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eSword & Personal Revival 2013

Using eSword Revival Tools For Personal Revival In Your Life

 

I think it’s fair to state that the American church is in (great) need of revival. I also think it’s fair to state that the vast majority of local American churches are in need of revival. And I also believe that most American families are in dire need of revival. Finally, I think it’s fair to state that most DDTers will heartily agree with these assertions.

 

So, what does it take? When does revival start? Evangelist Gypsy Smith used to encourage individuals to take a piece of chalk, kneel down, and draw a circle around themselves. They were then to look up to heaven, and pray: “Lord God, send revival, and begin it right here in this circle!”

 

While our desire is for God to send revival to America, to our local church, and to our family, we need to start inside that circle of one. We need to start with “me.” Revival is simply our own relationship with God being rekindled and revived.

 

eSword provides great tools to help with personal revival. Sometimes we refer to it as personal devotions; sometimes as discipleship; call it what you will, but building/rebuilding our relationship with God fosters a spirit of revival in our life. The purpose of this blog is to help Christians recognize and utilize the powerful tools of eSword for personal revival.

 

The core of personal worship has always revolved around these disciplines:

 

  1. A Daily Bible Reading
  2. Prayer Time
  3. Meditating on & Memorizing Scripture

 

And we could add to that

 

  1. Reading out of a daily devotional guide
  2. Journaling
  3. Listening to audio sermons & teachings
  4. Reading good Biblical material that is warm, illuminating, & biblical in content

 

Wow, does eSword help in those seven areas! Let’s take a look at how eSword can help you experience personal revival in 2013.

 

DAILY BIBLE READING

 

Would you like to read through the NT in 2013? How about the OT? Or the entire Bible? eSword can be set to begin each day with a Bible reading. Here’s how.

 

Go to eSword’s “Tools/Bible Reading...” menu. At the very top left, click on the “New Bible Reading Plan” button. It will walk you through the simple steps of A) what you want to read; B) which days of the week you want to read.; and C) how long you want your reading plan to last. And then, voila! eSword will create the plan for you. Make sure you check the “Show at Startup.” That way, the Bible Reading tool will open automatically each day when you open eSword. When you finish each day’s reading, check off at the top of the page. It’s that simple!

 

eSword allows users to create simple plans; but there are two plans that I’ve accumulated I’d like to share with you. One is a Chronological reading plan (puts the book of Job after Genesis chapter 11; the psalms in their chronological order; etc.). It’s a great resource - and it’s divided into 365 daily readings. You can download it by clicking here. (NOTE: All Bible Reading Plans should be installed to your “...Documents/e-Sword” folder.)

 

The second is a Robert Murray McCheyne Bible reading plan. He encouraged folks to mix OT, Psalms, Proverbs, & NT readings together every day. It, too, is divided up into 365 daily readings. You can download it by clicking here.

 

Whether you create your own, or download one of these, they should be stored in your “...Documents\e-Sword” folder. I have a full blog on Bible Reading plans that you may enjoy, too. Stop by and give it a read.

 

PRAYER TIME

 

The management of prayer lists inside of eSword is quick, painless, and user friendly. It will also encourage you to pray way more than you do.

 

Simply click on “Tools/Prayer Requests...” to get started. To add your first prayer request, click the “Request Maintenance” tab - and you’re ready to start. The settings are self-explanatory. The nicest feature is the ability to be able to select how often to pray for individual prayer requests. Requests can be prayed for daily, weekly or monthly. You may also mark them as “answered.” So you can add all of the missionaries your church supports, government officials (2Ti 2:1-7), all the families in your church, etc. - without having to pray for everybody every day. (Don’t forget to check the box that brings this tool up once a day, though.)

 

Just imagine everyone in your church praying for everyone else in their church even once a month. Wouldn’t that be great? Remember - that starts with everyone inside your circle....

