Archive for the ‘ Bible Reading ’ Category

Love: A breakdown of 1 John 4:9 – 5:21

Instead of writing a full blown post on God’s love and us loving others, I decided to let a particular passage, 1 John 4:9 – 5:21 (NIV) speak for itself, with a few thoughts from me.

 This is how God showed his love among us:

A –  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

[Because of salvation we have the ability to live as Jesus did through the power of the Holy Spirit. We may mess up from time to time but forgiveness is there and strength to keep going].

B – 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

C – 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

D – 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

E – 19 We love because he first loved us.

F –20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command:

G – Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

H – This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

I – In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

J – This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

K – For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

L – We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

M – 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

N – 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

O –12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

P –13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Q –14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

R –15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

S – 16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

T – 18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

U –19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

V – 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.

W -And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

X –21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

[anything we put before God is an idol. Whatever we put first, whatever we think most about, that is the god of our life. If we set aside devotional time or prayer time for something else, that thing is an idol].


Part 4: Meditation Becomes Memorization

brnI am convinced that most people don’t memorize scripture BECAUSE they try. You read that right, I think people don’t remember scripture because they try to.

When you think about it you memorized your favorite song by listening to it again and again, not because you printed out the lyrics and studied them. We memorize commercials because they are shown frequently, not because we are trying to memorize them.

Now, I am not against methods of memorization. In fact I would encourage everyone to download the Bible Minded APP on your phone to help you memorize. What I want us to realize is the best way to remember the Word is to be in it on a regular basis to read it out load or hear it read to us.

Psalm 119 tells us that if we hide the Word in our hearts it helps keep us from sinning. A great quote from R.A. Torrey says “sin will keep me from this book and this book will keep me from sin.”

I titled this post meditation becomes memorization because I believe that statement, I believe we will retain the Word and memorize it just based off of the fact that we spend time in it. One of my favorite pastors says this, put the Word in you when you don’t need it and it will be there when you do need it. The point being that if we spend regular time in the Word when a situation comes up, the Word for that situation will naturally flow out of us.

Even though I do believe the best way of memorization is our regular meditation of the Word as we are told in Joshua 1:8 meditate on the Word day and night, we are told in Proverbs four keep these words in the midst of our heart and in front of our eyes, I do believe and know in my own life some methods help me memorize, especially if I am wanting to memorize five or more verses.

Like I said earlier the Bible Minded APP is very helpful. I also like the note card method of verse on one side and reference on the other as a flash card system. There are many ways to help you memorize and they can be found on many websites. Depending on how you learn best will impact on what is most helpful to you.

I simply encourage you to just get the Word in you, because I know that when you put it in you on a regular basis it does come out when you need it.

Helps for memorizing Scripture:

10 tips for memorizing verses

Why and how to memorize

Part 3: Going Deeper with Bible Study

brn2 Timothy 2:15 AMP “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

While it’s important to read the Bible on a daily basis it is also important to study the Bible. Today I am going to talk about a few tools that are very beneficial in Bible Study.

The first thing we will talk about is the benefits of having a study Bible. If you want to find how the Bible is applicable to everyday life I recommend the Life Application Study Bible. It is packed with study notes and profiles of 100 people. It also contains book introductions, devotional reading plan, cross-references, maps and charts, and more. In my opinion this is the best study Bible for daily life.

If you are looking for a more in depth study Bible there are a couple I would recommend.

For a general study Bible I recommend the KJV Old Scofield Study Bible. They contain book introductions, notes, maps, and charts, cross references, and a topical concordance.

If you are wanting to get into the Hebrew and Greek a Strong’s Concordance is a great tool and are available for many specific Bible versions. You can also get a Key Word Study Bible, it contains the concordance in the back of the Bible, that way you don’t have to go back and forth between two books.

When it comes to commentaries there are many multiple volume sets that are very good but for the average person just wanting a little help going deeper a single-volume is best. A good single volume commentary is the King James Commentary.

If you are interested in volume sets here are some good ones (volume sets can get expensive):

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary 

NIV Application Commentary (Singles and set available).

Treasury of David – Spurgeon’s commentary on the Psalms

Part 2: Setting a Pattern that Becomes a Habit

brnOne of the most important things we can do to help make our Bible reading part of our daily life is to help set a routine of daily Bible reading.

There are several ways that are very beneficial to your Bible reading. The first thing is pick a time during the day that for the most part you will be able to stick to without changing. I recommend a fifteen minute “time slot”. Maybe getting up fifteen minutes earlier or staying up fifteen minutes later. In the beginning I think it is just important to set that time in your schedule that you know is devoted to reading the word and not allowing anything else to take that time if it can be helped.

Another thing that can be very beneficial is having a place for your reading. Instead of being in a different place every day, establish a “meeting place with God”. Pick a spot that is comfortable and produces a good environment for reading, your favorite chair, a swing in the back yard, or something like that.

When you approach your Bible reading time you should not only come with your Bible but a journal that is specifically used for this time as well. Be expecting to receive a word of encouragement for your day and write it down in your journal, you could also incorporate your prayer time in this “time slot” as well and record prayer requests and other thoughts in your journal as well. The reason I encourage people to keep a journal simply is that it helps you to remember what God speaks through His word or directly to your spirit and when we go through times of temptation or trial there can be helpful encouragement found in those pages.

I believe and have found in my own life that when you establish a time and place for Bible reading it helps you to stick to it. Put in your phone so you see it every day.

The reason I say a fifteen minute time slot is not for you to take fifteen minutes but to give you time to read, pray, journal, and whatever else comes to mind to do.

I do believe that as this habit is developed it is good at a time in which you feel comfortable to add more reading time, not necessarily at the time you are reading but adding another time. For instance if you read before work add a time to read before bed as well. There is no better way to start and end your day than with Bible reading.

