TIDBITS OF TRUST

In the post, Taking  Nibbles, Not Mouthfuls, I described how to study the Bible in small bites versus large chunks to obtain a deeper knowledge of the scriptures. In this post, I will provide more suggestions.

If you are not sure where to begin your journey on studying the Holy Bible, I suggest to start with the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a book that contains a collection of moral sayings, teachings and instructions, written by Solomon, attributed to be the wisest man ever. The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom and knowledge, guidance on daily functions, activities and issues. It can assist with everyday life. Proceed with processing pieces of Proverbs.

Another recommendation, look in the concordance of your Bible and find a word that you want a deeper comprehension, especially if these are areas you need to change., i.e., anger, fear, integrity, love, wisdom, knowledge, understanding… The list is endless. After the word is found, look up all the strictures that pertain to that word and watch your learning increase.

Below are scripture out of the book of Proverbs concerning trust. Using the nibble not mouthful technique, let us take tidbits of trust.

The 2 scriptures are broken down for clarification and edification. Read: Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV).

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and a lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Definition: Trust is an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone. In this case, we should have a guaranteed confidence or certainty in the Lord.

Breakdown 1: Trust in the LORD with all your heart… We should have a guaranteed confidence or certainty in the Lord with all of our minds (thinking) and hearts (inner character).

Breakdown 2: lean not on your own understanding… We should not rely on our own knowledge and discernment, because we are too often swayed in different directions by other opinions, thoughts and philosophies.

Breakdown 3: all your ways acknowledge Him… Acknowledge is defined as to regard, describe, tell, disclose or recognize. We are to regard or recognize God in all aspects and in all areas of our lives.

Breakdown 4: He shall direct your paths… Lastly, after we trust God, do not depend on our own thoughts and have included Him in all areas of our lives, then He will guide, move and point us in the correct course, route, and direct us to a prosperous life.

a This small letter indicates that there is a reference to another scripture. Giving more clarity (to lean not on your own understanding) Read: Jeremiah 9:23 New King James Version (NKJV).

Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches.

Breakdown 1: Thus says the Lord… God is saying and telling us something.

Breakdown 2: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom…Do not let the educated, crafty or knowledgeable man boast, praise or honor himself in his knowledge and understanding.

Breakdown 3: Let not the mighty man glory in his might… Do not let the powerful, strong or extraordinary man boast, praise or honor himself in his power.

Breakdown 4: Nor let the rich man glory in his riches… Do not let the wealthy, affluent, rich man boast, praise or honor himself in his money or possessions.

Taking the tidbits of trust, I hope you understand the importance of not trusting   yourself, power or money, but in God. God will do His part, if you will do your part.

TAKE NIBBLES, NOT MOUTHFULS

New Year’s is approaching. Many people will begin making their New Year’s Resolutions. People want to start new things, in the New Year. I commend individuals who recognize that a change should be made and are making preparations to make it happen.

Well, if one of your resolution is to read the Bible and learn about God’s Word, I have some suggestions that may make the resolution come to light and the ability to keep the resolution throughout the year.

If you have made the resolution and you are ready to make the plunge, it should be more than a verbal commitment. It should not be something that sounds good to say to yourself and others, to receive that pat on your back that you are doing something spiritual. It should be mental. To have a mindset that you are truly going to do this task and have a relationship with God.

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6 (KJV)

Here are some suggestions for your New Year’s quest.

Get a Bible. I realize that there are Bible apps and online Bibles that can be read. And, as long as you are reading God’s Word, what difference does it make how you study the scriptures. I am old school and prefer a physical book that I can hold in my hands and can turn the pages. In my opinion, having a physical Bible wins out because  you may be reading a specific scripture or chapter, sometimes your eyes may catch interesting things on the adjoining page; or above or below your sectioned reading. This is a plus in having a physical Holy Bible.

Pick a specific version of the Holy Bible. I am not going to overwhelm you with the various types of Bible to choose from. The list is endless. With God’s guidance, choose the Holy Bible that best suits your needs. Make sure that whatever Bible you choose has the Old and New Testament, scripture references and a concordance. Scripture references allow you to research other scriptures on the same subject matter to bring clarity. A Bible concordance is an alphabetical listing of words and phrases found in the Holy Bible. It indicates where a specific word or phrase can be located throughout all the books of the Bible. Again, these features can be found online, but if you are going to make an effort, make the commitment. If you are stuck on thinking everything should be done online, remember, if you are taking online classes, the class/instructor requires you to buy a hard cover book.

Bible Dictionary. In the back of most Bibles, there is a dictionary. You can choose to buy one separately. Or, you can look up words online. A dictionary is a must. You must be able to understand the true essence of words, to receive a deeper understanding.

Bible schedule. Choose a time that works for you. Early in the morning, late at night or during lunch. Again, your schedule should suit your demands. You made the resolution, now pick a time.

Bible Program. There are many Bible schedules and programs available. Some of them include reading a chapter a day. Read one chapter from the beginning of the Bible (Genesis); one chapter from the middle (Psalms and Proverbs) and then a chapter from the beginning of the New Testament. With that program, you are getting a little bit of everything, all at once. Others recommend to start at the beginning and read the Bible like a novel. This is where people plunge, run and then hit the wall. Read my suggestion in the next step.

