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Devotional- Comfort & Counsel

As I have been reading and studying the book of Job, I noticed that the friends Job had were not encouraging to him during his season of suffering. His friends instead tried to figure out what Job had done wrong that caused God to seemingly be ‘punishing’ him.

In the Old Testament days it was believed that if you were ‘upright and righteous’ you would find favor with God and He would be sure you ‘prospered’.

However, the scripture is very clear that Job was righteous and blameless; which is why Job was so distraught when he began losing all of his wealth, quickly followed by his family and his own health.

Job cried out to God asking ‘Why’; he was not trying to argue with God he truly wanted to know if he had done something that caused him to lose favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Job’s friends remained strong in their belief that Job could not possibly be righteous if God took away his prosperity. His friends ridiculed him and tried to convince him that he was not in good standing with God.

This upset Job and he made it clear that their words were foolish and that the Lord gives and takes away, but God is still good regardless.

Zophar tried to convince Job to repent for proclaiming his innocence and righteousness; scolding him that he does not have the knowledge or power to know God’s immeasurable or limitless being and wisdom.

This only confirmed Job’s complaint– God was not acting predictable according to their understanding of Him. Job rejected the faulty ‘wisdom’ of his friend, because He knew that God was ultimately in control regardless of what the circumstances may look like.

Job accused his friends of misjudging him and then stood up to them by making it clear that he is not inferior to them. Job dismissed their criticism and said that they were ‘forgers of lies’ and worthless physicians. (Job 13:4)

According to Job, his friends were speaking out of vain; they intended to offer him comfort in his spiritual distress but instead was passing judgement and giving faulty advise.

Job tells them a better expression of wisdom from them would be to ‘be quiet’. Their counsel was not helpful nor comforting to Job; it only further complicated his circumstances.

Job finally told his friends to basically stay out of it while he pleads with God.

See Job didn’t blame God or accuse him of wrongdoing; Job wanted to sincerely know and understand why God seemed to be giving so much attention to his being. He truly wanted to know why he needed to suffer so much when his faith was unwavering.

Despite all the questions Job cried out to God he remained firm in his belief that one day God would vindicate him; which is exactly what would happen. Job knew that no matter what life looks like his hope could only be in God.

If Job would have listened to his friends counsel and assumed God was punishing him and that he was in fact not righteous this could have led Job down a dark and depressing path, walking away from God instead of running into His arms for grace, protection, love, and justification.

When seeking comfort and/or counsel from someone we need to be mindful on who we are trusting. Although some may have good intentions they cannot give good sound advice regarding your circumstances if they have no understanding or lack Godly wisdom.

Our best bet is to take our questions and concerns to God and not allow those around us to influence our choices, actions, reactions, and especially not our faith.

Reflect

Have you ever felt like God was punishing you for something and that is why you are suffering? Did you seek comfort and/or advice from a friend? Was it helpful?

How does this example from the book of Job change the way you view suffering and who we choose to seek comfort in during it?

Is God telling you anything specific about your circumstances, suffering in general, or seeking comfort and counsel while reading this article?

Call to Action

Declare over your life that God is NOT punishing you and He is NOT mad at you.

Pray and Journal what God is speaking to you about current or past seasons of suffering.

Make a goal to be mindful on who you share your suffering with and be sure you always take it to God first.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you today for this message on suffering and choosing who we seek comfort and counsel from wisely. Lord sometimes we get so caught up in the hurt, suffering, and grief that we lose control of our words and tend to share to much with the wrong people. Lord I confess I am guilty of not seeking Your comfort and counsel first and allowing those around me to affect my actions, thoughts, and faith in You.

I pray that each person that reads this article will be moved by Your Words and have discernment when seeking comfort in others. Lord I pray that You would ignite a fire in each of us that would encourage us to seek You first above all else. Help us to remember that Your love, mercy, forgiveness, and justification does not come from our actions but from You and You alone. I pray that each would feel Your presence surrounding them in their seasons of struggling and know that You are with them.

I pray for protection over our minds and spirit from the words of those who are faithlessly giving us faulty advice. I pray that our hearts be protected by Your hand and that we remember You are the ultimate comforter and counselor. In Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Discovering God in Israel’s Crossing of the Jordan River

First read the story of Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River and take notes of how you see God in the story and how you see yourself in the story.

