3 Powerful Lessons from Elizabeth and Zechariah

Every year I am always surprised at how many Christians chase after positions. We like to gather more stuff and we focus on our material goods. But God wants us to focus on something else. He wants us to focus on Him and what He has for us. Let us learn how God can use us by turning our attention to the Bible story of Elizabeth and Zechariah.

Amber Durgan wrote this blog post. To get to know her more, you can find her at www.amberdurgan.com or get more information from her Bio at the end of this post.

There is one untold story that we often ignore. It’s the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah. Let’s take some time to learn what they can teach us.

Every year, I read about how Gabriel came and visited Mary and how Mary then travelled to Jerusalem to have a son in the manger. This is the central story of Christmas and one we should read.

This week I want to take a journey with you into the lives of Elizabeth and Zechariah to see what we can glean from their experience and the wisdom their story shares. It may surprise you how we can relate to a couple who lived over two thousand years ago.

The Story of Elizabeth and Zechariah

Luke is the only gospel that shares the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah. This is the story of a woman and her husband (a priest) who were “well advanced in years”.

They were a couple who loved the Lord and went about Kingdom work here on earth. We know them for their righteousness, and also for being barren.

Luke 1:6 “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”.

Fertility Issues

One of the first things we learn about Elizabeth and Zechariah is that they don’t have any kids.

To our 21st-century minds, this might not sound like such a big deal, but in their culture, it was a big deal. Being married without children meant something different. People of this time viewed children as a reward and blessing from the Lord. If a couple experienced infertility, it was likely interpreted to mean that they had some unconfessed sin in their lives.

We can rejoice in the wisdom of God, who included Luke 1:6 in this narrative, to show that the belief is false. They do not set their identity in Christ in barring children but is something so much better.

Elizabeth and Zechariah were God’s righteous children, who hadn’t been blessed with a child… yet!

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Zechariah Chosen for Duty

In Luke 1 the story continues with Zechariah being chosen as the priest who was chosen to perform the priestly duties inside the temple by the casting of lots.

As Zechariah is going about this work of burning incense, an angel (Gabriel) visits and tells him that he and his wife will have a child.

Let’s take a minute to think about this. God hadn’t communicated with anyone for nearly four hundred years. It is not as if Zechariah was expecting to encounter an angel that day.

The first thing the angel does is to comfort Zechariah, as the very sight of the angel terrified him.

Gabriel tells Zechariah that his prayer was heard and answered.

  • Luke 1:13 Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call him John.” Zechariah heard the angel, and then chose to doubt what the Lord spoke through Gabriel
  • Luke. 1:18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

On this side of Christmas, it is easy for us to know that Christmas is synonymous with miracles, but Zechariah wasn’t so sure.

His wife was infertile, and they were beyond childbearing years.

I can just see Zechariah asking “Are you sure God?”

At the time Zechariah was in the temple, we can guess that Elizabeth might have been outside the temple offering prayers to God. She would soon learn about the promise of having a son.

Because of his unbelief, Zechariah could not speak until his son was born.

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3 Lessons from the Story of Elizabeth and Zechariah


Imagine sitting across the table from Elizabeth as she shared this story with you; oh the wisdom she would impart! If we look closely, there are some true gems in the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah for us to gather.

1. Being barren is not a curse

The ultimate calling of a woman is not that of motherhood. Read that again: The ultimate calling of a woman is not motherhood.

Unfortunately, there are still many Christians who believe that motherhood is the ultimate calling for women and that to be a mom means you have God’s ultimate blessing.

There are many barren women in the bible, and God always blesses them. Not always with a child, but He always blesses them.

Friend, if you are waiting for children this Christmas season can I assure you that nothing is wrong with you.

You are not broken, you are not overlooked, you are not forgotten.

God calls us into more than motherhood as His daughters.

There are other things that can lead us to a fulfilling life.

While, yes, children are a blessing, our ultimate calling is to live to bring glory and honour to God.

If you have ever struggled with fertility, my heart hurts with yours. We too have had some pain with fertility. I hope you can be in a space where you can hear this. You are not deficient. Your fertility issues do not reflect God’s love for you. God may just have a different plan for your life. He withholds no good gift from us.  

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2. God’s timing is perfect

Elizabeth fully saw the hand of God in her life and rejoiced over His plan for her.

Given a baby at an old age, Elizabeth could have complained that God waited too long. She could have thought that it would be harder to raise a child. She could have decided that she no longer wanted a child. She could have even balked at the plans God had for her child’s life.

But she didn’t do any of those things (that we know of). Rather, she turned and offered her praise back to God. She rejoiced over the blessing she was given and gave God the glory.

Perhaps there is something in your life that makes you wonder what God is doing.

Maybe you are waiting for a husband, a job, a new home or for a child to call your own.

Perhaps your circumstances look hopeless.

Friend, take heart. We serve a God who delights in blessing you. He has a plan. His timing is always perfect.

We know His plans are always for our good. They may not look -anything like we had hoped for, but I can assure you His plans are always better.

3. You can trust God

This story is that it builds our trust in God. This lesson comes directly from Zechariah, however, it still applies to us as God’s daughters.

When God proclaims something over our lives or we read something in the Bible, we need to trust Him.

That seems really logical as head knowledge. However, what happens when it comes right down to it? What happens when God says to move and we don’t because we really like where we live.

What happens when we want to do something we know is against God’s commands for us?

What happens when our finances are tight and we hear God tells us to sponsor a child or pay for our neighbour’s rent?

Do we stay in fear, or do we trust God?

Do we joyfully trust God in the moment? Or do we do what we want instead?

The story of Elizabeth and Zechariah shows us that God can be trusted. His timing may not be the same as ours, but God will never lead us into something that He won’t equip us for. He will not tell us to give away without supplying the means.

Let us rejoice for the example Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah serve, as we walk our salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord!

In the comments below, share a time when God asked you to do something and how you responded.

How to put your hope in The Lord

It’s easy to look at the world and hope for a better future or hope that some leader is going to come around and change it all. But the word of God tells us that we shouldn’t be putting our hope in the world, we should be putting our hope in the Lord. But how do we do that? Join me, Anne Marky, as I share how to put your hope in The Lord.

Listen to the devotion

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How to put your hope in The Lord

I think we can all agree that the last couple of years have been crazy. I’m turning 40 and my next birthday and I’ve never experienced years like this. 

I know older generations have also experienced a lot of crazy things, but I just feel like every time I turn on the news, it’s just one thing after another, after another,  after another. 

And these events aren’t small. These are life-changing, historic moments that we experience on a regular basis. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a break. 

But unfortunately, it doesn’t really seem like that break is coming.

The bad news just keeps piling on, and on, and on. Sometimes I can get caught up in the news cycle and when I start focusing on all these bad stories, I start losing hope. 

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

Teaching my children to hope in The Lord

My middle daughter is really struggling in school right now. She’s coming home every day in tears and she’s experiencing a lot of frustration. And even though we’re taking steps to help her, nothing has helped yet. So she’s had a lot of breakdowns and sadness about this.

One night when I was tucking her in, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and she said, Mom. Is this always going to be like this?

Her tone of voice and the face she was making just broke my mama’s heart.

I had to keep myself from crying because I could see that she had lost hope.

As a mom. I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be OK, that things were going to change and that she could look forward to that, but I couldn’t.

I don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. I don’t know if anything at school is going to change. I don’t know if the steps we’re taking are going to help her in the short run or in the long run.

So I couldn’t make any promises, but I knew she wanted an answer, so when she asked me, I needed to think for a minute.

Since I couldn’t make any promises, instead of focusing on what was happening right then and what wasn’t changing or even speculating about the future. I thought it’d be better if instead, I helped her focus on the Lord.

Our hope is in Him

Lamentations 3:24: The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in him.

It’s easy to look at the world and hope for a better future or hope that some leader is going to come around and change it all.

But Lamentations 3:24 tells us that we shouldn’t be putting our hope in the world, we should be putting our hope in the Lord. He’s the only one that can give us true, sustainable hope.

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope. By the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

When we look to the world or something other than Christ to fill our hope, we will actually walk away more empty, feeling less hope.

So it’s really important that we know where our hope comes from and not only where it comes from, but that we go to that source on a regular basis so that it may fill us with hope.

When we do that, we are filled with so much hope from the source.

A picture of a young child walking through a grain field with 3 balloons in her hand. Above the picture are the words, How to ur your hope in The Lord. www.onedeterminedlife.com

A pure source of Hope

I’m not a fancy water person, but I’ve seen enough commercials to know that when they’re trying to sell you water, they focus on where that water comes from. And if that source is closest to a mountain and fresh water, the better.

Customers want you to know that you are getting clean water and that the source that this water has come from isn’t contaminated. And it sort of seems like the more natural the source, the more expensive the water becomes.

As Christians, we have access to living water.

And this is an eternal source that doesn’t run out, that never has any contamination, and it’s everlasting. There is no better source.

But just like we go to the supermarket and choose what type of water we want to purchase, we have to actively choose what type of water we’re going to drink.

As Christians, we also must choose to go and drink from the source and pick where what we’re consuming is coming from.

And so we have two choices.

We can fill ourselves with the things of the world which are contaminated and really won’t quench our thirst. Or we can turn to the everlasting source to receive our true hope that is really going to fill us with everything that we need.

We don’t need to earn our salvation, but we do need to be active in seeking out our relationship with the Lord.

Because the Lord is there. He is with us, He is in us, He is around us, and He’s waiting for us to come to Him and seek Him for hope.

Action Steps

So if you’re here today and you’re losing a little bit of hope, or you’d like to feel some more hope, I encourage you just to spend a few minutes with the Lord today.

Regardless of what’s happening in your life. With however bad the situation is. You can access true and living hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hope isn’t dependent on what’s going on around us, it’s dependent on the source of it, which is God himself. He never changes and He’s already proved that He loves us and that He wants a relationship with us.

I hope today, you are clear as to where you can turn to for hope. And that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

As I said, these devotional times are going to be a little bit short, but I hope it’s been encouraging to you, and I’d love to know from you in the comments how the Lord has given you hope so that we can encourage one another.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

5 ways to build trust with our Siblings

In this post, I will share with what I have learned about Rahab from the bible and 5 ways we can build trust with our siblings.

Growing up with my two sisters and brother, trust was tough to build between us. Now, as a parent, I want to teach my kids how to trust each other. I turned to the Bible and found a cool story about siblings that isn’t your usual kind.

In my new blog post, I’ll share what I learned from Rahab’s story in the Bible and give you five easy ways to help your kids trust their siblings. Join me as we explore how this old story can help us make our families stronger and happier. Let’s keep it simple and discover how to build trust between siblings!

