Open Your Bible

Ezra 7:8-10, Nehemiah 8:1-18, Psalm 111:1-4, Luke 2:41-52, 2 Timothy 2:14-19, Hebrews 4:12

So as far as the spiritual disciplines go, “study” gets a bit of a bad rap sometimes. I’m sure that we can all point to plenty of examples of ivory-tower thinking and sophomoric pontificating gone awry. You know the types of conversations I’m talking about: late-night disputes, fueled more by ego than interest, resulting in semi-spoiled friendships and further entrenched opinions. If we’re honest, we’ve all been part of a conversation like that at one point or another. 

No? Not even on social media? 

The life of the spiritually engaged mind can be infinitely more rich and rewarding than that because study can be an act of love. When asked by the lawyers and scribes, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘[love] your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27, emphasis mine). 

Here’s the deal: Separating a heart love for God from a head love for God is a bit of a false dichotomy. For Jesus, to love God is to do so with your whole person, and that includes your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). 

In one of our readings for today, Paul urges Timothy to be about the work of “correctly teaching the word of truth” (2Timothy 2:15). It seems clear then that to correctly teach the Word of God, Timothy would’ve devoted himself to its study. 

How then, shall we study? 

Regularly. Study is a discipline that requires consistent and focused investment. That doesn’t mean that you must jump straight into original languages or complex theological debates (though they are fascinating and can deepen our love and understanding of God). You might want to pick a book of the Bible to give your dedicated attention to for a designated amount of time, paying attention to what you read beyond just initial comprehension.   

Intentionally. There are many methods of interpretation and study. Seek to understand the context of what you’ve read. Make notes of your questions or what confuses you, and then commit to reading more about those things. Look to wise teachers and pastors, a study Bible, or trustworthy commentary series to shape your reading and understanding. 

Communally. Scripture may be read individually, but it is meant to be lived and understood communally. Beyond the community that engages with our reading plans here, participate in study with your local church as part of a consistent faith community, one that can encourage you in who God is and what His Word says. 

Prayerfully. Finally, and because it should cover all that comes before, Scripture should be studied prayerfully. This seems obvious, but when we neglect to bring our readings before the Lord, we risk missing the opportunity to truly know Him in our pursuit of knowing about Him. It’s the relational knowing that makes study an act of worship and a discipline that truly and positively shapes us. 

The practice of study is like running. The more you do it, the more enjoyable it becomes and the more beneficial it is to your endurance in life. The practice of study is about knowing God through His Word. Study trains us to “[fix] our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NASB). It deepens our ability to lock in our focus on Jesus, expanding the life of our mind in Christ, as well as our capacity to understand how to better love our neighbors and our God. 

Written by Andrew Stoddard

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246 thoughts on "Study"

  1. Ashton Morris says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024 ‍♀️

  2. Chelsea Kay Edwards says:

    Thankful that the Lord has given us his word. I’m hoping I can continue to write them on my heart for every encounter with others ❤️

  3. Kaity Fisher says:

    I know I should study more and really study in depth to understand the Bible. I have a very busy life so I forget to open up Gods word sometimes. I think this journey in growth will be very rewarding for me as I find who I truly am with God by my side.

  4. Brittany Brooks says:

    Prayerfully studying is what I need to work on.

  5. amelia rose thomas says:

    I think this is going to be so amazing so regrow a stronger connection and relationship with the Lord.

  6. Bryana Visin says:

    I feel like my heart is motivated…. But my mind doesn’t always understand what I’m reading…. Maybe that’s where a church group comes in?

  7. Kimberly Dennison says:

    I so want to incorplr

  8. Sumire Arai says:

    I want to not forget love of Lord and live likeliness. Please help me I will be live faithful and kind, and have love.

  9. Leslie Reese says:

    I love that we can’t separate heart and head knowledge

  10. Andraya Bitschy says:

    I love that connection that head and heart love go hand in hand. You can’t love God in your heart if you don’t acknowledge his love in head.

  11. Chelsea Mitchell says:

    This lesson has given me a better understanding of how to study the Bible and a better approach. Loving God is not just a mental thing it should also include your heart.

    You know the way you love your first love you think about them all the time, get sick when you haven’t talked to them, miss them and can’t wait to hear their voice or see them. That’s how we should love God.

  12. Janna Willard says:

    Thank you for the confirmation that “head love” is inseparable from “heart love”! I am someone who connects with others first on an intellectual level; emotional connections take time to develop. It’s frustrating when so many people—including in the Church—insist that this is somehow wrong, when it is obviously how I was created!

  13. Johanna Maldonado says:

    Just have to pursuit and commit. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Thank you Lord for this reminder.

  14. Anna Baxter says:

    Yes totally! I think it’s a heart motive that can creep

  15. Lauren K says:

    Anyone else struggle with mixing works with devotion? Yeah. It’s rough. Having God’s love be our motivation to do good works and not just doing good works for show is something I have struggled with for years. I pray God will weed this out of my heart. Praise the Lord for second chances and grace!!

  16. Haylee Price says:

    This plan is wonderful to help me with my study habits.

  17. Samantha Ginter says:

    I am working to feel closer to the Father again. I feel so far from Him (I know it is a me thing…) and am praying to reconnect, by staying in His Word.

  18. Jalissa Shackleford says:

    I pray the Holy Spirit gives me a fresh love for Gods word!

  19. Amber Smith says:

    Remembering to pray before studying His words and remembering to find strength in the joy of knowing he chose US

  20. Shantise Byron says:


  21. Adrienne Black says:

    Amen ❤️

  22. Becca Pickett says:

    This was such a good eye opener about an approach to studying the word and not just reaching to it as a way to make myself feel good.

  23. Widan Tutu says:


  24. Savannah Mackie says:

    Study out of a love for God and desire to understand him more ❤️ Love this!

  25. Alyssa Annis says:

    Exactly what I was thinking!

  26. Tanoa Williams says:

    Lord help me be committed to studying Your Word!

  27. Gabriella Gongora says:

    This study is so helpful. I’ve been a Christian for almost 7 years but truly been seeking to become a disciple for only a few months now.

  28. Jasmine Sweeting says:

    Studying the Word can be tough sometimes! It is especially frustrating when you want to study but have to motivation. But I’ve learned that I must read God’s Word everyday despite how I “feel.”

  29. Jessica Buirski says:

    Very Enriching!

  30. Evelyn Wheatley says:

    Loved the analogy to running… the more you do it the more enjoyable it is

  31. Vivian Collado says:

    Studying the word has become challenging lately.

    1. Shenena Merchant says:

      So true!

  32. Brandi Young says:

    Love this day. Study is a hard discipline for most. I feel that we think we have to be smart or have a degree to be able to do it well. No. God is the best teacher through the Holy Spirit!

  33. Danika Edwards says:


  34. Megan Kuemmerlin says:

    Regularly, intentionally, communally, and prayerfully. Simple yet powerful.

  35. Angela Cartledge says:

    Prayerfully. So when I don’t understand so much of the Old Testament, praying and speaking to God about it will not only open my mind but open my heart too. Amazing.

  36. Jessica Muong says:

    I have read many of these passages of scripture quiet a few times throughout my life — but until today the passage in Luke made Jesus more relatable as a human. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom now and I can see my boys doing this innocently. But for whatever the reason I seen this scripture differently today.

  37. Jessica Morgan says:

    This message is what I needed to be reminded that I must even give my reading to the lord before I even begin, so the spirit can speak to my heart, and so I can gain a prayerful understanding of his word. This is where I pray I can connect with God on an even deeper level.

  38. Jan McClellan says:


  39. Cassie Smith says:


  40. Natasha Peterson says:

    I love the passage in Luke where little Jesus goes missing. For one, it’s kind of funny and makes me feel more connected to Him. For two, the fact that Jesus, all things created through Him and for Him, knew He must study. He gave up all of the heavenly glory and wisdom to humble himself on earth for me. He was obedient to the point of death, so why can’t I be obedient enough to open my bible and learn about the God I love.

  41. Jan McClellan says:


  42. Marisa Lee says:

    I am starting to enjoy this new adventure. Thank you!

  43. Yerianel Nelly says:

    I loved this one so much. So simple and yet so profound.

  44. Laurel Lail says:


  45. Erika Sheets says:

    Grateful for today’s study. Thank you!

  46. Sofiya Wren says:

    Same here!

  47. Kate Condran says:

    Good analogies and great passages in scripture. So important to balance the “heart and mind” love of Jesus.

  48. Nora Jo says:

    I really liked the comparison to running. That helped me connect the dots and realize the more I practice aka the more I focus and study the word of God the more enjoyable it is and the more “endurance” I build.

  49. Kate Power says:

    So helpful, thank you!

  50. Dawson Oliver says:

    I loved how it ended with saying that studying the Bible helps us focus on the author and perfected of our faith!! This allows us to grow to be more like Jesus which shows in our actions and love for one another!

  51. Erin Glee says:

    I love this!

  52. Heather Robinson says:


  53. Rachel Pequignot says:

    Because I like to exercise I should know (especially after having two babies) that if you haven’t exercised in awhile you can’t jump right back into exercising the way you did before. Or else you will feel very sore, burned out, or not even able to complete the exercise because it was too strenuous. I think the same goes for the discipline of studying. If we go to fast or hard after having been away longer than we would like to admit we can burn out or get exhausted too quickly. Getting back into it can start off being consistent and small…then I believe the desire for more and strength to do more will come so we as believers don’t get exhausted or bored or whatever word you want so quickly

    1. Bobbie 'Greiman'Grunwald says:


  54. Katie Fredrickson says:

    Me too!!! And I also realized I’m missing the prayer piece of my study time. I need to make a better habit of bringing what I’m studying to God in prayer to allow Him to speak to me through it.

  55. Lyndi Goodman says:

    I loved the last paragraph where it talks about how study trains us to focus on Jesus and through that we begin to look more and more like him and that overflows to how we serve and love others.

  56. Mari Sanchez says:

    So many times we live compartmentalized lives. Family, work, church, God, friends, etc. But we can’t compartmentalize God. To love him truly is with our whole being. Not just parts of us. I loved this reminder!

  57. mackenzie byrd says:

    i needed to hear this.

  58. Maddie Huffman says:

    How convicting- love God with your whole being-mind, body, soul. It’s easy for me to be motivated by emotions. To love God with my mind by searching for him and studying his word was super needed

  59. Kelsey Johnson says:

    This is great! I do have a study Bible but have wanted for a while to go deeper past that. Thanks for the recommendations!

  60. Susan Collier says:

    Needed this!

  61. Lindsey says:

    Kelsey, I love that you want to find resources to dig deeper!!! I really love my ESV study Bible. Its not a full commentary per se, but its a great resource to have as you study all of scripture. If you really want to dig deep, you can also get a subscription to or there’s an app, too. That subscription unlocks multiple study Bibles as well as some really solid commentaries – a wealth of resources!! Its not the cheapest option, but if you really want to dig in, you will have amazing options. A free option would be the Blue Letter Bible app… you can access simple original Greek/Hebrew word studies and read some good commentaries on there as well as compare multiple translations. Really helpful and a great free option! My husband is a pastor and these are all resources he uses in his studies (along with his full commentary sets.) One more – if you want a single commentary for a particular book you want to study – he recommends the Christ Centered Exposition books to use as a Bible study tool. You can get them on Amazon. Hope that helps! Happy studying!!!

  62. Kelsey Johnson says:

    Does anyone have a commentary that you would recommend? I usually just Google for it but would love to have a commentary book.

    1. Nokhuthula Nyoni says:

      I used to use Enduring word, it’s great:) But I definitely recommend getting a study Bible, it’s really helped me.

  63. Sarah Stewart says:


  64. Michandra Washington says:

    i think to study prayerfully means to pray before you study, to pray during and after. for wisdom, for understadning of the text, to see God is the text!

  65. Heather Wills says:

    This is my first real “study” I’ve done and I really love the break down of how to do it in all aspects in life.

  66. Kimberly FowlerWillett says:

    I read my Bible but i would really like to learn how to truly study it. That has always been my goal.

  67. Oluseye Ashiru says:

    If you read that verse in another version of the Bible, you’d probably be able to understand it better. It says “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”
    ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
    Hope this helps.

  68. Hailey Santelli says:

    I’ve been struggling so much to study my Bible! Please Lord forgive me for not putting your beautiful love letters first every single day. Give me the strength and the push to read and pray daily!

  69. Stacy Meadows says:

    Thanks for this reading. The scriptures were really good.

  70. Lauren Anhalt says:

    Thank you for sharing this!

  71. Hannah Tutton says:

    Thank you for this insight into your prayer life Katherine! As another who is struggling to study prayerfully I really appreciate you sharing a way to worship through my study, I will be trying something similar!

  72. Mandy Taylor says:

    I thought I was replying to you. But it posted separately. Awe above :)

  73. Mandy Taylor says:

    I understand “one approved” is a worker who is not ashamed from teaching the word of truth incorrectly or false teaching, rather they are unashamedly “correctly teaching the word of truth”, therefore approved. :)

  74. Bronwyn Leiataua says:

    I loved that Bible verse it was like a story.

  75. Jessica Goolsby says:

    How does one present themselves as one approved to God? Struggling with what that means.

    1. Steph N says:

      I don’t understand this either.

  76. Chipo Samantha Chironga says:

    Wow l thinking about having more faith in things unseen

  77. Teresa Jones says:


  78. Kate Archer says:

    I absolutely loved and needed this! I’ve been having a lot of group conversations about topics, but haven’t been diving in as much as I need to about those. This hit me good.

  79. Crystal Sewell says:

    I think 2020 was a challenging year for all Christians in that the “community” of the Church was largely separated. Even though technology helps to semi bridge that gap, it can’t replace the in-person meeting of the Church community. However, God is ever present in all times and seasons. His grace is sufficient.

  80. Brookd Graham says:

    I think it means to surround your study with prayer. Perhaps try praying before you start studying and ask God to guide you and to give you an open mind. Also to be inquisitive about the Word, then start your study. I hope this was helpful!

  81. Katherine S. says:

    Crislyn – I am thinking about your question of how to study prayerfully. I will share a bit of my personal spiritual journey. When I approach reading scripture with study, I first ask the Lord and God and Holy Spirit to be with me during that time. I light a candle. I place my self in the presence of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit. I meditate for a few minutes in being in the presence of God. That candle, or the trees in my yard, serve to center my attention to God’s presence. I ask for God’s presence to guide me. Then I read. I place myself in that story and listen to God’s word. I praise those words. I ask for his guidance in understanding. I send those words to him and ask for his blessings and will to be done through me. What follows is up to God and me in relationship. Transformations do occur in God’s timing. That’s way different than reading the scripture to comprehend something. This is an Ignatian way of praying scripture that is life changing for me. I hope that helps in some way.

  82. Michelle D says:

    To read in Nehemiah how God‘s people wept and rejoiced because they understood his word was so beautiful and refreshing!

  83. Michelle D says:

    To read in Nehemiah how God’s people in

  84. Crislyn Everall says:

    Can anyone explain study prayerfully? I think I understand but I’d love more! Thanks

  85. Crislyn Everall says:

    My community is also lacking, I’m glad I have this platform to help with that!

  86. Crislyn Everall says:

    Love this!!! Thanks for sharing

  87. Rebecca Wagstaff says:

    Jackie D: If you are married you may understand this analogy – if you always focus on the negative things about your husband you will only see and feel negativity towards him Eg he never picks his clothes up, he leaves his plate out, he doesn’t help with the kids etc (so easy to get stuck in this cycle). If you focus your mind on only seeing the positive, eg he works so hard everyday to provide for us, he leads the family in the Lords ways (insert own positive statements) etc then your heart will be filled with thanks and love toward him.

    If terms of having a heart for God, I guess this would mean actively focusing, and in detail, on Gods goodness, compassion, love, patience etc and then this may help to engage your heart. As I type this I realize I need to hear and do this too. All the best.

  88. Rebecca Wagstaff says:

    This Reading plan and the new podcasts with John-Mark Comer and Annie F Downes on spiritual practices are answer to prayer for me and exactly what I need right now. Thank you ladies.

  89. Jessie Callender says:

    I loved the point made that we must study in order to love God with our MINDS. (Luke 10:27)

  90. Monique Gillis says:


  91. Valerie Cabanilla says:

    Community of Christians in my life is lacking, and I am in need of it. Discipline in being committed to reading His word with an open heart, mind, and with strength to commit to it and live in the ways he teaches me after finding out what wisdom He needs me to know.

  92. Jackie D. says:

    Rebecca F, I completely agree with you about the mind being easier than the heart! I have a hard time engaging my heart. That might not be exactly what you mean. I don’t know what it means to direct my heart, and honestly, I doubt it can be done. Maybe it can, I just don’t know how. I do feel like I have to be intentional about engaging my heart especially when it comes to flexing that muscle towards God. I find the best ways to do that for me are through worship (which also does not come naturally and doesn’t feel comfortable at all) and through Lectio Divina which engages my mind AND my heart. It invites me to meditate on the Word and grow awareness of how it makes me feel and what my emotional response is. If anyone else has ideas, I’m all ears!

  93. Rebecca Ferrell says:

    We live in a world that exercises our mind. I am well aware of how to set my mind. However, to set my heart can sometimes feel outside my grasp or like a muscle that has atrophied. Can anyone else relate? How do we go about directing our heart rather than our minds? Directing only our minds will lead to behavior modification and pride. I think the heart piece is essential.

  94. Debbie Swope says:


  95. Stephie D says:

    This is so good.
    I’m trying to help our women at church understand the importance of studying your Bible and how it is for everyone not just pastors and men. I’m also trying to get them see past the 5 minute devotionals.
    May God bless the work of our hands as we grow in His word and live authentic lives.

  96. Paula Dixon Williams says:

    I loved how important the people regarded the Word of God in Nehemiah’s time. I pray that His word is that important to the church of today.

  97. Hayley Bryant says:

    Matthew Henry and Warren Wiersbe are good! There are more, but those two stick out in my mind right now. The ESV Study Bible is also very helpful.

  98. Debbie Swope says:

    Can anyone recommend a trustworthy commentary series to help when I have questions about a scripture passage?

    1. Alyshia Edgenton says:

      I have the Tony Evans commentary and study Bible. I love it!

  99. Louise Marie says:

    Me too! Or not doing it at all. Then wondering why I feel so dry. God’s got this as we let him love us.

  100. Angie Johnson says:

    Yes! ❤️

  101. Jess T says:


  102. Bernardine Joseph says:

    Great reminder of how important it is to study the Word daily

  103. Abigail Loomans says:

    I love being able to see the hearts of the listeners in the Nehemiah passage. The fact that they wept just by hearing the Word shows their love and reverence for the Lord. Truly beautiful!

  104. Deanna Carmona says:

    I enjoyed reading these verses! They are a reminder of how studying the scripture is important. How it changes our heart, allows us to get to know the Lord.

  105. Anna Gallatin says:

    I love the Nehemiah passage! The way that they eagerly received the Word and with great joy and obedience. Not begrudgingly. Not as obligation. But in such honor. May we love The Word like that!!

  106. Lindsey Carr says:

    I love how the scripture for today has so much to say about study as a posture. It’s not just opening the Bible. Ezra first set his heart to study. He was in the right mindset. He ended with hands raised, head bowed, knees to the earth.

  107. Bethany A says:

    Lolly-great prayer!

  108. Renee Hernandez says:

    I have had the same struggle. Which is what brought me here through a gift from my husband. I have hosted a Moms group at my church for almost 5 years, we would meet on and off again every week. When attendance was low it was always after a deeper study of the word and less time spent fretting over our circumstances. When I thought it was me that was turning people away from study, I tried to figure out what was going on. And the truth was that many had not read scripture, ever. They only knew what was read to them in church but not the deeper story and love of the Old Testament and the continuing of Christ’ work in the New Testament. Encouraging them to just read and absorb has been the most helpful way to support them. Then eventually the Lord will lead us to a place of deeper growth.

  109. Claudia Whitw says:


  110. Delaney Francis says:


  111. Lolly Regan says:

    Me to Tamara! Lord I pray for my time spent with you in study … that it might become a time of intimate communication not just a check mark on a list.

  112. Tamara Raglin says:

    What stood out to me most was bringing what I read to the Lord in prayer. I have been guilty of reading just to say I did it. I need to focus on praying that God will open my mind to see Him and learn something new anytime/every time I read my Bible.

  113. Angie Guimaray says:

    I just watched that episode of The Chosen a few days ago, and to read that part in the study today, makes me stop and pay attention to see what God is showing me through this. I love ow you put it :)

  114. Michelle Martin says:

    Thank you for encouraging me to study in a community. I’m the children’s director for my church and I am often the one teaching kids while our other groups meet. It’s easy to feel like it’s just part of my job and it’s ok that I’m not in community with others studying God’s word. But it’s not. I need to seek out a group to dig deeper with.

  115. Nicole Felten says:

    I have this same problem, I’m at a weird point in my life where I don’t have a permanent “home”, I’m jumping around from city to city so I haven’t been in a communal study since I was in youth group! (I just finished college). I miss it and don’t know how to find one in my current situation, but thankful for a group like this that I can be in until I settle down into a career and home

  116. Kitty says:

    Thank you Angie, so much truth in all that you said. Very true and very encouraging.

  117. Tiffanie Taylor says:

    The devotional today was fantastic! That was a super practical explanation of study.

  118. Julie Bailon says:

    To love the Lord my God with all my mind through study and careful handling of his word- this stood out to me today. For the last couple years I have done mostly reading through the Bible in a year plans. That discipline has been wonderful, but now I’m needing to dig in to study.

  119. Jennifer Collings says:

    I love this breakdown of how to study. Very helpful and convicting if I’m honest.

  120. Kasey Ammons says:

    I love how this focused on the heart and not just “how to study”. Faith practices are meaningless unless they are motivated by God’s spirit inside of us.

  121. Maria Romero says:

    Did anyone listen to the podcast? I’m wondering why they recommended a catholic book??

  122. Ashley Simpson says:

    I totally feel all of this! Same!

  123. Heather Auchtung says:

    Such a great perspective on study. Not too academic but spike to the heart!

  124. Christy FayeGrant says:

    My theme, if you will, for the year is DOOR. This study and SRT are opening doors in my heart that have long been closed. Not locked but just closed out of my convenience and lack of ‘time’ for God and lack of ‘want to’ finding others to dig deeper with God. I am so glad God opened this door for me to find the SRT community because other doors in my life are opening as well. This study on disciplines is a great way to get back to my roots and like today said ‘study communally’. I’ve been praying about hosting a Bible study and today lesson was confirmation that it needs to be done to fulfill the ‘community’ portion of STUDY. Thank you SRT!!!

    1. Antoinette Ramos-Golinghorst says:

      Christy – your post caught me. I am in a similar mindset for the year. Just encouraging to read your thoughts. God bless you as you embark on a year seeking God more! Beautiful things happen when we do.

  125. Jessica Prosper says:

    I really like the questions included in the book reading! Thank you

  126. Jennifer Ganancio says:

    I am praying more for the local, communal sharing of the word. I often am hurting with the lack of focus on the word in my study group – but I find I’m not quenching that thirst in my own time either! Praying I can learn how to study the word more.

  127. Laura Beckom says:

    Knowing God through his word I have found takes time and attention to develop that close intimate relationship with Jesus. It is now one of my favorite things to do.

  128. Celena L.Stewart says:

    This is amazing! It was so nice to hear that study doesn’t mean just read. There are many parts to studying the word. I am glad I am learning how to use the Lord’s word in all the way possible.

  129. Allie McCandless says:

    I loved how this study talked about how heart love and head love for the Lord is the same thing! Studying the word of God furthers us into a deeper relationship with Him and narrows our focus to what’s important❤️

  130. Madison Seay says:

    I still get into ego-fueled arguments, even when I didn’t start the argument. Bless the Lord because I dont fuel the fire lol. I end the argument by stepping away or leaving the room.

  131. Jennifer Lara says:

    This! <3

  132. Stacy Shreve says:

    That was me today too. But consider study an act of worship and yes the more we do it the more strength it gives and the more we love it ! It’s not a box to tic it’s about a deep engagement with our KING. Oh Lord bless the ladies who are attempting to study your word daily. Strengthen and encourage us and teach us through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name Amen

  133. Nicole Wilborn says:


  134. Ashley Thomas says:

    Sometimes I feel so close to God, and other times I feel so far away. I continually do these studies all year long to deepen my relationship with Him. I know I struggle with just listening for God to speak to me, that is having meaningful quiet time where I am not praying about specific things, just opening my thoughts and heart to Him.

  135. Melissa Baker says:


  136. Gale Smith says:


  137. Heidi Erickson says:

    This reading today showed me how much study is important. Reading the word and praying is so essential- especially in today’s world. ❤️

  138. Vicki Paulus says:

    Andrew Stoddard’s reflection on how study focuses us on Jesus and expands our capacity to understand others and better love our neighbor and God. This was such a helpful application for me.

  139. Lisa Vanderplate says:

    Love the reminder to prayerfully study. Definitely has been missing in my study focused on reading and not praying

  140. Missie Schumaier says:

    If we neglect to bring our reading to the Lord – we are missing an opportunity to connect through prayer. Wow this really resonated with me.

  141. Bobbi McMasters says:

    Oh, To know Him more. And even more, still. Study so essential.

  142. Erin Jarboe says:

    I remember the scene with Jesus being “missing” but in the temple when I was watching The Chosen TV series. At the time, I didn’t think much of it and it didn’t really seem like something important. With today’s study, though, it becomes clear just how important it was. Imagine being so close to God and so devoted to Him that you can’t fathom someone not automatically assuming that you’re in the temple to learn and worship. That’s #goals right there. Praise be to God!

    1. Missie Schumaier says:


  143. Jennifer Seals says:


  144. Mercy says:

    The verses we read today were so touching to me when the Israelites were grieving when the Word of God was reading out loud in front of all the people. I wonder if this is Godly sorrows that make them grieve, that they felt convicted how far they have drifted from God’s law, and even the feast of the booth had not been observed until that they, and yet, when they see the Truth, there was great gladness. The Joy of the Lord is our strength. And the verse we read yesterday, His joy may remain in us , if we abide in him and follow His teachings (John 15:10-11 KJV), combining with the verse today, which translates to “His joy=strength may remain in us if we abide in Him and keep His commandments”. I love how there are hidden revelations in the Bible that when we connect them together, a deeper truth is revealed. The Bible is the commentary in itself. May the joy of the Lord, the same great gladness that the exiled Israelites felt, be present with us whenever the Word of God is read out loud. May that great gladness radiant from within us and bring us great strength to bring glory to the One True God.

  145. Tyler Pavlic says:

    Same, sister!!!!

  146. Jennifer Anapol says:

    So thankful for SRT! It helps me to regularly read God’s word and dive deep into it. ❤️ I pray that I would begin to dive even deeper into God’s word.

  147. Joy SchaffnerHicks says:

    Love it when we think of our study days as holy days. And the communal learning of God’s word!

  148. Deborah Lynn says:

    Thanks Danielle! I felt the same after today’s study. This forum is helpful. We all are on the same journey.. to grow closer to His Word!

  149. Natasha E says:

    Amen. I’ve been challenged to be more prayerful with my reading of Scripture to keep it at a heart not just head level! :)

  150. Grace Stevenson says:

    I struggle so much with remembering that the pursuit of knowing about God is only meant for the pursuit of truly knowing Him. If I have all of the knowledge in the world about the Bible and God, but I never have relationship with Him then I am missing the whole point. This reminder to come before the Lord in prayer as a part of Scripture reading is so important for me as I’m sure it is for many others.

  151. Susan Landreth says:

    A couple of things struck me today. Jesus’ parents were frustrated with him v48
    Then he went with them and was obedient v51
    I wonder if they had a “talk” with him about their frustration and then he submitted to them as a result. If so, pretty intriguing. To think that Jesus humbled himself to his parents.

    The other thing was in v52 Jesus grew in favor with God. I wonder what that means. Perfect Jesus grew in favor with God. Hmm.
    Loved this day. So encouraging. The people were so joyous as they heard and understood the law.

  152. Ashley Banks says:

    This is so great! Thanks for this study!! Studying is definitely an area I need to be more invested in in my walk with God! Looking forward to growing through this!

  153. Donna Wolcott says:

    Thank you Angie for your comments today, they hit home for me!

  154. Danielle Kemper says:

    I’m so thankful to be able to come here and read other’s thoughts and comments! It really helped me today when I just felt stuck and blank. Like I wasn’t able to grasp what was being taught. But you ladies helped a lot!!!

  155. PamC says:

    Thank you Angie and Sharon Jersey Girl. Your words encouraged and spoke to my heart. I know for me, if I can’t start my day in the Word, the day is useless.. I feel like I’m coming apart at the seams. I miss the interaction of studying together in person with our women’s study group. They’re actually back together but I’ve been unable to attend. I’m so grateful to have this SRT group.
    Just a quick update & to thank those of you praying, Dave seems to be doing better. They’re aiming to let him out of the hospital on Friday. I get so scared though. Last night I was sobbing over dishes, praying to my Jesus, asking for courage & strength and Dave called. He wasn’t panting. I was so grateful! The Lord answered me so quickly. Thank you all again for your continued prayers.

  156. Jennifer Ficklen says:

    Father give us a hunger for your word. Let us study deep into your word for this will give you glory!

  157. Erika Lynn says:

    The Lord knows those who are his! I felt that this devotional fit so well with the podcast this week!

  158. Karen P says:

    Lord please open our hearts on order to know you better. Let us all remember that the study isn’t about us, but about you. It enables to engage in a more meaningful and intimate relationship w you. Let us remember to seek your will and not our own. Keep our eyes, our ears and our hearts open so we may hear you. Give us the courage to act out in faith. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen!

  159. Sarah H says:

    I have never connected the prayer piece with my heart for God before. I am fairly diligent about the mind piece, studying and analyzing the Word regularly, but often forget the prayer part which I understand now connects our hearts more deeply to God. Thankful for this study and what it is teaching!

  160. Rachel Duan says:

    Hebrews 4:12 reminded me how powerful God’s word is to discern the difference between selfish and selfless deeds. The spiritual practices of reading/praying are simply practices in themselves, these actions are not always obedience. One can read and yet still fail to obey due to pride/rebellion. No one can escape God’s judgement yet only in Christ is there a God who truly understands our failures.

  161. Jasmin Rodriguez says:


  162. Bridgette says:

    Father give us a hunger for Your word and a heart to put You first in our lives. In Jesus name. Amen

  163. Melanie B. says:

    This morning I listened to your podcast for this week. What struck me and it was the analogy of running and training – and how that example pertains to our studying the Bible and our relationship with God. I saw this running example again as I was reading our faith in practice study today. As a runner, this is exactly what I need to hear in order to best explain things to me. That it’s about building the foundation and continually adding to it to get a deeper and richer relationship with God. Thank you for sharing this word.

  164. Cara Bruinius says:

    Thank you for each of these Scriptures today. Such blessing.

  165. Cindy White says:

    I really liked the reminder to focus on the relational importance of study- I don’t study just to gain knowledge or wisdom, I study to grow closer to the Lord!

  166. Emma King says:

    Me too! I can find myself getting discouraged as a new Bible reader but just have to stay with it.

  167. Lisa says:

    The thing that most stood out to me today was in Nehemiah, where at the reading of God’s Word, the Israelites began grieving. The text doesn’t specifically say what they were grieving, but using my sanctified imagination I would guess it was all they had lost in the exile. They didn’t KNOW to celebrate the festivals, they didn’t know strength through joy was possible. Rather than rejoice in the present moment at the hearing of what could now be, they chose to mourn and grieve what was lost. God used Ezra and Nehemiah to correct them. To tell them, “be still, since today is holy. Don’t grieve.”
    Like the Israelites, I’ve spent too much time grieving what is past and what I “missed out on” instead of living every moment holy with the joy of the Lord as my strength. No more! I determine to quit grieving last year, my last job, when God is speaking to me to celebrate Him.

  168. Jos ByHisGrace says:

    Great resource! I just knew that bible studies really help us to keep our mind fixed on Jesus. Thank you!

  169. Dianna McFarland says:

    The verse in 2Timothy is hard for me. Diligent: steady, earnest and energetic of effort. I facilitate/lead other women in studies and I could not do it without spending so much time on my knees or in His Word. I want to “correctly” be teaching all the time but I have made mistakes at times and I’m sure will make more. And through times of breaks I wonder if I’m doing right by continuing—not ashamed of God but ashamed of messing up. Then, through more times of prayer, working through fears, I set my heart and mind, like Ezra, in wanting to help others know who God is and help them to understand His Word. I will begin a new season next month with doing that, with a partner, on zoom with several ladies. I love how this first discipline is a standing firm in my whole being to know God and understand Him better to help others understand Him better. (If not to help others then it’s just knowledge that can be used wrongly). God keep me focused on You so that I hear You, see You and share You with others.

  170. Carol says:

    Thank you for the tips on how to study God’s Word. Putting that into practice will not only bring me closer in a relationship with Him but will also help me to emulate what He has taught me. I desire to be a better example, a light so to speak, in a very dark and discouraged world. I thank the Lord for His all encompassing love for us. :)

  171. Abbie Snow says:

    Really resonated with the running metaphor for the act of study.

  172. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    As a pastor’s wife, I often hear people complain about how long the sermon is. Typically it runs 35-45 minutes, which I don’t think is long at all (compared to a football game or baseball!). Every time I read Nehemiah 8, I wish my whole congregation would read it – regularly! Not just because they would see after reading this passage that 40-45 minutes is nothing, compared to hours (from early morning to noon, Nehemiah 8:3), but to get a feel as to what true worship is… It’s sitting under the teaching of God’s word without watching the clock. It’s having attentive ears – an eagerness to learn about the God who rescued us from death and hell. It’s shouting “amen!” when you are in agreement with what you hear, lifting your hands in praise, bowing your head before the Lord. Not only did the people listen, attentively for hours – but they stood, out of respect for God’s word. In our world of “instantaneous every thing” we need to remember that not every thing is to be done or received quickly. Some things need to be pondered, meditated on and enjoyed in the process. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)- but that strength will only come by hearing the Word preached, spending time with God, and getting to know Him more.Understand God’s word and rejoice greatly! So glad for this study that helps us to do just that.

  173. Honey says:

    As a mom, and a grandmother – how desperate I would feel. LOST! Perhaps I was lost, now I am found brings me closer to Jesus than words can express. Thank you, Jesus~

  174. Rebecca Ravenhorst says:

    I wonder what Jesus was thinking during those 3 days that His family was looking for him. Did he sleep? Did he worry that they would be worried? It seems that his response to them was maybe a little “rough around the edges” for them. “Why were you searching for me?”…”Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” They still didn’t get it though. After that it says “and was obedient to them”, was He being disobedient when he stayed in Jerusalem? (What say you?)

  175. Bridggett Brown says:

    Studying looks different for everyone. I like to take notes on what I read and write out scriptures for that day. I don’t have great reading comprehension, so study guides always help me. I’m currently waiting for my book for this study to arrive.

  176. Jennifer Lee says:

    I knew he was lost, but did not realize it took them 3 days to find him once they returned to Jerusalem! His parents must’ve been terrified!

  177. Holly A. says:

    So excited to see others comment about the 3 days Jesus was in the Temple away from Mary and Joseph as I noticed this during this reading today for the first time. I love how every time I read the Bible I see or learn something I hadn’t seen before. 3 days, what a foreshadow. At first I felt bad I had not seen it before but reading others had the same experience helps me to just be in awe that I noticed it this time.

  178. Maura says:

    Loving God with all my heart, strength and mind is my desire. Kenya, I love what you said about soaking in the word. I need to spend more time soaking in scripture that it flows from me in my thoughts, words, actions. I love how God reveals Himself in so many ways in His word. Angie, love your words this morning, spending time with Jesus, the lover of our souls, drawing close and knowing He delights in meeting us right where we are at is such joy to this heart.

  179. Christina Schmit says:

    I loved how Ezra “set his heart to study the Law of the Lord.”

  180. Traci Gendron says:

    I realize I selfishly want to spend time with God for me. I’m not a good sharer of His word. I’m not a very good teacher. I don’t know how to get what’s in my head out of my mouth. I pray before and get so much more from His word. I never thought about praying during and after. Thinking about the natural amphitheater is so awesome!

  181. Stacy J says:

    Studying the word of God helps to love Him with my heart, soul and mind. It helps me to fix my eyes on Jesus.

  182. Stephanie Clark says:

    I really responded to the depiction of how studying the word of God is not just an academic task, but one that includes us delighting in the works of God and allowing ourselves to experience the joy of the word. In order to know the truth of the word, this study helped remind me I need to bridge my study and my life and make the word relevant as Ezra did, for the word of God IS alive and active.

  183. Denise Hardcastle says:

    Wow…I never noticed it was three days. A very important number in the text that I simply skimmed over! You are so right! Foreshadowing of the future. Thank you for sharing what you read and learned!

  184. Ceceilia Quintana says:

    My favorite part this morning was in Nehemiah 8:12…the people had a “great celebration because they had understood the words that were explained to them.” I feel that excitement in my heart when I see the goodness of God unfolding before my eyes in scripture! That should propel us to pursue knowing Him in scripture! Love that.

  185. Jackie Ray says:

    Yes and they were told to celebrate God not grieve over their sin!

  186. J. Angela Nichole Fett says:

    Today’s readings encouraged and motivated me. 2 Timothy 2:19 and Heb 4:12 stood out, building on the consecrated life topic. Thank you!

  187. Pam K says:

    I have been in some great bible studies over the years and have seen the benefit of this. Yet, I can still get too busy and study slides, or it becomes superficial. It always helps me to have the accountability of a group or another person. We also can enjoy learning from one another in a group setting as God teaches us different things as we study together. If your church isn’t holding online or Zoom studies right now, there are lots of online opportunities for deeper study, along with this one. One of my prayers for this year is that I will sit longer with God’s word, to meditate on it and soak it in. His words are what I need the most.

  188. Stephanie W says:

    Am I the only one who just realized that Jesus was lost for 3 days?! (As a parent… wow! Makes me feel a bit better lol)

    However, 3 days…. Foreshadowing when he would again be lost for 3 days in the grave before he overcame it!

    Over the years I’ve grown to love study of different kinds.
    I typically use the OIA method:


    You can look up more about this but it’s a simple way to read and interpret scripture. Works great for personal or group study.

  189. Cassie Scoggins says:

    In 2020, I fell really behind on my study of the Bible and just time with Jesus in general. Prior, I’ve always had such a love for scripture and what I believe to be a gift for sharing it and explaining it. I didn’t really fall away because of COVID or isolation or anything like that, I actually ended up leaving my church after being hurt by leadership. To compound on that, I began to feel like there was no point in studying scripture if my gift for explaining it was going to waste, since it seemed like none of my friends or loved ones were listening and no changes were being made in their lives. How self-centered was my thinking? Thank you, SRT, for this study. Today’s reading genuinely convicted me, as it should have. Biblical study isn’t just for my peers, it’s for me. I need it to be able to delight in the Lord and grow into the Christian woman He created me to be! ❤️

  190. Taylor says:

    Definitely feeling convicted to dive deeper into the intentional, communal, and prayerful pieces of today’s devotion. Lord I pray these words of Scripture and teaching would not fall on deaf ears or a hard heart, but would fall afresh on me and sink deep into my soul. Grant me your peace when the anxieties of this life start to creep up, especially before I go to bed. I trust You, Lord <3

  191. Lauren Beddingfield says:

    Love this study! My Sunday School class hasn’t met in almost a year and I’d love to use this study with them via Zoom. I think it would really encourage them. And it’s only Day 2

  192. Heidi says:

    AVERY- Mine are 8, 6, and 1… for the older one, I got her this Veggietales daily devotional.. it has a verse, paragraph of application, and a “main point” as well as a guide to prayer. It’s short but to the point. SRT has some studies for younger audiences as well.. perhaps He Reads Truth does also.. the 6 year old loves watching things so I turn on the cartoon “bible for beginners” on YouTube and he watches little bible stories now and then and later we talk about them. It just helps set a foundation for him :) Hope that helps!!

  193. L says:

    Kristine, when I graduated high school I went to Israel as a graduation gift from my family. I remember the tour guide taking us to a hillside where she went to the bottom and could speak in a normal volume and we could hear her clearly from the top! I can’t remember the science but it made clear for me how so many people could hear Jesus at once.

  194. Jeanette Anderson says:

    I am grateful to SRT for providing such scripture centered studies. Thanks!

  195. Laurie Martin says:

    Study as an act of love❤️❤️

  196. Leisa Larson says:

    Kristine, I learned about this as a theatre major in college. The combination of a hillside and the sea provided natural amplification so that the audience could hear clearly. Isn’t that so great?! God provides a way with His amazing creation. Wow.

  197. Di Henschel says:

    One book is a book entitled From God to Us by Norman Geisler. It lays out the history. I believe a free PDF is available somewhere online.

  198. Ann-Claire G. says:

    Really enjoying this back to basics approach SRT is providing us. I’ve spent so much time wondering exactly how to use this ancient text over the years. Thank you!

  199. Katie Goss says:

    Kristine, I have heard before that some of the places where Jesus spoke to large crowds are like natural amphitheaters. So maybe that’s it?

  200. Tish Mccall says:

    Great reminder to bring our studies to God!

  201. Kody says:

    I love it! The more I read, the more I crave!

  202. Kyla Uribe says:

    Thank you so much for this insight! It resonated with me this morning. ❤️

  203. Sarah Knepper says:

    A great reminder to study God’s word with intention and purpose

  204. Kara Ransom says:

    The importance of incorporating prayer into study is such an important reminder. Otherwise, we risk only engaging the mind and learning about God and not the heart, which also wants to know who God is more intimately. Both aspects are important. Prayer brings about application of our study to our lives and builds our relationship with God.

  205. Avery PiconeCassagnol says:

    What study’s or how do y’all do bible study with your children? Mine are 8, 11 and 14.

  206. Margrethe Mummert says:

    Today’s reading in Nehemiah impressed on me that after Ezra brought the law before the people, there was a general sorrow among the people and they fell face down to worship. Then the profits said “don’t be afraid because today is holy”. When I hear and understand God’s word I enter into a holy place where my fear is subdued by His powerful love for me. His word sets me apart for the beauty of holiness.

  207. Teresa Jones says:

    Great reminder of why we study Gods word. How we should approach the study. And, how to implement it into our everyday life.

  208. Toni Blanco says:

    Glad I stated my day with this study!

  209. Churchmouse says:

    Acts 17:11. May I do as the Bereans did. May I use discernment whenever I hear the Gospel preached. All teachings by men are to be held accountable to the Light of Truth in the written Word. Solo Scriptura.

  210. Heidi says:

    True STUDY of scripture, not just reading scripture, became a huge desire of mine after I tackled my first real, in depth Bible study with a group of women who had chosen the topic of David, by a teacher/speaker named Beth Moore, when I was doing my post-graduate work. It was the first truly time consuming, scripture filled study I had ever done. I was so used to the study-author doing all of the work for me, having to look up scriptures all over the Bible and fill in blanks, I thought I was flick to lose my mind!! ;)
    But I LEARNED so much about God, His character, His word.. I was hooked. If anyone is looking to really deepen the way they study and KNOW God’s word, I highly recommend doing a study like that- 3 names that come in right away are
    -Beth Moore
    -Priscilla Shrier
    -Jennie Allen
    Their studies are just trustworthy to commit to doing. If you put in the time, you WILL grow in your understanding and knowledge of truth.. :)

  211. SusieD says:

    Thanks for your words, Angie.

  212. Kristi L says:

    Hi Tori! A great resource for that is the Verity podcast by Phylicia Masonheimer. Season 2 is all about the canon of Scripture and delves into the topics you mentioned. You should be able to find it on whatever podcast app you use. :)

  213. Megan Henderson says:

    As a teacher and graduate student myself, one would think Id be tired of studying. Its quite the opposite. I love to study things, and I know I can step up my studies of God’s word. I’m guilty of only studying the this I want to, and picking over the things I don’t. I pray for an open heart to study all things in God’s holy word.

  214. Brittany Gum says:

    This is beautiful and just what I needed today! Thank you for sharing!

  215. Julie Garner says:

    Thanks for the reminder to pray before, during, and after I study.

  216. Katie Lathem says:

    Oftentimes the speaker would choose a place with natural acoustics. So think hills around a valley that would contain and echo the sound back to the listeners. Since Jesus understood science, He would know the best places to stand for optimal hearing. Great question!

  217. Lisa Flynn says:

    True this! There always seems to be other things that compete for our attention! I was convicted today thatGod is my priority and others things need to fall after Him. How much better would my day be if I start it off right and with my Father ❤️

  218. Emily Bagwell says:

    Wow, Andrew! Love everything about this presentation. Thank you so much.

  219. Tessa Burgener says:

    Our women’s group at church has been digging into John since September and it’s been so rewarding to dig into a book together with a group. We sit at small round tables and read and discuss what we learned that week in a chapter. It’s really great to dive deeper with a group!

  220. Tori Muehlfeld says:

    I would love to know more about how the Bible was created and the history behind it. Not just about Paul and the other writers (although I would love to learn more about that too!) but the finding of the books, who determined what is included, the different translations, etc. Does anyone have any resources they could share?

  221. Stephanie Silvestri says:

    I love this, Holly! I found myself feeling the same. While I am so grateful to have these study books and make my time with God intentional through my study each morning, I definitely need to open my beautiful Bible.

  222. Mindy Starbird says:

    I really enjoyed today’s study. I had never thought about it as it was presented today I love God with all my heart but had never looked at reading his word as a way of getting to know him better. I’m so thankful for today’s study.

  223. Kenya says:

    I love this idea of studying and loving God with the mind and the heart. It’s so easy to read scripture, even study it deeply, and still kind of just let it sit rather than soak in. When we really, truly desire to know the truth that God offers, then our studying becomes a part of who we are. The words of God begin to course through our veins and seep into the deeper crevices of our lives. When we approach the word of God regularly, we are more likely to find consistency of it throughout our days. When we know why and what we are reading and our intentions are pure, then God speaks to us. Truly Engaging in community has been hard in this season, so I think that is my goal this year – even just to find a mentor or someone to engage with on a deep level. And then prayerfully – I can do a better job of this as well. Asking God what he wants me to see in my engagement with the word and then praying over what I just read. How can I use it and see it in my day?

  224. Angie says:

    Do you remember a time when you were “in love?” When no matter what other thing you were supposed to be working on or at, your mind kept wandering over to wondering what your “love” was doing at that time. It happens in male/female relationships, it is the heart of a parent and child(ren), grandparent to children and grandchildren, and friend to friend. That is the way time in the Word of God is for me. I long to be in it, even when life pulls me in other directions. When I have to put it off until a different time of day, all day long I keep trying to find a time to get away with my Bible and my Savior. But, it wasn’t always easy.

    As a young mom, I was a part of Bible Study Fellowship, where daily study became habit. After a week of study the women would meet and share about what they had learned. The women around me would share all these amazingly deep things and I would share whatever simple truth the Holy Spirit had given me. I wasn’t very smart, and certainly not deep, but I was “in love” with my Savior and wanted to learn all I could about him. Finding time for that was difficult. My kiddos woke very early…but I would tuck them into my bed to sleep a little longer while “mommy meets with Jesus” using an oil lamp in the corner. Sometimes it would be late at night, when the house was quiet; I would sit in our tiny storage room (so as not to bother anyone else) and quietly sing hymns to the Lord and read His Word. I would pour out my heart in prayers of desiring to know Him better and live for God. I didn’t know theology (still don’t). I wasn’t good at remembering and applying scripture. In my exhaustion of every day mothering and life, I was simply trying to spend time with the One whom I loved. Here is the great news…God loved me, God loves you, God loves us, even more than we realize or could ever love Him. He longs to meet with us, maybe even more than we long for Him, (think about that)! What I found is that by not focusing on what I knew or didn’t know. By not focusing on what I wanted or thought I needed, but just on drawing closer to Him, to knowing Him…He met me, and loved me, right where I was. He grew me and continues to every day. I don’t have all this stuff of life figured out, but the good news is, I don’t have too. Daily my Father woos me nearer to Him. Daily He teaches me from His Word. Lots of times I don’t read a full chapter. I read until He gives me what I believe He wants me to store and then I try to store it in my heart and mind. I get very busy in my day and forget, but He doesn’t. The Holy Spirit dwells within me and draws me near, stays by my heart and mind, and helps me for I cannot, am not able on my own to make today His. I could list lots of things I am not good at spiritually…but that is not where He wants me to dwell. So today, I don’t worry about whether I am as smart or deep as someone else. I don’t pressure myself to specifics. I simply try to faithfully draw close to the One I love. I start with His Word and prayer and then try to obey His directions from there. I guess I want encourage you, no matter where you are in your faith journey SRT sisters…the One you love, loves you even more. He is longing to spend time with you, today, right now, every day. Draw close to Him, learn to know Him better through time in His Word, (little or long), and communion through the Holy Spirit.
    One day He will either call us Home, or come and take us there, either way, we can draw near Him today. Don’t give up, for yourself, for your family, for your friends, and for the witness to a lost world.

  225. Allie Spofford says:

    Not an expert, but I’ve heard people say that it has to do with the natural acoustics of the place they’re gathered.

  226. Kimberly Pendley says:

    I always think about this too!!

  227. Cat says:

    You almost lost me when you mentioned running, lol.

  228. Janice Johnson says:

    I have to sometimes read a verse several times, then stop and think about it. What does it me for me and how do I apply it to my life.

  229. Maiya K says:

    Thank you for this devo today- I told myself that this year I want to study God’s word more so that I can be an even more affective teacher of His word.

  230. Kristine Loughman says:

    Random thought I always have when I read passages about groups of people gathered to listen to a teacher in the scriptures… how did they all hear? There was no sound system, no amplifiers. Picture the Sermon on the Mount, 5000 people gathered on a hillside to listen to Jesus. How could the people in the back know what was happening?! Anyway, just a random thought I always puzzle over. Carry on!

  231. Molly Malloy says:

    Committing to study His Word by reading the Bible is “easy on good days” but I must make the time on busy and hard days to dig deeper and truly commit to the discipline of study.

  232. Kirsten Grant says:

    Amen, I feel the same way. I have always struggled with the deeper meaning behind things and am praying God will open my mind!

  233. Michelle F says:

    The hardest part for me is regularly reading my Bible.

  234. Deborah Bassoff says:


  235. E T says:

    I pray that this year is the year I can move forward into a deeper faith where studying the word is a comfortable, natural thing for me. I have always been intimidated by scripture. I love the words on the surface but I find myself having to re-read some things over and over to truly comprehend them and sometimes I feel like the meaning doesn’t sit in my soul and resonate, but rather rolls off like water. I pray for patience and intentionality to actually focus and give the word the space to truly communicate with me.

  236. Kelly says:

    You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. – 1 Peter 1:23-25 

  237. Holly Maddox says:

    I like the idea of choosing a chapter of the Bible to really dig deep into, making notes and asking questions. I just got a new Bible I love, and it often gets neglected because I read my study book for the day and essentially my Bible reading is checked off my list. Study isn’t really something we can check off our list though. It’s never truly finished. I’m going to work on incorporating reading from a chapter of the Bible each morning after completing my study book each morning.

  238. Christa Lenz says:

    This resonates deeply with me. I have always struggled with communicating my faith effectively to others. I have been reading Reality by Gregory Koukl and have found it very helpful with the “big picture” of Christianity and has taught me a lot on why I believe and also explores other world views to make me more confident in articulating my Christian views.