The account is documented in Joshua 3-4 and took place during the settlement period (1440-1050 BC)

Seeing God in Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River.

  • God keeps His promises!
  • He guides and directs His people.
  • Promises and proves He will be with those who move forward in faith in Him.
  • If God appoints you to do something-such as lead- He will see you through.
  • God is powerful and can turn obstacles into a safe path.
  • God makes His presence known and undeniable.
  • God has the power to control nature.
  • God wants His mighty works and miracles taught to our children.
  • God wants every person and every nation to know His might.
  • God calls us to ‘take a step’- we must be obedient to His direction.

Did you note something during your reading that isn’t on the list?

Share your list in the comments below.

Reading Reflection

Is there an obstacle in your life that God is leading you to overcome?

Do you think He is calling you to step out in faith and allow Him to lead you into ‘unknown territory’? If so, take note of what you feel God is telling you to do.

Why have you been reluctant to listen to Him? What is stopping you from following His lead?

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a God of promises kept! Thank you for always guiding our steps and leading us to Your will. God forgive us for hesitating to step out and follow you in faith. Lord we know you are almighty and powerful and can make a way when there seems to be none. Lord, fill us up with Your Holy Spirit- give us discernment in Your word and help us to remember if You call us to it- You will see us through it. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Godly Parenting

As parents we have many responsibilities pertaining to raising our children. We literally have to teach our children everything- from eating- to walking/talking- to how to interact in the world as they grow. Our children rely on us to teach them life’s most basic needs and provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to survive and have a fulfilling, happy life.

When you ask parents what they feel is their responsibility to teach their children- you get answers like: Feed them- Protect them- Prepare them for life. These things are all necessary but we also need to further break it down and think about what we are teaching our children.

Is it positive? Is it helpful? Will the things they are learning from us, help them or hurt them, in their futures?

How do we know what we should and should not teach our children?

This world has been grossly misinformed on how our children should be raised. They are confused by ‘lovely-sounding’ misconceptions that ultimately lead to destruction at some point in their lives.

One example is the rose theory. It alleges that children are like rose buds- if no one bothers them or interferes with them- they will naturally unfold into gorgeous roses.

Sounds nice! The problem is- children are not born with the same needs as a plant. Children need strong, loving parents- not a friend or an observer- to watch them ‘naturally unfold’.

I have heard many times in my life that having a child does not come with a how-to or instruction book on raising them. However, as I grew and had my own child- I realized this is not entirely true.

Although, when I gave birth and was ready to leave the hospital with my new little bundle of joy- no one handed me a book and said read this and you will have perfect children. The thought of thinking you can raise a perfect child without any outside interference is a bit laughable for me at this point in life. There is no way to control or predict and prevent negative life experience’s for our children- it is guaranteed going to happen- we live in a sinful, fallen world.

But we do need to be teaching our children how to be prepared and how to respond, when unexpected things happen.

The Bible is God’s handbook on life. It has a lot to say about how to raise our children and how we should and should not live our lives- furthermore it also explains why we should raise our children in a specific manner- as it leads to joy, fulfillment, love, peace, and eternal life- just to name a few.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Let us take a look at seven functions of great parenting according to God’s Word.

  1. Nurturing-
    Besides the obvious nurturing in healthy foods- As parents we should be feeding them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and socially. We teach them how to handle emotions like anger and sadness correctly. We teach them how to play and share- how to recover from grief or loss- how to laugh and how to pray. We should be teaching them how to think, listen, and learn and how to communicate effectively. Above all we should be teaching our children about God.
  2. Protection-
    All infants need protection from a loving parent to survive. Good parents seek to find a balance between protection and overprotection- especially in a world that is becoming increasingly violent.

    But we also need to provide protection over their mind and soul in an eternal sense. We should be leading by example and teaching our children about God. Protecting their minds against agnosticism (the belief that there is not enough proof to say that God does or does not exist), prejudice, hatred, and injustice.

    We must counter cultural trends that encourage superficiality (lack of thoroughness, depth of character, or serious thought) and materialism (a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values) to be the basis of their thinking. We need to equip our children with the truth and train them in the way they are to live, according to God’s will, in order to protect them from these ways of thinking.

