Noting the Promises of God

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 (NIV)

In all of your earthly relationships, who do you place the most trust in? Do the words loyal and faith describe their character? Do they primarily have remarkable follow through with their promises to you? Have they or will they let you down at some point?

I once was advised by a church leader to never have expectations of humans, then I would never be disappointed by them. Well, as much as this appears logical, how could one ever develop an intimacy and deep friendship with no expectations?

I am of the opinion most people choose their circle of friends, you know-those beyond acquaintances, based on trust and dependability. Why would you ever entertain a close association with someone if you didn’t have some type of faithful expectations? How could you truly believe what they said or promised if there wasn’t some level of trust?

Good news-you never have to question the promises of the LORD. He is forever constant in fulfilling and has proved this over and over. Just compare Old Testament prophecy to New Testament fulfillment.

His character is steadfast. God is the only relationship delivering constant, dependable trust. It is His character-loyal, faithful, devoted, and reliable. What a privilege to call Him friend.

When reading Scripture, search for those promises made directly by the father. These guarantees and assurances furnish hope on a big scale. Why? Because you can count on it, my friend! Believe it, trust it, and know it will happen. They are oaths made by the LORD himself.

These promises enter our minds as only information as we read and discover them. But, if we take the time to study each one intimately, God exposes His love for us and declares truth we can certainly hang our hat on. (Oops, that might have come from my Texas upbringing) It provides an insight of eternal hope and builds an even greater scale of confidence in the creator of our soul, Elohim.

As you find the promises of the LORD in your independent reading, decide what your plan will be.

  • Will you highlight them a different color than everything else in your Bible?
  • Will you write them in a special journal filled with nothing but God’s promises? (I call this God’s victory file. It comes in handy on those days the enemy is larking and working overtime. It helps call him out for who and what he is, a liar!)
  • Maybe you are a prayer journal lover. You can write the verse/s of promises directly in your prayer journal book with complete reference. Then pray out the promise/s into your life and those around you.

These three ideas are only the beginning to honoring the promises of the father. Each promise is a revelation you can expect to happen. They embody a powerful force, capable of crushing the attempts of evil. (Think about Jesus’ responds when tempted by the enemy.)

I would encourage you to devise a promise plan right for you. Determine a method of noting these assurances. Highlight them, write them, pray them, use them to encourage others, and cling to them for a lifetime. You may already have a strategy working for you in this area. How could you possibly enhance it?

You can always trust God’s assurances to be prevailing, mighty, effective, impressive, and everlasting! Who else delivers such guarantees?

Oh yeah, one more thing-have expectations of the Father. They will always be fulfilled BEYOND human standards and in accordance with His immaculate plan. Pinkie promise! 

Exceeding Text Elevation: More Than Typography

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Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

Warning-moment of truth!

Looking back at the time in my life when a devotional Bible seemed ideal, I was cracking open God’s Word maybe once a week. I used God’s Word to find verses highlighted during a bible study, sermon, or devotional. Mainly, just to find Scripture presented in a different translation because I felt mine was easier to comprehend.  

Unfortunately, my craving and value for His Word had gradually faded outside of church and beyond the daily devotional conveniently appearing in my inbox each workday morning. It crushes me to tell you this. Nothing captivated my heart to dig deeper into the Bible at the time. The surface level reading seemed sufficient. I was satisfied with my limited exposure. I probably would have even justified my actions as proficient at the time. (If you are in the education world, remember proficient is good for an evaluation rating.)

Permit me to explain. See, my focus and a large portion of my energy was spent on a multitude of earthly loves. A period of time where I wanted to move up in my career, make an impact in the community, be the perfect wife, participate in a ton of events, and the list continues. BUSY-Being Under Satan’s Yoke! I had goals and ambitions. I had very little time to sleep let alone get past the mere printed text after I read it once. (Lesson learned, but that’s another book!)    

