Weekly Devotional: A Spiritual Check-up

Body of female doctorRead Mark 11:12-26

A spiritual check-up is necessary if we are to achieve our maximum potential.  Jeremiah warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, / And desperately wicked; / Who can know it?  I, the Lord, search the heart, / I test the mind, / Even to give every man according to his ways, / According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  Therefore, I do not recommend that you trust your self-diagnosis.  David, a man after God’s own heart, understood this when he prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; / Try me, and know my anxieties; / And see if there is any wicked way in me, / And lead me in the way everlasting.”

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Free Friday! Studies on Saving Faith

free_friday_med
Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $4.95, is Studies on Saving Faith by A.W. Pink. Click here to download.

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What We’ve Been Up To – “Just the Basics” Conference

563548_10151483383514643_78739560_nLast week, I had the privilege of flying to Nashville to attend our first WORDsearch conference of the year, held at the awe-inspiring LifeWay corporate headquarters. Having only been with the company for a little over a year, this was my first opportunity to venture out of our Austin office to meet some of the wonderful pastors and teachers that use our program.

It was raining and cold in Nashville, but that didn’t stop 68 men and women from joining us for a program touted as “Just the Basics.” It was a great introduction to the WORDsearch program, and the unique blend of styles from the four different trainers made it a truly worthwhile event.

Richard and Linda Perry, along with Steven Ward and Scott Winter, demonstrated the ease  of maneuvering around the program while showing how powerful the program is.  The attendees will no longer have to go back and forth to their bookshelves, skimming through book after book, not even sure what they were looking for.

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Weekly Devotional – Worship in Suffering

65894_156138861201803_148489531_nHave you ever sat in worship and thought to yourself, “This is getting old”?  Sometimes even the most devout Christians can find themselves in a rut, feeling as if all they are doing is spinning their wheels spiritually.  The answer is not to give up on worship, but rather to explore ways in which our worship experience can inform our “real-world” experience.

Take for instance, the issue of suffering.  Some have asked me what to say to those in the midst of great suffering.  The one thing I can say for sure is that no course or internship at a seminary can provide the words to say to those who are hurting.  Many times we only make matters worse when we try to mend deep wounds with shallow words, all the while inadvertently minimizing the pain felt by those who grieve.  The only answer that I can give, and the only answer that I feel gives us any hope, is that God in the person of Jesus Christ knows what it is to suffer.  Normally in worship, if we speak of suffering it is in relation to what Christ endured.

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My Favorite Study Tool…WORDsearch by Dr. Rod Mattoon

index~~element123I have been asked to write about how I use WORDsearch in my message preparations and
studies. Let me say up front that I use WORDsearch almost every single day because I study every
day. There are two main features that help me immensely.
1. The “Topics” button.
A. Subject Research
This tool enables me to do in-depth studies on any particular subject I want to research. For
example, I am preaching through the book of Job right now and wanted to find material on “Trials.”
By finding verses and information about “trials,” I can then form an outline on this particular subject
or incorporate the principles into my message.

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A Message from WORDsearch’s Austin Bush

19094_10102730854497570_413666385_nI have only had the pleasure of working with the WORDsearch software for the past year and a half, but in that span it has opened my eyes to two key things.

First off, growing up in the generation that I did, I really connect well with the use of technology.   To have the Word of God laid out so simply for me to read and study has truly helped me interpret the Word like I’ve  never been able to do before.  The use of the ‘Parallel Bible’ feature has been a huge help for me personally in understanding how multiple different translations get the message across.  Also, to have my preferred Bible of choice open (HCSB) alongside a couple different commentaries, I have found that my studies have been able to reach a new level of depth, resulting in a much clearer understanding of the true meaning of the Word.

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