    They may temporarily rebel but they are likely to return to those good teachings they learned early in life.
  3. Creativity
    Good parents are creative with how they teach their children- correct them- play with them- spend their money- prepare them for the future- and even on teaching their children about God.

    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV- “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  4. Education:
    Many parents seek out the best preschool for their toddlers in hopes the child will receive the best education and prep for elementary school. However, children need far more than just the text book basic academics. Children need to learn the foundation of trust.

    Trust comes from a consistent response to your child’s needs. Weather the response is tender love or tough love-likely a mixture of both, but either way the child knows you are there, you care, and will take charge for their well being.

    Preschoolers who learn how to respect boundaries and obey rules are more likely to be safer and more responsible teens. Proverbs 29:15,17 makes it clear that children respond to the rod of correction.

    One example I have seen is picturing the rod of correction as a shepherds hook- designed to prod wayward sheep away from danger. And at times, the hook is needed to rescue a sheep who has fell into real danger.

    Children can learn to know right from wrong- we simply must teach them. We need to teach them the qualities that later become the fruits of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

    By teaching our children these values we are preparing them for a future in eternity.
  5. Motivation
    You set the tone of your child’s inner voice. We should be teaching our children that their life is no accident- that God has a plan and purpose for them- their only job is to seek it- find it- and follow it.

    Motivation to make one’s life count for God is taught at a young age. Parents who bless their children with this truth and help them to discover God’s best for them live a happier, more fulfilling life.

    Unfortunately, some parents choose a different route of motivation in their parenting- they declare things over their children that are negative predictions- usually done in bits of anger. These statements are detrimental to a child’s mental health and become the very curse that causes some children to fail. They believe the lies and curses their parents have said over them to be true and it robs them of the healthy motivation it takes to accomplish what they are called to do in life.

    Paul wrote in Colossians 3:20-21
    Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

    When parents bless their children- it is easier for children to be obedient. We as parents can not ignore, neglect, or abuse our children physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally and think that they would or even should be obedient to us.

    God calls children to be obedient to their parents and show respect but He also tells parents NOT to provoke (stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them.) their children.

    Bless your children with the love of Christ and they will grow to do the same.
  6. Relinquishment
    The goal of Godly parenting and training our children up in the way they should go is to raise happy, healthy, and God-fearing adults whose lives will make a positive impact in the world.

    Teaching our children responsibility through giving them chores or tasks to complete- showing them how to complete them well- and than expressing approval and appreciation will prepare them to become independent, motivated adults.

    Letting our children go out on their own into the world is a scary process. However, this process can be easier when parents have the reassurance that they are transferring them from the shelter of their parental wings to the perfect care of God.
  7. A place to return
    Teaching our children the foundational truths in God’s word will prepare them for times of struggle in life. Having a solid foundation is important for our children to successfully navigate through life’s storms.

    Sometimes children stray away from God, but they almost always find their way back. This is because they have the solid foundation in which their childhood formative years were built upon.

    This will also help bring comfort as we grow older and eventually pass away. Our children will know they are never alone- that they are a child of God and can fully rely on Him for every need.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a Father of love- for being patient with each of us- and for giving us Your Word so we may study it and learn more about who You are and who we are in You. Lord, I thank you for giving us this message and showing us through scripture how we should be parenting our children. I pray parents all across the nation will open their hearts to You and seek Your guidance. Lord, the world is so lost and many are chasing what they desire without giving any thought to their eternal destiny and they are falling into the traps of Satan and choosing the ways of the world. Lord, many do not even know who You really are and have never tried to know You. Many were never taught about Your love, mercy, and power and Lord I pray they would have an undeniable encounter with You. That they would feel Your love and presence and be moved to seek You more. I pray parents everywhere, including myself, would remember to teach our children about You and to live by example. I pray for Your protection over each of us and our nation as a whole. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo: Peace Over Strife

It’s no secret that the world is full of hatred, strife, and down right ugliness. Friends are turning against one another- families are being torn apart- and the country has never been more divided than it is today.

It is nearly impossible to turn on the television, log in to social media, or read the news without seeing story after story about the hatred, violence, and anger that is sweeping our nation.

This is a heart problem above all else. People are lashing out toward one another due to the hatred, pride, and self-serving attitudes within their hearts.

What happened to the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all.”

It seems as if that is an outdated or moot teaching point with the new generations. Today’s culture is over sensitive, entitled, and hateful towards those who do not believe or live the same way they do.

It’s very much a MY WAY or NO WAY type of society.

God and the Bible have slowly been being phased out of schools and communities for years. This leaves one to wonder where the moral basis of life, love, and liberty are coming from.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

James 4:1 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james+4%3A1&version=NKJV

The Bible tell us in James 4:1 where our fighting and troubles come from. They come from within ourselves- our desires for pleasure can quickly run our life, especially if we aren’t on guard and seeking God’s guidance above all else.

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+10%3A12&version=NKJV

Hatred and pride are roots causes of strife.

Currently we are seeing hatred for our president that is so strong it has divided our nation to the core. People are attacking each other because they think different- vote different- believe different- and live or look differently than themselves.

It is heartbreaking to see- I can’t imagine how our Father in Heaven feels!

God tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER- that love covers all sins.

Behind strife is pride- behind peace is humility.

By pride comes nothing but strife,
But with the well-advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+13%3A9-10&version=NKJV

Pride leads to strife- strife leads to destruction

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+16%3A18&version=NKJV

Nothing good comes from holding on to hatred- we need to humble ourselves before God. Begin to look within ourselves and get our own hearts right.

We are to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Just as we want God to forgive us when we fall short- we are to forgive others in the same way.

Humility comes from a place of self-reflection and self-growth. Learning to accept people’s differences and still show love knowing we ourselves are not perfect. God knew there would be trouble in the world due to our sinful nature and provided us with His Word (the Bible) as instruction on how to have a fulfilling life of peace, joy, and salvation.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A33&version=NKJV

There is power in peace.

To gain peace we must humble our selves in the Word of God. Accept our own short-comings and seek God above all else. When we learn to be at peace with ourselves, accept our own faults, and live only to please God- we unlock a power that can’t be reckoned with.

Living in peace is giving God all your worries, fears, troubles, and your whole heart. Trusting in Him to provide all your needs and to guide your paths. Knowing no matter your circumstances God is with you and He works on your behalf.

The Lord wants to help us and be our guiding light but when we are living in strife our focus is quickly shifted from Him resulting in a downward spiral that robs our peace and joy.

The Bible tells us we are to do all we can to be at peace with everyone.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Hebrew 12:14 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+12%3A14&version=NKJV

not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 

10 For “He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:9-11 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+3%3A9-11&version=NKJV

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18 NKJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A18&version=NKJV

We are not designed to live in such a high stress, violent, and hateful world. The Lord wants us to live a peaceful and prosperous life in Him. Like anything else in life- change starts with ourselves.

It is time for the country to stand together in peace and prayer. Each of us making the decision to change our focus and attitude- to diligently seek Him above all else- and learn to LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a forgiving and patient God. A God who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Lord the world is full of hatred and strife and it is very difficult not to be sucked in. The negativity, lies, and personal attacks on one another are at an all time high. Lord I ask that you help me search deep within myself- expose to me the condition of my own heart. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. I pray that each person would open their hearts to You- so that you may expose Your truth to them. I pray that each person who comes to You and truly seeks You with all their heart will find You and Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Father, I pray for our broken world- I pray that each would repent from their sins, so that you may heal the land. I pray Your guidance, protection, and mercy over our nation and world as a whole. Let us all shift our focus to You and strive to live peaceably above all men. I declare no weapon formed against our nation shall prosper- God You are in Control- Let Your Will be done in Jesus might name I pray

Amen

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Beginnings- Settlement (?-1440 BC) Part 2

In the first part of beginnings through settlement we discussed how we could get to know God’s character by reading stories through-out the Bible. We read and broke down what we could learn about God from the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis.

Today we are looking at how we can see ourselves in the first 5 books of the Old Testament and Job. Grab your Bible if you don’t already have it and lets dig in.

Open your Bible and read each scripture to discover how we can see ourselves in the following scripture.

Genesis 4:1-5

Cain was jealous of Abel and the offering he was offered up to the Lord.

In Cain’s jealousy we can see our own sense of competition and desire to be “better” than someone else.

Genesis 6:7-8

God was sorry he created man and beast as the world was full of wickedness. God said He would destroy the Earth with the flood. Noah found grace from God and was instructed by God to build an ark to be saved from the flood.

In Noah’s need for the ark for salvation- we can see our own need to be rescued from God’s judgement. It also demonstrates if we obey God and follow His lead, He will save us from complete destruction.

Genesis 12

Abraham had great faith in God. He was obedient when God told him to do something.

In Abrahams faith in following God- we can see our own potential for belief.

Genesis 25 & 27

In both of these scriptures Jacob is lying and scheming- following his own desires and relying on himself to get what he wants. Manipulating situations to take what was for his brother Esau. (In Genesis 25 his birthright, in Genesis 27 his blessing.)

In these two examples we can see our own inclination to trust in ourselves to provide our needs and wants.

Genesis 42-45

In Josephs kindness and forgiveness for his brothers who sold him into Egypt- we see our own responsibility to forgive and overcome evil with good.

Exodus 14

Israel struggles to keep faith when the Egyptians began to march after them. Israel feels they are trapped in the wilderness to die. God instructs Moses to lift his rod and stretch out his hand and part the sea so that Israel may cross on dry land.

In Israel’s struggle to keep faith- we see our own struggles and weakness of faith.

Job 3

In this scripture it’s expressing Job’s feelings in response to him suffering. In Job’s response we can see our own feelings and disappointment when things work against us.

These are only a few examples of how we can see ourselves throughout the Old Testament of the Bible. I encourage you to read deeper into each of the beginning books in the Old Testament and make notes on how you relate to the scripture you are reading.

This will help you to develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus as you discover the powerful truths packed within the books of the Bible.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for providing us with the tools we need to discover who You really are and who we are created to be in You. Lord, I thank you for each person who reads this post. I pray that you would give us all understanding and discernment as we study Your word. I pray each person would desire a deeper, stronger, and more intimate relationship with You. I pray You open the hearts of each person that they would see Your hand at work in their life. I pray that you will guide each of us and cover us with Your peace, love, and protection in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Beginnings- Settlement (?-1440BC) Part 1

The last two lessons we discussed the Old Testament overview. Discovering new levels of knowledge and understanding of God and His word. We further broke down 4 major phases of the Old Testament: Beginnings- Settlement- Kings- Exile.

In this lesson we are going to specifically look at the time period from beginnings through the settlement period a little more in depth.

First let us take a look at Genesis 6-8- the story of Noah.

Look up the scripture and read Genesis chapter 6 through chapter 8. Take note of what can be learned about God throughout this story.

  • God is able to create and destroy
  • God is to be feared (in a healthy, loving way)
  • God has complete control over His creation
  • God is patient with sinners, but patience has a limit
  • God is concerned about what is happening in His world/our lives.
  • He is loving, kind God of righteousness, justice, and anger.
  • God has the power to interrupt history
  • He is a God of new beginnings
  • He is a promise maker and keeper
  • God rescues those who trust in Him

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for this message that teaches us more about who You are. Lord, we are thankful for Your word- the Bible. For the opportunity to discover who you are on a deeper level and learn about your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Lord I pray that You draw near to each of us. Let us feel Your presence surrounding us. Lord I pray that those who choose to read and complete this study will be given understanding and clarity. I pray You would lead the way for each person who reads this. I pray for safety, good health, and that Your protection would surround us- no attack of the enemy will prosper against us in Jesus mighty name.

Amen

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Old Testament: Biblical Beginnings Part 2

In part one of Old Testament: Biblical Beginnings we discussed fairly broadly about the Old Testament and its role in the Bible. We discovered there are three types of knowledge- factual, personal, and practical. All of which are important and take us to a new level of understanding.

In the second part of the study we are going to further breakdown the Old Testament into more specific time periods and develop a new understanding on what is happening over time through-out the Old Testament. Giving us a deeper experience and new level of knowledge as we read the books contained in the Old Testament part of the Bible.

The Old Testament begins at creation and ends at approximately 400 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. The events take place at a variety of different places, but the primary setting is Palestine.

