Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

How I study the Bible.

The headline was originally going to be ‘How to study the Bible’, but I know everyone has a different method of studying God’s inspired written Word.

Reading and studying the Bible is not the same. When my sisters and I were but babies, Mom would read and tell us stories from the Bible and she encouraged us to pray. I fell in love with reading at a young age because of my mother’s amazing storytelling ability. While attending primary school in the 4th standard or so, I had a teacher who’ll let us go to the library and take books back to class to read. I would always look for the same 3: Rainbow World (I honestly can’t remember the author’s name because it was a variety of stories for children, but I loved that book! I do remember the cover was pink. I figure that the book is out of print now), The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and My Book of Bible Stories.

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It’ll take me a few more years before I start reading and then studying the Bible. I’ll open the Bible, read where I left off the day before and call it a day. Over time, I came to realize that reading the Bible this way won’t help me. I needed to study God’s Word as if I was hungry and meditate on it as if thirsty so I came up with a new plan.

^ Before I read, I say Revelation 3:20

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^ I then pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I ask God to open not only my mind and eyes but also my heart to His Word as I don’t want to attempt to interpret the Bible for this is how misunderstandings are born.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:20-21

^ I then open the Bible and revise what I read previously before beginning a new chapter. At the moment, I am reading/studying Exodus and 1 Corinthians. 

^ I choose the verse of the day (VOTD) to meditate upon. Tammy and I email our VOTD to each other every day. 

^ I then pray and thank God for His Word and for showing me how I can apply it in my life.

Throughout the day, I study the Sabbath School lesson for the day and read the daily devotion (morning and evening) on my phone app. I have a physical daily devotional as well which allows me to read the Bible in different sections and it always amazes me how stories fit together from the Old and New Testament. I read this devotional when the sun sets on evenings.

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In one of my opening posts last week Monday, I talked about my plans for covering the Bible in depth. I introduced the Bible and showed how I study the Word. Next Sabbath, we’ll probably talk about resources and meditation before diving into Genesis. 

How do you study the Bible? If a beginner is reading this post, he/she might get an idea of how best they can study the Holy Word.

***Pictures via Google Search and Pinterest and La Petit Muse

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Posted in Bible Trivia/Study, Bible's Most Asked Questions

The Bible: an introduction

People question me about the Bible. They want to know how to study it, which book to start reading from, why it is important to keep the Sabbath etc. I’ve decided to start a new segment under Bible Study/Trivia ‘Most Asked Bible Questions’ which I’ll likely schedule for future Sabbaths. 

Today, I want to introduce the Bible. So what is the Bible?

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The Bible is the inspired written Word of God and a guide for life. It is filled with warnings, encouragement, and promises aplenty. It is the world’s bestselling book of all time and also the most widely distributed book. It has been translated into over 2000 languages and it is the only book in which God reveals Himself personally. It is more than a storybook. It tells us how to live in according to God’s Word and it also tells us the consequences we’ll pay if we sin. 

The Bible has 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament; 27 in the New. 

The Old Testament begins with the Torah or the books of Moses (Genesis to Deuteronomy), following the historical (Judges to Nehemiah), poetic/wisdom (Job and the Song of Solomon) and the prophetic (Isaiah to Malachi). The New Testament opens with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), Acts, the Pauline Epistles (Romans through Hebrews), the Epistles (James to 3 John) and Revelation. 

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There are stories which tell of love, hope, faith, betrayal, adventures, sacrifice, and miracles. We learn of the wisest King who ever lived (Solomon) and his greatest weakness (women). We learn about courage when David goes up against the giant Goliath. We learn about faith in God through Abraham. We learn about self-sacrificial love when Jesus Christ gave his life for us. 

Inspired by the Holy Spirit and authored by God, the Holy Bible has withstood the test of time. It enriches lives as we continue to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

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Images via Pinterest

Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Do we really know Jesus?

Today’s reminder:

Some of us are sincere, but we’re sometimes misdirected in our pursuit of walking like Christ. Knowing Jesus is not about attending church on the weekend, singing praises, and paying tithes only to forsake the Word during the week. Knowing Jesus is not about keeping the good news to ourselves. It’s also not about memorizing the Bible and quoting scriptures to dazzle our peers. 

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The apostle John explains how we can tell if we really know Jesus:

1 John 2:3-6King James Version (KJV)

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

We must set our hearts on REALLY knowing Jesus. We cannot select from the Word of God what appeals to us and reject the rest. Make sure to spend time reading and studying the Word on a daily, meditate on scriptures, and pray. Walk with Jesus today as if He was your best friend. 

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Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Jesus is the Vine and God is the Husbandman.

The Holy Spirit has guided me to John 15 for today’s message and for this I am thankful. 

We are God’s garden and therefore, He is a farmer, for He wants to produce purposeful fruits within us; fruits He can use for His purpose. But what kind of fruits is God looking for and how can we know that He is pleased with our fruit? John 15:1-17 gives us the answers.

The True Vine

I love everything about Jesus and one such thing was His wonderful usage of metaphors. In John 15:1 He tells His disciples that He is the true vine. He is the vine from which the fruits must be expected. He is the example of the type of fruit that we should produce to please God. As you may know, the vine bears fruits in clusters, therefore, we can say that Jesus is the vine and we’re the clustered fruits. Christ was referring to the spiritual oneness of Himself and His people and through Him, we’re sustained.

The Farmer 

A vineyard must have a husbandman. When Jesus said that His Father is the Husbandman, He is saying that without the Father, He is nothing for the vine is dependant on the husbandman. This is where Israel comes in. Israel was God’s chosen nation and though they were grafted with the vine, they were not producing good fruit. Although God destroyed and scattered the nation around 70 AD, not every branch was fruitless in Israel. God pruned these branches, thus producing more good fruit. Isn’t He a wonderful Husbandman? We can safely say that Israel’s place as the people of God is now taken by the True Vine (Christ) and true branches (His followers).

The Branches

Jesus became the True Vine so that through Him we might become true branches. In v. 15:2, Jesus said that the Husbandman cuts off the branches on the vine that don’t produce good fruit, but He tends to the good fruit, pruning them so they can yield forth yet more good fruit. God is very watchful and protective of His fruits. In order for our branches to keep growing, we must meditate on His word and abide in Jesus Christ, otherwise, our branches wither and we would be cast out (15:6).

Fruit bearing

15:4 reminds us that the branch cannot bear fruits of itself if they’re not of the vine. We must honor God otherwise the unfruitful would be taken away. Without the True Vine, the branches cannot grow at all. We are His husbandry and we must now bear fruit for Him. Jesus stresses on producing good fruit in v. 5.

Verses 7-10 shows the relation between love and obedience: we are to abide in Jesus, meditate on the Word and keep the commandments. Therefore, when we pray, our prayers would be answered. Delighting in God’s Law is a beautiful thing and those who obey, Jesus calls them friends (v. 14). Not in a BFF or equal kind of way, but one can feel the love emanating from Jesus when He refers to whom He was addressing (His disciples) as friends. And Jesus is all about love. Going back to v. 13 Jesus was foretelling His imminent crucifixion when He said, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Thank you, Jesus! ❤

To conclude, when we live in union with God and obey Jesus’s final command in v. 17 (Love one another), we show that we love and obey Jesus. We are a garden and we need spiritual nurturing every day to grow hence the reason why we have the Holy Spirit to guide us as we continue to be dependent on our Father. 

Cross References

Ezekiel 19:10: ‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard, Planted by the waters; It was fruitful and full of branches Because of abundant waters.

Matthew 15:13: But Jesus replied, “Every plant that My Heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by its roots.

John 15:2: He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.

1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:5-8

Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Firsts in the Bible

While reading/studying/discussing the Bible, I love jotting down notes. The Bible is filled with wonderful treasures and I love discovering them one by one. A few firsts I’ve discovered are:

* The first city mentioned in the Bible was Enoch which was founded by Cain and named after his son. (Genesis 4:17)

* Abel was the first shepherd. (Genesis 4:2)

* The first priest mentioned in the Bible was Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:18) He also received the first tithe.

* Cain committed the first murder when he killed his brother Abel, which also makes Abel the first person to die. (Genesis 4)

* The first marriage was between Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:21-24)

* The first twins recorded were Jacob and Esau. Their mother was Rebekah. (Genesis 25:24-26)

* Esau was the first man to have two wives (Genesis 26:34)

* Deborah was the first and only female judge. (Judges 4:4)

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* First left-hander? Ehud. (Judges 3:15)

* David wrote the first letter; it was addressed to Joab. (2 Samuel 11:14)

* Sarah baked the first cake. (Genesis 18:6)

* The first person to be tied up? Isaac. (Genesis 22:9)

* Noah was the first person recorded as getting drunk. (Genesis 9:21)

* The first surgery? Well, I like to think that the first surgery was performed when God put Adam to sleep and remove one of his ribs to create his equal half, woman. (Genesis 2:21-22)

* The first surrogate? When Sarah couldn’t bear children and she told her husband Abraham to lay with their Egyptian handmaid Hagar so Sarah can obtain children by her. (Genesis 16)

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* Green is the first color mentioned (Genesis 1:30).

* Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church. (Acts 7)

* The first measure of weight used was Shekel. (Genesis 23:15)

* Physicians are first mentioned in Genesis 50:2 when Joseph embalmed his father in Egypt.

* First to use a pulpit? Ezra (Nehemiah 8:4)

* Shishak was the first king of Egypt to be called by name instead of Pharoah; he was also the only king of Egypt to be called by name. (1 Kings 11:40)

Do you disagree with some of these firsts? Any that you’ll like to share? Feel free to comment down below. God bless.

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Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Bible Trivia!

* Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word, God.

* Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John and Jude contains only one chapter.

* Sarah is the only woman mentioned in the accounts of her death in the Old Testament.

* Adoption. Paul is the only New Testament author to use this word.

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* David was on Mount Zion when he proclaimed that God is King.

* Psalms 14 and 53 are identical.

* Revelation is the only book that begins with a blessing on all who read, hear and keep the words written in the book.

Holy Ghost-filled people do!

Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

The significance of “I Am”

Jesus once had a heated discussion with the Jews of His time because of His usage of “I am”. The Jews were upset and they took up stones to stone Him for making Himself equal with God. They thought He was blaspheming. 

If you go back to Exodus 3:13-14, when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and told him to go to Egypt to free His people, Moses asked God what His name was, God, replied, “I AM THAT I AM.” 

“Before Abraham was, I am.” simply lets us know that Abraham was brought into being, but Jesus existed eternally.

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Jesus used “I Am” in seven declarations of Himself:

1. I am the bread of life John 6:35. Jesus is our spiritual sustenance and He supports and maintains the life that He gives. 

2. I am the light of the world John 8:12. Through Him, we gain spiritual understanding and His judgments are true because of His relationship with the Father.

3. I am the door John 10:9. And because He is, we have unlimited access to His Kingdom.

4. I am the good Shepherd John 10:11. He paid our entrance fee with His life.

5. I am the resurrection and the life John 11:25. Our eternal life is guaranteed; Christ is able of Himself to raise men from death to life.

6. I am the way, the truth, and the life John 14:6. He is the ONLY MEANS through which men can approach the Father.

7. I am the true vine John 15:1. And we are the branches of this Vine. I want to explore more of this metaphor later on.

Perhaps if the Jews of Jesus’s days had ears to hear (His Word) and eyes to see (His miracles/signs), then they wouldn’t have missed the significance of “I AM”.

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57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 8:57-58

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