new way. God’s Word is a seed, a light, food (have you been starving yourself of God’s nourishment – spiritual anorexia?), a foundation, a fire, a hammer, a helmet and a sword.

. When you come to God’s Word, take the time necessary to examine it, to listen and hear it, to hide it in your heart, to ponder it, to hold it firmly, to consider it and to “eat” it. As you deeply reflect on the Scriptures, God will use them in your life to help you to know him and obey him with more depth each day.

HYMN: PASS ME NOT, O GENTLE SAVIOR

DAY 25: The qualities of God’s Word
Text:
Proverbs 30:5
Memorize
: We also have the word of the prophets as confirmed beyond doubt. And you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

Scriptures: Psalms 119:16; John 17:17; Colossians 1:5; 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalms 19:7; Proverbs 30:5;Psalms 93:5;2 Peter 1:19

Today we continue looking at a few more of the qualities of God’s Word. We will see that God’s Word is true, trustworthy, perfect, unshakeable, and reliable. The qualities of God’s Word are the qualities of God himself. What have you learned about God from the qualities of his Word that you’ve read today?

“The Word of Scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love…Do not ask ‘How shall I pass this on.’ But ‘What does it say to me?’ Then ponder this Word long in your heart until it has gone right into you and taken possession of you.”

Read with a holy attention, arising from the consideration of the majesty of God, and the reverence due to him. This must be done with attention, first, to the words; second, to the sense; and, third, to the divine authority of the Scripture, and the obligation it lays on the conscience for obedience.

HYMN: PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS

DAY 26: Engage God’s Word
Text: Galatians 3:8
Memorize: The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and foretold the gospel to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” Galatians 3:8

Scriptures: Galatians 3:8; Romans 9:17; Acts 4:24-25; Galatians 3:16; Jeremiah 4:2; Romans 3:30; Hebrews 4:2

In the Bible, Scriptures are spoken of as if they were God and God is spoken of as if he were the Scriptures There are a number of New Testament passages that cite Scripture from the Old Testament and God interchangeably. When we engage God’s Word, we engage God.

Scripture Engagement is when our lives connect with Scripture and God speaks to us through it. For this to happen, we need to know ourselves, to uncover the questions our hearts and our society are asking. We also need to dwell in the narrative of God’s revelation of himself in the past, using our minds as well as our senses to enter into that experience. At this intersection, we listen for the fresh ways Christ is calling to us, knowing that Christ incarnates into every culture in every age in unique ways.

Scripture engagement is a grace of the Holy Spirit—a divine-human encounter. Our part is to want it and to create conditions that favor it: quieting ourselves before God, exposing ourselves to his Word, listening.

HYMN: ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME

DAY 27: Where God’s Word is, there is God’s Spirit
Text:
Isaiah 34:16
Memorize
: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.1 Peter 1:11

Scriptures: Isaiah 34:16; Isaiah 59:21; John 6:63; John 16:13; 2 Peter 1:21

In many places in the Bible we see that God’s Word is accompanied by the Spirit and vice versa.  “My suggestion is simple: put away study aids, commentaries, group Bible-study materials; get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down what we learn about God in a passage of Scripture. Just what we learn about the Abba. We read, we meditate, and we pray. In time these parts of spiritual reading can become indistinguishable. When they do become one, we are reading Abba-centrically. There is no substitute for reading the Bible in order to hear from God.”

HYMN: SOFTLY AND TENDERLY JESUS IS CALLING

DAY 28: Speaking God’s Word
Text:
Romans 10:8
Memorize:
But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may obey it. Deuteronomy 30:14

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 30:14;2 Samuel 23:2;Psalms 119:13;Psalms 119:43-48;Psalms 119:172;Isaiah 59:21;Romans 10:8

Not only are we to hear God’s Word, we are to speak it to others. When we talk about the Bible it not only enhances our own engagement with Scriptures, it also builds up the person we share with. We talk about what we love. Do your words show that you love God’s Word?

 “Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?”

HYMN: THE GREAT PHYSICIAN NOW IS NEAR

DAY 29: Singing God’s Word
Text:
Ephesians 5:18-20
Memorize:
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Romans 13:13

Scriptures: Ephesians 5:18-20;Psalms 95:1-2;Matthew 26:30;Acts 16:25;Revelation 15:2-4

Much of Scripture is designed to be sung. Singing Scripture helps us to memorize and meditate on it and the music helps us to connect with God emotionally. The whole book of Psalms is the hymnal of the Bible!

“Thus you see in the same Psalm [119] how David constantly boasts that he will talk, meditate, speak, sing, hear, read, by day and night and always, about nothing except God’s Word and commandments. For God will not give you his Spirit without the external Word; so take your cue from that. His command to write, preach, read, hear, sing, speak, etc., outwardly was not given in vain. It is possible to increase our responsiveness and understanding of the Word of God.

We can better understand Scripture if we stand in God’s counsel, grow in character, rid ourselves of evil and act humbly, by persevering through affliction and through the help of teachers and the Holy Spirit. Are you becoming increasingly responsive to God’s Word? What is helping (or hindering) that process?

Bible engagement is the process of taking in and living out God’s Word for the purpose of knowing him better and experiencing him more.

HYMN: WHAT CAN WASH AWAY MY SIN

DAY 30: Memorizing God’s Word
Text:
Psalms 119:11
Memorize:
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2

Scriptures: Psalms 119:11;Deuteronomy 6:6;Matthew 4:1-4;1 Peter 3:15; Psalm 19:13; Psalm 37:31; Psalm 119:97

Perhaps the most powerful way to engage with God’s Word is to memorize it. Memorizing the Bible means we can meditate on it all day long and that we can have it available to us when we most need it. We can see by the way Jesus continually quoted Scripture that he had memorized great portions of it. Jesus was absolutely soaked in God’s Word, and He is our model.

I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified

Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization

HYMN: IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, GOD ONLY WISE