Tag Archives: Study

Honey in the Morning

Honey has been a staple in my breakfast this week at the complimentary Holiday Inn Breakfast. Honey and butter on wheat toast just fits the bill for my taste buds. I seldom consider it at home even though there’s a tasty bottle of honey in the cupboard. It must have been a part of Solomon’s regular diet too. He mentions it multiple times and uses it as an illustration of blessing.

Proverbs 24:13-14

My son, eat thou honey because it is good, and the honeycomb which is sweet to thy taste; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou has found it, then there shall be reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

CHOOSE IT

We don’t study by accident. And blessings don’t come that way either.

CHEW ON IT

Like the waxy comb, pondering the word of God and considering His message in every word, jot and tittle. Every verse is like a meal…

CHERISH IT

Nothing is so sweet is as the word of God, and it’s amazing how a word that’s been read by millions of people was written just for you.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITH IT

Read it with the expectation that God going to show you something amazing. He always does!

This is Just the Appetizer

How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.

Psalm 119:103

This verse keeps popping up in various places. In my mind, social media posts, again and again. I don’t believe that things like that just happen. I think that God needed me to focus on the sweetness of His words for a reason.

This brought to mind somethings that have left a “bad taste in my mouth” as the old adage says. Words that were spoken in anger, pride, or without regard for the feelings of others. Some by me, some by others; but that is not the case with the word of God. There is not one word that was written without the intent of doing good. Isn’t that an awesome thought? It’s why the Bible is such an encouragement to the child of God and such a missing link to their successful walk if we’re not reading it.

I believe the writer was describing how the word of God brings enjoyment to the senses. In every form, be it written or spoken, sung or quoted, it brings joy the person who has the Spirit of God within their heart. It can also cause alarm like a spicy dish or like the savoryness of a good plate of food it can satisfy the bones. I do not know how that works. But like the writer of Psalm, I know it’s true.

Jeremiah knew it too when he wrote Jeremiah 15:16

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

Not only does the word have the ability to nourish and it can bring refreshing like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.

Proverbs 25:25

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

Oh my stars how awesome and true! Just as the spring rains replenish the earth and cause our spring flowers to bud forth, so does the word of God. We soak it up, we bloom where we’re planted and all who pass can see the beauty of God in our lives. It’s a miracle that no other book can boast. Another book may entertain, but the word of God nourishes and satisfies. It builds physical strength for the day ahead.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post today. But it was just the appetizer. The meal comes when you read what God has specifically for you!

How To Find Strength For the Day

chick sense

I don’t know how it goes for you on the brink of a new day but for me it goes something like this.

  1. I wake up.
  2. Satan starts messing with my head.
  3. God says, “Shari, come to my room. He’s not allowed in here.”

Where’s God’s room? Just down the hall from mine. It’s a pink door with my name inscribed in gold, there’s also a black door, burgundy door, even a digital door. God’s high tech you know. It’s the Word of God, and in my house it can be found in various colors and forms and in my only preferred version, the King James. That for me is God’s room, the only place that I can make sense of the day and find strength for the day.

The writer of Hebrews said in the last verse of chapter 5, But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (vs.14)

Exercised senses? I’ve been in the process of bodily exercise to try to reshape this shape of mine for a few months now and its hard work, especially for this aging woman. But the writer, who is believed by many to be the Apostle Paul, says that the strong meat (the Word of God) belongs to those who are “full age.” Those who have grown up! Those who have used the Word of God in a disciplined fashion to discern (recognize) good from evil.

There is some serious truth in that one verse (and all the verses proceeding and following it) But for the sake of this morning and getting you and I off to a good start let’s just unpack this one verse.

Carrying the Word of God is not for the faint at heart

Just like building muscle takes repetitive strengthening exercises, strengthening the spirit takes spiritual exercise and discipline. Being full of age has nothing to do with the physical age you are, but rather the spiritual age. How much weight can you carry? If the world were to heap a few thousand pounds of grief on you today are you prepared to carry the load? Not unless you own the gospel; and by own the gospel I mean that you walk in the confidence of the Word of God, having read your portion for the day, seeking the wisdom of God that you might walk in His strength.

Using the Word of God is not for the feeble in mind

Discerning good from evil is sometimes the splitting of hairs and at other times it’s the splitting of wood. Both are tedious, one takes focus, the other brute strength. The decisions you face today may take some serious consideration for direction, or the opposition you face today may take great strength to defend yourself. The writer to the Hebrews knew that when he penned verse 14. Many of them were trying to live life being spoon fed the gospel in the form of milk rather than meat.

They probably attended services…well at least once a week. But when they relied on others to give them the Word of God rather than reading and studying for themselves, it was like hiring their exercise out. Wouldn’t that be awesome! Yes, and totally non-beneficial. In many churches the preacher has to be as strong as an ox because he’s doing everyone’s fitness routine! It’s not until the body or day is in crisis that they turn to the Word of God, but because they haven’t picked it up in a month of Sunday’s it’s heavy and hard to understand. If they’d have read it every day the words would have built spiritual strength within them and the trials and troubles they faced could have been fought off with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Glory! That runs joy through my veins to think that in reading and studying even this one verse this morning God has strengthened my spirit!

Good and Evil. They’re both out there and one will win today’s battle. Here’s a few training exercises:

Isaiah 40:28-31 – STRENGTHEN YOURSELF (READ THE WORD)

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 – STRENGTHEN OTHERS (SHARE THE WORD)

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

And it never hurts to wear cute exercise outfits! Have a blessed day!

Can You Say It Was Good?

it was good edited
For several years my job has been grant funded positions of one sort or another. As another closes out there’s always a time of reflection and evaluation on the project, celebrations of success and accountability of failures by staff and grant partners. There have been times that I think the Federal Government has the opinion that they created and mastered evaluation; that theirs is the standard for which we are measured. I’m glad that’s not the case, I’ve witnessed their standard first hand. That’s not a dig… that reality. It’s not just the federal government, its man in general. We all have our own ideas, concepts and standards of what we deem good and often very good which is usually nothing more than substandard work, point A to point B thinking, let’s get’r done. As I read through the first couple of Chapters in Genesis this morning I was drawn into the very first evaluation phase of the creation project.  Seven times from Genesis 1:1-31 God viewed the project and saw that

“It was good.”

The final time, only the day that He created man did he say that it was “very” good.  He had created man and woman, “in his own image.” Vs. 27 reads

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

I have to wonder how far we have come from that image today. God created man and woman and sat them in the garden of creation, giving them dominion over all his work and I’m sure until Satan entered the picture that image was unmarred. I love to dwell on the thought of what the days following creation must have been like. Oh how I long for a time of innocence where the mind is not bombarded with wickedness and distraction does not set in to deny myself fellowship with God. Today the image of God is recreated in the new man upon the day of Salvation; we are the image of God that a lost and dying world seek, yet what do they see? If I look back on my day can I say “and it was good?” I fear my evaluation tools may even be a bit rusty. I mostly come home at night and collapse into a state of mindlessness, happy the work day is done. There’s not an evaluation. An honest evaluation of my life should be measured upon the life of Christ.

  • Did I serve as He served?
  • Did I seek time alone with God as He did?
  • Did I sacrifice as He did?
  • Did I sanctify myself as He did?
  • Did I study the scripture to show my self approved?
  • Did I share the gospel of Christ?

Those are the standards by which I am to evaluate my life. What did I do for the Kingdom? Just as God placed Adam and Eve in the garden with a plan: Verse 26 says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” God’s plan was that they were to care take and enjoy His creation and walk with God. Although the plan varies from person to person, God’s still got a plan. We’re the caretakers of something and someone. Who and what has God planted along the pathway of your garden today? And at days end when you’re done tending to it will you be able to say “and it was good?”

God’s got a plan… work it!

Getting fit in the faith!

There are so many times yet today that I feel like a babe in Christ. I’ll read what I suppose to be the simplest of verses and discover how very rich every small word that Christ says is, and how needful it is that I don’t take it for granted. It’s why I don’t miss out on any opportunity to be taught, to have my senses “exercised.” That’s why I’m in Lexington, Virginia with some “Sista Chicks!” We traveled 200 miles and a hundred giggles to get to this place of aerobic worship. (Aerobic exercise increases oxygen, Jesus is the breath of life, therefore it’s aerobic worship!) I want to exercise my faith that it might get stronger, increasing endurance for the journey of life.

