Category: Scripture

3 Great Tips for Your Bible Study & Quiet Time Routine

Do you read & study the word of God consistently? Do you have a regular quiet time where you dedicate a portion of your day to spending time with God?
Do you have difficulties studying the Bible, because you just don’t know what to read and where in the Bible you can begin?

There are 3 major things you need to do in order to have an effective quiet time devotion with God. Here are the following things that you need to do:

 

1. TIME & PLACE
Select a good time and a good place in which you can have your quiet time devotions. It’s important to select a place & time where there’s no interruptions; no distractions and no pressure for you to end your devotion time prematurely.
The idea is to devote all your attention and focus on enjoying your fellowship with God without any disturbances.
Even Jesus would often spend time away from people and from all kinds of distractions in order to be alone with the Father.

2. PRAYER & PRAISE
The second thing to do in your devotion time is spend a portion of your quiet time in prayer.
It’s an opportunity for you to express your issues; your needs; your love and even your worship of God. It’s also a time not only to pray for yourself – but it’s also an opportunity for you to pray and intercede for others as well.
John 17 is a great example where Christ not only spent time praying for Himself but He also interceded for others as well.

3. READ & STUDY THE BIBLE
The third thing is to read and study the word of God. In this portion of your quiet time there’s different ways that you can study the Bible.
You can study your Bible in the following ways:
a) You could use a Bible Reading Plan. A reading plan gives you books, chapters or passages of scripture that you can read on a daily basis. There’s many Bible plans that exist where you can either read the Bible chronologically or in whatever method in which that plan has been designed.
b) You could study the Bible according to Topic. For example – perhaps you can study a topic like Faith then Idolatry, then Fear etc. There are certain books such as the Thompson Chain Reference Bible that are very good when it comes to studying the scriptures or Bible verses based on a particular topic.
c) Another method of studying your Bible is by doing a Character Study. So perhaps you can study the life & character of Abraham or David or one of the 12 Apostles. A Bible such as the Life Application Bible is excellent for such type of studies.

There are many different ways in which you can be methodical and intentional when it comes to spending you quiet time with God.
Remember that your most fruitful time of your day is when you spend it with God.

 

 

 

What is Truth?

What is truth? In life you can have people who have different perceptions about many issues and you find that people can create their own versions of what they believe is truth.

For example – you might have a camp of people who believe that there is nothing wrong with abortion and they firmly believe that it’s okay to have an abortion.
Then you will have another camp that opposes abortion and this camp believes that abortion is wrong.
Who is right and who is telling the truth in this case?

Another example is this: You have people who believe that there is only ONE God. However, another group believes that there are MANY gods. But yet still, a third group will tell you that there are NO gods that exist.
Who is right and who is telling the truth in this case?

Are people creating their own “truths” or is there a REAL TRUTH that exists for every situation and circumstance?

 

What TRUTH is NOT
First let’s look at what truth is NOT.
1. Truth is NOT what you want it to be
2. Truth is NOT what the majority says is “true”.
3. Truth is NOT what you feel it should be
4. Truth is NOT what you believe it should be

A lie will always remain a lie. The truth will always remain the truth irrespective of our feelings or perceptions.

 

What is TRUTH?
Truth is telling it like it is. Truth is what corresponds to reality. Truth is whatever is based on the word of God. Most importantly – truth is a Person. Truth is Jesus Christ.
Jesus said that He is THE TRUTH (John 14:6).
Therefore to know the truth – we must have a personal relationship with the Truth Himself – Jesus Christ.
Our understanding of the truth in relation to various life issues and circumstances comes from our relationship with Christ and also with our understanding and application of the word of God.
As we apply the Scriptures in our life we not only have a knowledge of truth but we are also living according to the truth through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 NKJV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

Does God Help Those Who Help Themselves?

 

“God helps those who help themselves!”

You may have heard this proverb before or perhaps you may have quoted this proverb yourself.
However is this proverb Biblical? Is this proverb true? Does God help those who help themselves or is this proverb a lie?

Despite being quoted often – this particular proverb does not appear anywhere in the Bible and neither does it accurately reflect the truth of God’s word. The proverb is misleading.

According to thefreedictionary.com the proverb “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” means the following: You cannot solely depend on divine help, but must work yourself to get what you want.

 

In contrast the Bible actually instructs us to rely FULLY / SOLELY on the Lord and NOT on ourselves or in our own abilities. We therefore MUST SOLELY DEPEND ON GOD – ONLY.

The Bible also teaches that God is the helper of the helpless; the distressed; the weak; the lowly; the hurt. The life of Jesus and His attitude towards people reflected this. Furthermore the healings Jesus performed on people reflected that God is a helper of the helpless.

In Luke 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them”.

All of the people that Jesus helped were helpless to help themselves. They could not heal themselves & neither did Jesus help them on the basis of their own righteousness or works. They needed to solely rely on God in faith.

Isaiah 25:4 says “For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall”

Below are Bible scriptures which reflect the several ways in which the proverb “God helps those who help themselves” contradicts the Scriptures:

 

  1. It Contradicts The Attitude We Should Have Towards God

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV – Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.”
Proverbs 28:26 NKJV – He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

We cannot trust in ourselves neither can we trust in man. The reason being that man is sinful and is capable of making mistakes, breaking promises & is therefore not perfect. Only God is perfect; only God is totally faithful; only God keeps His promises; only God is trustworthy.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Nature & Love Towards Us

Romans 5:8 NKJV – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 NKJV – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19 NKJV – We love Him because He first loved us.

Whilst we were sinners God loved us first before we knew Him. God sought us first before we even knew that we needed God in our lives. God drew us to Himself before we did. Therefore God ALWAYS takes the FIRST initiative to reconcile and bless us.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Grace For Our Salvation

Ephesians 2:8 NKJV – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Titus 3:5-7 NKJV – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When a person becomes a Christian, that Christian is saved not because of his own merit or personal righteousness, but he is saved because of the work & righteousness of Jesus Christ. A Christian cannot earn his salvation and therefore cannot help himself if God is not part of the plan.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s View of Man’s Sinful Nature & Depravity

John 15:5-6 NKJV – I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV – But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Without Jesus we can do nothing. Therefore we cannot help ourselves. Indeed there are many things that unbelievers do and achieve without Christ in their lives, but ultimately all their earthly work will amount to nothing on judgment day before the Lord.

 

  1. God Must Get All The Credit & Glory

James 1:16-17 NKJV – Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God must get the glory for every good thing that happens in our lives. Even the unbeliever though he might not be religious or believe in God – the unbeliever still benefits from the things & resources that God has created. The planet and everything we need from the earth belong to God. (Psalms 24:1 NKJV – The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein).
Whether Christian or not, we all cannot survive without the grace and earthly provision of God and for that alone we should give thanks to God.
Therefore there is no situation where a person is totally independent of God or God’s provisions so that an individual can take glory in his own works or ability.

 

 

Does This Mean That We Should Be Inactive & Not Apply Works to Our Faith?

For example, if you need a job and you’ve prayed to God about it, does it mean you shouldn’t practically go out looking and applying for a job?
Of course not. A person should not be lazy and inactive. James 2:17 says “Faith without works is dead”. But why is FAITH dead? It is dead because FAITH is not grounded in God alone. Therefore – FIRST you put your faith & trust in God to supply your needs, THEN God will practically in your actions lead and guide you to the job that He wants you to have. The key thing is to fully TRUST in GOD to supply your needs – not to trust in your OWN works to supply.

Proverbs 16:3 says Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 3:6 says In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Our full faith and trust in God will automatically lead us to perform godly action/works according to God’s directed will. Therefore be fully dependent on God and trust Him to lead and direct your actions.

 

So does God help those who help themselves? The Scriptures disagree.

Why We Neglect Our Bible

How often do you read your Bible? When was the last time you actually studied a specific topic from the Bible on your own?
Do you faithfully mediate on God’s word on a daily basis – or do you struggle to read even a single chapter?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

The word of God is basically food for your spirit. Your spirit cannot be healthy without a consistent intake of God’s word. It is through God’s word that you can be effective, edified and equipped for righteousness. This is why the Bible says that we should meditate on God’s word “day and night”.

If you are struggling to read the Bible, there are many different reasons why you may be struggling to read God’s word – and these struggles are very common among many people.

Below are a few reasons why we neglect to read our Bible:-

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible
  2. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time
  3. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate
  4. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons
  5. We Find It Irrelevant To Our Life & Situation
  6. We Are Succumbing To Spiritual Warfare

 

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible

Let’s be honest. Some of us cannot reading the Bible for more than 10 minutes. We could probably read our Facebook newsfeed for hours or read an entire celebrity story on the internet, but yet we just become lazy when it comes to reading at least one chapter in the Bible. We need to cultivate a culture of self discipline & motivation if we are to overcome laziness and faithfully study God’s word.
Joshua 1:8 ESV – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

 

  1. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time

We all know that there are 24 hours in a day. Yet in those 24 hours, we will probably find time to engage in sometimes unproductive activities like watch the television, gossip with friends, visit the social media apps on our cellphones and still fail to find at least 15 minutes within that day to read & meditate on God’s word. The truth is, we can always have time to read the Bible. The question is whether we have chosen God’s word to become a priority in our daily life. Within 24 hours, try to find at least 30 minutes a day to read, study & meditate on God’s word.
Psalms 1:1-2 ESV – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.

 

  1. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons

Do you prefer to be “spoon-fed” by a preacher’s sermons instead of actually studying the scriptures for yourself? Is the temptation of listening to DVD sermons & tele-evangelists greater than the idea of doing a personal study of the word of God? Is listening to a Pastor’s sermon and reading the Bible one in the same thing? NO it’s not!
People who do not regularly study the Bible for themselves are more susceptible to false indoctrination and to follow false preachers. It’s therefore important to always verify for yourself through the Bible everything you hear from a preacher’s sermon.
Acts 17:11 ESV -Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
A person should not live according to the standard of a preacher’s sermon, but he/she should live according to the standard of God’s word (the Bible).
But He (Jesus) answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 ESV
According to Jesus, a person must live on EVERY WORD that proceeds FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.
Therefore, you cannot live on the word that proceeds from your Pastor’s mouth alone. You cannot live on the word that proceeds from the mouths of politicians alone. You cannot live from the things that fill your physical desires alone.
You must live “by EVERY word that comes FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD”
Psalms 119:105 ESV – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

 

  1. We Find The Bible Irrelevant To Our Life Situations

If we find the Bible to be irrelevant to our lives or a specific issue in our life it could be because of 1 or more of the following reasons:

  1. We do not adequately know or understand what the scriptures exactly say about our life or our specific situation.
  2. There is a specific sin in our lives which we do not want to repent of, and we do not want God’s word to rebuke us or correct us.
  3. We would rather find unbiblical solutions for the issues in our life.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Psalms 119:10,11 ESV – With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

 

  1. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate

Do you eat food once a week? Would it be adequate for your physical body if you only ate once a week? Perhaps you attend church every Sunday, and the only time you actually open your Bible is on Sunday during the sermon. God’s word is actually spiritual food for our spirit and therefore we need to edify ourselves with His word on a daily basis. Our motivation & desire for reading God’s word must always come from within our own heart and not because of a religious meeting. God’s word is meant to be meditated on a daily basis and not only during a church meeting.
1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV – Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Job 23:12 ESV – I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.

 

  1. We Are Succumbing To The Enemy’s Spiritual Warfare Tactics

Ultimately, the devil does not want Christians to have knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. It’s through the Bible that we learn about God nature, God’s values, Man’s sinful nature & his need for God, and God’s redemption plan through Christ.
Matthew 13:18-19 ESV – “Hear then the parable of the sower:  19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
The Bible is also the only offensive weapon in the Armour of God. God’s word is the sword of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are therefore what every Christian uses in order to discern and overcome the temptations of enemy through Christ. You will discover that when Jesus was tempted by the devil, Jesus always used the Scriptures to overcome every temptation from the enemy.
The devil will therefore do what he can to ensure that you do not have knowledge or understanding of what God says in His word. At times, the devil will also distort the meaning or interpretation of the scriptures through the sermons of false preachers and the like.
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV – 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.
Ephesians 6:17 ESV – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Conclusion
Just as we cannot be physically healthy without eating the proper food and having the proper nutrition, our spirit man cannot be healthy and spiritually equipped if we do not feed daily on the word of God. God’s word edifies us and equips us for every good work in Christ.
If you haven’t been reading your Bible and mediating on God’s word on a daily basis – start TODAY.

 

Proof That The Bible Is True

Is there proof that the Bible is true? Who wrote the Bible and what evidence exists that the Bible should be treated seriously? How can people say that the Bible was written by God when it was penned by men?

Below is an attempt to answer and perhaps convince the skeptics and unbelievers who do not believe in the Bible and the authority that it carries as being the infallible word of God.

1. Written By Different Men Over 2000 Years
The Bible is a collection of 66 books which were written by about 40 men over a period of 1500 years or more. Most of these authors had never physically met but yet their message in what they wrote is structured, consistent, accurate, inter-related and perfectly unified throughout. Though these writers physically penned the 66 books, the individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into one single Book, that we know today as being The Bible.
Interestingly (as we keep in mind the accuracy & consistency of their writings) these writers believed and claimed that they were writing or transmitting the very word of God – or that their writings were as a result of the inspiration of ONE single Supernatural Author – God Himself.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2. The Scientific Accuracy of the Bible
Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the
principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before
scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:

FI-thegospel

3. Over 100 Prophetic Accuracies About Jesus Christ
John 5:39 – (Jesus speaking) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me
The one consistent theme of the Bible, is that from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible consistently refers and prophesies about Jesus Christ who ultimately is mankind’s Lord & Saviour. There are over 300 specific prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

4. The Bible Is Endorsed by Jesus Christ
Matthew 5:17-18 – (Jesus speaking) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
When Jesus was on earth at the time, only the Old Testament existed. Jesus read and quoted from the Old Testament. Therefore if the Bible was inaccurate or untrustworthy, Jesus would have not quoted the Old Testament. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, Christ overcame the devil’s temptation by responding with Scripture quoted from the Old Testament. This was a clear indication not only of the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible but also that Jesus Himself was willing to be obedient to do what The Bible teaches.
READ Matthew 4:1-17

5. Its Survival
The Bible starting from Genesis has survived for over 1500 years. No other book has been so consistently studied, bought or quoted by mankind. Its teachings are still relevant even after 1000 years, a clear proof that God’s word is authoritative and does not change. No other book has been loved or hated as the Bible but yet it still survives and remains the highest seller among all books.
Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

6. Archaeological Evidence
A number of archaeological and geographic evidences exist to prove the accuracy and historic truthfulness of the Bible. Archaeological discoveries have been made which verify the various Biblical stories and events mentioned in scripture.
Romans 1:20-21 – For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

7. Life Changing Power
For thousands of years, the Bible has changed countless lives and has provided a means by which mankind can know and understand who God is and what God says about every life situation that we face on this earth. The Bible also is one huge story about God’s relationship with man. The Bible speaks of God’s love and plan of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ. People of different backgrounds and beliefs can testify of the life changing experiences that God’s word has brought to their lives.
Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

Helpful Websites & Recommended Websites

http://www.bibleevidences.com/
http://christiananswers.net/archaeology/
http://carm.org/when-was-bible-written-and-who-wrote-it
https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/can-you-prove-the-bible-is-true/
http://www.reasons.org/
http://www.the-gospel.org/stdy_aplgy/prophecy.php
https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/6-archaeological-finds/

 

 

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