Keegan Books

Using Your Bible

By now, most of you have become comfortable using your Bible, looking up Bible verses, becoming familiar with the books of the Bible, reading and underlining verses that are meaningful to you. You are beginning to realize that using your Bible can become enjoyable to you as you discover words of wisdom and guidance that will help your thinking, raise your mood and influence your decisions. We recently talked about the presence of God being with us. Refer back to that visit (3 visits ago) for that discussion of God’s presence being with us. Other Bible verses about God’s presence being with us include 2nd Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 16; Exodus, chapter 13 verse 21; Exodus, chapter 33, verse 14. We recently talked about the words “Strength” and “Guidance and Direction”. Refer back to those visits last week and the week before and review those Bible verses.Other verses on God’s guidance include Psalm chapter 32, verse 8; and Isaiah chapter 48, verses 17 and 18.With each visit, I will be giving you Bible verses to look up so that you will continue to learn how to use your Bible. We will continue to follow certain ideas and words that are seen throughout the Bible so that we can begin to understand God and His written Word, the Holy Bible. In this way, we will draw nearer to God,and grow in our love and  knowledge of Him. Until our next visit, may God bless you and guide you in all that you do this week.

Enjoying Your Bible

As we continue our study of the Bible, we are gradually learning how to use our Bible, God’s Holy Word. We are becoming familiar with the different books of the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. We are drawing nearer to God and learning about God, how He thinks and what He wants for us in our lives. In our last visits, we have presented some ideas and words that are found through the different books of the Bible that will help us understand how God’s presence is with us and how He strengthens us as we face the challenges in our lives. This week we are going to study the word “Guidance”. The word “Guide” and “Direct” are used interchangeably in different versions of the Bible. When we think of the word “guidance”, we think about someone helping us, showing us the way we should go, encouraging us in a certain direction or directing our thinking. There are several verses in the Bible that tell us that God will guide and direct us in our lives. In Isaiah 58, verse 11, we are told that the Lord will guide us continually as we live the life he wants us to live. In Proverbs, Chapter 3, verses 3 and 4 we are told that if we will trust in the Lord with all our hearts, that God will guide or our paths. Is Psalms 40, we are told that God drew us out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay and guided our steps. Other verses on guidance include Isaiah, Chapter 42, verse 16; and Isaiah, Chapter 30, verse 21. In all theses verses, the Bible is telling us that God is with us to guide us and direct us in the way we should go. As we grow in our knowledge and love of God, we will develop a sense of God’s presence being with us, nudging us in a certain way, placing a certain thought in our minds, directing and guiding us in what we should do. Remember, when you are reading certain verses in the Bible, read the verses above and below the specific verse you are reading, so that you may increase your knowledge and perspective of what that passage of scripture is saying to you. Until next time, may God continue to bless you as you continue to get to know Him through His Holy Word, the Bible. Have a great and blessed week.

Enjoying Your Bible

In our last visit, we talked about how similar words and ideas are found in the different books throughout the Bible even though one book may have been written several hundred years before or after another book of the Bible where similar words or ideas are found. We could see in our study of the scripture last week, that the idea that God is with us and will help us and uphold us as we go through life is found in several books of the Bible. This week we are going to study the word “strength”. The word strength is found in several books of the Bible. When we think about strength,we think about being strong, having the courage and fortitude to face head on the challenges that stand before us. We have the strength in us to climb that mountain, to build that bridge or to heal that relationship. In Isaiah 40, verses 28-31 and in verse 1 of Chapter 41, we are told to wait on the Lord, to listen to him in silence and our strength will be renewed. In Nehemiah, chapter 8, verse 10 we are told  to go our way for the joy of the Lord is our strength. In Job 17, verse 9, we are told that we grow stronger and stronger because our hands are clean. I understand that verse to say that if we live a rightful, clean, life, we will grow stronger and stronger as believers. In the New Testament, in Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, in Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13, we are told that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. There are many verses where the word strength is mentioned including Isaiah 35, verses 3-4; and Isaiah 30, verse 15. We, as believers, have to be strong in our faith so that we can face the challenges and live the lives that God has planned for us. In reading our Bibles, we will get much practical advise that will help us grow stronger and closer to God. I use the New Revised Standard Bible in my writings to you. Each of you will choose a Bible that is easy for you to read and understand. I often underline verses in my Bible that are meaningful to me so that I can find the verse I’m looking for when I go back to look for it. May you learn to use and enjoy your Bible as you continue to study the scriptures, God’s Holy Word. Until next time, have a wonderful and blessed week.

Using Your Bible

As we continue to learn how to use our Bibles, we will see that there are certain themes or ideas that are written throughout the Bible that help us as we are going through our lives facing the challenges of living. One of the ideas that is carried throughout the Bible is the idea that God is here with us in the present; and will help us and strengthen us.in our daily lives. These Bible verses will bring comfort to us in times of stress and unrest. To know that we have someone with us to help us gives us strength and courage to do what we need to do to get us through as we face our challenges. In Joshua chapter 1 verse 9, God directs us to be strong and of good courage for He is with us wherever we go. In Exodus Chapter 13 verse 21, God tells the Israelites that he will go in front of them to lead them so that they may travel day and night on their exodus from Egypt to the promise land of Israel. Another verse that tells us that God is with us to help us and give us strength can be found in Isaiah 41 verse 10 where God says he is with us and not to be fearful or afraid for he will strengthen us, help us  and uphold us with His right hand. In verse 13 of the same chapter God tells us He holds our right hand and that it is He who will help us. As we read the scriptures, we will begin to realize that God is with us and He will help us when we call upon him in prayer. We need to make our needs and requests known to God by praying to him. Day by day, month by month, we begin to see and feel God’s presence in us as we journey through life. We develope a closeness to God as we feel his presence with us. As we go forward, we will continue to discuss different ideas and themes that weave in and out of the books of the Bible  Until then,may God be with you and bless you today and every day as you draw near to Him.

Understanding Your Bible

As we continue our discussion on the Bible, we may ask the question as to why it is important for us to know and understand the Bible. What is in the Bible that will help us in our everyday lives? As we have discussed in the past, the Bible is the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD and by studying God’s Word, we are studying God, the Supreme Being, the Maker of heaven and earth,our Creator. We can begin to understand what God expects of us as mere humans here on earth, what we are to do with our lives and how we are to act and think in our relationship with God, with others and to ourselves. As we continue in our discussion, different Bible verses will be listed concerning a particular idea or value that will help us as we learn to use the Bible and relate what we are reading to our way of thinking. The follower will begin to see their spirit, mind and soul change as they are strengthen by the meaning of what they are reading. As we have studied Christ in our past discussions by becoming familiar with the Gospels, we can begin to think how we are changed as we become believers in Christ. Some verses to help us see these changes include Isaiah 35: verses 5 and 6;; 2nd Corinthians, chapter 5: verse 17; Romans 12:2 ; Luke 15-32; and John 1 verse 5.( remember that in looking up the verse, the book is listed first, the chapter number is listed second and the verse or verses are listed third). Of course there are many more verses, but this is a start in realizing the changes that occur in us as a believer and follower of Christ. Keep in mind the book you are reading from and where it is listed in the organization of the Bible that we listed in our last discussion. In this way you are expanding your knowledge of God’s Written Word. Until next time,may you be blessed in all that you do this week.

Knowing Your Bible

In our last visit, we said that we were going to look at how the Bible is organized in this visit. The more you read your Bible,the more you will realize the importance of knowing your Bible and how to use it. Knowing your Bible will enhance and broaden your understanding of God and his relationship to you. You will become familiar with different books of the Bible and some will become your favorite books as you expand your knowledge on how to use your Bible. The Bible is organized as follows:    

THE OLD TESTAMENT:                                                                            

THE LAW: Genesis through Deuteronomy                                             

THE HISTORY BOOKS: Joshua through Esther

THE BOOKS OF POETRY AND WISDOM; Job through the Song of Solomon.

THE PROPHETS: Isaiah through Malachi.

THE NEW TESTAMENT:

THE GOSPELS: Matthew through John.

The History Book: Acts.

PAUL’S LETTERS; Romans through Philemon

OTHER LETTERS: Hebrews through Jude.

REVELATION: Revelation.

Much of the Old testament is involved in describing or referring to the Exodus of the Jewish nation from Egypt,; the Laws of the Jewish Nation including the 10 commandments and about the Ark of the Covenant; the history of the formation of the Nation Israel; the building and worshiping in the first Temple, the fall of the northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC a the fall of the Southern Kingdom of Israel and the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC;.and the Prophets who prophesied to the Israel Nation of the coming destruction and fall of Israel and the coming of Christ as Savior of the World.

The New Testament, referred to as the New Covenant, describes the life and teachings of Christ, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ; the history of the formation of the Church; Paul’s letters and other letters giving advice on the Christian life and the prophecy of Revelation of the future of life on this earth.

This is a very brief summary,so as not to give you too much information at one time. I will give you Bible verses to read this week so that you can continue to learn to use your Bible and grow closer to God.Read a few verses each day or when you can.

Exodus 20, verses 1-17.   Psalm 8: verses 5-9;  Proverbs 31: verses       10-31;   Isaiah 55: verses 6-12;    Matthew 25: verses 34-40.

Until our next visit may you be increasingly blessed as you draw nearer to God in your walk with Him.

Knowing Your Bible

In our last discussion, we talked about how to use the Bible,by getting acquainted with the different books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. We discussed how to look up different chapters and verses in the Bible. Many already know about the Bible, but for the ones who are new believers, it is helpful to be given instruction in how to study and use the Bible. The Bible is referred to as the “Word of God” and by reading the Bible we obtain an awareness of how God thinks and what he expects of us as we live our lives. The Bible is one of the most important tools we have to draw nearer to God. By reading the Bible, we nourish our souls on God’s words,and in doing so, we grow in our faith. We become stronger in our beliefs and values which sustain us as we face the circumstances and challenges in our lives. In our next discussion we will see how the books of the Bible are organized so that we can better understand how to use our Bibles. Until then try to use your Bible as often as you can. Have a great and blessed week.

Knowing The Bible

In our last visit we talked about expanding our discussion from studying the Gospel Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to studying the other Books of the Bible. The study of the Bible can and will take a lifetime to complete.One must go to the Bible as often as possible in order to begin to understand it’s meaning and its value in one’s life. I once read in a book of quotations, that if one knew the Bible, He or She would not have to know any other book in order to survive and thrive in this life. There is much wisdom and guidance in its readings, ideals to consider and think about. To get started, take your Bible and look in the front portion of the Bible to the Table of Contents. You will notice that the Bible is divided into 2 parts, the Old and New Testament.Each Testament is composed of Books. Read through the Table of Contents and slowly comprehend the title of each of the Books of the Old and New Testaments. Then take the Bible into your hands and turn through the Bible starting at the front in the Old Testament and go from book to book until you go through the entire Bible through the New Testament. In this way you will begin to get familiar with the books of the Bible. Each title represents one book of the Bible. The book is divided into chapters with each chapter made up of different individual verses. When you are studying a text about the Bible and the instructions tell you to go to a certain verse, this is how you find that verse. This is how you find what the writer or the minister or teacher is talking about. For practice, look up the following texts from the Bible:  Psalms 23, verses 1-6; Job 22: verses 21-28; Galatians 5: verses 22 and 23.  You are going to a certain book, to a certain chapter to a certain verse or verses. This is how you begin to get to know how to use the Bible. When I am reading a devotion and the text refers to a Bible verse, I find that verse and read 2 or 3 verses above and below that verse. If the verse is meaningful to me, I underline or mark the verse so I can find it easily.Spend some time this week going through the Bible, looking at the Books of the Bible, becoming familiar in how the Bible is put together. We will be spending several weeks learning to use and understand the Bible. Until then, may God bless you throughout this week.

Drawing Near To Christ

We are continuing our journey of faith in Christ as we study his life in the Bible Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As we read the scriptures in these books of the Bible, we can trace Christ’s steps where he taught the good news of the kingdom and healed and cured every disease and sickness as described in Matthew chapter 4 verse 23, Whenever we come upon a geographic name of a city or area that Christ was at when he was teaching and healing in our readings,we can underline the name of the location and then look it up on a map of Israel. We will get the feeling of knowing Christ better by studying the words he taught, by understanding the way he treated others and what he emphasized as being important in living a Christ-like-life. We can picture Christ in our minds as we read about him whether he is on a mountain or near the sea or in a synagogue or at the temple. Our love of Christ will continue to grow and we will want to follow his teachings in our life.We have placed much  of emphasis on Christ and His life because He is the foundation of the Christian faith. (Christ  i an  faith.) the basis of the word Christian. We will begin to study other books of the Bible as we continue in our faith walk. Until next time, May God truly bless you in all that you do.

Drawing Near To Christ

As we continue our journey to draw near to Christ, let us see how Christ directs us to him by continuing to study his life and teachings in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the Holy Bible. In Matthew 11, verses 28-30, Christ says for all of us to come to Him who are weary and heavy burdened and He will give us rest. We can rest in Christ when we come to him in prayer. We have talked about prayer in the past. Christ says in John 15, verse 15, that He is our friend. We can talk to him in prayer as we would talk with a friend, unloading our burdens and problems to him, asking him to help us and guide us as we try to deal with what is happening in our lives. As we pray more and more to Christ, we will begin to see answers to our prayers occurring in our every day activities and circumstances. We will find rest and peace in Him. We will begin to realize that Christ’s Spirit is in us as believers and we can feel his presence in us. We will become stronger in our beliefs and faith in him and will draw nearer and nearer to him. Time is an important element in our relationship with Christ and so as our relationships with others takes time„our relationship with Christ also takes time to develop.This is why it is important to spend a few minutes or more each day in prayer,in reading about Christ in the Gospels and in studying books of faith such as devotional books. It is in this way we grow in our faith in Christ, drawing nearer and nearer to Him. Until next time,may God bless you in all that you do.