April 30, 2018

6 Steps to Studying God’s Word (plus a Giveaway)

I’ll never forget the first time someone taught me how to read God’s Word. Not just read it and move on, but read it and really hear God speak to me. It transformed how I read God’s Word. Not all in one day, of course, but over time. I thought I’d share that process with you today.

Let’s use Psalm 62:5-8 for our reading today:

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge (NLT).

Step One

PRAY and invite God into your time with Him … to open the eyes of your heart to receive what He wants to teach YOU as you open His living and active Word.

Step Two

READ the passage. Read it through a few times.

Step Three

LIST the facts … not details, not your thoughts … just the facts. Who is speaking? What is the subject? Where does the scene take place? When did it happen? Who are the characters? What is the author saying? Try not to paraphrase. Use actual words from the passage itself.

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

David is the author.

The subject is the character of God.

Wait quietly before God.

Our hope is in God.

God is our rock. Our salvation.

Victory and honor come from God.

God is our refuge. Our rock.

Pour out our hearts to God.

***This is an example. Your list may not look like mine, and that’s okay.

Step Four

ASK what the verse/passage means. Go back to your facts and look for the spiritual lesson or principle the author conveys through the facts. There may be more than one. It’s more of a general lesson, not necessarily a personal application for you (that comes next). Is there a command to obey? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow or not to follow? What do the facts reveal about God’s people? About God’s character? About the culture? About Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

We need to be still before God and listen and wait.

We find hope in God’s many magnificent names. Rock. Salvation. Fortress. Refuge.

Because of God’s character, we will not be shaken. He is our safe place and protects us from the enemy.

Victory is found in God and God alone.

God wants us to pray and trust Him with our circumstances … fears, trials, doubts, worries.

***Again, this is my example. You may find other spiritual lessons. I’d love to hear yours in the comments.

Step Five

ASK what the verse/passage mean to you personally. Return to step three, take your statements and turn them into questions. What you hear may be for you or for a friend or family member. Sit with your questions and invite God to speak into your heart what HE has for you?

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

Do I take time to be still before God? If not, why not?

Where do I turn when I’m weary, overwhelmed, fearful?

Do I let my circumstances shake me to the core, or do I turn to and trust in God?

Where do I place my hope?

Do I know the names of God and what they mean?

Do I entrust God with my heart and my fears, trials and concerns? If not, to whom do I go and does that work for me?

Step Six

RESPOND to what you hear from God. You may not always have a response. Sometimes God is deepening your walk with Him by teaching you more about His character, His people, His history. There may not be a personal action step. But, oftentimes, God will have a personal response for you. He will invite you to take an action step. To put into practice what you have learned.

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

If you don’t hear anything, but you sense God is at work, write a prayer. Below is a combination of ways you can incorporate this passage into a prayer.

Heavenly Father, I know You are speaking to my heart, but I’m not quite clear on what You want me to do. Give me ears to hear and a heart to respond. Help me to be still more. Teach me more of Your names, what they teach me about You, and what they mean for me. I am overwhelmed, Lord, but I don’t want to be. I want to trust You more. Teach me how to do that. Direct my steps. My circumstances have me on unsteady ground. I’m afraid of the future. Lord, come to me. Settle me. Set my feet upon YOU, MY ROCK and my FORTRESS. Protect me from my enemy.”

And, if you hear God speaking directly into your circumstances, record the verse, date it and journal what you hear. Ask God to give you the courage to take the steps He is asking you to take or to have the faith to believe what He has told you.

Sweet friend, I pray this has been helpful.

GIVEAWAY!

Since we studied several of God’s names today, I thought it would be fun to give away a copy of “I Know His Name,” my Bible study book that studies the names of God. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts on what you learned today. We’ll choose one winner from the comments (U.S. addresses only please).

And, if you have other ways to study God’s Word, please share. We would love to hear your thoughts!

If you are reading this in email, click here to comment on the blog.

P.S. Last week’s winner of the Enough bracelet from Sharon Jaynes is Joyce S.

Blessings to you,

April 12, 2018

Thank You! And, What God Has to Say about His Word

First, may I just say ya’ll are THE BEST! Thank you for taking the time to share your questions on prayer. And, even more, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I have created a notebook compiling your questions and can’t wait to begin the adventure of answering them one by one in preparation for writing this book. Ya’ll I gathered nearly 70 questions!! Who knew? I’m so thankful ya’ll love prayer as much as I do!!

Many of your questions talked about praying God’s Word. So today, I thought I would share precious truths and promises about God’s Word. God has much to say in the Bible about the purpose and value of His living and active Word. He gives us powerful truths. Life-changing promises. All to incorporate into our prayers!

