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Category: Christian Living

Eyes

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The eye is used figuratively in scripture. Paul prayed for Christians to receive SPIRITUAL WISDOM and ENLIGHTENED EYES (Ephesians 1:17-18). How does one acquire wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment? Surely it won’t fall from the sky as did the manna in the wilderness of Sinai. James encourages us to ask for wisdom (James 1:5). Jesus asked God to “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Yet, we are instructed to work (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12). The Lord’s providence helps us obtain our physical needs. Likewise, His providence will assist our growth in wisdom; but we must work for it by diligently studying His Word, learning from our mistakes and successes, and observing mature Christians. Without the Bible none will be spiritually wise (Proverbs 1:7).

Jan/Feb 2015 Christian Woman Magazine p.32

In the past week I’ve started back in studying the Bible with the inside middle section of my Christian Woman magazine, the section is called ‘In Search of Truth’. It is a bi-monthly publication that always includes this section written by various ladies. It’s usually 8 lessons with a section of questions that reinforce what has been learned.

Some months tend to strike a chord with me more than others, and this month is one of those. Written by Betty Jackson of Stockton, CA this month’s study has brought several ‘Wow, I never thought of it that way’ moments as well as many ‘I don’t remember ever reading that verse before’ surprises, those are my favorite. She has a blog if you’re interested, I haven’t looked at it yet, but plan to – holy-women-of-hope.blogspot.com

The quoted section at the beginning of this post is what really hit home with me today. It’s a hard idea to grasp, for me anyway, that we are to ask God for things, but that we must work for them as well. It may be that in this society obsessed with instant gratification we expect Him to be much like the genie in the lamp, or Santa Claus, in which we ask for what we want and he plops it directly in our lap.

Now there are some requests In which we can physically do nothing to affect the outcome, and then there are those that require action on our part. In my immature/early Christian years I struggled with the thought that I could just pray to lose weight and that he’d make it magically happen no matter how many slices of cheesecake I ate. We all start off immaturely, I know, but I was pushing the limits with that one. I wonder how many times He rested His forehead in His palm whilst shaking His head as I prayed back then?

The same problem happened with me when I prayed for wisdom. I mean it says ‘Pray for wisdom and he’ll give it to you.’ (I paraphrased that of course). But it just never happened. I was expecting to wake up one morning as wise as a 90 year old Godly woman, but until I started actually studying my Bible regularly I didn’t see any progress. (Now some of you who know me may marvel that I think I’m wiser than I was, but trust me, it’s been a long long winding road and you didn’t want to know me before.)

So basically those who try to sell you the whole, just pray and do nothing to help yourself nonsense are not doing you any favors. Pray for wisdom and put your nose in the book and you will see progress. God is not going to give an idiot wisdom. You won’t be an idiot if you truly study His word and apply it in your life.

Happy New Year friends! Put your nose in the book this year and you’ll notice a change by next year.

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GETTING TO KNOW GOD THROUGH – BIBLE STUDY

The Bible is God speaking to me. Prayer is me speaking to God. We should be having a two-way conversation with the Father daily.

WE KNOW GOD IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS (HAVE TO STUDY TO KNOW THE COMMANDMENTS) | 1 JOHN 2:3-4

WE KNOW GOD WHEN WE LOVE OTHERS (A COMMANDMENT) | 1 JOHN 4:7-21

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because 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 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

WE KNOW GOD WHEN IT IS EVIDENT BY OUR WORKS | TITUS 1:16-2:15

  • Reverent in behavior
  • SPEAK THE TRUTH
  • SOBER
  • OLDER WOMEN Train young women to love husbands & children
  • Self-controlled
  • Pure
  • Working at home
  • Kind
  • Submissive to MY own husband
  • Be a model of good works
  • Teacher/Teach what is good (CAN’T TEACH WHAT WE DON’T KNOW)
  • Integrity
  • Dignity
  • Sound speech          

DON’T KNOW GOD: ENSLAVED TO THOSE THAT BY NATURE ARE NOT GODS | GALATIANS 4:8-9

DON’T KNOW GOD: WILL SUFFER THE PUNISHMENT OF ETERNAL DESTRUCTION IN FLAMING FIRE | 2 THESSALONIANS 1

Practical Habits for Bible Study

In addition to the “mechanics” of effective study, it is helpful to think also along the lines of study habits. I would like to offer some suggestions that have been helpful to me across the years.

(1) If at all possible, create for yourself a special “study” in your home. In a spare room, the attic, the basement, etc. — find yourself a “study nook” that can be yours. Furnish it with a comfortable chair, a desk, good lighting, and some book shelves. Make it your special place and plan to visit it regularly on certain days of the week (e.g., an hour each morning before work time).

Early morning is really the most ideal time for study. Discipline yourself to get in the habit of regular study.

This is a difficult chore. If one is not preaching, teaching a class, or engaged in some activity that demands research, it is hard to carve out the time — particularly if it is a labor, rather than a love. But if one gets into the study mode, virtually every day, it will pay rich dividends — not only in his personal life, but in qualifying him to help others.

In addition to devotional reading in the Bible itself, for example, one might select a popular (as opposed to technical) commentary that he will read through in the coming year. I try to keep a good book handy to read whenever I have a spare moment away from regular duties. For instance, if I know I am going to have to spend time in the doctor’s waiting room, rather than browsing magazines, I may take a book with me.

(2) Every Christian should build at least a modest library of good books. Handy tools, such as a complete concordance, a Bible atlas, some biblical dictionaries or encyclopedias, a few good commentaries, some volumes on Christian evidences, church history, etc., are vital for a well-rounded range of knowledge. One should subscribe to at least a couple good brotherhood periodicals — those that teach (as opposed to merely haranguing).

(3) Study the Scriptures from several different vantage points. Survey biblical books. Galatians falls into three natural divisions:

Personal – A Defense of Paul’s Credibility (1-2);
Doctrinal – Justification through the Gospel (3-4);
Practical – Walking by the Spirit (5-6).

Explore the biographical data of great Bible characters. Articles in Bible dictionaries (e.g., The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary) on Abraham, Joseph, Jesus, and Paul will enrich your life. Learn to do “word studies.” Words are the vehicles of intelligent communication. Even the non-specialist can learn something of the treasures of the original languages of the Bible.

(4) In this day of mobility, a good student can take advantage of good  Bible lectureships by listening to tapes as he drives about from place-to-place. It is important to utilize every possible opportunity to learn God’s word. The Christian who is ever learning will become a valuable resource to the congregation of which he or she is a member.

BIBLE STUDY: JOURNALING

DIY Legacy Bible Journal

http://stonesoupforfive.blogspot.com/2012/01/diy-legacy-bible-journal.html

I’m a note taker. It helps me concentrate, think, learn, and apply what I’m hearing. I’m also a doodler. But mainly I’m unorganized and lose those notes or never look at them again. UNTIL, I found a new way to take notes! A new way that keeps them organized, together, and all in one place.

A Do It Yourself Legacy Bible Journal!
I’ve been using it for a few months now and am so excited to say that it really DOES work and makes me so excited to go to church and learn more and fill more pages!  I can’t tell you the difference this organized way has made in my Bible study times, meetings with our mentors,  books I’m reading, and Sunday morning services.

So I’ll jump right in on how to set it up for yourself.  I’m so excited for you to try this!

First, I grabbed a simple, cheap (under $2) composition notebook. Get one you really like. I wasn’t sure that I would like this system, so I just used a wide ruled, ugly covered one I had laying around (wish I had gotten a college ruled one with a pretty cover).

Don’t be like me. Find one you’ll love (though I’ve grown to love it so much and I’ll probably recover it at some point anyway).

**Important:  on the inside cover, be sure to add your name and phone number.  I know even though I’m only at the beginning of filling in the pages, if I ever lost or misplaced this book, I would be so upset!  Be sure to add this on the inside of the front cover!**

Now you’re going to make your Table of Contents. Leave at least the first 5-6 pages blank for this.  I listed everything in the Bible I wanted to know more about that I could think of.  I wrote them on a different piece of paper, and tried to alphabetize, but since then have added many more on to the end of the list, so it’s not that important to alphabetize.

You’ll have lots of unused lines on those pages.  That’s good. You’ll soon fill them up….
(I’ve since updated –glued a new page over this one–to have a line down the middle and TWO rows of topics and pages.  I like it MUCH better.  See here for my new table of contents list.)

Then, you’re going to skip those first five to six table of contents pages and start numbering every single page (front and back) of the notebook. I just put a small number in the bottom corner of each page. Every single one.  (Nice activity to do while watching your favorite show or listening to the latest Dave Ramsey podcast.)

And, that’s basically all you need to do for the set up. Now the fun begins! Now you get to keep this notebook with you everywhere. With your current Bible Study, at church, everywhere!

I’m loving that instead of just taking notes on that specific sermon, that I can never find when I need anyway, I put the information that applies to whatever the pastor is going over on the page that is appropriate.

I have pages for specific Bible characters that I want to know more about… especially because my Bible history is so weak.  I only know a handful of the really popular people of the Bible, and want to know MORE!

When our pastor was going over the book of Proverbs, I made a new page for some of them, but some of them fit on other pages I had already made (anger, anxiety, etc).

Then there was a sermon that we listened to that brought up another character that I had forgotten about, so I added him to the Table of Contents and started a page just for him.   What a blessing to add to my knowledge of more and more people of the Bible!  There are many, many blank pages that I have yet to fill in.  But that’s kind of exciting to me.  I always have SOMETHING to study.  Something to learn more about!

I’m excited that I don’t need a guided Bible Study book all the time, I’m able to search the scriptures myself for whatever topic I have at hand next. I can’t tell you enough, how much this system has simplified, streamlined, and helped my Bible study time and growth.  It’s so fun to pull my notebook out and add bits of information here and there to a page.

Sometimes I add only one sentence, or just a thought that was brought up in a book I’m reading, or something I’ve heard. Sometimes it’s a whole page or more. And, what a legacy this will be as I fill page after page with God’s truth.  As long as I’m here on this earth, I’ll keep filling up pages with what I’m learning to pass along as a legacy to my children of what a great spiritual heritage they have in Christ.

Table of Contents/Topics… May want to use pencil (for those OCD people) or just forget about alphabetical order (if you can) 🙂

Possible Topics

  • Abraham
  • Abraham (cont’d)
  • Accountability
  • Adversity
  • Angels
  • Apostles/Disciples
  • Baptism
  • Belief
  • Bible Study
  • Cain vs. Abel
  • Canaan
  • Children
  • Children of Israel
  • Christ’s Return/Day of Judgment
  • Church History
  • Communion
  • Creation
  • Daniel
  • David
  • Deborah
  • Demons/Spirits
  • Discipline
  • Education
  • Elijah
  • Elisha
  • Enoch
  • Esther
  • Faith
  • Fear of the Lord
  • Forgiveness
  • Fruits of the Spirit
  • Giving
  • Gluttony
  • God
  • God’s Promises
  • God’s Will
  • Holy Spirit
  • Isaac
  • Jacob & Esau
  • Jerusalem/Israel
  • Jesus Christ
  • John
  • Kings of Israel
  • Know God
  • Knowledge
  • Luke
  • Marriage
  • Moses
  • Names of Christ
  • Names of God
  • Noah
  • Parents
  • Parents of the Bible
  • Passover
  • Paul
  • Peter
  • Praise
  • Prayer
  • Prayer (cont’d)
  • Promises
  • Proverbs: 31
  • Proverbs: anger
  • Proverbs: leadership
  • Proverbs: talking & listening
  • Proverbs: work
  • Rahab
  • Repentance
  • Resurrection
  • Revelation
  • Sabbath
  • Satan
  • Simeon
  • Sin
  • Suffering
  • Summary of John
  • Temptation
  • the Reformation
  • Wisdom
  • Women
  • Worry/Anxiety
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Daath Elohim {Knowledge of God+}

Abraham J. Hechel in The Prophets states that Hosea’s phrase daath elohim, translated “knowledge of God” in 4:1 and 6:6 and “knowledge” in 4:6 (NKJV), carries a deeper meaning than most English translations convey: “Sympathy for God, attachment of the whole person, his love… his knowledge; an act of involvement, attachment, or commitment to God… an inner identification with God rather than a mere dedication to ceremonies.”

