Category Archives: BIBLE STUDY

Posts which revolve around God’s Word. Individual posts and guest posts using
Scripture as the basis.

Classics: “The Authority Of The Bible And God’s Word”

The Bible:

It was written by over 40 different men in 3 languages.
It was written over a period of 1600 years.
It was written with one common theme-God’s plan of salvation for man.
It was written with one common focus-Jesus.
It was written with no material errors.
It has never been found to be historically inaccurate.
It has never been found to be scientifically inaccurate.

God’s account of creation is correct because He was there.
God owns the universe because He created it.
The Creator has the authority to set the rules-and set the penalties for breaking them.

We are free to make a choice-But we are not free from the consequences of that choice.

Evolution is not science. It is a theory.
Scientists aren’t stupid.
They are blind.

God’s Word “App”lied: The Bible App for Free

There is no better personal development activity than Bible study.

We are blessed to share and support the ministry and resources found on www.bible.com .
It is literally “The Bible App.”

Once you download, absolutely free, the app, you can choose from more than 1,200 Bible versions in over 900 languages to download, for free.
Plus, many are available as audio Bibles.

You can do this on your computer, your phone, or your tablet.
You can highlight or bookmark your favorite verses, you can make Bible Verse images that you can share, and attach public or private notes to the Bible passages.
One of the remarkable benefits of the Bible App is that you can take a photo with your phone, and then, automatically, it will locate Scripture Verses which would go with the photo.

The Bible App is completely free, with no advertising, and no “in-app” purchases.

There are free reading plans, and devotionals, which you can enjoy at your own pace.
There are also videos, and, of course the “Verse of the Day.”

I have completed Bible reading plans, and plan to compete more.

We are sharing this video, in which pro football players promote the Bible App, and, more importantly, the importance of reading and studying God’s Word.
The video features one great statement after another about why God’s Word is so important.
Important every day.

One of the players featured is Russell Wilson. I just love to hear him speak. Here, he talks about how important God’s Word is, and how following Christ, and His plan for his life, is.

Before the video, here’s the link to the Bible App:
https://www.bible.com/

Jeremiah 18:2: “By Any Means Necessary”

Hi Friends:

I was studying the first section of Jeremiah, Chapter 18, when God revealed something to me that I had never seen before.
Of course, this is the “Potter and the Clay” story, which we have all read many times.
To paraphrase, “He is the Potter, and we are the clay.”
My Pastor used to like to say that, “He is the Boss.”

The exact Scripture verse, which is Jeremiah 18:6 is:
“Oh house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? Saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, as are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

This Scripture was using the example of a potter, as a “type,” to show God’s power in dealing with the nations of the earth. In particular, the consequences if that nation will “turn from their evil,” or “if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice …”

However, what I saw, for the first time, was in the opening of this portion of Scripture, when God instructed Jeremiah to “go down to the potter’s house” (18:2a). God then clearly told Jeremiah that “I will cause thee to hear my words” (18:2b).

“I will cause thee to hear my words.”
Immediately, it hit me, and I wrote this to the side of the verse, yes, in my Bible:
“BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.”

It really resounded in my soul.
One of the Bibles I use is the “Thompson Chain Reference Bible.”
I wrote my note just above the right margin note #1776, entitled, “Inspiration.”
“By any means necessary.”

So often I write, and have even recently, how God will use “any means necessary” to reach us.
It may be just part of a conversation, one phrase we hear, from a conversation, as we walk by.
I’ve stepped off an elevator and hear just enough to confirm something.
It may be a poster we just happen to see on a doorway or hallway at school or office.
I’ve seen a license plate, or a bumper sticker, or words on a billboard, or part of an advertisement on a truck, which was exactly what I needed to see or hear at that particular moment.

If we will keep our eyes and ears open, and especially our hearts open, God will use “any means necessary” to reach us.

I can guarantee you that if you will include prayer and Bible study in your daily routine, God will speak to you. Plus, if you will stay in an attitude of prayer, which leads to an “attitude of gratitude,” it will seem that everywhere you go, in everything you do, God will speak to you.

God has spoken to me, clearly, in places like the shower, and certainly the car, anywhere I was … because, let’s face it … Everywhere you go … He goes. He’s there with you. We have this good ‘ol habit of liking to use a phrase like, “Then … God showed up …” The fact of the matter is that He was there the whole time.
And … ready for this … He was there before you …

God loves us. He gave Himself for us. All He wants is to have a relationship with us. To be with us. I think, though, most importantly, for us to “be with Him.” He’s already with us, for us. He wants us to know that. To believe that.

