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  • Lessons from the Life of Job

    "There was a man in the land of Uz,
    whose name was Job;
    and that man was perfect and upright,
    and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."
    (Job 1:1)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    Many scholars agree that Job is probably the oldest book of the Bible. It seems appropriate, then, that the oldest portion of Scripture immediately addresses the age-old question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

    Job is introduced to us as a very wealthy man (1:3), and one that God Himself regarded as "perfect and upright." His net worth in modern currency could have exceeded $5,000,000, which makes his morality all the more remarkable. After all, how many present-day millionaires "hold fast their integrity" (2:3) as Job did? And yet even when he lost everything, Job's heart-cry seemed to be very much in line with Paul's in Acts 20:24, "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy . . .to testify . . . of the grace of God." Continue reading

  • Avoiding the Net

    "Surely in vain the net is spread
    In the sight of any bird."
    (Proverbs 1:17)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    As Christians, we are invited to "behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1). In view of Christ's astounding love, the apostle Paul asked rhetorically, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31). Knowing that nothing can be laid "to the charge of God's elect" affords us great peace and spiritual confidence, enabling us to "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (Rom. 8:33; 1 Pet. 1:8).

    Nevertheless, we know there are daily battles to be fought as our "adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). The "fiery darts" of temptation, doubt and discouragement will be encountered, and surviving such attacks requires that we "put on the whole armour of God", firmly gripping "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:13, 16-17).
    Continue reading

  • Auditory Review

    "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak;
    and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth."
    (Deuteronomy 32:1)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    Whenever I’m asked about the specific techniques I use when memorizing Scripture, I make it a point to mention that there really is no right or wrong way to approach memorization. What works well for me may or may not work for you, and vice-versa. The exact routine that I tend to follow has been fine-tuned over the years based on a number of factors, including my work schedule, my learning style, and what I find enjoyable. Since these factors will vary from person to person, effective Scripture memorization will naturally look somewhat different for each of us – and that’s okay.

    With that said, I still believe there is some value in sharing specific methodology we have personally found to be helpful. Continue reading

  • Times of Refreshing

    "That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God,
    and may with you be refreshed."
    (Romans 15:32)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    It has been said that a key ingredient to happiness in life is having something meaningful to do. The question of why we are here has puzzled humanity since the beginning of time, and despite Satan’s best efforts to convince us that life is meaningless, within each of our hearts is the yearning to do something important, something lasting, with our lives.

    For Christians, of course, finding something meaningful to do isn’t all that difficult. Aside from Christ’s Great Commission to go "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”, God has uniquely equipped each of us with “diversities of gifts” that enable us to “bear much fruit” in our service to Him (Mark 16:15; 1 Cor. 12:4; John 15:8). Running out of things to do is rarely the problem for me; more often than not, it’s simply finding time to “lie down in green pastures” and “refresh my [heart] in the Lord” (Ps. 23:2; Phlm. 1:20). Continue reading

  • Get Someone to Memorize With You

    "For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
    but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
    for he hath not another to help him up."
    (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    If I could give just one word of advice to any new memorizer, it would be to prepare for discouragement. As odd as this advice may sound at first, I believe one of the worst mistakes a Christian can make, and something I struggle with personally, is failing to prepare for spiritual battles before they are fought. Whether the temptation is to quit memorizing Scripture or something of a completely different nature, you stand little chance of success if you have failed to “prepare yourself to the battle” (1 Cor. 14:8) through prayer and Bible study, and by taking other practical steps that may be necessary to ensure victory.

    Regardless of how much you enjoy memorizing Scripture now, I can virtually guarantee that at some point along the way you will experience a temporary lack of motivation. Continue reading

  • Trusting God

    "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
    and He shall direct thy paths."
    (Proverbs 3:5-6)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    Summarizing the events of the past two weeks of my life is a task too big for words. Without going into excessive detail, I can only say that many of my best-laid plans for the future have recently been turned upside down, and this passage of Scripture is one I've found especially comforting as I learn that the excellence of God's wisdom far surpasses my own ability to understand it.