After going through a season of discipline, my love for God’s Word grew exponentially. It rebirthed the same hunger I exhibited as a child. I even wanted to revert to finding a closet, grabbing a flashlight, snagging the bed pillows, propping myself on top of a wooden toybox, and getting lost in God’s Word. Oh, the sweet craving of Scripture was back. This newfound reverence and desire finally outweighed everything in life.

Without a doubt, the Bible is more than text on a page yet, many copies of God’s Word are only consumed as print on a page. The potential elevation level of the text remains flat, especially when the Bible remains closed. Even when being read, God’s Word can often become a checkmark on a “To Do” list.

Unfortunately, I know this Scripture relationship all too well.

It is read, but not consumed.

It is treasured, but no life value displayed.

It is highlighted, but not truly understood.

It is set apart from any other writing, but so many other books are used.

It is God’s own voice, but everything else is heard above and beyond it.

It is paired with good intentions, but the follow through is overshadowed by “life”.

Yes—you could probably add more statements and I dare to say they too would probably be familiar to my past.

So, how do we break free from these chains? What can we do to ensure our relationship with God and His Word are more than lip service? Where can a person start? I am not sure I can answer these questions for each reader, but I can share my journey and the ways God captured my heart for Scripture.

It began with a simple prayer of asking the Lord for help to grow closer to Him and know Him more. The Holy Spirit reminded me if I truly wanted more of God and less of me, I had to love His Word as much as I loved Him. It required me putting skin on Timothy 2:15, which states, 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 (NIV).

From this humbly plea, my quest to investigate the importance of Scripture was birthed.

Since then, I can personally attest Scripture is the very words of God:

Living

Miraculous

Powerful

Set Apart

No matter the print arrangement, the Bible is filled with life instructions, promises from the LORD, filled with His attributes and characteristics, and many examples of what-to-do and what-not-to-do.

It is clearly a beautiful love story revealing a God who gave His blameless Son to die for our sins. Book after book of the Voice of God is printed for our engagement and supported by the Holy Spirit’s ability to convey its wisdom.

So much more than typography—an opportunity to go beyond text elevation!

Happy Salvation Birthday!

A gracious gift from God
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What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (Message)

Salvation. What is it to you?

For me, it was definitely a new life! A birth into a new family and a new identity where I am loved and treasured. It is a regeneration I took for granted for years. I precious gift freely given that took decades for me to really appreciate and fully understand.

His grace choose me and I didn’t deserve it by any means.

The LORD really captured my attention through the mountain of trials. Dates began to unfold-new births in our family, more anniversary dates to remember, and many dates of death. A moment in time and I could quote them one-by-one. Why? Because I deemed them important.

Yet, you could have asked me my salvation birthdate and I would have had to ponder and ponder and ponder. The date in my life where I received a magnificent gift from God and I couldn’t remember. When I realized this, it broke my heart. Why had I let this become a fading memory?

This beautiful salvation Christ brought you and I is often forgotten. It seems “life” gets in the way and clouds our memory of a treasured date-the day we trust in the LORD and join God’s family. How this must break the heart of the father!

Today I choose to remember. I celebrate the beautiful gift and give thanks to all who will listen. Jesus is in charge of my life for eternity. I trust in His words and rely on Him to live my life. He is the only reliable source of hope and joy. I rely on Him to change my heart and keep me ever grateful for August 8th.

I pray God will fill me with the desire to always say YES to His calling and purpose. May I never forget this date and the price paid for it.

Thank you LORD for my beautiful gift. HAPPY SALVATION BIRTHDAY!

Do you know yours?

Are you Intense-Red Hot-Ever Present?

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Hello friends. For all of those out there experiencing true summer heat, fall should be here in about 65 days. Yes, that does seem so far away when the average temperature is around 105 or higher! Global warming has become front and center for many this year.

