Bible Study Devotional

Prepare Your Heart- Spring Challenge Day 2

Spring Challenge Day 2

Spring is a time to plant seeds and watch them blossom. But before you plant seeds, you must prepare the ground.

In the same way, ask God to prepare your heart to receive his word before you begin to read your Bible.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

First, Ask him to search your heart (Psalm 139:23) for any ways you may have sinned and ask him to forgive you. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) If you have any problem between yourself and another, get that worked out. (Matthew 5:23).

After getting your heart ready by asking God and others for their forgiveness, there check for another problem to overcome.


A significant problem with fallow ground is that after being neglected, thorns and rocks accumulate in the field. These must be removed before the land can become useful and fruitful. So too in a life in which God’s Word was neglected, many distractions have come in and taken up your focus. God’s Word will only grow on your good soil if you get rid of rocks and thorns in your life.

Remove any unnecessary distractions to make more time for God and his Word. “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”” (Mark 4:8)

Planting the Word

Once you have prepared your heart, it is time for planting. This spring, commit to plant God’s Word in your heart and watch it bring forth the fruit of peace, joy and righteousness. God’s word planted deep in your heart will prevent you from sinning against God. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) Hide God’s Word in your heart by meditating on it. Write it, speak it and think about it often. Replace worries and negative thoughts about yourself and others with God’s words of comfort.

Verses to read on your own:

Psalm 139:23, Mark 4:8, Psalm 119:11, Matthew 5:23

Copy verses either on paper or type them into your phone or computer. Choose one to memorize. Read and re-read it at least 3 times.

Come back for your next challenge tomorrow!

Bible Study Devotional

A Spring Heart- Break Up Your Fallow Ground- Spring Challenge Day 1

Spring Series 1

Challenge verse day 1:

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12

You may remember the words of the first song from the Broadway musical Godspell. They proclaimed, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” echoing the words of John the Baptist in Mark 1:3 (“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”)

John was quoting from Isaiah the Prophet who said ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’.

Today’s reading, the first one for the Spring Challenge, is designed to encourage you to prepare your heart to filled by God with goodness and understanding over the course of this challenge.

Fallow ground was the term given to ground that had been prepared for use but then left unattended. As a result, the ground became hard and unsuitable for use. Your heart can become like fallow ground, unfruitful and unsuitable for growth in righteousness.

It can become hardened toward others and God when it is not regularly watered with the Living Water of Jesus and his word. If your spiritual life in Christ is not properly attended to, you may notice you are more irritated and less forgiving of friends and family. You are not diligent to read God’s Word regularly or seek out fellowship with God’s people. You don’t regularly speak of Jesus and all that he means to you.

Your heart is getting hard. It is as fallow ground that needs to be softened and broken up. But how? How do you sow righteousness? Through Jesus, our righteousness. The solution lies in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins. If you believe in Jesus Christ, who he is and what he did for you on the cross, you have his righteousness.

Acknowledge and submit to the righteousness you have in Christ. Go to God and ask forgiveness of your sins. Commit to walking in a new direction with the help of the Holy Spirit. Humble yourself and admit before God that you need help. Seek the Lord and he will “come and rain righteousness upon you”.

Verses to read on your own:

Copy both verses either on paper or type them into your phone or computer. Read and re-read them at least 3 times. Choose one to memorize:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(2 Corinthians 5:21)

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, (Romans 3:22)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Bible Study Devotional

Remembered By God- Mothers in the Bible

Mothers were not a focus of special attention in Bible times. Women in general, including mothers, worked hard behind the scenes with little to no recognition. Yet, Mothers are written about in the grand arc of the Bible story, from beginning to end. God chose to use mothers, a marginalized group, to build his Kingdom.  This reveals God’s amazing and surprising love for his people.

It is important to note that by choosing to recognize mothers in his Word, God was going against the prevailing culture. In both the Old and New Testament, there was no celebration of “Mother’s Day”.  Mothers, and women in general, were thought of as lesser people and had few rights and many responsibilities. But the God of the universe, the creator of all life, chose to highlight the importance of this group no one else thought much about, women who were mothers. Here are some thoughts on three mothers in the Bible:

  1. God chose for people to populate the world he created through a mother. In the very beginning of the Bible we learn that “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” (Genesis 3:20). Of course, God could have chosen any other way to populate the earth but he did so through a mother and ordained the family as the unit of the continuation of life. These events of creation foreshadow the time of Jesus, when we no longer rely on biological families alone but are called to bring all nations into the eternal family of God. We are part of a new covenant when we are born-again spiritually.
  2. In the new covenant, God chose to use a mother to bring salvation to the world through Jesus. Mary was called to give birth to Jesus, our Savior. Jesus could have come down directly from Heaven, risen up from the ground or emerged from a whirlwind. But no. God chose to send his precious Son here to earth through a mother to be born into a family. Though Jesus was with his earthly mother for only a short time before his ascension, he is coming back.
  3. Revelation, the final book in the Bible, gives signs of the world to come when Jesus returns. In Revelation chapter 12, John describes the signs God showed him of a mother. A woman gives birth and fights for her life and the life of her child against a powerful adversary. This imagery in John’s revelation echoes that of Israel often portrayed by the Prophets. Isaiah, for example, wrote of righteous Israel as a mother giving birth to the faithful remnant. (Isaiah 66:7-10) We know the mother, her child and all her descendants were faithful to Jesus and his Word.  This mother will be the source of the faithful remnant.

From beginning to end, the Bible shows us God’s knowledge of and respect for a little-considered group in ancient times, mothers. He chose to preserve in his word, the Bible, examples of these women for future generations to read. The Creator, the God of the Universe, had very different views from the prevailing society. He gave honor and attention when others refused to. So for mothers and other women who feel forgotten or ignored by society on a daily basis, remember there is One who knows you and cares for you. He is Jesus and he is all that matters.

Bible Study Bible Verse Devotional Encouragement

Jesus, the True Vine

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” John 15:1

Jesus is the only true source from which good fruit can come.

Jesus knew the religious Jews of his time looked to many sources to give them the fruits of a godly life. From Moses to Solomon, from Abraham to the Scriptures themselves, Jesus emphasized that he was more important than all of these. Jesus told them that he is the fulfillment of all that came before him. He is the only true source of an abundant, fruitful, godly life.

So whether you are reading a Proverb or studying the story of Abraham, remember the supremacy of Jesus and his place as your true source. Stay connected to the true vine, Jesus, and you will bear fruit. That’s a promise.

This week, read about how Jesus is greater than any other: Hebrews 3:3, Matthew 12:42, John 8:58, Luke 24:27, John 5:39

Are you making connection with Jesus a priority in your life? If you do, you will be richly rewarded.

Related Verses:

Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. Hebrews 3:3

The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:42

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me. John 5:39

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

Bible Study Bible Verse Devotional

Stay Alive, Stay on the Vine

Jesus says that he is the vine and you, as a believer in him, are a branch coming off the vine. Just as life-giving sap continuously flows from the vine to the branches, so eternal, abundant life flows from Jesus to you.

You will bear fruit if you do only one thing. That one thing is to stay with Jesus. The Greek word for remain, meno, (μένω), means “to stay in the same state or place”.

Jesus doesn’t want you to leave him or to go back to your former life without him. He wants you to dwell with him forever. (Psalm 23:6)

Jesus is alive and wants to be your source of everlasting life. Why? So you will be fruitful in building his Kingdom and reaching others for him. He will keep you supplied with wisdom, joy and peace.

Pray, meditate on his word and speak of Jesus often. Acknowledge that he is the source of true life. Then enjoy the security of knowing that you will always continue to grow and be fruitful.

Bible Study Bible Verse Devotional Quote Images

The Law In Your Mouth

“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

This verse starts by telling us to keep God’s Word in our mouths. The way to do that is to “meditate” on it day and night. What does keeping God’s Word in your mouth have to do with meditating?

First, remember that God reveals to us how we are to worship him and live our lives before him. Law (“torah” in Hebrew) refers to these teachings or instructions of God.

The Hebrew root word for meditate here literally means a low groan or utterance. It is sometimes translated “meditate”.

Meditation as taught in the Bible is not merely thinking about God’s teaching. In other verses in the Bible, the same Hebrew word for meditate is translated proclaim, utter or speak. God’s Word should be so thoroughly in your heart that it freely and continually comes out of your mouth. As you speak God’s Word, it instructs you and others around you. In this way, you will be careful to obey God’s commands and find success.

This is what we learn about the cherished and successful virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. She speaks with wisdom and the teaching (torah) of God’s faithfulness and kindness is on her lips.

Deuteronomy 6:7 presents this idea. God tells the Israelites to speak of the commandments God gave them at all times.

The apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:16 that we are to “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…”

Speaking God’s Word to one another should be part of who we are as ambassadors of Christ and as we build up the body of Christ.

Act- As you meditate on God’s Word, allow the fruit of your mind to come out of your mouth. Try memorizing God’s Word by speaking it. Freely and generously share with others who God is and what he has done for you. Start at home by sharing with those closest to you.

Bible Study Bible Verse Devotional

You Are Lovingly Created


What does it mean to be lovingly designed instead of being a random collection of molecules? This is a very important question and the answer determines how you view yourself.

You were created by God. There are three characteristics you have because you were specifically and specially created by God. You are 1) known, 2) loved and 3) kept by God.

1) God knows you intimately, better than anyone. He knew you before you were born. You can be assured that God will always guide you to what is best for you because he knows you.

2) You are loved by the everlasting love of God. Nothing can separate you from it. Rest and enjoy the lavishness of God‘s love for you.

3) God will never leave you or neglect you. He will preserve you and continue to conform you to the image of Christ. He will not leave a job undone. Whatever you need, he will be there.

Spent some time this week meditating on what it means to be lovingly created by a designer, the creator of the universe, God himself.

To read this week: Mon-Genesis 1:27, Tues-Jeremiah 1:5, Wed-Jeremiah 1:5, Th-Joshua 1:9, Fri-Romans 8:35-39, Fri-Philippians 1:6

Have a wonderful week!

Bible Study Bible Verse Devotional Encouragement Prayers

Show Me Your Ways

Show me your ways, Lord,

teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

The world is filled with what seems like unlimited choices. You have many decisions to make. From everyday family issues to major life changes, how do you know which way to go? It is tempting to look elsewhere for answers in a world filled with “experts”, many of whom disagree with one another. You search for clarity but are left with confusion. But by humbling yourself before God, you acknowledge that his ways are higher than your ways. You make the choice to lean not on your own understanding but instead to let God make your path. Jesus promises an “advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” Put your hope in this promise of Jesus, your Savior. Submit yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit and trust him to show you the path to walk in. Ask God to help you obey all that he shows you to do. God wants to share his ways with you. Take time to seek his guidance today.

This week’s related verses- Isaiah 26:3, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 55:9, John 14:16-17, Psalm 143:10

Bible Study Bible Verse Devotional

Anna: God’s Prophetess

Today’s Verse

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38


Throughout the Bible, women had a role in proclaiming the truth of God. God chose in the biblical narrative, to mention women as well as men who went in boldness to tell others about God and speak his word to others. These women are sometimes called “prophetesses”, a female version of a prophet.


Why is Luke including Anna here in his Gospel? Because his major theme is that God sent Jesus to earth that ALL might be saved.(Luke 2:10) In a culture that generally did not hold women in high regard, Luke wanted to show that God is different. He wants to be sure that the reader understands that women as well as men will be part of the Kingdom of God. In fact, Luke’s Gospel tells us more about women than any others. Later in the book of Acts, also written by Luke, we learn of other women who prophesy. (Acts 2:19)

Gospel Implications

Anna was a mighty woman of God. She was a watchful woman and used the spiritual disciplines of fasting and praying to keep her mind and heart focused on God. As a long-term widow, Anna could have wallowed in self-pity. But she did not. Instead, she devoted herself to pleasing God and waiting for him to fulfill his promises. Anna was a woman of faith and God rewarded her with the greatest gift of all.

Luke wants us to know that in the birth of Jesus, God is fulfilling his covenant promises of the Old Testament. This fills Anna with gratitude and joy so much that she must share the Good News with others.


In the midst of all your activities this Christmas season, find time to tell others about Jesus.

Bible Study Devotional

Praise, Peace and Prophesy

Praise, Peace & Prophecy: Simeon

The Gospel of Luke

> Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
>   “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
> according to your word;
>   for my eyes have seen your salvation
>   that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
>   a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
> and for glory to your people Israel.”
>  And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.  And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:25-35


Luke, in this part of Scripture, wants to show us that Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies and the law. He tells us of two who prophesied of Jesus’ life, Simeon and Anna. Today’s devotional is about Simeon.

Who Is Simeon?

Simeon was:
1. Righteous and devout
2. Full of faith and hope
3. Filled with the Holy Spirit
God had prepared the hearts of some of those in Israel to accept Jesus and all that he meant to the world. Simeon was one of those. God always has a remnant of those who believe, even in what seems the darkest of times.

What Did Simeon Do?

Following the lead of the Holy Spirit, Simeon came into the temple. Just as Jesus would later welcome children, Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms. He praised God for the salvation he provided through Jesus. He filled with peace as God confirmed that he fulfilled his promises. Simeon could rest knowing that salvation had come to the world. He then began to prophecy the truth about Jesus to his earthly parents.

There was a difficult part of Simeon’s prophecy, one that he may have hesitated to give to eager new parents. Simeon revealed that Jesus would be opposed and would cause turbulence in Israel. Along with the Good News of salvation comes the reality that not all will be saved and that those who proclaim the news will suffer. Some will reject the gift of God, they will refuse the only way by which they would be saved. They will not receive the word of God’s prophets.


In every age are prophets, those filled with the Holy Spirit who obey God and speak truth to those around them. God has always delighted to use humble servants as agents of proclamation. Are you willing to speak truth, to let others know about the amazing gift of Jesus that we celebrate on Christmas day?

Have you accepted the gift of Jesus as your Savior?