5 ways to Build Trust with our siblings

Rahab

I have always been interested in Rahab and her story. Before now, I had never considered her relationship with her family.

But since reading her story more in-depth I have learned so much about Rahab. I have come to see that she used her position in her family to cultivate trust and safety for the family.

We don’t know much about Rahab or her family and so much of my thoughts are based on what I know about the bible and the times she lived in.  

2 things we know about Rahab

1. Rahab was a harlot

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ “Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.”

As I was doing some research for this post, I learned that “harlot”, when translated from the Hebrew text, can also mean innkeeper.

Whether she was a prostitute or an innkeeper, her work would have ensured that she would have known many travellers and had many connections in the city.

Her status is one reason she knew so much about what Israel has done and some about their God.

2. She used her work to her advantage

From the passage, Rahab was used to having strangers in her home and that people did not suspect her for having the 2 men in her home.

Her neighbours would know what she did and would see her welcoming many types of people into her home.

Rahab used her work as an advantage. She had heard about the God of Israel and had identified these men as Israelites. Instead of making money off these men, she asked them questions and used the opportunity to save her life and the life of her family.

She would not have had the opportunity to meet the men or have them in her home without the type of work she did.

Regardless of the type of work she did, she used the opportunities she was presented to display faith and to save her life.

3 things we learn about Rahab’s family

1. Rahab had a large family

We know little about Rahab’s family. The Bible only gives us a few clues.

“and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.””
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This verse shows us she had a large family and that she obviously loved them enough to want to save them and take care of them.

2. They looked to her as a leader

It’s hard to know exactly the relationship between Rahab and her family.

In our day in age, if a family member is a prostitute we would not trust them.

But, Rahab’s family seemed to respect her and look to her as a leader.

Their relationship could be a clue that she was an innkeeper and not a prostitute or it could also reflect the times they lived it.

In the city of Jericho, sin was so rampant that having a prostitute as a daughter was not abnormal or may not have been any worse than what others were doing in their lives.

Whatever the circumstances were, Rehab’s family looked to her for leadership.

3. They trusted her

Real trust demands action. When Rahab told her family to stay at her home, they did not just listen, they took action.

They gathered together in her home and listened to her.

But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, “Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” 23 And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel.

Joshua 6:22-23

Their trust in her would have been tested.

The family would have seen the Israelites coming and would have gathered in her home on the first day. But, they would have to wait for 7 days. During the 7 days, it would be easy to see the Israelites walk around the wall and think that there was no way for them to win.

The family would have had ample opportunity to leave the safety of Rahab’s house and go back home.

But they didn’t- they stayed.

Their trust in Rahab was so big that they stayed for the whole 7 days until they were rescued.

How did Rahab build trust?

The passage in the bible does not give us many clues as to why Rahab’s family trusted her.

I think that her family trusted her because of her past behaviour.

Rahab must have used her connections and knowledge to help her family before.

Her family would know how many people she knew and how she gathered wisdom and she must have used this knowledge to help them before.

So, when she told them what she knew, they trusted her.

Rahab also must have been known to be honest or at least caring towards them. If Rahab was known to lie or exaggerate, then her family would not have listened. This is a classic: The boy who cried wolf lesson.

The boy was not trusted because he lied so often that when he was telling the truth, they could not tell.

5 ways to Build Trust with Our Siblings

a picture of 2 adults facing the camera. One is male, the other is female, they are standing close to each other. Next to their picture are the words 5 ways to build trust with our siblings.

1. Say what you mean

If we want to build trust with our siblings, then it’s important that we learn to say what we mean.

“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Nobody likes someone who uses words as double-speak or whose words we don’t understand.

Words are extremely important, and we must be careful how we use them. We should be honest and not deceptive.

2. Don’t lie

To build a trusting relationship, it’s important that we don’t lie. When we lie, it is just for a moment.

 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Proverbs 12:19 (NKJV)

Even a small lie can make a lasting impact.

When my husband and I were first married, I would ask him questions like: do you like this dinner?  Because he did not want to offend me, he would walk around the questions or answer and say that he liked the food when in fact it was not his favourite.

Over time, I came to tell him I would prefer for him to be honest about what he liked and did not like to wake up in 20 years and find out that I have been making him food he hates for so long.

3. Keep our word

We can build trusting relationships by keeping our word.

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By we know that we are in Him.

1 John 2:5 (NKJV)

There are a few verses in the bible that warn us to not make vows because we have to keep them.

You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.

Deuteronomy 23:23 (ESV)

When we tell someone we are going to do something, it’s important that we do what we said we would do. If we tell people we are going to help them, then it’s important that we show up and help them even if we don’t want to.

How do I get my siblings to trust me? Family relationships can be complicated but there are 5 things you can do to build a trusting relationship with your siblings.  #brotherlylove #sisterlove #siblings #familyrelationships #christianfamily #christianliving

4. Help them

Rahab did not just save herself, she helped her family.

Being a good family member means helping our siblings when we can.

This can be hard as every family has different expectations of what “help” looks like. I don’t think there is a perfect answer or a proper formula that will work for every family.

But, when you can- help your family

Helping can take many forms.

A few examples:

  • My brother-in-law worked at a hotel chain for a long time and he had access to a family and friends discount. So, he extended that to us and we took advantage of that once in a while.
  • There was a time in our life when our finances were shaky. We never asked people for money or support, but we have had family members send us money to help us out.
  • When we travel home, we have a family who gives us a place to stay and lends us car seats, strollers and so on
  • My sister has kids who are older than mine, so she passes clothes to us.

As you can see, we have been very blessed with siblings in our lives and “help” can take many forms.

In the comments, please tell me ways you help your siblings or how you have helped them.

5. Protect those we love

Rahab did not just help her siblings, she protected them and saved their life.

This shows us she loved fiercely and was protective of those she loved.

We can build trust with our siblings by protecting them.

We may not have to save them from an invading army, but there are many ways we can protect our siblings.

When I look at my kids, I see many ways that they protect each other. They will hold hands while crossing the street or even carry each other. They will also take care of each other when they are sick and bring them things to make them feel better.

We can protect our siblings by sharing with them what we know about life.

Rahab had specific knowledge about Israel their plans and their God. She used that knowledge to protect them.

Maybe you have experienced something that hurt you and you see your sibling walking into the same trap. You may not stop them, but you can share with them what you know and hope that you honestly can save them from potential pain.

Rahab has so much to teach us about life and relationships. I hope you have been blessed by these few lessons and have discovered ways we can cultivate trust with our siblings.

How do you build trust with those you love?

Sibling Blog Series

This post is one part of a blog series on cultivating sibling love.

There are 5 blog posts in the series.

The goal is to give you a bible series where you can go for examples of siblings in the Bible, what you can learn from them, and practical ways to foster that love in our home.

I hope you enjoy the series and find ways to help you with your relationships with your brothers and sisters, or as you raise your children.

Let me know in the comments what you have learned from reading about siblings in the bible. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

The Benefits of daily Bible reading for spiritual growth

In today’s fast-paced world filled with constant noise and distractions, finding a quiet time to connect with God can be challenging. 

However, setting aside dedicated time for quiet reflection and Bible reading holds immense importance in nurturing our spiritual well-being. 

In this blog post, I share the Benefits of daily Bible reading for spiritual growth and explore the many benefits it offers.

The Benefits of daily Bible reading for spiritual growth

1. Nourishes Your Soul

Just as our bodies require nourishment, our souls also need spiritual sustenance. 

One of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it provides the nourishment your inner self craves, offering insights, wisdom, and guidance.

  • Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
  • Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
  • Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

2. Deepens Your Faith

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it deepens your understanding of God and strengthens your faith. 

It allows you to connect with the teachings, stories, and principles that form the foundation of your beliefs.

  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
  • Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
  • James 1:3 Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

3. Finding Clarity: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it provides a sanctuary for your thoughts. 

It’s a space where you can gain clarity about life’s challenges, decisions, and uncertainties through prayer, meditation, and reflection.

  • 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.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

A picture of 2 women sitting on a recliner reading their Bible. They both look happy and is enjoying what she is reading. Under the picture are the words, The Benefits of daily Bible reading for spiritual growth, One Determined Life.

4. Gaining Perspective: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that The Bible contains a wealth of stories and wisdom that offer valuable perspectives on life’s trials and tribulations. 

Reading it regularly can help you see your circumstances in a broader, spiritual context.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
  • Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

5. Cultivating Inner Peace: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it allows you to calm your mind and nurture a sense of inner peace. It can be a refuge from the stresses of daily life.

  • Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Psalm 46:10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

6. Reduces Stress: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that its teachings can provide solace and reduce stress. 

It reminds you of God’s presence and His promise to be with you in all situations.

  • Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
  • Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
  • 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

7. Personal Growth: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it fosters personal growth. 

They encourage you to examine your beliefs, values, and behaviours, leading to positive transformation.

  • 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
  • Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
  • James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

8. Character Development: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that The Bible’s teachings inspire character development, helping you cultivate virtues such as love, patience, kindness, and forgiveness.

  • Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.
  • 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.
  • Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

9. Strengthens Your relationship with God: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it’s an opportunity to connect with God on a personal level. 

It’s a time to pray, seek His guidance, and deepen your relationship with Him.

  • James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

10. Listen & learn: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is The Bible is a copy of God’s word where we can hear God speak to us. By reading it, you listen to His words and learn about His nature, His love, and His plan for your life.

  • Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
  • Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
  • Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end, you will be counted among the wise.

11. Wisdom and Direction: 

Another of the main benefits of daily Bible reading is that it offers timeless wisdom and practical guidance for navigating life’s challenges, making decisions, and finding purpose.

  • 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.
  • James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
  • Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Quiet time and Bible reading are not mere rituals but powerful tools for nurturing your spirit and strengthening your faith. 

By embracing these practices, you can experience spiritual growth, find inner peace, gain clarity, and deepen your relationship with God.

In a world filled with noise and distractions, prioritizing quiet time and Bible reading is a choice that can transform your life and lead you on a path of spiritual fulfillment and enlightenment.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

What does The Bible say about suicide?

According to The CDC, in 2021- 48183 people died by suicide in The USA. That is 1 death every 11 minutes. That is a staggering amount! With so many people committing suicide, why is The Church not talking about this? People want to know what The Bible says about suicide and want to know how to face these very real and hard issues. I can’t promise that this post will solve the problem, but I will answer the Question: What does The Bible say about suicide?

Anytime I want to know What The Bible says about something, I do a simple word search in Bible Gateway or my Bible App. But this time, that search wasn’t helpful because The Bible does not explicitly address the topic of suicide, and it does not contain specific verses that directly discuss the act of taking one’s own life. 

Since we can’t look at the exact issue, does that mean The Lord doesn’t care about suicide or that Christians can’t have a Biblical view on this topic? 

The answer is NO to both of those questions. 

The Lord does care when His children are hurting and commit suicide or want to commit suicide. Not only that but as Christians, we can take Christian principles and apply them to the way we look at suicide. 

In today’s post, I will share 6 Biblical principles and teachings that are relevant when discussing suicide.

6 Biblical principles: What does the bible say about suicide?

1. Sanctity of Life:

The Bible emphasizes the sanctity of human life in 2 different ways. 

A) Life as a Divine Gift:

The Bible teaches that life is a precious gift from God. 

These verses tell us the direct involvement of God in the formation of each person in the womb. 

By telling us that life is a gift given to us from God. This gift indicates the value of each individual. 

B) Created in the Image of God

So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. 

Genesis 1:27

This verse clearly tells us that all human beings are created in the image of God. This statement emphasizes the inherent value of every human being. 

The idea that humanity bears the image of God means that each individual possesses qualities like love, creativity, reason, and moral responsibility.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

2. A Commandment NOT to kill: 

In the book of Exodus, God delivered the Ten Commandments to the Israelites through Moses as a foundational guide for their moral and ethical conduct. 

Among these commandments, the sixth one stands out prominently:

You shall not murder.

Exodus 20:13

This verse is interpreted by many to mean that taking an innocent life, including our own, is morally wrong and that it’s our responsibility to preserve and protect life.

May Christians believe that our own life is also innocent and that suicide is not a good thing to do. 

This commandment demonstrates a deep respect for people’s lives and clearly says not to purposely harm or kill someone who hasn’t done anything wrong. 

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3. Hope and Healing: 

The Bible offers messages of hope, healing, and comfort to those who may be struggling with despair, depression, or thoughts of self-harm. 

These messages of hope are particularly important in addressing the emotional and mental struggles that can lead to thoughts of suicide.

It encourages seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God in times of trouble

A) Seeking Help:

The Bible acknowledges the importance of seeking help when facing overwhelming challenges.

It encourages individuals to reach out to others, whether it be friends, family, or professionals, for support. The act of seeking help is seen as a courageous step toward healing and restoration.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

This verse acknowledges the emotional pain and distress that people can experience, describing them as “brokenhearted” and “crushed in spirit.”

It suggests that when individuals are going through difficult times or struggling emotionally, they don’t have to face it alone.

They can reach out to God, who is portrayed as being near and attentive to their pain. Seeking help, in this case, involves turning to God for comfort and solace.

The verse encourages believers to rely on their faith in God’s compassion and presence. It’s an affirmation that, even in times of trouble, they can place their trust in God’s love and care. This reliance on faith means believing that God is a source of strength and comfort.

The verse also suggests that turning to God is a natural response when facing emotional or spiritual turmoil. It implies that God is a refuge and a source of salvation for those who seek Him in times of distress. In doing so, individuals acknowledge their dependence on God’s grace and intervention.

B) Relying on faith

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

In these verses, Jesus extends a direct invitation to those who are weary and burdened, inviting them to “come” to Him.

This invitation is a clear demonstration of the need to seek help. Jesus acknowledges that life can be filled with weariness and burdens, and He encourages people to turn to Him for relief and rest.

These verses emphasize the act of turning to Jesus as a response to life’s struggles. It implies that by turning to Him, individuals place their trust in God’s provision and care.

The promise of finding rest for one’s soul underscores the idea that God is the ultimate source of comfort and healing in times of trouble.

Psalm 34:18 and Matthew 11:28-30 illustrate the biblical perspective on seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God in times of trouble. 

They emphasize that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous and faith-filled step. 

It also underscores the idea that faith in God’s presence and compassion can provide solace and that turning to God is a natural response when facing life’s challenges.

The Bible offers a message of hope and healing that is relevant and comforting to those facing despair, depression, or thoughts of self-harm, including those struggling with the idea of suicide.

It encourages seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God and the community in times of trouble. These biblical principles emphasize the value of life, the importance of support, and the promise of restoration for those who are hurting.

4. Redemption and Forgiveness: 

The Bible also offers a message of hope and redemption for those who may have done something wrong or who have faced despair. 

The Bible contains many stories of redemption and forgiveness that provide hope for individuals who may have faced despair or made mistakes, including those contemplating the idea of suicide. 

These stories emphasize the possibility of transformation through repentance and God’s boundless mercy.

A) King David’s Story:

One of the best examples in the Bible is the story of King David. David, described as a man after God’s own heart, made serious mistakes, including committing adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrating the death of her husband, Uriah.

His actions were morally wrong and caused him and the nation immense pain. However, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, David expressed deep remorse and sought God’s forgiveness with a repentant heart (2 Samuel 12:13).

God forgave him and continued to use him in significant ways. This story illustrates that even those who have committed serious sins and mistakes can find forgiveness and renewal through genuine repentance.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

B) The Prodigal Son:

In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a young man squanders his inheritance and finds himself in a state of destitution and despair.

When he returns to his father, he expects to be rejected. Instead, he is welcomed with open arms.

This parable teaches us That God is like that father, watching and waiting for our return.  It also shows us that God’s love and forgiveness are available to those who turn back to Him, no matter how far they may have strayed, or how many sins they have committed.

C) Paul’s Transformation:

The apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul persecuted early Christians before his conversion.

His transformation into one of Christianity’s greatest evangelists demonstrates the power of God’s grace and the potential for radical change.

Paul’s story illustrates that individuals who have engaged in harmful actions can experience a complete turnaround through faith in Christ.

These accounts demonstrate that while people may make mistakes and face despair, there is hope for redemption and forgiveness through genuine repentance and faith. 

They teach us the principle that God’s love and mercy are not limited by our past actions and that a sincere desire to change and seek God’s forgiveness can lead to transformation and a renewed sense of purpose.

For those struggling with thoughts of suicide, these stories offer hope. That even in the darkest moments, there is the possibility of healing and redemption. 

They encourage individuals to turn to God, seek help, and recognize that their past does not define their future. 

5. Love & Compassion: 

Christianity places a strong emphasis on love, compassion, and support for individuals who are experiencing emotional pain, suffering, or despair, including those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. 

These principles are rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the broader biblical message.

  • Matthew 22:39 – Love Your Neighbor: In response to a question about the greatest commandment, Jesus emphasizes the importance of loving one’s neighbour as oneself. This teaching extends to caring for the well-being of others, including those who may be suffering emotionally or spiritually.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 – The Parable of the Sheep and Goats: In this parable, Jesus illustrates the concept of neighbourly love by emphasizing acts of compassion and service to those in need. He identifies acts of kindness, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned, as expressions of love toward Him. This teaching reinforces the idea that Christians are called to care for the vulnerable and extend compassion to those who are suffering.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ actions align with his teachings on compassion. He healed the sick, comforted the sorrowful, and showed kindness to those who were marginalized or outcasts.

His ministry exemplified the principle of reaching out to those in emotional pain and despair, offering hope and healing.

In the context of thoughts of suicide, these Christian principles emphasize the importance of a supportive and compassionate community. 

Christians are encouraged to extend a helping hand, listen non-judgmentally, and provide emotional support to individuals facing emotional struggles. The teachings of Jesus promote a culture of love and compassion, reinforcing the idea that each person is valuable and worthy of care and assistance.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

6. Support and Community: 

The Bible provides a profound perspective on the importance of support and community, which is highly relevant in the context of individuals facing emotional distress, including those contemplating suicide. 

This biblical principle emphasizes the role of faith communities and support networks in providing strength, solace, and healing.

A) Carry each other’s burdens

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

This verse encourages us to bear one another’s burdens. This verse highlights the importance of empathy and support within the Christian community.

It suggests that Christians are called to walk alongside one another, offering a helping hand and a listening ear to those who are burdened by emotional pain or difficulties.

It suggests that when individuals are burdened by emotional pain, suffering, or despair, their fellow believers should come alongside them, offering assistance, empathy, and care.

This mutual support is an expression of the love and compassion that Christians are called to embody.

B) Confess your sins to each other

James 5:16  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This verse instructs believers to “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

This verse highlights the importance of openness and vulnerability within the faith community.

It encourages individuals to share their struggles, including emotional distress, with trusted members of their community.

Through confession and prayer, believers can find emotional and spiritual healing, knowing that they are not alone in their challenges.

Biblical Examples of Supportive Community:

A) Job’s “Support “Friends”

In the Old Testament, we see examples of individuals finding solace and strength through their faith communities. Job, who endured great suffering, had friends who initially offered comfort (Job 2:11-13). However, the story also highlights the importance of compassionate and supportive companionship during times of distress.

B) Christian Community

In the New Testament, the early Christian community in Acts 2:42-47 exemplifies a model of mutual support, fellowship, and caring for one another’s needs. This sense of unity and shared concern fostered a supportive environment for those facing challenges.

In the context of thoughts of suicide, these biblical principles emphasize the value of reaching out to one’s faith community and support networks. 

Christians are encouraged not to bear their emotional burdens alone but to seek help, understanding, and prayer from their fellow believers. 

This community approach creates a sense of belonging and care, providing people with the strength and encouragement they need during difficult times. 

In a perfect Christian church, we would show compassion and be a supportive Christian community that strengthens the well-being of each member, particularly when they are facing emotional distress or despair.

Conclusion: 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please seek help from mental health professionals, counsellors, or support networks. 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.): You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). This free and confidential hotline is available 24/7 and connects you with trained crisis counsellors who can provide support and resources.
  • Crisis Text Line (U.S.): Text HELLO to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Trained crisis counsellors are available via text message to provide support and assistance.
  • Local Crisis Hotlines: Many communities have local crisis hotlines or mental health crisis services. Look for local resources in your area, as they can provide immediate assistance and referrals to local mental health professionals.
  • Emergency Services: If you believe someone is in immediate danger or has harmed themselves, call 911 or your local emergency number. Emergency responders can provide immediate assistance.
  • Mental Health Professionals: Seek help from mental health professionals, such as therapists, counsellors, or psychiatrists. They can provide therapy and treatment for individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts.

While the Bible does not directly address suicide, its teachings promote a profound respect for human life and a call to care for the well-being of one another, particularly during moments of despair or crisis.

It is important for individuals and communities to address the complex issue of suicide with understanding and empathy while seeking appropriate professional assistance when necessary.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

How to Establish a Daily Bible Study Habit: The ultimate Step-by-Step guide

Have you ever wondered why The Bible continues to be the number 1 selling book in the world? Many people think it’s a book of rules, or that it’s not relevant to today. But that is NOT true! The Bible is full of wisdom and truth we can use to live a life closest to God. If that sounds like something you want to do, continue to read as I share How to Establish a Daily Bible Study Habit.