Intense-red hot-ever present

Refining ministry just completed the series entitled “Major Wisdom through Minor Prophets” this past Monday night. We have been on a journey studying each minor prophet for quite some time and would like to thank every person who joined us throughout this timeframe. The depth of understanding, sharing, and growth has been outstanding on many levels. (And to think we only meet online for one hour each Monday night!)

Our last study was over the book of Zechariah. The Read Scripture overview describes it as a roller coaster ride. It is filled with visions, prophecy, harsh judgment, and direct commands to name a few. Yet, Zechariah is intense-red hot-ever present in all that he delivers. He is known as the most apocalyptic and messianic of all minor prophets.

For me, Zechariah was a book which had to be digested one bite at a time. Symbolism, terminology, customs, prophetic aspects of the second coming of Christ, interpretations of visions, rituals, and the list goes on. There were times when even the commentaries and study resources were overwhelming. However, I am so thankful for Zechariah on many levels. It made me reflect on my life with the main question:

Are you intense-red hot-ever present for the LORD?

Zechariah presented his audience with hope, encouragement, warning, instructions, and the glimpse of a future King. Over the past seven weeks, I went chapter by chapter looking for direct instructions of how I could increase my spiritual walk and intensify my relationship with God. Zechariah allowed me to reevaluate my spiritual priorities and take a closer look at my daily habits.

Today, I would like to share the list with you. As you read over each item, let it wash over you and encourage you in your personal walk. Allow the Holy Spirit to highlight a couple of areas where you can crank up the heat for the LORD then take it to God in prayer. Enjoy!

  • Exercise the listening muscle
  • Be still to hear God’s voice
  • Watch out for worldliness (externally & internally)
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Return to God quickly when you stray
  • Embrace the fire (life trials)
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit
  • Stay in God’s Word
  • Encourage others to invest in Scripture
  • Recognize sinning religion (a state of spiritual disobedience)
  • Only God is holy to judge
  • Have diligent obedience
  • Worship is more important than performing a religious ritual
  • Have a sincere desire to know God
  • Fully surrender your heart to the LORD
  • Carry out His commands with a joyful spirit
  • Speak truth
  • Live peacefully
  • Exercise justice
  • Love God’s ways
  • Seek only the approval of the LORD
  • Do not be afraid because God is your defender
  • Deal with sin barriers
  • Stay under the LORD’s authority
  • Intentional spend time with the father
  • Find your identity in God
  • Connect with like-minded Christians
  • Carry out God’s work at all costs
  • Stay dependent upon the LORD

Thank you, Zechariah! I loved the summer message:

God is intense-red hot-ever present for each of us!

YIKES! Change Found Me

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Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Happy HOT summer my friends. Boy, the change in weather occurred recently-it was 109 degrees this past weekend. I wasn’t ready for it nor the fact that it came with 20-30 mph wind gusts. It made me want to skip over the next three months and go straight to fall.

But this isn’t the only change that found me over the past week. I went from a headache to a full-blown sinus infection in less than 24 hours. Having a fever during the intensive heat was draining and once again I found myself wanting to skip over the next few days and go straight to feeling better!

And then…a change I knew would come sooner or later yet, for some reason I didn’t think it would heavily impact me. In less than a week, I have a new direction in my employment along with several others in my department. Change-I normally like it! Can I just skip to September 1st and know the end results of all of this?

Yes, I like change and I am an advocate for change. I find freshness and excitement in learning and experiencing new things. However, I want to be the agent of change and I would prefer it be on my terms! My first reaction when change finds me—well, let’s just say over time it seems to get better.

As I sit here mentally preparing for a job interview, God’s wisdom washes over me. He reminds me that none of this surprises Him. He allowed some overnight changes for a reason. The LORD gently reminds me that He is in control and my future is secure in His hands. No change on earth will alter His great love for me nor the overwhelming attributes of His character. I have a steadfast Father who has my back!

What about you? How do you handle change? When you journey from mountain top to valley low to long straight plains and repeat again and again, do you ever want to skip over the waiting, healing, unknowns, transitioning, etc.? Do you have a hope outlook or a doom and gloom perspective when unwanted change comes?

God really shared His perspective for me in all of this.

Change found Jesus Christ. He went from a perfect man to a shredded form of life in a matter of a few days. The weight of the world was placed on His shoulders. His earthly life was taken in the most painful manner and given a resting place in a tomb. Life on earth was turned upside down and a new covenant was established. Yet, it came with brokenness and blood. A change that made a way for all of humanity to be saved if they would only believe. Change found him because God loved us.

Through it all, God stayed steadfast. The LORD kept His promises, and He gave the world a Savior, the Messiah, a fulfillment of prophesy and full depth of love. Where would we all be if it wasn’t for the change? And Christ submitted to the call of change.

Romans 8:6: The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Perspective of God towards me – Relax! Change has found you for a reason. Don’t skip the experience and take each step in full confidence that I have worked out your pathway. You don’t need to be afraid, upset, or nervous in the days ahead. Live each moment with hope in ME. I will not change, and I will be beside you always. Now, go face that interview!

Dots and Dashes by: Robin Gonzales

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Hello friends. Mine is a voice you don’t hear too often unless you join us weekly for Refining’s bible studies online.

I have recently retired from the job I had for what I like to call the second act of life. The first act was my childhood, young adult life, and motherhood. As I begin the third act, I have had a chance to sit back, relax, think, and adjust to the new normal. It is a bit strange, but also very exciting as God moves me in a new direction.

I have realized all of the things prior to now have been my training ground for things to come. . .

Have you ever identified with a Bible character? Refining recently finished the book of Amos. He was an ordinary person who loved God and wanted to share what he had learned. I really identified with him. He was an ordinary guy (farmer of fig trees and goat herder). God called him to go and speak to his people.

Amos was much like people we know: our pastor and his wife, a great prayer warrior, the spiritually gifted song leader or friend. Some of them even fortunate enough to receive specialized training; yet all of them, including you and me, are in the school of the Holy Ghost. A specialized training for God.

As we each receive our training under the Holy Spirit’s authority, He has been given several tasks to ensure our instruction. His job is to purify, consecrate, and set us apart to bring honor to Christ and empower us to witness to others.

You may be asking-so exactly how does He go about this? The Holy Spirit works within you and changes you by the dots and dashes of ordinary life-every situation, circumstance, and relationship.

__ __ * ___ ___ ___ __ ** ** *** * ___ ** ___ ___ ___ ***_ *

The small dots are everyday life. How you react to people and circumstances: putting the grocery cart back where it belongs, stopping when the light turns yellow instead of running it, not interrupting people when they are talking. And maybe changing the things you like to listen to, read, watch, who you hang out with, or the places you want to go.

The larger dashes are challenges in life. Maybe not enough money to pay the rent this month so you have to lean into faith that God will direct and make a way. Or it could be life has gotten really busy, you are feeling stretched, and you are having to lean into God’s peace to help you sort out, prioritize and eliminate what is not essential. Maybe you are wanting a spouse, family, new car, house, or job and God is making you sit in the waiting room because He has not released you to move forward.

Those dashes even include times when we have flat line seasons filled with suffering. You know, those times when it is hard to see more than a few inches in front of you and usually filled with loss and hardship. Death of a loved one, divorce, loss of job, or serious illness. These are the times when we seem to recognize God really showing up and even seeing ourselves grow in faith by leaps and bounds.

Yes, the dots and dashes of life. The training ground for the Holy Spirit. It is these areas in life where we learn to listen, be still, discover perseverance, and grow in relationship with the LORD. But, why does it seem as though the most growth occurs during times of struggle and hardship?

God would love for us to lean into him and grow without the hurt and pain. So, what keeps us from doing so? Maybe the problem is we become “too busy” living life when things are good. We don’t look for God or spend time in His Word. We forget to pray or thank him for all of the blessings we are enjoying. We become complacent and prideful thinking we have everything under control.  

