My Favorite New Way to Bible Study – Verse Mapping!

Over the past month, after discovering it late in December, I have been verse mapping. I even made pursuing God my main New Year’s Resolution this year! My word for the New Year is sort of two words: simplify/ pursue. I plan to simplify my life and use social media less and pursue God and family time more! ☺️☺️

I get up early nearly every morning and study a verse or two from the Bible. I pick it apart and then write my thoughts down about the verses. Almost like a miniature personal Bible devotional!

And I am loving this personal quiet time with God!

I am learning so much about the Bible and about God and what He desires of us. I am learning about His character and grace. How to rely on Him. How to ask Him to change me (in faith and without doubting!).

Since I love this simple way to study so much, I decided to share it with you!

You don’t have to study as deeply as I do, though I recommend it. It takes me around an hour or so to study how deeply I study but I know that’s not for everyone in every season. Some days even I can’t study that deeply. And I’m sure there will be days in the future where that will be impossible some days (especially with a baby on the way). So I’ll give myself grace and simply do other kinds of Bible study. The important thing is to get into God’s Word every day.

So how do I love to study God’s Word now? Simply click the link below to receive a printable on how!

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/f207b4fe-afcb-40db-8f48-3c6cafd9bac5

If you try out this method, please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below! And before you go, here are a few of my pages from this past month!

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Christmas 2017 – The Birth Story of Jesus Christ

This is it. This is what the prophets and Israelites had been waiting for. The birth of their Savior. Jesus was born to a young woman, a virgin, in a smelly little stable in a crowded city on a night that changed the world. His birth is what we celebrate during this season.

Jesus, tiny and mighty, the holy Son of God, born as a baby to a lost and dying world had finally come.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin, betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. — Luke 1:26-27 NKJV

Luke ch1 vs28 NKJV.2

A young unmarried woman was chosen to bear the Savior of the world. And as we all know and can imagine, she was troubled by the angel and his greeting but he assured her that she had found favor with God. (Luke 1:30 NKJV)

He told her of the greatness of the Child she would bear and answered her obvious question of how could she have a child if she was a virgin.

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:31-34 NKJV)

Luke ch1 vs35 NKJV.2

And humble and faithful Mary believed the angel of the Lord.

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 NKJV)

But Joseph, her betrothed, didn’t believe her. It took an angel visiting him in a dream for him to believe.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife,  for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:18-21 NKJV)

Matthew ch1 vs22-23 NKJV.2

So he obeyed the angel and took young Mary as his wife.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. (Luke 2:1-5 NKJV)

I feel like that while this was a difficult journey and they most likely missed their family, they were glad to leave the judgemental stares and whispers going on around them. A man married a young woman who was pregnant already.

Luke ch2 vs6-7 NKJV.2

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. (Luke 2:8-9 NKJV)

I mean, can you imagine?? When the solar eclipse covered most of North America earlier this year, everyone went crazy with the minute or two or darkness during the day. But here, the flip-side happened. In the middle of the night, it was suddenly so bright. God’s beautiful glory was shown to a group of dirty shepherds. And you know they had to be dirty if they were living out in the fields!

But that’s really what happened right? The infinitely majestic glory of God came down to earth to us dirty sinners. In the form of a tiny infant, God fulfilled His promise to save us all! Glory to God indeed!

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12 NKJV)

Luke ch2 vs13-14 NKJV (2)

Without hesitation, as soon as the angels were gone, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known (Luke 2:15 NKJV).

And they found Him. They found their King and they spread the knowledge far and wide. Everyone marveled at the things the shepherds told them. But sweet and humble Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19 NKJV)

She thought on the things that had happened to her and most likely wondered what the future would bring her and her sweet and most innocent Child.

Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20 NKJV)

And the brightness of God’s glory didn’t completely disappear that night. Instead a star shone in the sky and it led a group of wise men from far in the East to bow down and worship the King of the world. For roughly 2 years, a star hung over where Jesus lived! I wonder what the people of Bethlehem thought of that. Do you think they marveled at it for a while and then got used to the glory? They had to have forgotten that special night because Jerusalem was troubled at the thought of a King being born. So the news could not have traveled very far, despite the constant reminder in the sky every night.

That is something we need to watch out for. We can get so used to moving through the motions and reading our Bible and going to church that we get used to the glory God sent down to us from Heaven. This Christmas season, let’s be careful to not forget what Jesus did for us when He was born that wonderful night. Don’t get used to the glory. Be like the wise men and rejoice with exceedingly great joy (Matt. 2:10 NKJV) at the Star in our lives that is Jesus.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: (Matt. 2:1-5 NKJV)

Matthew ch2 vs6 NKJV (2)

 

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. (Matt. 2:7-9 NKJV)

Matthew ch2 vs10-11 NKJV (2)

They immediately fell down and worshiped Him when they saw Jesus. This tiny Child was the King of the world and they knew it, though His people did not. These star gazing wise men from the East had found the Savior of the world and presented Him with the most costly gifts they had. I doubt He wanted them then and truthfully does not want our costly gifts. He wants us. He wants our hearts full of love and obedience to Him. He wants us to follow after Him with everything we have. He wants us to go out like the shepherds did and share the news of His birth, life and death on a cross. The news that He came to save us all.

