Archive | June, 2013

Praying for Our Labors

June 30, 2013

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Previously, I outlined my suggestions for daily Bible study. A key ingredient to an effective study is prayer. When we invite God into our efforts he will provide us with the wisdom we lack (James 1:5)

When Jesus was about to send the disciples out to teach, he asked them to pray for the harvest. (Matthew 9:35-38) As his followers, one of our biggest opportunities is to go out and teach and make others aware of him. (Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2) This is a big responsibility! Whether it is for Bible studies, door knocking, vacation Bible schools or even our routine worship service we need to follow Jesus example and pray for the laborers.

Daily Bible Reading for June 30

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
Deuteronomy 31:30-32:47
Nahum 1
Matthew 9

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Nothing New Here

June 29, 2013

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Congratulations USA!

Not only do you have the hard fought right to kill your unborn babies, you now protect a group of people that choose to sodomize each other. You’re even going to pay the “healthcare” costs for those that do it!

The desire to tear out the moral fabric of a nation is nothing new. Since the beginning of time, man has forgotten the darkness that debauchery brings to his life and community. Here are a few to refresh our memory:

  • Noah was the 10th generation from Adam. By then God had already decided the world needed a fresh start (Genesis 6)
  • Abram had to rescue Lot from Sodom (Genesis 14) and then God had to (Genesis 19)
  • Jonah fled from Nineveh. They were so bad he didn’t want God to forgive them when he convinced them to repent. (Jonah 4)
  • Jeremiah said that Israel had gotten so bad that couldn’t even blush anymore (Jeremiah 6:15)
  • Paul reprimanded the Corinthian church for embracing incest (1 Corinthians 5)

Here’s how it happened over and over from the beginning:

  1. God made himself well-known and easy to find (Romans 1:19-20)
  2. People chose to ignore that and their hearts went dark (Romans 1:21)
  3. They thought they were smarter than God and embraced foolishness (Romans 1:22)
  4. God gave up on them (Romans 1:24)
  5. With God gone, their heart filled with debasement (Romans 1:26-32)

When Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun”, He meant it! (Ecclesiastes 1:4-11)

So America, as you celebrate your “victory”, don’t be surprised when you get what you paid for.

Daily Bible reading for June 29

Ecclesiastes 1:4-11
Deuteronomy 31:1-29
Micah 7:14-20
Matthew 8

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Falling for Anything

June 28, 2013

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Jesus wraps up the Sermon on the Mount with a pair of similes comparing his words to structural foundation choices. (Matthew 7:24-27)

Since that time and most especially now, Jesus’ words are not given the credit they deserve. The value of the lives of our unborn and our aged, the strength of a family as designed by God or being recognized by the fruit we bear are no longer the focus of the world. Those with worldly influence would have us build our houses on the sand. (Matthew 7:26)

The good news is that those of us who are building on the rock, those that are trying to follow Jesus’ teachings, have the promise of the strength to withstand the world. Those who follow the worldly attitudes – the shifting sands of fun and fashion – have given themselves to be pushed around by the tides of whatever is new or what’s “cool.”

As the cliché goes, they will fall for anything because they stand for nothing.

Take an extra few minutes today and read the Sermon on the Mount straight through – even if you have already. These basic building blocks are the key to making the rest of the gospel work for us.

Daily Bible reading for June 28

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3
Deuteronomy 30:11-20
Micah 7:1-13
Matthew 7:13-29

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The Good Wife

June 27, 2013

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It is hard to find a good wife,
because she is worth more than rubies.

Her husband trusts her completely.
With her, he has everything he needs.

She is strong and is respected by the people.
She looks forward to the future with joy.

She speaks wise words
and teaches others to be kind.

She watches over her family
and never wastes her time.

Her children speak well of her.
Her husband also praises her,
saying, “There are many fine women,
but you are better than all of them.”

Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned;
she should be praised in public for what she has done.

– Proverbs 31:10-31 NCV

At the beginning of man’s time, he knew something was missing in his life when there was no woman for him. (Genesis 2:18-20) God knew that out of everything he created, this situation was not good. As he took steps to fill in what was missing, he noted his intention that she be considered one and the same as her husband. (Genesis 2:22) A godly woman can be the difference for her husband’s salvation. (1 Peter 3:1-2)

A vast majority of the women of young America fit the Proverbs 31 description. They pioneered this land and made it the great Christian nation that it is. They were responsible for its growth, godliness, and family values. It is no wonder that we see these things deteriorating right before us as the nation continues to devalue the family as God designed it.

It is too bad that there are those that think they can do better with a mate other than what Proverbs 31 describes. They are turning their backs on the very beauty of God!

Daily Bible reading for June 27

Proverbs 31:10-31
Deuteronomy 29:1-30:10
Micah 6
Matthew 7:1-12

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How to Get Enough

June 26, 2013

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Greed has two daughters
named ‘Give’ and ‘Give.’

There are three things that are never satisfied,
really four that never say, ‘I’ve had enough!’:
the cemetery, the childless mother,
the land that never gets enough rain,
and fire that never says, ‘I’ve had enough!’ – Proverbs 30:15-16 NCV

A lot of people who are already wealthy, spend too much time trying to gain more wealth. All of that time wasted and they will never know how to be rich! Focusing on material things has no end except the kind of greed and covetousness described here. Paul recommended that we flee these things and “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11).

It is best to concentrate on contentment, learn to be generous, grow from godliness. When you do, the spiritual void in your heart shrinks. There will no longer be a need to fill it with things that do not have everlasting substance (1 Timothy 6:6-8). Imagine getting everything you ever wanted by giving away as much as you can! (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

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Why We Love Our Neighbor

June 25, 2013

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Murderers hate an honest person
and try to kill those who do right – Proverbs 29:10 NCV

This isn’t exactly a Proverb you’ll find in motivational literature, but think a minute about how angry the truth makes people.

John tells us this is the essence of why we are commanded to love one another (1 John 3:11-12) and looks to Cain as an example of what could happen. Maybe then it is good to occasionally think about the need to be a loving people from the opposite extreme. It is hard for evil thoughts to make way for the good once they have gotten into our daily routine.

Read all of 1 John 3 today and consider how thin the line between right and wrong is.

Daily Bible reading for June 25

Proverbs 29
Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Micah 4
Matthew 6:19-24

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How to Get Rich

June 24, 2013


A faithful man will abound with blessings
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.– Proverbs 28:20 ESV

If you are looking for the riches that will not rust away, stressing a life of kindness and concern for others is the key. Paul taught against making the accumulation of wealth a priority (1 Timothy 6:6-10) and through his example showed us how to be content no matter the circumstances (Philippians 4:11-13). It takes a special mindset to know when you have enough.

Look at the story of the Rich Young Ruler. He wasn’t lost because he had some money, he was lost because he valued it above all else (Luke 18:18-27). We know God doesn’t mind his children becoming rich – when Solomon asked God only for wisdom, he loved what was in Solomon’s heart so much,  God granted him that and possibly unlimited personal wealth as a bonus.

Putting God at the top is the first step. The rest will take care of itself.

 godliness with contentment is great gain. – 1 Timothy 6:6


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Notes on How to Study the Bible

June 23, 2013

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I am teaching Bible class this morning and answering the question, “How do I study the Bible?” Since this is a site that centers on Bible study, I thought I would post the outline and notes as reference for future posts.

The blessings associated with reading the scripture do not come from a casual glance. Like anything, it takes some hard work and dedication to gain an appreciation and understanding of the Bible. We could say Ignorance breeds contempt in reference to anything, but it probably holds true with the Bible more than anything.

We Required to Study

Romans 10:17 says that our faith come from hearing the word of God. Basically, if we are not digging into God’s word, then we are not growing our faith!

Some Scripture that proves the need to study:

  • 2 Timothy 2:2 – We have to be able to teach the word
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – Study makes us approved people of God
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 – The Bible is God’s final word for how to live
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 – We should be able to respond with God’s word
  • Acts 17:11 – The Bereans were called noble for studying the scriptures
  • Revelation 1:3 – Blessings are given to those that study and act on the scriptures

Personal Organization

Personal Bible study is a habit. If it were a bad habit, everyone would do it! In order to establish a habit, the rule of thumb is that it needs to be repeated for 21 days. It probably takes far fewer days to break the habit, so we have do as much planning and setup as we can to insure our success. We can treat our Bible study just like a meeting at work and schedule it on our calendar. This is the fist and biggest step to making the commitment.