Man, is it difficult to have a relationship with someone you don’t know.
Written that a time or two.
God has given us so much.
He just wants us to receive it.
Acknowledge it.
I think about this:
How do we feel when we go out of our way to help someone, or give someone something that we didn’t have to give them … and, they don’t even acknowledge it.
… Just saying … (I read that in an email today) …

So, God loves us so much that He will, “by any means necessary,” try to reach us.
Encourage us.
Help us.
Bless us.

By any means necessary, he will “cause thee to hear my words.”

By the way, another note I made, off to the side, as I was studying this passage:
In 18:4, the potter had made a vessel which “was marred in the hand of the potter.”
It was damaged.
Didn’t say how.
Just that it was “marred.”
Did the potter throw away the clay?
Start over with another batch of clay (sorry, I don’t what they call a “batch” of clay)?
No, the potter took the exact same clay, the clay that had been damaged, and
“he made it again …”
The note I wrote off to the side:
“HE DIDN’T DISCARD-HE MADE IT AGAIN”

God’s Word is awesome.
He loves us so much that He will “cause thee to hear my words.”

By any means necessary.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Using Isaiah 54:17 to “Beat the Devil:” Part Three: The Explanation

Hi Friends:

So … Now … how do you tie in the new Game Show “Snoop Dogg Presents The Jokers Wild” with Isiah 54:17?

… Yes … that “Snoop Dogg.”

Yes … that verse …

Here goes:

We were watching a movie, on the TBS Channel. Sprinkled liberally (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever written that phrase), throughout the multitude of commercial breaks, were the promos for a new version of “The Jokers Wild” game show.

When I was a kid, “The Jokers Wild” was one of my favorite game shows. I remember that, not only did I like the old show, but I always did really well on answering the questions.

However … the official title of this new show was “Snoop Dogg Presents The Jokers Wild.”

Yes … that Snoop Dogg.

Should I watch it?
Can I watch it?
Should I watch it?

Yes, I had to “talk myself” into watching it.
I’m being honest.
I didn’t know what to expect.

There were only two factors which drove me to watch the show:
One, I was a big fan of the original.
Two, Carol and I enjoy “parodies” or “spoofs” of shows, or people, etc. This is strictly an enjoyment of comedy. One of our favorite (and I won’t mention which one) “spoofs” is a parody of a game show (not “Jokers Wild”). This particular parody is very funny, has great lines and it features great impressions.

I didn’t know what to expect.
I know … some may say … “What did you think would happen?”
But, honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.

My intentions, I felt, were pure.
So, I watched the first episode.
The second season had already started, but we had the “On Demand” feature, which allows you to watch previous episodes.

I must note this is not a review.
This is just what happened.

I watched the first show.

I know they allow curse-words on network television (one of the reasons we don’t watch network television), but I didn’t think the TBS show would be “worse.”

I have never seen a game show where the host was allowed to curse.
I’m not making this up …
I had just never seen that …
He walked out, at the introduction of the second or third show (I can’t remember which), holding what was obviously a mixed drink in his hand …
I’m not making this up …
I had just never seen that …

In effect, the show is, literally a “tour-de-force” of Snoop Dogg.
Almost every category has a “Snoop Dogg” reference.

I can’t believe I’m explaining this …

For those of you who don’t know, the show is, in its set-up, faithful to the original. Yes … I used the word “faithful.”
The “Game” Board is set up like a big slot machine …
Even the host’s description of the game board uses a curse work in its description …
I’m not making this up …

I can’t believe I’m explaining this …

There’s a big slot machine … each contestant has a “handle” which they pull, like a slot machine, which then makes the board spin like a slot machine … instead of fruit, or carrots, or numbers, categories come up, just like when you pull the handle of a slot machine …
You get the idea … the contestant then answers questions based upon the categories which “spin out.”If two or more categories … or “the joker” appears … this increases the amount of money the question is worth …

This is done in front of a live audience … which goes berserk at every opportunity …

Ever notice how difficult it is to explain how a game show operates?
I can’t believe I’m explaining this …

Anyway … by answering the questions, your score increases.
The contestant with the most money wins … and, gets the chance to “spin the wheel” for 25,000.00 cash!!!
Wait … no, it’s not a wheel … but, spin the slot machine for the “big prize.”
Instead of categories, money amounts come up … three amounts (like categories) of money come up with each spin …
What you win, with each spin, is added together, and, you can stop … don’t spin again, and keep what you’ve won … or … you can spin again … However … if “The Devil” comes up in the spin … you lose all your money … Game Over …