If we know God, we care how He thinks and feels. Hosea, then, needed to express God’s desire for a relationship that achieves spiritual intimacy with His people. What intimate human relationship reflects the godly traits of love and forgiveness? Marriage.

The Bible presents God’s love in many roles – Creator, Protector, Father, Redeemer, Husband – but in Hosea we see God with a broken heart, despairing over an adulterous wife, angry and hurt. His holiness forbids sin; His love years to forgive His faithless bride.

Marriage holds the potential for ideal love and intimacy intellectually , emotionally, physically, and spiritually. In marriage we love, cherish, teach, learn, grow, forgive and accept forgiveness. Designed by God, marriage reveals a glimpse of love perfected in the greater spiritual union of God and His beloved people.

{Christian Woman Magazine: May/June 2012 Issue – In Search of Truth, Lesson 6, God with a Broken Heart, by Debra Griffin Mitchell p.34}

My personal Bible study usually involves the ‘In Search of Truth’ section of my Christian Woman Magazines. As I was studying this lesson, entitled ‘God with a Broken Heart’, I was struck by the comparison of marriage and God’s love for us, our “marriage” to Him. What a beautiful thought, I know how much I love my husband, but sometimes do not like him, I know his faults, and yet I still love him, even when he messes up (as he does me & mine). I still choose to live here with him every day as he does with me. I don’t HAVE to. I could choose to leave, run away, but I made a decision to stick by this guy, FOREVER.

It’s so humbling to know that God still chooses to live with me every day. FOREVER, no matter what. He knows my faults, and I’m sure he doesn’t like me sometimes. To know that even then he loves me? Me? Such a struggler of faith and dedication! How? Why?

I am so thankful. There has to be another word there, thankful just doesn’t seem to begin to describe this feeling.

According to Synonym.com:

Synonyms for thankful

Similarity of adj thankful
1 sense of thankful
Sense 1:
grateful (vs. ungrateful), thankful
appreciative, glad
That’s it? Wow, I need to invent a word. I guess that’s where the Spirit intercedes for me, interpreting my groanings that are too deep for words. I’m so glad that He does.
Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
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The Beauty of Baptism

Probably the biggest point of disagreement I find between my friends & myself is that of the necessity of baptism. Us “church of Christ-ers” are seen as unrelenting on this point. There is a reason. Many verses tell us why. I’ll share one verse that lets us know how important it is. You’ll find it in 1 Peter 3:18-22.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience,through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

I bring this up, not as a point to debate, but IN LOVE. I want everyone to reach the goal of heaven. As I would tell my friends who are openly living contrary to the Word, if I didn’t care about you, I would not share my beliefs with you.

As I’m walking down your street and I see your house on fire, I’m going to stop and say, “HEY! Your house is on fire you need to get out! Can I help you?”

This may not change your mind, but if all it does is to cause you to study your Bible, not relying on what any man will tell you (including me), then that will make me happy.

I love you and I want you to know the wonderful love and plan of salvation that Jesus Christ came to give us. God bless you in your studies. Pray for wisdom and understanding, and he is faithful to give it to you.

Until I can complete my thoughts, I’ll share with you the post of one of my most favorite people (and preachers). Check out his blog for some great thoughts!

Baptism and Obedience by Bryant Evans

Baptism and Obedience

by BRYANT EVANS on SEPTEMBER 1, 2010

That baptism was a part of original Christianity is beyond question. Today it is present in just about every Christ-believing religious tradition although not always in the same way as the Bible teaches. On August 15th, a preacher in Canada offered a sermon from Romans 6:1-6. Here is the text:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

This is one of several discussions of baptism in the Bible but it is one of the “classic” explanations of immersion. The preacher at the Peoples Church of Montreal, Brian Guinness, reached a couple of erroneous, but common conclusions. Let me address a few of them.