Here are the basic steps to help you get organized:

  • Decide on a time – set an appointment
  • Decide on a place – A nice comfortable place free of distraction that will help you get into the flow of study
  • Decide on a time frame – an easy beginning of say 15 minutes will eventually turn into more as you grow!
  • Decide on a structure – Important. What are you going to use your time doing? Have a plan going in as to what you will accomplish during your study time
  • Choose a Bible reading plan or Bible study. – Rather than randomly flipping open your Bible and reading, you need a plan, like the one in the header of this site, or another of your choosing. You might also decide to follow a topical Bible study guide similar to what we might use in Sunday School
  • Pray – James 1:5 reminds us to ask God for the wisdom we lack. Be sure to invite him into your Bible study
  • Consider adding worship to your study – Some simple praise and song during this time would add to the benefit of study
  • Consider a Journal – I began using this site to journal my thoughts as I do my daily reading and it has really paid dividends to my understanding and retention of what I read. While writing something publically might not be your thing, a personal journal will give you the same benefit.
  • Commit – This has to be a firm appointment with God, it cannot be a hit or miss activity or it will never stick.
  • Be flexible with yourself – If you find after all of the above steps that what you are doing isn’t clicking, start over at #1 and rethink where you are in your maturity and adjust the plan accordingly. The ultimate goal is to take where you are and grow from there.


While you can (and should) just start with just your Bible, you’ll need a few items to help you along the way as you get more and more serious about your study:

  • Bible – A word for word translation is best for Bible study, especially as you mature. KJV, NKJV and ESV are my main choices for this. The ASV and NASB are also good for this purpose too.
  • A Concordance – I mean a really good one like Cruden’s Complete Concordance
  • A Dictionary – I honestly recommend Webster’s American Dictionary from 1828! It gives reference to how words are used in the Bible, especially when used with the King James Version
  • Strong’s Numbers – This helps you get down to the original words in the Hebrew and Greek to better understand what the passage is telling you.
  • Commentary – While not required by any means it can help to get an explanation of how other Bible scholars understand a passage. Always remember to compare what they say strictly to the Bible using your other tools!

This is a lot for one sitting! Over time we’ll use this as a building block for more on how to study God’s word.

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The Power of Our Influence

June 22, 2013

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During a recent morning blog writing session, I had set the empty coffee cup that I was using that morning beside the one that I didn’t take to the sink the day before. They weren’t identical, but I couldn’t remember which one I was using. When I picked them both up to take them to the kitchen, I knew right away which one was that morning’s cup.

The persistence of the heat in that cup is a great illustration of how our influence on other people can leave an impact for a long time. Even after we have passed from this life, the example that we set for others will remain. What type of example are we providing for our families, our neighbors, our co-workers and others with whom we have contact?

Jesus compared us to salt and light to illustrate the kind of influence we are to have on others. Those who hide themselves from this duty have no value to the kingdom. (Matthew 5:13-16)

Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2 how the Christians there were to present their bodies as living sacrifices and were not to be conformed to this world, but rather they were to be transformed in order to prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Should we as Christians today not be held to this same standard?

In regard to the duration of our influence, we merely need to look at the impact that the Bible has had on individuals since the time of its compilation. Those who wrote down God’s word are still helping to lead many to Christ even though they have long been gone from this world.

How will we be remembered? Will those at our funeral say “You could really see Christ in this one’s life,” or will it be a surprised “This person was a Christian?”

How are you representing Christ?

Daily Bible reading for June 22

Proverbs 23-24
Deuteronomy 23:15-25:19
Amos 9
Matthew 5:1-16

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Nurturing Children

June 21, 2013

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Train children to live the right way,
and when they are old, they will not stray from it.
– Proverbs 22:6 NCV

Three thoughts come immediately to mind when I read this verse:

  • Children hear and see everything their parents do.