But when God pulls away just a little, and allows us go our own way, we fall very short and things go wrong. It is then we begin to look around and realize we have forgotten our first love, the one who cares for us, and our need for him in all things. THEN…we look up and call out!

And being the good Father that he is, God steps in…

now we are back on the pathway of learning and growing in faith.

As we continue to walk with the LORD and follow God’s leading, our relationship begins to mature. We learn to be good students of a master teacher, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works within us (and does it quite well I might add) and over time we become people the Holy Spirit can use to draw others to Christ.

When we become aligned with God’s will, we become plugged into the Holy Spirit’s mighty power to turn our dots and dashes into a glorious testimony for God’s kingdom.

Yes, we are all enrolled in the Spirit’s training when we accept Jesus Christ as our savior. There is no doubt, the Holy Spirit is working! When we tap into His power there are NO LIMITS to where God can take us and who we can reach for His kingdom. Every dot and dash along with all the gifts and abilities we have been gifted and the Holy Spirit within us, we can truly do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).

So, during this Pentecost season, let us remember God sent His Spirit to empower us to do even greater things than He himself did while he was in human form on the earth (John 14:12).

Just imagine the possibilities because of our dots and dashes!

__ __ * ___ ___ ___ __ ** ** *** * ___ ** ___ ___ ___ ***_ *

Wisdom when you hear yourself say, “OH NO! I have Bible study tonight!”

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Have you ever attended a Bible study feeling unprepared? Have you skipped out because you were not able to get everything read? How about those Bible study groups where you just quit showing up because the workbook was never cracked open or a big life crisis reared its ugly head? Or maybe you had to miss one, so you used this as an excuse to miss the rest. “Sorry, I’m Busy!” (This is probably only the beginning to the ones I have used over the years!)

Whatever the case, let’s be honest, the enemy wants you to NOT participate! Did you hear me? He doesn’t even want you thinking about it nor remembering you were even a part of a Bible study. Why else would you have all these outs or excuses?

If you want to be very intentional about seeking the LORD, there will be roadblocks. AND, some good wisdom must be coming from the discussions in your Bible study group or the enemy would not try so hard to keep you from attending. God is there and He desires for you to be there too!

Relax-we all have excuses & outs. However, we must address the source. SO, when you feel behind or less of a participant STOP YOURSELF and claim these five truths over your situation:

  • God loves me PERIOD!
  • God sees my efforts when I just show up to class
  • My pace of learning and reading is my own
  • Every step I take in seeking the LORD is valuable
  • The LORD is always with me regardless of where I find myself in the progression of a Bible study

Then take ownership of you:

  • Keep showing up to class
  • Read at your pace
  • Ask God to help you stay committed & moving forward in His Word

Remember, those excuses and roadblocks are not from God.

If you are in a Bible study currently or beginning one, pray! Pray for focused, intentional time. Ask the LORD to clear your calendar for those meeting times (even if you didn’t finish the weekly work or readings). Pray for a hedge of protection over your entire participation in the study. If you can, call someone else in the study group and ask them to be your accountability partner. Prepare ahead of time for the obstacles because they will come!

Then-commit. Pray for the leaders of your Bible study. Make an action plan and get started. Remember, you can succeed, and you are never behind if you are showing up and making small steps every day by staying in His Word and building relationship with HIM!

Change it & Claim it-

“OH YES! I have Bible study tonight. I cannot wait for the wisdom God will reveal.”

Is TRUE GRIT in the spiritual growth equation?

What do you think of when you hear the words “True Grit”? Your mind might go directly to the movie or possibly a particular person. Regardless, I think we can all agree it is defined as passionate perseverance committed for the long haul and at all costs. True grit has its ups and downs, difficulties, celebrations, failures, and even stagnation, yet somehow success comes in the end.   

Take the human body. How physically evident can true grit be seen when someone changes their eating habits and begins an intensive workout plan. Over time the sweat, dedication, and effort become a reward. The body starts to reflect the hard work and success is seen.

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” Proverbs 4:25-26

Well, what about our spiritual growth? Does God require true grit? Can we have a close walk with the LORD without it?

As I have been studying the minor prophet books, I am seeing over and over that a walk with the LORD takes work and dedication. It is difficult at best to stay committed to the LORD. Being in God’s remnant goes beyond faith. It requires us to find ourselves in His plan and dig deep within to stay committed and steadfast when everyone around is doing the opposite. Let’s be honest, worldly ways are appealing and have been through human existence.   

Personally, I have found studying the Word of God requires sincere true grit. I haven’t always felt this way though.

It took a deep valley to make me evaluate my core and what made me tick! Yep-getting honest and asking myself, “Are you going to keep living for you or get serious about following the LORD’s road map?” It took some major humility, surrender, and many years of getting it wrong before I realized the importance of living life under the authority of God’s Word.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” Lamentations 3:22-24

SO, when I was finally ready, I realized I could not carry out my spiritual journey without truly knowing God’s Word. Now I don’t mean just reading, being exposed, and listening. I mean having true grit to find God in the pages. It took me placing value on this incredible gift-the Bible and realizing I needed help simply studying God’s Word on my own!

Bit by bit, I am learning. I am not by far a scholar!  As I gain knowledge, I am slowly realizing this fact: Scripture is supplying the breath in my spiritual walk and God doesn’t want me living without it.   

You and I are on a pathway of life my friends. No matter the distance we have come or still must go, our sanctification requires commitment, dedication, work, time, perseverance, encouragement, community, sweat, tears, a humble heart, and so much more. It all starts within…a word of faith in Christ’s saving grace and then…TRUE GRIT!

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

How committed are you to studying Scripture? Do you crave it more than the air you breathe? If you knew for a fact it was the only supply of oxygen for your spiritual life, would you learn how to tap into it more?

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Success begins with doing-and yes failing too. Don’t be discouraged my friend. Go ahead-take the next step on the pathway. Keep moving forward. Seek ways to stay motivated, keep learning, and continually growing in relationship with the LORD. And above all-REMEMBER, God loves you far beyond your wildest imagination. He even left His love story written in a book for you to know Him more.

Embrace His Word with TRUE GRIT!

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

WHY ONLINE BIBLE STUDY?

Our online Bible studies are created for women JUST LIKE YOU! Why? Because we know the struggle of staying motivated and actively engaged with God and His Word.

Refining provides you simple and practical ways to not only interact with the LORD and His written voice, but to also grow in relationship with Him. If you are ready to spiral deeper into God’s Word and discover creative elements to getting to know the LORD, then come give us a try!

We invite you to find community with women just like you. This is a safe & confidential place to thrive with a group of like-minded friends and the added plus is it does not matter where you live! You are invited to corporately study with us as we spend one hour a week in Scripture on Zoom sharing and learning together. Bonus feature-It is FREE! Even our snapshot sheets like the one above! No charge.

Ladies, you have many options when it comes to online Bible study and many choices are cost associated. Refining Ministry simply exists as a service to you. The online Bible studies are strictly here to assist you. Let us show you how to design your own Scripture plan and develop your skills with proven tips, tools, and methods we have found beneficial on many levels.

Our next study begins June 6th! Come give it a try. Email us at refiningjourney@gmail.com for the link, handout, and details.

FREE & FABULOUS: Bible Study Tips-Part 4

Hello & Happy Holiday weekend! Before we jump into the FREE & FABULOUS series, I feel it is necessary to take a moment to pause…

The sorrow, pain, disbelief, anger, fear, and heartbreak are overwhelming. Locally, the week began with two less people and now the week ends with the loss of over 20 lives on a state level. For me, I have very little words-the grief leaves me speechless. While studying Amos this week, I read “prayer is a powerful privilege” and that was made evident through the prayers of Amos. I will cling to the faith that our prayers for all involved and effected by these shooting incidents will be provided the greatest level of comfort, healing, and hope. Father God, hear our prayers.

It was through loss and trials for half a decade that brought me to the place where I am today. Although I never want anyone to experience the deep dark pit and pain, it produced an amazing treasure and drive. It developed a steadfast love for God’s Word like never before and sparked a spiritual maturity ministry, Refining. May the LORD be glorified in all things!

Thanks to technology-we have plethora Bible study aids at our fingertips! Some are simple, easy to find, and user friendly while others take a little more know how.

We have been taking a few minutes after our Monday night online Bible study classes and investigating one resource a week. This week I shared a complicated website I use for Greek/Hebrew word study. Once I saw their reactions, I knew Bible study tip #4 would NOT be this one. 😊    

So…drum roll please…Tip #4 has a fun name-Bible Hub! This study source has over 15 versions of the Bible. It has NIV, NLT, AMP, and ESV, most used ones by our online participants. It is also a multilingual resource!

Let’s dig in.

WHAT IS IT?  It is a great FREE website, or you can download the FREE app. They refer to themselves as an online Bible study suite because they have concordances, commentaries, encyclopedias, dictionaries, sermons, timelines, atlas, devotionals, etc. Bible Hub promotes its site as a quick reference to topical, Greek, and Hebrew study tools. The resource itself is elementary in its layout because everything offered is represented on the main page. Don’t be afraid of the acronyms-just hover over them and they reveal exactly what they are.

What captures me the most is their mission:

1) Increase the visibility and accessibility of the Scriptures online.
2) Provide free access to Bible study tools in many languages.
3) Promote the Gospel of Christ through the learning, study, and application of God’s word.

WHY I USE IT? This website gives me an easy-to-use online resource to ‘unfold’ the main verse I want to research more throughout my week. First, I select SUM to read the complete summary of the book. Next, I click on OUT and receive a complete outline of the book. How easy is that! This provides me an understanding of where this verse falls within the overall layout of the message on the Bible book.

Then, I compare versions of the passage on one page by selecting Parallel. It also provides context and cross references for the selected verse. Finally, there is the word study option. You will either see Hebrew or Greek as an option. Once I click on this, the entire verse breaks down into word parts and the original language, spelling, and meaning appears. (WHAT? All on one site!)

Of course, the website doesn’t stop there. There are sermons, concordances, atlas, commentaries, etc. available to help deepen your understanding.

I have grown to love this site because it aligns with my spiritual discipline of drilling down into a verse to discover meaning, cross references, original language, Biblical examples, attributes of God, and direct personal understanding. (Sidenote: I am invested in Scripture Notebooking) It is a wonderful supplement to my study Bible and is not complicated to utilize.

HOW TO USE IT?

TRY IT: https://biblehub.com/

  1. Go to the site. Click on your preferred translation. Then type in Zechariah 1:3 in the search box. Hit enter.
  2. Now click on the word Parallel. You will see different versions, context (verse before and after), cross references, a commentary, then the verse broken into the original language/meaning (Hebrew).

What do you think? Can you believe it is all in one place? Don’t forget to try the SUM and OUT features. Remember the Bible is NOT in chronological order, so the TIM feature will give you a timeline so you can quickly see where the Bible book falls accordingly.

No special training needed for this my friends. All you need is a little time to click and discover. There is much more to investigate but I am happy to find this website mainly because of the word study it provides.

Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you intentionally drill down into a highlighted verse each week. I would encourage you to approach God’s Word daily by expecting a beautiful revelation of hope, a loving guidance to life, and a new depth of understanding of GOD, the one who loves you the most.

Hug those in your life…find joy in every moment…treasure your relationship with the LORD!

Happy Bible Study journey!!   Until we meet again.

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