He lists two mistakes people make about baptism. The first mistake, he says, is that baptism is necessary for salvation. Shortly after that statement he says, “And while baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, it is necessary to obedience, and obedience is necessary to joy, fruitfulness, and happiness in the Christian life.”

We have addressed the first statement, that baptism is not essential for salvation, in four articles:

Is Baptism A Work?

Forgiveness of Sins Comes at Baptism – Not Before (Part One)

Forgiveness of Sins Comes at Baptism – Not Before (Part Two)

Baptism What-If’s

We have not yet directly addressed the second comment which is that baptism is“necessary to obedience.” Is it accurate to say that if preacher Guinness is correct that he must also conclude that obedience is not necessary to salvation? And can we go even further and say that even disobedience has no effect on salvation? Can I be disobedient and still be saved? This is the natural progression of his thinking.

This is a rather hardcore Calvinist position. Boice and Rykin in Doctrines of Gracequote Boettner approvingly when  he says, “God acts as a sovereign in saving some and passing by others who are left to the just recompense of their sins” (pg. 92). They say later than when a man is “called” by God, he cannot resist “effectively” (pg. 135). In other words he cannot be disobedient!

The idea that disobedience cannot happen is even more surprising than the idea that disobedience would have no impact in salvation. Indeed, this is  the crux of the debate. Does a man have a free choice or not?

Revelation 14:7 for your consideration:

“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. “

“The one who desires” seems to be a person with a choice.

John 1:7 speaks of John the Baptist and his mission:

“He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.”

Unless John was mistaken it is both possible and desirable that all might believe. Belief is not restricted to a few chosen but potentially to every person.

Acts 17:30 has Paul speaking in Athens to a crowd of pagan, unbelivers.

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent…”

Are we to understand that God has given a command which is impossible for “all people” to keep? Certainly not.

Two verses for comparison. Romans 5:12

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

Romans 5:18:

“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Both passages above reference “all men.” Calvinists that all men are dead because of sin but argue that all men cannot be justified. It’s rather convoluted and difficult to understand how the same phrase in the same context can mean two very different things.

Maybe a better conclusion here is that men do actually have a choice. Free will makes sense Biblically and in our understanding of every day life. Of course it does not fit the Calvinist model and is therefore rejected with great twists and turns. In reality all men make choices. Some choose to come to God through his divine offer of salvation and others reject it. But that choice to come to God and accept his call involves and is predicated upon obedience.

One cannot be saved unless one obeys.

Baptism does save but not alone. Faith, grace and mercy are all essentials in the beautiful story of redemption. Let’s simply take the Bible and obey the Lord’s commands. After all, Jesus himself linked out obedience to a love for him (John 14:15)

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Dig In

I mentioned in my last blog post that I had started the Digging Deep study that Cindy Colley had on her blog. This was a while back, and now I’m having trouble finding the original post. I did however find this post from another site that shows what Cindy included in this study.

When I did this, it was the very first time I had actually gotten IN TO the Word, and I learned to love it more and more. Hopefully it can help you as well. Here’s a copy & paste of what I found on this website. However, this is not the original post from Cindy. If you find a link to the original, please let me know. Here’s Cindy’s blog, with other wonderful info on it! I suggest you check it out. {As you know, it’s no where near September, but you can begin this whenever you’d like, of course}

Dig Deeper this Year. Make a Great Start on September 1st!