There are many small, yet very important stories through-out the Bible. Some tell of migration- military campaigns and political intrigue- while others are romance. The stories have hero’s, villain’s, queen’s, king’s, prophet’s, poets, judges and more. These stories are in some ways like any other story you may read containing characters, plots, main ideas, and so on. Yet they are very different in huge ways.

Bible stories are true stories- from real people- like you and I from many many years ago. They are historic accounts of what happened on earth decades before we entered the world. They are powerful, educational, and life changing.

The Bible is our sword and we are to know it- so in pressing times we are equipped to defeat our enemy.

The Old Testament was written over a period of 1000 years (1400-400bc) and has over 30 different authors. Covering creation to the return of the Jews from exile in Babylon. It’s made up of 39 books- which could further be broken down into 3 major categories- history, prophecy, and poetry.

When reading the Old Testament it’s important to understand the culture as it was then and what was happening around them when a particular scripture was written. This will ensure you understand the scripture as it was written and aren’t misunderstanding and/or misleading yourself.

When taking a walk through the Old Testament history there are four major phases:

  1. Beginnings (? – 1440 BC)
  2. Settlement (1440 BC – 1050 BC)
  3. Kings (1050 BC – 586 BC)
  4. Exile (586 BC – 400 BC)

Discover how God is made known in each of the phases above by looking at specific incidents in each phase. Make note of how you can see yourself in each phase of the Old Testament.

Contrary to what some may think or say- the Old Testament and Bible in general are NOT outdated or old fashioned.

It’s a powerful book packed with truth, love, and knowledge. A book of promises that has a lot to say about God and still applies in today’s world of contemporary people.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you for Your message and truth- for being a God of promises and love. Lord, I pray for those who are reading this message. That they would see what You are trying to show them about the Bible and the power it holds. I pray that you open up each of their hearts to truth and love. Give them clarity, discernment, and understanding as they study Your word. Guide them in their study and show yourself to them. I pray that each would have a life changing experience with You and would desire to seek to know You more. I want to thank You Lord for using me as a vessel to share Your word and spread the truth of Your love. I pray Your blessings and safety over each of us in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Old Testament: Biblical Beginnings- Part 1

Don’t fall trap to the misleading statements that the Bible or it’s contents are outdated or old fashioned. This is a common smoke screen the enemy uses today to detour non-believers from coming to know truth and freedom in Him.

The ultimate lie to keep you disconnected, broken, feeling empty, and not seeking a relationship with Jesus. The Bible stands true today- just as it did the day it was written. God and His Word are never changing and can ALWAYS be counted on.

Let’s take a look at some of the Bible Basics of the New Testament books. Jot down some key points- interesting facts- and questions you may have- as you read through this short study. (Feel free to email or post questions below in the comment section- I do my very best to answer/write back to everyone who writes)

The New Testament books are a collection of God’s story and begins before time began.

Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The key here is to break down this first sentence- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Take note that in the beginning it was God. The Bible shows us this by making it clear that the Old Testament started before time- before man-before animals- before flowers, trees, plants- before water, air, sound- before light and dark.

In the beginning it was literally God. Nothing more. Nothing less. God is the beginning of life- the beginning of everything.

The Old Testament is a collection of books with great spiritual and personal value. It teaches us about who God is and how life began. It explains how evil was introduced into the world. It inspires us for holy living and fills our hearts with gratitude and praise.

The Old Testament prophesies about the coming of the Messiah, our redeemer. Provides us with a fundamental understanding of God and sets the foundation for the rest of the Bible.

It also sets a standard of truth and lays out the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ.

There are 3 different types of knowledge we can obtain from getting to know God through the Old Testament.

  1. Factual Knowledge– To know God in this manner we must first know about Him. Learning His character and record of miracles and promises kept.
  2. Personal Knowledge-Knowing God in this manner takes us past the information stage and to a stage of relationship. Getting to know God through our own experiences and relationships with those who already have an established relationship with Him.
  3. Practical Knowledge- To know God in this form of knowledge we study His Word and He spells out His will for our life. Shows us how we need to change on the inside to live the life He created us for. Gaining practical knowledge of God through Bible studies such as this will help us to learn how to live in the complex world around us .

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Daily Devo- Share the Good News of God’s Love

God’s love does not stand in comparison to human or worldly love. God’s love is perfect and unchanging. Pouring out daily into our hearts, enriching our lives, and giving us peace and purpose in His kingdom.

