Tag Archives: learn

How to Pray

Are you unsure of how to talk to God? Let this five-step starter guide help you begin your prayer life!

Written by Abide


PRAY NOW

A common definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  But how often do you take time to stop and listen to His response to you? 

Our prayers include asking, begging and requesting something of God.  Scripture tells us He loves the sweet smell of those prayers. However, if all we do in prayer is spend time asking, what space, time or margin is left to listen to the Lord’s response?

Only by God’s grace through faith in Christ does He allow our broken lives the experience of communing with Him.  Seeing our transformed minds connect more deeply with the peace of God.   The result is peace, stillness, renewal, centeredness, and alignment with God.

When we are mindful with our prayers, we allow God to bring our future hope into our present reality. This series will help you unlock the secrets of living in a state of calm, peaceful, active attention on the present with God through the spiritual practice of prayer.     

Have you already cried out to God today with worry about whether He is present and aware of your problems?  

Listen HERE for guidance on learning how to draw closer to the presence of God in prayer. 

This series was written by Julie Thomas

https://abide.co/prayer/1y6jig?ref=gmo

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Three Beginner Bible Study Tips

Make it your aim to prepare yourself for your mission as a follower of Jesus

Written by GodLife on 31/01/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Application, Interpretation, Context, Obedience
Ezra had spent his entire life studying and obeying the Law of the Lord and teaching it to others.

Ezra 7:10
Most Christians understand that we’re all supposed to be reading the Bible on a regular basis. But isn’t it true that it’s hard to understand at times? (It’s OK to admit this – even Peter did! [2 Peter 3:16]) Even when we “understand” it, it’s possible to take it all in and go away unchanged. (James 1:23-24) But God’s promise to bless what we do only applies “if we listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget.” (James 1:25)

Here are three simple principles for reading the Bible. You can remember them by associating them with “SOS,” the international call for help:

S: What does it SAY
Before we can make use of what we read, we have to be sure of what it meant at the time it was written. To understand this, be sure to get the context. Here are three dimensions to context:

There’s the Biblical context: Who wrote it? Why was it written? What did it mean to those who received it? It’s been said that “a text without a context is a pretext.” It’s possible to quote the Bible and get the meaning all wrong. The words of foolish people (1 Samuel 26:1-21), false prophets (1 Kings 22:10-28), and even the devil (Job 2:4) can be found in Scripture. King Jeroboam deliberately quoted Exodus 32:4 without context to justify his plan to set up golden calves in his kingdom. (1 Kings 12:28) But Paul praised the Bereans for “gladly accepting the message” but also “studying the scriptures to see” for themselves that what he said was true. (Acts 17:11).
There’s also the context of time. It’s important to know where a passage fits in history. Was it before, or after Jesus’ coming? Does it describe a temporary situation? In 2 Kings 18:4, King Hezekiah destroyed the brass snake God commanded Moses to make! Why? The people were worshiping it—a thing of brass—as if it were an idol.
The context of culture may also be important. God told Noah in Genesis 9:2-3 to eat every animal. He told Moses and Aaron to set Israel apart by their diet and gave a list of clean and unclean animals in Leviticus 11.
O: Ask God what He wants you to OBEY
Never forget that you have access to the Author! Jesus was recognized as an authoritative teacher (Matthew 7:28-29) and occasionally revealed things they had not realized they were accountable to believe or obey. (See Exodus 3:6 and Matthew 22:32; also see Exodus 20:12 and Matthew 15:3-6.)

S: What can you SHARE
God promises His Word does what He sends it forth to do. (Isaiah 55:11) Once He has done His work in your life, you’re not supposed to keep the good news to yourself. (See 2 Kings 7:1-9)

There’s a biblical basis for these reminders. They came from a statement about one of the great characters in the Bible. Ezra was someone very influential, but not as well-known as Elijah, Samuel or even Esther (who appears in a book he may have written). He was a priest and a scribe in Israel after the nation’s return from captivity in Babylon. A short statement about him tells us a lot about why he had such a profound impact on his country:

“Ezra had spent his entire life studying and obeying the Law of the Lord and teaching it to others.” (Ezra 7:10)

To put it another way, Ezra read the Bible carefully to find out what it SAID. His purpose was to OBEY God’s laws. He then spent time SHARING it with others. In Nehemiah 8:1-8 we see that the whole regathered nation of Israel stood and listened as Ezra read the Bible and helped them understand what it said so that they could agree to its truth. This resulted in them worshiping the Lord. Making hearers into worshipers should be the mission of any follower of Jesus as well; but first, we have to make sure we are worshipers ourselves. If we read the Bible this way, we will be!

Pray this week:
Dear Lord: I want to know your Word and know you. I want to help others understand and obey and worship you. Please help me have the faith and discipline to do these things. AMEN

Have you ever come across a confusing passage in the Bible? If you need help, contact us and someone will write back and pray with you.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

One Practical Way to Study the Bible

How can you figure out what a passage is saying?

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 15/01/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: BibleInterpretationScriptureGrowWord


but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:2

There are many different ways to study the Bible. You can study a book, a chapter, a verse, a word, or a Bible character.  You can do a devotional study, an in-depth study, or a topical study of a particular subject.  However, a very simple way to study the Bible is by what is called “inductive Bible study”.  The word “inductive” refers to the process of analyzing something, and it has three parts – observation, interpretation, and application.

What is observation?

Observation asks, “What is this passage saying?”  This takes effort. Too often we read something, but we do not take the time to observe what we are reading. My first rule for Bible study is to never get in a hurry.  Why? Because God is never in a hurry. The word “meditate” in Psalm 1:2 means to digest what is being read. The word “meditate” comes from how a cow chews its food by taking it down into its stomach and then bringing it back up to chew on some more. The cow has four stomachs, so it does this four times before the food is fully digested. So, read the passage you are studying several times and mark down anything that stands out in your reading – key words, key phrases, repeated words or phrases, encouragements, warnings, and anything else that seems important.  By writing down what you observe, the meaning will become clearer to you.

What is interpretation?

Interpretation asks, “What does this passage mean?”  Most every passage should have an obvious meaning simply because God has not designed the Bible to be mysterious or vague.  There is no benefit in God hiding His meaning from a believer.  Whenever my children were growing up, I never tried to make what I wanted them to do to be mysterious.  Remember, we cannot interpret the Bible based only on what the words mean to us.  The correct question is, “What did these words mean to the people to whom they were originally written?”  Normally, that means the reader needs to have a good Bible dictionary to help them understand the words the writer used. If you are not able to obtain a good Bible dictionary, then a simple rule would be to simply allow the “obvious” meaning to control and govern your interpretation.

What is application?

Application asks, “How should I apply this passage to my life?”  Obviously, it does no good to read a passage and discover its truth, but then not be willing to apply what we have learned to our life.  A very wise man once said that “90 percent of knowing the will of God is being willing to do the will of God before we know what it is.”  It is the simple idea of just saying, “Yes, Lord,” before we ever start reading.  Please appreciate that God will never ask us to do something that does not actually benefit our life.  As we learn what God desires for our life, we have the privilege to begin applying God’s truth to our life.  Application is what equips us to face the trials and the difficulties that life will bring our way.

So, going forward, remember that the more you develop a consistent and meaningful way of studying the Bible, the more skilled you will become in understanding God’s Word so that you can actually apply it to your life.  Remember – never get in a hurry when studying God’s Word.  Just take your time and He will give you greater understanding.


Pray this week:

“Father, please help me to learn how to study your Word in such a way that it can really benefit my life.  Please help me not to just read it, but to dig into it so that I can really know your perfect will for my life.”


How and when can you set aside time this week to read the Bible and truly understand what it is saying?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

3 Facts About Being a Child of God

What exactly is this new identity we have in Christ Jesus? Here are three things that happen when you become a child of God.

Written by Joy on 25/01/2015

Series: Weekly Devotional


 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

 

Paul tells us; “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). So what exactly is this new identity we have in Christ Jesus? Here are three things that happen when you become a child of God.

You are Adopted by God

“You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). When you become a child of God, you are adopted. You may not have a good human father, but God is a perfect Father. He loves you no matter what. Nothing you do will change God’s love for you (Romans 8:35-39). Sin can hurt your relationship with God, but even if you sin you are still God’s child. God’s forgiving love is shown in the parable of “The Prodigal Son.” (Luke 15:11-32).

You Inherit God’s Blessings

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:17). Becoming an heir means you’ll inherit God’s great riches and blessings. Jesus promised that he would secure a place for us in his Father’s House (John 14:2-3). As adopted children, he has chosen us and given us all the blessings of heaven (Ephesians 1:3,11). He has revealed his plans to us and enabled us to be heirs of His Kingdom.

You Begin to Reflect God’s Image

Children are often a reflection of their parents, in looks and in learned behavior. Since we are children of God, our Heavenly Father is the perfect role model. “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children…..For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” (Ephesians 5:18-10). As a Christian, you represent the family of God. When you become a child of God, you’ll begin to reflect God’s image. You can give others an impression of God by your actions and words.

When you fully understand God’s love for you as His child, you will have power to live a life that pleases Him. Are you ready to become a child of God? Click here to learn how to join God’s family.


Pray this week:

to fully understand your position as God’s child.


What new truth did you learn about being God's child, and how did this encourage you?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

While I Kept Partying My Parents Kept Praying:

eryone has to decide for themselves whether they are going to be followers of Christ.

Tags: SalvationTestimony


This article was written by Andrew Palau.

Like all people, I had to decide for myself whether or not I was going to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My parents had hoped and prayed that I would make this decision as a child, but I did not. It took 27 years for me to finally decide for myself.

I grew up in a great Christian home. Mom and Dad loved me and were truly gentle parents. We went to a great church. Regardless of the tremendous blessings in my life, I wanted what the world had to offer. Although my father, international evangelist Luis Palau, preached to millions, he had no words that could humanly change my heart.

When I was about 12 or 13 years old, a friend’s older siblings introduced me to stuff that even the wilder kids weren’t doing. As time went on I began building a reputation of being the wildest and craziest kid around. I just loved to party… and drink… and smoke marijuana, which some say is the biggest cash crop in my home state of Oregon.

When my parents learned what I was doing, they couldn’t believe it. They were wise because they sought biblical counsel, and they understood that they could not convince me to live a godly lifestyle. They decided that the only thing they could do was to trust the Lord, model faith in the midst of trying circumstances, and do their best to live lives filled with the joy of the Lord.

It was very convicting as I watched them release me to God. “We love you,” they told me. “We’ve done our best, but we trust the Lord… The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts of sin and unrighteousness.” Dad and Mom kept praying for me; I kept partying.


Is there a loved one in your life who is far from God? Are you asking God how He would have you relate to this person, and relying on Him? What have you learned so far that may help others in this difficult situation?

Or is this a story that you can relate to?

Whatever your situation, talking to someone about what's going on can help. S

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member