Spiritual Disciplines - Study God's Word

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Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  Jer 17:7-8a
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. Jer 17:7-8a | Source

Draw Near to God

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8

If we are to draw near to God doesn't it just make sense that we need to spend time with him? Don't we need to get to know Him first? So, how do we get to know God? That's a BIG thought is it not? Can anyone truly know God?

God is far beyond our comprehension yet He has preserved His word down through the ages (God's Love letter) so that we could do just that .. get to know Him as we study His very thoughts.

"Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." Joshua 1:8

Spiritual Disciplines give feet to our commitment to growing in Christ. As we set aside a chunk of our time to practice these spiritual disciplines we will experience victory over sin while walking in His truth and basking in the blessing of God in our lives.

Below are four areas of Spiritual Disciplines. These disciplines are the topics I'll be exploring and laying before you.

  • Study God's Word
  • Discipline the Mind
  • Prayer
  • Scripture Memory

This is part one of a four part series. The first discipline we will consider is the practice of studying the Word of God.

If we are to be personal representatives of the Lord Jesus we must be prepared. Draw near to God by studying His word and applying spiritual disciplines as tools of our trade if you will.

"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," 1 Peter 3:15

Let's begin by taking a walk through our hearts together. Before we begin, unlock the door to your hearts and ask God to help you see what He wants you to see? Be sure to grab a bright flashlight; You will need it illuminate the dark corners of your heart and to reveal the areas that need attention in your walk with Christ. Ready? Set? Let's go!

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Source
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ESV Student Study Bible
ESV Student Study Bible

ESV - Includes notes, topics. outlines and Introductions to each book of the Bible. Includes short Bible character profiles (just a few paragraphs each) gives a thumbnail sketch of important characters of the Bible. There are 'Did You Know" facts that are listed throughout the Bible. Check out Amazon to learn mores.

 

Why Study the Bible?

Study the Bible .. Really? You mean it's like homework? Why can't I just pick up the Bible when I have time to read and learn? The word study makes it seem like hard work. Why should I study God's word?

First, Remember that God loves you and He gave His son to reconcile you to Himself. What more could He give. With a grateful heart open the word and learn of the one who loves you most. As we pursue time with Him we uncover the keys to abundant life and joy.

The most important reasons I can give you are:

1. God tells us to Study His Word - the child of God who has given their lives to Him fully and unequivocally follows and obeys His teachings found in His precious words.

"Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I (Jesus) have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." John 6:63

2. To Uncover Treasures - There are treasures to be unearthed; rare and precious promises are contained in the Living Word of God.

"My son (child), if you accept my words (Bible) and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:5

3. His Word is LIFE - It equips us to live as over-comers in a world gone awry. It is filled with His promises, instruction and direction for your life ...

"for they (God's words) are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." Proverbs 4:22

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

4. To Be Strong In The Lord - to face trials with grace. It equips the child of God to grow strong in God's truth and love.

  • "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word." Psalm 119:28
  • "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
  • "The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall i fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

5. To Be Changed - This life is temporary, we are being fit for Heaven (changed) through many trials, miracles, testings and experiences. God works in our lives as a Potter with Clay as he continually molds us to be conformed to the image of Christ.

"O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." Isa. 64:8

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

6. His Word Is Life - The words in the Bible are God breathed. We must never treat God's word casually as in reading any other book.

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I (Jesus) have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." John 6:63

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," II Timothy 3:16

7. To Be Prepared - It is His message to you. As you study His word you will have power to defeat the enemy and to live as Jesus called you to live.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2Timothy 2:15

"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," i Peter 3:15

8. To Learn Obedience - Jesus tells us that if we love Him we will (not if we feel like it) obey him. After He left this earth for Heaven's glory he told his disciples that he was leaving them the Holy Spirit to teach them.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." John 14:15-17

9. To Grow in Love for His Word - It may seem like hard work at first. That is why I suggest you begin by setting aside a small chunk of time to study. As you faithfully keep your appointment with God, in time you will wonder how you ever lived without it. His word will draw you in and you will revel in His love and the richness of His truth.