Last week at Polishing the Pulpit I spoke three times about digging deep in Bible study and getting to the meat of the Word. I’m sure the preparation did me more good than the delivery did any of the other ladies. The concluding lesson was just a year’s plan of study. It’s what I would do if I were determined to get into the meat during the next year and  had never really dug into the Word in the past. I’ve gotten several notes about the plan of study and how it is being used. One congregation has thirty ladies who are studying this together and they have even created a website or Facebook group where they encourage one another and comment on their study together. What a study-booster for that South Carolina church! Kudos to Sheri Blackwell for making that happen there! At any rate, here’s the plan. Hope it’s helpful to someone. If you want the accompanying lessons on audio, go to www.polishingthepulpit.com.  My best Bible study tips are there.
Oh…and here’s the promise: If you do this over the next year…I mean, you really do it…you will never have to wonder how to dig deep into the Bible again. You will have so many study opportunities with others and you will have so many burning questions in your own heart, that you will be driven into the Word regularly for the rest of your life. You will be a better person and heaven will be dearer to you than ever. If you make this your plan, let me know how it goes.
How to Dig Deep for the Meat… If I were just beginning to dig; a plan for my year…
September
  • Read through the book of Genesis and write down every promise.
  • Read it until you can tell its story in sequence.
  • Memorize Genesis 3:15 andGenesis 12:2
  • Understand that the Bible’s theme from Genesis 3:15  forth is “Redemption”.
  • Go to cindycolley.blogspot.com, subscribe and read twice weekly this month.
October
  • Read through the book of Exodus with your brain in search mode for comparisons between its events and our passover, the new law, the new covenant, and the new priesthood, and the sacrifice of Christ.
  • Write down each old testament shadow and try to find its antitype in the NT.  Keep a list of these scriptures.
  • While you are keeping the list of comparisons, look up every NT occurrence of keywords in these analogies. A sample list might be: covenant, priesthood, bulls and goats, holy place, sacrifice, tables of stone, etc…
  • Memorize the ten commandments from Exodus 20.
November
  • Study through the book “Women of the Genesis”* and complete all questions in your notebook.
December
  • Study through the book “Women of Deliverance”* keeping all notes and answers in your notebook.
January
  • Study through the book “Women of Troubled Times”* in the same way.
February
  • Read through the Samuels and the Kings. Be sure you know how the kingdom became divided and what caused the bondage of both kingdoms. I recommend reading these according to the Chronological chart you have been given.
March
  • Read Isaiah and jot down the passages that refer to the Messiah.
April
  • Read the gospels in chronological order. Keep a list of the parables of Christ. Beside each parable reference, write down the main lesson taught by the parable.
May
  • Now you are to the climax of the Bible. Read through the book of Acts and make a chart similar to the following one as you encounter the passages that tell of conversions to Christianity.
Passage
What they did
Result
Point
of contact
 
Repent and be baptized
 Remission of sins
baptism
Acts 8
Be baptized
Went on his way rejoicing
All we know…he wanted immediate baptism.
Acts 9
Was baptized
Sins washed away 22:16
baptism
Acts 10,11
Were baptized
 Not specifically stated
 Not specifically stated
 Attended things spoken and was baptized
Not stated, except implied that she was judged faithful
Not stated
Believed and was baptized
Saved, rejoiced
Belief stated, but we do see that baptism was done at midnight at the risk of the jailer’s life.
baptism
 Into His death
baptism
baptism
Put on Christ
baptism
baptism
saves
baptism
Belief and baptism
saved
Baptism inferred by word ‘and’

June

  • Read through the book of James with an eye to be the kind of working Christian that James is so powerfully promoting. Keep a list of ways you can plug James into your life and put these plans on your calendar. Do these things.
  • Memorize James 1:5 and James 1:27
  • Read Romans 12 and continue your list.  Make sure you accomplish your list.