Hebrews 5:11-14 ~ Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

I don’t ever want those verses read of me; that I’m a milk baby! But I’ve met my fair share of Christians in my day who are content in infancy. They show up to church on Sunday morning to be bottle fed the gospel having no desire to be fed the meat of the word. The meat of the word of God requires chewing and digestion, it won’t just flow through and make a body feel good. They’ll be some effort necessary to cause the nutrients to travel throughout the body nourishing it and providing strength for labor. It’s what big boys and girls in the gospel eat so that may apply it to their lives and in turn be an example for others to follow.

Milk has (for the most part) one flavor. But meat! What a variety and the same holds true in the gospel. Every time you read and study the word of God it has an entirely different flavor depending upon where you are in life. I can remember as a young convert I read a scripture and my eyes would just glaze over, it would be so far above what I could comprehend at the time, but then a little further down the road I’d read it again and the meaning and depth of God’s word would come to life. I soon learned that as a baby Christian I only needed the milk of the word, just the basics to become grounded in my new found faith. But as I grew in Christ, the Lord had greater expectations for me and from me, and little by little He would reveal a greater meaning in His word until one day I discovered I was no longer being nursed but was now sitting at the big girls table.

Today, I’m settin’ at the big girls table again. I’m going to a banquet to feast on a variety of flavors doled out by women of God who have walked another path than I have but are leading to same main highway. I hope to take what I hear today and apply it to my life and ministry which will strengthen me. I never know when I may have to help carry a heavier load, or perhaps carry someone else’s share of the load. I can’t do that unless I exercise my faith. If you happen to be around Kerr’s Creek Baptist Church in Lexington, VA, come and dine with me! If not, you have a banquet table set before you with the Word of God.

Edify your soul.

Exercise your faith.

Encourage your heart!

Get fit!

That Preacher said whaaaaatttt?

I’m not a preacher, nor am I a Bible scholar. I’m a Bible ponder-er. I was taught as a baby Christian to never assume what someone says about the Bible is correct, but rather read it myself, study the Word and the commentaries and let the Holy Spirit reveal truth. He is faithful. I seldom argue scripture because those who are inclined to argue are usually unwilling to consider any other possible truth than what they’ve determined already. And in so doing they short change themselves and Satan keeps their eyes blinded to the truth. In Acts 17 the Apostle Paul had just left from ministering to a sect of Jews in Thessalonica where (vs. 4) some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. And not surprisingly there were some religious people upset who, rather than search the scriptures themselves for the truth, joined forces with lewd fellows vs. 5) and caused an uproar in the city. There is a great correlation there with the world today. There are churches today that rather than getting on fire and turning the world (vs. 6) upside down for Christ, would rather just take the word of the world that what they need is acceptance of everyone’s word as fact; and harmony among the people will result. When in actuality what happens is not harmony, but fear and cowardice to proclaim the truth.

After the uproar Paul left them to their unwillingness to hear the Word of God and moved on to Berea and the church of double checkers.

Acts 17:11 – These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

They didn’t take Paul and Silas’ word or anyone else’s word; they too had been trained to research what thus saith the Lord. I cannot number the times when I have heard a preacher preach and hear inside my head “say whaaaatttt?” Is that the truth? And sure enough it was!

To know the truth in this world of lies you need to not only hear the Word of God, but read the Word of God let the Holy Spirit speak to you as to how to react. When Paul seen the upheaval in Thessalonica he knew it was time to move on. God’s usually not in the uproar. When people begin to argue and debate about what the Word of the Lord says in an uproarious way it is more about them than Him (God). But when a willing people hear the Word, know it as truth and react in a noble (decent and upright) way, people get saved!

(Vs. 12)  Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Be forewarned that if you become a double checking, soul stirring, saint of God that turns the world upside down for Christ; people are going to be upset.

(Vs. 13)  But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people

The religious people of Paul’s day were so upset about Christianity spreading that they left their own church to stir trouble in someone else’s. Hmmm….I’ve seen that a time or two as well!

It is my prayer that you and I both will be double checkin’ soul stirrin’ saints of God that turn our communities upside down! Go forth friend… Be noble, knowledgeable and noteworthy. Remember, God’s taking notes.