    Solomon's simple exhortation to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart" carries with it the implication that our own understanding tends to be faulty. After all, if God's plan always made sense to us, this reminder would be unnecessary. The fact is that just "as the heavens are higher than the earth" (Isa. 55:9), God's ways and thoughts are better than ours, and are very often incomprehensible to our finite minds.

    The beauty of this Proverb is that it not only contains a commandment to trust God, but the invaluable promise of Divine guidance to those who resolve to seek it. When we take our hands off the steering wheel and relinquish full control to the Lord, we can rest in the assurance that His thoughts toward us are always "thoughts of peace, and not of evil" (Jer. 29:11). His omniscience means He is already fully aware of what lies ahead. His omnipotence means He is able to work all things together for our good, and His goodness and love means He most certainly will (Rom. 8:28; 1 John 4:8; Mark 10:18).

  • Jonah and the Big Memory Test

    Article by Laura Laura Raborn

    So there was Jonah, stuck inside a great fish contemplating his life choices. He pulls out his smartphone, dries it off, opens his Bible app, and searches for verses to match his need – absolutely not! There is nothing wrong with tools. They can be a great help. But no device or card in your pocket, however convenient, can compare with the nearness of God’s word in your heart and mind.

    Regarding the prayer of Jonah, Arthur T. Pierson writes:

    “As we follow this utterance of deep yearning toward God, when the prophet’s soul fainted within him and he remembered the Lord, we find that the prayer is wholly composed of passages of Scripture: Compare Psalm 120:1; 130:1; Lamentations 3:55, 56; Psalm 50:14, 23; 69:1; Lamentations 3:54; Isaiah 38:17; 2 Kings 17:15; Psalm 31:22; 1 Kings 8:38, 39; 1 Samuel 12:21; Psalm 18:6; 61:2; 34:6; 88:5-8; 42:7. Continue reading

  • How to Memorize a Bible Verse

    "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
    And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
    and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
    and when thou walkest by the way,
    and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
    (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    There’s no such thing as a "one size fits all" approach to memorizing Scripture. Each of us has been gifted with a unique mind and a distinct learning style, meaning successful Scripture memory routines will naturally vary from person to person. It's been my observation, however, that certain techniques seem to be universally reliable and form a good starting point for most people.

    This is certainly not intended to be a rigid step-by-step guide that must be followed perfectly, but merely a list of humble suggestions based on my own experience and the testimony of others I’ve been privileged to meet. Always keep in mind that there are no rules to break, and so the best way to memorize Scripture is to utilize whatever methods work best for you. Continue reading

  • Meditations on Joy

    "These things I have spoken to you,
    that My joy may remain in you,
    and that your joy may be full."
    (John 15:11)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    A frequent prayer of mine is for grace to remember the things I ought not forget, and to forget the things I ought not remember. Of course this prayer has a special significance to Scripture memorizers, and my recent meditations on today's Scripture have led me to conclude that our tendency to forget God's words often robs us of the joy knowing Christ brings.

    Of course there are a number of reasons we may find ourselves discouraged at times, but my personal experience has been that discouragement is very often due to us losing sight of one or more of the following truths:
    Continue reading

  • Defining Success

    "But be ye doers of the word,
    and not hearers only,
    deceiving your own selves."
    (James 1:22)
    Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

    An inescapable part of our human nature is an inner desire to be successful. We feel humiliated by failure and we're terrified by the thought of falling short in the things that matter most. Of course we all have different life goals, but our pursuit of spiritual, professional and relational success is something most people have in common. In fact, my recent observation has been that emotional depression is very often rooted in a person's belief that they have simply fallen short in one of these areas. It's for this reason that properly defining success on a personal level is so critically important. After all, even pursuing the right things can be exhausting; to spend your life pursuing the wrong things would be a tragedy. Continue reading

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