Tag Archives: Bible study

A Closer Look

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Happy New Year! It’s just around the corner and I hope you are taking some time to think about your devotions for 2020. Do you have a plan or are you going to shoot from the hip?! I realize that, if you are like me, shooting from the hip is a way of life in many areas.  Sometimes that can work, but if we consider the importance of Bible study (I did NOT say Bible reading), we will take it a bit more seriously.

God often uses the physical to explain the spiritual.  In fact, that is what the parables are all about: an earthly message with a heavenly meaning. So, think of daily time in the Bible as your nourishment for the day. Physically, how much you eat, what you eat, and how often you eat affects your appearance and performance.  The same is true about your Bible study as well (I did NOT say Bible reading). Why do I keep saying that? So glad you asked! Because just reading the Bible like you would read a newspaper article will not affect any change.  That’s like reading the nutrition label.  You must digest the food for it to have any affect!  THAT’S Bible study or meditation. Take it into your heart and mind and let it change you!

  • How much will you eat? Can you eat too much of God’s Word? I don’t think so!
    • 2020 goal: Get FAT spiritually!
  • What will you eat? Will you be satisfied with a verse and a little fluff for the day? Reading devotionals (and blog posts!) are great but get beyond the baby bird stage where mama bird digests the food and then feeds it to her young. YUCK! Man up and feed yourself!
    • 2020 goal: Be discerning about WHAT you read.
  • How often will you “eat God’s Word?” Try to take just 5 minutes of alone time with God. If that’s all you can manage on a DAILY basis, but it’s more than you did in 2019—GREAT! (And don’t forget church! It is SO, so important! I can’t stress it enough.  We just had an older lady start coming to our church and several times she has said to me: “I wish I would have come sooner!” Did she attend church before? Absolutely! She faithfully went to church, but not what I would call a Bible-preaching church!  That makes all the difference!
    • 2020 goal: I will be faith to God’s Word, God’s church, and God’s people. After all, is there any other way to show God our faithfulness?

Several weeks ago, I was vacuuming and I noticed something for the first time: I noticed how to turn my vacuum off. I’ve had this vacuum for over five years, but I never took the time to really look at the switch to see which way was off. I know that sound pretty dumb, but the Lord used that lesson to convict me about my Bible study.  I was challenged to take a closer look. Oh, what joy! The Bible is so rich! It can change your life if you will take the time to digest it!

  • 2020 goal: Take a closer look into God’s Word.

If you need any help in doing that, just drop me a line! Happy New Year!

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12


This is the end of our 40-day journey through Jesus’ last days here on earth. I know, for me, this has made this very special season that much more special. Focusing specifically on Jesus’ last days and having the opportunity to share it with others has been a great blessing. May your Resurrection Sunday be more meaningful for having joined us on this 40-day journey!  He is not here, but is risen! Luke 24:6

April 11—Matt. 21:1-11 Triumphal Entry


  1. If Jesus knows the steps of a colt, He knows my steps too! (v. 2)
  2. Praise the Lord that Jesus has and WILL fulfill every prophecy concerning Himself. (v. 3-5)
  3. May I be as obedient as these disciples. (v. 6)
  4. Never saw this before: Jesus quietly rode a colt that hadn’t been broken! He has power over all things! (v. 7)
    1. Some may ask, “Then why doesn’t He stop all the bad things from happening?
    2. Don’t you find it amazing that He didn’t stop His OWN crucifixion—the worst pain and suffering anyone would ever suffer?
    3. ANSWER: God is ALWAYS good. He knows what is best. He knows the beginning and the ending! He will ALWAYS do what is right. Suffering is part of His plan to prune us and bring for more fruit.

APPLICATION: Lord, please help me to worship You in true Spirit and Truth.

April 12—Matt. 21:12-14 Cleansing the Temple

We start this Holy Week with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt, fulfilling the prophecies showing his humility. Today, we see Him making a scourge (John 2:15), overturning tables and seats and deriding those who made merchandise of the Passover system. Matthew also includes the verse accounting His healing the blind and lame.

Once again, I am reminded that we serve a God who loves us more than we will ever understand, but also a God who makes demands concerning our worship and holiness.

APPLICATION: Lord, help me to understand and display holiness in my life.  Help me to love as You loved, knowing that without Your help it will be impossible!

April 13—Matt. 21:23-27 Jesus’ Authority Questioned

  • 25b…And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
  • Show’s Jesus’ amazing wisdom!
  • They knew that they were in a corner but still chose the wrong path of unbelief.

APPLICATION: How often to I rely on reason instead of faith!

April 15—Matt. 22:15-22 Question of Tribute Money

  • So sad. Here we are in the last week and the Pharisees only seek to trip up the Son of God!
  • 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest (fear) thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men( no person’s position),
  • 18—Jesus calls them hypocrites!
  • LOVE His answer! Still true today! “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

APPLICATION: They marvel at his wisdom. We need to do more than just marvel, we need to submit and worship Him!  He wants our hearts AND our brains!

April 16—Matt. 22:34-40  The Greatest Commandment

  • Luke 10 goes right into “The Good Samaritan” story.
  • 6:5; 10:12;30:6—all include the command to love God (heart, soul, mind)
  • Spirit-controlled, Mind-controlled, Body

April 17—Matt. 25-31-46 Judgment Day

The day that the world talks about but doesn’t believe. This passage makes it sound as though we work our way into heaven. But we are responsible to compare scripture with scripture.

As born-again believers, our works glorify God—they do not purchase our salvation—Jesus’ blood does that! PRL!

Faith/works: Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

The opposite scenario is in Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. These people preached, cast our demons and did many wonders in Jesus’ name, but they were cast into hell. Sadly, Jesus says that “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord…(22).

