truth

How To Respond to Today's Culture

Almost daily I hear about situations that leave me incredulous about the moral decline in our culture. A friend shared with me an article that appeared in Glamour magazine last week that showcases the depth of the depravity in our society, and it also rekindled in me the burning desire to rally us as Christians to take a stand and fight against the lies that are pummeling our youth like a tidal wave. Read these excerpts from Glamour’s January 18, 2016 article, “Girl Meets World's Rowan Blanchard's Brave Statement: ‘I Identify as Queer’” that were written by Laurel Pinson:

“Rowan Blanchard, the winning young star of the Disney series Girl Meets World, may be only 14, but she’s already establishing herself as a fresh, outspoken voice for her generation….there’s a reason we chose her to serve as Glamour’s Instagram Ambassador at last year’s Women of the Year Awards….Now, the star is opening up about her sexuality—revealing this weekend on Twitter that she doesn’t want to label herself in any way, and thus identifies more as “queer.”…In a post on Twitter, she wrote "In my life—only ever liked boys … however I personally don't wanna label myself as straight, gay or whateva so I am not gonna give myself labels to stick with - just existing." In penning such a brave admission, Rowan joins the ranks of several other stars who have eschewed labels in regards to their own sexuality. In an interview with Paper, Miley Cyrus said that when it comes to sex, she is “literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal and everyone is of age.” Similarly, Kristen Stewart told Nylon that she doesn’t label her sexuality, adding, “I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.” These stars aren’t alone: Earlier this year, a study found that nearly a third of Americans age 18 to 29 don’t consider themselves completely straight,and more than half of those surveyed agreed with the statement that “sexuality is a scale.” It's likely that more and more young people will see things like gender and sexuality as increasingly fluid—and here's hoping that there are more articulate voices like Blanchard's to join the chorus.”

WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

So what is your reaction as you read this? Are you shocked? Shaking your head in disbelief--   perhaps even in judgment--at these young starlets and their expression of their ‘newfound sexuality’? Are you wondering, ‘How’d we ever get to this place in our culture?’ Or are you wondering how many parents—even Christian parents—allow and are unconcerned that their teenage girls read magazines like Glamour that applaud and herald today’s confused Hollywood stars like Rowan? Or have you become so numb to the moral decline in our society that you read the article, shrugged your shoulders, and thought, ‘That’s so sad, but there’s nothing I can do to change the direction that our culture and world is taking’.

As I read the article, I immediately was reminded of Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Doing what was right in their own eyes led to confusion, chaos, and depravity back then, just as it is doing in America today. Whereas God is a God of order (1st Corinthian 14:33), Satan is the author of confusion (James 3:15-18) and the ‘gender confusion’ highlighted in the article is the fruit of and evidence that Satan is at work in the lives of our youth. Our culture has turned its back on God, the ‘King of Kings’ and people are choosing to do whatever they ‘feel’ is ‘right’ for them to do, without any acknowledgement that God is the Righteous One Who has already and alone can determine what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that a large number of our youth and young adults are being led down a path that leads to their destruction.

THIS TREND IS ROOTED IN REBELLION AND DANGEROUS

This trend to think that one’s ‘sexuality is a scale’ and ones’ ‘gender and sexuality as increasingly fluid’ grieves me. It grieves me but does not surprise me. The groundwork for this rebellious thinking was laid long ago. In fact, it originated back in the Garden of Eden. Rowan Blanchard, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, and yes, even you and I, are all too often like Adam and Eve, thinking that we are wiser than God and know what is best for us. There were dire consequences for Adam and Eve because of their disobedience to God’s command, and there will be dire consequences for this generation who choose to listen to Satan’s lies rather than to obey God’s perfect will.

