Bible Study Blog

24 Hours

Last night after we partook of the Passover symbols in honor of the last night our Messiah was able to meet and eat with His disciples, my husband asked us, “What would you do if you knew that you had only twenty-four hours to live?”

Okay, I am about to share my first thought, and I am not too proud of it. My first thought was where could I fly that is on my bucket list and get there with enough time to enjoy visiting? I hate to admit it, but my first thought was about me and doing something really neat. Given, my idea also included my family coming with me, but still I must admit it was a bit selfish.

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Time Test

There are many themes in the Bible that are interwoven from the beginning to the end. Salvation is the biggest. Another theme is what I call the “time test.” I have noticed that the majority, if not all, of God’s people that He works with and through in the Bible were tested on how well they could wait on the Lord. They were given a “time test” to increase their patience, endurance, strength, and faith.

We all know their stories. Noah, who may have had to wait a hundred years before the floods came, is one example. We know that he had his sons by 500 years old, and sometime shortly after that God gives him the decree to build an ark (Genesis 5:32; 6:13-14)

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Licensed to Drive

Oh, to be sixteen again… We celebrated my daughter’s sixteenth birthday a few weeks ago. Honestly, I can’t believe that I am actually old enough to have a sixteen year old. I also am completely at a loss to how time has gone by so fast. My daughter now has a license to drive, and I am working on a license of trust and faith.  

I can remember this huge “rite of passage.” It was so freeing to be able to drive myself places, and it made me feel very grown-up, which makes me laugh now that I am an adult. Now, I wish I could hit the pause button on life and not get anymore grown-up.

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Praise Him

For a while now a point keeps going through my mind: “Just praise Him.” My family and I have had many trials over the past year and a half, which has a tendency to distract me from praising God. I realize this fact, thus the whole point of “just praise Him” keeps looping in my brain. I am grateful for this thought because it is helping me to become more diligent and proactive in praising God no matter the circumstances, and isn’t that exactly what we are supposed to do.

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Seven New Testament Reasons for Christians to Keep the Sabbath

As a Sabbath keeper I am usually perceived by non-Sabbath-keeping Christians as a legalist, outdated, or not fully understanding grace. They believe that the Fourth Commandment has either been done away, changed, or is kept by Jesus living in us. In this article I don’t want to look at why those arguments are flawed. Instead, I believe it would be more constructive to focus on seven New Testament reasons Christians should keep the Sabbath. 

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Made in God’s Image

Why is it that people can look at another person with complete hatred? Why is it that people will risk their lives to save endangered species, but have no problem killing unborn babies? Why is it that even Christians can look at another human being that thinks differently than them and feel neither love nor compassion? The answer: we live in a fallen world run by a fallen angel that has no respect for the fact that humans are made in God’s image.

The Deceiver has had thousands of years to deceive us into not respecting God or his image. If people had respect for God they would keep His commands, which teach us how to love Him and how to love each other (Matthew 22:37-40; ref. Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18).

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The Unknown God

An interesting event happened February 4 when Pope Francis visited Dubai. He met with a Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb and they signed an agreement that among many things included the statement that “pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race, and language are willed by God.” I agree that diversity of color, sex, and race are willed by God. That is obvious and found in Scripture. What is alarming is that the leader of the Catholic Church, representing 1.2 billion people, would support the idea that “pluralism and diversity of religions … are willed by God.” It is also shocking that no major news media organizations pointed out his obvious inconsistency and hypocrisy with the Bible since Francis claims to follow Jesus.

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Boundaries

My family and I are dealing with property boundary issues. It is a long story, but the survey that was done prior to our purchase of our property may have been done incorrectly. Therefore, we are in the process of having a new survey done correctly. The main problem with the past survey could be that the surveyor didn’t use the correct starting point. Surveys are very meticulously done, and if one does not have the correct starting point to use for the boundary lines, then everything will be off. This, in turn, causes a lot of frustration for the owner because they now don’t know where their boundary lines are.

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Never Empty

I’m trying to learn a priceless lesson that Jesus taught when He walked the earth: “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’” (John 6:35). I call this the “never empty” scripture. Those who choose to come to Jesus with all their heart and soul will never run on empty. The reason I have been thinking about this is that I know there are a lot of self-help books and studies out there that warn of the dangers of becoming empty by helping others too much. And it actually got me to thinking, is “emptying oneself” for the good of others actually a bad thing and is it completely possible?

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Don’t Be a Flat Tire

I have had many tire issues that started last year. Maybe it was my time to have to deal with bad alignment jobs that ruined new tires and with lost nails in the road. Well, I just had to deal with yet another nail issue with one of my not so old tires this week, and it got me to wondering if there was a spiritual lesson that I could learn from my flat tire. Trying to look for a lesson helps me cope with the frustration of unexpected expenses, and thankfully, I actually had an epiphany. I need to make sure that I don’t become a “flat tire.”

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Love God

My last blog looked at seeking God’s Kingdom first, and one of my main ideas that I hope I got across is to make sure God the Father and Christ our Messiah are priority number one in our lives. My blog before dealt with God working all things out for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Well, my mom brought up how the two blogs actually go together. Trusting God that all things will work for good requires us to put God first in our lives, which also requires us to love Him totally. She then asked, “So how does one show love to God?

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Seek Ye First

Often, when I start to worry, the statement, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” pops into my head. I read a lot of different versions of the Bible, but when it comes to Christ’s words in Matthew 6:33, it is always the King James Version that comes to mind. However, it doesn’t matter what version that we remember, what matters is if we are doing what Christ told us to do.

The first step, though, is to figure out what He meant by seeking the Kingdom of God first in our lives instead of worrying. I will be honest; I have been asking myself for years what it really means to seek His Kingdom first. I have finally come up with my own ideas and thoughts. 

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From Pain to Praise

The other day, I was reading a thankfulness journal that I have. I am actually supposed to do it daily, but I forget sometimes. However, the other day, I remembered, and it asked, “When have you seen God use suffering for good?” It was in reference to Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (NAS).

I thought about the question for a while. I know that there are many circumstances in my life where a trial worked for good. I also know a few people that have taken a tragedy and turned it into something beautiful. 

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The Santa Meme

Memes are usually thought of as an image, usually of a celebrity or funny child, accompanied with a phrase of comedic or social value. They are spread via social media services, email, and texts generally for fun. Some of these memes become very popular and are known to spread virally. The term originates from a scientific theory Richard Dawkins proposed in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. It was a way to describe the evolution of ideas in society. The Wikipedia describes it as “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme.” 

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A Legacy

When I think of leaving a legacy, I think of famous historical figures that made a splash on the world like a stone hitting the water leaving ripples that still affect societies long past their deaths. These people are the ones that we learn about in school. We read their histories, maybe even books written by them, and we think how awesome it would be to go back in time to meet them. In addition, some of us wish we could be like them, be it to imitate their bravery, intelligence, wit, or any other character trait that enthralls us. However, can we leave a “legacy” also? Maybe not one that is written in the secular books of the future, but one that still leaves ripples that last so long that generations after us do not even realize were made by our lives.

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Non-playable Characters

Video games have been a part of my life since I was very young. I remember playing pong on a television when I was five then later playing computer games and consoles as they technologically advanced through the decades. One of my most memorable game experiences was playing the Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo NES. This was one of the first games where the player could explore an open world and interact with various characters. These non-playable characters (NPCs) would have very simple preprogrammed dialogue. If you interacted with one more than once they usually would repeat the same phrases over and over. There was one unusual character that kept repeating the phrase “I AM ERROR.”

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Fret Not

It is that time of year that I honestly can’t wait until it is over, election time. I am not going to go political here at all, but I do want to point out some things that happen every time it is an election year. On all sides, there is a lot of anger, name calling, lying, extreme negativity, chaos, etc. The main thing that occurs is fear. Everyone is afraid that the person they think should win may not. It is the one common denominator for people no matter what party they belong to. Fear of who is going to win the election. What is sad is I see this fear even amongst Christians. 

Yet, I have to remind myself, why do we Christians become afraid during the elections? Don’t we know that God is in control? Or does our faith falter when it is election time? You may not agree with me, but in my opinion the Bible makes it clear that God is the one who allows whomever to be in power (Psalms 75:6-7 and Romans 13:1-2)

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Hearing God's Voice

Do a search about hearing God’s voice and you will find a number of things. First, there are numerous articles that offer advice from Scripture and opinion on how to hear His voice. I skimmed a few of these articles and found that many of them would ultimately include advice about hearing an inner voice speaking to us. A search will also find numerous people of varying degrees of popularity that believe they hear daily revelations from God. They are usually eager to share those messages and want you to hear them.

Hypothetically, if I were to tell you that I audibly hear God’s voice speak to me, you would most likely conclude that I was suffering from a mental disorder. There is no evidence that God is currently audibly speaking to His servants. But it is much easier to accept that God speaks to us and others internally. 

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The Added Law

In our weekly Bible Study in the Tyler church we have been discussing the Letter to the Galatians. Paul is pretty clear in this letter that we cannot earn our salvation from keeping God’s law. He explains that God’s promises were always a result of faith. It has never been God’s plan for man to receive justification from the law. He tells us “the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:8-9).

Because of this emphasis, many have mistakenly believed that Paul was opposed to the law of God. Galatians is often used by some to say that Christians no longer have an obligation to keep the law. Others say that it shows that the law has been completely done away. 

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