APPLICATION: I’m praising God for my salvation!!! Thank you for loving me and calling me, Lord!

April 18—Matt.27:35-38/John 19:18-24 The Crucifixion

Sometimes, I find it helpful to just look at the verbs in a passage (oops! Vs. 1-14):
Actions of the chief priests and elders: Plotted, bound, led, delivered, consulted, bought
Actions of Jesus: stood, said, answered nothing
Pilate: asked, said, marveled greatly
Soldiers: crucified; divided (his garments); cast lots; sat; kept watch

APPLICATION: Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; THE MORE YOU KNOW HIM THE MORE YOU WILL LOVE HIM.

April 19—Luke 23:39-43, 47 Confessions of Belief

How many times has the testimony of this criminal been used to encourage folks to trust Christ alone? He was not baptized, did no good works, did not take communion, and did not join a church.  In Christ Alone!

Every person that has ever lived is represented in these two men. We either choose to believe or not—it’s that simple.

APPLICATION: …Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.  Mr 9:24

April 20—Matt. 27:59-61 The Burial

What would have happened if Joseph of Arimathaea had not stepped in? Who would have buried Jesus and where would they have buried him? I’m sure someone would have done the difficult task, but Joseph is the one who did it.

I love the way the KJV words his approach of Pilate. He “begged the body of Jesus.” It shows a man with determination. We read that he was a disciple of Jesus.  All the Gospel writers mention him. Mark says that he was “an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God.” John writes that he, “being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews.”

APPLICATION: Is there a job that God wants me to do? Certainly, Joseph’s job was difficult and unpleasant.  It was a sacrifice and may have even been dangerous, but he did it! Oh, may I be so bold and obedient!

March 13

green round fruit
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–John 15:1

Jesus is the true vine and his Father is the husbandman, vinedresser. The TRUE vine—this makes me think of different vines I’ve run into in my gardening.  Our son and his wife bought a house in South Carolina several years ago and it must have been owned by a gardener at one time. There are seven gardens and tons of flowering trees, but much of it was taken over by vines of different sorts.  Thankfully, there were no kudzu vines! If you’ve never lived in the south you may not be familiar with this rascal!  A kudzu vine will take over everything and is next to impossible to get rid of!

In the north, we have another nasty vine called poison ivy.  As a child, we had poison ivy on the front hill of our property but my mom really worked at keeping it under control. (Don’t ever burn it and stand in the smoke! You will be covered with poison!) When we bought our first home we also had poison ivy, but I didn’t recognize it because it was this hairy looking branch that had connected itself to the trees. The tiny reddish leaves that I was used to seeing were twelve to fifteen feet up the tree!

Bad, or untrue vines. They are out to destroy! Jesus is the true vine and His purposes are always good! He will gladly graft on any branch that believes in Him and then pours Himself into it, nourishing it and strengthening it to produce fruit for His glory.

And then there’s the vinedresser or husbandman—the gardener who really knows how to care for the vine and all His branches. In fact, the Vinedresser willingly cut the vine down knowing that It would revive and be able to nourish the branches in a way that had not been possible before!

Application: Oh, I want to be a good branch! How I want to grow and bring forth fruit, trusting the Father to cut and prune and slash as He sees fit so that I can produce more fruit—much fruit—for His glory!!! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

March 9

down angle photography of red clouds and blue sky
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–John 8:23

Once again the whole passage may need to be read to get the whole story. It begins with the adulterous woman being brought to Jesus.  He writes on the ground and asks the one who has not sinned to cast the first stone. I love verse nine: And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldesteven unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. I love that the elders led–a challenge for me! Verse 32 is also a favorite: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Such a simple statement but it was misconstrued as well. (I shouldn’t be surprised when my simple statements are misconstrued.:) )

When Jesus tells them that He is going His way in verse 21, He also says that they will die in their sins and not come with him.

This passage is a great example of listening with the unregenerated mind and not the born-again heart. Look at what Jesus said vs. what they hear:

  1. I’m going to heaven but you are not because of your sin/ We can’t go with him, He must be suicidal (21-22)
  2. You’re from this world, I’m from heaven/Who are you?  (23-25). They never once consider that Jesus may have been exactly who He said He was–the Son of God!

These are just two examples, but verse 27 sums up their thinking which Jesus knew completely: “They understood not …”

Application for me: Am I listening when I’m reading the Bible or hearing teaching or preaching? Do I hear what I want to hear? Am I willing to look inside and see what Jesus sees?


March 7

sermon-series-logo-i-am—John 4:26 (You may need to read the passage to find out the answer.) Jesus is [the] M______________.


Jesus is the Messiah. I’m always amazed at this woman’s impertinence. She was a hurting woman. Today, we might say she had a chip on her shoulder concerning her religion and probably her nationality. She was a Samaritan outcast, coming to the well at an odd hour, probably to miss the gossiping tongues of her neighbors. But all the while Jesus simply answers her questions drawing her to the truth about Himself! This is witnessing 101 and the lesson for me: meet people where they are, love them don’t condemn them, and show them the wonder, grace, and glory of our Savior!

March 6th

March 6, Wednesday—Introduction

sermon-series-logo-i-amMany churches label this day as Ash Wednesday and symbolize its significance in various ways. While I do not recognize that day, this day is the first day of a 46-day journey to Resurrection Sunday.

Any time and every day is a great time to study the Bible. This little devotional is meant to help you to focus on Jesus and His last days on earth.  I’ve organized it but the thoughts will be all yours! Blessings to you as you study God’s Word.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3

Jesus said several “I am” statements. This week, starting tomorrow, look up each verse and consider what it tells you about Who Jesus is.