So, the best way to really study the Bible is treat it like you would any other text that you are going to be studying…get serious about it! In today’s busy world with lots of expectations to adhere by, it can be difficult to just sit down and read. I know, boring as it may sound but the benefits truly outweigh the bore. Here are five tips on learning to study the Bible, in other words, the precursor or the ways to get motivated!
Pray first and ask the Lord to teach you His truth through the Holy Spirit.
Grab a notebook and highlighters. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible, either. Underline, circle, and dissect Scripture in a way that helps you understand.
Grab other tools or apps that can help you understand what you are reading – many can be accessed online (concordances, study guides, Bible dictionaries, blueletterbible.org, etc.).
Don’t just read a verse and walk away! Ask questions about that verse (the 5 w’s are a good start – who, what, when, where, why). These questions help you understand the context.
Find a Bible study method that really works for YOU! Verse mapping could be a great way to get organized for beginners and map out your topics and goals each day and/or week.
These may seem like “no-brainers” but it’s easier to come up with excuses to not study rather than start. We hope this little bit helps get you motivated and make the process easier for you to reach your spiritual goals.
Like I said earlier the Lord desires for us to know his word and whenever we are obedient to him and seek to do his will, he will give us the strength and ability to do it. So before you start trying to memorize scripture by your own power make sure you take a moment to ask him for the power to do so and he will provide.
Instead of memorizing a verse that is 60 words or more, start with something smaller. Perhaps a verse that is around 30 words or less. Or if there is a verse you really have the desire to memorize that is quite long, break it down into sections. Take a few days to memorize the first part and then a few more days to memorize the second part and so on.
Write it Down
When trying to retain information one of the best tools we have is a pencil and paper. There’s good evidence that the act of writing itself helps us remember things better. I suggest writing down your memory verse between 5 and 10 times in a notebook every few days until you have it memorized. Writing them down in a notebook is also a great way to keep track of all the verses you’ve memorized.
Display the Verse Around Your Home
Write the verse on a chalkboard in your home. Write it on a mirror. Find the image of the verse on Pinterest and print it out and display it in areas of your home that you spend the most time. Constantly seeing the verse really helps to imprint it on your mind
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
This kind of goes without saying but you definitely need to be constantly reciting the scripture out loud or in your mind. I like to do this when I’m in the shower, doing dishes, cooking or basically whenever I’m doing something that doesn’t require too much brain power. This is where having the scripture displayed around your home can be very beneficial as well.
Scripture is filled with people we can learn much from. When it comes to the challenging vocation of fatherhood, several fathers in the Bible show what is wise to do and also what is not wise to do. The most important father figure in the Bible is God the Father—the ultimate role model for all human dads. His love, kindness, patience, wisdom, and protectiveness are impossible standards to live up to. Fortunately, he is also forgiving and understanding, answering fathers’ prayers, and giving them expert guidance so they can be the man their family wants them to be.
Adam, The First Man.
As the first man and first human father, Adam had no example to follow except for God’s. Regrettably, he strayed from God’s example and ended up plunging the world into sin. Ultimately, he was left to deal with the tragedy of his son Cain murdering his other son, Abel. Adam has much to teach today’s fathers about the consequences of our actions and the absolute necessity of obeying God.
Lessons to Learn From Adam
God is looking for fathers who freely choose to obey him and submit to his love.
Fathers with integrity live in the knowledge that nothing is hidden from God’s sight.
Instead of blaming others, godly fathers take responsibility for their own failures and shortcomings.
Noah, A Righteous Man.
Noah stands out among fathers in the Bible as a man who clung to God in spite of the wickedness all around him. What could be more relevant today? Noah was far from perfect, but he was humble and protective of his family. He bravely carried out the task God assigned to him. Modern fathers may often feel they are in a thankless role, but God is always pleased by their devotion.
Lessons to Learn From Noah
God promises to bless and protect those who faithfully follow and obey him.
Obedience is not a sprint but a marathon. It means a lifetime of faithful devotion.
Even the most faithful fathers have weaknesses and can fall into sin.
Abraham, Father of Jewish Nation.
What could be more frightening than being the father of an entire nation? That was the mission God gave Abraham. He was a leader of tremendous faith, passing one of the most difficult tests God ever gave a man: offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham made mistakes when he relied on himself instead of God. Still, he embodied qualities that any father would be wise to develop.
Lessons to Learn From Abraham
God wants to use us, in spite of our shortcomings. He will even rescue and support us through our foolish mistakes.
Genuine faith pleases God.
God’s purposes and plans are revealed in phases over a lifetime of obedience.
For this month’s theme of Mother’s Day, we have listed eight mothers who served God well. Eight mothers in the Bible played key roles in the coming of Jesus Christ. None of them were perfect, yet each showed strong faith in God. God, in turn, rewarded them for their confidence in him. These mothers lived in an age when women were often treated as second-class citizens, yet God appreciated their true worth, just as he does today. Motherhood is one of life’s highest callings. Learn how these eight mothers in the Bible put their hope in the God of the Impossible, and how he proved that such hope is always well-placed.
Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Without a single role model or mentor, she paved the maternal way to become “Mother of All the Living.” Her name means “living thing,” or “life.” Since Eve experienced fellowship with God before sin and the fall, she probably knew God more intimately than any other woman after her.
She and Adam lived in Paradise, but they spoiled it by listening to Satan instead of God. Eve suffered terrible grief when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God’s plan of populating the Earth. Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. She shared in Abraham’s journey to the Promised Land and all of the promises God would fulfill there. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and a builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed even became her own son’s nurse, ensuring that Israel’s great leader would grow up under the godly influence of his mother during his most formative years. God used Moses mightily to free the Hebrew people from their 400-year bondage to slavery and take them to the Promised Land. The writer of Hebrews pays tribute to Jochebed (Hebrews 11:23), showing that her faith allowed her to see the importance of saving her child’s life so that he might, in turn, save his people. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today. Bathsheba was the object of King David’s lust. David even arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite killed to get him out of the way. God was so displeased with David’s actions that he struck dead the baby from that union. Despite heartbreaking circumstances, Bathsheba remained loyal to David. Their next son, Solomon, was loved by God and grew up to become Israel’s greatest king. From David’s line would come to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. And Bathsheba would have the distinguished honor of being one of only five women listed in Messiah’s ancestry. Mary was the most honored mother in the Bible, the human mother of Jesus, who saved the world from its sins. Although she was only a young, humble peasant, Mary accepted God’s will for her life. Mary suffered enormous shame and pain, yet never doubted her Son for a moment. Mary stands as highly favored by God, a shining example of obedience and submission to the Father’s will.
The Temple Sanctified: In the first year of King Hezekiah’s rule in Judah, the priests and Levites reached the vestibule eight days after beginning to sanctify the Temple area. 2 Chronicles 29:3, 17
April 4 – Nisan 10
Lamb Selection Day: In preparation for Passover, each family chose a lamb for a sacrifice. The lamb would stay with the family for four days, until it was sacrificed for Passover. Exodus 12:3
Miriam Died: On Nisan 10, 1274, Miriam, sister to Moses, died. She died nearly one year before Moses died. She was buried in Kadesh.Numbers 20:1 Jordan Crossing: After three days of preparation, the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land and set up camp near Gilgal. Joshua 4:19
April 5 – Nisan 11
Palm Sunday: The Sunday preceding Easter on the Christian calendar is known as Palm Sunday. This commemorates the day Jesus entered Jerusalem for the final time. Palms remind us of when the people laid down clothing and branches on the road as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Matthew 21:8 Jesus Cleansed the Temple: During the last few days of Jesus’ life, He visited the Temple. While there He overturned the tables of those who were using the area of the Temple to buy and sell. Matthew 21:12-17.
April 6 – Nisan 12
Ahava: Ezra and the second group of returning captives departed from the River of Ahava on this day as they made their way from Babylon to Jerusalem. Ezra 8:31
April 7 – Nisan 13
Haman: The Bible records Haman casting lots on this day to determine the date of destruction for the Jews living in Ancient Persia. Once the date was set, he issued the death decree that was sent throughout the kingdom. Esther 3:12
April 8 – Nisan 14
The First Passover: On the evening of Nisan 14, the Hebrews living in Egypt killed their lambs, put blood on their doors, and ate their Passover meals. Leviticus 23:5 Plague of the First Born: On this night, every first-born living in a home without the blood of the lamb on his doors died. Exodus 12:29
April 9 – Nisan 15
The Exodus from Egypt: Following the death of his son, Pharaoh ordered the Hebrews to leave Egypt. On Nisan 15 the children of Israel departed from Egypt for the Promised Land. Exodus 12:31-32 Passover: This is the first of four spring feasts on the biblical calendar. On this day both Jews and Christians celebrate God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt. As believers, we are reminded of our deliverance from sin by the blood of The Lamb of God! Exodus 12:1-14; Hebrews 9:11-15
Unleavened Bread Begins: The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the second spring feast, begins today and continues for seven days. Exodus 12:14-20 and Leviticus 23:6 Maundy Thursday: Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday is the day on the Christian calendar to commemorate the last meal Jesus shared with His disciples before His crucifixion. Mark 14:12-26
April 10 – Nisan 16
Feast of First Fruits: The third biblical spring feast is the Feast of First Fruits. It is celebrated the first day after the first Sabbath after Passover. This was a time to offer the first fruits of the spring harvest. Leviticus 23:9-14 Good Friday: On the Christian calendar, Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday or Great Friday. Good Friday is remembered as the day Jesus was beaten, crucified, died, and was buried. For some, this is a day of fasting. Mark 15:1-16:6
Lent is a 40-day season that precedes Easter in many Christian denominations. The 40-day time frame is based on the period Jesus spent in the desert fasting while being tempted by Satan, according to the Gospel accounts in Matthew and Luke. In Western churches, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (in 2021 falling on February 17) and runs until Easter (this year on April 4), a period of six and a half weeks, and the Sundays are not counted as part of the 40 days. In Eastern Christianity, such as in Orthodox churches, a period called Great Lent begins on the Monday of the seventh week before Easter and concludes on the Friday before Palm Sunday, and Sundays are counted as part of the 40 days. The word “Lent” is based on an Old English word that meant “springtime,” because Lent leads into spring. In many languages, the word for Lent is based on the word for 40 in Latin or Greek, and in some Germanic and Slavic languages, the name is taken from the word for fasting, which was traditionally the primary observance of this season.
Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent
In the Middle Ages, fasting during Lent often meant that only one small meal a day was eaten, and that meal did not contain any animal products. The day before Lent, as the last day of indulgence until Easter, took on a festival atmosphere and came to be known in French as Mardi Gras (which literally means “Fat Tuesday”) or in other languages as Carnival, from a medieval Latin phrase meaning “taking away the meat.” The Lenten period is understood by Christians as a time for reflection and abstaining from certain foods or activities is often undertaken. Traditionally, that meant that meat was not eaten on Fridays during Lent. Since fish was not considered to be meat for the purposes of Lent, this led to the tradition of churches holding a “fish fry” on Fridays during Lent. In many communities, gathering at a church for a fried fish meal on Friday evening is a popular Lenten activity.
During this month of love, Valentines Day can always spark a myriad of emotions for many. Whether you have a loved one by your side, your loved one has passed, or you feel you may forever be alone …remember, seek Him and with Him you are never alone. Here we have listed a few verses to remind you of His presence with you.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 “God is with you – wherever you may go and no matter what life brings.” Joshua 1:9
“Be strong. Be brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.” Joshua 1:9
“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
Keep these with you always in your heart. No matter what you are going through, you don’t have to go at it alone. He is always there and will carry you under his wing through all things. This Valentine’s celebration can include Him regardless of the situation.
It is without a doubt that this year has caused many to start questioning their own abilities and self confidence. Some may argue that a quarantine lifestyle and confinement is unnatural to the human spirit. This is why today’s reading will be all about the treatment of self-doubt, and how God healed Moses. When Moses expressed his self-doubt to God by asking, “who am I?” God answered him by saying, “certainly I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:12) This is a powerful answer because it shows us that it did not matter what Moses had done, what people had said and what he was currently doing…all that mattered was the presence of God who equipped him with strength.
Challenge yourself to adopt the same attitude! Do not let the past hinder you, since what matters is whether or not God is with you now. In addition, ignore what people have said about you, because truth is based on God says and whether He is with you. Do not let your current circumstances make you doubt yourself and your ability to do what God wants you to do. Know that with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) If you want God to be with you, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8) We can see that Moses had drawn near to God because he had gone to the Mountain of God in Horeb. (Exodus 3:1)
Therefore, draw near to God by creating time to pray and read the Bible. Ensure that you do what His Word says since He promises us that, “You will seek me and find me if you seek Me with your whole heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
We often hear everyone we know talking about their resolutions for the new year. If we want to really see true newness and change in our lives this year, it takes starting with the only one who can make something out of absolutely nothing, that one is Jesus Christ.
Live in Christ – 2 Corinthians 5: 17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” We chose this scripture to be first because this is where newness begins, with being in Christ. It is through him that we can begin a new fruitful and abundant life. It’s important that we remember this coming into the new year, no matter what resolutions we have to change our habits!
Praise God – 1 Peter 1:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” This new year as we embark on true life change, we should get ourselves into a truly humble position and start off the year with a spirit of praise.
Be New – Ephesians 4:22-24
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” The first scripture we looked at encouraged us to realize that we truly are a new creation. This one encourages us to not only realize that we are new but to keep ourselves from slipping back into the old. This scripture tells us that it’s not enough to just say we are done with our old lives but we need to put them off and put on the new life. Life is about action, not words.
The holidays can be the most joyful time of the year for some and the most painful time of the year for others. For many people in churches and community, the holidays bring a lot of bittersweet feelings as happy memories mix with the reality of loss. This can be mostly widespread among older church members because most of them have already lost loved ones as they have grown older. So, how can we go about including older adults this holiday season? Or how can you get more involved with the younger ones?
Inclusion Not Seclusion
Local churches are to serve as a place of family, community and inclusion where everyone can feel involved, cared for, and appreciated. Unfortunately, this often does not happen with the older population in some churches. Many activities are geared toward the young people, and let’s face it, you need some fairly young people to keep up with those kiddos. Although a church’s children’s ministry does often need younger workers on a full time basis, this doesn’t mean that older members of the church family cannot be involved.
Ideas for Involvement
What about inviting a different individual once or twice a month just to assist for one class? This gives them involvement without getting them overwhelmed with the stress of an ongoing class. When the church is doing a special activity like an outing or a special gathering of some kind, invite the older members to join the fun. Many of them will welcome the opportunity and may make a valuable contribution in ways you don’t expect. Consider a “Back in My Day” Bible study. Start by taking questions from kids and teenagers about how life was when they were a child or young person. There are lots of great ways to include older members in the kid’s ministry in a way that is not stressful, but rather inclusive and loving. Depending who’s reading this blog, take some time this holiday season to consider how you might involve yourself or how you might get those involved. Include all of the precious members of your community more deliberately.