So … if you can “Beat the Devil” (meaning “the Devil” does not appear in your spin) … you get the grand prize of 25,000.00!!!!
25,000!!!
But … You must “beat the devil” in order to win …

There has got to be a lesson there …
I can’t believe I’m explaining this …

Anyway … this was the first show … Episode One … Season One …
I watched it …

The contestant who made it to the “Final Round,’ where she spins the handle (still don’t know what they call that) for 25,000 … steps up to the handle to spin …
But … before she does … as she grabs the handle to spin …
As both hands are gripped tightly on the handle, to spin … her head bowed down … she makes this statement:
“No weapon formed against me shall prosper …”

Yes … as I watched … she bowed her head … and I saw it …
I heard it … 
“No weapon formed against me shall prosper …”

I saw it … I heard it …
So did Snoop Dogg …
So did Snoop Dogg …

I nearly stood up in my chair!
I had never seen that!
I had never heard that!
Before the contestant pulled the handle … before she spinned …
She quoted Isiah 54:17.
She said … and, wait ‘till you read this …
She said … “In front of God and everybody …”
Including Snoop Dogg …
She quoted Isiah 54:17 …

I literally stood up in my chair.
Snoop Dogg?
He yelled, “Speak it, Sister!!!”
Yes, he did.
Yes, he yelled … “Speak it, Sister …!!!
I saw it.
I heard it.

Please note this:
I have wanted, for weeks now, to go back and watch that episode, to make sure I “had it right,” especially Snoop Dogg’s response. For I was sure (it is forever ingrained in my mind) what she said …
I wanted to see, again … his response …
It was either “Speak it!” or “Preach it!”
I’m ok with either.
What I can’t do … is watch the show again … I’ve tried to make time, but I can’t …

Oh … How did she do?
She won the 25,000.00.
Yes, she won the 25,000.00.
This was the first episode … the first season …

Yes … in the context of the game, she “beat the devil.”

This made an indelible impression on me.
For, I had never seen this.
I had never heard this.

She won.
I don’t care if it was a game show or not … it made a huge impression on me.
A huge impression.

Keep in mind I pray and study God’s Word every day.
I certainly hope you do, too.

Yes … are you ready for this?
Yes … I thought back to how Jesus beat the devil, when He was tempted in the wilderness.
How?
By speaking God’s Word.

I’m just saying …

In closing, I’ll add:
I had to … I had to … watch another couple of episodes of the show … just to see …
The next contestant did not win the “big money.”

But … there is something else I remember from either the second or third episode (that’s all I watched):
At the championship round, on one of the shows, after the contestant had lost … in other words, they had been “beaten by the devil” (in the shows language) … Snoop Dogg … always on the contestant’s side …
exclaimed … and, I mean, he repeatedly exclaimed … as the “Devil” had come up … Snoop Dogg …

In front of God and everybody … Exclaimed … repeatedly cried out:
“He’s a liar!!!”
“He’s a liar!!!”  
“He’s a liar!!!”  

I saw it.
I heard it.

I haven’t watched the show since.
I can’t.
Even to get an exact quote … I can’t watch it again.
I can’t.
I shouldn’t.

But … when the contestant, in that first episode, bowed her head and said,
“No weapon formed against me shall prosper …”

That made a huge impression on me.
I won’t forget it.

By the way, this series led to a large amount of research … including learning about the life of Snoop Dogg.
Allow me to share this with you:
When he was very young, he began singing and playing piano at Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church in Long Beach, California.
In 2018, he released his first gospel album, “Bible of Love.”

God will use every means necessary to reach us.
Any means necessary.
Especially to those who have been exposed to the truth.
Any means necessary.

Just so we can read it again, here’s the full verse:
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:17

So, really …

When was the last time you heard someone speak this verse?
When was the last time you spoke this verse?

Blessings to you, and your family,

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Using Isaiah 54:17 to “Beat the Devil:” Part One

Hi Friends:

Oh boy …

This is probably the most unlikely example of using this verse from Isaiah you’ll ever read, but, if one of the ideas of a “blog” is to write about personal experiences … here goes …

All I can say is that what I am sharing helped me … so I know it can help someone else …

Here’s the full verse:
 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:17

That’s a good one, right there!

When was the last time you read this verse?
When was the last time you heard this verse?
When was the last time you used this verse?
When was the last time you heard someone speak this verse?
When was the last time you spoke this verse?

You just never know …

How often I’ve written that God will use “every means necessary” to speak to you, to reach you.

It is still true:
God will use every means necessary to speak to you. To reach you.

So many times, I’ve seen a billboard, a bumper sticker, a poster hanging on a wall, or “just happened” to overhear a piece of conversation, as people walked by, which was exactly what I needed to see or hear. I don’t go to the movies very often, but God has spoken to me during a movie … even while watching television …
Note that, often, God will provide a “sign” to confirm something I have been sincerely praying about (yes, often, that means, something I have been sincerely “worried” about).

The reason why is simple:
God dwells inside of me.
He speaks to me.
I speak to Him.
I need to speak to Him more.
I want to hear from Him more.

One of the reasons why God can speak to us in any given environment is because, yes, regardless of where I am, He is there, too.
Like you, I could say something like, “Man … I wish I hadn’t taken Him there …”

Remember that, yes, God is with us wherever we go. And, He is fully capable of speaking to us at any time … any place …
As Andy Rooney might say, “Why is that?”
It’s simply, because, God is with us. Yet, digging even deeper, let’s remember the reason Jesus came to where we were …

Because we could not get to where He was …

God speaks to us because He “goes to where we are.”
That’s why there is no place we can go that God can not reach.
That’s why there is no place we can go that God is not willing to go … to reach us …

Jesus meets us “where we are.”
Not where we should be.
Not where we are supposed to be.
Often, not where anyone should be.
That’s why He is so great and so awesome a Savior.
He is the Savior of the world.
Period.
We could not get to where He was.
So, He had to come to where we were.

Guess what?
His goal/purpose is to have us go back to where He is.

Jesus has goals?
Jesus has purpose?

Jesus came to “seek and to save those who are lost.”
To do that, He had to go where “the lost” were/are.
This was/is His purpose.
This is His goal.

He won’t “get to us” until He “gets to” us.
Wherever we are, that’s where He must go.

Paramount to this discussion is this:
Often, we go to where He doesn’t want us to go.
This would be the same places where He doesn’t want to go … But, He has to …
He still has to “make the trip.”
The only way to “reach us” is to reach us.
Regardless of where we are.

Goal?
Once He reaches us, we’ll never want to go there again.
That, friends, is “the goal.”

It looks like a “Part Two” is coming up.
I never did explain the title, did I?
I planned to, but this was what I had to write for now.

I hope this blesses you.

By the way, I love the book of Isaiah. When I was going through the worst period of my life, God took me to 1st and 2 Peter, and then the book of Isaiah. Even today, just turning to the book of Isaiah brings strong emotion … I read from there often, and hope you do, too.

God’s Word is so good, and I am so glad that He can reach me with it, regardless of where I am …

I’ll explain the title next time … or, at least that’s the plan …

Not up to me …
I’m so glad God gave me this.
I want to hear from Him more.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

The Slide Show: John Michael Montgomery’s “The Little Girl”

Recently, we featured the song “The Little Girl,” written by Harley Allen, and sung by John Michael Montgomery, from his album “Brand New Me,” which was released in August, 2000.

I wrote how I had wanted to do a “slide show” of this song, but never got around to it. Years later, I had never forgotten the song, or wanting to feature it, in some format, some day.

Here’s a link to that post:
“The Little Girl:” John Michael Montgomery

I found a “slide show” done to the song, and feature it now.

I will admit, readily, that, frankly, I went “back and forth, back and forth” about sharing this. Yes, I received notes like “That’s the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”

When I featured the song, I wrote:
I think about how blessed I’ve been, how fortunate I’ve been, and, I think of this verse:
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”
Psalm 27:10

I thought … and thought … about sharing this slide show. It does have some disturbing images.
But … Not all of them are.

However … it is about life … which can, for so many … carry “disturbing images.”
But … Not all of them are.

However … I then realized that … it’s not about the beginning … it’s about the ending …
Now, that’s a familiar theme …

Now, I’m reminded of this verse:
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8
That was written by King Solomon, considered to be the wisest man who ever lived.

The beginning of this story does carry some disturbing images.
The beginning of many of our lives carry some disturbing images.

I thought, “Our only goal, our Mission Statement here, is
“To bless, inspire, and encourage.”

Well … this story “ends well.” In fact, it blesses, inspires, and encourages me.
My heart breaks at the beginning … and … guess what?
When I went in and watched this, just now … for “the hundredth time” … those were real tears I was wiping away …
Why do I feel “it’s the right thing to do” to feature this?
Because those tears came at the end of the slide show … not the beginning …

Disturbing images?
Maybe … just maybe … I need to be disturbed … I need to “feel as He feels,” heart breaking, as He sees choices made, and “at what cost.” Maybe I do need to be reminded to care more … to pray more … to do more … Maybe I do need to be “disturbed” …

Plus … I really love the ending … It “gets me every time.” The fact that it features the Police and Military, two groups I respect and admire … and, then … there is Jesus … He died for me, too … He loves me, too … He cares for me, too …

It’s not about the beginning …

In my research, I found this profound statement on the website, Greater Grace World Outreach,” in a commentary on the verse from Ecclesiastes:
“We are not able to know how something will end by the way it started.”

