FREE & FABULOUS: Bible Study Tips-Part 1

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

Happy Friday Friends! Welcome to our FREE & FABULOUS series to help you discover fresh new ways to strengthen your personal Bible Study. Just like you, we are continually searching for tips to assist our personal study of God’s Word. Regardless of the techniques you incorporate during your personal study of God’s Word, it is always fun to discover FREE online study tools to deepen your understanding.

We love FREE! And-what is better than ONLINE & FREE? Just like you-we understand a limited budget and need for convenience. We invite you to walk alongside of us for the next few weeks as we investigate some great resources available to enhance your quiet time in God’s Word.

Let me introduce Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/

WHAT IS IT?  A website where you can search, read, and/or listen to various translations of the Bible as well as different language offerings. It provides a variety of ways to study and engage with Scripture, reading plans, mobile apps, keyword search, topical index, signup for daily devotionals & newsletters, audio series, blog posts, recent podcasts, and so much more!  

WHY I USE IT? This online resource is my first go to when focusing on a particular verse which stood out to me each week. (Sidenote: I use a Scripture Notebooking plan) Bible Gateway gives me a quick way to read/listen to another translation outside of my study Bible. I love the ease of use and how readily available numerous translations are at my fingertips.

HOW TO USE IT?

  1. Enter your passage location, keyword, or topic AND select the translation.
  2. You can even select all English translations once the passage is revealed.

TRY IT: type in 1 John 1:1 and select NIV (hit the search button)

You will see the verse and an option to read the entire chapter. Also, you will have the opportunity to view 1 John 1:1 in all English translations. At the click of a button-every English translation is listed on one entire page! 

  • Use the advanced search option to the left and you will be given cross references and footnotes!

This is what you should see:

That which was from the beginning,(A) which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,(B) which we have looked at and our hands have touched(C)—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

Read full chapter

Cross references

  1. 1 John 1:1 : S Jn 1:2
  2. 1 John 1:1 : S Lk 24:48; Jn 1:14; 19:35; Ac 4:20; 2Pe 1:16; 1Jn 4:14
  3. 1 John 1:1 : Jn 20:27
  • Type in keywords and/or topics and choose your translation

This will give you the OT & NT verses which include the word or topic. I will occasional use this feature if a particular word or attribute of God becomes apparent when reading the various translations. I don’t necessarily use this site for word study, but I do use it for cross referencing.

SO, there is your first FREEBIE for our Bible Study tips. Give it a try. See what you like best. I only touched the surface of what the website has to offer. Remember, I am limited in full knowledge of this free resource because I only use it for a quick reference for other translations and cross references when studying a particular Scripture.

Let us hear from you. We would love to know what you find helpful when using Bible Gateway.

Looking forward to sharing more with you soon.

Happy Bible Study journey!!   

3 Major Steps in Maintaining Spiritual Growth

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Joy, peace, faith, hope — these spiritual blessings are ours if Christ lives in us. These spiritual qualities are indestructible because they have their source in Christ, who is always with us. Because we cannot lose Christ, our spiritual blessings are secure. -Ephesians 1:3

In many of Paul’s letters, such as Thessalonians, he encourages believers to strive for spiritual maturity. His words are always precisely written, and his message has a way of spurring others to embrace sanctification.

As I reflect on Apostle Paul’s writings, I find myself measuring my own pathway and process of being purified by Christ. I wonder what Paul’s message would be if he penned a letter to me. What areas would he address? What clarifications would he need to include? Where would he need to reveal reproof?

Have you ever wondered what your letter might include? What comes to mind when you think about your spiritual growth?

Transparency moment: There was once a time in my life where sanctification seemed like a long list of what to do and not to do. The process felt heavy even though I knew God was the one purifying my life.

I didn’t have a problem embracing the deliberate action on my part, but I became overwhelmed with all the to dos. It was paralyzing. (Remember, I am the queen of doing nothing when I don’t know precisely what to do or how to begin!)   

Over the years I have learned that God is more concerned about my relationship with Him and the intentionality of my heart than all those to dos and not to dos. He wants me to focus on who He truly is and direct all my efforts towards His purpose.

Let me share with you three major areas I have found essential in maintaining spiritual growth:

  1. Continually seeking a more accurate view of God. The more I get to know the LORD’s attributes and characteristics, the less I depend on myself. My view of God is so skewed by my human mind’s eye. However, as I intentionally strive to see Him more clearly and grow to understand His holiness, power, and love, I find myself surrendering more and more to Him. WHY? Because a deeper level of trust, intimacy, and worship develops. Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. -1 Peter 1:3-4
  2. Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. The LORD gave each of us a helpmate living within once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. However, it takes a conscience effort to listen the quiet voice and humble our steps, thoughts, actions, etc. to the discernment of the Holy Spirit. For me, this is essential in my spiritual maturity. I must daily lay down my fleshy desires and permit the Holy Spirit to guide my entire being. This is an ongoing process just like getting to know the LORD intimately.  Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. -Galatians 5:16,17
  3. Spending time in God’s Word. The LORD gave the gift of His words. Throughout Scripture, He reveals Himself to us and provides a life manual for us. Our sanctification progress depends on our deliberate action to read, study, seek understanding, pray, and apply the Bible. …yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. -Colossians 1:22

If you feel overwhelmed by all the “to dos”, understand God never wanted your relationship with Him to be complicated. He is a relational father who is gracious and loving. Take it minute by minute. Get to know Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal who the LORD really is and your role in God’s plans. Stay in His Word and let it transform your life.

If we were to receive a letter from Paul today, I think his main message would be:

Stay consistent-

know God, rely on Him, and live under His biblical authority.

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