Diving Into the Word of God Using 6 Easy Steps

Diving Into the Word of God Using 6 Easy Steps | What Joy Is Mine

It’s a new year with new opportunities to grow in our faith. Although we can start at any time, there is something motivating about doing it at the beginning of the year. It’s a like a new start. We, sometimes, need new starts, right? Well, let’s discuss how we can take our new year and grow in the knowledge of God’s commandments by diving into His Word in 6 easy steps.

Diving into the Word of God encourages us to love it all the more. We are reminded it is the inerrant and infallible words spoken by our Father. Reading it daily and digging deep gives us a better understanding of God, who He is and what’s expected of us by Him.

Diving into the Word, or studying the Bible, is not something we do just because. We do it with intentional purpose. We plunge into the words written by our supreme Lord intending to come away with wisdom only He can give that will help us live for His glory and for our greater good. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.(Proverbs 3:1-2)

Here are six ways we can dive into the Word of God intentionally

1. Make the appointment. We need to pray and ask the Lord to show us when to meet with Him. It may not be the same for you as for another person. Once we know when, we make that appointment and stick to it daily.

2. Bring your supplies. That would be our Bible, a notebook, pen and receptive heart. Simple and sweet. We won’t need more than that to begin this diving in of God’s Word.

3. Pray for wisdom and understanding. Before we begin reading, we need to ask for discernment of what He has led us to read. He is faithful and we need to seek Him in all things, especially when we read the Bible and study it.

4. Read thoroughly and completely. Make it a habit to read through the entire section completely. It would benefit us even more to read the before and after sections as well. This will give us a bigger and better picture of what is being taught.

5. Take notes and make notes. After we have read it through once, we go back through and read it again, this time taking notes as we are moved. After we have written those down, we need to go back and make notes on what we have read. This may include definitions of certain words, researching commentaries, and logging other scripture references.

6. Express thankfulness. After we have finished, we need to go to the Lord and thank Him for that time with Him and His Word. Thank Him for wisdom gained and for meeting with us.

These 6 simple steps will help us have a deeper and more intimate time with our Lord. It is the approach I personally take when doing a study in God’s Word. I do come away with greater understanding for God is faithful.

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We NEED Fellowship With God (and the reasons might surprise you)

We Need Fellowship With God | What Joy Is Mine

We’ve all read them. Posts and articles about how to have daily time with God. Even I wrote one once upon a time. Daily fellowship with the Lord is the best daily vitamin we’ll take each day, the best strategy to stay spiritually hydrated and fit, and the best antidote to a good morning among other blessings. As children of God, our souls crave that time in the Lord’s presence. We NEED to be at His feet every day soaking in His truth, grace and mercy. This is our first and chief need as His children.

So, why do we NEED fellowship with God?

Well, we are so dependent on Him for everything. The food we eat, the roof over our heads and the breath we breathe. It’s all from Him. Daily He supplies “according to His glorious riches” all we need to live and survive. (Philippians 4:19) We will lack for nothing because He knows what we need at any given moment. From the poorest to the richest, weakest to the strongest, He takes care of His own. (Luke 12:22-24)

We need to feel His presence. The reassurance of God’s nearness secures our trust in Him in all things. And we can know His presence intimately by fellowshipping with Him. Making Himself known to us is what we ought to desire every day. It is in His presence that we grow more in our assurity of faith. Psalm 145: 18 reminds us, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

We learn humility and self abasement. These are much needed for the Christian as we go about our life desiring to live so others may see our Father at work in us and through us. In being brought low, we see our deep need for our holy and powerful Lord. It is here we die to ourselves and God can now take His place as our all in all in our hearts. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

We revisit the blessedness of Jesus and the cross. God delights in His Son and what He did for the sinner. The Gospel is proof of a loving and merciful God towards the broken and lost. Jesus loves us with a real and personal love. After all, His life, death and resurrection were for us, “a people for His own possession.” (1 Peter 2:9) This we need to preach to ourselves every day.

We learn to be more Christ-like. Jesus’ likeness ought to be the order of the day. In this, others will see His face beyond ours. We are to be imitators of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1) This likeness of Jesus can be accomplished as we spend our time in the Word, learning who Jesus was, how he lived and moved among people, and how He glorified His Father in Heaven. Then, we, by Jesus’ example, God’s power, and the Holy Spirit’s prompting, can aim to live a life that exudes the grace and mercy found in Jesus, our Savior, especially in our homes.

We are taught submission and surrendering at His throne of grace. We serve and worship a good and powerful Lord. He knows what is best all the time in everything concerning us. Seeking God insists upon our need for Him. In our need for Him, we acknowledge He is all mighty and sovereign over each detail of our life. At God’s throne of grace is where we learn to submit and surrender to our holy God and His perfect will. “Be still, and know that I am God,” is what the Lord asks of us. (Psalm 46:10)

Daily fellowship with God yields all of the above by the power of the Holy Spirit which resides within every child of God. We need this time with our Lord to know what it means to live wholly for Him. We grow in faith as we seek Him every day, submitting and surrendering to His purpose for us. Be encouraged to take time to tarry with God each day. Better yet, begin your morning in His presence and seek Him throughout your day.

 

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Monday’s Musings #212 & 3 Purposes of Bible Study

Monday's Musings #212 & 3 Purposes of Bible Study | What Joy Is Mine

Let me be the first to admit it. Sometimes, I don’t get around to my Bible study. I go to bed with good intentions but then I wake up the next morning and it doesn’t get done. Sometimes that’s my own doing. Other times life happens unexpectedly. No matter how, missing my time with the Lord leaves me feeling like I missed something.

You know how you feel when you’ve missed something? You are disappointed. Well, let me share with you why we should honestly try not to miss our time with the Lord.

Bible study is a threefold blessing: Upward, Inward and Outward. A blessing to us, not God. He doesn’t need us, we need Him. And our time with Him blesses us in three specific ways.

First, we experience an upward blessing. By upward, our aim is to focus our heart on God and nothing else when we read the Word of God. When we open our Bible to read it, we get to see for ourselves a good God, a gracious and merciful God and a loving Father. It is in knowing this, we praise His holy Name. We can’t help but Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness” when we spend time with Him. (Psalm 150:1,2) 

We learn that He is so deserving of unending praise and devotion from us–the broken sinner in need of a faithful and sovereign God. It’s in His presence we enjoy Him and bask in His steadfast love towards us. This upward emphasis brought about when we dig into the Word for study, encourages the foundation of who we are in Christ.

Secondly, we experience inward blessing. Opening the Word of God and really digging in allows us to embrace the truth of scripture which points in every way to Jesus, the cross and our need of Him.  Reading and studying the Bible will purposely embed in our hearts biblical wisdom and knowledge for life and for every situation we endure. We can always count on God’s words to guide, teach, reproof and train the believer in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16) We will never walk away hungry because the Bread of life will fill us up to overflowing. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

When we spend time in the Word of God, we must have a receptive heart ready to receive what the Lord wants us to know. This inward blessing of daily Bible study will grow us up in Him and give us the tools to live godly lives unto His glory and our good.Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2)

This leads me to the third blessing of daily Bible reading and studying: outward blessing. This is the desire to live outwardly what God teaches us inwardly. We ought to be overjoyed to go out into the world and apply what we are gleaning. It is exciting to put the teachings of God to work in our lives and in the lives of others, taking it beyond the pages and putting it into action.

This includes how we speak as much as how we act. It encompasses what we do for another. Most importantly, this outward blessing can give us the opportunity, when God designs it, to share the Gospel with others whether verbally or actively living it out. Simply put, we are applying the Word of God in the world. “And he [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.(Mark 16:15)

We pass up so much when we miss our time with the Lord. Thankfully, there is grace when it can’t be helped. Yet let’s keep in mind that even five minutes grows our faith when we can’t fit in our regular time. The Lord is always available. Remember He tells us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20) Let’s make every effort to come into His presence and embrace His grace, mercy and love for us.

Today, how will you make sure you don’t miss your time with God and His Word?

Now, it’s time to share your posts and I’m looking forward to some good reading.

Monday's Musings #212 & 3 Purposes For Bible Study | What Joy Is MIne

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2015Siggy2

 

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Do We Make Scripture the Apple of Our Eye?

 Do We Make Scripture the Apple of Our Eye | What Joy Is Mine

You’ve probably heard people use the phrase “apple of my eye.” Do you know what it means? It means someone or something that is cherished and adored above all others. God refers to us as the apple of His eye.

Deuteronomy 32:6 reminds us, “Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?” Are we not the blessed creation of His hands? We were created for fellowship with Him and for His pleasure. As His children, we are cherished and adored. Dearly beloved in the eyes of God.

In Psalm 17:8, David prays, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Here, David wanted God to keep him as the apple of His eye. He wanted to remain in good favor with his Lord. I would say David knew the place of comfort, strength and protection resided in being the apple of God’s eye.

In Zechariah 2:8, we see the Lord referring to His people as the apple of his eye. “For he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.” A tender reference of how precious we are to Him, making a point that He protects His own. He looks after us with much affection.

We are cherished in the sight of the Lord. He loves us beyond what we deserve. Just embrace that thought for a minute. You are loved—the apple of God’s eye—beyond measure.

Now, turning to Proverbs 7:2, which says, “Keep my commandments and live. And keep my teaching as the apple of your eye,” we read how God wants us to view His precepts. He is telling us to keep His law treasured in our own hearts and lives, just as He treasures us. We are to look upon His Word as precious and greatly needed.

It is to be our prized possession, held in high esteem and never forsaken. The Word of God will always be our best tool against sin and temptation. It will always be our best tool for wisdom and encouragement. The truths and commands held within the pages of the Bible provide life and guidance to the child of God.

We keep the Word of God as the apple of our eye by reading, meditating, memorizing and applying it daily. We must “bind them on our fingers; write them on the tablet of [our] heart.” (Proverbs 7:3, brackets mine) As Matthew Henry writes in his commentary, Look upon the Word of God as putting honour upon thee, as an ensign of thy dignity.”

 

Siggy2015

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Why We Should Live According to the Word of God

Why We Should Love According to the Word of God | What Joy Is Mine

The phrase “according to your word” is an important one for a child of God. Where it is written “according to” in the Bible we are to act “in conformity with” and the words “your word” would be “divine communication.” It is a direction given by God we need to heed. In Psalm 119, this phrase appears several times. Here are a few that stood out to me.

Psalm 119:9 says,  “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” In the ESV bible, it is worded “How can a young man keep his way pure?” Simply, it means we keep ourselves spotless and cleansed by being in the Word of God. Studying. Embracing. Memorizing. Living it. God’s Word is the only tool we need, to live a life that is kept pure and blameless and guarded from the wiles of this world. We must make God’s Word our heart’s rule. In John 15:3, Jesus says, “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” The Word of God protects us, guides us, comforts us, corrects us, and purifies us. It’s what we need to wash away the yuckies of our souls and “renew a right spirit within us.(Psalm 51:10)

Psalm 119:25 says, “My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.” When we are in any affliction, the Word of God is the place to find revival — life! Here revive, “chayah” in Hebrew, means to “be restored to life, to make live again, to nourish.” There isn’t anything we live through that the Word of God can’t bring life to. It can restore a relationship, replenish a weary soul, regenerate a tired spirit, and rejoice alongside us when we’re in the highlights of life. Being in the Word of God can cure us from spiritual apathy and make us alive again in our faith. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Psalm 119:65 says, “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word.” God is good…all the time. He only does good to His children…better than we deserve really. However He has dealt with us, we can believe it was well—to make us more like Jesus and all in love for us. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11) 

Psalm 119: 170 says, “Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to Your word.Here, plea is another word for supplication. We must come before God with our prayers and beg for His attention. “Incline your ear to me” should be the cry of our heart. (Psalm 31:2) There is nothing so difficult, so awful, so heartbreaking, so troubling that the Lord cannot change or deliver us from. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.” (Zephaniah 3:17) We just need to cry out to Him and lay our concerns at His throne. He is more than able and can turn impossibilities to possibilities. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:10)

Cleansing. Revival. Well being. Deliverance. All exist when we live according to the Word of God.

Siggy2015

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