Personal Bible Study: Shewing Yourself Approved

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

This blog started because one day God got ahold of my heart to be more faithful than I ever had been before … in not just reading His Word EVERY day: no, but in STUDYING His Word every day. There is a great difference, my friend!

I do realize that I was MIA for far too many months … and I apologize for that. Sadly, life and poor mental health happened. In the process, I failed you, and I failed my heavenly Father.

Just recently I have been fervently praying to God to bring my writing back. I missed it. I missed my daily deep studies and thoughts. I missed being with you all.

In those prayers, God and I had some very open and honest conversations. Yikes! You know the kind that I am talking about, do you not? Well, God has answered my prayer … far above what I expected. Isn’t that just like our God?

God knows what I need, and He knows what you need, my friend! So, He has spoken to me about how I can accomplish His will for my life personally and also help to bring some sweet-smelling savours into your life for Him at the same time.

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning … even before this blog was started … when I was writing a daily devotional and only posting on Facebook, you will know that I love word studies. I also love to do a study for an entire month on one theme … with sub-themes for each day.

So, are you ready?? Brand NEW to you … and to me … I will design a FREE monthly STUDY sheet for you and me to study from. Oops! Did I say you … and me? Yes! We are going to STUDY together! Yay! It sounds like fun, does it not?

To start us off, this first FREE Devotional Study Sheet is available right now for you and me to start studying on May 1st. Yes, that is just a few short days ahead!

I have entitled this first Devotional Study Sheet, “Seeking God – Finding our All in Him.” For that is EXACTLY what you and I need to do … find our ALL in Him! Each day, you will find a sub-topic and scripture reference that follows that very thought.

So, how will this work, you ask? You will want to print off the Devotional Study Sheet AHEAD of time. While you are at it, go grab your Bible and your favorite journal and pen … please, NOT a loose piece of paper!!! Have them set aside and ready for May 1st.

Each day, find a quiet place and a quiet time. Begin with a prayer to God to clear your mind of all the ramblings, cares of this life … and whatever else that has found their way there. Ask Him to give you wisdom and insight into what He wants you to learn that day.

Begin by writing down the date in your journal … and I also write down the day of the week. Take your Devotional Study Sheet and write down the topic for the day. Once you have found the scripture in your Bible, write it out verbatim as well. Then prayerfully read through the verse. Allow time to meditate and for the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.

Once you have done this, then allow the Holy Spirit to draw your mind toward other verses and cross-references that go along with that topic … or even other topics. The important thing is to let Him draw you along.

Be sure to write down any of these other references. I write verbatim other verses as well. Then, lastly, I write down any thoughts or prayers that He may have given me.

Before you finish, take a moment to thank Him for what He has shown you that day. Ask Him to help you to apply it to your life … even that very day. So, that you did not just take time to read His Word, but to study it and apply it. That is where the sweetest savourings are found!

Before getting up, take a second to check off the block on your Study Sheet for that day. This will help give you a good visual and also a good motivator to be faithful in studying EVERY single day.

Yes, I could write the devotional for each day and post it, but I feel that God wants me to share this magnificent opportunity to turn our hearts and our minds to His Word … physically get our grubbies on and get that shovel out, get in there with both feet, and start digging on a personal level.

I love to bake, and I love to share my baking. But, the best, most memorable baking is what I personally made and partook of. That is what I want for you, my friend!

I not only desire for my life to be a sweet-smelling savour to my LORD, but I desire for your life to be the same. Let us join together and “Study to shew [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed ….” KJV

Note: To receive this FREE Devotional Study Sheet for this month and for the months thereafter, simply scroll up/down the right sidebar to the signup box! I have also laid out some basic information that is very easy to follow, so you will definitely want to check it out as well! Of course, if at any time, you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at bettina@asweetsmellingsavour.com.

Ladies, please only print one sheet for your personal use. If you are going to use it for a group study, for the ladies in your church or you want to share with a friend or family member … which I encourage all of those … please direct them to this post for them to participate on an individual basis. We want them to experience firsthand what God wants for us this month and that begins by them taking the first step in committing to receiving the Study Sheet personally. Thank you for honoring this request!

To Serve or Not to Serve

 “Serve the Lord with fear …” Psalm 2:11

Well, that is a good question. Should I serve the Lord today or should I not serve the Lord today? Do you wake up every morning asking yourself this question? No? Well, neither do I. But … you knew that there was a ‘but’ in there, did you not? But, in truth, every single day that we wake up, this is the choice that we have to make.

To not serve is a subconscious choice at best. So, we must make a conscious choice each day.

To serve simply means to wait on; to be of use to; to perform duties. I did a Bible search for “serve the Lord” … for that is what we are to do as Christians. Interestingly enough, that exact phrase was only found 26 times in the King James Bible. We obviously will not cover all 26 of those, but there were several that stood out to me, as I had my devotions this morning, that I would like to share with you today.

Joshua 24:15a says, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve …” Wow! Joshua did not cut any corners here, did he? He was basically saying, “Well, if you really do not want to serve the Lord, then choose right now who you will serve.” I can hear the frustration in his voice, can you? Can you imagine with me how God feels when you and I, His children, do the same thing? We play church. We play Christian. When all God wants is for us to serve Him!

Joshua 24:18 goes on to say, “… therefore will we also serve the Lord; for He is our God.” If for no other reason, we must serve Him because He IS our God, is He not?

Now let us jump over to I Samuel 12. In verse 20 it says, “And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.” What a blessed assurance that Samuel just shared with the people! That same assurance is ours today! Hallelujah!

First, let us not fear. Secondly, even though we may have sinned greatly against our Lord in failing or ceasing to serve Him as we should have in the past, we can still turn from those things and serve the Lord. Not just serve the Lord, but serve Him with ALL of our heart!

Before we close today, let us look at one more verse and that is Luke 16:13. It says, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The devil would love nothing more than for us to believe the lie that we can serve God and the world at the same time. That we can live like the world one minute and speak and live like a Christian the next minute. These mix like oil and water. In short, they do NOT go together. So, why then do we try to mix the two?

Instead, let us choose as Joshua did that day and boldly say, “… but as for ME and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We can even be like Samuel and readily answer our Lord’s call to serve … “Here am I, LORD!”

Are you ready to serve or not to serve? That is the question.

The Following

 “… Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

As I sat down to have my devotions this morning, this was the first verse that came to my mind. Many of you know that I love word studies and word definitions. So, to begin, I went to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and found that the word follow literally has an entire page of definitions. Wow! Was I ever surprised!

Let me share a few brief definitions. To follow means to go or proceed; to act in accordance; to accept authority; to come into existence as a result of something; to copy after or to imitate; to watch steadily or attend closely to. Stop for a moment and let these steep in your brain. There is so much depth to this word that I never realized before! Do you see it as well?

Typically, in my devotions, I will look up other referenced verses in the middle column of my Bible. I will also use a Bible app to search for a word or phrase. This morning, I searched for “follow me.” It did not find many verses with this exact phrase, but I did find numerous verses that had some form of the word follow in them. I immediately latched on to some of those verses and that is what I want to share with you this morning.

First, in Matthew 4:19, we found the exact phrase of “follow me.” If those were the only two words in this verse, they would be enough. Do you not agree? Can you just hear your heavenly Father saying to you, “Follow me.” He does not need to expound, or explain, or clarify, or even justify why He wants you to follow or what He expects from you if you follow. Just simply, “Follow me.”

Secondly, I looked up Psalm 63:8 which says, “My soul followeth hard after thee …” Wow! I not only must follow my Father, but I also must follow “hard.” I must strongly desire. I must be extra alert and aware that I am on the right path. I must do all in my power and with His strength to follow hard and follow close.

Thirdly, I was blessed to read Proverbs 21:21 which says, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Am I truly a follower? Or am I one who likes to lead … my way and in my time? I pray that God will help me to be a follower … so that I may find life (versus death), righteousness (morally right and free from sin), and honour (esteem from my Father)!

Fourth, and last, and on a rather soul-searching note, I read Matthew 10:38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth [not] after me, is not worthy of me.” Here my heart stopped. Am I worthy of Christ? Yes, I claim Him as my Savior, but, is He my Lord as well?

Yes, I claim the name of Christ. I claim that I am a CHRISTian. But, do I follow Christ? Do I live a life that He wants me to live? Do I obey Him? For, to obey is to follow.

What about you, my friend? Do you need to find yourself on your knees, like I did, confessing your sin to your Father so that you can truly follow Him?