Bible Study Tools, Blog, Home

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

Blog, Devotionals, Home

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

Want More?

Bible Study Tools, Blog, Home

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

Bible Study Tools, Blog

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

Bible Study Tools, Blog

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

Bible Study Tools, Blog

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 .

Blog, Devotionals, Home

Daily Devo’s Coming Soon!

Here we are in 2020, life is certainly anything but “normal”. There is a world pandemic known as the coronavirus or Covid-19 happening, there are civil rights movements for “Black Lives Matter” and the LQBTQ Community Pride, there is rioting and violence through-out the streets all across America, some are protesting to defund the police, and we have a never seen before divide in America over the upcoming election, the good and evil in the world surrounding us is butting heads. Good being called evil and evil consider good and acceptable.

With all of the misconstrued ideas and information, I thought going back to the basics of Spiritual Life was necessary. It seems as if we get wrapped up in the world around us and are hanging on every word from the media and we neglect to look for the answers in the Bible, to recognize the bigger picture, and learn to look within ourselves.

Let’s take a look at what has lead us up to the current situations in the world today.

In order to do this. we must start at the beginning, which is why I have decided to do daily devotional’s– a short reading each day to help you grow in understanding and truth.

The core of the Christian faith is belief that one God revealed Himself in the flesh, as Jesus Christ and throughout the Bible- that He and His word are alive today.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Lord God, I thank You for Your guidance and mercy over my life. I thank You for using me to help spread Your truth and love. I pray You prepare the hearts of every person who reads the daily devotionals and other articles on this blog. God open their heart and minds to Your truth. Use me, oh Lord and help me to spread Your word in truth and a way that is understanding to all. God, I thank You for all You do and all You are. I pray You will protect us all in the uncertain days ahead. Lord, we trust in You alone and take refuge beneath Your wings. I thank You for being a forgiving and gracious God, in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Bible Stories, Blog

The Battle of Jericho

This story is from Joshua chapter six in the Bible. I use the New King James Version– that is just my preference. Although the story is below I always encourage each person to look it up for themselves and read it directly from God’s word.

The Story

The town of Jericho was shut-up no one came in or went out. The Lord told Joshua that Jericho was to be his–that he would be king. God instructed Joshua how to take over the city of Jericho. He was very specific in His instruction.

God said ‘ You shall march around the city, all of your men of war; you shall go all around the city at once. He told them to do this for six days. He said that seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams horn and on the seventh day they shall march around the city seven times and the priests shall blow their trumpets. God then instructed Joshua that with the blast of the rams horns when they hear the sound of the trumpets all the men shall shout. God told Joshua that when he and his men did this the walls will fall flat and the city will be his.

So Joshua called the priests and told them what God had said to him. Then the seven priests, the armed men, and the guard followed Joshua. Joshua instructed his men not to shout or make noise until the day he instructed them to.

Each day for the next six days–Joshua and his men got up and marched around the city and rested back at camp, just as God had instructed him. On the seventh day–they marched around the city seven times– and on the seventh time blew the trumpets and the men all shouted. The walls of Jericho came down and the city was doom by the Lord’s destruction. The city and all who were in it were doomed–except for Rehab. Rehab was a harlot but she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy on Jericho. So when the walls fell and the city was doomed– Joshua spared Rehab and all those in her house– he saved them.

Joshua and his men went into the city and they burned the city and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord and Rehab and her relatives were spared.

Take a deeper look

The story of Jericho shows us a lot about God and how His will works.

Often times we pray and ask God for direction and to lead the way but then are not willing to follow Him when He calls. God uses ordinary, broken people to do His work through His power. We can’t expect to pray and ask God to help us and lead the way and not be willing to do whatever He asks of us.

It is like saying God– Here I am– Send Me!!

Then He calls and says– Ok, Go here or do this– And we CHOOSE not to listen.

You know– the okay God I want to follow you but not this one–not this time–pick someone else– use me somewhere else.

Why do we do this? Why ask Him if we do not intend to listen? I think a lot has to do with our unspoken expectations. When we pray we kind of think we already have the solution all figured out one way or another.

So when He calls us to do something outrageous much like He did with Joshua– we find reasons not to do it. Either because we don’t like what He is sending us to do, we have fear, or we are plain stubborn and make excuses as to why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or even convince ourselves that it’s not God sending us.

God works in mysterious ways in order to build trust and reliance on Him and in Him as the almighty God– the one whom has it all figured out. He sees a far bigger picture then what we do.

Let this story be great encouragement for your to push forward and follow God no matter how crazy or how hard the path may seem. Remember if God is for you–who can be against you? The Lord will always protect you through what He has called you to do.

The story in Joshua is one of great strength, faith, and obedience to God. It shows God’s faithfulness to those who listen to Him and follow His lead. It shows He can and will use anyone– no matter what their past is.

God used Rehab to protect the messengers (spies) He sent–Yes, God used the Harlot Rehab in order to fulfill His will– He used her, He is using me, and He can use you too!

No one is too broken or too lost to fulfill their purpose in Christ– In fact, that is why each of us have been put here.

Chase God! Chase your dreams! Follow your heart!

Reflection

What do you think God is saying to you through the story in Joshua 6?

Can you think of a time God called you to do something– that seemed out of the ordinary? Did you do it? What happened?

Have you ever felt God is calling you to do something-but you feel unqualified?

If you said yes to the question above let me take a second to encourage you to follow God’s lead.. He doesn’t call the qualified- He qualifies the ones He calls.

Write down one dream you have– Give it to God– Seek His direction to achieve your goals and more so– Your Purpose in Him.

Bible Study Tools

Who is God? What does the Bible say about Him?

 

Before you get started with this study of scripture and dig into what the word says about God and his character, take the time to answer a few questions first.

  1. Who do you think God is?
  2. Who is Jesus?
  3. How powerful do you think God is?
  4. List 5 words that you think describe God and his character.
  5. What role, if any, did God and The Bible have in your home when you were growing up?

Now let us take the time to dig into His word and see what it has to say. I encourage you to look up each verse in your Bible and read the full scripture.

Genesis 1:1 God created all.
Psalm 139:1-6 God knows you
Mark 1:9-11 Jesus is Gods son
Romans 1:20 
God has eternal power (just like a cellphone signal works, you can’t see it but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The phone still works just like prayer works with God)
Romans 8:38-39 Gods love is unconditional nothing can separate you from His love.
1 John 1:5 God is light in Him there is no darkness.
2 Peter 3:18 God is patient
Isaiah 40:28  God is everlasting, God is the Creator, He is understanding
James 1:17 God of blessings
Galatians 5:22 Gods ‘fruit’ is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.
Psalm 18:30 God is perfect, Proven and Protector
John 14:26 God is a teacher
John 14:6 Jesus is the “lifeline” between God and man. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Isaiah 41:10 God is your Helper and your strength
Psalm 103:1-22 God is your healer and redeemer. He is merciful, gracious, and slow to anger.
1 Peter 1:15 God is Holy
Exodus 34:6-7 God is merciful, gracious, long suffering, abounding in goodness and truth. He is forgiving.
Philippians 4:7 God is peace
1 Corinthians 10:13 God is faithful
1 John 4:14 Jesus (God’s son) is the savior for the world
Numbers 14:18-19 God is slow to anger and abundant in steadfast love
Proverbs 30:5-6 God is your shield.

 

Time To Reflect

  1. Which verse stands out most to you?
  2. What did you learn that you did now know before this study?
  3. How will you apply these verses to your own life?
  4. What role would you like God/The Bible to have in your life/family?
  5. What are you willing to do to make it happen?