Enjoy this Word Search puzzle using words from the Scriptures we’ve read this week.
Click this link to download and print a copy of the word puzzle: Busyness Word Search
Enjoy this Word Search puzzle using words from the Scriptures we’ve read this week.
Click this link to download and print a copy of the word puzzle: Busyness Word Search
Busyness. What is busyness? One definition is when an activity is lively but meaningless. That’s how I feel sometimes. Life seems so busy but are the activities meaningful or meaningless – or a mixture of both? Recently, I have let busyness interfere with my studying God’s Word and writing to share from the Scriptures.
Are you busy?
Are you working?
Are you idle?
What are you busy doing?
Work? Home? Kids? Church?
Let’s talk about work. How would you define work? Activity that is productive and meaningful. Is it more of a performance of duty? Something you must do. Can you find joy in work tasks? (This sounds like the topic of another blog post!)
What does it mean to be idle? Inactive. Not working. Pass the time by doing nothing. Can you be busy by being idle? In other words, busy doing nothing.
Let’s look at verses from the Bible that compare being idle and working to help us reflect on what type of person we should and want to be.
Proverbs 19:15: Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.
What does shiftless mean? Dishonest? Idle? Lazy? How does laziness bring on deep sleep? Do you think it’s a peaceful sleep? When do you sleep the best – when you’ve been idle or when you have worked hard?
Matthew 12:36: But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
What kind of words? Empty words. Hollow words. How does it make you feel knowing that you will be accountable for every word you have spoken on the Day of Judgment? Does that make you think twice about the words you speak and how they are spoken?
I Timothy 5:13: Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.
Wow! These are powerful words. Let’s break this verse apart.
I don’t want to reflect on my words and actions and discover that they show me as being idle and passing the time by doing nothing. How do we ensure we are workers and productive and not just busy with activities that are meaningless?
Proverbs 16:3: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Commit to the Lord and He will establish your plans. God is in control even though we sometimes try to limit Him by making our own plans thinking that we know best.
In Ecclesiastes 3:17: King Solomon said, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”
We will all be judged. Do you ever feel that some people who may be wicked or unfaithful never face consequences of their actions? But they will, won’t they. One day. With God’s judgment – not ours!
John 17:4: Jesus speaking to God says, I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
Can you say these words to God? I (insert your name) have brought glory on earth to you God and finished the work you gave me. What kind of work has God given you? How do you know? Are you searching for an activity that will glorify God?
Think about the words in Matthew 5:14. I challenge each of you and myself to be “…the light of the world.” Let’s have our words and actions shine just as that “town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Commit, be active, shine!
My last post was about peace and the plan was to have two or three posts that week on peace. However, it seemed that so many things began to happen in my life that prevented me from having peace in my life. I’m glad to be focused again and want to share several verses that helped me this week.
Do others think of you as a peacemaker? How would you describe someone that you consider a peacemaker? Would you describe yourself as a peacemaker? If not, why not?
How important is it to have peace in a house? In a family? In a church? In a community? Can we truthfully say that we hope for peace for everyone? Family, friends, neighbors, and enemies?
I find comfort in these verses, because as Jesus shared, the world will not give us peace.
The Scriptures tell us to not be afraid nor to let our hearts be troubled. There are so many distractions in the world around us that it is difficult to find quiet and peace except through Christ. How is that possible? Because Christ has overcome the world!
Take some time to think about what peace in your life means to you and whether or not you have it? If you don’t, how can you search for and find that peace?
Next topic – busyness!
Something that can really keep us from having peace in our lives!
Our word for Strengthen through the Scriptures is ‘peace.’ How do you define ‘peace?’ Harmony? Free from chaos? Lack of disagreement? Do you feel at peace right now – this very minute? How do you find peace in times of chaos or discomfort? Be honest. Don’t give the answer that you think you should.
Romans 8:28 is a verse that I keep in my heart. 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.
I can keep those words in my heart and understand them in my head, but sometimes that means I have to wait for God’s plan. The Bible tells us to be courageous and wait. I must admit when I am waiting, the feeling of peace is NOT within me! Then I have to remember John 16:33. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Let’s start the week with a look at Peace in the Proverbs.
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
Did you notice the ALL in that verse? ALL of her paths are peace!
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.
Do you promote peace? Is promoting a high priority for you? There are so many that live for drama in their lives and sharing it with others. We should always aim to promote peace in our lives and the lives of others.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.
Have you ever had a meal with family or friends that was full of contention and strife? How did you feel during the meal…and after?
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.
This verse hits at home and goes back to God’s plan of giving instruction to our children. Is your life as a parent always going to be peaceful? Of course not. However, with teaching and disciplining your children will be more like to bring peace to you rather than turmoil.
Our challenge this week is simple and straight-forward. Look for peace in your life. Share with others how you found that peace and how they can find it also. Our memory verse this week can help us meet this challenge.
Have a wonderfully, peace-filled week.
We have focused on two words this week: kindness and love. In the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 9:3 states: The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” What inspired this act of kindness toward Jonathan? Love was the inspiration. This makes me think of the phrase ‘loving kindness.’
In Luke 6:35, Jesus taught: But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Love your enemies? Do good for your enemies? Lend to your enemies? Don’t expect anything in return from your enemies? Do all of those things seem easy to do? What is our reward to reaching outside of our comfort zone and doing them? A great reward and being children of the Most High BECAUSE God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. In the next verse we read: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36). God is our example to be merciful and kind to everyone – family, friends, and enemies!
To help review the Scriptures that we have read this week, you can download, print, or find key words on the Kindness word search. Click here: Kindness Word Search.
Have a blessed weekend. See you on Monday for our next Strength from the Scriptures study.
Happy Wednesday to All!
Remember that our discussion today is on the different kinds of kindness. Let’s begin by looking at Acts 20:35: In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” The use of ‘kind’ in the sentence is not the same definition that we used earlier. Here it means a type or variety of hard work. However, let at the ‘kind of hard work’ discussed: help the weak which is a blessing of being able to give to other. Isn’t that an example of kindness?
Can you show kindness to strangers? How can you show kindness to strangers? In Leviticus 19:34, we read: The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Isn’t this the same message that we discussed earlier – love your neighbor as yourself? Now, we are told to love those residing among us – strangers. Let’s flip over to the New Testament where Jesus shares: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in… (Matthew 25:35) Which is easier to show kindness toward – a stranger or a friend or family member? Why do you think this is?
Next, let’s move to the book of Galatians to see an example of a kindness that helps to bear the hardships and difficulties those around us may be experiencing. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:10 continues by telling us that as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Opportunity. Do good. All people.
Look around and discover how you can extend simple kindness to someone today and every day this week. Maybe they are carrying a burden, big or small, that you can help lighten with an act of kindness. Look for those opportunities where you can show kindness to those around you – to ALL people.
Keep working on our memory passage. It’s longer this week but the message is so important to each of us. Some of you may already have these verses written on your heart. That should be the goal for all of us.
Praying for each you.
How many of you have been invited to play the game where you take the first letter of your name and find an adjective that starts with that letter AND describes you? Is there a certain adjective that you always use? How does it describe you? My name begins with a ‘K.’ What do you include for a ‘K?’ I usually add the word, ‘kind.’ How would you define the word ‘kind ‘to’ someone? Friendly? Benevolent? Nice?
When a group of young children are playing together, what phrase is often said? ‘Be nice.’ Be nice to your…friends…brother…sister…cousins…the list goes on and on. What is expected of those children to ‘be nice’ to the other children? Do you ever look at those in the world around you and wonder what it would be like if everyone treated everyone nicely? What would the world look like if we were ALL nice to EVERYONE?
What did Jesus answer in Mark 12:29-31 when asked what the greatest commandment was? “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Think about that: loving your neighbor as yourself. Think about the people in your close circle of family and friends and those that you worship with and what about the leaders in both business and government. Can you imagine what the world would be like if EVERYONE loved God will ALL of their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths? What if EVERYONE loved their neighbors as themselves?
Mistrust, envy, and hatred of others is nothing new. As Solomon shared – they is nothing new under the sun. But do we just use that as an excuse and dismiss the unkind actions of those around us – or even our own unkind actions?
Our memory passage for this week is: 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12: 30-31. This passage is also our challenge for the week. Stop often and reflect on your own thoughts and actions. Are you demonstrating that you love God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Not just one or two of these but all four! Secondly, when you are reflecting, ask yourself how you are showing love to your neighbor each day.
Come back on Wednesday to discuss the different types of kindness that are taught in the Scriptures.
Be strong and courageous. How does reading those words make you feel? Do you know where find the verse in the Bible that includes those words? Yes, that’s a trick question. 🙂 This phrase is actually found in numerous places in the Scriptures – both in the Old and New Testaments. After reading all of these verses, I decided that Psalm 27:14 would be our memory verse for this week: Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Let’s break this verse into four sections:
How interesting that the verse begins and ends with the same four words: Wait for the Lord. Do you like to wait? Usually, waiting is not something that I want to do, but sometimes God wants and needs us to wait. Let’s look at three passages from the Scriptures to begin our look at courage.
In Deuteronomy 31:6, 7, Moses shared words from God with the Israelites. We read: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses spoke to Joshua in front of all of Israel and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.” What a challenge to give to Joshua! I wonder how Joshua felt.
Do you think the Israelites were afraid? Is that why Moses reminded them that God would never leave them or abandon them. Have you ever been afraid? Have you ever been terrified? What caused the fear you felt? These words from Deuteronomy should encourage us in times that we are afraid. If we have faith that God is always with us, doesn’t it make it easier to feel courageous in times of fear? Remember what Psalm 23:4 says? Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Shouldn’t we be able to say:
I will fear no evil.
I will have courage.
I will be strong.
I can do this because God is always with me.
In 2 Chronicles 32: 7-8, King Hezekiah told the Israelites to be strong and courageous even though they were in the midst of a war with Assyria. Assyria had a great army, but the Israelites were reminded that there was a greater power with them than with Assyria. Assyria only had a human army but Israel had God to help them and to fight their battles. We are told that the people gained confidence from these words. God is always with us as we fight our battles today. Do we always show the confidence we should knowing that God is with us? How can we build that feeling of confidence? Studying God’s Word? Walking our daily walk with God? Surrounding ourselves with others that are walking in God’s Light?
Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight. (2 Samuel 10:12) David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men and sent some against the Ammonites and the others against the Arameans. Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans and put the rest of the men under the command of his brother, Abishai, to fight against the Ammonites. Joab told Abishai to be strong and to fight bravely, and most importantly, that God will do what is good in His sight. God has a plan and is in control. How often do we think that we know what is best for us and expect God to take care of it? God will take care of us – in His way and in His time. We must learn to wait. (Yes, there’s that “wait” word again!)
We may not want to wait or delay our expectations. Immediate gratification is not always in God’s plan. What we must always remember is that God is always with us. Knowing that, we can be strong and courageous in all challenges that we face – big and small. My challenge for you this week is to examine the challenges in your life. Hod did you show courage and strength? How did you lean on God? Then look around you and see the challenges that others are facing. How can you help them be strong and courageous and to have confidence in God’s power?
See you on Wednesday when we will discuss circumstances that require courage – in Bible times and today. Remember to work on our memory verse!
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I’m glad that we’re able to meet again to wrap up this study of God’s Scriptures.
God spoke through Scripture when it was first recorded and the Bible is how God speaks to us today. When we fail to take (or make) time to read and study God’s Scriptures, we allow a distance to come between us and God. The Bible is more than just a book full of words and phrases. It is a book of truth – God’s truth – and can be a source of strength if we immerse ourselves in it.
When we neglect to meet God in the words He preserved for us, we lose our bearing in life and He seems distant. The wonderful truth is that God hasn’t moved and He is still speaking to us through the Bible.
When we open the Scripture, know that God still speaks to us each and every time we read His words.
Pick it up, open it, read it, study it and listen as God speaks to you through His Word – today, tomorrow, and forever.
For those of you that enjoy word search puzzles, I have created one using the words from 2 Timothy 3:16. Just click on the link below to download and open the puzzle.
See you next week for our next Strength from the Scriptures study.
Our topic for next week – Courage.
How is your week going? Have you been reading 2 Timothy 3:16 daily to help you commit it to memory? Have you been able to carve out time each day to read God’s Word? I have heard that it takes doing something for 21 days for it to become a habit. Does that sound like another challenge? 🙂 Did you have time to find some verses in the Bible that teach about the Scriptures?
First, let’s talk about strength? What does strength mean to you? How would define strength to someone else? Does it mean being strong? Courage? Force? Endurance? Power? The book of Second Timothy was written by Paul when he was a prisoner. The believers at that point had begun to be unfaithful to God. Paul was concerned that Timothy who was there to help Paul might be frightened by what was happening to the Church. Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him and to strengthen him with this letter. During this difficult time, the strength of God and the grace of Jesus Christ was apparent. This book continues to be an encouragement today for us.
Here are the four verses that I found, my reflections, and some questions to discuss.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
What does it mean to ‘correctly handle’ the word of truth? Can God’s Word be handled incorrectly? How do you handle or manage your use of the Scriptures?
Psalm 1:2 – …but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law both day and night.
Do you delight in the words in your Bible? Do you read and meditate on God’s Word both day and night? Does that mean meditating 24-7? We all have activities to take care. So, how and when do we spend time in the Word? What have you found that works for you? Meditating means more than just reading, doesn’t it? To me, it means taking the time to read and THINK about what you’ve read. To think about how you can use those verses to guide you during your days and nights.
Ephesians 6:17 – Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I grew up in a time where we “got dressed” when it was time to “go to town” – whether to shop, go out to eat, or go to the doctor. Dressed meant ‘nice’ clothes, brushed hair, and a touch of lipstick. As Christians, we are instructed to take the helmet of salvation and the Word of God. Why is the Word of God considered to be a sword? Can this sword protect you? Can it lead you safely into a battle?
Hebrews 4:2 – For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.
How discouraging to know that there are some who will hear the Good News, but it will not have any value for them! How do we give value to the Good News? We share it! How do you share God’s Word with others? We can share in little ways or on a larger scale. Each time we share, we plant seeds and share God’s Word and love with those around us.
Keep working on your reflections and memorization. Come back on Friday to wrap up this first weekly Strength from the Scriptures study.
How much time do you spend reading God’s Word during your day? How much time do you spend studying God’s Word? Is there a difference between reading and studying? For this first Strength from the Scriptures, I think it’s appropriate to start by looking at the Bible, God’s Word, His Scriptures.
When was the last time that you were assigned a Memory Verse? Let’s take time out of our busy week to focus on 2 Timothy 3:16. Can you commit 5 minutes a day to read, study, and memorize this verse? Take that as a challenge from me to you, or rather, for me AND you. The Bible states 2 Timothy 3:16 as “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (NIV)
What does it mean that all Scripture is God-breathed?
The Bible was written over a span of 1500 years by men but each and every word was inspired by God.
What are the purposes of God’s Scripture listed in 2 Timothy 3:16?
The purposes are listed as teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
How would you define each of those words of phrases? What if we turn each of these into a question: How is the Scripture useful for teaching? How does the Scripture rebuke or correct us or others? How is the Scripture used to train in righteousness?
Let’s make this question more personal. What if we add an “I” or “me” to each question? How do I use the Scripture for training? How does the Scripture rebuke or correct me? How do I use the Scripture to rebuke others? How do I know when this should happen? How do I use the Scripture for training in righteousness?
Find and read 3-5 verses that teach about Scriptures using your Bible or a Bible commentary. You might want to start a notebook for your reflections. A notebook would give you a place to write down the verses you find and your reflection – what they mean to you.
As we begin these studies together, let’s take a different verse each week and read it daily and commit it to our hearts and mind. That’s our first challenge. Reflect on this verse this week as you look at your daily activities. Are you using God’s Word in your daily walk? Do you know the Scriptures well enough to do this? If not, consider joining us weekly as we look read and study different Scriptures.
Do you ever stop and reflect on something that you’ve planned or perhaps that you’ve been doing for a while – and then decide you need to make changes? Well, that is exactly what I have done with this blog!
After much thought and prayer (and probably procrastination), I have decided to go with a different format. Rather than a multi-week study on one book of the Bible, each week will feature a study of the Bible focusing on one word or phrase. On Monday, a verse from the Bible will be presented, three (or so) questions to check our understanding of the verse, and a challenge for the week. On Wednesday, we will delve deeper into our study of the verse for reflection and application to our daily lives. Friday will bring a week-end check in and activity.
Studies of different books of the Bible will be available for you to study at your own pace. as they are written. (Philippians, the original study for the blog, will be available shortly.) These workbooks will be available to print, download, or (in the near future) order. I would like to start a private discussion group on Facebook for these studies of the books of the Bible, if there is enough interest from you.
So, hang on to your hats (or rather garlands and crowns). The new format will be published on Monday. Come back on Monday to see the first Strength From the Scriptures topic revealed.
Your sister in Christ,
The book of Philippians is a personal letter from Paul to his friends that he loves. The letter begins with a salutation and Paul immediately tells the readers how thankful he is for them. Paul is the author of Philippians. Timothy was his companion on his journey and noted as it was in other books. Why was Timothy interested in the congregation at Philippi? Read Acts 16:11-40 to find out.
In verse 6, Paul glorifies God as the one who started the work in the congregation in Philippi. He recognized God as the one who converted them and brought them to the knowledge of Christ who saved them. Paul was confident in God, not the Philippians. However, it was their behavior that encouraged Paul to have assurance of their eternal destiny. Would Paul be confident of our eternal destiny?
In verse 7, we read of Paul’s fondness for the Philippians. He says, “I have you in my heart.” They were a constant help to Paul in his preaching mission. They even supported him when he was imprisoned. Paul genuinely loved the Philippians. Paul also realized their weakness – they needed more knowledge in the understanding of the mind of Christ. He wanted their knowledge to be as great as their abundant love. (Read verse 9)
In verse 10, Paul prays for them and challenges them to approve things that are excellent and reminds them that they must be sincere and free of offense in living the Christian life until Christ returns at the final judgment. Paul then tells them to do this by being filled with the fruits of righteousness from Christ and which are to glorify God. (Read verse 11)
Do you think this motivated them? Does this prayer and challenge motivate you?
Paul gives us an example of prayer. In verse 3, we read a list of things that Paul was thanking God for and not a list of things he needed to receive from God. Do we thank God more for all of the blessings we have received or do we simply pray to God with a to-do list of things we need or want?
Challenge for this week: Examine your prayers to God this week? Are you remembering to thank God for the blessings in your life? Are you sincere in the things you ask God for? Do your prayers follow Paul’s example?
Welcome to Garlands and Crowns.
The purpose of this blog is to delve into the Bible to learn from God’s Word to guide us in our daily lives.
This blog is a result of my love of God’s Word, learning and teaching others. Not only do I want to learn but I want to take others along and challenge them to study and learn with me.
Join me and explore lessons from the books of the Bible as well as topical studies from the Scriptures that will enrich us as women of God.
Each week a new lesson will be posted along with study questions. You can sign up for the electronic mailing list to receive a printable study guide each week.
An illustrated Bible verse will be published weekly. These verses can be saved to your electronic device or printed to use as a daily reading of God’s Word. You can even use this Scripture as a weekly memory verse to write God’s Word on your heart.
Hospitality will also be a focus of this blog with lessons and challenges published regularly.
Last but not least, you will find short lessons for children featuring Scripture, key learning points, and questions.
Take a few minutes to bookmark this blog, sign up for the email list, and leave a comment.
See you next week.