Have you ever wondered why The Bible continues to be the number 1 selling book in the world? Many people think it’s a book of rules, or that it’s not relevant to today. But that is NOT true! The Bible is full of wisdom and truth we can use to live a life closest to God. If that sounds like something you want to do, continue to read as I share How to Establish a Daily Bible Study Habit.

How to Establish a Daily Bible Study Habit: The ultimate Step-by-Step guide

Step 1: Understanding Your Why 

Each of us has a reason for every choice we make, and the things we choose to do.

Reading The Bible is no exception.

Daily Bible reading isn’t just a routine; it’s a way to nourish your faith, find guidance in life, gain wisdom, and deepen your relationship with God. 

But, unless we know why WE want to read The Bible, that spiritual discipline will always be hard for us to accomplish. 

So, if you are really serious about establishing a daily Bible study habit, then it’s important for you to understand why you want to do it. 

  • Is there a problem you face you need wisdom for? 
  • Do you need encouragement or guidance? 

Whatever your reason, we can find the answer in scripture. You may not get an exact answer, but- you will learn how to look at things the way God does and how you can depend on His Word to guide you. 

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Step 2: Set Clear Goals

In our journey to establish a daily Bible study habit, setting clear goals is like planning your road trip, but this one is for your spiritual voyage. 

Clear goals can provide direction, purpose, and a sense of accomplishment. 

Why are Clear Goals Important?

Imagine you’re planning a road trip. Would you just get in your car and drive aimlessly? 

Probably not! 

You’d likely have a destination in mind, maybe some places you want to visit along the way, and a map to guide you. 

Setting clear goals in your daily Bible study is like having a map for your spiritual journey. It helps you stay on track, measure your progress, and arrive at your desired destination.

Specific, Measurable, and Achievable Goals:

When setting goals for your daily Bible study, remember the three magic words: specific, measurable, and achievable.

  • Specific: Your goals should be crystal clear. Instead of saying, “I want to understand the Bible better,” try something like, “I want to understand the book of Psalms more deeply.”
  • Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable so you can track your progress. For instance, “I want to memorize one Bible verse each week” is measurable because you can count the verses you’ve memorized.
  • Achievable: Be realistic. Set goals that you can reasonably attain with dedication and effort. For example, saying, “I want to read the entire Bible in a week” might be too ambitious for most people.

Aligning with Your Spiritual Aspirations:

Now, take a moment to reflect on what you hope to achieve through daily Bible study. 

Are you seeking to deepen your relationship with God, gain wisdom for life’s challenges, or grow in your understanding of specific biblical topics?

Examples of Clear Goals:

  • I want to thoroughly study the Gospel of Matthew over the next three months.
  • I will memorize one verse per week and reflect on its meaning.
  • I will spend 20 minutes each day studying and researching the topic of forgiveness in the Bible.

Remember, setting clear goals is like giving your daily Bible study a purpose and a roadmap. It keeps you motivated and focused on your spiritual journey.

 So, take a moment to set your own specific, measurable, and achievable goals that align with your spiritual aspirations, and watch how it transforms your daily Bible study experience.

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Step 3: Find the Right Time and Place

In your journey to establish a meaningful daily Bible study habit, one of the key steps is choosing the right time and place. 

Why Is Consistency Important?

Imagine trying to build a house without a solid foundation. In the same way, finding a consistent time and place for your Bible study sets a sturdy foundation for your spiritual growth. 

It helps create a routine, making Bible study a natural part of your day, just like eating meals or brushing your teeth.

Choosing the Perfect Time:

Now, let’s dive into selecting the ideal time for your daily Bible study:

  • Morning Glory: Some people find that starting their day with Scripture sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. If you’re a morning person, consider waking up a bit earlier to spend quality time with the Bible.
  • Lunch Break Power-Up: For those with busy mornings or unpredictable schedules, using your lunch break can be an excellent choice. Grab your Bible and a quiet corner to recharge your spiritual batteries during lunchtime.
  • Evening Calm: If evenings are when you feel most relaxed, this might be your prime Bible study time. It can help you unwind, reflect on the day, and find solace in the Scriptures before bedtime.

Tips for Selection:

Here are some handy tips to guide you in choosing the right time:

  • Work with Your Schedule: Consider your daily routine and responsibilities. Your Bible study time should align with your existing commitments to ensure consistency.
  • Choose a Quiet Space: Find a peaceful, distraction-free location where you can focus. It could be a cozy corner of your home, a quiet park bench, or even a nearby library.
  • Test and Adjust: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try out different times and places to see what suits you best. It might take a bit of trial and error to find your perfect fit.
  • Stay Flexible: While consistency is crucial, life can be unpredictable. It’s okay to adjust your study time occasionally to accommodate unexpected events.

Remember, the goal is to create a space in your day where you can connect with God through His word. 

Whether it’s in the morning, or at night, the right time and place will help make your daily Bible study a cherished part of your routine. 

So, go ahead and take a moment to find your ideal time and space.

Step 4: Choose the right Study Materials

Selecting the right study materials for your daily Bible study is like equipping yourself with the tools you need for a successful journey. In this step, we’ll explore various Bible study resources and how to pick the ones that align with your goals.

Different Bible Study Materials:

  1. Study Bibles: These special editions of the Bible come with additional features like explanatory notes, cross-references, maps, and topical articles. They are incredibly helpful for understanding the context and deeper meanings of passages. A popular choice is the NIV Study Bible*.
  2. Commentaries: Commentaries are written by scholars and experts who provide in-depth analysis and insights into the Bible. They can help you gain a deeper understanding of specific verses or books. Consider exploring Matthew Henry’s Commentary. *
  3. Concordances: Concordances are like indexes that help you find specific words or verses in the Bible. They’re great for word studies and research. You can find online concordances like Bible Gateway.
  4. Online Study Tools: There are numerous websites and apps that offer Bible study resources. Some popular ones include YouVersion, BibleStudyTools, and Blue Letter Bible. These platforms provide access to various translations, commentaries, and study plans.
  5. Devotionals: Devotional books offer daily readings and reflections that connect to specific themes or books of the Bible. Our Daily Bread is a well-known devotional resource.
  6. Bible Study Workbooks: Many workbooks are designed for group or personal study and come with guided questions and activities. They can be excellent for structured learning. Check out The Christian Growth Hub as an example.

*This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here for my disclosure policy.

Choosing Materials Aligned with Your Goals:

The key to selecting the right study materials is to consider your goals. 

  • Do you want to do a deep dive into a specific book? 
  • Do you want to understand the historical context? 
  • Are you focused on personal devotion or scholarly research?

Once you know what your goals are (you should have done this is step 1) you can then choose materials that align with your goals. 

Experiment with different resources to discover what you like the best with your learning style and spiritual journey. 

So, go ahead and take a moment to choose the materials you will be using for the next couple of months or years. 

Step 5: Create a Study Plan

A Bible reading plan can offer flexibility and be adjusted to suit personal preferences and schedules. This is important for people who have busy schedules or specific reading preferences. 

You can pick from a variety of pre-made Bible reading plans, or you can make your own. 

Some Bible reading plans are designed to be completed in a certain amount of time, such as 30 days or one year.  

However, these plans can be adjusted to suit your personal reading pace. If you prefer to read at a slower pace, you can spread out the reading plan over a longer period of time. 

If you prefer to read at a faster pace, you can try to complete the plan in a shorter amount of time. 

If you want to make your own plan, first you need to outline what you’ll study each day or week. 

For example, if you’re studying a book of the Bible, plan to read and reflect on a certain number of verses or chapters each day. Having a schedule keeps you on track.

Start with Manageable Portions:

When you’re just beginning, it’s essential to start small. Starting with manageable portions allows you to experience a sense of accomplishment. 

Focusing on a smaller section also helps you to dive deeper into the meaning and context of each verse. 

Journaling and Note-Taking:

To go even deeper, consider keeping a journal or taking notes during your Bible study sessions. 

Writing down your thoughts and insights helps you process what you’ve read and meditate on its significance.

Keeping a journal also allows you to track your spiritual journey over time. You can see how your understanding and relationship with God has changed over time. 

Remember, your study plan should be flexible and adaptable to your needs and progress. 

The most important thing is to be consistent and sincere in your pursuit of God’s word. 

So, take some time to make your Bible reading plan. You can start small, or follow one that is already made and works for you and your goals. 

Step 6: Stay Accountable to a friend 

Since you’ve made it far, I can tell you are serious about reading The Bible more often. 

Even though this is step number 6, it’s probably the most important. 

Many people make goals and start off well, but stop over time. 

The way to keep going is to make sure you have accountability. 

Accountability is that extra push, that gentle nudge, and that friendly reminder that can make all the difference in sticking to your daily habits. 

Here’s why accountability matters:

When you commit to being accountable to someone, you’re more likely to stay consistent. Knowing that someone is aware of your goal motivates you to follow through.

Accountability partners can also provide encouragement and support when you face challenges or moments of doubt. They can offer words of wisdom or simply be there to listen.

Ways to Stay Accountable:

Many churches and communities host Bible study groups. Joining one can provide a structured environment for your studies and introduce you to like-minded individuals who share your passion for the Bible.

If physical accountability partners aren’t available, explore online communities or forums dedicated to Bible study. You can share your goals and progress with a supportive virtual community.

Remember, the goal of accountability is not to add pressure but to create a supportive network that helps you succeed. 

It’s about sharing your journey, celebrating your victories, and receiving encouragement when needed. 

By staying accountable to a friend or community, you’re more likely to make daily Bible study a lasting and enriching part of your life.

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Step 7: Overcoming Challenges

As Christians, we all want to read the Bible and pray more and we know what to do, right? 

We also know that reading our Bibles is how we get to know God more.

But knowing it and actually doing it are two different things.

And if you’re like me, then Bible reading every day isn’t easy for you. It’s something that maybe you struggle with.

And if it is, then it means that there’s some sort of barrier keeping you from doing what it is that you want to do. 

There are many barriers women face when reading The Bible. 

Click here to read about 4 common barriers we can face while reading The Bible and a few tips on how to overcome them so that hopefully you can have some success later on.

Step 8: Celebrate Milestones

I grew up in a Christian environment where we didn’t talk about our personal Bible study times, or celebrate our personal victories in Christ.

But, I think one thing we can start doing is celebrating your progress and achievements along the way.

Why Celebrate Milestones?

Celebrating milestones in your Bible study journey is like giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. It’s a way to acknowledge your hard work, dedication, and the growth you’ve experienced. 

Celebrating milestones keeps you motivated. When you recognize your achievements, it inspires you to continue your journey with enthusiasm.

It’s a chance to reflect on how far you’ve come. Looking back at your milestones can remind you of the positive impact daily Bible study has had on your life.

How to Celebrate Milestones:

  • Set Specific Milestones: Identify specific points in your journey that you’d like to celebrate. These could be finishing a certain book of the Bible, reaching a memorization goal, or consistently studying The Bible for a month.
  • Reward Yourself: Treat yourself when you reach a milestone. It could be something simple like enjoying your favourite dessert, taking a nature walk, or spending quality time with loved ones.
  • Share Your Achievements: Don’t be shy about sharing your accomplishments with an accountability partner, friend, or family member. They can celebrate with you and offer their support and encouragement.
  • Journal Your Progress: Consider keeping a journal of your Bible study journey. Document your milestones, reflections, and any personal growth you’ve experienced. It’s a beautiful way to capture the moments and see your spiritual development over time.

As you celebrate your milestones, you’ll discover that daily Bible study isn’t just a task to check off; it’s a source of immense joy and enrichment. 

It’s about drawing closer to God, gaining insights, and finding purpose and peace in your life.

Conclusion:

A daily Bible study habit creates spiritual growth, wisdom, and a deeper connection with God. 

There are so many benefits, and I know that if you take each of these steps, you will see how much treasure can be found in God’s word. 

FREE Challenge

Now, it’s time to take a step further and actively invest in your spiritual growth. I invite you to join our FREE 5-day Bible reading challenge, where you’ll embark on a journey of deeper connection with God and His Word.

In this challenge, you’ll receive daily guidance, inspirational verses, and practical tips to enrich your quiet time.

That is why I am thrilled to invite you to our upcoming Transform Your Quiet Time ” Challenge! 

This is a FREE 5-day challenge that is designed especially for Christian women like you, seeking to cultivate a meaningful quiet time practice.

During this challenge, you will learn:

  • How to create a personalized quiet time plan
  • Insights to make your devotional time more impactful
  • How to understand the context of the passage
  • And so much more!

Don’t miss this opportunity to transform your quiet time and flourish in your faith! 

Click here to sign up today! 

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Explore the Deeper Purpose of Prayer in Life

Prayer is a universal practice found in various forms. It’s a deeply personal and spiritual act that serves a multitude of purposes. In Christianity, it’s important to understand the purpose of prayer. It is key to nurturing one’s faith and building a meaningful relationship with God. Continue to read as I share with you the deeper purpose of prayer. 

Explore the Deeper Purpose of Prayer

1. Communication with God: 

At its core, the purpose of prayer is to communicate with God. It’s a way for believers to express their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and concerns to God. 

Just as any relationship requires conversation, prayer allows individuals to converse with the Creator, seeking comfort, guidance, and companionship.

  • Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.
  • Psalm 66:19-20 But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
  • Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

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2. Seeking Guidance and Wisdom: 

Another main purpose of Prayer is for people who are seeking God’s guidance and wisdom. 

In moments of uncertainty or decision-making, believers turn to prayer to gain insight and clarity. 

Through prayer, individuals can tap into the wisdom and understanding that God offers, helping them navigate life’s challenges and choices.

  • James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
  • 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.
  • 1 Kings 3:9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?

3. Finding Peace and Solace: 

Life can be filled with stress, anxiety, and turmoil. 

Another main purpose of Prayer is that it provides a refuge for people who need peace and solace in the midst of life’s storms. 

Prayer offers a space where individuals can cast their burdens upon God, finding comfort and reassurance in His presence. 

The act of prayer itself can be a calming practice.

  • Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 46:10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
  • Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

A picture of a women on her knees praying to God. Her eyes are closed and her hands are together. Under the picture are the words, Discover the true purpose of prayer, One Determined Life.

4. Expressing Gratitude: 

Another main purpose of Prayer is that it’s a way to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God for the blessings in one’s life. 

It allows individuals to acknowledge the goodness and abundance they’ve received, fostering a spirit of appreciation and humility.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
  • Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

5. Confession and Repentance: 

Another purpose of Prayer is that it also serves as a means of confession and repentance. 

Prayer provides a way for individuals to acknowledge their shortcomings, seek forgiveness, and renew their commitment to living for The Glory of God. 

  • 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
  • Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
  • James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

6. Building Trust and Faith: 

Another main purpose of Prayer is that it builds trust and faith in God. By regularly connecting with the divine, individuals develop a deeper sense of reliance on God’s providence and a strengthened faith that transcends life’s trials.

  • Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song, I praise him.
  • Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

7. Intercession and Petition: 

Prayer isn’t only focused on personal needs but extends to intercession and petition for others. 

Another main purpose of Prayer is to pray for the well-being of friends, family, and the broader community. 

This act of selflessness strengthens bonds of compassion and solidarity.

  • 1 Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.
  • Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
  • 1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

8. Relationship Building: 

Ultimately, prayer is about growing and deepening one’s relationship with God. 

It’s a two-way dialogue that fosters intimacy, trust, and love between the believer and the divine. 

Through prayer, individuals can experience the presence of God in their lives and grow in their understanding of His will.

  • James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
  • Psalm 63:1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

These Bible verses beautifully illustrate examples of prayer for various purposes. 

Whether it’s communicating with God, seeking guidance and wisdom, finding peace and solace, expressing gratitude, confessing and repenting, building trust and faith, interceding for others, or nurturing a deeper relationship with the Divine, the Bible offers guidance and inspiration for a rich and meaningful prayer life. 

The purpose of prayer in Christianity is so much more than just asking for help or salvation. It’s also a way to communicate with God. It gives us guidance, and solace, and builds our relationship with God. 

Through prayer, we can show our gratitude, make our confession, and praise The Lord for who He is and what He has done.

Prayer is a rich spiritual practice that shows our need for spiritual connection, growth, and divine intervention in our lives. 

Understanding these purposes can transform our prayer time from a ritual or habit into a profound and deep reliance on God in all aspects of our lives. 

FREE Challenge

Now, it’s time to take a step further and actively invest in your spiritual growth. I invite you to join our FREE 5-day Bible reading challenge, where you’ll embark on a journey of deeper connection with God and His Word.

In this challenge, you’ll receive daily guidance, inspirational verses, and practical tips to enrich your quiet time.

That is why I am thrilled to invite you to our upcoming Transform Your Quiet Time ” Challenge! 

This is a FREE 5-day challenge that is designed especially for Christian women like you, seeking to cultivate a meaningful quiet time practice.

During this challenge, you will learn:

  • How to create a personalized quiet time plan
  • Insights to make your devotional time more impactful
  • How to understand the context of the passage
  • And so much more!

Don’t miss this opportunity to transform your quiet time and flourish in your faith! 

Click here to sign up today! 

A picture of Anne Markey, next to the picture are the words: 5 days to transform your quiet time. FREE 5 day challenge, register now, One Determined Life

How a Bible Reading Routine Can Strengthen Your Faith

Creating a Bible reading routine is like having a secret time to talk to God and learn all the amazing things the Bible teaches us. When we read the Bible regularly, it helps us find answers when we’re curious, feel better when life is hard, and celebrate when life is awesome. Plus, it brings us closer to God, helps us figure out why we’re here, and gives us strength when life throws tricky stuff our way. 

Now, let’s dive deeper into why having a Bible reading routine is so important in our faith journey, explore the amazing benefits, and learn how to overcome some common challenges along the way.

The importance of a Bible reading routine

Creating a Bible reading routine is important in the life of a believer.

It’s a special time to connect with God and learn from the Bible’s teachings. 

When we read the Bible regularly, we can find answers to our questions, feel better when things are tough, and celebrate when things are great. 

It helps us get closer to God, understand why we’re here, and deal with life’s ups and downs. 

So, having a routine to read the Bible isn’t just a good habit to have, it’s so much more.

The significance of a consistent Bible reading routine

Imagine your faith journey is like a big adventure. Reading the Bible regularly is like having a special map for this journey. It helps you stay on the right path and understand where you’re going. 

When we read the Bible often, we can grow closer to God and feel His love and direction in our lives. 

Scripture tells us that God’s word is a light on our path- a flashlight in the dark, showing us the way to live our lives and how to be strong in our faith.

Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

A picture of Anne Markey, next to the picture are the words: 5 days to transform your quiet time. FREE 5 day challenge, register now, One Determined Life

The spiritual benefits of regular Bible reading:

Reading The Bible regularly is like eating healthy food for your spirit. 

It makes you feel good inside and helps us be strong in our faith! 

When we read the Bible, we learn important lessons about being kind, patient, and understanding. 

It’s like having a friend who gives us advice and helps us become better people. 

Reading the Bible also brings us peace and happiness. As we read The bible, we feel closer to God and feel His presence as He loves us and reminds us that we are loved and never alone. 

So, reading the Bible isn’t just a task; it strengthens us and helps us become more like God.

a picture of a person writing in a notepad with their Bible open as well. Under the picture are the words, How a Bible reading routine can strengthen your faith, www.onedeterminedlife.com

You might face some Challenges

There can be some common challenges that you may face when trying to start a routine of reading the Bible. 

These challenges may discourage us, but it’s important to remember that all Christians struggle at one point or another, and we can all grow stronger in our faith as we learn to overcome them. 

There are a few things that we can do to overcome these challenges. 

3 things you can do to overcome these challenges

1. Sett Clear Goals

The first thing you can do to read your Bible more regularly is to set specific and achievable goals. 

First, think about what you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to read a certain number of chapters each week or explore a particular book in the Bible. 

Make your goal clear, like saying, “I’ll read one chapter every day.” It’s important to choose a goal that fits your schedule and feels doable. 

Then, break your goal into smaller steps, like reading a little bit each day. This makes it easier to stay on track. 

Remember, setting goals is like putting stepping stones on your path to growing closer to God through the Bible. It’s exciting and achievable!

2. Use Reading Plans and Resources

Using reading plans and resources can make your Bible reading take less time and help you focus by allowing you to follow a pre-made path! 

There are different plans and tools to help you read the Bible in a structured way. 

For instance, you can find reading plans that focus on specific topics or books in the Bible. 

You can also use devotional books and study guides, which are like friendly companions that explain what you read and help you understand it better. 

These resources make it easier to connect with the Bible’s teachings. 

And if you like using technology, there are cool online tools and apps that offer reading plans and insights at your fingertips. 

So, don’t be afraid to try these resources—they’re like friends helping you on your amazing journey of faith!

3. Be Accountable to a friend

The last thing you can do to read your Bible more regularly is

To Stay accountable to a friend. 

It’s like having buddies cheering you on during a race. 

This is the secret to success because it helps you stay on track and not give up. 

When you tell your friends or family, or even join online groups about your Bible reading plan, it’s like making a promise to them. 

Your friends can encourage you and share their own experiences, making your journey more exciting. 

You can also have regular check-ins with them to talk about what you’ve learned and ask questions. 

It’s like having a team of supporters making sure you finish the race strong. 

So, don’t be shy; involve others in your Bible reading journey, and together, you’ll go far!

