Did you ever get home from a long week and your body just throbs? Pulses with stress and worldly pollution and reverberating with clanging and noise you just can't seem to get out or clear your head? That was Friday night.
Satruday morning I slept late, always nice. (until 7:00 am!). I got my Bountiful Basket from a friend who who kindly picks it up for me in Athens when she goes to get hers, and we meet halfway between. I came home and roasted broccoli, butternut squash, orange peppers, and spaghetti squash. On BB weekends which occur every other Saturday, when I process the produce and cook, I listen to sermons. I enjoy Refnet, Reformation Network. It's a 24-hour online radio station featuring expositional sermons, prayers from the Valley of Vision, music and hymns, devotionals, some talk on news issues from a Christian perspective, and plain old reading of the word, uninterrupted and unadulterated. It's a great network. No ads, and it's free.
So on Saturday morning while my hands worked, my mind was busy listening. I listened to three sermons on RefNet.fm while I cooked: Alistair Begg on David and Goliath (which is not about facing your giants but is about the might of God), RC Sproul on Mary's Magnificat (brought me to tears), and John MacArthur on predestination in Romans 8, gorgeous.
Reformation Network: 24-Hour Internet Radio Committed To the Historic Christian Faith
As for the prayers, I heard one from the Valley of Vision that just about killed me, it was so beautifully written. Here is just part of it:
Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be yours alone. Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in you, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of you as Savior, Master, Lord, and King. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in your Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from you. The Valley of Vision (Puritan Prayer)
When people are stressed or overwhelmed they do a lot of things. They work out. They go for a walk. They cook ;). They enjoy their hobby/game/movie. For the Christian, there is no better stress reliever than the Word. Read it or listen to it. I don't know how to explain the supernatural advance of the Spirit in us, but when I listen to the reading of the word and sermons explaining the word and music that praises the Lord, it does something to me. It washes me from the inside. It restores me, cleans me, revives me.
After a few hours, my heart was expanded with love for Jesus, my head was full of scripture, and my belly was satisfied with food He had provided.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; (Psalm 19:7a)
he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. (Psalm 23:3)
I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Thy word. (Psalm 119:107)
for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might (Ephesians 1:19)
The reviving energy of the Word is part of the great power He bestows on us.
The word “power” (dynamis; cf. 3:20) means a spiritually dynamic and living force. This power of God is directed toward believers. Paul then used three additional words to describe God’s power. It is according to the working (energeian, “energetic power,” from which comes the Eng. “energy”) of the might (kratous, “power that overcomes resistance,” as in Christ’s miracles; this word is used only of God, never of believers) of God’s inherent strength (ischyos) which He provides (cf. 6:10; 1 Peter 4:11). This magnificent accumulation of words for power under scores the magnitude of God’s “great power” available to Christians.What a good and loving God we have. His word is eternal and strong, it refreshes, revives, strengthens, and enlivens. Don't put off reading it or listening to it.
Hoehner, H. W. (1985). Ephesians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 620). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Before reading/listening to the Word
After reading/listening to the Word