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:
A Daily Bible Reading
Meditating on & Memorizing Scripture
And we could add to that
Reading out of a daily devotional guide
Listening to audio sermons & teachings
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”
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.
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
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
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):
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.
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!!
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