“How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Psalm 119:103

"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." Psalm 119:97

Source

Bible Tools

The MacArthur Bible Commentary
The MacArthur Bible Commentary

"The commentary is excellent as I expected from this excellent theologian. It has been very helpful understanding many interesting passages in the Bible. It could use Bible book info on every page so one knows where one is at any time."

 

Tools for Bible Study

For those who are new at digging into God's word I'd like to suggest two small ways to uncover those pearls of wisdom hiding in its sacred pages.

  1. Cross Reference - I use a good (Strong's) Concordance. A concordance will list scriptures that are alike. As you compare scripture to scripture it opens up a deeper and broader understanding. I am currently studying the book of James. Concordances help us to understand the meaning of terms and the context in which those words are used. I have discovered an awesome Bible Study Website which includes a Strong's Concordance. While you are on this site note all of the Bible Study tools available.
  2. Read and Ask: Read one verse at a time and ask yourself:
  • What Does it say?
  • What Does it Mean?
  • What Does it Mean to Me?

This method will cause you pause. A moment to really chew on the verse and consider what it is saying ... What it means ... and what it means to you personally.

God's Love Letter

The video I have featured is very POWERFUL. The first time I watched it tears rolled down my cheeks. There is something about this man's tender and loving voice that created a hungering for God inside. It hit me in the heart as God's love washed over me. I hope you will take the time to sit back and listen to God's Love Letter to you.

Source

Discipline Your Time

If situations and people have taken over your life ... I encourage you to reign in the controls. Carve out time for God. Could you commit just 15 minutes a day to read and study God's word? Take just one small step at a time. Consistency will lead to a greater intimacy with God.

If discipline is not your strong suit, know that you are not along. None of us is perfect, we all fail and mess up. The important thing to remember is when we fail to discipline our lives, when chaos begins to take over don't give up or go to the place of defeat or failure ... it is counter productive and a waste of time, and oh it makes your enemy happy. No, move on and ask God to help you. Remember these words from Jesus:

"I (Jesus) am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." Psalm 15:5 Take a moment to dwell on this truth .. have you ever in your life considered that we can do nothing apart from Christ? I don't know about you but for me this truth changes the way I think.

Now dear distracted one, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

Beware of Legalism

The Pharisees of Jesus Days knew the scriptures well but those precious words never reached their hearts. Oh they did good works before men and they were the spiritual leaders of their day but their hearts were far from God.

Beware of legalism "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." James 1:22-24

There is a huge difference between knowing something in your head and being changed by it in your heart.

Jesus had this to say about the Pharisees: "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Matthew 15:7,8

Discipline the Mind

In Part two on Spiritual Disciplines we will discuss the need to discipline our minds. The mind is the battlefield and we are in a war. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

I am in process of completing part two on Spiritual Disciplines. Check back soon to get linked to Part Two.

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Comments 16 comments

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Good Day Blossom, Our lives are full of demands and interruptions. we all need encouragement that sends us back to God ... because He is our strength. Thanks for stopping by for a read. I like what you said here .. Discipline to ensure our 'God-time' is not eroded. Thanks!

God Bless YOU!

Mekenzie


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi always, I am so glad that this hub blessed you today. Isn't it amazing how God, in His tender care and love for us, leads us to what our heart needs? Thanks for stopping by and God bless you dear lady,

Mekenzie


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Kathy, Perhaps each distraction really is a test of obedience to His word. It makes sense and the only way we can overcome a scattered life is by disciplining ourselves and our time.

I think it is harder for the creative soul who moves as he/she is inspired. But if the conviction is there and discipline is in place a great reward awaits from the time set aside for God. Inspiration and love for the word will grow with faithfulness. Our hearts find rest in Him.

Thanks for sharing your insight my friend. Your encouragement always refreshes me.

Hugs and Blessings!

Mekenzie


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

A useful reminder that Christians need to discipline themselves to ensure that our 'God-time' is not eroded.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I needed this today. Thank you. The video was beautiful...


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 3 years ago

Mekenzie ~

Beautifully put, from a woman with wisdom and wonderfully written. I love the way you have broken down the steps of learning and seeking His word. These are excellent reminders for all of us and at the same time purposeful guidance for the new believer or one seeking information. We can not be reminded enough to discipline our spiritual walk. To make time for our Lord is a priority and yet we become so easily distracted by life events. Perhaps each event is a test of obedience to His word. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." Thank you for this beautiful hub. Eagerly awaiting the next of the series ~ God Bless and keep you.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi there brother teacherjoe, Good morning to you and it's a good evening for me. :) Is it Sunday there?

I can just picture you sitting on the ground with God's word on your lap seeking Him with all of your heart. He comes to you and fills you with Himself which you have found to be more than enough.

Thank you for stopping by for a read and to leave words of encouragement.

I appreciate YOU and your love for God just shines and inspires!

God Bless you!

Mekenzie


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi teaches, so you felt as I did by the video, deeply moved to the inner being of your spirit. I just listened to it again and let the words of love wash over me. I'm so glad you watched it as it is such a blessing.

This series was also a result of my preparation for teaching single women. I had so much material and only shared a whisper of it with the ladies. I was richly blessed by the time I spent preparing this.

Thank you for your sweet encouragement .. I value your opinion as you are an articulate and engaging writer. Enjoy your evening my friend,

God Bless and Keep you,

Mekenzie


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

lambservant, it is sad that many Christians are not practicing Spiritual Disciplines. Many do not even know where to begin once they join God's family and become His child. My desire for this series is to give direction to those who are looking to grow in their faith and to those who believe they need to incorporate disciplines but feel like failures.

Most all of us go through periods where chaos takes over and we loose our focus. When that happens we must not let it get us down but we need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.

Thanks for the visit and for leaving your thoughts. I appreciate it and you.

God Bless YOU!

Mekenzie


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Mekenzie, after viewing the video, I understand the reason you posted it: it touches you to the very inner being of your spirit. How beautiful! God bless you for your expressing to others the truth of God's ways and His love for them. Voted up +++ and shared.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 3 years ago

Good morning Makenzie.

This so wonderfully and beautifully said.

I can't imagine my day without first reading Gods love letter to me.

God bless you.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

It is sad how many Christians do not practice the disciplines. They are a gift, a necessity, and a command. How do we know our God if we neglect these things? How do we know hope in tough times? How can our faith grow? Thanks for a great hub.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes, I have heard that same story and I'm thinking it was about D.L. Moody. There is a man who has learned to trust in Jesus and wait upon the Lord to renew his strength.

I liked how you said that the word is food and the fuel we need to face every problem. It is true and when we hide it in our hearts through scripture memory it is accessible to be pulled up at a moment's notice.

Thank you for stopping by for a read and your thoughts. I'm working on part two and it will be up soon.

God Bless YOU!

Mekenzie


North Wind profile image

North Wind 3 years ago from The World (for now)

Hi Mekenzie,

I once heard that a certain man of God, when he knew that he would have a long day ahead of him, would wake up two hours earlier than he normally would so that he would spend half of his hours of the day studying the word of God and praying and the other half going about his business in the Spirit. This struck me. The word is the food and the fuel that we need to face every problem and every solution.

We cannot take it for granted and we need to go back to it time after time after time.

Bible study is something we all should do each and every day. I also use a concordance ( I have a Cruden's) and I have found that a Bible Atlas is very helpful as well.

I look forward to reading part two! Until then, God bless you.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Kristeen, Thank you for taking time to read my hub and leave a very reflective comment. I am glad you watched the video and found it powerful.

When you speak of being connected to God I immediately thought of Psalms 15 where Jesus is described as the vine and we are the branches. If we are not connected to the vine we shrivel up and die because without Him we can do nothing.

I smiled at your words here: His word is food for our souls. It truly does feed us spiritually and opens our eyes to truth and to sin.

I'm going to hop over to your hubs now to see your writings.

God Bless and Keep you close,

Mekenzie


Kristeen profile image

Kristeen 3 years ago from Michigan

Mekenize, This is a very inspiring and well written hub. The video was very powerful also and I truly enjoyed it. When we are connected to God through His word the Holy Spirit ignites faith in our hearts. When we stay in the word by daily study our faith remains alive and grows stronger. His Word is food for our souls. Just like our bodies need physical food to stay strong our souls also need to be fed daily to remain strong. When we don't feed our souls, we gradually wander away from God. Thank you for sharing this. I hope that many who read will be led to the Word and be made alive in Christ. Stay blessed!

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