And imitate it.

And pattern their adulthood after it

  • Properly rearing children is a God given duty.
  • Children need boundaries

In comparing God’s love with a father’s love, (Hebrews 12:5-11) the Hebrew writer sums up discipline as producing a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who were trained by it. We miserably fail our children if we do not teach them God’s word and discipline them accordingly. Only this kind of “nurturing” (Galatians 6:4 KJV) will allow children to develop and mature into responsible, productive and fulfilled men and women of God.

Daily Bible reading for June 21

Proverbs 21-22
Deuteronomy 23:1-14
Amos 7-8
Matthew 4:12-25

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A Matter of Choice

June 20, 2013

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People’s own foolishness ruins their lives,
but in their minds they blame the Lord. – Proverbs 19:3 NCV

What if you took an honest look at each sin you commit over the next year? If you were not allowed to make excuses or blame someone else, would you see the source of your error? How much would your walk with God improve?

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that the Lord will not allow Satan to block the way out of committing a sin. If this is true, then there is always a choice we can make and we have been given the capacity to make it the correct choice.

Will you be proud to tell God about the choices you are making right now?

Daily Bible reading for June 20

Proverbs 19-20
Deuteronomy 22:13-30
Amos 6
Matthew 4:1-11

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Be Happy

June 19, 2013

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A happy heart is like good medicine,
but a broken spirit drains your strength. – Proverbs 17:22 NCV

There is enough medical evidence that shows that generally happy people are healthier people, and besides, Solomon told us that from the beginning. Why then, aren’t we all resolved to be happy? God gave us the tools to be:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. – 1 Timothy 6:6

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me – John 14:1

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

The challenge to true happiness is to avoid confusing it with pleasure. Where pleasure is a momentary feeling from physical activity, happiness is a state of mind about one’s circumstances.

If you have not already, decide to be happy. Avoid attempting to purchase happiness through material things and worldly pleasures.

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” – Dale Carnegie

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Daily Bible reading for June 19

Proverbs 17-18
Deuteronomy 21:1-22:12
Amos 5
Matthew 3

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Listen, Think, Then Answer

June 17, 2013

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Good people think before they answer,
but the wicked simply pour out evil. – Proverbs 15:28 NCV

Our instructions are to go out and teach the gospel (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19-20), so we should be always be prepared with answers (2 Timothy 4:2) and we should be able to accurately handle the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15).

Having done all of that, could a blunt, unloving and thoughtless answer be destructive – even when it is correct? It can happen, but it doesn’t excuse us from telling the whole truth. How then, do we avoid allowing our good words to have the same effect as another’s evil words? Paul offers this advice:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (Colossians 4:6).

Daily Bible reading for June 18

Proverbs 15-16
Deuteronomy 20
Amos 4
Matthew 2:13-23

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Love is not Proud

June 16, 2013

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2 Pride leads only to shame;
it is wise to be humble. – Proverbs 11:2 NCV

Pride is an emotion that is hard to keep in check. We routinely express pride in our children – I think we even find it acceptable for others to do. When looking at how the grown-ups act at the kids’ sports games or other competitions, we should probably start thinking otherwise.

The author of The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley, has researched the habits and minds of the “average” millionaire for years. Here is an article which illustrates the danger of pride in relation to our finances. It is more often the case that those who become wealthy are humble and work hard with integrity.

Sinful pride comes from unhealthy competition (1 Corinthians 4:6) and from placing value on what is seen rather than what is in the heart (2 Corinthians 5:12). Most of all, pride is not compatible with a loving attitude (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Daily Bible reading for June 16

Proverbs 11-12
Deuteronomy 18
Amos 2:6-16
Matthew 1:1-17

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Secrets and Stories

June 15, 2013

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The honest person will live in safety,
but the dishonest will be caught. – Proverbs 10:9

Lying to God is a waste of time and the account of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10) is a clear example. If you have been keeping a secret, telling a half-truth, omitting the full story, even out-and-out lying, ask yourself the same thing Peter asked them …


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