Archive | Dive In Challenge RSS for this section

Dive In: Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. -Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)

Hello blog readers! For everyone participating in the #2019DiveinChallenge, we are memorizing one of my favorite verses this week. I love, love, LOVE Proverbs 4:23. I’ve found it to be so helpful for me as I walk with Christ.

There are sooooo many things that I find my heart needs to be guarded from. I’m tempted often to allow lust, anger, retaliation, fear, idolatry, bitterness, anxiety, unforgiveness, and so many other poisonous things into my heart. Proverbs 4:23 reminds me that whatever I allow into my heart – will determine the course of my life. Everything I do will flow from whatever I allow into my heart. When I recognize any other these poisonous traits seeping in – I confess it to God and ask Him to remove it. It’s not always easy. There have been times when I’ve wanted to stew in my feelings. But, I’ve found that my happiness remains in tact, and peace resonates in my spirit… when I give matters to God. It allows me to be free in who I am supposed to be.

I often pray that God will help me to guard my heart in specific matters. I need help, and He can surely guard it better than I can. I’ve found that my response to disappointing situations will be calm, and seasoned with understanding or compassion. I know that God is guarding my heart from anger and bitterness when that happens. I even pray that God will guard my son’s heart. I pray that above all else, you will guard your heart in Jesus.


**The goal of the #2019DiveInChallenge is to intentionally spend more time in God’s word, and commit to memorizing scripture. When the word of God is hidden in your heart, you will begin to realize what Jesus meant when he said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b NIV).”  That same verse in the NLT translation says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

*All scriptures are quoted from the NIV version unless otherwise noted. Feel free to memorize in whatever version you prefer!

Dive In: Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

Hello blog readers! For everyone participating in the #2019DiveinChallenge, I pray that you have had time to refresh your mind, and reflect on God’s word. The goal of the challenge is to intentionally spend more time in God’s word, and commit to memorizing scripture. When the word of God is hidden in your heart, you will begin to realize what Jesus meant when he said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b NIV).”  That same verse in the NLT translation says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

We have a new verse to focus on this week. Hebrews 4:12 is a reminder of how powerful God’s word is. His word is alive and active. One of the names of Jesus is “The Word of God.”

“He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” – Revelation 19:13

Jesus is a Living God, who is very active in the lives of His people. The Word of God penetrates to the deepest place in our hearts and lives. The Word of God cares about our thoughts, and our attitudes.

As we go through this week together, I pray that you experience the alive and active Word of God.

*All scriptures are quoted from the NIV version unless otherwise noted. Feel free to memorize in whatever version you prefer!

Dive In: Colossians 1:13-14

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13-14

Hello blog readers! For everyone participating in the #2019DiveinChallenge, we are entering our fourth week together.

The goal of the challenge to intentionally spend more time in God’s word and commit to memorizing scripture. When the word of God is hidden in your heart, you will begin to realize what Jesus meant when he said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b NIV).”  That same verse in the NLT translation says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

So far, we have memorized Romans 8:1-2Romans 6:23, and Ephesians 2:8-9.

It’s important to recite these verses occasionally so that you will remember them as we move forward!

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

Over the past 3 weeks, we have focused on salvation. We’ve learned what the word of God says about eternal life being a free gift that is received through faith. This week, I’ve chosen Colossians 1:13-14 for us to memorize.

I chose this verse because of the stigma many people have about the word “saved”. For some, the idea of being saved is unattractive. The world defines being “saved” as boring, uncool, or having to follow strict rules that zap all the fun out of life. That is a lie from Satan. The gift of salvation is the greatest rescue mission ever performed. If the word “saved” sounds off-putting to you – think of it as being rescued. Every person who has not received the gift of eternal life is in the dominion of darkness. The word dominion is defined as sovereignty or control. It’s also referred to as “territory”. The only way out is through Jesus. John 14:6 tells us, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is in whom we have redemption.

The word “redemption” is defined as the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. Why would we need redemption, or why would there need to be an exchange for payment on our behalf? Because the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and Jesus paid the ultimate price (in our place) so that we could be offered forgiveness.

As we go through this week together, find peace and rest in Colossians 1:13-14.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

*All scriptures are quoted from the NIV version unless otherwise noted. Feel free to memorize in whatever version you prefer!

Dive in: Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Hello blog readers! For everyone participating in the #DiveInChallenge, congratulations on completing week 2! So far, we have memorized Romans 8:1-2 and Romans 6:23.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

If you’re just joining the challenge, there’s no required starting point. Jump in anytime! The goal is to intentionally spend more time in God’s word and commit to memorizing scripture. When the word of God is hidden in your heart, you will begin to realize what Jesus meant when he said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b NIV).”  That same verse in the NLT translation says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

As we move forward in the challenge, remember to recite the verses you’ve already learned. Otherwise, even if you’ve memorized them, they will only be in your short-term memory – and eventually you could forget them. Fortunately, since you’ve learned them, it will be easy to recite the learned verses occasionally, to keep them fresh in your mind and rooted in your heart. Also, when you have your quiet time with God, reflect on the scriptures you are memorizing – and think about what they mean to you personally.

This week, we are going to build on what the word of God says about salvation. Last week, our verse taught us that eternal life in heaven is a free gift, that could never be earned. No one can “work their way” to heaven, or be good or holy enough to qualify entrance. Heaven is a gift! This week, we are re-emphasizing that truth – but also learning how to receive that free gift. That’s why we’re memorizing Ephesians 2:8-9.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

We receive the free gift of life through faith. This is wonderful news for all of mankind, because faith is something anyone can offer. Notice, the verse does NOT say you have been saved, through regular church attendance… neither does it say, you have been saved through living a holy life. Jesus came to save sinners! That’s me, you, and the rest of the world. Faith in Jesus is the key to heaven.

Here is what Jesus did that we have faith in:

Isaiah 53:6 reminds us that, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Iniquity is sin, wickedness, immoral thoughts and behavior… The Lord placed all of your sin upon Himself, and He personally paid the penalty for your sin wages when He was nailed to the cross.  The Lord paid the debt that you and I owe.

This next part is important! Faith is a matter of the heart – not a matter of the mind. Faith is not head-knowledge. Having head-knowledge means you’ve read it or heard it, and know what the bible says about Jesus dying for the world’s sins – but don’t believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins. Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.

faith-is

Romans 10:10 lets us know, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

If you have difficulty believing in your heart that Jesus died for you personally, ask Him to strengthen your faith. He most certainly will – because it is His will for everyone to have eternal life.

If this is your first time realizing that the free gift of eternal life is received through faith – and you would like to accept this gift, you can simply thank the Lord in your heart (in your own words) and tell Him that you want this gift! If you are unsure what to say to the Lord, I can lead you in prayer if you’d like. Repeat the following prayer in your heart:

Lord,
Thank you for dying for my sins. There is nothing I could ever do to earn the gift of eternal life, and I receive this gift that you paid for with your life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

As we go through this week together, find peace and rest in Ephesians 2:8-9.

 

*All scriptures are quoted from the NIV version unless otherwise noted. Feel free to memorize in whatever version you prefer!

divein small

Have that conversation!

Hello blog readers, and everyone doing the #2019DiveInChallenge!

This challenge is all about hiding the word of God in your heart. Each week we memorize a new passage of scripture, and reflect on what that passage means to us individually. As we move forward, I want to let you know that this challenge is also an effort to have more intentional, God-centered conversations. As we grow in God’s word, it becomes hard *not to talk about Him. A God-centered conversation doesn’t have to be a 30-minute sermon. It can be as simple as reminding your son or daughter that God’s creativity can be seen in the beauty of a peacock! His kindness is shown even to the birds, as He always remembers to feed them. Evidence of God’s goodness is all around us.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…” Psalms 19:1-4a

In the following video, I’m recounting a conversation I had today with my son. I want to share to hopefully encourage you to take advantage of opportunities to talk about God.


Where do you see God working in your life? If you’re breathing, God is surely working in your life.

dive in hide gods word

Dive in: Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23

 

Hello blog readers! For everyone participating in the #DiveInChallenge, congratulations on completing week 1, as we memorized Romans 8:1-2.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

Hopefully, you’ve been able to reflect on that passage of scripture and find comfort in it. What a gift, to be set free from the penalty of sin. This week’s verse is intended to build on that truth. The first part of Romans 6:23 tells us what sinners, by law, should receive. The rightful payment owed to every sinner is death. But, the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. What a lifeline!

The reason I chose this verse is because it’s important to know that eternal life is a gift. It can never be earned or deserved. Gifts are free. No amount of charity donations, church service, volunteer work, giving to the poor, or “living a good life” could ever earn a person’s way into heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Isaiah 53:6 reminds us that, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Iniquity is sin, wickedness, immoral behavior…. The Lord placed all of your sin upon Himself, and He personally paid the penalty for your sin wages when He was nailed to the cross.  The Lord paid the debt that you and I owe. Ephesians 2:8 emphasizes that we are saved through faith. Having faith is within everyone’s ability – not only for society’s elite, or the financially wealthy, or scholars, or priests.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

As you grow in your walk with the Lord, you will make mistakes. When you do, repent, ask the Lord for forgiveness, and move forward. The Lord loves you, and has the sufficient patience needed to help you grow into the masterpiece He intended. Don’t believe the lie that you have to live a near-perfect life to receive the gift of heaven. Heaven is the free gift of God to everyone who has faith in Jesus. He came to save sinners!

As we go through this week together, find peace and rest in Romans 6:23.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Prayer:
Heavenly Father,  Thank you for speaking to us through your word. May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which you have called us, the riches of your glorious inheritance in your holy people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

*All scriptures are quoted from the NIV version unless otherwise noted. Feel free to memorize in whatever version you prefer!




 

Apps for memorizing scripture

Hello blog readers!
I am very encouraged by seeing your response to the #2019DiveInChallenge. The goal is to help you along as you grow in your walk with the Lord. I am praying for you! I hope that you will invite others to dive deeper into the word of God with you, and memorize scripture.

I looked up some apps that might help you memorize. There’s even an app for kids! I typically go the old-fashioned route, repeating something over and over until I’ve learned it. But sometimes apps make life easier, and I think I’ll try at least one of these! (The BibleMinded app looks like a good one for learning longer passages.)

*App descriptions are from developers’ websites!

 

BibleMinded
Search the entire Bible for the exact verse that you want to memorize. Like memorizing large chunks of Scripture at a time? No problem, with BibleMinded you can add a whole chapter or any amount of passages from a chapter. BibleMinded also makes it easy to add as many verses as you would like to memorize from any of our Bible versions. We know a lot of you love memorizing tons of verses at once where some of you take it a verse at a time. BibleMinded makes it easy to use and focus on your verses no matter whether you are adding one or 10.
Download here.

 

The Bible Memory App
With The Bible Memory App, you’ll memorize by actively engaging three separate cognitive areas: Audio, Visual & Touch memory.

★ Touch: Type the first letter of each word in a verse to quickly memorize it
★ Audio: Record verse audio and try to speak along with the playback *pro feature
★ Visual: Draw Illustrations & Review verses using Flash Cards *pro feature

The Bible Memory App is more than an app, it’s a complete Bible Memory System for mobile devices and the web. Use The Bible Memory App on your Android and Apple devices. Your progress stays in sync between all of your devices!
Download here.

 

Bible Memory Kids
Bible Memory Kids makes Bible memory fun and easy. Kids can memorize by themselves, regardless of reading level! Even pre-readers can memorize God’s Word! Download here.

 

Fighter Verses (IOS only)
The Fighter Verses Bible memory system was created to help believers persevere in the fight of faith by arming them with God’s Word. Designed for children through adults, this system allows individuals, groups, or entire churches to memorize and review at their own pace. 
Download here.

 

Verses (IOS only)
Start memorizing more Scripture with Verses! Join others who have played over 10 million memory games to learn passages perfectly over 500,000 times! Memorize quickly and easily with simple memory games, then stay motivated by tracking your progress over time using Verses memory health tracking.
Download here.

 

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the desire you have placed in the hearts of your children to know your word. I pray that you fill our hearts with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that we may live a life worthy of the Lord and please you in every way … bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. In Jesus name, Amen.

Read Colossians 1:9-10

 

Dive In: Romans 8:1-2

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Hello blog readers! In the previous blog, I announced the #DiveInChallenge – an initiative to encourage everyone to memorize the word of God in 2019. The first passage we will memorize as a group is Romans 8:1-2. Lots of people who grew up attending church are familiar with Romans 8:1 (there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus). The reason I’ve chosen this passage is because recently I’ve heard too many people say things like, “I’m trying to live right so I will make it to heaven”.  There are Christians familiar with Romans 8:1 – who live in anxiety because they fear they might lose their salvation and wake up in hell because of some sin they are battling.

Friends, there are always consequences to choosing sin. Our imperfection is proof!  The law of sin is referred to in Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As you stay in God’s word – the seduction and addiction of sin will weaken and become powerless over you. Find comfort in Romans 8:2 — having confidence that once you are saved, you are always saved. Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Praise God!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

#2019DiveInChallenge

Prayer:
Heavenly Father,  Thank you for revealing yourself to us through your word. I trust that as we spend time learning scripture, you will speak to us through the passages. I’m so excited to hear about the ways your word will come alive in the hearts of those who are committed to diving in like never before. As we go through our week, may your word become personal to us. May we be filled with joy, growing in the knowledge of who You are, and how You love us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

*All scriptures are quoted from the NIV version unless otherwise noted. Feel free to memorize in whatever version you prefer!

 


 

 

Dive in Challenge!

Hello blog readers, and welcome to the revamp!
It’s been over a year since I’ve written. God has been working on me in new ways. I’m excited to share some of those experiences with you through this blog. God has placed on my heart a very special mission for “Pray Hear Obey”, and I’d like to invite everyone who desires to participate.

A close friend recently asked me to help her memorize the word of God. As we’ve gone through weeks of reciting verses to one another, she shares how that verse has come alive throughout her week. One morning, as I celebrated her amazing growth  – God’s Holy Spirit reminded me that more people need to intentionally spend time learning and memorizing His word. He placed on my heart a mission to help others do just that.

I’m inviting you to spend time with me memorizing scripture – hiding the word of God in your heart. I’m launching the “Dive In Challenge” – encouraging you to make God’s word a top priority in 2019. You will find that as you memorize, and meditate on scripture – His word will prove to be alive and active. When the difficulties of life greet you, God’s powerful Holy Spirit will cause you to remember His Word, promises, and faithfulness. His word is the key to living the abundant life He died for you to receive.

As we move forward, please comment and share how the verses have spoken to you throughout the week. Share tips that help you memorize! Everyone learns differently, and we can all learn from one another.

Roughly, the verse will change weekly. However, sometimes we will be learning longer verses. Based on feedback, if we need a little extra time on a verse, we’ll take it. As we learn new scripture, we’ll also refresh what we’ve already learned. God wants to reveal Himself to us intimately. He promises to draw near to us as we draw near to Him. Let Him prove it to you! Let’s spend 2019 diving into His word like never before. Take the #DiveInChallenge. There’s real treasure up for grabs. The first verse that we will learn will be revealed in the next blog post.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

%d bloggers like this: