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These are my personal notes from a recent sermon series on studying the Bible. Everything in italics is the commentary I wrote down, along with some of my own thoughts as I take in this information. The plain text is quotes taken form Bible passages, the references are underlined.

The sermon is as follows:

Certain elements that are repeated are more likely to be remembered, and are well noted. Those are elements that require special attention. Knowing why certain elements are repeated is helpful when studying and getting to know the Bible better.

The importance of knowing the scriptures in one's everyday life:


Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Jesus repeated certain themes many times, in teaching his disciples.
e.g. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" has been repeated 9 times.

What sort of elements are repeated?

1) Repetition of Terms, Phrases and Clauses

Psalm 136, "His love endures forever" is repeated 26 times.
Hebrews 11, the phrase "by faith" occurs 18 times. It shows the importance of faith in one's walk with God.

1 Corinthians 15:12-18
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

The word "if" is repeated often in this passage, to emphasize how one's belief hinges on a very important element, which is the resurrection of Christ.

2) Repetition of Characters

Certain characters instrumental in bringing about the emphasis of a certain point appear more than once in scripture.

e.g. Barnabas is remembered as the "Son of Encouragement". His example was used more than once as someone who helped others in need. This emphasizes a good example for Christians to follow.

Acts 4:36
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Barnabas was instrumental in assisting Saul get past the reputation of his old life.

Acts 9:27
27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.

Barnabas also helped the Greek Christians.


Acts 11:19-25
19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

22News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Barnabas also defended John-Mark when Paul had his doubts about him. This caused a "sharp disagreement" between Barnabas and Paul.

Acts 15:36-39
36Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." 37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,40but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

In this passage of Paul's letter written near the end of his life, he mentions he had dealt with others who had abandoned him, but mentions John-Mark among those who were helpful to him in his ministry. So, Barnabas had acted in good faith on John-Marks' behalf, with good results, back in Acts. Paul also emphasizes the importance of spiritual mentoring. It seems under Barnabas' influence, John-Mark went on to be very fruitful.

2 Timothy 4:9-11

9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

3) Repetition of Incidents and Circumstances

A particular point can be made in the repetition of a certain incident.
For example, in the book of Judges it mentions repetitively that the children of Israel "did evil in the sight of God."
The heart of the matter:

Judges 21:25 25
"In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit."

Another example is Jesus versus the Pharisees in the book of Matthew. This ultimately lead to the death of Jesus.
Matthew 23: Jesus condemns the ways of the Pharisees, when he says "woe to you" in seven instances throughout the passage. This undoubtedly creates a lot of tension between them and Jesus, as a result. It underlines an important point in Jesus' ministry, where he is warning the people about the hypocrisy of the teachers of the Jewish law. They received the brunt of Jesus' condemnations.

A related situation is repeating a pattern that occurred earlier in scriptures. Example of the things that took place in the Old Testament were a pattern for things to come:


Hebrews 10:1
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

Paul mentions the same thought here:

Colossians. 2:16-17
16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Other repeating examples mentioned:

The Passover lamb, and the way it was to be prepared, and the shedding of its blood, was symbolic of Christ's ultimate sacrifice.

Exodus 12:5-14
5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.

12 "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat—that is all you may do.

Example of Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt, a pattern of one suffering for the ultimate good of many, for Joseph ended up in a position of authority and saved his people and the people of Egypt from starvation during a severe famine.

Acts 7:9-17
9"Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
11"Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food. 12When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers on their first visit. 13On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph's family. 14After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our fathers died. 16Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.17"As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased.

Example of Abraham, and his pattern of faith for all Christians. It involved being ready to give up even that which is most precious to him in this life, in obedience to God.

Hebrews 11:8-10
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

The examples of leprosy in the Old Testament is a pattern for sin in the New Testament.

The consequences of Miriam's sin:

Numbers 12:10-11
10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; 11 and he said to Moses, "Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed.

Naaman obeyed specific commands by a prophet of God, to be cleansed of his leprosy. But it involved obedient action on his part. Just as baptism is required to cleanse a sinner.
2 Kings 5:1
1 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.
2 Kings 5:10-14
10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

New Testament use of Old Testament patterns.

If one puts the OT verses in context, one will see why Paul used it in his ministry.

In Acts 2, there is Peter's use of Joel 2:
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

13Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."

14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17" 'In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

Romans 4:1-3 quotes Genesis 15:6. as a pattern of faith.
1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

2 Corinthians 9:6-9
uses Psalms 112:9 parallels.
6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."

Whenever a pattern is seen because of its repeated use, then it is something to which we should pay particular attention.
Everything that is written in the Bible is important, but some things are emphasized for putting across a particular pattern of thought.
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James 1:21-25
1Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

The word of God is like a mirror. It is not meant to be something that is merely read, and then forgotten. To be effective, what it has to say needs to be applied to one's life.
It does not have to be as
Ecclesiastes 12:11-12 describes, where one turns a study of a bible passage into a daunting task, reading commentaries, word studies, Hebrew and Greek lexicons, encyclopaedias, atlases, and a myriad of cross references.
"11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
      Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body."
While having such study aids can be useful, it is not necessary, in order for us to understand the meaning of the scriptures.

