31 Verses to Write on Your Heart (Blogging-for-Books)

higgsHave you ever wondered how to memorize Scripture? I have a wonderful study tool to share with you all today!

Liz Curtis Higgs’ latest book is on this very important topic – memorizing Scripture. As Christians, we know we need to make an effort to memorize the Word of God (see Ps. 119:11; Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:1-11; Col. 3:16; Rom. 10:17). But, have you ever asked yourself how to do this important task? I know I have found myself in that very place, which is why I am pleased to bring this review to you all.

In her book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, Higgs takes us on a beautiful journey. We will not only come away with having spent memorable time in the Word of God and learning to memorize Scripture, but will have also made a good friend and learned much about God and His Word.

This study is available for personal use, but there is one more benefit to this book. The study guide, located in the back of the book, makes it ideal for a small group study as well. This study is absolutely amazing! I hope you all have an opportunity to check it out!

Specifics on the Study

These are 31 verses that we desperately need to know by heart. When we learn the Scriptures, by heart, they will come to mind at the very moment their presence is needed. A short list of the set aside verses include –

  • Philippians 1:6
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Proverbs 3:3

… among many other treasured Scriptures that remind us of God’s truths.

In each day’s reading, you can expect to find 5 key elements…

~ A devotion
~ Time of prayer
~ The daily tip for memorizing Scripture (which means we get 31 tips designed to help us memorize Scripture!!)
~ The Scripture of the day in New International Version (NIV)
~ A space for us to write out the verse in our favorite translation

My Last Thoughts

I love to pore through this book. There is so much truth found within the contents of this book, that comes from God’s Word. In her devotions, Liz takes us through the Scripture word – by- word, phrase – by – phrase. Higgs is a researcher, which is one of my favorite things about her way of teaching, so we get to glean all that she is learning and has to share with us.

Not only is Liz knowledgeable, when it comes to the Word of God, she is witty. Whenever I take a journey with one of her books, it is like I am reacquainting with an old friend. This study will challenge us in our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Plus, it isn’t a time consuming study – which is a must for many of us. As we dive into 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, we will be challenged to seek after God and to come as we are. This study is a blessing, and I highly recommend it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Choices Despite Culture {Daniel}

In chapter 1, we discover how Daniel and his friends were torn between following God and obeying what the Babylonian culture instructed them to do. They had just been pulled away from their homes and all they know. Now, they had to decide – God versus culture. Those in authority told them they had to do something, that would cause them to disobey God. And, they had to reach a place of knowing what to do. Many of us find ourselves in a similar place of deciding whether to follow God or someone in authority (or even what society says).

Each of us will face the decision of who we will listen to and obey. It will either be God or someone else (or something else). We have to make the difficult decision to choose God over everything else – even if it makes us an outcast. God has chosen to dwell with us, so we have all we need to make these difficult decisions.

The Choice to Follow God

In college, I took a required science class. It stood against everything I believed. God showed me grace and growth that summer. I held onto my Bible like crazy and kept His truths close – and His Holy Spirit even closer. I know, God helped me with each difficult decision I made – during that season of my life. He enabled me to attend class, do the work, share my faith, and witness to others.

When we seek God’s help, He will show up!

Daniel’s Resolve

In Daniel 1:8, we see Daniel’s resolve bursting out. He did not stay quiet about his resolve. Daniel made the choice to wholly give himself to God and to walk in obedience, even if it seemed difficult or impossible to do. And, God made the way for Daniel to obey Him rather than submitting to the culture that would cause him to sin against God!

How do we continue to make God honoring decisions, even when things aren’t going our way?

He made very hard decisions. In life-or-death kinds of situations. As we read the book of Daniel, this is made clear. He had such a godly courage that I hope we come to emulate over our lifetime. It shows Christ in us, on such a profound level. Everything he did, revealed his trust in God. We can see the kind of relationship Daniel had with God.

… And it is amazing to know, we can have a close relationship with God like that too. This is all made possible by the blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ pave the way, to give us a right relationship with God and an abundance of peace. We are never alone either, for He walks with us!

Even in difficult times, God can give us His peace and direction! It is especially in these moments that we seek God the most, but let’s go forward full throttle in our pursuit of God. Praising Him, as He takes us through difficult situations, and when life is good too. With each choice we make, let us resolve to pray for our leaders, and to keep on praying in all situations.

Daniel Resources

For those who are interested, we begun a new study. While it’s official name is Citizen of Heaven, Resident of Earth, I tend to refer to it as the post election study. Because, that is what brought about the need for this particular study.

I want this to a time of remembering that God is much greater than us and our leaders. While God is even greater, our leaders have an important responsibility – because they have a great effect on those they are leading.

Not only do we need to keep them heavy in our prayers, let’s keep seeking and honoring Christ in how we respond to our elected officials and their decisions. We all leave an effect on this world, even those of us who don’t consider ourselves to be leaders. We all are leaving an example, whether good or bad.

Now, it is much different than my other reading plans. It is more of a “read through” particular books of the Bible, than our very slow pace of studying (that quite honestly I prefer). You can find out more about the study and what led to this reading plan here. Appropriately so, that post is called “How Will YOU Prepare for this Transition?

The Book of Daniel

… begins this upcoming week.

Daniel is a much loved person, who was rooted in God. He made decisions, while exiled in Babylon, that shows he stood with God – regardless of what others said or did. We need his testimony, as we live in a world that doesn’t often say or do what aligns with the very Word of God.

As you begin to study the book of Daniel, take a few moments to be in prayer. As we begin our time in the Word by praying, the Holy Spirit will begin to show us things we might not see otherwise. God has much to say to us, through this book!

Two particular things – This book shows us God’s power and the faith Daniel held onto. As we study, let’s take notice of the things God is wanting to teach us through His Word. Let’s take the extra few moments, to jot down Scriptures and any notes of what God is sharing with you.

Reading Plan Helps

It can easily be read in its entirety by reading two chapters per a day. I wanted to share a study guide, from a place I use often (Be aware: All I use or go to on this particular website is the study guides). Bible.org offers some insightful articles on different sections of the book of Daniel as well.

Also you might want to have commentaries nearby for those moments, when you need them.

Suggested Reading Plan –

  • Monday – Daniel 1-2
  • Tuesday – Daniel 3-4
  • Wednesday – Daniel 5-6
  • Thursday – Daniel 7-8
  • Friday – Daniel 9:1-11:1
  • Saturday – Daniel 11:2-12:13

Starting next week, the reading gets intense. So, I suggesting grabbing the audio Bible (you can utilize it over at… BibleGateway.com). The reading plan can be found here.

~ Stacey

Impact #1

im·pact

  1. to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging
  2. to press together

The Introduction (I Should Probably Give. . .)

I love visiting blogs, where the writer shares their lives. I have seen on, at least, one blog – where the gal will write in – with specific things in mind. So, I thought I would give it a try. I am calling it, impact. This is the name of this part of my blog, for one simple reason.

Many things impact our lives, which lead us to impact others by what we say and do.

Our goal in life, ought to be Jesus. Let’s run to Jesus and the abundant life He wants to give us, shall we?

The Questions –

Feeling – It has been a trying week, but I am seeing God’s handiwork. I am pretty joyful (overall, not without my sorrow-filled moments), considering standing brings out debilitating symptoms (and sometimes a little too close to blacking out).

…ehem…

Actually, I have even woken up many times with specific praise songs laid upon my heart. The Holy Spirit has caused my spirit to start singing the lyrics to specific songs, throughout the day (or during the night). For me, it shows I am pursuing Christ (and He is working in my heart)- even in the middle of my storm. Humming songs in silence isn’t my common practice, but it shows God’s working and causing my faith to become stronger.

Studying – I have been studying Psalms 98 and Luke 19:37-40. This is such a powerful set of Scriptures to get our hands on. God is doing incredible, out-of-this-world, things in our lives, and we need to praise Him. We need to break out our musical instruments and voices, to sing our hearts out with an abundance of joy – that God gives to us.

Reading –

Listening To – Last few weeks, I have been enjoying “Everything” by Lifehouse (Find the “Everything” skit on YouTube, if you get a chance). Then, there is the whole “Party Like a Princess” by Jamie Grace. That one I am really enjoying celebrating too.

Celebrating – Today, I am celebrating who God is. God is providing me with the encouragement, strength, and ministering that I need. Even while I face health struggles, God is my Constant and shows me that He is the One fighting for me! (Exodus 14:14; Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; Romans 8:31).

Loving – These days, I am loving silence. While I enjoy entertainment in form of iTunes, Netflix, and movies, I love the option of shutting it off to read a book or just talk with the Lord. I am learning to be okay with silence (even crave it). Silence helps me draw nearer to the Lord and feel His presence.

Silence ushers me into God’s Presence, through the Holy Spirit.

Which reminds me that… I am whole, completely full, and lacking nothing.

So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority (Col. 2:10, NLT).

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Ps. 23:1, NIV).

Praying – Right now, I am praying for my family and our needs to be met. I am praying for God to work a miracle on our behalf.

Holding Onto – Knowing God is fighting for me (see 1 Peter 1:5).

Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you (1 Peter 1:5a; VOICE).

Other Scriptures – Psalm 23; 2 Corinthians 10-13

When The Holy Spirit Speaks…

A few days ago, I mentioned things have been increasing in their difficulties. While things may seem to get worse before they get better, I am sooo thankful for the Holy Spirit. I have had many “ministering moments” lately, similar to what we see in chapter 4 of Matthew. We are reminded that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, and that’s the One who is doing a lot of comforting in my life lately. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit, making sure I know that He is with me in this!

I wanted to share a few truths, today. These are truths I am learning to hold onto in my trials. And, it is my hope that they will help you too – in whatever season you find yourself in today!

  1. Jesus promises to be here with us.
  2. Jesus promises that He knows the weaknesses we face, and that’s exactly why we can come to Him.
  3. Finally, the problems of today mean glorifying God for all eternity. I don’t understand or like my trials, but it is comforting – just knowing that God will use this for something good, something eternal, and this won’t last forever.

Psalm 23 teaches us about the sovereignty of God and how He meets us – even caring for us and pouring blessings over us in the presence of our enemies. Let’s listen to a small portion of this Scripture –

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need… He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me (Ps. 23:1, 3b-4, NIRV).

Hebrews 4:14-16 proclaims the truth that King Jesus knows exactly what you are going through right now. None of your family or friends may know, but God knows it all. In Psalm 139, we are reminded that God is our Creator. He made us. So, it makes sense to us – as believers in Jesus Christ – that He would know the exact trials or times of weaknesses that we are going through right now. And, He is interceding on our behalf. He is going to love us through it! He is going to make sure we know that He stands on our side! This is our blessed encouragement and a good reminder of why we can keep the faith, even in the middle of trials. In 1 Peter 1, we are reminded that trials show us where our faith is. Keep on believing, and trusting Christ!

We have a great high priest. He has gone up into heaven. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us hold firmly to what we say we believe. We have a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin. So let us boldly approach God’s throne of grace. Then we will receive mercy. We will find grace to help us when we need it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 reminds us why we can keep going and not give up. Our trials are not for nothing. Because we are in Christ Jesus, they can be used to bring glory to God!

We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day. Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.