Take a nibble. This is my recommendation. In the beginning, instead of reading an entire chapter, which may contain multiple subject matters to ponder, several words or phrases to look up and dozens of cross reference with other scriptures. My tip is to read 1-3 scriptures of a specific chapter, at a time. Take those scriptures break it down for meaning and contents; look up unfamiliar words; and cross references. This way you will get the full meaning of the passage instead of glossing over things just to announce to yourself and others that you read an entire chapter. If you take a nibble, it will be easier to digest. Just bear in mind, the Bible should be read for the quality of the Word versus the quantity of how much you read.

Listed below is an example of taking nibbles of a scripture.

An example of taking a nibble of peace. Read: John 14:27 New King James Version (NKJV)

ªPeace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

A new student of the Holy Bible will quickly read over the passage and say this is a scripture about peace. That is true, but it contains so much more.

This one scripture can be dissected into 5 parts and contains 2 cross references and a few words to be defined for clarity.

Definition: Look up the word peace. Peace means a state or tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thought.

Breakdown 1: Peace I leave with you… The Son of God is telling His disciples, AND us that He is leaving His peace with us. He is leaving us with a state of tranquility and quietness.

Breakdown 2: my peace I give to you… He is giving (granting, bestowing, and putting in our possession) this precious gift of peace to us. It is a gift.

Breakdown 3: not as the world gives do I give to you… He is clearly stating that His peace is not the same as the peace of this world. He is letting us know that there is a great difference.

Breakdown 4: Let not your heart be troubled… He is telling us not to let our hearts (inner character or feelings) be troubled (worried, concerned or stressed).

Breakdown 5: neither let it be afraid… Also, He reminds us not to allow our hearts (inner character, feelings) to be afraid (filled with fear).

ªThis small letter indicates there is a reference to another scripture. There are 2 references to look up from that one scripture. Philippians 4:7 and Colossians 3:15. For time’s sake, you can look up these scriptures on your own for more clarification.

The scripture above contained a great deal of content. It means more than a scripture about peace. Breaking down the scripture brings a greater understanding about peace, the different types of peace, Who gave the peace and what we should and should not do.

Just for practice. Find a scripture about love, joy, anger or any other emotion. Look up words for clarity. Break the scripture down. Cross reference other scriptures. Taking morsels of scriptures, can be digested, more easily in our minds and hearts. Start nibbling on the Holy Bible today.

P and J

This is the time of the year, you will hear the song, Joy to the World and the saying, Peace on Earth. Many express it to others, out of habit, or maybe because of a strong sense of the holiday spirit. Yet, others believe this is not a time of peace and joy, but of stress.

The question is: Do your really have peace and joy in your everyday life? Not during this season, when holiday embellishments consume you, with all of its attractions. Many people will testify that peace cannot be present with all the stress of raising children, keeping employment, remaining in relationships and dealing with financial worries. Do you feel joy every day? Probably not. The real question is, do you feel more stressed, scattered and overwhelmed, than joy?

Peace is a state of tranquility or quietness. Joy is great happiness; or an expression felt after the success in doing something. Both characteristics are actions; meaning you must do something. You must have a mindset to choose them and keep them. Every day we make choices. Peace and joy are choices, the same way stress and grief are choices.

How do we get these gifts of peace and joy? They have already been given to you, by God. Most will not believe that concept. But, peace and joy are free gifts from our Father. As any gift given, it is up to you to keep them; cherish them; and fight for them, if someone or something wants to take these precious presents away.

How do we release the jolts of joy and produce the pacts of peace?

First get rid of the concept of having peace means you are floating on a cloud, without a care in the world. Or, joy means to wake up laughing and throughout the day chuckling at all events that occur.

  • Make a decision to obtain peace and job and the willingness to carry out steps to keep them.
  • Avoid, isolate or get rid of friends and family that loves to be involved in messes, stresses and distresses.
  • Stay away from situations and issues that will be keep you overwhelmed and pressured.
  • Pick your battles. Some battles are not worth fighting.
  • Stay in you lane. Stop getting involved in other people’s drama.

The hard reality is, many people do not really want peace and joy. They say that they do, but they do not want to give up the things that steals P and J. People love the drama of gossip, having a say in other people’s affairs, going to places that will certainly bring mayhem. Or, doing things that harvest theatrics. Excitement comes from spreading fake news, believing things out of the ordinary. There is a certain thrill derived from these things. But, trust me, the thrills and excitement will not last. Though they are much desired, they should be removed from your life. When obesity comes from stress eating, high blood pressure materializes from distress and gastric issues from worry. When you feel that your life is at the point of destruction, only then will a more serene life be coveted.

Life can be drama and dread. Peace and joy can be found only in believing, knowing and having confidence in God, that whatever the issue or situation you may be experiencing will be resolved in time. Not by you, or in your time, but in God’s way and time.

When you take the pressure off of yourself and let God work. Joy jogs toward you and peace pursues you. You must believe this is possible.

You must believe.

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. Romans 15:13Amplified Bible (AMP)

How do we get faith?

 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17King James Version (KJV)

How do we hear? By listening to God’s Word. By reading His Word in the Holy Bible.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16King James Version (KJV)

Listen to the teachers or wise people God sends you.

The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. Proverbs 15:31-32King James Version (KJV)

Put on your PJ, not during the holiday season, but every day.