Paul McKenzie

  • Paul McKenzie is a singer, songwriter and a gifted guitarist but there is much more to his ministry.
  • He is passionate about scripture and teaches others to memorize the Bible, providing seminars and instructional material, as well.
  • He is well-known for his ability to showcase the Word of God through dramatic portrayals of Biblical personalities.
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Memory Verse, Wednesday, May 31: Psalm 4:1a

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!”

Remember the old gospel refrain: “Operator!” Information! Send me Jesus, on the line!”? Well, that is what I think when I see this first line.

This seems like a Psalm to be sung at bed time. Verse 8 concludes it with “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Ephesians 4:26 says: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” I wonder if verse 4 in this Psalm was on Paul’s mind when he wrote it. “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah”

I don’t think I’m the only one who has gone to bed angry at some person or situation, then as they lay down to pray before the Lord, they sense the line in the “Our Father”: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”, and immediately after, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, our heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:12,14)

I also like the “c” phrase of verse 1 “Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.” This is the right attitude before God. How dare some people “Demand”, or “Command” God to answer their prayer? In our time with God, we should be thankful that the Almighty God has condescended even to “hear” our prayer!

Then the psalmist gives a wonderful reassurance in verse 3: “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call him.” Which brings me again to the apostle Paul’s inspired words: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:16).

Then look at verse 7: “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” And immediately I pull out the jewel of John 4:13-15 from the treasure chest of my heart: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I began with the end of the Psalm, so I could conclude with it, once we dwell on all that came before it.

The world “will love vain words and seek after lies” for their comfort. (v2a) But we have the eternal perspective as His children made righteous by the blood of the Lamb, and can dwell safely in the arms of Jesus.

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.

Memory Helps:

“Answer me when I call, 5
O God of my righteousness!” 5

I call this a “Telephone” Psalm to remember it, and I “dedicate” it to my former elder and friend Ray Sawmiller, now in heaven. I hope he doesn’t mind being a “word picture” to help me remember Bible verses! He was a real man of prayer, so it was fitting for me to have him ask God to “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness.”

I use “Ray”, because the “R” sound phonetically represents the number “4” in Lorayne’s memory system. Four is the only number that ends in “R”, so when we think “fouR”, we think “R”. The vowels are fillers.

I also add Ray initially trembling with “Anger” to reinforce another part of this Psalm, and when God “answers” him, he is calm and will “lie down and sleep”.

This may seem a little complicated, but really, our minds work so quickly that one link immediately links to the other, and if you remember Ray and his “telephone”, you’ll remember the rest of the story, and the Psalm number.

Quick phonetic alphabet review: 0=S or Z; 1=t, or d; 2=N; 3=M; 4=R; 5=L; 6=J,sh,ch; 7=K or hard g; 8=F or V; and 9=P or b. All vowels, and w, and y are fillers. Example: “95” could be represented by PauL, or BaiLey, or PaiL, with the consonant sounds representing the numbers, and the vowels fillers.

(A fuller explanation of the "Phonetic Alphabet" is found in the "Memory helps" portion for Monday, October 17: Genesis 1:1, both on my FB page and my website.) Soli Deo Gloria

(unless noted, Scripture quotations are from the NET version, a good translation free for public use). Many of my memory techniques were greatly influenced by Harry Lorayne and shared with his permission. Learn more about him at his "MEMORY POWER" website: Harry Lorayne's Memory Power