July

  • Read Romans 8. Memorize verses 1 and 28.
  • Read I Corinthians 13. List the attributes of love and one practical way a person can exhibit each.
  • Read  the book of Ephesians. List every piece of advice or command that might help a woman be a better wife.
  • Read Philippians with your heart focused on rejoicing. Try to find a long list of things in which you should find joy from this great book. Include the “I am not” reasons. Look up the word“rejoice” in your lexicon.
  • Memorize Titus 2:3-5 and make a refrigerator magnet with this list.
August
  • It’s been a year. You are ready to be eating meat and be a teacher. Find someone at the beginning of this month who would like to study weekly you. If it is a non-Christian, then dig in with some evangelism method. If it is a Christian, then put your heads together and invite a non-Christian to your studies.
  • Study Suggestions for a non-Christian: “Soul Survivor Guide,” “Search” DVDs, the book of Acts, “Open Bible Study,” “Crown of Creation” series.
  • Study Suggestions for a Christian: Textual, “God’s Woman: Feminine or Feminist”; “Living Together in Knowledge”; “Meet My Friend David,” (all McWhorter).
Come back to PTP and tell me you did this (completely) in a year and I will be your biggest encourager. You will be a happier and better person for this life and you will be leading people to heaven. And, to spur you on, I will give you (anyone who completed this list in a year) a free Bible memorization CD  (Hannah’s Hundred) to help you internalize the word. Go be carnivorous!
* These books are available on the Colley’s publishing site (click here).
By Cindy Colley
Cindy is a Christian homemaker, wife, mom and author. The home she “makes” is in Huntsville, AL where she lives with her husband (Glenn Colley), also an author, as well as minister and elder for the West Huntsville church of Christ. Her children, Caleb and Hannah, both collegiate, have published books as well. Cindy has authored five books for Christian women and co-authored several more. She keeps a blog, Bless Your Heart, which discusses many pertinent faith and culture issues.
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Contentment

Right now my husband sits in his recliner, where he has slept the past 3 nights and most of the days. His back is hurting, and we’ve learned he has a bulging disc pressing on his nerves. When he was 23 he had back surgery, to repair two discs, one that had ruptured and one that was bulging. It’s unheard of to have had back surgery at such a young age. Rare at least.

When he was young he played toy bowl football. He didn’t play many years of his young life. But one hit was enough to damage his spine forever. Now doctors will tell you not to let your son (or daughter) play football before the age of 13 because something like this could happen. Then no one knew.

He’s a strong man, a hard-working man. Always tinkering with something. Now we look at having to visit a neurosurgeon in the next few days to see what must be done. As he sits there, he has no income, only what I make as a part-time designer. I don’t want to be over dramatic, that is one of my biggest pet peeves. I find myself doubting, and worrying. I know I serve a big God and He has this. I, like everyone, have moments where my faith slips and I catch myself thinking the very worst. Then I ask for forgiveness and my faith is strengthened once again.

I look to my refrigerator for comfort.

Yes, in more ways than one. It’s no secret that I eat when I’m scared. Eat when I’m happy. Eat whenever I want. That’s something I struggle with daily. Right now I am looking a list that has been hanging on my refrigerator for probably a year. During a ‘Digging Deep’ study led by Cindy Colley she had us make a list of Paul’s troubles from 2 Corinthians 11:21-33 and label it ‘Contentment Reminder’. When you read that scripture I encourage you to make a list of all of Paul’s troubles, put it on your fridge as a reminder to think of all that our friends had to endure just so that we can know the Word today. You may want to include this verse as well ‘…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.’ Philippians 4:11

My list reads…

CONTENTMENT REMINDER

Paul’s Troubles
2 Corinthians 11:21-33

  • Great labors
  • Imprisonments
  • Countless beatings, often near death
  • 5 times received 40 lashes minus 1 at hands of Jews
  • 3 times beaten with rods
  • 1 time stoned
  • 3 times shipwrecked
  • A day and a night adrift at sea
  • Frequent journeys
  • In danger from:
  • Rivers, robbers, his own people, Gentiles, in the city, in the wilderness, at sea, false brothers
  • In toil and hardship, without food, in cold and exposure
  • Daily pressure on him
  • Anxiety for all the churches

For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content – Philippians 4:11

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Digging Deep

Cindy Colley, a preacher’s wife and amazing Christian woman has a wonderful blog, as I’ve stated before. I began her original ‘Digging Deep’ Bible study a while back and enjoyed it greatly. She has begun a new Digging Deep study on Sanctification for 2012-2013. It started this month (September) so you’re not too late to start now! I encourage you all to look into this. It’s a great way to study, even those Old Testament scriptures and not get lost in all those so-and-so-begat-so-and-so’s and see how the entire Bible is tied together by Jesus Christ. I guess the way it’s different from other Bible study plans I’ve started is that she has you take note of certain ideas or events and write them down. Writing things has always been the way I learn best.

So basically this post is just a plug for Mrs. Colley’s blog/Bible study, and I’m glad to do it.

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