I know this all sounds very simplistic, but developing a habit does not have to be hard, we just need to make a quality decision to do this on a daily basis.

And remember, I’m not talking about studying the Bible here; I’m just talking about a time to read. Bible reading at times can become study, but the time will have to be there. Bible reading and Bible study are mostly kept separate because of the time difference between the two activities. We will discuss Bible study later, but for now just begin that scheduled time of reading.

One more note about our Bible reading time then we will be done for today. I believe it is beneficial to read an actual copy of the Bible during this time and not read it off of a Bible APP. I am not against APPS, I have two on my phone, but for this specific time for reading that is done in a place for reading use your actual Bible, one you can make notes in, highlight, or underline. When we use an actual Bible we become more familiar with it, we learn where books are and where the verses are. The last reason I encourage you to use a Bible is because it is the Bible. Our phones contain a Bible but they also contain our facebook, twitter, calendar, angry birds, contacts, and everything else. The only thing a Bible represents is the Word of God, our phones on the other hand offer many distractions, and for the specific set aside time for reading an actual Bible and journal are best.

I hope this helps you to set a daily time and place to read your Bible and that you will gain much from this time in your daily routine. If you need help to know where to start I would recommend reading a Gospel (Matthew is a good one to start with) or reading through Isaiah. If you would like to find a Bible reading plan you can find them on Bible Gateway or on the YouVersion APP.    

Part 1: Getting to know your Bible

When it comes to reading your Bible, it is good to know how we got the Bible. I believe that can give us a deeper appreciation for the book on our laps or the APP in our hand.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Aramaic and Greek.

The first English Bible was hand written by John Wycliffe in the 1380’s. Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450’s and the first book produced was a Latin Bible. William Tyndale released the first printed English Bible in the 1530’s. The first Bible with notes was the Geneva Bible; its most popular printing is the one of 1599 which is still available today. The most popular English Bible is still the King James of 1611. There were several versions and editions of the Bible after the KJV but most notable is the American Standard Version (1901), Revised Standard Version (1952), New American Standard Bible (1971) New International Version (1978), New King James (1982), and New Living Translation (1996).

The Bible is broken into two sections, the Old (39 books) and New (27 books) Testaments. And these sections are broken down further:

bible bookcase

Some Key Bible Verses:

Salvation: John 3:14-18, Romans 3:10-12;23, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 5:12-13.

Sanctification: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 5:23, 1 Peter 1:2, John 17:19, Psalm 51:7-10, Acts 15:8, 2 Timothy 2:21, Isaiah 6:6-7, Ezekiel 36:25-29, Hebrews 10:14.

Holiness: Matthew 5:48, Matthew 18:6-9, Hebrews 12:1-2; 14, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Zechariah 14:20-21.

The Bible: Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:9-11; 115, Matthew 24:35, John 6:63, Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17

Faith: Hebrews 11:1, 6, Mark 11:22-24, Romans 4:20-21, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 10:38, 1 John 5:4b

Healing: Exodus 15:26, Psalm 103:3-5; 107:20, Isaiah 53:3-5, James 5:14-15, Matthew 18:18-19, Matthew 8:16-17, Proverbs 4:20-24.

Prosperity: Proverbs 10:22, Deuteronomy 8:18, Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 112, Psalm 35:27, Romans 15:29, Galatians 3:9, 13-14.

Power of your words: Proverbs 18:21, Proverbs 16:24, Mark 11:23, Hebrews 10:23, Matthew 12:33-37.

Overcoming the enemy: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:10-18, James 4:7, James 1:13-14, 1 John 4:4.

The Holy Spirit: Matthew 28:19, John16:7-13, Acts 1:8.

Bible Reading Series Introduction

As Christians we know one of the most important parts of our day should be Bible reading. Unfortunately for most, getting in the habit of regular Bible reading can be tough. It always seems like when I sit down to read my mind starts to think of all this other stuff, or my phone will go off, or things just happen that distract me.

We have all heard “just fifteen minutes a day” most of us have no doubt printed off, or signed up to have reading emailed to us each day. While I’ll admit this series has no new innovative ways to change your life, I do believe I will approach things a little differently.

Part of the problem is we feel guilty if we miss a day, we shouldn’t. There are days when I miss; there have been days in a row where I’ve missed. I just go back to where I left off, go into my reading time with prayer, I probably say something to the affect of sorry it’s a been a few days Lord and go on.

As we go through this series, which as it is lined out at this point has eight parts to it I want us to be reintroduced to our Bible. As much as I like and use my Bible app, I sometimes think using it too much causes me to become unfamiliar with books, where there at, the references of my favorite verses, and other things. Grant it, when I can’t find something I go to the app or a website but I believe in general that it helps us to know our Bibles when we are actually holding it and turning the pages when we are in our daily reading time. In this series I want to help set up a pattern for daily reading that goes from just reading the Bible to spending time each week studying what you’re reading. I want to help you go from meditating to memorizing. To put your mind at ease memorizing has been made out to be hard but it really is very simple, and yes there is an APP for that.

As we get ready for this series there are three scriptures I want you to be thinking about and even mark in your Bible:

Joshua 1:8 NIV “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 119:9-11 NIV “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

When we read those three scriptures we see the importance of not only spending time in the word each day but having the word in us. When we listen to a song enough times we can sing along with it, not even having tried to memorize it. If we will develop a routine of not just reading and closing the Bible, but reading, meditating, and memorizing when things come up or happen in life instead of having a negative response or a response of doubt and unbelief we will have a response of victory that comes out of the word!

All the promises of God are yes and amen, when we speak the Word mountains move. If we will get in the word the word will get in us and flow out of us.

It is my prayer that as we go through this series a desire is ignited in you to get in the word and see it transform yourself and your situation.

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