Tag Archives: studying the Bible

Tenth Anniversary – Applying God’s Word

This week I’m reflecting on ten years of writing devotions. The most important thing that has happened to me through this process is that I have grown to know God more deeply through His Word. It’s something that each of us as believers need to do. Our daily reading shouldn’t be about quantity, but quality. I’ve learned to read it until I hear from God and see how something applies to my life and yours. The Bible was given to us to train us, to correct us, to real God to us and so much more. The more we dig into it, meditate on it and apply it, the more like Christ we will be.

Here are some Bible verses on the benefits of reading and applying God’s Word.

1. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Joshua 1:8 NLT

2. Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

Psalms 1:1-2 AMP

3. Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NET

4. “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one can resist God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG

5. Yahweh’s Word is perfect in every way; how it revives our souls! Yahweh’s laws lead us to truth, and his ways change the simple into wise. Yahweh’s teachings are right and make us joyful; his precepts are so pure! Yahweh’s commands challenge us to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his Word makes my spirit shine radiant.

Psalms 19:7-8 TPT

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Fresh Manna

When I first started writing for this site, I made a list of topics in my phone. I would try to brainstorm every couple of days to add to the list. I wrote on things I knew, but each day I was writing out of fear. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t have anything to say or that I’d run out of topics. As I shared my fear with an author, he told me I was approaching it all wrong. He said, “You need to go to God each day with an empty bucket and say, ‘Here i am, Lord. I need a fresh word. Will you fill up my bucket with enough for today?’” That conversation changed how I write and how I approach writing. It’s forced me to quit trying to use my knowledge, and to go to God each day seeking to hear Him.

In Exodus 16, the children of Israel had crossed the Red Sea and were on their way to Mount Sinai. They were hungry and began to glamorize their slavery. They complained that at least they had food in Egypt. God heard them and decided to supply them with what they needed. Each night, quail would fly into the camp and rest on the ground to provide them with meat. In the morning, the dew would turn to a thin bread like substance called manna. They were to take their buckets out in the morning to collect about half a gallon of it per person as food rations. They did this every day while they were in the desert.

In Exodus 16:15-16 Moses said, “This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs, two quarts for each member of his household” (GNT). I believe the same is true for us. To move from a head knowledge of God to a heart relationship, we must go to Him each day seeking Him. Sunday’s sermon wasn’t meant to feed you all week. God is looking for you to meet with Him daily to feed your spirit. It’s time we started getting fresh manna from above each day. If you’re not sure how, pray, “Lord, I need fresh manna from you. I open my heart to hear from you today. Show me what you want to hear from you today.” Then open your Bible and read until you hear from Him. It’s not about the quantity as it is the quality. God will speak to you through His Word and fill your bucket daily.

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School’s Out

I went through a sales psychology class once that helped people recognize how their fear displayed itself in their lives. It also showed how it showed up in their sales. One of the ways it would show up is by having a person feel like they didn’t have enough information. Instead of calling the customer, they would spend half an hour looking at the account, comparing plans and looking for ways to save them money rather than to call. We had all been to several classes on how to engage customers, how to connect with them and even had a sales process to follow. Yet somehow, this type of person felt like they wanted to learn more before actually putting it into practice..

In Colossians 2:7, Paul recognized that there are Christians with a similar problem. To encourage them he wrote,“You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving” (MSG). With 66 books in the Bible, there are countless lessons for us to learn. We can spend a lifetime trying to learn them all, but in doing that we miss the point. Christianity isn’t about getting a head knowledge of everything we’re to know. It’s about living it out day to day as we grow closer to God and displaying His love to others around us.

Don’t let the fear of, “What if I mess up and give God a bad name,” keep you from living out your faith. You will never know enough. That’s why He sent His Holy Spirit to fill us, to guide us and to remind us of what He said. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to fall, but He is faithful to forgive us when we confess our shortcomings (1 John 1:9). We can’t let the fear of failure to prevent us from living out our faith. We’re human, which means we’re not perfect. Let God worry about His reputation. You just need to live out your faith and let it spill out on people. You do your part and let God do His.

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Studying The Textbook

When I was in school, I tried to get the best grade with the least amount of effort. I developed a system where I didn’t have to truly study for tests. I took notes in class on what the professor said. The day before the test, I simply read my notes and got a good grade. It worked so well that I quit buying textbooks at college and saved a ton. Then i had one professor who lectured and lectured every class, but when the test came, none of what he lectured was on it. I asked him where the material came from on the test, he simply replied, “From the textbook. Haven’t you been doing the daily readings?” I had a choice to make, I could drop the class and lose that money or I could buy the textbook and read. That was one of the few textbooks i bought.

There’s a lot of people who approach Christianity the way I did college. They show up for a Sunday lecture, but never open the textbook between Sunday’s. I’ve tried that too and it doesn’t work. You can never know if what’s being taught is true or not unless you know what the Bible says. In Acts 17, Paul and Silas were preaching in Berea. Their message was intriguing, but different than they had ever heard. They didn’t just accept it because they were good speakers or spoke with authority. Verse 11 says, “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth” (NLT).

As believers, you and I must learn to search and study the Scriptures ourselves. Then use the tools that are available today to understand the context of them. After that we must meditate on them and learn how to apply them to our lives. Hearing and reading other people’s interpretation of them is good, but nothing replaces your study of the Scripture. Psalm 119:27 says, “Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.” If you struggle to understand the Bible, ask God to reveal it to you in a way you can understand. God doesn’t want you to be in the dark about what He says. Remember it is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105), and you are to hide it in your heart to keep you from sin (Psalm 119:11). God gave us this textbook to help us. Make sure you read it.

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