During this season, don’t get used to the glory of Jesus and the wonder you felt when you were first saved. Remember it and share it with this dying world so that they too may come to the foot of the cross and worship the King.

Christmas 2017 – The Prophecies of Jesus Christ

This week, I’m going to share about the prophecies of Jesus’ birth. The first prophecy is in Genesis chapter 3, verses 14 and 15:

Genesis ch3 vs14-15 NKJV.2

Soon after the Fall, God promised Jesus would come to help and save us . He promised that Satan would be punished by Jesus, crushed by Him. Through the descendants of Adam and eventually Abram, Jesus is promised to be born.

‘Instead, he will send you a prophet like me from among your own people, and you are to obey him. 

“On the day that you were gathered at Mount Sinai, you begged not to hear the Lord speak again or to see his fiery presence any more, because you were afraid you would die. So the Lord said to me,

‘They have made a wise request. I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command. He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him.’ (Deuteronomy 18:15-19 NKJV)

Here, Moses predicts Jesus’ coming and tells the Hebrews about Him and what He will be like. How He will be from among them, that He will tell people what God tells Him to say and speak in His Name. He also tells them how Jesus will punish the non-believers. Punishment is not something that is normally thought about at Christmastime. His Birth is celebrated during this time because He finally came to save us.

‘O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love; I will proclaim your faithfulness forever. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky. You said, “I have made a covenant with the man I chose; I have promised my servant David, ‘A descendant of yours will always be king; I will preserve your dynasty forever.’” ‘ (Psalm 89:3-4 NKJV)

David was promised to always have a king on the throne. I imagine he believed it would always be an earthly kingdom. But Jesus is King over all instead of just Israel and Judah. And His forever reign started one night in Bethlehem…

Isaiah ch7 vs14 NKJV.2

Immanuel. God with us. God came down in human form, taking the likeness of a tiny newborn, and He came to be with us. He lived among us and died for us. So that we could one day come to be with Him in Heaven.

One of the most remembered sections of the Bible that tells about Jesus’ coming is Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV:  

‘A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called,

“Wonderful Counselor,” 

“Mighty God,”

“Eternal Father,”

“Prince of Peace.” 

His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.’

Through exiles and disobedience, a new King rose from the stump that was the line of David.

 The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David’s descendants. (Isaiah 11:1-10 NKJV)

The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom and the knowledge and skill to rule his people.

He will know the Lord’s will and honor him, and find pleasure in obeying him.

He will not judge by appearance or hearsay; he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless.

At his command the people will be punished, and evil persons will die.

He will rule his people with justice and integrity.

Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats.

Calves and lion cubs will feed together, and little children will take care of them.

Cows and bears will eat together, and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace.

Lions will eat straw as cattle do.

Even a baby will not be harmed if it plays near a poisonous snake.

On Zion, God’s sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil.

The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. 

A day is coming when the new king from the royal line of David will be a symbol to the nations. They will gather in his royal city and give him honor.

When Jesus comes back, those who were saved through His death on the cross will go with Him to heaven, where He will rule forevermore in peace and justice. Nothing will harm us anymore and there will be no more evil as we give honor to our King!

 

Isaiah ch40 vs3-5 NKJV.2

 

The voice crying out was John, proclaiming the coming of our Lord and Savior. While John wasn’t present at Jesus’ birth because he was just an infant himself, he was still destined to lead Israel to Jesus.

He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17 NKJV)

Jesus was coming soon. And John was going to prepare God’s people for His arrival. One day, Jesus will come back. What are you doing to prepare for His return?

Hosea Chapter 14

saturday-devotions-hosea

In the final chapter, Hosea opens with a plea to Israel, telling them to return to God.

Hosea ch14 vs1-3 GNT (2)

Joel 2:13: Let your broken heart show your sorrow; tearing your clothes is not enough.” Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and full of mercy; he is patient and keeps his promise; he is always ready to forgive and not punish. GNT

Psalm 51:16-17: You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings. My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. GNT

God then promises to bring His people back to Him and love them with all of His heart. Despite their sins, He is no longer angry with them and will care for them and they will live and thrive under His protection.

Jeremiah 14:7: My people cry out to me, ‘Even though our sins accuse us, help us, Lord, as you have promised. We have turned away from you many times; we have sinned against you. GNT

He will answer their prayers and shelter them. The Israelites will no longer have anything to do with idols and God will be the source of their blessings.

John ch15 vs4 GNT (2)

Hosea then gives this charge at the end of the chapter: May those who are wise understand what is written here, and may they take it to heart. The Lord’s ways are right, and righteous people live by following them, but sinners stumble and fall because they ignore them.

Hosea ch14 vs9 GNT (2)

Psalm 111:7-8: In all he does he is faithful and just; all his commands are dependable. They last for all time; they were given in truth and righteousness. GNT

I believe Hosea can be summed up like this. God loves His people and will accept them back, even if He’s punished them for their sins. We just need to be faithful and follow Him.

Let me know your thoughts on Hosea in the comments below!

Hosea Chapter 13

saturday-devotions-hosea

Ephraim was once looked up to in Israel but now they worship Baal and other metal idols. They come up with images to worship, kiss, and offer sacrifices to. So the people of Ephraim and Israel will die because of their idol worship.

Their lives are short and vanish in the heat of the sun, the heat of their sin. ‘Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor’ (vs 3) the Israelites will disappear because of their wickedness.

Psalms ch1 vs4 NKJV (2)

God reminds them that He is their Lord and they should have no other God besides Him. He reminds them that He is their Savior alone and only He provided for them.

Isaiah 43:11: “I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you. GNT

Deut. 2:7: “Remember how the Lord your God has blessed you in everything that you have done. He has taken care of you as you wandered through this vast desert. He has been with you these forty years, and you have had everything you needed. GNT

Through Hosea, He tells them He will destroy them because now they’re proud. They have forgotten how He rescued them and cared for them. So, ‘like a lion’, ‘leopard’ or a ‘bear deprived of her cubs’ (vs 7-8) God says He will tear the Israelites to pieces and will devour them.

Jeremiah ch5 vs6 GNT (2)

They asked for a king but he cannot save them. None of the kings, princes, or judges God gave them will be able to save them. In His anger, God gave them a king and in His anger He will take the king away. He tells them that help can only come from Him, their true King.

1 Samuel 8:5-7: and said to him, “Look, you are getting old and your sons don’t follow your example. So then, appoint a king to rule over us, so that we will have a king, as other countries have.” Samuel was displeased with their request for a king; so he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said, “Listen to everything the people say to you. You are not the one they have rejected; I am the one they have rejected as their king. GNT

Hosea ch13 vs12 GNT (2)

If only the Israelites would turn from their wickedness, and choose love and obedience, then they will be saved. But they are too stubborn and foolish, ‘like a child about to be born, who refuses to come out of the womb.’ (vs 13)

Micah 4:9-10: Why do you cry out so loudly? Why are you suffering like a woman in labor? Is it because you have no king, and your counselors are dead? Twist and groan, people of Jerusalem, like a woman giving birth, for now you will have to leave the city and live in the open country. You will have to go to Babylon, but there the Lord will save you from your enemies. GNT

Samaria and Israel will be punished for their rebellion. God will allow death and destruction and plagues to kill the people. They will die in war, while babies and pregnant women are dashed to the ground and torn open.

2 Kings ch18 vs12 GNT (2)

Yikes. That’s a harsh way to end the chapter. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Hosea Chapter 12

saturday-devotions-hosea

The people of Israel work all day but it’s all useless. Treachery and violence abound as they make treaties with Assyria and Egypt.

God accuses Judah and Israel and will punish them for the way they act and what they’ve done.

Micah ch6 vs2 NKJV (2)

Hosea recounts how Jacob struggled with Esau and fought against God and an angel. He asked for a blessing and spoke with God.

Genesis ch32 vs26-28 NKJV (2)

He tells people to return to God and trust Him and be loyal and just. He tells them to be patient and wait for God to act, something everyone needs to do these days. Sometimes there are times we need to wait for God to act and be patient. His timing is different from ours and we need to be patient and wait for Him and while we wait, be loyal to Him.

Micah ch6 vs8 NKJV (2)

God says that the Israelites are so corrupt, they’re as bad as the Canaanites and cheat customers with scales. They claim they’re rich and got their fortunes honestly. However, God will make them live in tents again just as they did after they were led out of Egypt instead of their fancy houses bought with dishonest gain.

They relied more on their riches and dishonest gain than in God.

Psalm 62:10: Don’t put your trust in violence; don’t hope to gain anything by robbery; even if your riches increase, don’t depend on them. GNT

God should be our number one provider because everything we have, He has blessed us with. He alone gives us what we need and in our desperate times, we must remember that He is always with us and will always give us what we need when we need it.

Matthew 6:31-34: “So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings. GNT

Proverbs ch11 vs1 GNT (2)

God spoke to the prophets and gave them visions. He also sent the Israelites warnings through them. But those in Gilead and Gilgal worshiped and sacrificed to idols instead of the Lord who saved them. They will die and the altars will become piles of stone.

2 Kings 17:13: The Lord had sent his messengers and prophets to warn Israel and Judah: “Abandon your evil ways and obey my commands, which are contained in the Law I gave to your ancestors and which I handed on to you through my servants the prophets.” GNT

So everything they’ve worked for will turn to ruin because they don’t do it for God and they don’t worship Him. They receive their punishment because they don’t obey His commands.

Hosea tells of how Jacob traveled to Mesopotamia and worked for a man to get a wife. He tells how God sent a prophet, Moses, to rescue the slaves in Egypt and care for them. Perhaps he mentions these things because he’s showing how God has moved through the Israelites history to bring them to this moment. Could also be that he is giving these examples of obedience and love. If you love God, you will obey Him, just as Jacob did, who became Israel, and Moses did, who shepherded God’s people out of Egypt and slavery.

Psalms ch77 vs20 NKJV (2)

The Israelites have angered the Lord and made him ‘bitterly angry’ (vs 14) through their disobedience. They no longer love Him like they should. Verse 14 also says ‘they deserve death for their crimes’.

Ezekiel 18:10-13: “Then suppose this man has a son who robs and kills, who does any of these things that the father never did. He eats sacrifices offered at forbidden shrines and seduces other men’s wives. He cheats the poor, he robs, he keeps what a borrower gives him as security. He goes to pagan shrines, worships disgusting idols, and lends money for profit. Will he live? No, he will not. He has done all these disgusting things, and so he will die. He will be to blame for his own death. GNT

Through Hosea, God says He will punish them for the disgrace they’ve brought Him.

Micah ch6 vs16 GNT (2)

What did you think of this chapter? Share your thoughts in the comments below! We’re almost done with Hosea!!

Hosea Chapter 11

saturday-devotions-hosea

God says that He’s loved Israel from the beginning. Verse 1 is also a prophecy on when Joseph was called to take Mary and Jesus out of Egypt because it was safe to leave.

Matthew 2:15: where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “I called my Son out of Egypt.” GNT

False gods and idolatry called to their fleshly desires. So despite His love, they left God to sacrifice to Baal and other carved images.

2 Kings 17:13-15: The Lord had sent his messengers and prophets to warn Israel and Judah: “Abandon your evil ways and obey my commands, which are contained in the Law I gave to your ancestors and which I handed on to you through my servants the prophets.” But they would not obey; they were stubborn like their ancestors, who had not trusted in the Lord their God. They refused to obey his instructions, they did not keep the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they disregarded his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves, and they followed the customs of the surrounding nations, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them. GNT

Despite God being there for them from the very beginning and healing their sickness, they left Him. God led them gently and with love, removing their burdens and yoke of slavery. He fed them, face to face, like a parent does with a young child.

 

Deuteronomy ch1 vs31 nkjv (2)

Deuteronomy 32:10-11:

“He found them wandering through the desert,

a desolate, wind-swept wilderness.

He protected them and cared for them,

as he would protect himself.

Like an eagle teaching its young to fly, catching them safely on its spreading wings, the Lord kept Israel from falling. GNT

God declares they won’t return to Egypt but the Assyrians will rule over them because they refuse to repent. The sword of Assyria will destroy their cities because they trusted their counsel and not God’s.

 

Leviticus ch26 vs13 nkjv

Israel is ‘bent on backsliding’ (vs 7) and even though they call to God, they don’t exalt Him.

My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him. (vs 7, NKJV)

It looks like God isn’t willing to completely give Israel up to Assyria. His heart aches for them and He feels sympathy for them.

 

Hosea ch11 vs8 NKJV (2)

Because of His Holiness, God decides not to release His anger on Ephraim and completely destroy them.

The Lord ‘will roar like a lion’ (vs 10) and then His people will come after Him in fear and with trembling.

Isaiah 31:4: The Lord said to me, “No matter how shepherds yell and shout, they can’t scare away a lion from an animal that it has killed; in the same way, there is nothing that can keep me, the Lord Almighty, from protecting Mount Zion.

Then God ‘will let them dwell in their houses’ (vs 11). They will be allowed in their own land again, brought out of Egypt and Assyria.

Ezekiel ch28 vs25-26 GNT (2)

At the end of the chapter, God charges Israel and Ephraim with lies and deceit but declares that Judah still walks with Him and that He is Holy and faithful.

Israel and Judah Are Condemned
12 The Lord says, “The people of Israel have surrounded me with lies and deceit, and the people of Judah are still rebelling against me, the faithful and holy God.
What did you think of this chapter? Let me know in the comments below! We’re almost done with Hosea. Finally. 🙂