Study Habits

In school, I would dread studying for a test  (ahem …cramming) and find that my preparation was not enough. The ultimate doom would be the essay test.You see, essay test requires that you know your topic well enough to explain it, compare it or apply the concept.  Multiple choice questions allow you to eliminate the wrong answers. You can guess and have 25% or 33% chance of getting it right.  With an essay, you either know it or you don’t. Sure you can fluff your way to a decent answer for one or two questions.But when the application in- depth question comes, you are done and you know it. I sometimes wonder if we as believers live life the same way. Do we know just enough of the Word to just get by?  Do we know the foundations of our faith? I read an article that stated we as believers are on a downward trend of biblical literacy ( you can read it here ).  In other words, we  “kinda” know what we believe.   Kinda knowing what you believe leaves you open to accept and agree with something that is contrary to the word of God. I would label it dangerous. There is so much out in the world of social media that you could easily be swayed into believing something that has  is not in line with God

Throughout the Bible, it has been stressed that we should study the Word of God. It should become part of our everyday life. Paul told his predecessor Timothy to study to show thyself approved(2 Timothy 2:15). In Joshua 1:7-8, God told Joshua to meditate on the word day and night so that he may not turn to the left or to the right( get off track).  These instructions were given because there is a  protection in knowing what you believe. There is a protection in knowing what God has said. Not only that,  it also helps you in formulating your answer when asked why you believe. In the last post, we discussed how your experience is important in giving an answer. When brought together with the knowledge of God’s word, it makes you a stronger witness. Most of the time when asked about our belief, there are follow up questions about the bible. There are questions of” why does it say this in the bible” or “I don’t understand this about Jesus”.  Being equipped to answer the basics of the word of God is helpful when witnessing.

Becoming biblically literate takes intentional time. I use the word “intentional” because our lives are filled with so many things that we will have to be intentional about studying.If not it could get lost in our everyday routine. The goal is to have it become an important part of our everyday life. Here are some tips that could help you become biblically literate.

  1. Attend weekly Bible study – The Bible study that is offered during the week is usually focused on the teaching of the word than preaching. In this setting, the  Pastor is able to do more in-depth teaching of the Bible. This is not a replacement service for Sunday. You still should go to regular service on Sunday. 🙂
  2.  Attend a weekly Small group- A Small group is a gathering that meets regularly for the purpose of discipling people in the Word of God.  This setting is much smaller than a  Bible Study. It is also more involved. This setting is more like a small inclusive community. As stated in the last point, you still should go to regular Sunday service.
  3.  Set a non-negotiable time of day to study. – Setting a non-negotiable time of the day  to study  helps you in creating the habit  of studying the Word of God
  4.  Have a set place to study –  I do my prayer and studying in my prayer closet. I  know others who use the car as a study place. The place that you pick should be quiet enough that you can concentrate on the scripture. Having a place to study is like having a secret place that you and God meet.
  5. Journal your thoughts as you study – Journalling helps you to collect your thoughts and revelations as you read the Word. It helps you to
  6.  Find a Bible study reading plan. – There are so many apps available with study plans that you can close your eyes and point to one. One of the more popular apps, the Bible App, has about 100 or more study plans that you can use to  build literacy

My prayer is that we all take steps to become more biblically literate. Your knowledge of God’s word could bring someone to Christ. Let’s Pray.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are God Almighty. You Father are the Most High and we praise your name.Father, we come to you now thanking you for calling us out of the darkness and into the light of knowing you. We thank you for your love, grace, and mercy. Father, we ask for forgiveness of not taking the time to get to know you through your word. We ask that you help us to rearrange our schedules so that we can fellowship with you. Helps us to become students of your word. We ask these things in your son Jesus name.Amen

If you have any questions, leave a comment or drop us a line at toreachtheone@gmail.com

God bless,

L

Be Ready with an Answer

 

When I was young (about six or so) I remember one specific event that happened during our home bible study. I, pretending to use the bathroom, got a hold of my dad’s emergency kit from work. This kit was not like any kit that you buy out of your local Walmart or Target. It had small vials of different liquids all different in color. I being the curious kid that I was, decided that  I would take one of the vials and chomp down on it. Now why in the world would I  do anything like that? I have no idea. But I would soon regret it. The glass vial broke in my mouth. My lips and tongue burned like the fires of hell.I bit down on a glass of smelling salts or in other terms diluted  Ammonia. I screamed and immediately bible study was over. We never went back to home bible study after that. Bible study in the home moved to  Sunday School at church.  I think about that event and how I could have damaged my vocal cords or swallowed glass. But none of that happened. I stand 30 years later with the ability to talk and sing.

This experience and many others have shaped my reason for believing the Word Of God. So many  ” almost did not make it” and   ” you got me through it” moments solidified my faith. Has it all been great? Do I  understand everything that is going on at the time when things are happening? No. In some areas, I am still waiting on revelation as to why certain things happened. But my experience is one reason that helps to fill the gaps of uncertainty. When confronted with the question of “Why do I believe.?” I start with my experience.I  have a knack for meeting good people who don’t believe. I listen to them give many arguments on why  I should not. Other religious practices, a history of the misuse and abuse of the Word of God have all been arguments told to me.  But my experience is one no one can refute.

If we are not careful, these arguments can sway us to believe something that may have us on the wrong side of right. 1 Peter 3:15 states the following :

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

– KJV

Peter, the rock on which Jesus builds his church, admonished believers to do two things

  1. Sanctify  the Lord God  in your hearts
  2. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

You cannot give a sincere reason to believe and have faith in something that you have not set apart (sanctify, consecrate) in your heart as true.  If there are questions you have about the validity of the Word of God and his Son Jesus Christ,  this item would have to be resolved before you are ready to give an answer. It would be a time to ask God to reveal to you his presence and to seek him in prayer. Also if you have a trusted friend that is knowledgeable in the Word of God, pray with them. Ask them to cover you in prayer and scripture.

The second part of the instructions states to be ready to give an answer to any man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. In other words “If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready !”. In order to give an answer to anyone who asks, you have to be on a firm foundation of what you believe and confident in what you believe. Sharing your experience is a great way to build confidence in your faith. In Revelations(12:11), it says that the saints have overcome by the words of their testimony. They overcome by sharing their experience.   No one can refute your experience. Peter not only gave us what to be ready for but how to do it. He says we should present our reason with meekness and fear. Meekness in the greek is the word prautés (prah-oo’-tace). It means mildness and gentleness.  Fear in this verse translates in the greek to mean reverence. I will admit that at first, I thought to myself ” Does he mean to be scared of the person?”. Upon research, I found that in this case it simply means to respect or to reverence.  We should be able to share our reasons for believing without demeaning the other person.  The goal in all of this is to assist in helping people come to the Holy Father through Jesus Christ.  We can’t have a hint of arrogance, bad attitudes or a know it all disposition affect what the Holy Father may be trying to reveal to the person at the time.

In the coming weeks, we will discuss more on 1 Peter 3:15 and what it means to our lives and others. This is only the foundation of being solid in your faith and belief in the Word of God and his son Jesus Christ. Before I go. I would like to pray for all who may be questioning their faith or don’t believe at all and are searching.

Dear Heavenly Father,

 You are awesome! You are amazing. I  thank you for your grace mercy and most of all your love. You loved us so much that you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we may live with you forever in your kingdom. Father, I thank you for the opportunity that you have given me to share the revelation of 1 Peter 3:15. I ask God that if there is anyone reading this and is struggling in their faith that you would strengthen them. Lord, I pray that you would reveal your presence to them so that they may solidify the foundation in their faith and sanctify you in their hearts. Send people after your heart to lift them up in prayer. Lord, I also pray for the ones that do not know you and have not accepted your son Jesus Christ in their life but they are searching for something to fill the void in their life. I ask that you would touch their hearts so that they may be saved. I pray these things in your son Jesus  name 

Amen.

If you need to reach out to us here at To Reach the One  email us  at toreachtheone@gmail.com

God Bless

L

Happy New Year !!!

First things first, Happy  New Year!  I pray and hope all is well and you are amped to begin your new year.  I  wanted to take time to chime in while you are still excited about leaving 2017 behind and building your list of resolutions for 2018.   We want to invite you to join us this year as we explore the word of God. We want to hear/ read your comments, prayer request, and questions. Also, we are going to try something new this year with videos. We hope and pray that  it will bless you and help you to develop a deeper relationship with God.

Love,

L

TRTO REVIVAL

The idea to create the blog To Reach The One (TRTO)  came to me in my prayer time 5 years ago. I was on my lunch break and in my devotion time when  the Lord spoke to create a blog to empower and encourage the one person who may be struggling in their faith, who do not have faith and is looking, who may need to brush up on some knowledge,  or just need a word of encouragement.  The thought was that if we (Sha and I ) could reach one, that one could give birth to millions. Over the past few years, the dream got crowded with a new job,  new place, new relationships and life period. We tried to revive it in the midst of chaos, however, life snuffed it out. But even with the false starts and busy life, there was always a tug of what about the one? Even if it’s just the one,  is it not worth it?

TRTO   was founded and based on   Luke 15:4 -6.It states

What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.

Though we were missing in action, the mission was not missing from our hearts. Our focus and desire have always been to make sure we equip and empower people to live the life God created them to live.In order to do such, this means we will have to tackle some areas that may cause you to rethink mindsets, self-evaluate,  and push you to make some changes. This also goes for us (Sha and I ) as we walk this journey with you. We will share our experiences and revelations in faith that it will help someone make sense of this journey called life. And even if it is just for the one,  we are standing here recommitted and on fire to bring to you a word of encouragement and empowerment to continue your journey.

Love always,

L

He’s Committed

Dear God’s Beloved One,
We are all a work in progress. Jesus is committed to see you come into a work of perfection. Will you stay committed to the journey?

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Philippians1:6 NLT

TRTO

Five Ways To Know Your Relationship with Jesus is in the “Uh-Oh” Zone

So I am posting this again because I needed a reminder . Let me know what you think 🙂

To Reach The One

The 5

Dear Beloved One,

I want to share five  signs that will alert you to tighten up on  your  Jesus . Take  note that these things are  not   the  “Hey I  slipped one day” type  things. These are  things  that you have notice have  become  more   and  more prevalent in your daily walk. It is my prayer that you  would have a most  enjoyable , insightful , freeing  relationship with  Him. I  hope this helps you  become  closer  with Jesus.

Love,

L

1. You stop reading the Bible. 

The Holy Bible  is the way that  God the Father  communicates with you. If not  read, you are  missing out on  crucial  dialogue from the  Father .Yes the  Lord  also speaks in  other  ways   but, you  have to realize that  the  enemy also  speaks  to you . 2nd Corinthians 11:14  says” But I am not surprised!Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”  In order to recognize the …

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Life Just Got in the Way

Dear God’s Beloved One,

Happy New Year and hello to all! I hope that the New Year has been kind to you so far. I imagine that all have started their new year with the hopes and dreams that drive you to be a better you than last year. As you have notice the TRTO writers have been MIA (for those that don’t know what “MIA” means, it means Missing in Action) for about 9 months. It was not because we wanted to, but because we became so busy and life just got in the way. We were inundated with a bounty of activity that prohibited us from slowing down enough to get focused and write to you. And for that, we apologize. These seasons of frantic living do not come without a few lessons. We have prayed ( and are still praying) for God to reveal to us where we went wrong, what we did right and what changes should be made to our lives so that we can fulfill the mission he gave us.

So the first post of 2015 will detail some things aimed to help thrive and not merely survive.

1. Establish Priorities – Not having a list of priorities could result in wasted time and resources. Begin each day with a list of priorities to maximize your time and resources.

2. Planning is key – God is a planner. He planned everything from the creation of the earth and man to how all of this is going to end. If he is a planner, shouldn’t we also be planners?

3. Boundaries – Setting boundaries for your time is very much important (once again me). You have to know when to say, “NO” and not feel guilty.

4. Balance- You have to live a balanced existence. Too much of anything is not good including having a monotonous schedule filled with identical activities. Varying your activities can help stem burnout.

5. Anything new is not going to be easy. Change is challenging- So I added this because all I’ve written so far require that I make some major and minor life changes. Lasting change require persistence. Do you only try one time then stop? Nope. You keep at it. Believe me this is one that hits me hard. Things become habit after a person does the same action for 21 days. It has to be continuous to become habit.

God has a plan and a purpose for all of us we have to be open and make his mission one of the priorities in our lives. Before we end this lets pray

Lord,

We thank you for reminding us to “Number our days.” Our stewardship is not limited to material possessions but includes our time, talent and resources. Help me to be a better steward of the time and resources you have entrusted to me. I want to be a better for you, God and I need your help accomplishing all that you have purposed for my life. I thank you in advance for responding to this prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love,
TRTO

A Scripture to Share

 

Dear God’s Beloved One,

I wanted to share a few verses from Proverbs 3 . In our day to day living we get caught up with the worries of life and financial woes and forget who is our Father  . How has this collection of verses calm your worrying spirit?

5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding

6
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]

7
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.

8
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

9
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;

10
then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine. -NLT

 

Love ,

L

Prayer: What is Your Prayer Life Like?

Dear God’s Beloved One,

It has been a very long time since we’ve last written and here at TRTO, we have some catching up to do! Long story short life took way over and when we looked up it was July. However in that time frame so many things have happened in my life that has made me reflect on some things about my relationship with God and my prayer life .
Have you ever had to rethink the way you approach prayer? Have you ever reviewed your prayer life ? It can be an eye opening experience that reveals more about you and the relationship that you have with God. Recently I  thought about  the prayers I  prayed in the not so distant pass  and  thought to myself” Man that was a little selfish” or ” That conversation with God was totally one sided.” And those revelations was God calling out to me  to reflect on the relationship that I have with Him. It’s Him saying to me  that the  relationship I have  with Him can go to new heights and have a deeper understanding of his nature.

Proverbs 15:8 says,

 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked ,but he delights in the  prayers of the upright !

NLT

To me that says that God is waiting to hear from his children. He loves to  converse with them . Its like a parent  waiting for a phone call from their child  .The Father is waiting to hear  you from your heart. He does not want to hear  what you think he wants to hear so that you can ask him  for your blessing . He wants  you to speak to  him from your heart with no façade .  As  a way to  start you to reflecting on your prayer life , below are  a few questions that  could lead us( including me)  in the right direction to the prayer life God wants  us to have .Also  if you have questions  about what prayer is,  our Life foundation  page has  a link  to our document called ” What is Prayer” .

  1. What do you think prayer is ?
  2. How do you feel when you pray?
  3. Is it a chore to you to pray ?
  4. Are you just saying words out of routine?
  5. When you pray, where is your mind?
  6. Where is your heart?
  7. Where is your faith?

 

Love,

L

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