 

BIBLE MEMORIZATION (& MEDITATION)

 

AWANA, Patch the Pirate Club, Master Clubs, Sunday School, VBS - everyone knows that children are supposed to memorize Bible verses. But - where does the Bible imply that memorization is for children only? My guess is that the typical American Christian knows 7 Bible verses: John 3:16 and Psalm 23 (and probably not all of that). After that - nothing. I would guess that the typical American Christian memorizes zero Bible verses every year. That comes from 20+ years of serving as pastoral staff at local churches. In fact, I see very little evidence that preachers are doing any better. We just don’t memorize the Bible. But we should; it’s commanded.

 

eSword makes it easy - and fun - to memorize the Bible. I kid you not! Here’s how: Go to “Tools/Scripture Memory...” and you’ll find the ability to choose a verse or verse range, categorize it, and select how often you’d like to review it. Now - click on “Test Memory Verses.” There you’ll find four different games (OK, they’re not games, but they are fun nonetheless!) to help you learn your verses.

 

If it has been years since you’ve memorized a verse, give it a try.  You just might be surprised at how fun it is! (Don’t forget to check the box to have it show up every day.)

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL READINGS

 

“Our Daily Bread” may be the most famous daily devotional reading in America. (I prefer “Days of Praise” from Institute for Creation Research.) Most American Christians are familiar with these types of “daily devotional” magazines, where you read a verse that is attached to some sort of short, inspirational comments.

 

eSword gives you access to a couple of classic daily devotional books. They are accessed by clicking “Tools/Daily Devotions...”. I’d like to recommend a few more! Here they are, ready for downloading (NOTE: all “Daily Devotion” modules should be installed to your “...Program Files(...)\e-Sword” folder):

 

Click Here For Daily Devotional Modules!

 

You can read your daily devotional reading throughout the year, starting whenever you want to (they are always tied to “today’s date” on your computer). Don’t forget to check the “daily” box if you want to use this tool every day.

 

JOURNALING

 

Many have considered journaling an indispensable spiritual discipline for hundreds of years. Now, with eSword, it is easy, easy, easy! The editor window includes a Journal Editor. This is simply a way to organize your spiritual thoughts by date. Click the Editor’s Window, and then the “Journal Notes” tab, and you’re ready to go. Write whatever is on your heart; lessons you’re learning; questions you may have. There is no wrong format to journaling.

 

Later, you can go back and look at what you’ve written. You can even search through all of your past journal notes simply by clicking the “Locate Journal Notes” button. If you journal, you’ll produce a record of your spiritual growth that will be stunning to you - and to whomever else you share your notes with. But even if you never share your notes - and you yourself never look back on what you’ve written - journaling is a powerful tool for personal growth.

 

LISTENING TO AUDIO SERMONS & TEACHINGS

 

100 years ago, this was absolutely impossible. 25 years ago, this was expensive. Today - it is staggering to consider the amount of free, conservative, evangelical teaching that is available on the internet. (Did I mention FREE?!)

 

eSword now links to great audio material from sermonaudio.com - the leading sermon audio site on the web. Just click on a verse in the Bible window, and then go to “Tools/SermonAudio.com...” and find dozens (and sometimes way more than that!) of sermons to listen to. If your pastor puts his sermons up at SermonAudio (which is free), then you can always listen to his best messages again, or catch the ones you missed. What a great way to invest some time!!

 

READING GOOD BIBLICAL MATERIAL

 

eSword can literally provide you with a lifetime of reading material. From the excellent commentaries freely available, to thousands of great topical titles (see here, here, here, here, and here), you’ll never run out of excellent, faith building materials in your studies of the Word of God.

 

If “you are what you read” (!), then eSword can help build you into a Man of God or a Woman of God that is strong in the faith.

 

The tools for personal revival are available right here in your toolbox. They’re provided and ready to use. All that’s now needed is for you to get started. Wouldn’t right now (or January 1) be a great time to get started on your road to personal revival?

 

Why not grab a piece of chalk and get started?