Guest Post and Series from Gregory Dickow Ministries

I can’t think of any better way to share the joy of new beginnings and renewal, than by sharing these free resources from Gregory Dickow Ministries.

Here’s a special Easter Message, a link to a free teaching series, and then a short video to introduce the second installment of Pastor Dickow’s “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, which is a 40-day series, with each lesson sent to your email, daily, for 40 days.

It’s true: “Right thinking produces right living.”

Here’s the Easter Message from Pastor Dickow:

We’re celebrating the most incredible event in history: Jesus’ resurrection! This is what changed everything for you and for me, and this is the Good News that I have dedicated my life to proclaim to the world. Thank you for standing with me. Lives are being changed now and for eternity because of your prayers and support. I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you’re doing for the Gospel.

Not long ago I was in Jerusalem, and I had the opportunity to go to the Garden Tomb, the very site at which the event we’re rejoicing over this weekend took place. This empty tomb not only represents our salvation because Jesus rose from the dead, but it is a reminder of an invitation God gives us: an invitation to happiness.

You see, we live in a world of sadness, loneliness and discouragement, but when Jesus conquered sin and death He also conquered all the negative emotions that beat us down and limit us from living a life of purpose and victory. That doesn’t mean we’re never going to have troubles, but the Gospel is an invitation to happiness in an unhappy world, to joy in the midst of trials, to peace in times of fear and to a celebration of a right relationship with God.

All of our emotions come from what we believe, and if we don’t believe that God will keep His promises, or that they’ll work for others but not for us, then we feel discouraged, depressed and defeated.

But when you believe that God will keep His promises, joy and peace will be yours!

“I will watch over My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

While I was at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem I thought about Mary’s experience there. Remember the story? She was weeping because the tomb was empty and she didn’t know where Jesus was. But then He appeared to her and asked “Woman, why are you weeping?” (John 20:1-18). He asked her that because He wanted her to be happy. He wanted her to have joy, and He is asking you the same question. Why weep when you can rejoice? Why weep when you can be happy?

Jesus had said on at least five occasions that He would be killed and rise again on the third day, and Mary was weeping because she didn’t believe it would happen. But Jesus’ resurrection not only provides for our salvation but is the proof that He does what He promised He would do!

And if Jesus could keep that promise He can and will certainly keep His promises to you!

Maybe you have bills you can’t pay. God always comes through and will supply your needs. Maybe you have a body that’s sick and in pain, but God’s Word is true and it says by His stripes you can be healed. Maybe you’re going through something that you just don’t know how to overcome, but God said you’re the head not the tail, above only not beneath. And God said what He started in your life He will finish. Perhaps you’re discouraged about one of your children who has gone away from the Lord. The Bible says you and your whole household shall be saved!

Why are you weeping?

I wonder what things are making you sad today. I wonder what’s discouraging you today. Let me tell you, it’s going to end!

Believe that God will keep His promises to you!

There are three things that cause us to be unhappy. Let’s deal with them right now.

First is Bad News, which I call wrong information. You’re hurt by what people say about you. You’re impacted by what you see going on in the world. Life is uncertain and you’re worried about what the future holds.

Where we get our ‘news’ or information from is critical. We can get the news about us from others, from the enemy, or from God. The good news that God has to say to you and about you & your future will produce joy and happiness.

Get your information from God’s Word.

Number two: Bad Memories produce unhappiness, guilt and shame. We have all fallen, failed and made mistakes. But the Bible says in Hebrews 10:17 that we’re under a Covenant of Grace because God doesn’t even remember your sins and failures. Jesus came out of the tomb but your mistakes and shortcomings are still buried there and forgotten.

Your past is over. Bad memories cannot control your life anymore.

And the third thing that robs us of happiness is Bad Focus. We’re focused on what we don’t have, what we haven’t done, and what is going wrong. God wants us to focus on what He’s already done and what He’s promised He will do. That’s when your perspective will change; and peace and joy will be the result.

Focus on what God has already done for you (Psalm 103).

________________________________________________

Note: Just by reading Psalm 103, the entire chapter, you will be blessed, as you read about all of benefits you already have, in you possession, right now! I can also promise that, if you’ll go through the entire “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, it will change the way you think … and, by doing so … it will change your life.

Here’s the video to introduce the new “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series: