Showing posts with label New to the Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New to the Bible. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Promise Exercise for Psalm 23

The Big Idea: How to examine the familiar Psalm 23 from the perspective of the promises of God.

Promises In Psalm 23

How can we determine God’s promises keeping true to the Bible? Here is how I have examined Psalm 23.

My 10-step approach to finding the promises in Psalm 23

1. Every time I opened the passage I prayed for God to guide me.

2. I had a notebook and pen/pencil handy.

3. I read the whole chapter a couple of times in a couple of translations.

4. I checked who wrote it. Could I legitimately claim the author wrote it not just for himself but also for the people of God.

5. I listed the attributes and actions of God evident in the verses.

6. I researched if the attributes and actions are in sync with the rest of the Bible citing some references to other passages.

7. I noted the benefits.

8. I looked at conditions and/or circumstances for the recipient.

9. Since this Psalm did not exhibit direct Words of God I wondered what would constitute a promise? The author speaks about God. How does that function as a promise?

10. Lastly I checked other authors online on Promises in Psalm 23.  I worked the passage first. Then I checked for other Christians to verify I was in sync with them. We share the Holy Spirit. This prevents error.

Diane’s Notes

1. Pray.

2. Pencil and paper. 

3. Psalm 23 completely read in NLT, ESV, NIV. 

4. David wrote Psalm 23. He probably initially wrote it for himself, but it was included in the Psalms, a book of worship for believers. I believe he was thinking of building up and teaching others about God when God inspired David to write this. Yes, it can be for me.

5. Going through Psalm 23 I listed attributes and actions. This is a photo of my slip of paper I brought with me to a park using the Bible on my iphone. See how simple it can be?

6. Are these attributes in sync with the rest of the Bible? I list only verses 1-2 for space sake.

  • Shepherd – even Jesus identified Himself as our Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11, John 10. Other places
  • He leads us – Proverbs 15:24, Isaiah 40:11, 2 Corinthians 2:14
  • He provides rest – Joshua multiple times, 1 Chronicles 23:25, Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 4:9
  • He restores – Deuteronomy 30:20, Psalm 51:12, 1 Peter 5;10

7. Benefits to the recipient

Needs fulfilled (v1), rest (v2), quiet (v2), refreshing (v3), lead/direction (v3), no fear (v4), not alone (v4), comfort (v4), provision (v5) abundance (v5), goodness and love (v6), my whole life and forever (v6)

8. Conditions to all this abundance and goodness. Yes. I know God is MY shepherd (v1). I allow God to do all these things for me. One can be invited to eat at a table and refuse to come. God benefits those who want His help and seek Him.

9. How do we understand Bible promises where God is not talking?

Promise – n. a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. Oxford Dictionary

We examine His character and the way He consistently acts. While promises are not negotiable, they may be contingent on our engagement with Him. In Psalm 23, we see declaration after declaration of God’s intent and His ability to help those who seek Him.

10. Online looking for promises of Psalm 23, there are numerous posts that mention Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Some lists are very detailed about who God is to us. The site ties it with Psalm 22 quoted by Jesus at the cross. 

Some of the promises I determined:

  • God provides for my needs; Not my wants, but my needs.
  • God leads me, just like a guide through difficult terrain.
  • God provides rest and restoration in His time.
  • God is with me. I do not need to be fearful, even when I go through difficult circumstances He is with me through them.
  • God is my protector especially as I use His Word (rod and staff)
  • God has my entire life and my eternity in view. It is ultimately for good, not evil. Everything is in His time.
Put on your Promise Filter to find God’s promises for YOU!

Enjoy this worship Psalm based on Psalm 23, I am Not Alone


This post is forty-fifth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Principle Followed
Previous post: Find the Application: Promise Claimed-3 The Promise Filter



1. Which of my last list resonates with your need for today?

2. Are you seeking Him? Is He your shepherd always? Do you want Him to restore you? If not, what stands in your way?

3. Consider anything you should tell God right now.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Why Read Through the Whole Bible?

The Big Idea: Reading through the Bible in a year will give you perspective of God at work.

“Daddy, could I read the Bible through in a year, too?”

I was probably about eight years old. My father made a reading program before it was in vogue for the church to read the Bible through in a year.  Our pastor requested he make bookmarks of his reading plan and pass them around at the New Years Eve service. My father loved the Bible and wanted it to be a relevant part of people’s lives.


Why Should I Read the Whole Thing?

Reading the whole Bible through helps to see the big picture. We tend to go to our favorite places but the whole of Scripture is from the Lord. 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

Have you used Google Map to find someplace and then decided to click on the satellite view? It explains a few things like why a road curves (mountain) or why the street dead ends (river). The bird’s eye view helps us get a better perspective.

So why read the entire Bible through?

  • It gives a clearer view of God and the Bible story.
  • It shows God’s bigger plan of Salvation.
  • It provides background material for characters referred to in the New Testament.
  • It gives fresh insight who God is and His love in a different context.
  • It keeps us balanced in our Christian life rather than have our hobby horses.

At Least Try

I’m embarrassed to admit it has been twenty plus years since I read the Bible through. In 2021 I decided I would. But 2021 has been an intense year health-wise for me.  I didn’t start it till March. I realized I just needed to start and then do the best I can. I am currently in Jeremiah. I tell you this goal adaption because sometimes we quit and don’t start again. We feel defeated. An amended plan is still a plan! I am still getting in to God’s Word! I plan to finish reading the Bible in 2022.


Then and Now

When my father created his program in the 1960s, we knew no other plan. Today so many are out there it can be overwhelming. There are a few things you can do to search for a plan.

  • One of my favorites is the Bible Project plan. An option is to listen to the audio daily.
  • Or check the many plans at and choose one (the Bible Project one is there too)
  • Follow a plan that your church may be using. Doing it as a group provides great support.

 Don’t give up, and don’t settle for doing it just once. My dad read a different version each year and said it was always fresh and new to him!


Up next: What Does Timeless Truth Mean?

Previous post: Shine: The Christ Candle

Note: We have been in the process of going through a Practical Starter Guide of Inductive Bible Study. We will resume this series in January.



1. Have you ever tried to read the Bible all the way through? Did you make it? If not, what happened and what might help you follow through?

2. What do you think might be useful in reading the whole Bible?

3. Take a moment to pray about your time in the Word this year. Ask for God’s help and His guidance. As Him to help you stick with it even if you fall behind.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

IBS-23 Unraveling Figures of Speech: when not to take the Bible literally

The Big Idea: We believe the Bible is to be the literal word of God but what about figures of speech?

When not to take the Bible literally

I studied French for a year conversing, listening to television, reading the paper, etc. I heard a phrase about a moon of honey on the news. I was stupefied till I realized the story was about newlyweds. That idiom is also used in English!

As serious students of Scripture, we take the Bible at its word. It is not a fairy tale. Interpret it literally most of the time believing it is God’s Word to you. The Holy Spirit inspired writers (2 Peter 1:21) who wrote beautiful ancient literature, but no language is sterile. Figures of speech give it beauty and emphasis. Realize figures of speech paint a picture. Sometimes figurative words of another culture sound odd to us. Bible translators apply modern phrases to express the idea for us which explains the difference in comparing translations. Remember that the cohesiveness of the Bible remains in sync with the rest of it. No strange doctrine emerges from a sentence or verse that is counter to the rest of the Holy Word of God.

Figures of Speech

Figures of speech are words and phrases that express meaning that is not meant to be literal but rather descriptive. It is not intended to be misleading but rather to illustrate like a word picture. Examine this chart to see the more common figures of speech found in the Bible followed by an explanation and an example.

Figures of Speech in the Bible

Understanding these language variables help us interpret the Word of God better. It is not intended to be mysterious and hard to understand. The Bible is intended for us to learn how to live abundant life in Christ (John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20).


This is the twenty third in a series called Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.
Table of Contents

Up next in the series: What Does Timeless Truth Mean?
Previous post: Strange Bible Verses



1. Do you enjoy idioms in your language? Does one make you laugh when you hear it? Do you have a story of a funny misunderstanding talking with someone who was foreign to your language?

2. What is a phrase in the Bible that sounds odd? What do you think it is really trying to say?

3. Does this blog on figurative speech give you comfort of more confusion to trust what the Bible says? Why or why not?

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Free Ebooks on Deep Questions


The Big Idea: Very helpful pastor/author has excellent free series of ebooks on very serious questions for the Christian life. Here's how to get them.

R.C.Sproul Crucial Question Series

There is a series of books that are available in electronic form, that will be free forever. It will help you learn more about who God is, why you should believe, how you should live and how you can share your faith. It is an amazing and valuable series for any Christian or someone interested in the Christian faith.

R.C. Sproul was a conservative, Reformed pastor, author and speaker who passed away in 2017. This valuable series of books are free electronically and you can buy paper versions of them. He started Ligonier Ministries. They have decided to make these books available forever for free. Additionally most are in Spanish. Each book is between 60-90 pages or so. Here is the list of titles taken from their website.

Here is a complete list of the free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series

·         Are People Basically Good? 

·         Are These the Last Days?  (Español)

·         Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?  (Español)

·         Can I Have Joy in My Life?  (Español)

·         Can I Know God’s Will?  (Español)

·         Can I Lose My Salvation?  (Español)

·         Can I Trust the Bible?  (Español)

·         Does God Control Everything?  (Español)

·         Does Prayer Change Things?  (Español)

·         How Can I Be Blessed? 

·          How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? (Español)

·         How Can I Be Right with God? 

·          How Should I Live in this World? (Español)

·         How Should I Think about Money? 

·          What Can I Do with My Guilt? (Español)

·         What Can We Know about God? 

·         What Do Jesus’ Parables Mean? 

·         What Does It Mean to be Born Again?  (Español)

·         What Is Baptism? (Español)

·         What Is Faith?  (Español)

·         What Is the Great Commission?  (Español)

·         What Is Repentance? (Español)

·         What Is the Church?  (Español)

·         What Is the Lord’s Supper?  (Español)

·         What Is the Relationship between Church and State?  (Español)

·         What Is the Trinity?  (Español)

·         Who Is Jesus?  (Español)

·         Who Is the Holy Spirit?  (Español)

·         Does God Exist? 

·         How Does God’s Law Apply to Me? 

·         What Is Predestination? 

·         Why Should I Join a Church? 


You can go to the R.C. Sproul author page at

There you will find these and more of his books, occasionally offered for free. The way you search on that page (and any author page on Amazon) is using these buttons near the top of the page. Choose Kindle Books and then choose on the drop down menu, Price: Low to High.

R.C. Sproul's book, Abortion: A Rational Look at anEmotional Issue, is also always free.

I have noticed this book from Ligioner Ministry author Keith Mathison is also always free. A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture.

Logos Bible Software also offers the Crucial Question Series electronically for free.

You may be asking yourself what does a Reformed Christian or pastor mean?

This is a well explained short definition from

Generally, Reformed theology holds to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, salvation by grace through Christ, and the necessity of evangelism. It is sometimes called Covenant theology because of its emphases on the covenant God made with Adam and the new covenant which came through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

 Up Next: No light for my way

Previous Post: My favorite Bible Versions