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.  HE WAS WITH GOD IN THE BEGINNING. THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE; WITHOUT HIM NOTHING WAS MADE THAT HAS BEEN MADE. JOHN 1:1-3

Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11:18-19

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. Psalm 119:9

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. 2 Sam. 22:31; Proverbs 30:5

My Word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it out. Isaiah 55:11

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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

Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  James 1:22

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jeremiah 15:16

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. John 15:7

Put on the full armor of God … Take the … Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God … And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Eph. 6:11; 17-18

I would love to hear YOUR favorite verses about God’s Word. Please share them in the comments.

Blessings,

January 16, 2018

Living Love God’s Way (plus a giveaway)

Hey friends! We’re one week away from our first 2018 Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study. We’ll be studying my new book, I Am Loved: Walking in the Fullness of God’s Love, which is a journey through the book of 1 John.

On Monday, January 22nd, we begin the first of our 5-week study learning the depth of God’s extraordinary love AND how to live out that love in our everyday lives.

Join the #IAmLoved study at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite God stories. It happened a few years ago when God used my friend, Karen, and me on an ordinary trip to the grocery store to live out His extraordinary love.

********************

God Met Her in the Grocery Store

She woke up that morning with a quick trip to the grocery store in mind. She pulled her hair back in a ponytail, slipped on her flip flops, grabbed her keys and ran out the door.

My girlfriend, Karen, and I also planned a trip to the market that day. As we approached the check-out lines, we found ourselves behind an older woman who seemed to be waiting on someone. She motioned for us to go ahead. Almost immediately, a younger woman scooted past me.

As she did, my heart began to pound. I physically began to tremble. In that moment, the Lord impressed on my heart something so strange … buy her groceries. What? I felt it again … the racing heart rate, this time a whisper, “Love her. Buy her groceries.”

I hesitated but then reached out and tapped the young woman on the shoulder and spoke the words God laid on my heart: “I know it sounds strange, but God told me that we are to buy your groceries.”

She looked at me quizzically and then graciously accepted with tears in her eyes. Not long after that, she and the older women walked out of the store.

A few minutes later, as Karen and I were checking out, the older woman returned to share their story. She identified the young woman as her daughter. Her name was Micah. She shared how Micah’s husband had abused her for years. And, just a few months earlier had walked out on Micah and her young son, leaving them alone and leaving her feeling unloved and unworthy of love.

She could barely make ends meet. She felt abandoned by everyone, but most especially God. Days before our God appointment in the grocery store, Micah and her mother had prayed. Her mother prayed a prayer every mother would pray: “Lord, draw Micah back to You.”

But Micah’s prayer is what astounded us. She had prayed, “God, if You are real. If You love me, show me that You have not forgotten me!”

As her mother shared these words, the reason for God’s urging became so clear. God wanted to extend unconditional love to Micah. In the midst of Micah’s deepest sorrow and desperate cries for love, God responded intimately and personally.

Through tears, Micah’s mother spoke words we’ll never forget: “Micah now knows that God has not forgotten her!”

God provided for her needs. He loved her unconditionally. He answered the cry of her heart.

And God also chose to use us! On an ordinary day, in an ordinary store, performing an ordinary chore, God called us to an extraordinary task. He crossed our paths with one of His girls who needed to experience His extraordinary love.

Yes, it was a great day for Micah! But what a day it was for Karen and me. Our obedience to the Lord’s prompting touched Micah’s life in such a powerful way that she KNEW God was real. God loved her. And He had not abandoned her.

God answers prayer. He orchestrates divine appointments … anywhere … everywhere … anytime … even in the grocery store.

Don’t you love stories like this? I’m certain ya’ll have similar stories to share, and I’d love to hear them! Either where you shared God’s love in a tangible way OR someone shared His love with you. Please leave a comment sharing your story. Click here to leave a comment if you are reading this in email.

Giveaway now closed – congrats Aura Conejos! Please see your email for further instructions.

We’ll choose one of you to win 2 copies of my I Am Loved book and 2 “Loved” bracelets (one to keep and one to give away). U.S. Addresses only please. These beautiful bracelets were created especially for I Am Loved by my friends at Fashion and Compassion.

Giveaway of #IAmLoved and Fashion and Compassion "Loved" bracelet at wendyblight.com.

If you want to join me for the Proverbs 31 Online Study and be part of our amazing community of women, click here to sign up so you’ll receive the study posts and announcements in email.

I look forward to reading your stories!!

Blessings,

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave