Revive Me #44–Think Souls

Revive Me, Week 44–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Think Souls

“Who is God putting in front of you?”  This question was asked by Pam Randall.  She is a soul-winner so when she talks about how to reach others, I want to listen.  She is always involved in a Bible study and usually multiple studies.  She cares about people and wants them to know the Savior.  One time she even struck up a conversation with a stranger in Costco.  That stranger is now our sister in Christ!  How does she do it?  Here are a few of her tips:

  • You can’t wait until you’re good enough.  You just start.
  • Have a plan for soul-winning.  Then you can be ready at any time.  Pam uses the Open Bible Study method.
  • Attach Scriptures to emails, payroll checks, or any other correspondence.
  • Remember you can study anywhere.
  • Be a big respecter of their time and they will invite you back.
  • If you are asked a question you can’t answer, never try to guess it.  Write it down and tell them you’ll get back with them.
  • Send written thank-you notes in the mail.  There’s power in that.
  • Take failure or rejection.  If Christ and the apostles were rejected, why shouldn’t we be?
  • Be slow to be offended.  Try never to offend.
  • Never say, “I think,” or “I believe.”  Let the Word speak.
  • Never put down other religions.
  • Do the Open Bible Study with your children and grandchildren.  Don’t just assume they know it.
  • Go to assisted living homes and show the “Searching for Truth” DVD.
  • Remember that when God sees us trying, He will help us (Ex. 4:11,12).

Pam treats the opportunity to share the Good News as an honor.  She said, “Isn’t this a wonderful thing that we get to do?”  Indeed it is!

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Create your soul-winning action plan.  Be prepared for open doors.
  2.  This week ask someone, “Would you like to study the Bible with me?”
  3.  Think souls.  See people as you go about your day.  Smile, interact.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Image credit: Michael Hite

 

Revive Me #40–Take the 5 Star Challenge

Revive Me, Week 40– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Take the 5-Star Challenge

The challenge comes from a quote and may change your life.  It’s simple yet powerful.  You can do it by yourself.  You can do it with your family.  You can do it with your ladies’ Bible class.  You can create your own special team to do it with.

It will grow you.  It will make an impact on those around you.  If you want to make a difference in the world, this challenge is how you can.

Here it is:

“God’s Word…read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, pass it on.”

(Smith Wigglesworth)

See how simple?  And yet we know the Word is powerful and penetrating (Heb. 4:12).  It’s so powerful it can keep young people on the path of purity (Psalm 119:9).  It’s profitable (2 Tim. 3:16).  It blesses those who hear and obey it (Lk. 11:28).  It can make a difference in this dark world because the unfolding of it gives light (Psalm 119:130).  It saves (James 1:21).

Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Daniel 12:3

Suggestions for the Week (how the challenge will work):

  1.   Ask others to take this challenge with you.  Decide if you all want to do the same texts or each choose your own.
  2. Option A)
  • Monday- Read it
  • Tuesday- Write it
  • Wednesday- Pray it
  • Thursday- Work it
  • Friday- Pass it.

Option B)

  • Monday-Friday- Do all 5 each day

3.   Continue it at least until the end of the year (12 weeks).  Discuss with your team on Jan. 1st if/ how it made an impact.  Compare notes.

4.    Suggested text:  Psalm 119

           Psalm 119 has 176 verses.  This equals 15 verses a week for the next 12 weeks.  That is     3 verses a day (Monday through Friday).  This passage covers multiple ways in which the Word of God can change our lives and the lives of those around us.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #31– Get the Message

Revive Me, Week 31– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Get the Message

About 6 weeks ago, I bought a little bracelet and I’ve been wearing it nearly every day since.  Just yesterday morning in Bible class, I discovered that it has something written on the underside.  It says, “Never forget how much you are loved.”  I was so surprised and couldn’t believe I never saw it before then.  All this time that bracelet has been right there on my wrist yet I had no idea that sweet message was waiting for me.  Now I like the bracelet even more!

I wonder how many other things I’ve missed out on because I wasn’t paying attention?

  • Bible study.  I always have a Bible nearby.  I try to read it daily.  But am I paying attention?  Am I examining it closely and focusing on the details?  Am I seeing God’s message?
  • Relationships.  I have family and friends all around me.  But am I paying attention to them?  Do I see their cues, hear their hints?  Have I been so distracted by my own schedule or constantly checking messages that I’ve been missing the needs of those most dear to me?  Have I missed out on some friendships because I’ve been blind to efforts to reach out to me?
  • Blessings.  They’re everywhere, everyday.  But have I taken them for granted?  Have I even seen the blessings, big and small, that God sends me so that I will get His message, “Never forget how much you are loved”?

“Oh taste and se that the Lord is good” (Psa. 34:8).

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Study the Bible intentionally.  Look closely.  Examine each word.  See how sweet and dear God’s message is for you!
  2.  Notice every thoughtful gesture by the people around you.  Acknowledge them.  Recognize it as yet another proof of God’s love and care for you.
  3. See the blessings, physical and spiritual.  Help others see them.  Ask God to help you keep your eyes open to them.
  4. Put your phone, laptop, iPad, whatever away.  Instead of looking down at your device, look around and SEE people.  Smile, connect, and see their messages.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me, Week 11– Read the Bible Through

Revive Me, Week 11– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Read the Bible Through

It doesn’t get any more basic than that.  Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve read the Bible from cover to cover.  Or maybe you’ve never actually made it all the way through.  How many times have you started reading Genesis one on January first but ended up getting bogged down somewhere in Leviticus?

When my middle son, Dale, told me he was going to read two chapters in the Old Testament and two chapters in the New Testament every day, I decided to join him.  It has been so great!  We keep saying things like, “Did you notice verse four?  I don’t remember ever seeing that before.”  For instance, if someone had asked me where we read about the land where the good gold is, I would’ve been surprised to learn that it’s in Genesis two, a chapter I thought I was pretty familiar with.  These little nuggets (ha!) keep popping up as I enjoy reading through the chapters each day.

It seems like reading the Bible through has gotten a bad rap.  While we do need to include digging deep in our personal Bible study, what could be more reviving than making sure our eyes see every word in the Word?

“…Your word has revived me” (Psa. 119:50).

“Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word” (Psa. 119:107)

There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible.  If you read four chapters a day, it will take you 297 days to read the whole inspired Word.  There just happen to be 292 days left in this year!  You could easily double up on the reading for a couple of days (especially with those shorter psalms).  On December 31st, you’ll be able to look back over this past year with satisfaction, knowing that you read the whole Bible from cover to cover!

WHEN I READ THE BIBLE THROUGH

(Amos Wells)

I supposed I knew my Bible
Reading piecemeal, hit and miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
Now a snatch of Genesis,
Certain chapters of Isaiah
Certain Psalms (the twenty-third!);
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs—
Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.

You who like to play at Bible,
Dip and dabble, here and there,
Just before you kneel, aweary,
And yawn thro’ a hurried prayer;
You who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book—
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude, impatient look—
Try a worthier procedure,
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible through!

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  If you’re not already on a Bible reading plan, get started today.
  2.  Ask someone to join you.  Not only will this add an accountability factor, it’ll make it even more enjoyable as you share your thoughts with each other.
  3. Pray before and after your reading.  Ask God to open your eyes to His truths and to soften your heart to His will.
  4. Look for opportunities to share what you’re learning!

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Image credit:  pinterest

 

 

 

Revive Me, Week One

Revive Me–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord, Week One

Rest Your Faith on the Power of God

What is the foundation of your faith?  As you begin a brand new year of living for Christ, this basic question is crucial.  Listen to Paul’s message to Christians:

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with the superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

The word “rest” here means “exist; be located in.”  Paul warns Christians not to build their faith on the wisdom of men (including himself), but on the message of Christ.  The wisdom of men may be persuasive, but it is powerless.  If your faith feels a little weak or uncertain, perhaps you’ve neglected to spend enough time tapping into the right Source.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you spend more time reading the good writings of men/ women than you do the Bible?
  • Are your convictions based on what you’ve always been taught or from your own diligent study of the Word?
  • When you listen to or read the messages of preachers, do you “search the Scriptures daily to see whether those things are so” (Acts 17:11)?

This may be the year your faith is tested like never before.  Make sure you are building YOUR faith on the power of God.

Some suggestions for this week:

  1.  Read 1 Cor. 1-3.
  2.  In that text, note the contrast between the wisdom of men and the word of God.  If you like to mark in your Bible, underline the words that describe the wisdom of men and circle the words that describe the word of God.
  3. Listen to sermons and read articles with discernment.  Follow up by looking up the Scripture references that are used to make sure they aren’t taken out of context.
  4. Pray each day for desire to grow your faith in the Word.
  5. Consider memorizing Heb. 4:12.

Pray it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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God’s Character– Bible Quiz & Book Giveaway!

There are many passages in the Bible that describe God’s character, and I’m thankful for that.  Anytime I read about His mercy and compassion, it encourages me.  His power and might created everything, yet His love is expressed to me personally.  What a beautiful truth!  It reminds me that I have worth.  His holiness demands purity and goodness, yet His grace covers my sinfulness.  This makes me want to try harder to live as Christlike as possible.  How blessed we are to love and serve our great God!

Just for fun, here are a few questions about God’s character.  I will randomly draw a name from all who participate (and have the correct answers), and send the winner a copy of my book, Return To Me, which is about what to do when loved ones turn away from God (www.ReturnToMebook.com).  You may email your answers to me at KPsalm18@msn.com.  Don’t forget to include your name and mailing address.  Enjoy!

*I am using the New American Standard version of the Bible for these questions.

1.  How is God described in 2 Cor. 1:3?

2.  What three character traits are ascribed to God in Exod. 33:19?

3.  What does God abound in according to Exod. 34:6?

4.  What words do Psa. 86:15 and Psa. 103:8 have in common?

5.  Can you memorize Psa. 116:5?  😀

6.  What is God’s compassion compared to in Psa. 103:13?

7.  What all did God do for the one who waited patiently for Him in Psa. 40:1,2?

8.  What do we learn about God’s lovingkindnesses in Lam. 3:22?

9.  What should God’s mercy cause us to do, according to Luke 6:36?

10.  What can our High Priest do, according to Heb. 4:15?

Wasn’t that a faith-building study?

**CONGRATULATIONS to Lori Cole for winning a copy of Return to Me!  Thank you to all who participated in the giveaway!

Photo credit:  Genevieve Ormon
Photo credit: Genevieve Ormon

How to Read Your Compass

A compass is an instrument used for direction.  It helps determine where you are and how to get where you want to go.  Hopefully the Bible is your compass.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

In an article entitled, “How to Read a Compass,” the Compass Dude shares the benefits of owning one, “from telling which way is North to finding hidden treasure or following an unmarked path over wilderness terrain”  (http://www.compassdude.com/compass-reading.shtml). But to reap those benefits, you have to know how to accurately read a compass.

1.  Know Your Basic Compass Reading

The Compass Dude explains the essential basics of how to read a compass:

  • “Hold the compass steadily in your hand…”  The compass will be no use at all if we don’t pull it out and use it.  If it stays in our pocket or gets left at home, it will offer no direction whatsoever.  If we want the Bible to direct our lives, we must hold it steadily in our hands.  “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16,17).  To reap the guiding benefits of the Word, we will study it daily before taking our steps.
  • “Look down at the compass and see where the needle points.”  Sometimes we feel sure we’re going the right way or facing a certain direction only to pull out the compass and discover we’re way off course.  We must look at the Bible often to see how we’re doing and where we’re headed.
  • “Turn your body while keeping the compass right in front of you.”  In addition to studying God’s Word to know His direction for us, we need to follow through with our actions (James 1:22,25).
  • “Hold the compass level” and “read the correct end of the needle.”  These simple instructions make all the difference in accurately reading a compass.  In the same way, we must “accurately handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
  • “Use common sense.”  Regardless of what the compass shows, some will continue going the wrong way or make choices based on their own misguided sense of direction.  We have the common sense to know and understand God’s Word.  We mustn’t twist it in order to try to conform it to our own feelings or to justify what we would like to believe is right (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).

2.  Check Your Bearing

“By simply moving your compass with your body and using the N-E-S-W markings, you can get a good idea which way you are going…The direction you are going is called your heading.”  Since we are constantly on the move, changing, and being influenced, we need to continually look to the Word to check our bearing to see which way we are heading.

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 success” (Joshua 1:8).

Heaven is where we want to go!   Let’s keep pulling out our Compass to make sure we’re heading in the right direction.

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