The Process of Application

Step 1: A Bible scholar may know well the scriptures and the text. As importantly, you must know yourself, and where you are with the message the passage brings, and how you receive it.
Step 2: Think about how the passage relates to your own life and experiences.
Step 3: Meditate on the passage studied. Memorizing a verse or passage of verses can help it to sink in.
Step 4: Practice what it says. Like anything, it doesn't come easily at first, but there can be no progress made without practice.

Are there examples to follow from the scriptures?
Certainly. Paul was an example, and he urged all believers to be so.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved..."
Notice how much of the Bible is biographical.

Is there a sin to avoid?
Ephesians 4:25-31
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Is there a promise to claim?
1 John 2:25  "And this is what he promised us—even eternal life."
One must look at what promises apply to us today. Who was being told this promise? Was it specific to a time and people, or is it universal? It all depends on the context. See the previous post concerning the 10 question to ask about the study of any given passage of scripture.

Is there a prayer to reiterate as an example?
Psalms 119:73-80
Yodh  
73
Your hands made me and formed me;
       give me understanding to learn your commands.

 74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
       for I have put my hope in your word.

 75 I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous,
       and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

 76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
       according to your promise to your servant.

 77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
       for your law is my delight.

 78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
       but I will meditate on your precepts.

 79 May those who fear you turn to me,
       those who understand your statutes.

 80 May my heart be blameless toward your decrees,
       that I may not be put to shame.

Is there a command to obey?
1 John 2:8-10
8Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
 9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.

It's been said 95% of God's Word is God's command, and if we apply it to our lives, we won't have trouble figuring out the other 5%.

Is there a condition to meet?
Acts 2:38-39 is a direct command that was met with a great response, because the people listening realized there was a condition that had to be met..
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

Is there a verse to memorize?
Some verses and passage may strike a chord with us, and we may want to keep that verse in memory, as memorizing things helps shape our thoughts.It becomes more absorbed into our consciousness.


Example Romans 1:16-17
 16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Personal note: While memorizing is beneficial to one's absorbing the scriptures, it is not a necessary element in study.  What is helpful is memorizing where, in general, certain passages are in the Bible, so that it is easy to find them when you want to look something up. I have a bad memory to the point where I need tabs on my Bible to find certain books. Also having a quick concordance in the back  of the Bible is helpful in looking up certain passages.  After a while I have found that I can remember certain passages if they are read often enough, so while I cannot memorize  verses verbatim, I can memorize what the passages are speaking of, and their meaning.
And the benefits of this are great.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Verses can stand out to each of us in a personal way. It addresses our spirits. One grows  in faith and in spirit if they apply the teachings of scripture to their lives. None of this is easy to do. It takes determination and perseverance to continue in this, but the rewards later on are far greater than the present troubles we may have.

Is there a challenge to meet?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Being a Christian is like being an Olympian in a spiritual sense. It involves a daily workout,  it involves setting goals to improve your performance, and it involves getting the proper nourishment.
Our spiritual nourishment is the Word of God.
1 Peter 2:1-3
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

It is important to mature in the knowledge of the Word, or we will stagnate.

Hebrews 5:12-13
12
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

It is important to have this knowledge to warn others who are in error. An Old Testament example is given to Ezekiel, concerning his responsibility to warn the house of Israel of its sins.

Ezekiel 3:16-19
16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for [a] his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.

We should hunger for the Word of God, even the things that rebuke and challenge us to change.

Proverbs 27:7
7 He who is full loathes honey,
       but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

There is always something to learn from the scriptures, even for someone who has studied every day for 75 years. You can read a passage for the hundredth time, and think "I know about this already". But with the proper attitude, even a scripture passage that is read for the hundred and first time will be as though it were read for the first time.

 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

 3It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

In this life's journey, full of dangerous shoals, if we do not have God's Word as your navigational chart, then we will eventually run aground.
* * *
Honing one's skills on the observation of scripture passages. This is to aid in understanding the context of a passage.

1) Who is the author of the passage?

2) To whom is the author speaking?
What do you know about this author, and the person or people he's addressing?

3) What is the most important term and/or concept of the passage?

4) What are the main verbs? What is the verb tense?
Past, present or future?

5) Are there terms you need to define so you can better understand the passage? What is the most important defining term?

6) Are there people and places I need to identify? Who is involved in this passage?

7) What do you already know about the people and places mentioned?

8) Can you identify cause-effect relationships in the author's writing?

9) In what ways does the passage apply to your own personal life?
Does it really apply to us today, or was it someting specific to the times and peoples involved?

10) What things in this passage might you want to study later in further detail? How does this passage link to others in the Bible, and what cross references are there to other passages like this one?

There is no part of God's word that we cannot learn. None of it is beyond our understanding, yet learning the depth of it will take a lifetime.
* * *
Notes on a sermon on how to study the scriptures, and the attitude we must take when reading the Word of God.

The value of observation.

2 Timothy 2:15
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." NIV

Study: the diligent pursuit of knowledge of a certain subject.


1 Peter 3:15-16
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

God's Word, the Bible, is our moral compass, to give direction and meaning in life. It is the answer to the meaning of life.

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

 11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
      Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

 13 Now all has been heard;
       here is the conclusion of the matter:
       Fear God and keep his commandments,
       for this is the whole duty of man.

 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
       including every hidden thing,
       whether it is good or evil.

Psalms 119 is about the benefits of studying and following God's edicts.

excerpt, verses 33-40:

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;
       then I will keep them to the end.

 34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
       and obey it with all my heart.

 35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
       for there I find delight.

 36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
       and not toward selfish gain.

 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
       preserve my life according to your word. [b]

 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
       so that you may be feared.

 39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
       for your laws are good.

 40 How I long for your precepts!
       Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Is it enough to be a "good" Bible student?

Sherlock Holmes once said, "You see, but you do not observe..."

There are driving tests that challenge you on your power of observation of road signs, and the test will start out by asking, how good are your powers of observation?

Just as Jesus said in Matthew 13:16 " But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."

The prophet Elisha's servant had such an experience in 2 Kings 6:15-18.
15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.

 16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

 17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

 18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike these people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

While we may not see something as dramatic as the LORD's army, we can gain insight and understanding from the scriptures in the same way. By praying and asking God for the ability to be enlightened by his Word.

James 1:5-8
5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

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I thought this would be an interesting discussion for some of us in here. A topic of recent sermons brought this topic to mind. Our pastor has been preaching a serious on the Atonement and what Jesus has provided for those of us who are born again.

Do demons exist? Are they active today? How active?

I firmly believe that demons are very active today. Not only are many people influenced by demons but many more people are possessed by demons than some may want to admit. 

Naturally all truth about Jesus and spiritual things can only be determined by the inerrant scripture and not by our feelings or psychology or secular humanism. Those will be posted under a cut for there are a great many.



 

 

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masons.
had a run in with a mason. he tried to deny they are satanic and didn't like the fact that i stated it.it's not rocket science. who doesn't know that.they are protected by the topmost.no one can touch them.on any acount.they can do anything they want.they're symbol is on the american bills.prince charles is the head mason.

i only stated the obvious..he tried to grab me..i got away. but Albert (short balding..met him a long time ago in pg) knew my name...he's obviously a mason too.

now what..i get lynched??

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I have a question about the book of Luke and Acts? How do you read those 2 books? Do you read them as a continuation of one another or as two separate books? I am not sure what I use to think about them..and now as I am reading a new textbook, I am left with questions. Is this just a continuation of one another, I believe so...but why would someone thing otherwise?
Current Mood:
curious curious
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I have tried many times, but failed, to read the Bible in its entirety. I was recently married, and while I have brought my husband to God, he isn't as enthusiastic about Christ as I am. Well, that sounds bad. Let me put it like this, he hates organized religion. He finds it impossible to find one denomination of Christianity that fully complies with his beliefs on the matter. I feel the same way, too. However, I don't stick to just one. I grew up Methodist and am now visiting a Presbyterian church down the road from where I've just moved. Anyway, I am rambling. My point is that I have recently brought up the topic, with my husband, that we set aside a time to read the Bible each day. After a little hesitation he said that sounded fine. I'm hoping we grow spiritually towards God and closer to each other during this daily devotional. We haven't started yet. As I said before, I've tried to read the Bible in its entirety in the past by starting in Genesis and going straight through. That didn't really work for me, and I've been told by many people that it's best if you don't just go straight through. If I don't just go straight through, how do I choose which part to read? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this post is a bit rambly. I find it hard to compose my thoughts on this subject.
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
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It is almost time to start that new Bible Reading plan. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read the entire Bible in the coming year, come and join us.

lightuntomyfeet

This community is about the Bible. We are a group of people who have joined together to encourage one another to read the entire Bible all the way through in one year. There will be several different reading plans from which to choose so each can choose whatever best fits his or her at this time.

Post an intro post that tells the rest of what plan you are choosing. Give your testimony if you want. Then read. Post daily or weekly and share your progress with the rest of us. Post the scripture that touched you today or what you may have learned today. Tell us if this is the first time you have decided to read the entire Bible in a year or if you have done this before.

This community believes that the scriptures are the inerrant word of the one and only true God. If you don't believe this, that's fine. Join and read with us any way. However there is going to be NO discussion of this. There are other good Christian communities for that kind of discussion.
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Sorry I have been so unatentive of this community lately been busy... anyway banned the most recent trol and tried to clean stuff up. Anyway, if you want to advertise communites people, don't double post or the posts will be deleted. If the posts are not discussing the bible, they will be deleted. And while I like Sonic the hedgehog, this isn't the place to discuss it even if the fan fic does feature Jesus.
Current Mood:
frustrated frustrated
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