I am grieved because the consequences of believing the lies our youth and young adults are being taught about their sexual identity will never lead to their experiencing the joy, peace, and true love they were created to enjoy and that can be found only in a life of obedience to God. I am grieved because God loves the world so much that He gave His Son’s precious life for humanity (John 3:16), and it’s His desire that ‘all would come to know Him’ (1st Timothy 2:4)—which certainly includes Hollywood stars and today’s youth and young adults. And I am especially grieved because we as the Church have allowed these lies to be promulgated in our schools, in the media, and even in some churches -- on ‘our watch’-- and all too often we as the Church have remained silent instead of taking action to counter the destructive lies of Satan. We know that ‘people perish for lack of knowledge,’ and yet too often we say nothing instead of sharing the knowledge of Christ and His truth in love with them.

OUR YOUTH ARE BEING LED INTO A MINEFIELD

What’s going on in our society can be compared to sending our youth and young adults into a field laced with mines that are camouflaged and covered by gorgeous flowers, luscious trees, extravagant water fountains, and other beautiful objects strategically placed and designed to entice them. Our youth have been encouraged to go and play in the minefield without being forewarned that underneath the beautiful objects lie bombs that will blow up on them and cause serious harm to their bodies, to their souls, and can lead to eternal suffering as well. Importantly, a path runs through the field, and if taken and stayed upon, will keep them from ever having to encounter any of the bombs. However, the vast majority of those who influence our youth and young adults are telling them that the path of safety is boring and will keep them from truly enjoying the beauty to be found in the field, so instead of encouraging them to get on the safe path they are encouraging them to go where the mines are.

Lee-Garden-path
Lee-Garden-path

The mines, or bombs, are the lies that have been developed and strategically placed by Satan to entice our youth to follow his ways and their own selfish desires. The Path is Jesus-- also known as the Way, the Truth, and the Source of all Life, and He alone can overcome the destruction and death that Satan ‘the Deceiver’ and ‘Father of Lies’ seeks to bring upon all of God’s creation. The influencers are educators, the social media and journalists, Hollywood, politicians, and their peers, among others.

So, ‘What are YOU going to do to intervene in this tragic situation?’ Are you going to let today’s youth and young adults go into the minefield without warning them about the destructive mines, even if they may resist your warning? Are you going to tell them there’s a path they can take that will not only keep them safe from the devil’s lies and destructive power, but is also the only path that will lead to their experiencing true joy, peace, and true love? Are you willing to do whatever God asks you to do to help steer them onto the ‘path of righteousness’ that alone can protect them and that leads to the truly abundant life?

SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPACT OUR CULTURE FOR CHRIST

Below are just some of the things that you can-- and I believe the Church must—do to safeguard our youth and young adults.

1) Pray! This is the most critical thing we all can do, and something we must do to stop the onslaught of the Enemy and to help return this generation to the path of righteousness. Pray for yourself, that God would give you a love for this next generation that would cause you to overcome any fear, unbelief, or passivity so that you will be found faithful to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:1-18) and fulfill the call to ’fight the good fight of faith’ (1st Timothy 6:12). Pray for boldness and courage to take a stand in this ‘wicked and perverse generation’. Pray that the Holy Spirit would give wisdom and discernment to your children; to your grandchildren; to teenagers, youth and young adults that you know (and also those who are known only to God!); Hollywood stars; the media; educators; political leaders, and all those who influence our culture so that they would turn to God, realize His love for them, follow His commands, and turn their back on Satan and his lies. Pray that we as the Church would rise up and proclaim the truth of God’s Word in love to a generation that is being deceived and is desperately in need of knowing the life-giving Word and love of God! Pray for this generation which is being swept up in the lies of ‘tolerance’ that is leading us further down the road of judgment against a Holy God Who created us to be ‘male and female’ and gave us the gift of sex to be used in the context of marriage between a husband and wife. Consider starting a prayer group with other like-minded women to pray together for your children and grandchildren and for ‘God’s children’ in your community, the state, our nation, and the world. Pray that they would be consumed by the ‘fear the Lord’, ‘walk in the truth’, and stand firmly upon His Word. Another way that you can ‘war’ for this generation is to prayer walk: in your neighborhood, around schools, around other public and private buildings, either alone or with others.

2) Daily read and carefully study God’s word so that you will be equipped and able to discern the difference between truth and the lies of the enemy. Consider the minefield analogy: a mine expert knows the importance of remaining on the safe path, and he also knows that where to look for mines, what they look like, and how to detonate them if he does get off the path. Studying the Word of God will train you to be ‘an expert’ who knows God and the importance of obeying His perfect commands. It will enable you to identify and overcome Satan’s lies if you or a loved one disobeys God and gets off the path, and it also will instruct you on how to get back on the ‘path of life’.

3) Teach and instruct your family in the truth of God’s word so that they too will ‘know the truth that will set them free’. (John 8:32) We have been commanded to instruct our children in the truth (Deuteronomy 6); many of the youth and adults who believe the lies of the enemy are doing so because parents have abdicated their responsibility to instruct their children in God’s word. Determine to make bible reading and instruction part of your family’s daily routine, applying God’s word to the issues of daily living and current events. Make sure to joyously share with your children and grandchildren that they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14) by God Who is perfect in all of His ways (Psalm 145:17) and Who intentionally created them to be male or female for their good and His glory (Genesis 5:2). Let them know that sex is a wonderful gift, but a gift that God in His wisdom has reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. Live out God’s word by modeling what a godly life and marriage looks like; wives respecting your husbands, and husbands loving your wives as they love themselves, both husband and wife submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33).

4) Teach and disciple non-family members in the truth of God’s Word. We have been commanded both ‘to love God’ and ‘to love others as God has loved us’ (Luke 10:27), and if we love God and others we will be faithful to share the ‘good news’ of the gospel with them, ‘going and making disciples’. (Matthew 28:19) There are many ways in which you can obey these commands, such as: teach a Sunday school class; lead a Bible study in your neighborhood or in your church for Moms where you teach them God’s Word and encourage them to instruct their own families in the truth of God’s Word; lead a Bible study for teenage girls/young adults in your neighborhood, church, or school district; mentor a teenage girl or young adult from your church, neighborhood, or school district; get involved with the Boys/Girl Clubs of America, Girl Scouts, your local juvenile detention facility, or other organizations where there is the opportunity to develop a relationship with youth/young adults and share and model the truth of God’s love to them.

5) Get educated regarding what is being taught in your local elementary, middle, and high school(s) as well as your universities, whether or not your kids or grandkids attend them (and especially if they do!) God is concerned about the souls of these precious students and knows the importance of training up a child (Proverbs 22:6) and that what we think will direct the course of our lives (Proverbs 23:7). We as Christians should be concerned about what children, teenagers and young adults are being taught; it matters to God and it should matter to us! Do not assume that just because your child is in a Christian school or even home schooled that this doesn’t concern you; the people who are being led astray are dear to God, and as His child you have a responsibility to reach out to and help them. Remember, your children will be impacted by what is elevated in our culture: they’ll either succumb to or influencer it.

6) Contact your school board members as well as your state education personnel if you determine that what is being taught in your public schools does not line up with God’s Word (most likely it does not) and work to change the curriculum. Organize with other parents who are concerned about our education system and seek to make changes in the curriculum, such as removing/altering sex education and other programs that undermine God’s Word and your God-ordained parental authority. Prayerfully consider running for your school board or other public office, and make sure to actively support elected and appointed officials at all levels of the government who (at least most closely!) hold to a biblical worldview.

7) If after attempting to change an anti-Biblical curriculum at your child’s school be prayerful and willing to remove your child from the school—no matter how affordable, convenient, or prestigious it is in the world’s eyes-- if that is how the Lord leads you.

So what is God leading you to do to stand up for truth and to extend God’s love to this generation that is so precious to Him?

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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The Lie of "I"

For many years I taught my kindergarten class the story of Cain and Abel. Considering their young age I navigated this story with simple discussions about jealousy, obedience, and love. In re- reading this account in my Bible today the Lord took me through it with His perspective, keeping it simple for my old age! :)  I could truly hear the Him speaking to my heart.  He told my heart that I CAN and am ABLE to master the “sin crouching at my door” if I will follow His lead. He made me smile when He showed me that Cain’s name has an “I” in the middle of it. I began to recognize at once the lesson He was about to lay gently upon my heart.

May we stop and take time at the beginning of each day, with a repentant heart asking God to bring to mind those things in our lives that do not glorify Him. When I do not give God that first hour of my day (my “first fruit”) I find that my  “I”  steps in with a plan to dominate my day, preventing His blessings to me. The Lord speaks to all of our hearts when He tells Cain with tenderness and compassion, ”If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door: it desires to have you, but you must master it.” The only way to do this is to take our focus away from the “I” in our sinful hearts and focus on Our Shepherd. The account of Cain and Abel should shout to our hearts and minds of our need for repentance and surrender in order to receive true blessings. Cain was so focused on his “I” that he missed the blessing.

Think about our world today. We live in a “ME” culture. It all revolves around what we want, and then, getting it in our desired timing. Satan continues to crouch at our door whispering his lies into our minds and our perspectives. I have often wondered about the mark that God put on Cain. Was it like a t-shirt that I saw someone wearing recently that said, “It All About ME”. I realize that the shirt was meant to be funny…but the irony of it was not lost on my heart. I can easily picture Cain in that shirt…but then… I have to ask the question…If God gave me a shirt today, what would my shirt say?  In my time with the Lord this morning, He showed me how easy it is for me to slip on that “All About ME” shirt. I must admit that the one thing that Satan does well is to convince us to justify the “lie of I”.

Take a moment and contrast what the Lord says about Cain and Abel’s offerings. “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.” Everything in this sentence speaks to me of Cain’s timing and of his choosing. It does not speak of first fruits… it just says “some fruits”.  Notice the first word in the next verse is the word “But”. This word shouts of contrast to me. “But Abel brought fat portionsfrom some of thefirst born of his flock. Here God tells us that Abel had a flock.  Abel gave God the best part from “some” of the first born. This does not sound like one lamb… it was the best from “some” of the first born. Either this was a huge offering, or the Lord whispers to my heart that this was a continuous offerings. Giving God the first of the best of what we have implies to me that there will be more to come. It is amazing that when I pour over God’s word and pay attention to the meaning and purpose of each and every word…sometimes His truth will simply jump out at me.

Lord, I ask this day that my focus rest on You.  Keep Satan’s “lie of I” from crouching at my doorstep. In Your strength let me master it. Help me to have a repentant heart and a steadfast focus on You. I want to surrender to You my “first fruits,” my “fat portions,” the very best of what You have given to me in my “flock” today, tomorrow and always. Let my heart not be “downcast”, but be filled with the joy and the awe of Your endless abundance of love.  I thank You Father for your precious words each and every one of them!                                 Written by: guest blogger Jeanne East

Christian Educator

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Avoid Becoming A Drama Queen With These 3 Tips

Do you ever find yourself being “caught up” in drama with family, neighbors, co-workers, or  friends?  It can be an enormous distraction to an otherwise productive day.  “Drama” in relationships can also create tension, division, and emotional pain.  

 ”Drama” is any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results: for example, the vacation we planned with our friends was filled with a lot of drama.

In talking with women regularly about their lives, I have heard about conflicts and misunderstandings that have caused emotional pain, turmoil, and the loss of relationships.  

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Here are 3 tips to creating a drama-free life, as well as some scriptures showing what the Bible has to say about each.

 1)Stop gossiping.  This is idle talk, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.  The word idle means: having no worth, importance or significance.  The Bible states this about gossip:

 Proverbs 16:28

"A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends."

Proverbs 18:7-8

“The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”

Proverbs 20:19

"A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much."

Proverbs 26:20

"Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down."

 2)Stop Justifying Your Actions.  Do you desire to have peace?  Peace comes only when we are living in line with God’s will. If you are following God’s will, you won’t need approval from your dad, mom, friends, neighbors or co-workers.  Often times we can create a lot of drama in our lives by trying to get others to “see our point of view,” or to agree with a decision we made.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of you; what really matters is what God thinks of you.  If someone has a problem with a decision you are making or a way you choose to live your life, if you know you are right before God you have no need to defend yourself and justify your reasoning before others.  Often times we do this because we fear the rejection of men. We fear we may hurt someone’s feelings. Frequently at the root of our action is our pride and fear that others will not approve of us. In the end, when you try to please man instead of focusing on pleasing God, it’s your feelings that are hurt and God finds our man-pleasing ways detestable. 

Ecclesiastes 5:7

"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God."

Luke 16:15

"He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”

 3)Start Praying: Ask God for wisdom and guidance.  There is NOTHING that is too big— or too small— for God to care about in your life.  He is a God of details.  He knows all things.  Read His Word and expect that He will answer your question.  

 James 1:5

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

When King Solomon asked for knowledge, God was pleased and He gave it to Him.  

2 Chronicles 1:7-11

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

How would those who know you best describe you?  

A. Being a daughter of the King?  Or:

B. Being a drama Queen?

Written by Jamie Shaver

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And the Verdict Is...

As I watched the whistle-blowers testify about the Benghazi attacks I thought about what it really means to testify.I pictured myself being asked the tough questions in front of a large panel with cameras pointing at you from every angle, knowing that every word you utter is being recorded and that many will not like what they hear.

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Different people were asking questions of those testifying, and many requested that they wanted to learn the “truth.”The bible says that our sins “testify” against us.Our sins afford evidence that we are in need of a savior.

·Isaiah 59:12

"For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities.”

·Jeremiah 14:7

“Although our sins testify against us, do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled; we have sinned against you.”

And in the same way our sins testify about us, Jesus’ works testified about him.

John 5:36 says:

“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,…”

John 7:7

“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.”

John 10:25

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,”

John 18:37

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in believers and His job is to testify as well.

John 15:26

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”

With all this testifying and testimony it can begin to feel as if we are living in a court room, and in fact, I believe we are.

Our accuser is Satan, as revealed in Revelation 12:9-11

“ The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpentcalled the devil, or Satan,who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

‘Now have come the salvation and the power

and the kingdom of our God,

and the authority of his Messiah.

For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,

who accuses them before our God day and night,

has been hurled down.

They triumphed over him

by the blood of the Lamb

and by the word of their testimony;

they did not love their lives so much

as to shrink from death.’”

We are called to testify to Christ:

Acts 10:42: “He (Jesus) commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”

Paul states in Acts 20:24: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

What do your actions testify about you?What do your words testify about you?If you were accused of being a Christian, would there indeed be enough evidence to convict you?

Written by JS

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It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know

I sent a quick text to my mom the other day requesting that she pray for me and about a situation our family is going through.Her response was, “You’ve got the connections!” referring to my relationship with God.

That got me thinking, we as Christians DO have the connections! It’s often been said; “It’s not ‘what’ you know, it’s ‘who’ you know.”Well, as Christians we know God, and He has ALL the connections!As I thought about her text it was mind-boggling to imagine all of the “connections” God has as the Creator and Sustainer of everything.As His child I can literally say:

“My Father knows everyone!”

“My Father knows all things.”

“Nothing is impossible for my Father.”

“My Father can I be trusted.”

Perhaps like me, you’re praying for something that would be a “long-shot” to happen. If so, be encouraged; you have a Father who specializes in the impossible!  Genesis 18:4; Luke 1:37; Matthew 19: 26 

As believers in Christ we are part of a huge family.I love when Jesus is told in Matthew 12: 46-50 that his mother and brothers are outside waiting for an audience with him. He responds to his disciples saying, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

What a joy and comfort to know that we who follow Jesus are all part of the family of God. We all have connections with God and therefore with one another because we are a part of God’s family.

I recently heard a story about a man who was in a deep state of mourning after the loss of his wife.As thoughts of her ran through his mind, he began remembering the little things.The things she wore, her smile, even her favorite chicken potpie.The Lord put on his heart two specific bible verses that brought him comfort in the midst of his overwhelming sorrow.

At the same time, there was a woman who knew and loved God.She was going about her day when she sensed that she should make a homemade potpie and take it over to this man for dinner—a man she hadn’t been in touch with for over twenty years.She called him to let him know she was going to bring a potpie over to him.In that moment, his joy was restored because he knew that the Lord was with him and loved him so much that He was even in the details of his pain.

Interestingly, when the woman came to drop off the potpie she also brought along a card.In the blank card, she had felt the Holy Spirit tell her to write just two things:the same scripture references that the Lord had given to the man earlier.

Yes, we have a God who has all the connections.All we need is to stay connected to Him and to follow His instructions.In doing so, we like the two people in this story, have an opportunity to be part of God’s everyday miracles.

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If you have a dream, a plan, or a desire, be encouraged. “You’ve got the connections!” God is faithful to lead you, equip you, and fulfill His good purposes in your life.

Written by Jamie Shaver

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Studying God's Word

Have you ever read the bible and found yourself wodering “What does that mean?” or thinking “Now I’m totally confused!”  Don’t lose hope.  God’s Word is alive and we can be certain it is the will of God for you to know, understand and apply His Word to your everyday life.  Choosing to study God’s Word is different than just reading the Bible.  You can read the bible without studying it, but you can’t study the bible without reading it.  So here are some tips on studying God’s Word.

Begin with Prayer: Pray that God will speak to you through His Word; that He will help you discern the meaning; and use His Word to produce fruit in your life that will bring Him glory.  Pray for wisdom. God has filled us with His Spirit (John 14:16-17) who speaks to us, leading and guiding us into all truth (John 16:13.)

Read the Bible: Set time aside daily to read God’s Word. 

Talk Back and Ask God Questions: The bible is God-breathed, and if you come across a passage in scripture that you don’t understand, stop reading, and share your thoughts with God.  There have been many times that I have said out loud, “God, this makes no sense to me, what does this mean?”   God is faithful!  He can reveal the meaning.  There have been times when God answers my question immediately through other scriptures that I read that day.  Other times I will be in church and the pastor will have a sermon which explains that verse in detail and my question is “finally” answered, or other instances when I take my questions to a godly source for counsel. (a mentor, bible teacher, or commentary)

Ask Yourself Questions: What does this scripture teach me about God? What does this passage teach me about the church, world, myself, or my desires/motives? What do I need to confess and/or repent of? What have I learned from this passage that will help me focus on God & His glory? What action is God asking me to take?

Search for Answers: I use tools like biblegateway.com, gotquestions.org, and blueletterbible.org to do word/topic/question searches and read commentaries.  If I sense that God is telling me I’m acting prideful, I will do a “word study” by looking up the words: pride, humility, self-centered, humble, arrogant, etc. in a search tool like biblegateway.com to learn more verses that may help me understand better what God has to say about a particular topic or theme. Take an active part in finding the answer to questions you ask both God and yourself while reading His Word because that’s the best way to learn and “own the truth for yourself.”

Participate in Bible Studies: This has helped me answer many questions and learn much more about God, His Word and what it says. 

Memorize: “Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul” Deuteronomy 11:18, KJV.  When you begin memorizing scripture you are putting it in your heart where you can later rely on it for wisdom and guidance.  This helps you to better know God’s Word and how to apply it daily.

Attend Church: Hearing the Word preached in a message is another way to study, learn and apply God’s Word. 

Apply what you learn:  Take action and apply God’s Word to your life.  When you begin to “do” the Word in your life, it will take your experience and knowledge of God and his precepts to a new level.  2 Timothy 16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  

Experiencing the truth of God through applying His Word is a life-long study habit that is sure to bring glory to God, and bless you and those around you!

Written by Jamie Shaver

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