Never Give Up!

 

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Hello, my friends.

Two years ago, I fell and was stuck in a rough patch; a patch that many have fallen into, but not everyone breaks out of.

I wish to share the lessons that I have learnt whilst being “down in the dumps”.

1. MINDSET IS EVERYTHING.

My friends, please take note of this: Do not allow your circumstances to influence your thinking. You; yes, YOU have the power to change your circumstances. Life is difficult, but don’t let it bully you into submission. Don’t allow it to force you into a corner and you not do anything about it. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is bigger than our life circumstances, and not understanding, nor appreciating that God is in control will dampen your mood and make you question your self-worth.

Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Please note: God wants us to test and to approve what His will is; He wants us to do this. We just have to choose to renew our minds. Again, we have to choose to do this.

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2. DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF.

You are too special to do this yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and everything God has placed in you is wonderful (Psalm 139: 14). A good friend had told me not to pigeonhole yourself in one place. Life is filled with many things that one can venture into. Yes, it may mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but it’s a small price to pay compared to staying there and having zero chance to make life more positive for yourself.

3. NEVER LOSE HOPE

Proverbs 16: 3: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.

Do not forget the God you serve. Do not forget the hope that Jesus had died, and rose again for. Do not place your hope in man; they will disappoint you. Do not place your hope in things, for they can be taken away. Remain steadfast in the teachings of God and ask Him to lead you. He is the ONLY one who can fulfil your heart’s desire. Only He can lead you out of the dumps either through His word or through people who he has appointed to encourage you.

Life will always go up and down. When you fall down, it doesn’t mean you should stay down. Don’t build your house on sinking sand, but on the solid rock of Christ. Stay close to God and He will never let you down. The way will be made and all have to do is summon the courage to walk through. You owe it to yourselves.

Isaiah 43: 18 -19: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

We will make it my brothers and sisters! Never give up!

Tunde T. Amao

 

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Bible Study – Helpful Tools

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Hello, my friends.

I thought it would be nice to share some very helpful tools that help me out during Bible study or when I want to ask questions or gain extra information about biblical history.

1. GotQuestions?org

GotQuestions.org has to be my favourite research tool for Bible study. The organisation provides answers to any biblical, spiritual or religious questions that one may have. There are various categories that most questions fall under and you can search and read GQ’s answers to the questions many others have asked. I often use this to ask biblically related questions, and research on Philosophical and Theological concepts. It also enables you to ask questions directly to them, of which they will research and provide an answer within 2 – 3 days! GQ is also available as apps which you can download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for android devices respectively.

NB: I will be using this tool to provide background reading on particular issues that I will share in future posts. I really enjoy this tool and I’m sure that you would too!

2. Open Bible.

The Open Bible is useful for researching scriptures within particular topics. Want to know what the Bible says about love? Pop it in the search box, click “Find Out” and read, learn and study to your heart’s content!

NB: I will also use this tool to refer to a cluster of scripture within a topic raised in the upcoming blogs (Just like what I did above)!

3. Commentaries and the Interlinear/ Concordance function on the Blue Letter Bible app (Click here to download on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices).

This is a very useful tool for those who wish to dive deeper into God’s word (Everyone should want to do this in my opinion). The Interlinear/ Concordance function enables you to explore the Hebrew and Greek words themselves and to learn the meaning of the original word. For example, the name “Eden” means “pleasure”. Once you locate the root word, it also provides the terms luxury, dainty, delight, and finery. and the term “garden” in Hebrew is gan, which means “garden” (of course) and an “enclosure”. (An enclosure of luxury, dainty, delight, and finery. Sounds delightful!)

Biblical commentaries are written by Theologians and can help with what we can spend a lot of time seeking before actually reading the Word; context. They also offer a range of biblical analysis and cross biblical referencing, which I thoroughly enjoy. My personal favourite is the David Guzik commentaries but have a look at the others for your own personal taste.

Remember, these are tools to help Bible study to be systematic, fun and informative. However, none of these will be helpful if the reader/researcher is not spirit-led. Before you open your Bible and notepad, shoot a prayer from your heart asking God to open your eyes to His truth within the words. Have a receptive spirit and be expectant to hear from our Heavenly Father. His Word is to enable you to know Him better and to discover His plans for you as well as to enable you to live an effective lifestyle based on his Word.

Are there any Bible study tools that you would like to use? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading my friends, and my the Lord richly bless you. Amen.

Tunde T. Amao

 

Bible Study – Practical Tips

 

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Greetings, my friend.

As you may have read from our first post, we will now focus on practical tips for effective Bible study.

1. Having little to no knowledge is fine.

Don’t feel bad because you don’t know much about what the Bible holds. That’s why you want to find out! All you need is to have time set aside and a willingness to learn. The more you familiarise with reading and studying the Bible, the easier it becomes.

2. Have (access to) TWO (or more) Bibles.

Now, now, don’t panic. There is a good reason for this.

Although there are many different translations of the Bible, there are various “types” of Bibles. (Not to say that one is better than the other, as the Word of God will always be the Word of God.)

a. The Word for Word: Simply put, it is the literal translation from the Hebrew/Greek Bibles (Also called the Interlinear Bible). As the name suggests, it captures the message from the Hebrew/Greek Bibles and puts it in English; word for word.

Examples: Interlinear, King James Version, New King James Version, English Standard Version.

b. Thought for Thought: These “types” of Bibles capture the thoughts and meanings behind the words used. Though some words have been changed extensive biblical research has made sure that the Spirit behind the words is still conveyed.

Examples: New Living Translation, New International Version, New Century Version, New American Bible.

Having two (or more) Bibles to study from is excellent as you tend to understand what you’re reading better. Having a Word for Word and a Thought for Thought can give you a good overall picture and a better context of what you are studying. As you saw from the first post, I personally use the New King James Version and the New International Version when studying.

Remember, before you do your research on which translation of the Bible you want to own and study from, don’t forget to read it before purchasing. It won’t be helpful if you pick up a translation and you can’t get much from it.

NB: Feeling excited? You can even go and look for a Bible concordance and study the Hebrew/Greek words themselves to get an even deeper understanding of the meaning of the word and the context it is used in. I recommend the “Blue Letter Bible” apps which you can download on your iPad, iPhone and Android devices for free.

3. Have an action plan

Remember you’re reading to learn, understand and apply the Word of God in your lives. So you need to develop your own reading plan or strategy that works well for you. If your bible has small sections where topics are often discussed, then that will be the best way to start. If not, then you can use the internet to search a point and find out Bible says about it. I recommend openbible.info/topics/ a quick reference point to find passages in the bible about your chosen topic quickly.

NB: It doesn’t have to be topics. You can decide to read whole books! For those who want to understand Christianity in a nutshell, the best starting point is the Book of Romans.

Want to learn more about Jesus? Start from the Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Seeking the wisdom of God to apply to your life? Then the Book of Proverbs is the way to go!

4. Ask for guidance and direction from God.

This is the most important point. Remember, we are not reading or studying for the sake of it. We’re seeking God’s face and asking for His input in our lives. We won’t be able to do this if we don’t know His word is in the situations we or others find ourselves in.

God has created every individual for a purpose. We need to ask Him to reveal to us what He has planned for us, and in one mind with Him so we can achieve what He wants us to achieve.

For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29: 11)

We need to humble our spirit and enter the Lord’s presence before reading His Word. Ask for wisdom and ask Him to direct you to what you need to know right now and to put it into practice. When preparing to read and study the Bible, have an expectant spirit, be sure to know that you will receive something from God Himself, that will benefit you and will give you peace of mind and life in the spirit. You may not understand it right now, but when the appointed time comes, you’ll definitely know and appreciate that God has your back always!

This post is not meant to portray as the most full-proof method of studying the Bible. Everyone has different strategies and different methods of Bible study. The intention is to give practical points on a method of study for beginners and to help stimulate your minds whilst creating or developing your own study pattern.

What methods do you use when studying the Bible? Please share your method in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading and may the Lord continue to bless you as you begin to dive deep into His Word.

Tunde T. Amao