Genesis

  1. Maybe God gave us Genesis because we want to know our beginnings.
  • “Thank You God for telling me where I came from.”
  1. God made it so that only one man and one woman will form a marriage, and the woman will be man’s helper (20,24).
  • If you have problems with this statement, explain it to God.
  • If you don’t, thank God for clearly putting the right way to live in the Bible.
  1. We cannot listen to anyone (Satan) who tells us to sin (eat the fruit) or else we’ll be punished (the Fall).
  • “I want to consult You before making any decision because You are the ultimate authority.”
  1. Always give God the best of yourself (3-5).
  • Think of one way, besides tithing, that you can do this.
  1. We are made in God’s likeness (1), but a son is made in his father’s image and likeness (3). Genesis 9:6 might disprove this, though.
  • “Are we only made in Your likeness but not Your image?”
  1. God was sorry that He created us (6-7) because of our evil and violence (11-12).
  • DFSA: 3 evils (Joking about evil is probably bad too: saying racist or sexual jokes to your friends.)
  1. Noah did the crazy and the impossible through God. He gathered at least 2 of every kind of animal from around the world, they all followed him onto a boat with a length of 1.5 football fields, and withstood everyone’s jeers and ridicules for nearly a century. We can do incredible acts too.
  • “Give me the desire and power to do amazing things, not for my glory, but for Yours.”
  1. The flood ends with God deciding to never destroy the world by water because humans are born evil.
  • “Thank You God for not destroying us yet even though we’re evil.”
  1. God made the rainbow to remind us and also Himself that He won’t destroy the earth by a flood.
  • Always remember this when you see a rainbow.
  1. God wants us to know our history.
  • Think about where your family originated from and how their religious past can influence your Christianity.
  1. God has given us a brain that can do anything if we work together (6).
  • “I understand that I can literally do anything if You allow it.”
  1. Even Abram (Abraham), one of the most Godly men ever, can lie.
  • “Help me not to tell any lies, even little white lies.”
  1. If you are above other people, you should prevent them from fighting amongst themselves (8-9).
  • Think of a way your authority can prevent quarrels.
  1. Lot’s land was overtaken because he just cared about how the land appeared. I believe the Bible would’ve included if he prayed to God about the decision that would affect many lives or if he offered the land to Abram.
  • “Help me to think about other people when I make life-changing decisions.”
  1. Reread verses 3,5,6. Impossible things can happen with incredible faith.
  • “Because I want amazing things to happen to me, I will believe the impossible can happen to me.”
  1. God uses anyone (9-10), even people who mistreat their superiors (4).
  • “I believe You will use me to do Your amazing will.”
  1. Abraham wanted his son Ishmael to be blessed, and he was (20).
  • Bless 3 people you know.
  1. God sees all; you cannot trick Him, even if it’s for a good purpose (15).
  • Think of 1 thing that happened in your life that you thought was impossible and thank God.
  1. I believe all cities will degrade like Sodom and Gomorrah—to the point where God wants to destroy them—because humans are born evil.
  • ETBA: View life around you and how it has degraded from what God has planned for humankind.
  1. God did not allow Abimelech to sin against Him (6). This means that if he did sleep with the married Sarah, he would have sinned, even though he didn’t know he was sinning. It is possible to sin without knowing it.
  • “Give me wisdom to know what sin is and isn’t.”
  1. It took great faith for Abraham to throw out his son Ishmael into the desert and believe his family will grow into a great nation.
  • “Help me to have faith like this.”
  1. God wouldn’t allow Abraham to kill his son because killing is sin, but God told him to kill Isaac as a test to see if he loved Him more than he loved his only son.
  • “Help me to understand how important real faith like this really is.”
  1. Abraham was nice to Ephron by trying to pay the land, even though he wanted to give it for free.
  • ETBA: By remembering this, be nice to someone today.
  1. We should trust others to where we would ask them to do something monumental like find a wife for our only son.
  • “Although some people have made it hard for me to trust again, help me find the courage to trust like this again.”
  1. It’s not that Esau was going to die that he gave his birthrights; he just didn’t care about them (34).
  • Thank God, or your parents, for 3 things your parents have given you.
  1. Isaac was a rich, and probably powerful, man; many people argued that the wells Isaac’s people had dug were theirs. He could’ve fought them, but he was humble and chose to let it go and move on.
  • ETBA: Be humble to someone today.
  1. In the end, trickery doesn’t prevail as Esau would later break free from Jacob (40).
  • DFSA: 1 time you tricked someone
  1. Jacob listened to his father’s traditional request to not marry a Canaanite woman. We should listen to our elders, not because of what they say, but because the Bible says to.
  • DFSA: 1 time you didn’t listen to a strange request of your parents or someone else in charge of you
  1. Have you heard of the saying: if you live by the sword, you shall die by the sword (Matthew 26:52)? If you do something bad, it will come back. Jacob tricked Esau. Laban tricked Jacob.
  • Think of 1 time this happened to you.
  1. Leah was loved less than Rachel, and Rachel had no children when her sister had 4 children through their husband. God answered both of their prayers.
  • Remember: God can do anything, even make an infertile woman give birth to a son.
  1. Although Laban was good in that he loved his family, he was evil because he cheated Jacob in his pay and work time and is why God favored Jacob.
  • Ask God what wrong you have done so that you can fix them.
  1. Why was God in human form and wrestling with Jacob? How could God not win? Why would He strike Jacob’s hip? Why would He be afraid of the sun? Asking questions is an immensely important responsibility of any Christian; it helps you spiritually grow because you show yourself that you actually care about what the Bible says.
  • “Help me be the kind of person who cares about every detail of the Bible and to not just pass over the seemingly unimportant things.”
  1. Although God is perfect, the name God of Israel sounds imperfect. God relates Himself to a person who tricked his father into blessing him and who wrestled with God.
  • “Thank You Jesus for being perfect, setting the highest standard for us to live, and relating Yourself to us sinful people.”
  1. It was fine for Simeon and Levi to be angry at Shechem, but killing an entire city was not, even for a righteous reason.
  • “Help me to remember this story so I don’t get revenge ever.”
  1. It was important for Esau and Jacob to visit their dad before he died and to bury him.
  • Think of 2 elderly family members and how you can visit/support them before they pass away.
  1. It was normal to have more than 1 wife.
  • Help me to know the difference between the culture of the past and the culture now.
  1. Although it wasn’t right for Jacob to favor Joseph, his brothers shouldn’t have envied him, his robe, or sold him into slavery.
  • DFSA: 2 reasons why you envy your brother (or family member or someone else)
  1. Although Onan’s brother Er was evil, Onan should have gave him a son.
  • Think of 1 way you can honor a family member (especially a brother or sister).
  1. If you trust that the Lord will take care of you, you will be blessed like Joseph.
  • “I trust that You will take care of me throughout my life.
  1. The only reason why the baker told Joseph his dream is because he wanted a good explanation of his dream (16); he didn’t believe that Joseph’s god is God.
  • “Help me to always believe and never forget that You, Lord, are God. “
  1. After his brothers sold him and being in jail for 2-13 years, God allowed him to become 2nd in charge of Egypt, forget his past problems, and have a wife and 2 sons.
  • “I understand that if I’m willing to suffer and stay a Christian, I will be immensely rewarded later.”
  1. God punishes all sin, the brothers selling Joseph, Joseph boasting his special status, and Jacob tricking his brother Esau. The brothers were put through all these trials, Joseph was a slave and prisoner, and Jacob was burdened with the fear of losing 2 more sons.
  • “I realize that, if I sin, I will be punished.”
  1. Israel did the right thing by sending his son Benjamin so that all could live.
  • Think of 1 time you had to do something hard but something better came out of it.
  1. Because of all the heartache Israel went through losing Joseph, the brothers realized how important Benjamin was to Israel.
  • Think of 1 time someone else’s problem helped you.
  1. Joseph was a man who cries and kisses his brothers. It was normal to show such emotion.
  • “Help me to be able to show such good emotion when appropriate.”
  1. After near-death, jail, and other unforeseen circumstances, father and son can be reunited.
  • Try relating this to your life, someone you know, or imagine this in your life.
  1. Joseph used his God-given talent of exchanging goods to keep his people alive.
  • 2 talents you have that can help people
  1. Israel moved past tradition (right hand on first born) to do God’s will.
  • Think of 1 way God could ask you to move past tradition to spread His glory.
  1. Jacob rewarded his sons by what was right for them (28).
  • Think of how you can apply this principle to your children, workers, other people you’re in charge of, or people you meet daily.
  1. Joseph still chose to be nice to his brothers even though their father died.
  • DFSA: someone you should be nice to without someone else making you

Exodus

  1. Because the nurses disobeyed their leader who told them to sin, God rewarded them with families (one of the most important things to have back then; 15-21).
  • Think of how you can be like Shiphrah and Puah now or in the future.
  1. Although Moses’ intentions were right in killing the man (to protect his people; 11-12), his action of killing is a sin.
  • ETBA: Remember that the ends never justify evil means (means is ways to obtain the ends).
  1. Even after everything God has done for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses and the Israelites still do not know the name of God (13).
  • “Help me to never forget Your power, majesty, and Names shown throughout the Bible, nature, and my life.”
  1. Like many of us, Moses did not think he was good enough to be God’s servant, but He wants everyone to be bold for Him.
  • “I know that I can be used for Your glory and that You will use me.”
  1. Although God promised a better life for the Israelites, He gave them a worse life first.
  • “I realize You give me troubles because many good things come out of the bad.”
  1. Although God will protect and empower Moses, he is constantly too afraid to talk to the king.
  • “If You tell me to do something, I will not talk back to You because You know the outcome.”
  1. God can do anything through us, even make us like Him (1).
  • “With You, anything is possible.”
  1. Throughout the first nine plagues, God changed pharaoh’s heart so he wouldn’t allow the Israelites to worship God, even though God wanted them to worship Him.
  • “I realize that You will change people’s hearts to not believe in You so that You can be glorified through that.”
  1. Everyone should be open to new ideas and change.
  • Think of 2 ways newer ideas or changes in your life that were beneficial.
  1. Moses answers the evil king’s requests of praying to God to stop the locusts (17) and never see him again (29).
  • “I understand that I need to be respectful and listen to people in authority to me.”
  1. God made pharaoh’s heart stubborn to God’s will so that His sovereignty could be shown throughout His miracles.
  • DFSA: 1 of “your” problems that really was used for God’s glory
  1. After God was done making His point that He is all-powerful, he softened the king and Egyptian’s hearts to let the Israelites leave.
  • ETBA: Remember this today when your mad or happy at someone.
  1. We all need reminders of God’s teachings and power (9).
  • Think of 3 actions we do that remind us of God’s teachings and power.
  1. Although the Israelites were afraid of dying, the Lord protected them from all their problems.
  • “Jesus—I don’t want to be afraid or worried about anything; I know You will either answer my prayers with ‘yes’ or ‘something better later.'”
  1. God wants us to sing about the destruction of the evil.
  • Thank You Lord for upholding the righteous and punishing the wicked.
  1. Even after witnessing all of Egypt’s army drown, the Israelites still worried that they won’t have enough to eat (3).
  • “I will try not to worry about how my expenses will be paid because You provide.” (If you don’t have expenses, apply this to schoolwork.)
  1. We should never test the Lord and say He isn’t with us (7).
  • Think of 3 reasons why we shouldn’t do these things.
  1. We need to be willing to take advice from others; being stubborn and hard-headed might lead to false Christianity.
  • DFSA: 2 bad things in your life that you’re persistent to keep
  1. Being sinful, we can’t now get physically close to God; only in heaven will we be completely close.
  • “What will Your glory look like?”
  1. The 10 commandments are just 10 of many commandments that we must follow.
  • “Thank You God for giving us simple guidelines to follow.”
  1. God gave these rules to the Israelites (not us although we should follow them) because He wanted them to be more like Him. He knew the Israelites wouldn’t be able to keep His rules; they are examples of why He should make a New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33) with Christians.
  • Notice some differences with the Old Covenant’s rules and today’s religious rules.
  1. God gave them rules for justice because evil will happen, people need justice, and people misuse justice (suing someone for something trivial).
  • “I realize that life is fair because all justice will happen when I die.”
  1. We cannot make the excuse, “But everyone else is doing it” if “it” is wrong (2).
  • DFSA: 1 of these excuses in your life
  1. The Israelites agreed to do everything the Lord said, otherwise known as the Old Covenant (8).
  • Consider why, other than because we’re born sinful, the Israelites didn’t want to or couldn’t keep their agreement with God.
  1. God is very precise (40) about everything He wants because He’s perfect.
  • Think of 2 ways you can do things more like God did in this chapter.
  1. Although God is everywhere, He asked His people to build Him a Holy Tent, probably because, at this time, the priests were the mediator for God.
  • Figure out how God relates to us now and why He does it this way.
  1. I personally believe that God wanted His people to make His altar out of the best materials to get His people to be charitable and for His glory.
  • Even if you’re not rich, think of 2 ways you can use the money God gave you to give back and to glorify Him, besides tithing.
  1. The Lord deserves and asks for our best.
  • “Help me to be the kind of person who will always give my best to You.”
  1. God told Moses to do all these things so He could live with the Israelites (46). I believe God meant “live with them” to be something more than the Holy Spirit living in us.
  • Thank You God for all You do to help us; thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to live in and teach us.
  1. Even the perfume made for God is too holy (37).
  • Remember this for the next time you do or give something to God.
  1. Sometimes we need to step back from the deep studying and singing (though both amazing acts) to marvel at God’s ultimate power. His divine finger wrote the 10 Commandments on stone (18)!
  • “If it’s Your will, let me see Your glory, not because I want proof of Your existence, but because You are so glorious, and I want to praise You.”
  1. God erased names from His Book of Life; does this mean that God chooses to not know the future?
  • Are You all-knowing, or do You choose to not know the future?
  1. How amazing would it be to see God’s face (20,23)!
  • “I am looking forward to the day when I will see Your perfect face!”
  1. It’s easy for a wife to lead a man astray (16).
  • “Help me to put You over my current (or future) wife.”
  1. I believe God wanted His people to rest on the Sabbath because He knew people are generally over-stressed.
  • Think about all the things in your daily routine that de-stress you.
  1. How great is it to have more than enough for a change (6-7)! I believe because their motive was unselfish (building God’s tent), the Israelites were blessed.
  • Apply the principle of having unselfish motives to your life and your money; think about how it can help you and your debt (if you have it).
  1. Imagine making a Holy Box with these descriptions; most of it is made of pure gold! Not many people nowadays would give ounces, or even pounds, of gold to God like the Israelites (still was expensive back then because most were poor).
  • Would you be sad, happy, or a little of both if you gave all your expensive jewelry and gold (or other valuables) to God? (Being sad isn’t a bad thing, but being greedy is.)
  1. God doesn’t like mediocrity in work done for Him.
  • Compare your work with that of these altar and tent builders. Do You consider your work unto the Lord as the Israelites did?
  1. Just like God’s character, we should strive to be as perfect possible.
  • Think of how you can make more perfect something important to you and for God.
  1. Moses and Aaron washed their hands and feet before entering the Meeting Tent because they were dirty compared to God (32).
  • “I know that I’m very unholy and evil when compared to You; there isn’t anything for me to brag about because You made me who I am.”

Leviticus

  1. Although these people also repented of their sins (by offerings), the Word wasn’t ingrained in their hearts; it is now because Jesus died on the cross.
  • “Thank You for putting the principles of the Bible in our hearts so that we can inwardly know God instead of just outwardly (reading the Bible; going to church).”
  1. Reread verse 13. I believe salt was an allusion to Matthew 5:13 because we are like salt in that we try to make things better.
  • DFSA: an area where you aren’t being “salt”
  1. This chapter is about the fellowship offering; God cares that we give him a deep relationship.
  • Talk to God, figure out if you have a good relationship with Him, and think of a reason how you can make it better.
  1. We can sin without even knowing what we did wrong; this sin, like all others, also needs God’s forgiveness (27,31).
  • “Help me to realize always when I sin; I don’t want to sin accidentally as well as purposefully.”
  1. Sinning on accident is just as important as any sin; both are against God and required offerings.
  • “I want to know when I sin because I am also prone to sin accidentally.”
  1. God used priests because it was hard for every Israelite to memorize the offering rules. Leaders now need to be accurate in their memorization.
  • Leaders: Think about why it’s important to memorize accurately.
  • Non-leaders: Think about why you should look up Scripture for yourself instead of always believing your leaders.
  1. These offerings, though not a part of Christianity now, was holy back then (1). They were special—set apart everything else in that culture.
  • Think of a couple things that are holy for God.
  1. Moses and Aaron did everything the Lord commanded, no matter how tedious or seemingly unnecessary.
  • Think of a way you can follow this principle in your life (pertaining to someone who’s in charge of you).
  1. The Israelites did bow down to God but only after the miracle (24). When they didn’t see a miracle for a while, they worshipped a golden calf (Exodus 32:8).
  • “Help me to not be fickle in my faith in You; I want to believe in You through the good and the bad.”
  1. God killed Aaron’s sons for not using special fire to burn incense (2). This sounds harsh to us. But God commanded them to do something, and they either forgot or disobeyed. Either way, it showed that the sons were disrespectful (3) and didn’t pay much attention to God.
  • “I hope I don’t shrug off the seemingly unimportant details (e.g.—driving under the speed limit or putting a seatbelt on) because they are so important to You.”
  1. God wanted His people to be different from everyone else.
  • Think of a couple ways God wants Christians to be different from the world.
  1. It’s confusing why all these things would make someone impure.
  • Research what being impure meant (only takes 2-3 minutes).
  1. God created these rules to protect the healthy.
  • “Help me to see the hidden meaning behind the decisions You make in my life.”
  1. It’s possible that God made certain things clean and others unclean for medical reasons (which were unknown at the time).
  • “Thank You God for caring not only for our spiritual health but also are physical health.”
  1. God made these rules to protect them from dying (31).
  • DFSA: 2 rules you don’t follow that protect you
  1. God physically came to the Most Holy Place as a cloud.
  • Think of a way, through your average day, you can step out of your comfort zone to help someone else. (Heaven isn’t God’s “comfort zone,” but the same principle of being there for others still applies.)
  1. We should respect the traditions of others because outsiders had to respect the Israelites’ (12).
  • Think about the difference between respecting others’ traditions and taking part in them.
  1. Just because the Old Covenant was replaced by the New, it doesn’t mean these sins are suddenly fine (6-23).
  • “I hope that I’m never put in a situation that pushes me to sin with my body like this.”
  1. Reread verse 14. Applied nowadays, these “jokes” can really hurt someone.
  • DFSA: 2 “jokes” you play on others
  1. Reread verses 3-4. People tend to slowly stop listening to what God tells them to do.
  • “I want to have a strong passion for You and Your commands and not ignore seemingly unimportant tasks.”
  1. It is strange to us that God would prevent certain types of people from being priests (18), but we must remember that God requires perfection. Because no one is perfect, He requires someone who is closest to perfection to accomplish His holy tasks (21-23).
  • “I understand that You allow people to have deformities and that You should decide who can be Your priest.”
  1. God uses the phrase “I am the Lord” after many of His rules (3,8,33). I believe He does this because some of His commandments might seem strange to us; He is reminding us that He is God, and He knows best.
  • “I won’t think what’s happening in my life is bad because everything in my life is a part of Your plan.”
  1. God wanted all these feasts and special holidays for the Israelites so they won’t ever forget what He did for them in Egypt.
  • Think of 2 things you do or think of to remember God’s grace (besides praying, reading the Bible, and going to church).
  1. We must not curse God (15); I believe the phrases “Oh God!” or even “Oh my Gosh” are toned-down ways of cursing God, even if we don’t mean it that way.
  • “I want to stop cussing. Please help me speak like You would.”
  1. Reread verse 11. As many people now overwork themselves, we need to find time, no matter how busy we are, to read the Bible everyday and simply rest.
  • If you feel like you need more sleep per day, make a plan to get an hour or two of more sleep.
  • If you don’t need more sleep, make a plan to be less stressed. (If you aren’t, how can you read the Bible everyday?)
  1. God, the one who lets us live, completely abhors when we don’t listen to Him (14-38).
  • If you don’t always try to listen to Him, tell God you’re sorry for this and make a plan to change.
  • If you do, then how can you improve?
  1. God put a value on everything because He knows our evil hearts will try to cheat people into paying more for something.
  • DFSA: a time you exaggerated facts or something to gain something more

Numbers

  1. Do you have enough diligence to list every man 20 years or older who could serve in the army by name and by tribe (18)?
  • “Help me to love You enough to where I would do tasks like this without complaining.”
  1. The tribes of Israel were supposed to camp around the Meeting Tent (2) as a reminder that God is always with them.
  • Think of 2 daily reminders of God being with you (except prayer) and tell God you choose to embrace them every day.
  1. God wanted the Levites as His instead of the firstborn (45). I believe it’s because the Levites were the only group who wanted to follow God after all the Israelites made the golden calf (Exodus 32:26).
  • Think of something you should do that would get God to want you as His own.
  1. We all have a specific job to do, just like the Levites. Whether that’s going to school, working somewhere, or helping someone, we must do it without complaining. The Merarites shouldn’t have complained that the Kohathites had it easier.
  • Think of 1 thing that you dread doing on a regular basis. “Help me to not complain about ____ because I do it so much, and I want to enjoy it.”
  1. The unfaithful spouse will be punished, even though the faithful thinks that couldn’t happen.
  • If you’ve been cheated on, think of a reason why you should forgive that person, and then do it.
  • If you haven’t, think of someone who has wronged you, why you should forgive, and do that.
  1. The Nazarites were good people who did special things to devote themselves to God (2-3,5-6); I’d say openly confessing that you’re a Christian to a group of non-Christians in this generation would be an accomplishment just as hard.
  • “Help me to have the courage to do this today (or tomorrow if there’s no chance to today).”
  1. God asked for various animals and precious metals as gifts; I believe He asked for these things, not because He wanted them, but because He wanted to see if the Israelites would give Him something they valued.
  • Would you give up whatever thing you value the most to be a Christian?
  1. Special rules and regulations in your life might become overwhelming, but they are necessary and useful; so we must obey them all (not just the important ones).
  • DFSA: an area where you don’t follow all the rules (e.g.—road rules)
  1. Reread verses 17-18. God’s light (symbol for righteousness) wants to guide us. If we ignore it, our only alternative is darkness (or being evil).
  • “When I notice the ‘light,’ help me to follow it; don’t let me fall into the ‘darkness.'”
  1. Although Hobab didn’t want to go for any reason (30), it was good that Moses convinced Habab to come with them to the Promises Land. Although it seemed like he didn’t want to go, with a little coercing, 2 good things came out of this: the Israelites had a guide (31) and Hobab shared in the blessings of God (32).
  • ETBA: Help convince someone, who wants to do something but doesn’t, to do it.
  1. The Israelites wanted something they didn’t have (meat); when they finally got what they thought they wanted, they didn’t want it anymore.
  • DFSA: something you want though you know you shouldn’t want
  1. Jealousy might not seem big when we’re getting angry with our friends (1-2), but the One who decides our afterlife gets really angry when we talk bad about those we are jealous of (8-9).
  • DFSA: 2 things or people you’re jealous of
  1. We should not worry if people are bigger or stronger than we are (28,31); as long as we rely on God, we can overcome our problems (30).
  • Say why you should not worry about a problem you have that involves someone bigger or stronger than you.
  1. The Israelites feared the big people of the promised land over God (1-3).
  • DFSA: a person you fear (more than God)
  1. We too need reminders to stay righteous (38-39).
  • Think of something you can do on a regular basis to remind you of God.
  1. We must not complain that we aren’t important enough (2-3) because we all are in our own way (8-9).
  • “I don’t want to care about status or popularity because you have given me a special purpose that is ultimately fulfilling because it comes from You.”
  1. God shows His glory through fixing our problems (3,5,8,10).
  • Think of a time God’s glory could have been (and probably was) shown through your problem.
  1. Everyone should give at least 1/10 of what they earn (tithing) because all of “theirs” is really God’s. If you think you cannot tithe 10%, then you don’t have enough faith that God will provide for you.
  • “Help me to never make an excuse when tithing; I’m never too poor to tithe 10%.”
  1. Although we probably won’t be able to understand why God does certain things (like make all these specific ceremonial rules), we cannot use our lack of understanding as a reason to not follow all of His current moral rules (for they are clearly revealed to us through the Holy Spirit). (We don’t have to follow the ceremonial rules because Jesus’ death broke Christians from the bondage of laws and ceremonies.)
  • “Holy Spirit—reveal to me what I need to know to be what God wants me to be because I want to do His will.”
  1. Even Aaron, one of the holiest men of Israel, can doubt God’s power (12).
  • “I know I shouldn’t doubt your power; so help me to never forget it.”
  1. God doesn’t like complainers (5-6).
  • DFSA: 2 things you complain a lot about
  1. Like the donkey, we are supposed to protect those we’re under, even if they hate us (32-33).
  • Think of 1 way you can be more like the donkey.
  1. Non-believers (Balak) think God cares about minuscule details, like the location to curse (13, 27). God cares more about our hearts than earthly details (20-21).
  • Are you focused more on earthly details like tithing, praying, and reading the Bible (which are all acts Christians must do) than having a character that pleases God?
  1. We cannot credit ourselves for our spiritual wisdom, for the Holy Spirit gives it to us (2-3).
  • Give credit to the Holy Spirit for 2 good things about yourself.
  1. We should be careful who we allow ourselves to love, for they could turn us against God.
  • Think of an instance when this could’ve happened and why you shouldn’t have grown close to him or her.
  • If you can’t, then think of 2 reasons why God only wants us to date or marry Christians.
  1. Although I don’t know particularly why, I know that family names and numbers are important because God put them in the Bible.
  • “God—why are these things important to You?”
  1. Even the most Godly of people (Moses) die and are replaced.
  • “I understand that everyone who is born must die; so I have no reason to be mad when someone I know dies. I know that 80 years on earth is nothing compared to eternity in heaven or hell; so if someone I know dies early, it doesn’t matter as long as they were for Jesus.”
  1. Why did God want offerings then and not now? At that time, Jesus did not die yet; so he wasn’t the perfect offering yet. People before Jesus’ time needed to give an offering to God as recompense for their sins.
  • “Thank You Jesus for suffering the cruelest, most painful death ever so we wicked people wouldn’t have to suffer the worst pain and anguish possible in hell, even though we deserve it.”
  1. God wants us to celebrate Him; we just don’t have to do it in these ways.
  • “Thank You God that we are not bound by rules when worshiping.”
  1. Ideally, Christians should not make promises because our word should be good enough; making a promise assumes that the person promising isn’t trustworthy.
  • “My goal is to not make promises because I want to be known as an honest person.”
  1. You might be thinking: “It was wrong of God to kill those who had sexual relations and the young boys but keep the virgins (17-18).” You have to remember that the women who had sexual relations turned the Israelites from following God (15-16); the men (who died in war) and the boys (who were killed after the war) had to die because the Midianite race was a race that didn’t follow God.
  • “I understand that because You made me, You have the right to decide when I die.”
  1. The people of Gad and Reuben did not want to give their fair share in the effort to get their land (5-6).
  • DFSA: a way that you give work to someone else because you’re too lazy or you want to protect something that you have at the expense of others
  1. If you don’t listen to the Lord, Who tells you to do something very hard (50, 52), worse things might come later (55-56).
  • “Help me to know and do what You want because I want to do Your will.”
  1. It is important to clearly divide anything when distributing it to many people, lest fighting and arguing ensues.
  • “I don’t want to be a trouble maker; I want to be a peacemaker.”

Deuteronomy

  1. Even with divine fire and a divine cloud (33), the Israelites were still afraid of the giants (28); they didn’t think the Lord would help them (27,32). They were evil for thinking this way (35).
  • DFSA: your trust in God about a big problem in your life
  1. God gave His people some countries (31) but didn’t allow them into other countries (37).
  • “Lord, Your way is always greater than mine. Help me to enjoy what I have and not desire what others have.”
  1. God would not let Moses cross into the Promised Land that they were preparing 40 years for because the Lord was mad at Moses because of the Israelites’ behavior (26).
  • If you’re a leader, talk to God how He feels about you with respect to how those you are leading are acting.
  • If you’re not, think about if you’re actions make your leader look good or bad.
  1. Reread verses 29-31. God is merciful. He won’t leave or destroy us (31); but we must look for Him with a complete desire—with all that we are. We also must look for God for the sake of knowing Him, not just so that he can fix our problems (29).
  • Think about how much God is helping you and how much of you is looking for God.
  1. Verses 7-21 are known as the Ten Commandments. They were meant to guide the Israelites into respecting and obeying God (29).
  • Reread the Ten Commandments and DFSA a weak area.
  1. God commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength (5).
  • Think about how to love God in each of those ways.
  1. God commanded His people to kill complete nations (2) and to not feel sorry for them (16).
  • Think about why we might feel sorry for those being killed instead of rejoicing at God’s justice at work.
  1. When we fulfill our needs and get what we want, we start to forget Who helped us (11-14).
  • TBA: Thank God for some specific good things in your life.
  1. While the Lord is a loving God, He is also an angry God. One attribute is not better than the other because He is equally righteous and just in loving and damning us.
  • “Help me to understand why it’s a good thing that you damn people away from You.”
  1. God cannot be talked into doing evil (17); if our prayers have a slight amount of evil in them, God cannot answer them how we want.
  • DFSA: anger when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want
  1. God gave the Israelites many commands, but only one was continually reiterated: to love God with our whole being (1,13,22).
  • DFSA: loving God with all of who you are
  1. A reason why God wanted all of His specific rules to be followed (32) is that, before grace was given to everyone when Jesus died on the cross, the rules were a way of showing one obeyed and believed in God.
  • “Thank You God for your gift of grace—that we don’t have to sacrifice animals or do special ceremonies. Thank You because all we have to do is believe in Your Son.”
  1. Friends and family, even now, will lead us to follow false gods, whether they be football, religious traditions, knowledge, other people, or anything else that isn’t Christ (6).
  • DFSA: a false god—something that you won’t give God complete control over (If you want to marry but are single, not accepting that God may want you to stay single forever has made marriage a god to you.)
  1. God gave His children strict rules because He cared about His children: He didn’t want them to get sick, and He wanted them to have the heart of a cheerful giver.
  • DFSA: a rule you resented your parents for
  1. Canceling debts is a great thing to do (1). It emphasizes your lack of trust in money, trust in God, and care for the other person.
  • If someone owes you money, consider relieving him of that debt.
  • If not, think about why canceling a debt is not just mildly beneficial to yourself but hugely.
  1. God wanted sacrifices from the owner’s flock (2), in a specific town and time (5-6), and 3 times a year (16) to continuously remove us from our selfish attitude.
  • Think about how doing each of the previous rituals were not only glorifying God but also promoting selflessness.
  1. The king had to read from the teachings, not be too wealthy, not have too many wives (polygamy was normal in that culture), and not think he is better than anyone else (16-20). This was to teach him to respect the Lord.
  • DFSA: your respect for the Lord
  1. That which the Lord’s prophets says always comes true (22).
  • DFSA: something you said God would do but didn’t happen
  1. God gives us rules to follow, not because He likes to burden us, but because He knows what’s best for us.
  • Think about why you should follow an all-knowing, loving God’s rules over your own imperfect rules.
  1. Rules are good when God makes them; they helped His people war properly.
  • DFSA: your feelings about rules in Christianity
  1. After a war, most men were killed. Besides slavery or prostitution, the only other occupation a woman could have is marriage. Women of that time also wanted to be married because it was very disgraceful to not be married or have a son. Because of this, God allowed Israelite men to marry captive females (Most all non-captive brides of this culture had arranged marriages; so either way, she couldn’t choose her husband.), but only if she is allowed to mourn for a month (13) and be set free if the husband does not want her (14). Shaving her head, cutting her nails, and changing out of her clothes (12-13) was a sign of a change in nationality and life; and this also would make the woman uglier. If the husband still wanted to be with a woman crying for a month and without hair or nails, it is one sign that he might love her not just for her outward appearance.
  • Reread this and research more if you can’t figure out why God would allow this.
  1. God created laws of good things to do because He knew that humans lean towards sin.
  • DFSA: your feelings about some rules your parents gave you
  1. If you make a promise to the Lord, you must quickly fulfill it. It is better to not make a promise and just do it instead; that way, you are not guilty of breaking a promise (21-23).
  • Think about why just doing what you say you will do is better than promising.
  1. We must be kind to the poor among us (6,12-15,19-21).
  • TBA: Be kind to someone who is poor or needy.
  1. Adults deserve punishments when they refuse to grow up (2,8-9,11-12).
  • If you’re in a place of authority, think of ways how you can punish.
  • If you’re not, think about why adults deserve punishments just as much as children.
  1. The Israelites were to give from their first crops (2,10,12). Nowadays, that means we are to give consistently an amount of money that reflects how much God has given to us (usually 10% or more).
  • Think about if you are giving from the first of your paycheck or time and not just the extra.
  1. God’s law does not just bless; it also curses (15-26).
  • DFSA: one of these curses in your life
  1. God caused many problems for the Israelites for not carefully obeying His law (15) and serving Him with a joyful and pure heart (47).
  • DFSA: one of these two ways to please God
  1. The Lord was angry with the Israelites for breaking an agreement with Him that they didn’t agree to (14-15,24-25).
  • Think about why God should have done that.
  1. God gives us the option of choosing life or death; we are told to choose life (19).
  • Think about what choosing life also means for your life.
  1. God called Joshua to finish what took Moses 120 years to start (2,7-8).
  • “God, I realize that sometimes you will let someone else finish what I have started; help me to accept my place in Your bigger plan.”
  1. Moses wanted the Israelites to command their children to obey these teachings and consider the song to not just be words but the difference between eternal life and death (46-47).
  • “God, help me to understand your Word as the most important teaching I could follow; and give me the desire to sacrifice anything in my life so that I will keep the Bible top in my life.”
  1. The last thing Moses did for the Israelites was not condemn, teach, or further guide these people who kept turning away from God; instead, he blessed them (1).
  • Think about how you can apply this to some people you won’t see for a while or forever.
  1. There will never be a prophet like Moses (10), yet God still forbade Moses from entering the Promised Land for his lack of faith (Numbers 20:12).
  • “Help me to accept whatever you decide for my life.”

 

Joshua

  1. God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous (6,7,9,18), for he was just given the title of the leader of God’s people (17).
  • DFSA: your God-given strength and courage
  1. Even a prostitute can find favor in God’s sight.
  • “No matter who I am or what I’ve done, I know I am good enough for God, but I must do what He says so I can be His.”
  1. How is it that the Lord of all the earth would put Himself in a box (13)?
  • Think of 2 reasons why God would do this.
  1. The Lord split the Jordan River just as He had split the Red Sea (7). He did this to prove His power to His people (24).
  • Think of a sign God has given you today that proves His power.
  1. Although we all have shame, God takes it away (9).
  • DFSA: a shameful thing you’ve done
  1. These normal, everyday people had enough faith in God to listen to someone who said God told them to walk around a whole city for 7 full (probably hot and dreary-filled) days to destroy it. Would we do that?
  • Yes—”Thank You God for giving me enough faith to be able to do that.”
  • No—”Because I know You are real and You want my destiny to be secured in heaven, please help me to have more faith in You.”
  1. A little greed can cause great trouble for you, your friends, and your family (5, 11, 25).
  • DFSA: a time when you were greedy
  1. Although Ai once defeated the Israelites badly, God helped them win (7).
  • “Please help me to win in [something you do] because I enjoy being a winner; but more importantly, help me to be humble when I win.”
  1. We should always ask God for advice; the Israelite leaders didn’t and were forced to keep their peace agreement (14, 18).
  • Tell yourself that you will always consult God before making any huge decisions. Then tell God this.
  1. God allowed a slave nation who wandered in a desert for 40 years to defeat many nations; so don’t say that God cannot or will not help you.
  • DFSA: an area of your life where you think God cannot or will not help you
  1. All these kings thought they could defeat the Lord and the Israelites because they didn’t know who God was.
  • If you are a fully-devoted Christian, thank the Lord that He “opened your eyes” and allowed you to be His.
  • If you’re not, try to think of a reason why you shouldn’t become a fully-devoted Christian. Because you cannot think of one, make a plan to do something that furthers your relationship with Christ.
  1. God wasn’t afraid of powerful kings; so we shouldn’t be afraid of people too because God is on our side.
  • “God—give me the strength to be able to stand fearlessly in front of my enemies.”
  1. How would you feel if everyone around is getting free land; but because you are a Levite, you get nothing. The truth was, they received a gift far greater than land—God Himself (33).
  • “I will be happy with what I own and not want what others around me have because everything is given by You.”
  1. Moses made a promise to the Israelites, and it was fulfilled (9).
  • Think about if you’re the kind of person who always keeps his promises. If so, name 3. If not, ask God to make you that kind of person.
  1. God found it important to write all the names of the land in the Bible.
  • Why did You write these land names in the Bible; are they important to us now?
  1. We must make sure are boundaries (physical or social) in life are clearly defined so there are no confusions.
  • DFSA: an unclear boundary
  1. God allowed the daughters of Manasseh to have land, which was unusual for that time (6).
  • DFSA: something you think is unusual, new, but not sinful
  1. For some reason, the land of the tribe of Benjamin seems to be more important than other lands as more than half of this chapter is about Benjamin’s land.
  • “Why did you emphasize their land over other’s?”
  1. It was not bad that Joshua was singled out and given more land than everybody else; he earned it by leading the Israelites.
  • Think about something you got that others didn’t, and thank God for that.
  1. There is a difference between killing someone on accident and doing it out of anger or it being planned.
  • Think about why God would make these 2 versions of killing different.
  1. God always keeps His promises (45).
  • Think of a promise God has given to you and how He has or will do it.
  1. It’s not enough to just protect yourself, but you must do things to protect your children (26-28).
  • Think of something you can do, have done, or will do to protect your children (or someone you love).
  1. Joshua warns his people to stay Christians because he knows that without his leadership, they are more likely to stop being Christians.
  • Can you relate to this? If so, think about why you stopped being a Christian and why you should start. If you cannot, then consider how you can stay a Christian without constant guidance.
  1. We humans need reminders of God’s power and authority (27).
  • Who in your daily life can be a good reminder of being a Christian?

Judges

  1. Men of God always keep their promises (24-25).
  • DFSA: a broken promise (or something you were supposed to do).
  1. The world naturally gets more and more evil (7-12); it is up to Christian leaders to change this.
  • Think of 3 things you can do to fight your normal sin tendencies that all humans have. (Think of some things beside praying, reading the Bible, or going to church.)
  1. The Israelites disobeyed (7) and cried to God for help; He helped them (9), yet they disobeyed again (12).
  • “I want to truly repent when I ask You for help; so help me to not disobey again.”
  1. God allowed a woman (Deborah) to be leader of the Israelites.
  • Research how can a woman lead a nation if the husband must always rule the family (Genesis 3:16).
  1. God used a song to help the Israelites remember His grace in letting them win their battles.
  • Think of a song that you listen to that reminds you of God’s grace.
  • If you can’t, then it’s more than likely that you know the songs you are listening to cannot be good for you; why is that? If none of the songs you listen to talk about God’s grace, sex, cuss words, or other inappropriate content, listen to and read the lyrics of Only Grace by Matthew West. Both ways, consider changing the songs you listen to to Christian music; it can change your life (as it has changed mine).
  1. Gideon was the least important man of the weakest tribe, and yet he was chosen to lead Israel (15).
  • “I understand that if I’m willing and capable, You will use me in great, unfathomable ways. I am not too weak, dumb, shy, untalented, etc., because I am a child of God.”
  1. While God uses everyone to further His will, He allows the wise (5-7) to do special tasks. (The 300 were wise because they didn’t let their guard down by bending to get the water.)
  • “In addition to my own (or soon to be) search for wisdom, give me wisdom because I know that being wise is one of the most important traits I could have.”
  1. Even the most important rulers (Gideon) can sin greatly (27).
  • “Although I put my faith in my Christian leaders, I will not completely trust them because they are only human, and they can sin. You are the only Being I will put all my trust in.”
  1. Those who care more about power than family (5) will pay for whatever wrong they do (53).
  • DFSA: something you care too much about and concerns power
  1. Some people just won’t learn (11-13). These people only talk to God when they need help. Are you like this?
  • Yes—”I know I only come to You when I need help, but change me from the inside so I will have a healthy relationship with You.”
  • No—Think of 3 things You talk to God about, besides your problems.
  1. Why would God allow Jephthah to burn his only daughter (30, 34, 35, 39)? It’s because he made a promise to God, and breaking this would be much worse for both Jephthah and his daughter. (God probably wanted to see who Jephthah would pick: his daughter or God.) Imagine how hard it was for the daughter to leave from her trip, have the possibility to run away and not get burned alive (her friends probably encouraging this), yet being faithful to God and her father by returning.
  • “No matter how much I love my friends and family, I will never let them come between my relationship with You.”
  1. Men fight for petty reasons like being insulted or having titles, but God wins for those He loves and are His. Do you love Him?
  • Think of 3 reasons why God is on your side (in life).
  • If you cannot, DFSA one thing in your life so that you’ll be one step closer to being on His side.
  1. When the angel of the Lord said his name is too wonderful to understand (18), he wasn’t being proud or boastful. He was being honest and sincere.
  • “God—I know that the reason why You command everyone to worship and glorify You is not because You need attention but because it keeps our hearts pure.”
  1. God has the right to start fight between nations (4), and we don’t. Why? Because His intentions are always pure (to free the Israelites), and ours are tainted by sin.
  • “I won’t stay angry when You let horrible things happen in my life because You always know what’s best.”
  1. (This summary is written by a guy; so it might not apply to females.) The Bible is not only holy, pure, and God’s Word. It is also cool; Samson killed 1000 men with a donkey’s jawbone!
  • “Thank You God that Your Word has ‘coolness’ among Its many amazing attributes. I know that, though the Bible is perfect, I’d be lying to myself if I said the Bible is always interesting; so thank You for including passages like these.”
  1. Samson probably knew that Delilah was trying to really weaken him, yet he allowed his love for her overpower his love for God (because God gave him his strength).
  • If you think you love someone on earth more than God, DFSA this.
  • If you don’t, consider if you might love someone else more than God. If you do, go to bullet #1.
  1. Micah’s mother made an idol for the true God, and Micah believed God will be good to him now that he has a priest living with him. Both were obviously wrong; God hates all idols, and the priest cannot change how God views Micah. People tend to make up who they think God really is, even though He reveals Himself to us through the Bible.
  • DFSA: something you think God might put up with or encourage even though the Bible says He is not
  1. It makes sense that the peaceful people of Laish would be destroyed because they worshipped idols (24, 27).
  • “Why then, God, would You allow Your Danites to worship idols?”
  1. Because the evil men of Gibeah killed the slave woman by raping her (27-28), her master couldn’t do anything else but spread the message to all the other tribes of Israel in a radical way (29-30).
  • “When something bad happens in my life, I won’t do nothing about it or resort to drugs, alcohol, etc. I will actively try to change it for the better and pray to You.”
  1. Because the Benjaminites fought for the homosexual rapists, they all died.
  • Think of 3 reasons why God does not put up with sin.
  1. Although too much government (liberalism, socialism, or communism) is a bad thing, with too little government, people do whatever they think is right (25). This is obviously wrong as murderers, liars, cheaters, and normal sinners cannot always be right.
  • “With all the differing views out there about governmental and economic systems, please explain which one is the right one—the one You want for my country.”

Ruth

  1. Though Naomi didn’t care too much about God—as she let one of her daughters-in-law go back to her gods (11, 13, 15)—God still had an amazing plan for Naomi.
  • “I will never stop believing that God has an amazing plan for me; I just need to be open to it.”
  1. Because Ruth helped Naomi by living with her (and leaving her own family), God blessed her through Boaz.
  • ETBA: Help someone (and you also will be blessed).
  1. How strange it would have been if we saw a person wanting to marry us lying near our feet! We must remember, though, that this was the customary way of asking someone to marry.
  • If you’re not married: “Please allow me to wait until the spouse you have chosen for me comes into my life.”
  • If you are: “Please change any feelings of hate or adultery I might have towards my spouse because You gave him (or her) to me, and I want to love him (or her) with all my heart.”
  1. Even when everything seems to be against you (Ruth’s poverty and dead husband), good things happen to those that love God.
  • DFSA: a bad time when you thought/think nothing good could come out of it (Good might not have come out yet.)

I Samuel

  1. God wants us to tell Him about our troubles.
  • Pray to God sincerely about a problem that has been on your mind a lot; but before you do that, consider if what you’re asking is something you should be asking based on what the Bible says.
  1. Was it a good or bad thing that Hannah had to give up her son Samuel, who she could see only once in a long time? It was a very good thing! The only thing better than a mom spending time with her son is that son spending his time with God; and Hannah was obviously happy with her decision (1-2).
  • Ask God to make you the kind of person who’d prefer to have your son spend more time with God than with yourself.
  • If you are (and you have the right reasons), then praise God for this.
  1. We might not know to Whom we are calling out to, but we all must call out (9, 10).
  • “Speak to me Lord God, that Your servant may answer.”
  1. What strength the ark gave the Israelites (5)! If only they realized that they could’ve received much more strength directly from God, they would’ve been better off.
  • “In You Lord God is where I find my strength, not in friends, video games, boyfriends or girlfriends, money, family, or any other earthly things.”
  1. Although God allowed His Holy Box to be taken away to teach the Israelites a lesson, He would not allow it to be desecrated by the Philistines.
  • DFSA: taking the Lord’s name in vain (saying “Oh my God or Gosh,” “God! That was…,” or even “OMG”).
  1. What would it take for a country to give back its most important spoil of war? Only God could do this!
  • Think of 3 other things that show His omnipotence.
  1. We should not enjoy anything more than God (3).
  • DFSA: 3 things that you enjoy over spending time with or glorifying God
  1. Even though God warned them that having a king would be a bad thing, they wanted one anyways because all the other nations had one (5).
  • DFSA: 2 times you wanted something because someone else had it
  1. God can use any situation (3) to do amazing things (17).
  • Think of a strange situation you’re in and how it can be used for God’s glory.
  1. Saul didn’t seem like he wanted to become king (16, 22), yet God chose him.
  • Think about some “Christian” jobs that God could want you to do (pastor, missionary, etc.).
  1. Even though Saul could’ve killed some people who didn’t like him and disrespected him by not bringing him gifts (10:26, 27; 11:12), Saul forgave their attitude (13).
  • Think if a person you dislike the most; DFSA why you should have the same response as Saul did.
  1. The reason why Samuel explained his righteousness (3-4) is because he had to first show his credibility before condemning the Israelites for asking for a king (17).
  • Think about why this isn’t bragging and how you could humbly do the same thing when telling someone something they’re doing is wrong.
  1. Saul panicked when the Philistines were approaching to fight the Israelites, and Samuel wasn’t there to offer the sacrifice to the Lord; so he disobeyed God and did it early (8, 9, 13).
  • “I will not panic and sin in tough times because You are always in control, and You will make everything right.”
  1. Saul made an emotional promise (24) that was useless and only hurt his people (28).
  • “I promise to not let my emotions cloud my better judgment and reasoning.”
  1. God cares more about obedience than what you can give Him (22).
  • DFSA: 1 thing you can do that obeys God’s commandments and figure out how to apply it to your life (e.g. being nice and loving everyone in addition to just tithing at church).
  1. Our character and actions are far more important than our physical appearance (7).
  • “Help me to understand this to a greater extent because I know that my earthly body will disappear very soon.”
  1. It took enormous faith and trust in God for a teenager to face a 9’4″ giant!
  • Listen to “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me.
  1. Popularity and fame is a dangerous thing; it can make good friends become enemies (6-8, 28, 29).
  • “I will not let possible future or current popularity worsen my relationship with You because if I did, I will only ruin my own life but also will displease You.”
  1. Jonathan could’ve died for disobeying the king; a true friend would give up his life for his friend (John 15:13).
  • Change your heart, if needed, so that you would want to give your life for someone else. (If you already would, praise God for His work in you.)
  1. Though many of us want to be well-liked and have many friends, one of the best things a person can have is a best friend.
  • If you don’t have one, ask God to give you a best friend that will always stick by you and lead you in God’s way.
  • If you do, thank God for your best friend and pray that he will do these 2 things as well.
  1. Even though David did everything God wanted of him, he still had troubles and had to live in fear of death.
  • “I realize that, even though I am (or was) a good Christian, I know that this means I’ll still have fears to deal with; so please help me with them.”
  1. Abiathar chose David over Saul; even though Saul was the king and David was a fugitive, Abiathar made the safer and more moral decision (23).
  • “When in times of trouble, help me to choose what You want me to choose instead of what I would think is better.”
  1. God would not allow His servant David to be killed by Saul, who (wrongly) thinks he is doing what the Lord wants (7); he is really trying to kill David for his own glory (I Samuel 18:6-9).
  • DFSA: some wrong you have justified by saying God is okay and for it
  1. David had the chance to kill someone trying to assassinate him, yet he refused.
  • Think of 2 ways you can be “the bigger person” with someone you dislike.
  1. The Lord hated it when Nabal paid back evil for Daniel’s good.
  • DFSA: a time you have done wrong to someone who has been kind to you
  1. Abner should’ve been guarding king Saul; because he wasn’t, he should’ve died (15-16).
  • “Even though I deserve it, thank You God for not killing me because of all of my sin.”
  1. God blessed David in his new town of Ziklag.
  • Think of 3 ways how moving houses or cities was a good thing. (If you’ve never moved, imagine how it might affect you positively in 3 ways.)
  1. Even though Saul prayed to God at first (6), he disobeyed Him by seeking out a medium (7).
  • “I know that I must always turn to You and never turn to any dark magic (Wicca) when I have troubles because You control everything, and it is Your will.”
  1. The Philistine kings didn’t trust David (4); so David’s friend Achish had to send him back to their Philistine city (11).
  • Think of a time you trusted someone too much, they turned on you, and how you will be more careful next time.
  1. David said the 200 who didn’t go to fight still deserve a share in the reward (24); this is true because they probably would’ve helped if they weren’t too weak (10). There’s a difference between not working because of weakness and of laziness.
  • Think of a few reasons why physically weak people still deserve to have things given to them while lazy people do not.
  1. Samuel said that the Lord has become Saul’s enemy, and Saul and his sons would die tomorrow (28:16-19). This came true (31:2,4).
  • DFSA: 3 things you do or think that would make you God’s enemy

II Samuel

  1. The Amalekite shouldn’t have killed Saul (16), even though Saul told him to (9), because he was the Lord’s appointed king (16).
  • “I realize that mercy killing is never right because God decides when these people should die.”
  1. When two people (or groups of people) are fighting, somebody has to stop being angry first (26).
  • Remember the last time you fought with someone, and think of something you could’ve done to make peace sooner.
  1. Joab killed Abner because he thought Abner was spying and that his killing was a good thing. This was wrong as he had no proof to justify this.
  • DFSA: a time you did something wrong because you thought you might be doing the right thing
  1. Even if Ish-Boseth was David’s enemy—who tried to kill him—and Recab and Baanah thought they were doing the right thing by killing him(8), they had to be punished because all good leaders punish evil deeds (10-11).
  • “I want to consult You before I do anything so I don’t sin on accident (and get punished).”
  1. God commands us to ask Him for direction; because David did this (18), God let the Israelites win.
  • Ask God for direction for one of your biggest problems.
  1. David openly rejoiced when he received the Holy Box of God; we, too, should openly rejoice when we receive blessings from God.
  • Think of a way you can openly rejoice for a blessing God has given you.
  1. Even though God didn’t want his Holy Box to have a home, it’s good that David was selfless enough to offer to build one.
  • ETBA: Do something selfless.
  1. War, though brutal to its victims, has its place in God’s plan.
  • “I understand that God can use war for good.”
  1. David went out of his way to show kindness to a stranger to keep a promise (1,7).
  • Think of someone you should show kindness to, and then do it.
  1. Loyalty in war can quickly change in a battle (19); so make sure you are on the right side.
  • Think of a “war” you are fighting (against parents, sin, another nation, etc.) and if you’re on the right side. If you are, why (according to the Bible)? If you’re not, how can you change.
  1. Even though David thought he could do whatever he wanted (2-4,15), he ended up sinning against God, killing a good man, and losing his child (next chapter).
  • DFSA: a time (even right now) when you felt like you can do anything without God
  1. No matter how good David was (or thought he was), he still messed up (9) and was punished (11,14).
  • Think about a time when you sinned, were punished (not necessarily by your parents), and you learned from this.
  1. Even though Absalom killed his brother, his father King David stilled wanted him to come back from where he ran away to (38-39).
  • Think about a time you also sinned against your parent(s) and how they still loved you anyways. (If they don’t love you, you know that your far better heavenly Father does.)
  1. Even though Absalom sinned by killing his brother, he eventually returned to his home (23-24) and made amends with King David, his father (33).
  • Thank God for your home and your parents (or children).
  • Ask Him for these (if you don’t have but want them).
  1. How horrible it must have been for David—that his own son would try to kill him to become king.
  • DFSA: something you have done that hurt your parents (or children) deeply
  1. It takes a true man of God to allow someone else to curse and throw stones at you (9,11).
  • Close your eyes, and imagine this happening to you. Then, pray to God to ask Him to change you into this kind of person.
  1. God intervened in Absalom’s life (without him knowing it) for his own disaster (14).
  • “Because I want to love You with all my heart and trust You in everything, please don’t bring disaster on Your servant.”
  1. A good father (David) cares for his son (Absalom) even if the son tries to kill him (33).
  • DFSA: 2 ways you can be a better parent (or son/daughter)
  1. Although David should have cared about his son, he shouldn’t have shamed his people (5-6).
  • Think about how David’s long mourning shamed his people.
  1. It just took one wise person to save a city (18-22).
  • ETBA: Think of 2 ways you can use your wise words to solve problems (yours or others).
  1. God caused a famine in Israel because Saul and his family killed Gibeonites (1). The Gibeonites said killing 7 of Saul’s sons would be enough compensation, and David agreed (4-6).
  • “Even though I feel those sons were innocent, I know Your will supersedes all knowledge.”
  1. God was loyal and good to David because he was loyal and pure to God (26).
  • Think about some of the character traits that define you and if you want God to be that way towards you.
  1. God honored the Three (in their earthly lives and by praising them in the Bible) because they used their God-given talents for His glory.
  • Think of 2 ways you can use 2 of your God-given talents for Him.
  1. When David sinned against the Lord, he immediately repented and asked for forgiveness.
  • Repent and ask for forgiveness for a sin you’ve committed recently.

I Kings

  1. Even though Adonijah thought he could be king without God’s help, the Lord chose Solomon. Keep in mind Romans 13:1 and that Christians must not follow all governments.
  • How can this story be related to the President of the United States?
  1. David’s wish was that Solomon would get rid of the evil in his kingdom—Joab and Shimei (5-6,8-9), and he did (29,34,36,42,46).
  • How can you, as a manager, leader, or influential person, get rid of the evil in your group? Then, do it if there is evil. (Consider even if you’re not in charge of anything.)
  1. When you ask for gifts that you are supposed to ask for (9), which are according to your God-given conscience, God will give them to you.
  • Make a habit to ask for something from God every time you pray at night (as this will remind you of what you should be praying for).
  1. Solomon was a very wise man, and people from varying countries wanted to learn from him (34).
  • Think of one of your gifts that you can develop to where you are glorifying God in your prestige (like Solomon’s wisdom).
  1. You might be thinking: “If God is omnipotent, why did he want Solomon to build His temple?” Though God could’ve built His temple in a heartbeat, He wanted Solomon, for whatever reason, to build it.
  • “I understand that You could fix or help me in many areas of my life, but You might not because doing it for myself could be better for me and Your glory in the long run.”
  1. Here, architects, construction workers, and artists are using their skills for God’s glory.
  • “I know that I don’t have to be a missionary or pastor to do the Lord’s will, but I must use my occupation to actively (besides just being a good example) serve Jesus.”
  • Figure this out for your job (or future job).
  1. Because God wanted a whole chapter dedicated to the intricacies of the physical temple, it is clear that physical beauty is directly related to bringing glory to God.
  • “When it comes to my personal appearance, help me to distinguish between physical beauty that glorifies you and being trampy.
  1. The Israelites were thankful that the Lord blessed their leader (66).
  • Thank God for 3 things he has blessed your main earthly leader (a president, prime minister, or king).
  1. God would destroy His own temple and humiliate His people, if it means they would stop worshipping idols and trust in Him (7-9).
  • Consider you had to destroy your house and humiliate your family members, and you knew they’d become Christians and go to heaven in the process. Would you also do this?
  1. Solomon had great wealth because he used his wisdom to make the right choices and glorify God, not because he received transfer payments or bailouts, nor did he feel God telling him to “spread the wealth” (as laziness would soon ensue).
  • Think about why it was a good thing that Solomon didn’t give his people handouts.
  1. Even Solomon, the wisest man in the world, fell away from God (4). This shows how strong sin’s strength really is.
  • ETBA: “God, I pray that I will always love You more than anything else, not only for my happiness but also for Your glory (always more important).”
  1. Just as we should receive advice from Christians over non-Christians, we should choose advice from the elderly over our young friends.
  • Think about your younger friends and their level of wisdom; compare this to the wisdom of those older than you.
  1. The man of God had a trial that wasn’t from God (18); and because he disobeyed God (19), he was punished (22,24).
  • “I will always listen to You over men, even prophets, because You are never wrong.”
  1. Even though Jereboam’s son was the only person in his family to please God (13), he died for Jereboam’s punishment. This means that the son went straight to heaven, and he was the only person in his family to have a honorable funeral (18).
  • Think of another 2 good things that could’ve come out of the son’s death and his funeral.
  1. Rulers came and went, but only God lasts forever.
  • “I will always put my trust in You over any king or president of my country because You always rule justly and will never lose Your throne.”
  1. The kings’ family died because the kings were evil (3-4,7,11).
  • Think about 2 things you could do to protect your family if you are put in a position of authority.
  1. The Lord provided for the woman, even when she thought she and her son would die.
  • “I understand that You will always provide for my needs, no matter what the circumstance.”
  1. God took away the people’s rain so that they would come to Him to bring the rain back.
  • Think of 3 reasons why we shouldn’t wait until God takes something away from us for us to make a commitment to Him.
  1. After a mountain-breaking wind, an earthquake, and a fire, God chose to talk to Elijah in a quiet, gentle voice (11-13).
  • Think of something God is trying to tell you in a still, small voice.
  1. The Lord, through His prophet, told King Ahab to prepare for war next spring; God didn’t tell him just to pray about the war. God wanted him to be a good steward of his job.
  • Think of 3 things you can do to be a better steward (person who manages another’s things) of a job, even if you don’t have one.
  1. Ahab got angry and pouted because he couldn’t get what he wanted (4).
  • DFSA: a time you did this
  1. King Ahab hated Micaiah because he always gave negative prophesies to him, even though these prophesies came from God (8).
  • DFSA: something good you dislike about somebody else

II Kings

  1. Being stubborn makes others suffer as well. Even though Elijah called fire to burn the first two officers and their sets of 50 men (9-12), King Ahaziah obstinately sent a third officer and his 50 men (13).
  • “Though I need to trust only what You say and nothing that opposes, help me to be less stubborn when dealing with others.”
  1. We need to be as faithful as Elisha was to Elijah.
  • Think of 2 ways you can be more faithful to your friends and family.
  1. The king did a crazy thing (27) to solve a big problem: losing a war.
  • DFSA: something unwise you did to try to solve a problem
  1. God gave Elisha the power to do miracles because people then needed someone to go to for help. Now, we have the Holy Spirit to guide and help us.
  • “I know, Holy Spirit, that You better the lives of Christians and push them to live more righteous lifestyles. Though I don’t always listen to You, I thank You for all the unseen things You do for me.”
  1. How arrogant Naaman was acting! He had a harmful skin disease that turned his skin white, and he wouldn’t heal his skin because Elisha didn’t do a cool miracle and because the Jordan River was too dirty (10-12).
  • “When I have a problem, I will be content in whatever way You decide to fix it.”
  1. Imagine the courage Elisha must have had to go physically alone into the middle of the opposing army, and lead them into another city (18-20).
  • “God. I pray that I become a more courageous Christian, that I could face the enemy alone—all for You.”
  1. The officer thought his city’s problem was too big for God (1-2); so he was punished (17).
  • DFSA: a big problem you think God might not be involved in
  1. Power brings great misfortune and death (15,20,21,28).
  • “Though having power can be used for God’s glory, I understand that it does not bring happiness because there will always be someone trying to take it from me, and only Jesus can give me true happiness.”
  1. God is a just God, and we want Him to punish the evil; yet we cringe when He kills other people (6-7).
  • “I know that for You to be a just God, you must kill—or allow death for—some people that You created.”
  1. It was good that God told Jehu to kill all the Baal worshippers (which is not having freedom of religion) because the Israelite’s government was a theocracy—run directly by God the Father. Nowadays, we must have freedom of religion because our government is a democracy—run directly by humans. In our democracy, the Holy Spirit guides us towards God, but He doesn’t force us.
  1. Joash was 7 when he became the most powerful Israelite.
  • “I know that my age, size, or knowledge doesn’t matter to You; if You want to do something great with me, let it be done.”
  1. Reread verses 5-6 and 13-15. Unlike the “important” priests, Joash did not foolishly waste the money given to him on useless gold and silver items; he paid honest, regular workers to fix God’s temple.
  • If you’re an average person, think of a way you can use your God-given skills for Him. (Be careful that you’re not in a slump of mediocrity; God can use anyone to do great things.)
  • If you’re exceptionally gifted or important, are you using your gifts for God? If not DFSA that.
  1. Because King Jehoahaz sincerely begged the Lord for help (4), the Lord saved Israel (5), even though He knew the Israelites would keep sinning (6).
  • “I won’t be like the Israelites here; when I call to You for real help, I won’t keep sinning. I will do what You want, not what I want.”
  1. Azariah was ready to serve the Lord at a very young age—he rebuilt a town (21,22,15:3)!
  • If you’re young, try to consider God calling you to a position of high authority, with all of its responsibilities and risks. Would you accept it?
  • If you’re not, consider your child receiving this honor from God. Would you accept it, even though your child is in a position of increased danger (because some people go to extreme lengths to get their way)?
  1. Though the Holy Spirit helps us to be better people, a father has a big influence on the character of his son (2,3,9).
  • If you’re a parent, change 2 things about the way you’re raising your child(ren) that is closer in accordance with God’s will.
  • If you’re not, tell yourself now that you will raise your children exactly how God wants you to raise them.
  1. God allowed Ahaz to do many hated things.
  • DFSA: 2 things God hates yet allows you to do
  1. We think it’s strange that someone would serve two different gods; wouldn’t one God get angry? This same illogic and God’s anger applies to us when we spend more time and think about something else (work, music, games, grades, etc.) more than God. Worse yet, this mindset of finding joy in something more than God gets ingrained in our children (41).
  • DFSA: something you love doing more than you love spending time with God (prayer, reading the Bible, going to church, etc.)
  1. Though many people think most wars were started by religious beliefs, this was mostly a front. Wars were actually started by greedy kings in search of more power (13,29) and wealth (14-16).
  • Think about why power or money cannot ever satisfy.
  1. God is always in control, and he let Sennacherib (and us) know that (21-28).
  • “I know that there isn’t anything I can do that You won’t know about; there isn’t anything I can get away with. Help me to always keep this in the forefront of my mind as a way to keep my life pure.”
  1. Even though God told Hezekiah he would die (1), he prayed honestly and with good intentions (2-3); so the Lord healed him (5-6).
  • Pray to the Lord like Hezekiah did about one of your physical problems.
  1. Because of King Manasseh’s sin, Jerusalem and Judah were punished because they followed him (11-12).
  • Think of 2 things your highest leader (president, prime minister, etc.) does that clarifies you shouldn’t follow him in every way.
  1. King Josiah and God were not just appalled that their people didn’t follow the Book of the Teachings; they were upset and angry (11,13).
  • “Help me to not just be disappointed, indifferent, or tolerant of others’ downfalls. I want to be angry at their mistakes while loving them because this is how You are. Give me the courage to correct those who sin, while not pushing them further away from You.”
  1. Should Christians be open-minded about others religions? Josiah was close-minded, as he destroyed all the idols and their places of worship; and God was pleased (25-26). Christians should be close-minded about the credibility of other beliefs and religions, for this is God’s will (Colossians 2:8); but it is also His will that Christians tolerate them (support freedom of religion) because most countries operate under a democracy. Because God demands authoritative power (Romans 13:3-4), Christians must allow, or tolerate, other religions because of 2 reasons: God ordained the government’s responsibilities and Christians aren’t directly governed by the Father (theocracy) anymore. Because we are directed by the Holy Spirit, one of the government’s responsibilities is to promote the Spirit’s job by allowing people the right to choose their beliefs. If people are allowed to choose, then people can honestly accept or deny the Spirit, as forcing obedience is not God’s will (John 3:36).
  • “Help me to understand the difference between being close-minded and tolerating others, as both are crucial to how I act as an example to unbelievers.”
  1. Even though King Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king (17), Zedekiah turned against him (20).
  • “I understand that though close friends, workers, and relatives can disappoint me, You will always be there for me, no matter how I am or what my situation is.”
  1. Zedekiah was an evil king (24:19), and he didn’t know who his friends were from his soldiers. Friends wouldn’t have scattered and left him to face the Babylonian army (5).
  • Consider who your real friends are and who are just acquaintances or workers.

I Chronicles

  1. This book is full of names of people who matter to God.
  • Do you think your character displays a person that would be important to God? If not, DFSA 2 things about yourself that would help you become an important servant of Him.
  1. The family of Israel (1-2) was just another normal family, yet God blessed all of them and had them remembered throughout history.
  • Think about 3 ways the Lord has blessed your family.
  1. Though David dishonored God and Bathsheba by sleeping with her and killing her husband, David showed respect by naming one of his sons Nathan, after the prophet who was a messenger of God’s righteous anger.
  • Consider what you might name your kids; and if you have kids, are those names pleasing to the Lord? (Look up what they mean.)
  1. Jabez was more respected because he prayed to God for blessings (9-10).
  • “Please do good things for me, Lord Jesus. Bless me because I cannot help myself.”
  1. Being the firstborn in the Bible’s time was one of the biggest honors and had many privileges, but Reuben lost that when he slept with his father’s wife (1).
  • Think about a time you lost something important, if the sin was worth it, and what to do to not sin next time.
  1. Back then, music was immensely used as a form of worship to God (31-32), as it will be for all of eternity (Psalms 89:1). We should use music to bring glory to God, not just for entertainment.
  • Think about how you use music and how you should use it. Then, try to find some good Christian artists (if you don’t have too many) and remove songs that contain sin (cussing, about drugs, puts down women, etc.).
  1. All sin must have a punishment (21); if you do your best to not sin, your life will be better.
  • DFSA: a sin
  1. Marriage was and is very sacred and holy; putting Shaharaim’s divorces in the Bible (8-11) was and is a great shame to him.
  • Consider what’s most important in finding a spouse and that you must love him or her with all your heart so that you will never get a divorce.
  1. Even though Christians make up the church, the building itself does need to be fixed on a weekly basis. The people of this time had assigned tasks (10,17,22,28,29,32,33) to help the church, and it would be wise if Christians now followed this example.
  • If you don’t do anything to help the church (outside of giving), find out how you can get involved using your God-given talents.
  • If you do, thank God for this responsibility.
  1. Even though Saul was a faithful follower of God, He allowed Saul to die (3-4) because he didn’t trust God anymore (13-14).
  • “I will trust You always and in every problem because You will always do what’s best for me, whether I like it or not.”
  1. Because God should and will have all glory, He found it important that the 3 elite warriors should receive special recognition (19). Though they’re just humans, their names are forever honored in the most important Book, and God is glorified through them.
  • “God—all glory is Yours. I want to be a servant for Your glory, not a lukewarm, or inactive, Christian. I am open to whatever You want me to do.”
  1. It was good that the Israelites would die to make David king because God chose him to lead (38).
  • Consider who or what you would die for and if this pleases God.
  1. Why would God kill Uzzah if he was just trying to be helpful (9-10)? Uzzah knew he wasn’t supposed to touch the Holy Box under any circumstance; obeying God is always more important than our definition of helping Him.
  • If the Holy Box fell, would you try to be the “hero” and save it? Think about why our obedience is more important to God than helping Him (who is omnipotent) and then pray to God about this.
  1. God blessed David because He loved His people (2).
  • Think of a blessing you have that affects others.
  1. David knew that it wasn’t just about obeying God; it’s about obeying God in His way (13).
  • DFSA: an area where you’re obeying God in your way, not His
  1. Re-read verses 28-34. This is the Lord’s majesty, and this is why we worship Him!
  • In your own way, praise the Lord, not for what He has done in your life, but for His glory and power.
  1. David’s prayer to God (16-27) was only a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. Not only did he not tell of his many problems as king but also understood that it took bravery to talk to the Most High God (25); it wasn’t just another task in his daily life.
  • If prayer to you is boring, a must-do thing, or not awe-inspiring, then focus your mind on who you’re really talking to—an all-powerful God with incalculable, infinite size and majesty, His giant throne and bright angels, and your horribly sinful self, with your simple desires.
  • If you do understand what prayer should be, still do the above, as everyone needs a reminder.
  1. God gives victory to those that trust Him (6).
  • DFSA: an area where you are “losing” in
  1. The Arameans ran away from the war (14) because their hearts weren’t in the fight; they were only paid (6). War needs dedicated soldiers.
  • Think about if you would fight for your country’s leaders, people, morals, and reason (for starting the war).
  • If you wouldn’t and you are old enough to be drafted, figure out what you can do to not fight for something you don’t believe in.
  1. Just as David courageously killed Goliath, Elhanan and Jonathan also courageously killed giants (5,6).
  • “I trust in You—that You will help me conquer all the “giants” in my life.”
  1. Satan tricked David to count all of his people, as knowing the number of people is a sign of a king’s power (1-2).
  • DFSA: an area of pride
  1. Even though God told David to kill many people, He wouldn’t allow David to build His temple because of David’s killings (7-8). God doesn’t like death; He likes peace (8-10).
  • “Thank You God for Your amazing love for peace and hatred of death.”
  1. Though, to some, it seems like the Levites had the most boring jobs, they actually had the best and most important jobs. God distinguished them from the other Israelites to do the work of the Temple of the Lord.
  • Think about why God gave you your job (or future job) and how it’s well-suited for you.
  • If you don’t like your job or you’re not good at it, then—”If my job isn’t right for me, please lead me to whatever job You want me to have. “
  1. The Levites were given special, important jobs because they followed God’s rules. In our culture, we tend to think that those who cheat the government and “kiss up” to the boss exceed in life, but this is untrue as God controls everything and blesses those who are honest and diligent.
  • Under the 2 categories of either cheating the government and “kissing up” or honest and diligent, which do you fall into better?
  • If it’s the 1st one, DFSA this.
  • If it’s the 2nd one, think about what you can do to better manage your time to “get ahead” while having enough time for your family.
  • If you don’t have a job, apply these to when you did or to your homework (if still in school).
  1. Music is necessary in the Christian life; Christians use it to praise God and grow closer to Him.
  • Find a Christian band to add to your music if you have none.
  • If you do, get rid of the songs that you know are bad.
  1. Being a gatekeeper would seem like a boring job with not much to do, but they kept a city safe and were important enough to be put in the Bible.
  • DFSA: something uninteresting about your life (e.g.—job, lack of job, homework, …)
  1. David divided the power of his army to 12 commanders because no one should have too much power, or he’ll become more prideful. (King David was a mouthpiece for God more than a true king, as the Israelites lived in a theocracy.)
  • “If You decide to give me much power as an occupation (sports star, CEO, governor, etc.), I promise not to let it go to my head because You gave me the power; and You can take it away.”
  1. God was with Solomon during the building of the Temple; so he didn’t have to be afraid or discouraged. He could be a strong and brave leader, for God wouldn’t leave him (20).
  • Apply this to an area in your life, especially in areas where you lead something.
  1. David and the Israelites were happy to give to God their valuable silver and gold (17). All people, even the poorest, should tithe; Jesus was pleased that a poor woman would give all that she had to God (Mark 12:42-44).
  • If you have an income and tithe, think about if you’re really happy when tithing.
  • If you don’t, commit to yourself that when you start to make money to always tithe happily and what God want of you, not only for the Lord’s sake but for your own good too.

II Chronicles

  1. Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge for a better nation (10) instead of wealth, honor, dead enemies, or a long life (11).
  • Think about what your wish would be; and if it’s not God-honoring, change it.
  1. Building God’s Temple is no easy task and is why Solomon worked hard to prepare. This is comparable to a relationship with God which isn’t easy, can’t be obtained quickly, and requires much work.
  • “What can I do to have a better relationship with You?”
  1. Despite tens of thousands of pounds of gold and all of his power, King Solomon didn’t forgot Who gave him everything (17).
  • Think of 2 things you could do if you became incredibly rich or famous that would undeniably express your thanks to God.
  1. Some people claim that Christians made God up, but would thousands of Israelites work so hard on such a huge temple of gold for a made-up God?
  • “I know that You are real, not only because my parents believe it or because it’s the right thing to do. You’re love in my life is why I believe in You. “
  1. The Israelites weren’t smart by today’s standards. They didn’t know math, science, grammar, or much other knowledge, yet God was pleased with them just because they obeyed Him and glorified Him with songs.
  • “I know that, when I die, no amount of knowledge will ever be useful. Though going to college and studying hard can be Your will for me, I know that what You really want from me is a mind that does Your will, a heart that wants to obey, and a soul that lives only to glorify You.”
  1. Solomon asked that when God’s people prayed to Him in their distress, He would help them.
  • DFSA: your biggest problem (and focus on the A: asking God for help)
  1. Sometimes God gives us hard times so that we will depend on Him (13-14).
  • Think of a problem in your past that caused you to pray to God or realize that you needed divine help.
  1. Solomon realized that God was more important than his wife (11).
  • If you’re married: “You Lord are more important to me than [spouse], and I will always understand that, though being with [spouse] is important, obeying You is more important.”
  • If you’re not: “I promise to always make You ‘number one’ in my life and my wife ‘number two.’”
  1. One reason why some people don’t believe in God is because they haven’t heard someone on earth who is extremely rich, famous, or wise glorify God. The Queen of Sheba was like this too; but when she saw with her own eyes Solomon’s wisdom, she was amazed with Solomon (6) and God’s tangible glory (8).
  • Imagine (close your eyes if you have to) what it would be like to be a skeptic of Solomon’s wisdom, walk in and talk to him, and be utterly awed at his God-given understanding.
  1. If King Rehoboam took the elderly’s advice (7) instead of his young friends (10-11), he wouldn’t have lost most of his kingdom (16-17) and had to run away (18).
  • Think about why you should listen to the elderly’s advice over younger people’s advice. (Which is more likely to be right?)
  1. It is good that Rehoboam listened to God and didn’t fight with his fellow Israelites (4).
  • Think about why fighting with family, or people close like family, is worse than fighting with other people.
  1. God will sometimes leave us to our enemies if we disobey Him (5); but if we realize what we did was wrong (6) and ask for forgiveness, God will help us (7), though punishment is necessary (8).
  • DFSA: a time you disobeyed God, who left you to your enemies
  1. Even with 800,000 capable soldiers (3), King Jeroboam didn’t stand a chance (17).
  • TBA: If you get into a fight or argument, ask yourself if God is on your side; and if He is not, then stop fighting.
  1. Like Asa, we should actively work (7) in what we are praying for (11) and not rely solely on God because God isn’t a crutch, and He supports diligence (7) and hates laziness.
  • DFSA: an area in need of improvement/help (the improvement, as always, should be about what you can do)
  1. King Asa told his mom that she couldn’t be queen because she worshipped a false idol (16).
  • Imagine doing this. (Remember a relationship with God is far greater than one with parents, though that is immensely important too.)
  1. God searches for people who give themselves completely to His will so He can make them strong (9).
  • “Lord—I give myself completely to You, not only because I want to be strong and it’s the right thing to do. I will follow your will and rules completely to honor You, my Creator and Friend.”
  1. Reread verse 3. It seems to be reoccurring that Kings who once followed God did wrong later in life and traded Him in for fake idols like Baal.
  • If you’re a Christian: “Help me to never forget that you have given me everything, and I cannot do anything without You.”
  • If you’re not: Compare the fulfillment of something you love a lot (a sport, a woman, electronics, etc.) with how God can really fulfill you (heaven, eternal happiness, life without sin or sinful people, etc.).
  1. King Ahab hated prophet Micaiah because he prophesied bad things, which were things out of his control.
  • DFSA: someone you dislike because of their job but not how they abuse their job (coast guard, repo man, police, boss, parents, etc.)
  1. When someone took a job of judging, he would be considered guilty by God if he didn’t warn the people to not sin (10).
  • If you have a job that involves critiquing, evaluating, or judging others—TBA: Remind those people that their wrong is also sin which God hates.
  • If you don’t—Think about how telling someone who sins a lot that his sin displeases God (who ultimately can withhold or give blessings) and how this reminder can positively affect his future decisions.
  1. Those in Judah and Jerusalem were told to just stand (17) and praise God (21) near a desert (16) for their war.
  • Imagine yourself as king and if you would listen to this battle plan.
  1. When King Jehoram did terrible things (4), terrible things happened to him (18-20).
  • DFSA: something horrible you’ve done lately
  1. Many people probably wished they were royalty because of all the wealth and glory; but that blessing was also a curse as many were murdered (7-10).
  • DFSA: a desire to be rich or famous
  1. When evil pushed her way into Judah (10), God pushed her out, making Judah very happy and at peace.
  • “I pray that You will also remove the evil in my government…”
  1. Once Joash’s “reminder” of God’s reality died (15), he became evil (18), couldn’t prosper (20), and was murdered (25).
  • Think of what your “reminders” of God are (church, the Bible, music, etc.) and tell yourself that you will never lose them.
  1. King Amaziah let his pride, not God, fuel his bravery (17).
  • If you’re brave with daily issues and bothersome people, consider if it’s you or God that’s fueling your bravery.
  • if you’re not: “God, I want to be brave so I can deal with my problems better, and I know that true bravery can only come from You.”
  1. Reread verse 16. This time, a king didn’t turn away from God but thought he was now ordained to be a priest. One common extreme is for a Christian to completely turn away from God; but occasionally, a few become excessively self-righteous.
  • DFSA: which extreme you lean towards
  1. King Jotham doesn’t have anything bad in his chapter.
  • “Help me to be like King Jotham; in that when I’m dead and people are remembering me, there would be nothing bad to say about me.”
  1. King Ahaz disobeyed God even more in his trouble (24).
  • If a big problem is causing you to lose faith in God, pray to God about revealing Himself to you and helping you.
  • If you don’t have this problem, pray that any future problems you might have don’t interfere with your relationship with God.
  1. Hezekiah didn’t waste any time or put off purifying the Temple (3,17).
  • “Help me to never put off anything that should be done immediately and is important in my life, especially something that would glorify You.”
  1. As a leader, King Hezekiah found it his duty to pray for the unpurified trying to obey God (18-20).
  • Pray for someone in need of prayer.
  1. God gives success to those who fully obey and serve Him (21).
  • DFSA: an area in need of great success (Do the “F—fix” while considering how you can better obey and serve God in this area)
  1. Even though Sennacherib and his officers put down the truth of God with their stories of overcoming many other gods (10-19), King Hezekiah wasn’t afraid (20).
  • “Help me to trust in Your reality and power when I’m in the middle of unbelievers taunting me.”
  1. Only when King Manasseh suffered did he feel sorry for his sin (12).
  • “I don’t want to have to suffer to be close to You; so help me to have a deeper relationship with You and never turn away.”
  1. Most teenagers don’t think about God, about His eternal love for us or how they are made to glorify Him; but when King Josiah was 16, he began to obey God. When he was 20, he removed false idols throughout Judah and Jerusalem (3).
  • Consider what was on your mind when you were (or will be) 16 or 20 and how God would deem that.
  1. Josiah was a great, Godly king; but because he didn’t believe that King Neco was from God, he lost the battle and died (21,24).
  • TBA: Though we understand that people lie, consider deeper what people have to say as truth.
  1. Jerusalem fell (16-21) because they either thought God’s prophets were liars or just crazy or they just preferred living in sin (15-16).
  • Think about how your country’s people are similar in rejecting God’s prophets (pastors, missionaries, etc.) and how you can react differently.

Ezra

  1. God used a non-Jew to set the Jewish people free.
  • Think of 3 ways God could’ve used your nation’s highest leader for His purpose.
  1. Some people claim that God didn’t really love His people because he destroyed them; so why do the numbers of the descendants and towns exist? Read Luke 12:6-7.
  • “I know that You know every hair on my head, every thought I think, and every action I do; and You still love me.”
  1. God destroyed and rebuilt the Temple of God to teach the Israelites a lesson in obeying Him.
  • Think about something God destroyed and rebuilt in your life and how it was a good thing.
  1. There were many kings and people trying to delay the rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord; though life will try to distract us from our goals, we must never forget them.
  • DFSA: an important, yet forgotten goal
  1. Those rebuilding the Temple didn’t stop until they were forced to (5).
  • Think of an area where you can be more diligent like them.
  1. God made perfect conditions for His Temple to be rebuilt.
  • “I know that, though You will put obstacles in my life to overcome, You will always provide a way for Your will in my life.”
  1. After 60 years from the last chapter, King Artaxerxes gave the priest Ezra anything he wanted to build the Temple of God.
  • Consider what you would do if a king gave you gold and silver and told you that you could spend some of it however you wanted (18). What would you do with that wealth, and how would God want you to spend it?
  1. The people gave up eating because Ezra knew that a self-controlled, humble state of mind would help people obey God (21-23).
  • TBA: ask a wise Christian about the benefits of fasting
  1. Ezra, himself, was too ashamed and disgraced by the Israelites’ sin to lift his head to God (6).
  • “I am shamed and disgraced for the sins of ___, of whom I associate with. We deserve punishment; but please forgive us, for we don’t know that we’re sinning against You.”
  1. Some might think God was a racist because He didn’t want His people to marry non-Jews; but God was more concerned that His people would be corrupted by the false gods of the foreigners, which is what generally happened (2,10,18-44; Exodus 12:48-49).
  • Think about how God wants us to be in a relationship with Christians in respect to your relationship (or future one).

Nehemiah

  1. Nehemiah prayed to God for the Israelites to come together and be unified.
  • Think of 3 reasons why unity is important for Christians.
  1. Nehemiah offers to rebuild a town for his people and God’s glory.
  • Think about the last time you went out of your way to do such a monumental task; and if you cannot think of one, what can you do in the future?
  1. There were priests who did manual work back then (28). Titles like manager, CEO, and director aren’t above physical work.
  • If you have a management job that doesn’t involve physical work, what physical thing can you do to prove to your workers that you’re also one of them?
  • If you don’t, then think about how you can use your job now to glorify God.
  1. To continue building the Temple with a very real death threat (12) and to hold a sword everywhere you went (16,23) must have been a mix of fear, love for God, and bravery.
  • Think of a time (or something you should do in the future) when you showed such strong yet conflicting characteristics for God.
  1. Nehemiah saw the injustice of the poor being taken advantage of; so he did something about it (6-11).
  • “If I see a poor person, I won’t just pass him by; I will help him with food or money and Christian advice if possible (even if he probably will use the money for a wrong reason).”
  1. The enemies of Jerusalem were shamed because God helped the Israelites build His Temple (16).
  • TBA: Think of a way your Godly attitudes or actions can shame a non-Christian who sins.
  1. God caused the Israelites to return from captivity (5-6).
  • Think of a time God rescued you from some form of captivity.
  1. Though the Israelites were sad that they disobeyed the Teachings (9), Nehemiah told them to be happy because God will strengthen them and because it’s the Lord’s day (10-12).
  • “This day is Yours; I dedicate it to You, for You will make me strong and uphold me when I am sad.”
  1. God was always with the Israelites, no matter how many times they disobeyed.
  • Think about the number of times God forgave them, the number of times you sin every day, and that God will forgive you if you just ask.
  1. The Israelites made agreements that they will follow God’s rules completely; they wouldn’t marry foreigners (30), they wouldn’t plant on the 7th year (31), and they would give a tenth of their crops to the Levites (37).
  • Though God doesn’t ask us to do these things now, think about if you would do any of those things for God; and if you wouldn’t, think about why you should.
  1. Though some people were chosen at random to be a citizen of Jerusalem (1), those who volunteered were blessed (2).
  • Think about if you would give up something monumentally important to God—where you live—and how much He would bless you for your obedience.
  1. Though God is all-powerful, He still was pleased that His people gave the wall to God as a gift (27).
  • “I give my life as a gift to You; I will always do Your will and will glorify You with a life I want to be righteous.”
  1. Nehemiah tried hard to keep Israel pure; but sin had too strong an attraction for some people.
  • DFSA: 2 strong attractions you have for sins

Esther

  1. Though King Xerxes shouldn’t have asked his wife to put on a show (11), Queen Vashti should’ve listened to her husband; in her position of leadership, she would cause other women to disrespect and disobey their husbands, ruining families (18).
  • If you’re married or in a relationship, talk to your spouse about mutual respect and obedience.
  • If you’re not (and even if you are), think about why men should treat their wives as queens and why women should obey and respect their husbands in every way.
  1. Even though Esther was now queen, she didn’t let that go to her head; she still listened and gave credit to her older cousin Mordecai (20,22).
  • DFSA: a time you gave yourself too much credit
  1. Mordecai was going to be killed because he wouldn’t bow down to Haman (5-6)
  • Think of a social norm you don’t and shouldn’t do that you also get some persecution for.
  1. Mordecai wanted his family member to take a chance at freeing the Jews, a chance that could lead to death (11-14).
  • Think about that if it was God’s will, would you send one of your younger family members to do this?
  1. Instead of asking King Xerxes right away about Haman’s evil plan, Esther waited for the right moment (7).
  • Think about a way you can apply this to something in your life.
  1. Though Haman wanted to be glorified (6-9) and hated Mordecai because he wouldn’t bow down to him, Haman had to greatly honor Mordecai for saving the king (2,11).
  • DFSA: a time you wanted recognition for your acts but didn’t get it (or someone else got it)
  1. Though Queen Esther was in the right and Haman was in the wrong, it was good that Esther worded everything perfectly (while also timing it perfectly). She said to the king that if it “pleases him to let her live” and that she “wouldn’t have bothered the king” if her people “would just be sold into slavery” (3-4).
  • TBA: Think about something you’re going to ask someone today and how you can word it better. (Always make sure it’s something true and God would approve of.)
  1. Though King Xerxes gave Haman his power and Haman tried to kill Mordecai, Mordecai still saves the king’s life and was rewarded greatly (8:2; 2:21-23).
  • DFSA: helping someone you dislike
  1. The Jews celebrated the demise of their enemies (16-17), and Mordecai made this a regular holiday (24-28).
  • Think of something that you can celebrate that’s about the current downfall of Christian enemies.
  1. Mordecai was an important man among the Jews because he worked for their good and safety (3).
  • Think of one thing you can do at your church that would cause others to see you as a great person of God. (The goal isn’t fame but God’s glory.)

Job

  1. God started the conversation about Job with Satan; as God is omniscient, He may have wanted to test Job (8). It’s also important to note that someone thought that the curse in verse 16 was from God, when it really was from Satan; and after everything that happened, Job did not sin or blame God (22).
  • “God, I know that anything cursed in my life is not from You. If I am tested, I know that I can handle it with Your help.”
  1. Though later Job’s friends give wrong advice, they do the right things now: they traveled just to comfort him (11), and they waited 7 days to say something (13).
  • Think of at least 3 ways you can be a better friend.
  1. No matter how Godly Job was, he eventually came to a point where he couldn’t handle his pain anymore.
  • DFSA: a time you sinned because you couldn’t handle your pain
  1. Instead of comforting Job, his friends decide to criticize him (7-9). (Constructive criticism is good only when appropriate, said with loving motives, and when one cares more about the person than being right.)
  • DFSA: when you helped someone using “constructive” criticism, but it made things worse (because the above conditions were not met)
  1. This friend thought that God was injuring Job for his past mistakes (18); but God does not give people trials (James 1:13-14), though He does discipline us and allow our own self-made problems.
  • “Help me to fully understand Your Word before I start teaching others; for saying something about the Bible that isn’t true would be blasphemy.”
  1. Eliphaz was saying that Job disobeyed God and sinned; but Job knew that he didn’t and asked Eliphaz what sin he did (10,24).
  • Think about a time someone has told you that what you’re doing is wrong, research who was right, find Bible verses pertaining to the problem, and ask God what is the truth.
  1. In all of Job’s excruciating pain, he didn’t sin.
  • DFSA: the last time you were mad at God
  1. Instead of comforting Job, Bildad blames him (20).
  • TBA: encourage someone
  1. Job realizes that even if it was possible that he was right and God was wrong, it wouldn’t matter because, both ways, God is all-powerful (15).
  • DFSA: something you think God is wrong about (or something God is saying no to you but you still want it)
  1. Job is in so much pain that he starts to think God is causing it (2-3).
  • “I know that You love me and care about me; and even though I have many problems, I know that You don’t cause them. You allow them to happen because they improve my long-suffering and character.
  1. Zophar was right in that nobody can ever understand God’s infinite wisdom (7-8), but he was wrong because Job did not sin (14).
  • DFSA: wrong advice you’ve given
  1. Job knew that God can make fools out of the wise (17), He creates and destroys nations (23), and He takes understanding away from leaders (24).
  • “God, I don’t know why You do the things You do, but that is okay because my faith in You can be stronger than any problem that’ll come my way.”
  1. Despite all the evil that has been said to him, Job never doubts his own righteousness. He never lets others say he is sinning (7,19-20,23).
  • DFSA: a time someone said you were wrong but you know you were right based on the truth of the Bible
  1. In the midst of Job’s conversation with his friends, he expresses to God his feelings.
  • TBA: If you have a friend who has a deep, personal relationship with God, include God in your conversations.
  • If you don’t, then tell God your desire to talk about life with someone who has a deep relationship with Him.
  1. Eliphaz cared more about getting his point across than comforting Job.
  • Think about why comforting someone is better than proving that he is wrong when that person is in much pain.
  1. Job’s friends are being so cruel to him (2-5) while he is crying out for mercy (20-21).
  • Explain to God your feelings if you were or are in Job’s situation—desperately needing love and care but receiving only criticism and lecturers.
  1. Job’s spirit is broken (1), and his future is destroyed (11); but he never denies what he knows to be the Truth (4,10,12).
  • Think about what you consider to be true about what matters in the world (politics, religion, people, etc.) and how it matches with what the Bible and Jesus say; then ask God if your belief system is the right one.
  1. Though most of us would get angry and fight with Bildad for what he said (Ch. 18), Job stayed calm and rebutted with meekness (Ch. 19).
  • “Help me to not get angry with others when they bother me; help me to calmly explain my problem and show Your love to them.”
  1. Zophar only heard what he wanted to hear—the criticism (2-3,22; 20:3); but most of what Job was saying was about God hurting him, his family hating him, and needing help.
  • “Help me to hear everything in a conversation, not just what I think is wrong, so that I can fully understand the situation.”
  1. Zophar believes Job is evil and goes into great detail about what God does to evil people (29).
  • Think about what Zophar said God will do, that Job was right and Zophar was wrong in the end, and how he should’ve been sure what God really does before he spoke.
  1. Job wonders why evil people live good lives (13).
  • Think about this: would you rather have a good life here with average (or no) treasures in heaven, or would you rather live a hard life here but have amazing treasures in heaven for eternity?
  1. Eliphaz was talking like he knew Job’s sins (5-9).
  • “I know that I shouldn’t talk to someone like I completely know him, for he knows himself far more than I would.”
  1. After all the attacks from Job’s friends, Job decides to just care about him and God.
  • DFSA: apply what Job did to a time when your friend’s (or people you cared about) were attacking you
  1. Job talks about evil people’s thoughts and actions and God’s response to them.
  • Think of how loving anything remotely evil can only end badly if God is purely righteous and is omnipotent.
  1. Though this advice is useless to Job, Bildad is right: even the best of humans are like worms compared to God (6). This is good because, otherwise, people would think they have to earn their way into heaven; not only will they never have peace, they’d be judging others who are less righteous.
  • Think about why it’s good that we will never be as perfect as God, though we should strive to be.
  1. In the end when Job cannot get his friends to say anything helpful, he starts to talk about God’s infinite power.
  • TBA: If you get into an argument, in the end, just remember that God is all-powerful; and if He’s on your side, you have nothing to worry about.
  1. Bildad continues to insist that Job is evil, and Job said a bunch of things that happen to evil people (7-10,13-23).
  • If you think you’re evil (compared to other humans), think of 3 characteristics of others that are worse than yours.
  • If you don’t think that, thank the Holy Spirit for changing you from being naturally evil to inwardly righteous.
  1. Job knew that only God understands all wisdom (23), that He put a cap on how much wisdom humans can obtain in our earthly life (27), and that no amount of worldly treasures could ever compare to God’s wisdom (13-19).
  • Tell God how much you treasure (or want to treasure) wisdom.
  1. Job used to be a well-respected man for his charity, comforting nature, and righteousness (11-12,15-16,25).
  • DFSA: how people see you
  1. Just because Job loved God and was a Christian, that didn’t mean his life would be perfect. It meant though he would have sad times like everyone else, the difference is that he knew the Creator who would help him through his struggles.
  • “I understand that being a Christian doesn’t mean that my life will be perfect. I shouldn’t want to be a Christian to have a better life; I should accept Jesus because He loves me and suffered on the cross for me.”
  1. Because Job was right, he offered to wear his opponent’s accusation like a crown (35-36).
  • If you are (or were) fighting with someone, would you proudly expose your opponent’s accusation; if not, DFSA your position on the topic.
  1. Elihu, though wrong because he thought Job sinned, understood that age doesn’t give a person wisdom; God does (7-8).
  • If you’re young, pray for God’s wisdom, not knowledge you want.
  • If your older, pray that you can accept that younger people can be wiser than you.
  1. Elihu was talking as if he was God (6).
  • “When I’m giving advice or spreading the Gospel, I know that I’m just the messenger, and Jesus is the Savior.”
  1. Reread verse 33. Elihu thought he was defending God’s side when he didn’t even know what Job’s sin was.
  • “If I must correct someone to prevent him from sinning, help me to first understand what the sin is, lest I judge him wrongly.”
  1. Elihu has been talking for a long time now; we must remember that just because we talk more that it doesn’t mean our point will be made known better.
  • “Please give me wisdom to debate my case wisely and with a loving attitude; I know I can’t be angry nor can I continuously talk forever.”
  1. Elihu is right in most of what he says about God. What doesn’t make sense is that he’s trying to prove his point that Job did something wrong by magnifying God.
  • “I never want to use Your glory as a method to prove I’m right. You are glorified because You deserve it; and if I’m right, I should be able to prove it without changing the subject.”
  1. God not only is all-powerful and completely loving, He is unpredictable; and He is quite blunt. After Elihu was saying so many good things about God, God says—from a thunder cloud after so many days that Job has been wondering where God was—that they aren’t true (38:1-2).
  • “Because I will never understand Your amazing complexity, help me to be ready for whatever You have for my life.”
  1. God finally responds to Job by saying that he is in no position to be questioning the Lord of all creation.
  • DFSA: the last time you questioned God and expected an answer
  1. One good thing about God is that He is omniscient—He knows everything. Thinking that God’s choices for your life isn’t good is saying that you think you are wiser than God.”
  • DFSA: a time you didn’t like one of God’s decisions (make sure it’s God decision and not yours or someone else’s)
  1. God was so mighty and powerful that Job could not even speak (4-5). God was condemning Job for putting Him in the wrong (8).
  • DFSA: a time you thought God was wrong
  1. Whether Leviathan (1) was a dragon, dinosaur or other sea creature, it seems plausible that it was real because God was talking about other real animals before (39:1,5,9,14,20; 40:15), and He talked for a while about the creature.
  • Read gotquestions.org/leviathan.html.
  1. In the end, after all of the time his friends were telling him that he had sinned and that he needs to repent, God says that what Job said about Him was right (7); and He rewarded him (10-17) for being so faithful.
  • Tell God your version of this only if you truly mean it: “God, I have only one life to live, and all of it should be for You. If it’s Your will, I am open to any big trial, similar to Job’s, that You have for me. I know it won’t be easy or fun in the least bit; but it will help me grow and will help others. Because of this, I believe I am ready.”
  • If you aren’t ready, ask God how you can get there.

Psalms

  1. Though many believe that people can have the “best of both,” we can only live righteously or wickedly.
  • Figure out which way you tend to live.
  • If wicked, DFSA that.
  • If righteous, thank God honestly for His work in you.
  1. The leaders of the world must obey God’s rules and trust in Him for guidance and protection (10-12).
  • Pray that your country’s leader would do this.
  1. David prayed to the Lord for help because his son Absalom was trying to kill him.
  • TBA: If you have a problem with someone, go to God first for help; and then seek others.
  1. The Lord chooses for Himself those who are loyal to Him (3)—those who obey all of his rules and will never disown Him.
  • Consider what you would do if someone would kill you unless you denounced Jesus as your Savior.
  1. The Lord is with those who do what’s right (12), and He hates those who do wicked (4-6).
  • DFSA: 2 wicked things you do
  1. David is so distressed that he cries every night before sleeping (6).
  • If you also do this, pray for David’s strength and determination.
  • If you don’t, thank God that your problems aren’t as bad that you’ll need to cry every night.
  1. In the end, God saves those who do what is right (10), and punishes the wicked (11).
  • Think of 3 big sins you do, and if they’re worth the disdain of Your Creator.
  1. God cares so much about the human race (4-5). He put us in charge of everything else (6-8).
  • “Why am I important to You, God? How could I be just slightly below angels, above everything in the world, and worthy of Your Son’s sacrifice on the cross?”
  1. People think they’re self-sufficient, and they can do anything they want to; but God is the only all-powerful Being. It is He who decides or allows everything (19-20).
  • “Help me to remember that no matter how smart; rich; popular; or talented I am, I am like a newborn without You (Psalms 18:35).”
  1. God allows wicked people in the world so that good people can pray to Him about it and grow closer to Him. Would you pray to God continually if your life was perfect—you had no problems and everything went the way you wanted it to?
  • If you wouldn’t, tell God that you want to change that.
  • If you would, thank Him for giving you that wisdom.
  1. David is talking about his problems with wicked people (1-3); and instead of giving a solution that we can do, he says that God is on His throne, powerfully in charge of everything. He always does what is right (4-7).
  • “I know, despite all my seemingly big problems, that You Lord will always be seated on Your throne, and You will always have omnipotent power.”
  • If you find yourself not caring as much about God’s glory than your own problems, tell God this.
  1. God doesn’t like liars; we should always say what we mean.
  • DFSA: a time you lied recently (even if it was a small, “white” lie)
  1. In addition to thanksgiving and praise, God wants us to pray to Him what we really are feeling.
  • Pray to God about something on your mind.
  1. When the Lord looked down from heaven to see if anyone was wise, He couldn’t find anyone (2-3).
  • “No matter how long I study the Bible and pray to You for wisdom, I will never be wise compared to You; so thank You for looking out for me.”
  1. We are told in life that we must respect all people; but God says that, though we should love everyone, we cannot have respect for hateful people (4).
  • Think of someone you should love but not have respect for and how you should treat him.
  1. Good things come from God (2); He gives us an inner joy (11) and a future hope (9).
  • Thank God for at least 3 good things He’s given you.
  1. When the world is depressing us, we must pray to God for protection.
  • “Lord, please protect me from today’s evils…”
  1. God, through His awe-filled power, can save us from our enemies and allow us to do incredible things.
  • Think about why doing anything without asking God for help and glorifying Him for what He’s done is useless.
  1. The sins that we enjoy doing usually rule us if we don’t ask for help; and if we ask, we can be free from the greatest of sins (13).
  • Ask God for “freedom” from one of your sins that has a strong hold on you.”
  1. Reread verses 7-8. Chariots and horses can be translated nowadays to phones and cars or whatever we put our trust in.
  • DFSA: 2 things you put too much trust in
  1. Those who hate God think that He won’t punish them; but they are mistaken (8-9).
  • Think about why a loving and just God must punish the wicked in hell. (It has to do with believers’ actions and attitudes, sinners’ choices, and God’s glory.)
  1. If we cry to God, He will save us from our troubles, and we will praise Him for His righteousness.
  • “God, I will give You all of my troubles, for You will help me; and through my praise, You will make me a more righteous person.”
  1. God will never leave us alone here on earth (4), and He will be with us forever in heaven (6).
  • “Thank You Lord that You will always be with me, and that though others might leave me, You will always be by my side.”
  1. Before we boast about what we own or get angry when we can’t get something we want, we must remember that God owns everything and everyone (1).
  • DFSA: your boasting and some material thing you want
  1. Though Christians might be disgraced here on earth, in the end, they will never be disgraced (3).
  • Think about a time you were disgraced and how that feeling will never happen again in heaven.
  1. David testified of his innocence so that God would protect him (1,9,11).
  • If you believe that you’ve lived a fairly innocent life, humbly tell God about it.
  • If you haven’t, pray that the remainder of your life will be more innocent.
  1. David put his trust in the Lord and asked Him for help.
  • Ask God for help in an area you are struggling in.
  1. Some people can say that their actions or decision are for good, but what they really want is evil (3).
  • DFSA: a time you outwardly seemed to want something good but in your mind wanted something bad
  1. The Lord’s voice is powerful; it shakes the deserts and makes lightning flash (4,7-8).
  • “Lord, just Your voice is powerful enough to do impossible things. You alone are worthy of our praise.”
  1. David called to the Lord in his trouble, and the Lord answered.
  • DFSA: a big problem you haven’t prayed about
  1. This isn’t the first time that David called to God for help; God wants us to continually call to Him because humans tend to forget God in good times.
  • “I want to be able to praise You and feel You just as strongly in my good times as my bad.”
  1. Confess to the Lord your sins, and He will forgive you and lead you in the right direction.
  • TBA: Confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness.
  1. Back in that time, people thought that a great king, large army, or many horses could save them from their enemies of war; but like then, nothing—including money, status, or knowledge—can ever save us. Only God can (16-18).
  • Think about what or who you really put most of your hope and trust in; and if it’s not God, ask God to help you make it Him.
  1. Those who respect and trust God will have all their needs met (10).
  • Give one of your needs to God—let Him have full control of that area in your life.
  1. David knows that the Lord won’t help us if we don’t ask Him.
  • Ask for help in an area where you are frustrated and that isn’t going you’re way.
  1. The wicked don’t fear God; they think too highly of themselves and don’t hate their sin (1-2).
  • Think about if you truly fear (respect) God, think of yourself more as a servant than a king, and really hate your sins. If you don’t for any of these, DFSA them.
  1. God will always protect and save good people (39-40), but all wicked people will spiritually die—be separated from God (20,35-36).
  • Figure out if you’re more good or more wicked (though no one is completely good, and, on earth, humans are naturally wicked); and if you’re more evil, DFSA this.
  1. David was a man who did what was right, but his enemies, without reason, still lied and hated him (19-20).
  • “I know that people will hate me and talk about me behind my back, even if I do everything that is right. Please help me to care only about Your opinion of me and nobody else’s.”
  1. Our life is very short; it’s like a speck in God’s eyes (5).
  • “Help me to realize that my life is short, and I must use every minute wisely.”
  1. During David’s great meeting, he didn’t hide the Lord’s goodness; he proclaimed it to everyone there (9-10).
  • DFSA: a time you were speaking to many people and you ignored talking about God
  1. Re-read verses 10-11. God does give us strength to pay people back without sinning.
  • If someone has wronged you, ask God for the strength to pay him back.
  1. People ask us where our God is in troubling times (3,10); this is because if our lives aren’t going well, they assume God isn’t real. They think if He was real, He would always fix our problems. The truth is that God allows problems in our lives to make us better people.
  • Think about what you would say to a person who asks you, “Where is your God now?”
  1. There’s no reason in being sad and upset if we put our hope in God (5).
  • Think about why putting your hope in God means that being overly sad or upset is pointless.
  1. God will shame those who deserve it (9).
  • Think about a recent time you were ashamed, what you did wrong, and what you should do to not have it happen again.
  1. Kings, and other leaders with much power, can do amazing things for their people with God helping them.
  • Pray that your main leader would follow God’s rules and accept His blessings.
  1. God wants us to be still and know that He’s God (10). We should not be anxious, angry, stressed, or extremely busy but still.
  • DFSA: 2 ways that you’re not still
  1. Reread verse 6. Singing praises to God is repeated many times, signifying its importance.
  • Think about how often you sing to God on a weekly basis and if you like it. If you don’t sing to Him, find a way, whether it’s going to church, joining a small group, etc. (If this isn’t possible, listen to Christian music that glorifies God.)
  1. The Lord’s power is great; He will protect and guide us forever and ever (14).
  • Think about having God’s protection wherever you go.
  1. Don’t care too much about stockpiling money because when we die, we won’t take any of it with us (16-17).
  • If you have a job and want a bigger income, why do you want it? If it’s for the wrong reason, DFSA this.
  • If you don’t want a larger income, thank God for the wisdom He’s given you that most people don’t have.
  • If you don’t have a job, ask yourself what you need monetarily to be satisfied, and ask God if this is the correct way to think.
  1. God was pleased with the Israelites offerings but wasn’t pleased with the wicked people’s fake offerings. They did it because they were supposed to, and then they continued to steal, lie, hate His Teachings, and commit adultery.
  • Write this down: God isn’t pleased with fake offerings. Take it with you the next time you are going to worship and sing praises to God and look at it to help you change your heart when you are worshipping.
  1. It’s specified that a willing spirit, a desire to do what God wants you to do, is a sacrifice (17). Many people believe they can’t be Christians because they don’t naturally feel like obeying God, but this is normal. We are supposed to struggle to be one of God’s righteous children.
  • If you have thought that you had to be near perfect for God to accept you, thank God that all He wants is you to be sorry for your sins.
  • If you haven’t thought this way, think about why you should always strive for being perfectly righteous, even though this is impossible (on earth) and God would forgive us anyways.
  1. God destroys those who do evil and protects those who trust Him.
  • Think about a hard decision or predicament you had recently and if you were leaning towards sinning or towards trusting in God to fix the problem. If it’s sinning, DFSA this.
  1. A fool says that there is no God, and they don’t do anything good (1).
  • Ask God if your heart is foolish or not and consider if you believe verse 1.
  1. This is one of many prayers for help; this repetition in Psalms makes it clear that going to the Lord for help is important.
  • DFSA: a problem you don’t go to the Lord for help with
  1. Reread verse 22.
  • Talk to God and make this promise true in your life.
  1. If everyone could say verse 11 and actually mean it, Christians would be a much stronger, bolder force for God.
  • Say it; and if you can’t affirm its reality in your life, talk to God about it.
  1. Just as a baby goes to his mom for protection, we to God for protection (1).
  • Remember what it felt like to go to your mom (or dad) and just feel good and safe around them. This is how your relationship with God should be; if it’s not, DFSA this.
  1. Reread verse 11. Eventually, those who do what is right will be rewarded, and those who deserve punishment will be judged.
  • TBA: Think about this when you’re tempted to sin or believe people will get away with their sins.
  1. In this world, people will try to hurt us for no good reason (3-4). It doesn’t matter what you did or why they’re wrong; what matters is how you react and if you trust God (5).
  • Think of a time someone hurt you for no (good) reason, how you reacted, and what you should’ve done.
  1. Some people would get mad at God if He punished them; but what we should do is thank God for exposing our problems and helping us fix them.
  • DFSA: a time you were mad at God
  1. David talks to God (1), prays for protection (4), and says he’ll praise God forever (8); this is how our prayers should be like.
  • DFSA: one of these things that you don’t do during your prayers
  1. God is our “rock” in whom we build our foundation; despite any troubles we have, He will save us (6).
  • “Please help this statement to be real in my life. I want to actually believe that You will ground me in Your peace.”
  1. We should want God just as a thirsty man in a desert wants water (1).
  • Think about the longest time you’ve gone without drinking water or eating and how badly you wanted to eat or drink. Pray that your desire for God will match and surpass you desire for food or water.
  1. People not only attacked David physically but also emotionally with cruel words (3), but he knew that God would put them in their place (7).
  • Think of someone who likes to attack you with words, and thank God that He will put him in his place.
  1. Everyone should praise the Lord always, for He alone has complete control of our lives.
  • Praise the Lord for not abandoning you.
  1. The Lord won’t listen if we are still holding onto any sin (18).
  • DFSA: a sin in your life (focus on the “Ask” because it is a prayer)
  1. All people should bless God because He has blessed us far more than we think He has.
  • Praise God in a real, intimate way—not just because it’s expected.
  • If you cannot, then ask God to help you with it.
  1. God empowers us to win our daily “battles.”
  • Ask God for help in one of your “fights.”
  1. When people insult God and use His name apart from its holy meaning, does it hurt you (9)?
  • DFSA if it doesn’t.
  • If it does, think about what you should do the next time you hear it.
  1. When in times of trouble, keep asking God for help. Continually praying will bring you closer to Him.
  • Think of a problem that you probably will have for a while and make it a goal to pray for it every day until it is answered. (When it is, don’t forget to thank Him.)
  1. God doesn’t forget about old people; they should tell of their wisdom to younger generations (18).
  • If you’re old (at least 70+), TBA: tell some people about how God has impacted your life.
  • If you’re not, think of 2 ways you can better respect the elderly, even if their personalities and other shortcomings seem bad.
  1. David’s last prayer is about the king (20); and his description of him is very positive and uplifting.
  • Think of 3 things that you could say about your country’s main leader that is similarly as good.
  1. Reread verses 25-26. If we are able to say this strong message meaningfully, then we know we’re on the right path.
  • Pray to God about these verses.
  1. Like Asaph—the writer of this psalm—we should hate it when people insult God (10,18,22).
  • Think of something that you hear about God or Jesus everyday that isn’t appropriate and that you’re indifferent about; replace your indifference with righteous anger.
  1. God will judge all people (2,7); and if someone doesn’t deserve to go to heaven, he will be pronounced guilty and be sent to hell.
