Encouragement, God’s plan

Are we Sincere?

It’s amazing how compassionate Paul was. He was always calling his recipients beloved which means bonds of holy love and separated by God. He was always praying for them making requests and thanking God for them. He was always encouraging, correcting and instructing them. And it was no different for the church at Philippi.

8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:8)

He greatly longs for them with inward affection and with tender mercy of Jesus and God is his witness.

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (Philippians 1:9)

He lets them know he is praying for them and then tells them what he is praying for on their behalf. He prays that there love may overflow with more and more knowledge and all discernment. The word knowledge used here in Greek is epignosis meaning the act of coming to full knowledge, a true knowledge from God.

To desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9b)

But why?

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; (Philippians 1:10)

  • So you may approve things that are excellent

What does it mean to approve things that are excellent?

The Greek word is diaphanes meaning to bear through, be better, to surpass.

Once we abound in true knowledge and all discernment, we are able to bear through, be better and to surpass.

But again why?

  • In order to be sincere and blameless till the day of Christ

To be sincere means to be judged by sunlight, tested as genuine and without wax.

It was normal for a plate or cup to crack when the potter cured them in the oven. Instead of tossing them and starting over some would fill the cracks with wax and then paint the dish to hide the blemish. The only way to expose the imperfection was to hold it up to the light.

Are we sincere?

If we held ourselves to the Light, to The Son, would we be without wax?

After all, that is the only One we should compare ourselves too!

Let’s examine ourselves and ask the Father to show us how we look when held to The Light. Not to make us feel guilty or shameful but to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and produce those changes that make us insincere.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!

Encouragement, God’s plan

WHAT IF MY SPOUSE DOES NOT BELIEVE?

I would like to offer some encouragement to anybody that has a spouse that doesn’t believe in God. If there is one thing I could say to you it would be this:

Don’t start thinking it’s hopeless!

My husband did not believe there was a God. We had so many discussions (always brought on by me) after I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. He always had an excuse not to believe. He would say things like..

  • There are to many bad things happening in the world for there to be a God.
  • Good things still happen to unbelievers.
  • It’s an organized cult.
  • I would not want to serve a God who sends people to hell.
  • If God exists, why does He not show Himself?

See, he didn’t understand but neither did I until I was a Christian. And I’ll be honest, I got so frustrated at him at times. Sometimes, I felt like it was hopeless to try. I prayed and prayed and even started doubting the God I had put my faith in. I prayed hard and nothing happened. None of the approaches or schemes I tried worked. I bought him church clothes, played Christian music around him, posted bible verses on sticky notes all over the house and still nothing. I talked with my pastor and he came to visit us twice. The pastor gave him a couple books to read but that didn’t help either. So I stopped trying so hard. I prayed and stayed faithful to God. I lived out my faith without frustration and worry. Ever now and then, I would ask if he wanted to come with me to church on Sunday with a smile on my face. He would say no and I just told him I would be back.

But then it happened.

I went to the sanctuary for service after Sunday school and sat down. I few minutes later he walked in and sat beside me. I didn’t ask any questions. I just thanked God because He is always faithful.

And guess what! He is now the pastor of a church. He serves God faithfully and preaches his Word. Our God is working things out even when we don’t see them. Please, never give up hope. God’s desire is that all men be saved.

My husband is always telling people that he saw Jesus in me and wanted what I had. He said it wasn’t the books he read or anything I said. It was the glow, happiness, and joy I had. He saw a change in me. I was a new creature that visibly showed.

Don’t give up my friend, God is always working!

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!

Studying the Bible

Best Supplies for Inductive Bible Study!

BDA27FED-7D67-4403-B76C-5C3EB960C502Not only do I absolutely love inductive Bible study but I also love the thrill of finding great supplies. I’m a true sucker for all stationery products. I get that fluttery feeling every time I see pens, pencils, notebooks, journals, washi tape, post-it pads, tabs, and everything in between. I know it’s weird. We will call it my weird obsession.

Anyways, there are so many office and stationery products out there that it’s a real task finding what works for you. I wanted to make a few suggestions based on what I use and what others I know use. You shouldn’t have to be stressed trying to find good products especially if you are new to inductive Bible study and trying to learn that.

These are a few I’ve found that work well with the specific task of inductive Bible study.

In inductive Bible study you use highlighters and pens and/or pencils to mark certain words from scripture using mainly symbols. I need you to know that you do NOT have to have these supplies to do inductive Bible study. You can study inductively without marking anything. Marking just helps you slow down and see words that are important to identify in scripture.

Up first is pens I use on a regular basis. They are called triplus fineliner by Staedtler which are my favorite. They don’t bleed through the pages as easy as most other pens I’ve tried. This largely depends on the thickness of your Bible pages. My pages are pretty thin. I found these on Amazon. Now, Micron pens are awesome but a little more expensive.

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Next up is some colored pencils. Just basic and inexpensive colored pencils(below). They definitely don’t bleed through and are great for shading. However, they are not as bright as pens but still do the job.01BF4DA3-BFF3-49BF-ADB0-4503FCD65937You also need highlighters. You could use the colored pencils and not use highlighters but again I like the brightness of pens and highlighters. I like the colors bold and popping. Remember, I have a weird obsession. So it’s likely that you aren’t as concerned as I am and that’s perfectly fine. I use two types of highlighters. These are gel highlighters made for Bibles (below). I found them on Amazon.

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The sometimes use the standard retractable highlighter (below). I got them cheap at Wal-mart. But be aware that they do bleed through if you press or move slow.

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You will be writing down what you learn as you studying through a book of the Bible. I often write down everything on regular notebook paper and then transfer the information to large sticky notes in a neater and more organized way (I’ll talk more about this during the study). By doing this I can put the sticky notes in my Bible and therefore carry my insights with me. Any will do but I have grown fond of these I discovered on Amazon a few months ago (below). They have them in lighter colors too.

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So we have covered pens, colored pencils, highlighters, and paper. Again, I need you to know that you do NOT have to have these supplies to do inductive Bible study. You can study the same way without marking anything. But when you use this method of marking it helps you to retain the info and makes words jump out at you like never before. It helps to slow you down while reading and notice important words in scripture. I see symbols on words that I haven’t even marked yet. It somehow helps your brain to start looking for these words. So, maybe you don’t like the thought of marking and that’s fine just try the inductive process without it. Who knows, you might decide to try it later after you learn the  “How to Study Inductively “ method.

Now the last thing I would like to mention is a dictionary and concordance. I have the “Strong’s Concise Concordance And Vine’s Concise Dictionary Of The Bible: Two Bible Reference Classics In One Handy Volume” that I purchased from Amazon. But honestly, I mostly use the dictionary unless I’m studying a particular subject such as forgiveness, prayer, or sanctification and not a book of the Bible. I also have just the “Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible” by itself. I found it on eBay for around $4.00. A dictionary is an invaluable tool. 

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I hope this article is helpful. I haven’t set a date yet but we will start an inductive Bible study right here on my site.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus, share it!