Conclusion:

Having a consistent Bible reading routine isn’t always easy. Some days, it may feel hard to open your Bible. 

I know how that feels, and I just want to encourage you to open your Bible as often as you can. 

Reading The Bible regularly serves as a light on a dark path. 

When we read God’s word, we create a closer relationship with God. 

Not only that, The Bible is full of wisdom, and a source of inner peace and strength, offering guidance, comfort, and so much more.

As we take this journey, let’s remember that consistency in reading the Bible is not about perfection but about the transformation it brings to our hearts and lives.

So, keep that routine going, even on days when it’s tough. Keep seeking the wisdom of the Bible, and you’ll continue to grow in faith and find the peace and joy that comes from connecting with God’s Word. 

FREE Challenge

As school starts and you set new routines, you want to start the school year off right with more time for Jesus but are not sure where to start. 

As a mom of 3 kids, I know how busy life can get and how hard it can be to add new things to your busy schedule. 

That is why I am thrilled to invite you to our upcoming “Transform Your Quiet Time ” Challenge! 

This is a FREE 5-day challenge that is designed especially for Christian women like you, seeking to cultivate a meaningful quiet time practice.

During this challenge, you will learn:

  • How to create a personalized quiet time plan
  • Insights to make your devotional time more impactful
  • How to understand the context of the passage
  • And so much more!

Don’t miss this opportunity to transform your quiet time and flourish in your faith! 

Click here to sign up today! 

A picture of Anne Markey, next to the picture are the words: 5 days to transform your quiet time. FREE 5 day challenge, register now, One Determined Life

14 Simple strategies for modelling Christian values to children

Do you need help teaching and modelling christian values to children? As a christian mom to 3 children, my goal is to have each of my children grow up to love and follow The Lord. 

As a younger mom, I had no clue how to raise a christian child and often felt like I wasn’t doing enough. 

My oldest is now 14 and I’ve realized that teaching our children about God doesn’t have to be complicated. But that doing small things every day can make a huge impact.

Since I struggled so much with this, I wanted to share with you some strategies I’ve used to teach and model christian values to my children. 

Listen or watch the episode

14 Strategies for teaching and modelling Christian values to children

1. Prayer: 

Teaching children about the significance of prayer and incorporating it into everyday life is a cornerstone of instilling Christian values. 

It’s important to help children understand that prayer is not merely a ritual, but a way to communicate directly with God. It serves as a means for expressing gratitude, seeking guidance, requesting protection, and simply taking the time to foster a personal relationship with Him.

Making prayer a regular feature of your daily routine helps children see it as a natural and essential part of life. One way to do this is by establishing set times for prayer throughout the day.

It’s crucial to encourage children to pray for their personal needs. This can range from help with schoolwork to healing from an illness, or peace about a situation that worries them. By doing so, they learn to trust God and depend on Him in all circumstances.

Equally important is teaching children the value of intercessory prayer, which involves praying for others. They can pray for a friend who is sick, their teachers, their siblings, or even people in countries they’ve only heard about. This helps them to develop empathy, broaden their worldview, and realize the power of prayer in the lives of others.

Ultimately, the goal is to instill in children a habit of prayer, helping them understand that they can turn to God in all situations and that their prayers, big or small, are heard by Him.

Teaching the Importance of Prayer:

  1. Communication with God: Explain to children that prayer is our direct line of communication with God. It’s how we talk to Him, thank Him, and ask for His help or guidance.
  2. Expression of Faith and Dependence: Teach them that when we pray, we express our faith in God and our dependence on Him. We acknowledge that we need His help in our lives.
  3. God’s Command: Share with them that the Bible instructs us to pray. For instance, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 urges us to “pray without ceasing.”
  4. Power of Prayer: Help them understand the power of prayer. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

2. Bible Reading: 

Integrating the regular reading and discussion of Bible stories into your family’s routine is a pivotal part of nurturing a child’s spiritual growth and understanding of Christian values. 

The Bible, being the living Word of God, is filled with a wealth of narratives, parables, and teachings that offer timeless wisdom and guidance.

Reading Bible stories to children, particularly at a young age, introduces them to the key figures, events, and teachings of the Christian faith. 

It’s a wonderful opportunity to acquaint them with the life and teachings of Jesus, the miracles performed by God, the faith of the patriarchs and matriarchs, and so much more. 

But beyond mere reading, discussing these stories in an engaging and interactive manner can bring the Scriptures to life, making them more relatable and understandable to young minds.

Encourage your children to actively participate in these discussions. Allow them to ask questions about anything that intrigues them, puzzles them, or seems unclear. 

Remember, the goal of reading and discussing Bible stories with your children is not only to educate them about the Christian faith but to instill in them a love for God’s Word, a habit of seeking wisdom from it, and a desire to live according to its teachings.

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3. Family Devotions: 

Designating a specific time each day or week for family devotions is an essential practice in cultivating a Christ-centered home. 

This time serves as a cornerstone for fostering spiritual growth and unity within the family. It’s an opportunity to step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and come together as a family in a shared pursuit of spiritual nourishment and growth.

Family devotions can follow a flexible format based on your family’s needs and preferences, but generally, they involve a few key components: reading Scripture, discussing its application, and praying together. 

These elements help create an atmosphere of learning, reflection, and connection with God and each other.

Remember, family devotions don’t have to be lengthy or overly formal. What matters most is the consistency and the intention behind it. 

Even a few dedicated minutes each day or a longer session once a week can have a profound impact on your family’s spiritual journey. 

Over time, these shared moments can become treasured family rituals that nurture your family’s faith, create lasting memories, and shape your family’s identity in Christ.

4. Model Christian Behavior: 

One of the most powerful ways to teach your children about Christianity is by embodying its principles through your own actions. 

Children, especially when they’re young, learn extensively by observing those around them. 

Your behaviour serves as a living example of what it means to be a Christian, making you the primary model of Christian values for your children.

The Bible instructs us to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31) and to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). These and other Christian values can be effectively taught when they are consistently demonstrated in your daily life.

Showing love in your interactions with others is a practical way to exemplify the love of Christ. This can be as simple as offering words of encouragement to someone who is struggling, helping a neighbour with their groceries, or spending quality time with your family. 

Let your children see you acting in love, and explain to them why you do so.

Remember, children often mirror the behaviour of their parents. Therefore, living out your faith authentically and demonstrating Christian values in your actions can have a profound influence on your children’s understanding and practice of their own faith. 

More than any sermon or Sunday school lesson, your day-to-day actions speak volumes about your faith. And through this, your children can learn that Christianity is not just about beliefs and rituals, but about a transformative way of life guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ.

5. Church Participation: 

Active participation in church services and activities is a fundamental practice in fostering a strong Christian family. 

Attending church services together offers numerous opportunities for spiritual growth and learning. 

During the services, family members can join in corporate worship, listen to the preaching of God’s Word, and participate in communion. 

These experiences can foster a deeper understanding of Christian doctrines, inspire spiritual conversations at home, and provide a platform to discuss and reflect on the sermon’s teachings as a family.

Beyond the weekly service, churches often host a variety of additional activities and events. These can help to broaden your family’s understanding of Christianity, allowing you to put your faith into action, serve others, and build relationships with fellow believers.

For children, being part of the church community can be especially beneficial. 

Many churches offer age-appropriate groups and activities designed to engage children and youth. These might include Sunday school classes, youth groups, Bible camps, or special events. 

Participating in these activities can help children deepen their faith, learn more about the Bible in a kid-friendly environment, and develop friendships with peers who share their beliefs.

Involving children in age-appropriate activities not only keeps them engaged but also helps them develop a sense of ownership and belonging within the church community. 

As parents, it’s also beneficial to get involved in church activities that cater to your interests and gifts. This could be joining a Bible study group, volunteering in a ministry, or serving in a leadership role. 

Your active involvement sets a positive example for your children, showing them that church is not just a place to attend, but a community to be actively involved in.

Remember, while attending church and participating in its activities is important, the goal is not merely about fulfilling a religious obligation. 

It’s about creating a lifestyle that revolves around worship, learning, fellowship, and service—values that are central to Christianity. It’s about building strong faith foundations, nurturing a vibrant faith community, and living out the teachings of Christ as a family.

6. Service and Charity: 

Involve your children in acts of service and charity, both within your church community and in the broader community. This teaches the value of helping others and shows God’s love in action.

Teaching children about service and charity is an ongoing process. Be patient and consistent in guiding them, and over time, they will internalize these values and carry them into adulthood.

By nurturing a spirit of giving and empathy, you are helping shape a brighter and more compassionate future for your children and society as a whole.

7. Christian Media: 

Use Christian books, movies, and music to reinforce Christian teachings. There are many age-appropriate resources available.

Listen to Christian music or songs with uplifting and faith-based messages. Singing along or dancing to these songs can be a fun way for children to memorize Bible verses and spiritual teachings.

Use the stories or themes from Christian media as a springboard to explore deeper theological concepts. Discuss the lessons learned and how they apply to real-life situations.

8. Discussions About Christian Values: 

Regularly discuss Christian values, such as honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and faith. Use real-life situations to explain these concepts and their importance.

By engaging in open and meaningful conversations, you can deepen their understanding of these values and demonstrate how they apply to everyday life. Here’s how you can expand on this idea:

  1. Honesty: Emphasize the importance of honesty in all interactions. Explain that honesty builds trust in relationships and allows others to rely on us. Use real-life examples, such as the consequences of telling the truth versus lying, to illustrate the value of honesty. Encourage your children to be truthful even when it’s difficult, as this reinforces the integrity of their character.
  2. Kindness: Discuss the concept of kindness as a fundamental Christian virtue. Teach your children to show compassion and empathy towards others, including those who may be different or facing challenges. Encourage them to perform random acts of kindness and consider the positive impact such gestures can have on someone’s day.
  3. Forgiveness: Explain the significance of forgiveness in Christianity. Use age-appropriate examples to demonstrate how forgiveness can heal relationships and bring peace. Teach your children that forgiveness doesn’t excuse harmful behaviour, but it frees us from carrying the burden of anger and resentment.
  4. Faith: Discuss the meaning of faith as a foundation of belief and trust in God. Share stories from the Bible or personal experiences where faith played a role in overcoming challenges or finding strength. Encourage your children to pray and nurture their relationship with God, fostering a sense of security and hope.

10. Celebrating Christian Holidays: 

Celebrate Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas, and take the time to explain their significance. This can also include observing Lent and Advent, depending on your tradition.

These holidays carry significant religious meanings, and incorporating them into family traditions can help instill faith and spiritual understanding in children. Here’s how these celebrations teach children about God:

  1. Easter – The Resurrection of Jesus: Easter is a time to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. By explaining the Easter story to children, parents can introduce the concept of Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity and the promise of eternal life. Teaching children about the significance of the empty tomb and Jesus’ victory over death helps them understand the core message of Christianity – the hope and redemption that comes through Christ’s resurrection.
  2. Christmas – The Birth of Jesus: Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, and it is one of the most widely recognized Christian holidays. Teaching children the nativity story, from Mary and Joseph’s journey to the birth in the stable, offers an opportunity to explain the miraculous event of God becoming incarnate in human form. Children learn about the concept of God’s love and the gift of Jesus to humanity, emphasizing the idea that Christmas is not just about receiving gifts but also about giving and expressing love to others.

11. Memorizing Verses: 

Encourage your children to memorize Bible verses. Start with simple ones and gradually move to more complex verses. This will help them internalize God’s word.

As they commit these verses to memory, they develop a deeper connection with the Scriptures and internalize the teachings and values found within.

Remember to be patient and supportive during the memorization process. Every child learns at their own pace, so celebrate their progress and focus on nurturing their love for God’s word.

By encouraging them to memorize Bible verses, you are helping them build a strong foundation in their faith, fostering a lifelong habit of engaging with and internalizing God’s word.

12. Christian Education: 

If possible, consider Christian education options, where the curriculum will align with your faith and values.

Christian education plays a vital role in teaching children about God, instilling biblical values, and nurturing their spiritual growth. It provides a comprehensive and intentional approach to integrating faith into every aspect of learning.

By immersing children in a Christ-centered learning environment, Christian education goes beyond mere academic instruction. It nurtures their hearts and minds, preparing them to live as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, and empowering them to make a positive impact on the world around them.

The values and knowledge imparted through Christian education serve as a strong foundation for a lifetime of spiritual growth and service to God and others.

13. Practicing Forgiveness: 

Make forgiveness a part of your family culture. Let your children see you forgive others, and explain why you’re doing it.

Practicing forgiveness is a powerful way to teach our children about God’s nature and the central message of Christianity. It allows children to understand the significance of love, compassion, and reconciliation, fostering a deeper connection with their faith. Here’s how forgiveness teaches our children about God:

  1. God’s Forgiveness in the Bible: The Bible repeatedly emphasizes God’s forgiving nature. Teaching children about stories like the prodigal son, the woman caught in adultery, or Jesus’ forgiveness on the cross highlights God’s boundless mercy and grace. Through these stories, children learn that no mistake is too great for God’s forgiveness.
  2. Imitating God’s Character: The act of forgiveness mirrors God’s character. Encouraging children to forgive others is an opportunity to model God’s love and compassion. It teaches them to be more Christ-like and to embody the values central to Christianity.
  3. Understanding Grace: Forgiveness is an expression of grace – the unmerited favour bestowed upon someone. By forgiving others, children come to understand God’s grace in their own lives, realizing that they too have received forgiveness despite their imperfections

14. Encouraging Faith Questions: 

Let your children ask questions about faith, God, and the Bible. Be open and honest with your answers, and use these questions as teaching moments.

As parents or mentors, it’s important to be patient and understanding when children ask questions about faith. 

Sometimes the questions may be challenging, but embracing them with empathy and providing thoughtful responses helps children navigate their spiritual journey with confidence and authenticity. 

Ultimately, fostering an environment where children feel free to ask questions helps them develop a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God, laying the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of faith and understanding.

Conclusion

Remember, the goal is to guide your children in their faith journey, not to force it. Allow them to grow and explore their faith at their own pace.

If you are looking for some resources to get you started, sign up for the FREE Christ-Centered Home Bundle. This is a collection of 32 FREE products to help Christian women establish a strong foundation for their family’s spiritual life and cultivate a home environment that honours God. 

Click here to register today.

God is Light

As a Christian, it is important that we understand who God is. To do that, we can read the names of God used in the bible. Each name declares one part of who God is. Today, LeighAnne Clifton shares her thoughts on God is Light.

LeighAnne Clifton shares her thoughts on Christian living, DIY projects, and the latest book news on her blog. To learn more about her, read her bio at the end of the post.

Before writing her first novel, All Your Heart, Leigh Anne wrote The Little Vessel ** a modern-day parable for all who need reminding that God has a unique purpose for their lives. 

**this is an affiliate link, please see my disclosure policy.

A picture of a path in the woods with light at the end. Next to the picture are the words God is light, powerful names of God blog series

God is Light

We live in what many refer to as “dark times.” Global pandemic. Social unrest. Political upheaval. Any of these situations could plummet us into despair.

Uncertainty seems to govern every aspect of life. However, as believers in Jesus, we know that while we should avoid the darkness and all the evil it represents; we need not fear it.

Why?

The Bible tells us God is Light.

  • 1 John 1:5-6 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”

We see light in the beauty of a rainbow that reiterates His promise from ancient days not to destroy the earth with a flood. The spectrum of color in a rainbow is created by light shining through water droplets. Think about that… God made a promise using light!

His word contains many reassurances that He is indeed Light. (Do a search on your Bible app for the word “light.” I got over 200 hits!)

God is Light from the Start

The idea of God being and embodying light goes all the way back to Creation.

  • Genesis 1:3-4 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

There’s so much truth packed into these short verses.

God saw the light and considered it to be good. It can be so easy to read right over that small, but monumentally important, nugget. However, when taken in context with the rest of His Word, we see that immediately, on the very first day of creating everything, He equated the light with that which is good. Then, He separated the light from the darkness.

What crucially important facts to understand!

Darkness and light do not co-exist. When light is brought into the darkness, it banishes the darkness. Wow. The heavy and eternal significance of this foundational truth becomes even clearer when Jesus enters the scene, as we’ll see later.

God is Light in the Wilderness

Centuries after creation, God assured His chosen children of His presence by accompanying them as a pillar of fire at night through the desert. (Exodus 13:21). The fire provided the Israelites the ability to travel throughout the night. A source of light would have also provided protection from animal attacks or enemy forces.

During their long journey, Moses had fellowship with God on Mt. Sinai on more than one occasion. Moses went up the mountain twice for the 10 commandments. Both times, he spent 40 days and 40 nights. (Exodus 19:18-25)

When Moses returned for the second set of stone tablets, he stayed with the Lord for forty days and nights. During this period, he received the covenant God made between Himself and the nation of Israel.

Upon Moses’ return to the Israelites, “his face was radiant,” a physical remnant of his time spent in the glory of the Lord and His powerful holy light. (Exodus 34:29-35)

This account reflects how being in the presence of God changes our countenance.

The Significance of Light

Throughout the ages, each individual God chose to pen the words of the Bible associated light with the holy perfection of God.

Following the Lord’s example, established at the beginning of time, the concept of darkness signifies sin and evil – things governed by Satan.

Eventually, though, Light always prevails!

Even in Israel’s times of deepest despair and, yes, darkness, the prophets of God proclaimed hope in the light their God promised.

Isaiah 51:4 Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.

Isaiah 42:5-7 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

God is the Light of the World

Hundreds of years after God promised to send a “light for the Gentiles,” Jesus stepped out of heaven to take on human form, becoming God incarnate.

In John’s account of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he states that Jesus (the Word) “was with God,” and “was God.” In the next sentence, John writes:

  • John 1:3-5 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

This brief but powerful introduction to John’s account clearly proclaims the truth of Jesus’ deity. It shows that Jesus was present at the beginning of time.

It also not only continues the theme of God as light but also gives us a clear picture that Jesus as God in the flesh will not be extinguished.

Even if we didn’t have the rest of John’s book chronicling the life of Jesus, what a reassurance these first words are!

God is Light in the Darkness

Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council known as the Pharisees, came to see Jesus under cover of darkness.

Why in the dark?

Because Nicodemus knew his fellow religious rulers already hated this wise itinerant teacher. Nicodemus needed his meeting with this controversial individual to remain a secret.

Remember the significance of darkness?

Nicodemus wanted to keep his thirst to learn more, in the dark. Maybe he considered such curiosity a sin. However, what he learned during that encounter changed his life, just as it’s changed the lives of millions since.

It was during their secret meeting that Jesus uttered the most recognizable words in the Bible (John 3:16).

A couple of sentences later, though, Jesus made an explosive commentary not only on His own identity but also on the state of Nicodemus’ heart.

  • John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

It is Who He Says He Is

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He delivered seven “I AM” statements.

  • John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, IAM.”

This may seem like an insignificant detail, but to the Jews of Jesus’ day, such statements would have been considered heretical.

Why?

Let’s rewind to Moses.

When God confronted Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, a terrified Moses asked God who he should say sent him to demand the release of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. God instructed Moses to tell them “I AM” sent Him. This name firmly declared God’s supreme power. Greater than any earthly ruler.

Fast forward back to Jesus’ bold declarations. Jesus stating saying ” I am” shows that Jesus is declaring He is the same of the person who talked to Moses at the burning bush.

God is Light for All

Although the truth of His teaching penetrated many searching souls, Jesus’ claims created fury among religious leaders. Most were too blind to see the Truth they, and their ancestors had sought for centuries.

In the second “I AM” statement of his ministry, Jesus said:

  • John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus faced immediate opposition by the Pharisees for this declaration.

How sad, and tragically ironic, that the Light of the world was sent to save the very ones, God’s beloved Jews, who doubted, opposed, and, ultimately, killed Him.

Not long before Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion, He tried to tell his dear friends of the events to come. Again, He reminded them of the crucial distinction between Light and darkness.

  • John 12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

There was no way for the disciples to understand the horrible, dark truth of the pain that awaited their friend. Most of them, however, would later carry the Light to distant lands, seeking to abolish the darkness as Jesus had commissioned them to do.

So, what became of Nicodemus after his late-night meeting with our Savior?

The next mention of him is after the crucifixion. Nicodemus assisted with preparing Jesus’ body for emplacement in a borrowed tomb. No longer in the dark, Nicodemus was truly a changed man.

God is Eternal Light

The early church understood the importance of aligning themselves with the Light and desired for Jews and Gentiles to do the same. John, Peter and Paul all refer to Jesus in terms of His light, equated to His holiness.

Now, in this time of so much darkness, division, and chaos all around us, how can we know the Light will overcome the darkness?

Has the world gone too far to ever be back in the Light, the holy glow of God’s glory?

The good news is that God is victorious, both now and forever. John saw the beauty of God’s victory when he recorded his vision in the Book of Revelation.

After writing of the horror of God’s wrath and His judgment on the enemy, John tells of the incomparable beauty of the new heaven.

  • Revelation 21:22-24 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it.

And, just like that, God perfectly wraps up His love letter to His people by exhibiting the radiance of His sovereign perfection.

Darkness will be no more because the Light will reign!

We have just seen that Light defines who God is and what He is. In the comments below, share your thoughts about God is light.

Picture and bio of LeighAnne Clifton

Jesus is The Prince of Peace

About 8 years ago, I stopped watching the news. It was just too full of horrible events going on around the world. I found myself more anxious and scared. As a young mom, I knew something had to change. Not only did I stop watching the news, but I started focusing on Jesus. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

To continue my blogging series about the names of God, I want to share with you a post from Lisa Dean.

Lisa is a writer passionate about helping people cling to the peace only Jesus can provide. She writes and creates resources to invite readers on a journey of cultivating and claiming the peace of God. You can find her online at lisazdean.com or follow her on Instagram @lisazdean.

This post contains Affiliate Links, see Disclosure Policy.

a picture of white doves flying in a blue sky. Beside the picture are the words Prince of Pace. Powerful names of God blog series. One Determined Life

Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Although the conversation happened over ten years ago, I remember it vividly. I sat at a cafe table cradling a cup of lukewarm coffee between my hands. In recent days I had experienced a depressive slump and couldn’t seem to lift myself out of it. I looked at my friend and asked her, “If we’re Christians, we’re supposed to have the peace of God, right?” She nodded her head.

“Then why doesn’t it always feel that way?”

My friend could only answer, with a knitted brow, “I don’t know…” I looked out the nearby window feeling the weight of my emotions not understanding why my life wasn’t lining up with God’s promise of peace.

Maybe you’ve encountered this disconnect between biblical truth and the emotions you feel, or maybe you’re experiencing it right now. 

Jesus tells us He gives us peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”
(John 14:27a).

Why then, do we not always feel at peace?

Why does it seem our peace is here one moment and broken to shards around our feet the next?

We want to believe he gives us peace and is our peace, but our lives can often look and feel chaotic.

It’s easy to conclude that since God and His Word are truth, and His Word promises peace, then the problem is us.

Have you ever wondered if there’s something you’re doing (or not doing) that is messing up the perfect peace of Jesus?

Before we can sort out the problem, we first have to understand the biblical definition of peace and what God’s promises about peace mean for us today.

Definition of Biblical Peace

Peace, as the world might define it, is the absence of conflict. World peace is wished for by pageant contestants.

Nobel peace prizes are awarded to those making strides to bring nations into an agreement, to end fighting, and dispel threats of war.

The world might also define peace as the absence of inner conflict and the ability to fall asleep at night without a care in the world. 

While these definitions of peace may be like the biblical definition, it’s important to make the distinction.

“Peace” often appears in our Bibles as the translated Hebrew word “shalom.”

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines “shalom” as “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.” 

Biblical peace is not found in you or me, unless Jesus is found in you or me.

Jesus is the embodiment, agent, and only source of lasting peace.

There is no true peace found apart from him.

To understand how this could be, we go back to the creation story. 

Peace as God Intended

When God moulded the world and breathed life into animals and humans, He “saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a).

Adam and Eve existed in perfect harmonious fellowship with God.

When the lies of Satan and the sin of a man popped the bubble of perfection, it swept away their intimate fellowship with the Father.

Peace shattered like a mirror, and in its place sadness, remorse, and longing took root in all mankind.

The good news of Isaiah 9:6 promises that the brokenness caused by sin will not reign forever.

A Prince of Peace was coming:

  • Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Reconciling Peace

The peace of Jesus restores what was broken in the Garden of Eden.

Jesus came to bridge the gap between God and man. The most important definition of peace is the one that results in our reconciliation with God.

  • Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this sense of the word, peace isn’t a feeling at all. It’s the restoration and healing of our fellowship with God made possible by Jesus Christ. 

However, there is a connection between the peace we have with God and our emotions.

  • Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

When we sit and savor the wonder of the gospel, we feed our affection for God and uncover the accompanying experiences of delight and freedom. 

Surpassing Peace

The second biblical definition of peace is one that describes the experience of our hearts and minds.

One of the most well-known verses on peace,

  • Philippians 4:7 assures us that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Greek word “peace” in this verse is used in various ways throughout the Bible.

One of The Blue Letter Bible’s usages is described as “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”

In other words, the more tightly we cling to life in Jesus, the more loosely we hold the temporary life we live on this side of heaven, and the more serenity our soul gains.

While we live out this life, we have great peace knowing we never do it alone.

We do not walk through any valley of darkness or climb up any sunny peak apart from God’s presence. He is with us and for us, regardless of what comes our way.

This aspect of peace is one we can actively nurture and cultivate.

The more we know God, sit in His presence, and delight in Him, the greater our peace and joy.

Speaking of meditating on the truth, J. I. Packer says, “it is as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted that our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, or strength and our joy” (Knowing God, p. 23).

Coming Peace

The third description of biblical peace speaks to relationships and conflict.

Paul instructs us saying,

  • Romans 12:18 so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all

As Christians, we should seek to forgive and show grace and mercy. We reflect the light and peace of God into a dark and broken world.

Notice that Paul doesn’t tell us to live peaceably at any cost.

There are situations that warrant a confrontation of sin, and we must risk discomfort out of love for people and obedience to Christ.

Jesus even says,

  • Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

We must understand the fact that loyalty to Jesus comes at a cost. That cost may look like sacrificing peace with friends and family. 

Just as the Jews anticipated the advent of the Prince of Peace, we now anticipate His return—a time when perfect peace will reign.

On that day, wolves and lambs will coexist without bloodshed (Isaiah 11:6), and “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4).

People will cease to inflict wounds on one another, and we will live in unity.

The Timeline of Peace

Jesus’s death and resurrection guarantee a future of perfect peace among His people, but the fullness of that reality isn’t here yet.

We live in an in-between time.

  • In the past, our Prince of Peace died and rose again. Because of Him, a reconciled and restored fellowship with God is now available to all who put their faith and trust in Jesus. 
  • In the present, while we wait for Jesus the Prince of Peace to return, how we experience peace in our hearts and minds is dependent on our ability to grasp, dwell, and soak in the reality of our new life in Christ.
  • In the future, God will usher in a new heaven and a new earth where every ugly word spoken and every painful wound inflicted will vanish. Peace in every sense will be restored and The Prince of Peace will sit on the throne forever.

When I think back on my conversation at the coffee shop, I wish I could time travel and tell my younger self and my friend that there is something we can do to nurture and cultivate our peace.

I would say, “Pursue knowing God. Prioritize Him before all else. Even when you don’t feel it or experience it, God’s promise of peace is real and true. Set your mind on the good news of the gospel, and as your understanding deepens, so will your peace.”

While we Wait

The peace that Jesus offers is different and better than that of the world.

Inner serenity and the absence of conflict are not guaranteed on this side of heaven.

In fact, we see Jesus himself was the focal point of conflict and dissension before his murder. Leading up to his death, we know he was sweating drops of blood because of the internal anguish he experienced.

But we are not without hope.

Jesus already paved the path to peace by purchasing our reconciliation with God.

We have not yet experienced the fullness of peace because we still dwell in a broken world.

Our “already” but “not yet” reality means we can pursue peace today knowing one day we will find complete wholeness and healing in His presence. The shattered pieces of peace will be put right again.

Isaiah 2:4 describes our future when tools of war will be converted to tools of farming. Immediately following those verses the Bible says,

  • Isaiah 2:5 Come…let us walk in the light of the LORD

While we wait, let’s walk in obedience to Christ, our Prince of Peace.

For a practical way to pursue peace, checkout her free Journaling Toolkit: A Prayerful Approach to Fostering Peace, Contentment, and Growth.

In The comments below, share how Jesus the Prince of Peace has impacted your life.

3 ways to limit distractions when reading The Bible

Do you want to read your Bible regularly but sometimes feel distracted, or unsure of what to read in your bible? I have felt the same and have discovered 3 ways to limit distractions when reading The Bible.

You attend bible studies, go to church every week, and get involved. Despite all that, you are still struggling to have a consistent quiet time and a hard time applying God’s word to your life.  

While it may seem impossible, you can overcome distractions when reading The Bible, understand what it says, and apply it to your life. 

A picture of a woman sitting at a table with her chin in her hand looking glum. Next to the picture are the words 3 ways to limit distractions when reading The Bible

3 ways to limit distractions when reading The Bible

1. Develop a quiet time routine that works for you

Every single Christian writer and speaker out there says the same thing: read your bible in the morning to start your day off right. 

Well, that advice didn’t work for me. It was actually a huge stumbling block that kept me from reading my Bible consistently. 

Why? I hate mornings! I’m not a morning person. I love The Lord, but the idea of getting out of bed one second before I have to grates my soul. 

Strong words, I know. 

My point? 

The regular advice didn’t work for me. I needed to create a Bible reading routine that worked for the person I am and the season I’m in. 

We are so uniquely made that a bible reading plan that works for me might not work for you. So spend some time figuring out what will work for you. 

I promise it’s a game-changer, and I know you’ll thank me later. 

2. Learn what questions to ask while reading your Bible 

The idea of understanding the Bible can seem intimidating. Trust me, there have been many occasions where I read the word of God and have no clue what it says. 

To gain more understanding, I depend on the Holy Spirit and asked a few key Bible study questions to dig into the deeper meaning. 

Some questions include: 
  • Who wrote this text?
  • Who is the text written to?
  • What does this text reveal about God and His character?
  • What do we learn about people?

There are many other questions you can ask yourself, but these are a great starting point for any passage you read. 

You don’t have to ask all the questions. Just start with one verse and one or two questions. 

When you do this, you will soon see how much more you are learning about God and His word. 

3. Seek Accountability 

The Bible is full of verses that tell us we were made for the community. 

In Genesis 2:18 the Lord says: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

We can’t walk this Christian walk on our own. We need people to support us, show us the way, and keep us accountable for our actions. 

This may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. 

You can choose to be accountable for what you read by tracking your progress, or by asking someone to check in on you once in a while to see how you are doing. 

Do Want to learn even more by reading God’s word, understanding what it says, and applying it to your life? Join The Christian Growth Hub!

The Christian Growth Hub is an online, monthly membership focused on helping Christian women read the Bible, understand it, and apply it to their lives. 

The Christian Growth Hub includes lessons for each of the sections described above. 

1. Develop a quiet time routine that works for you
  • How to create a quiet time routine
  • Monthly Bible Reading Plans
2. Learn what questions to ask while reading your Bible 
  • 4 Simple Steps to Bible Study
  • 3 truths to understanding The Bible
  • The ultimate list of bible Study Questions
3. Seek Accountability 
  • Setting Up accountability
  • Find trackers, planners, and more for keeping yourself accountable
  • Connect with me and other members in the member’s Facebook group and ask for accountability 

Being part of the Christian Growth Hub, you get lifetime access to 14 lessons and new monthly training and resources and so much more!

If you haven’t signed up yet, click here to join today 

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