Paul wrote this in Ephesians 3:17-19 about the love of God.

 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

When putting our hope in Jesus and trusting God with our lives, we begin to experience a new type of love- Agape. A love that pours into our hearts daily. A love that can’t be determined, changed, or earned by what we do or do not do.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:5 NKJV

A love that is patient, kind, understanding and unfailing- A love that does not disappoint. A love that can only be received from God- that fills the void- and gives us the fulfillment we long to have.

We were created by Him- for Him. Which means the void we feel and often try to fill with worldly things can ONLY be filled by Him- through the outpouring of love by the Holy Spirit.

God wants us to share this good news with those He places in our lives- so that ALL of His children will know Him and experience His love that surpasses all understanding and to live their best life fulfilling their purpose in His kingdom.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for loving me so deeply and for pouring out Your love through the Holy Spirit. I confess that I should be sharing the good news of Your love more often then I am. Lord, sometimes I am so wrapped up in my own feelings that I fail to share Your unchanging and never failing love. Lord, I am thankful that Your grace is new every morning and nothing will change Your love for me. I pray that You would give me the courage and the words to effectively share what Your love has done in my life. I pray You would give me wisdom and knowledge to know when You have sent someone into my life that You want me to share Your love with. Thank you Lord for Your many blessings and for working on my behalf in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo-Having A Fruitful Process For Studying God’s Word

Reading the Bible can be confusing and overwhelming especially if you do not have the correct foundation and/or tools to have a fruitful study. Just reading the words on the page is not enough to have a life changing transformation from the inside out.

Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to having a fruitful study.

When reading the text in the Bible we need to look at it for what it is- know the historical and cultural settings of the scripture you are studying. Read the actual words of the text as they are used in the context. Let the passage speak for itself in it’s original settings.

Next we need to figure out what it means. Within Bible passages is a main idea or a spiritual truth that is meaningful in all ages. These truth’s are not bound by time or to an era of hundreds of years ago. The truth’s can be applied to life in every time period. God is the same today as he was yesterday, thousands of years ago, and in the future. God and spiritual truth’s do not change because our society’s culture changes.

Then we will need to look at the text and discover how it applies to our life. Asking ourselves- in what ways should my life change as a result of studying this passage?

The Holy Spirit is our helper in this. When we allow Him into our lives- His Holy Spirit will start to work in our lives from the inside out. Changing our thoughts, speech, and behavior to reflect the spiritual principles found in God’s Word.

Once we have an understanding of what the text says and means, we then need to take time to digest our spiritual meal. Processing and pondering on the newly learned spiritual truth or guidance. Allowing it’s words and meaning to permeate deep within our being.
(Jeremiah 15:16)

When we read the Bible it is very easy to find ourselves “skimming over” the Word and missing the “bigger picture”- the significance and meaning behind what we have read. Jeremiah tells about how he felt joy and had a rush of rejoicing when he would “ingest” God’s Word.

Another way to ensure your study time is fruitful is by writing down key verses, your reflections, and any questions or ideas that come about when you are studying. This will help you to memorize scripture and will also be a great tool to look back on as you grow and dig deeper into God’s Word.

Writing down questions or ideas that you have can open doors for you to further your study in search for answers to your questions and ways to build on your knowledge.

The final thing I want to discuss is prayer- Prayer is how we respond to God.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

Daniel 6:10 NKJV

Giving thanks in prayer is a way of gratefully responding to God for gifts and blessings He gives you or already has given to you. Daniel’s prayers permeated with the spirit of thanksgiving as he made his requests known to God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you God for Your many blessings and gifts that we receive each day. Your mercy and love for me is simply amazing. Without You I couldn’t be where I am today. Lord forgive me for being ungrateful and not always recognizing that no matter what struggles I face, I still have many things to be thankful for. God help me to pray like Daniel with the spirit of thanksgiving and to actively seek Your Word. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would help me to understand what I read in Your Word and know how to fruitfully apply it to my own life. God, I want to have the rush of joy and rejoicing as Jeremiah talks about. Thank you for this message and help me to apply these tips to my study time with You in Jesus name I pray.

Amen