  • Consider if your life has been evident that you’re a Christian and if you’re going to heaven or hell—if you’ve done good works and grown good character, and most importantly, if you’ve believed that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that God raised Jesus from death.
  • If you believe you’re going to hell, find a Christian that you know and talk to him about it.
  1. God should be feared (respected) because He is always right and never loses.
  • TBA: think about this when you are about to do something controversial today
  1. Reread verse 1.
  • Think about the last time you sincerely cried (or shouted) loudly. Now, think of the last time you were so sad that you cried to God. Consider how much pain one must be in to cry or shout to God for help.
  • If you haven’t had this pain, thank Him; but consider how much closer you’d grow in God.
  • If you have felt pain that you cried or shouted to God, thank Him for what you learned and how your relationship with Him grew.
  1. It’s good to look back on history to learn from past mistakes; the Israelites saw God’s miracles but they still sinned (31-32).
  • DFSA: a time when you should’ve done right but kept sinning
  1. We should want God’s help not only because we need Him but because we want others to praise and honor Him (9).
  • Think of how God helping you with a big problem could bring public worship of Him.
  1. Many people would read verses like 4,16,18 and think it’s disrespectful to say such things to God; and it would’ve been if they lived in our culture and time. What Asaph, the author, was saying wasn’t said out of anger or spite. He was saying the truth in a direct, deep way.
  • Help me to say what I’m feeling to You and other people in a more direct, honest, and humble way because that is how Your authors of the Bible talked.
  1. God wants to help us with our problems but He cannot unless we accept Him (13-14).
  • Think of a problem you’re wondering why God isn’t giving you an answer to and then consider if you’ve truly asked Him.
  1. God will judge all earthly judges for how righteously they judged (1).
  • Consider who you’ve been given the responsibility to judge and how well you did it with respect to God description (2-5).
  1. Even though God is omnipotent, we should not want His enemies to attack Him (1-2).
  • Think of something that someone does against God and how you can help fix that.
  1. It’s better to be a poor doorkeeper in God’s house than to be living in a wicked house (10).
  • Consider where you’re living and if it’s a good Christian environment; and if it’s not, what should you do to change your atmosphere?
  1. God blesses His people (1,9)—those who obey and respect Him.
  • Think about if you’re one of His children (not just a religious Christian); and if you’re not, DFSA this.
  1. Saying “teach me to respect you completely” is exactly what God wants to hear from us (11).
  • Imagine a world where everyone said and meant this. (It will be called heaven.)
  1. God loved Jerusalem, one reason being He built it (1).
  • “God, I can only imagine how much more You love me than a city! You completely love Jerusalem, but You loved me enough to create me in Your image.”
  1. Sometimes writing out one’s problems can be a good way to help organize what one is really feeling. It’s also a good way to get what’s off one’s mind when there’s nobody to tell.
  • Write a short description of something that’s on your mind, and pray about it.
  1. It’s alright to ask questions like “Why was I created?” to God because He welcomes genuine questions (47).
  • Ask God this question or a question that is also hard.
  1. Though our lives are filled with hard work and pain (10), God is our home—a place to rest (1).
  • Think about what you do when you are tired; and pray that you also learn to rest in God.
  1. If you go to God for protection, He will not let you down and He will rescue you from your troubles (1,14,15).
  • DFSA protection or to rescue you in an area of your life.
  1. Praying to God in the morning and at night is a good way to start and end your day (2).
  • TBA: Pray sometime tonight, before you get sleepy; and remember to pray when you wake up.
  1. The Lord is majestic (1); nothing in creation is greater than Him (4).
  • Think of about 4 of the greatest, most beautiful, and most awe-inspiring things in the universe; and contemplate that God is infinity times greater.
  1. Though we sometimes feel surrounded by wickedness, God will destroy and pay back evil people (16-18,22-23).
  • Think about someone who is evil to you; and though you must love him, find peace that God will soon punish him for his sins.
  1. God’s anger was pure and holy, not like our anger which holds grudges which usually involves impure thoughts and actions. God was angry because His people, whom he rescued, stopped loving Him (10-11).
  • Think about why a people whose hearts naturally will turn away from a God who can do amazing miracles for them out of love should never enter a land of rest (11).
  1. People generally don’t like to praise others or be judged, but we are commanded to praise God (7-9) and are destined to be judged fairly and truthfully by God Himself (13). (Isn’t it a good thing to a righteous person if he is being judged by God?)
  • Pick either praising God or being judged (whichever one is harder) and DFSA it.
  1. Reread verse 10. Most of us would say we hate evil, but do you hate the evil that God says is evil?
  • Read www.gotquestions.org/list-of-sins.html and learn to hate those evil acts (and never the evil person).
  1. Sing praises to the Lord, for He will save us and judge us fairly (2-3,9).
  • If you don’t sing praises to God on a weekly basis, figure out how to do this (attend church, small groups, sing in your room, etc).
  • If you do, thank God for the opportunity to praise Him, the all-loving Creator of the universe, and the time to take the focus off yourself.
  1. Because the Lord is powerful and just (4), we should be filled with holy respect (1).
  • Consider how you react when you hear “Jesus,” “God,” “Savior,” or any other of His names and change it if the names don’t strike you with total awe and respect.
  1. Is it better to be a kid whose parents care for him and don’t have too much responsibilities or an adult who have more freedoms but must do everything themselves? Most would say a kid; in the same way, God is our Shepherd, and we our His sheep.
  • Think about why being a sheep is better than being a shepherd.
  1. If you have the choice, live with trustworthy, innocent, and honest people (6-7).
  • If you have that choice, think about if you’re living with the right people.
  • If you don’t, make it a goal to be like this and to live with people like this.
  1. Someone is worried that his life is cut short; the natural response is to ask God for life. His response was one sentence for that (24) and a long selfless praise (25-28).
  • TBA: Copy this approach when asking for something.
  1. We praise God because He heals us (3), is kind to us (2), and has forgiven us (12). Our whole being, though, should want to praise Him also just because we want to (22)!
  • Praise the Lord for what He has done and who He is. (Try focusing on the second reason.)
  1. God created all of creation for our enjoyment and His glory.
  • TBA: Look at nature and try to see God in it.
  1. God provides for His people, and He will never (literally cannot) let us down.
  • “God, I know that, when I pray to You, You do hear me and have an answer for me. Your will may be that I don’t understand yet, but I do always know that You care deeply about me.”
  1. Time and time again the Israelites disobeyed God and worshipped idols because they preferred to sin rather than do the Lord’s will; another reason could be that the parents did not tell their children of the Lord’s goodness.
  • If you’re a parent with kids living in your house, make (or improve) a plan to consistently tell your kids of the Lord.
  • If you’re not, think of what this would be.
  1. In our hard times, God can do miracles to turn everything around (35-38). With evil people, though, He will do miracles to change our hearts (33-34,39-40).
  • Think about how you act and treat others and if God will do miracles to you in a helpful or teaching way.
  1. When considering God’s help, human help is useless (12-13).
  • Consider if you were in the middle of a physical fight, would you prefer a strong friend’s help or God’s help? (God could use a friend to help you.)
  1. As Christians truly embracing God’s will for our lives, we will be cursed a lot (17-18), but know that it’s all part of God building us up.
  • DFSA: a recent time someone was cursing you
  1. God judged nations by filling them with dead bodies and defeating their rulers (6).
  • Think about how Godly or un-Godly your nation is and if it deserves to be destroyed.
  1. If you want to be wise and knowledgeable, you must respect and obey God first (10).
  • If you want wisdom and knowledge, think about if you’re respectful and obedient to God.
  • If not, pray that you would want these things.
  1. A person will be happy when he respects and fears the Lord and loves all of His commandments (1).
  • DFSA: whichever one is more strange: to be happy when one fears God or to be happy when one loves all of God’s commandments
  1. God raises the poor from their slums (7) and gives children to women who desperately want them (9).
  • Think about what you would do if you were God and had poor and sad people; how does it compare with what God does?
  1. Even the earth is commanded to fear God (7).
  • Think about how the earth can fear (respect) and tremble before God. Ask God how this works.
  1. Our idols probably aren’t made of silver or gold, but what else have humans made that we give too much of our time too?
  • DFSA: 2 “idols” that you may have.
  1. It is precious to God when one of His children (Christians) dies because they will now be with Him, their suffering is over, and the Lord shows His sufficiency to those who grieve (15).
  • Think about this in response to someone you know who died a Christian.
  1. Praise God, for He loves us very much and will always have all truth.
  • Reread these 2 verses a few times and notice new meanings in them.
  1. The Lord is amazing in that He takes someone that nobody wants and makes him the focal point.
  • If you think nobody wants you: “God, nobody is there for me; I know You’re out there and care for me. Please help me; I cannot continue on my own.” Now listen to “Me and Jesus” by Stellar Kart.
  • If you don’t think this: Remember a time you thought this and what God showed you to remind you of the truth, and think of a way you can use this to teach someone else.
  1. We need help understanding the Word of God; when we want to know more about the meaning of a book, who better to ask than the author himself.
  • Ask God for help understanding the Bible.
  1. Those who plan evil don’t like peace, even if they think they do (2,6-7).
  • DFSA: a time you thought something evil about someone else recently
  1. Our God is a protector and defender; even if no one in your life is there to protect you, know that God will always be there for you.
  • “God, ___ is attacking me and I don’t know how to defend myself from the pain it brings; please defend and protect me. Show me what to do in this situation.”
  1. People loved Jerusalem because it was a Godly town.
  • Think about how Jerusalem’s description will compare with the New Jerusalem—heaven.
  1. No matter how independent you think you are or want to be, you are always dependent on God.
  • DFSA: an area of your life that your independent in but shouldn’t be
  1. David wondered what would be the outcome of Israel’s wars if God wasn’t on their side.
  • Imagine what your life would be like if God was not helping you.
  1. Those who trust in the Lord shall be strong like unmovable mountains (1); wickedness will come but not stay with the righteous (3).
  • “Lord, I may not be a perfectly righteous person, and I may not trust You with every part of my life, but I want to be able to get to that place—where I become as righteous and as trusting as I’m supposed to be. Please help me get there.”
  1. We become happy when we realize that God is in control of our riches, and that He will give it to us if we ask.
  • “I know that all of the riches that I earned are really gifts from You; though I have to work hard to get them, You ultimately decide my level of wealth. I give control of my finances to You, and I pray that You bless them.”
  1. Everything we do is in vain if God isn’t doing it with us (1).
  • DFSA: something you’re doing without God
  1. Though we must put God above our family, God blesses us through a good family (3,6).
  • If you have or had a family of your own, consider if it’s blessed; if not, DFSA why.
  • If you don’t have a family, consider how you should treat your spouse and children that would please the Lord.
  1. We are to love those that treat us badly but not bless them (2,8); for blessings are made for those who deserve to be blessed.
  • “God, help me to bless people more, and help me to learn who to bless, as blessings are special and only for specific people.”
  1. If you think you deserve more from God and that He should give you what is rightfully yours, you’d be in hell (3).
  • “Thank You Lord so much for paying the price for my sin; I feel like I deserve certain things in my life, but I really don’t. What I deserve is eternal punishment, and you took that away from me.”
  1. It is good to be calm and quiet (2), and to put your hope in God just as a baby trusts his mother (3).
  • Think of a way you can incorporate this mindset into your life.
  1. When God said that Jerusalem will be His home forever (14), He really meant it. Heaven will be on earth (or a re-creation of earth), and heaven will be called New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22).
  • Try to imagine heaven as a city on earth—the streets paved with gold (Rev. 21:21), a high insurmountable tower (Rev. 21:12), a river of life (Rev. 22:1), and a place with no tears or suffering (Rev. 21:4).
  1. Peaceful relationships are one of God’s greatest blessings.
  • DFSA: a way you can fix one of your relationships to be more peaceful
  1. We bless the Lord, just as He blesses us.
  • Think about what blessing means and how you should bless God.
  1. Praise the Lord; for whatever He decides to do, it is good.
  • Think about how this applies to an area in your life.
  1. God’s love will continue forever and in all circumstances.
  • Think about why God’s love (as opposed to other characteristics) is so important.
  1. Great songs that bring glory to God (besides hymns) can originate from the Bible.
  • Reread verses 1-4; then listen to and read the lyrics of “By the Rivers of Babylon” by Boney M.
  1. Why would we need to tell God not to leave us (8)? It reminds us how much we need Him.
  • Tell God this.
  1. God has planned our paths before we were born (16); He has billions and billions of thoughts about us (17-18).
  • Thank God that He has planned your path and has thought about so many things about you. Then, ask Him about something particular about your future.
  1. The Lord will help us when we are with the evil or wicked (1,4).
  • Pray to the Lord about something dealing with an evil or wicked person.
  1. If we know something is wrong or evil, we should want to stay away from it (4-6,9-10).
  • DFSA: 2 things you want that are wrong
  1. Without holding back, cry out to the Lord when you need help (1,5). Though you don’t have to cry, you should let yourself be vulnerable to God so that He can fully help you.
  • Do this for a problem in your life.
  1. Ask God to tell you what to do when you’re in trouble (7-8,10).
  • Apply this to something in your life.
  1. Praying for good things isn’t selfish (6-7,11-14); we should pray for such things but not be consumed by them.
  • Pray for a few good things to happen in your life.
  1. For many reasons we may never understand, it is very important to praise God; it says to in the beginning and end of this Psalm (1,21).
  • Praise Him for 3 things in your life.
  1. God gives food to the hungry, gives sight to the blind, and defends the orphans (7-8); whether we believe it or not, our Father loves us.
  • “God, I know that I don’t have to be spiritually excited or even right with you to know that You love me so much. You love me with all of my mistakes; and I know that, though I may not feel close to you at times, I will one day.”
  1. There are many logical reasons to praise the Lord, but sometimes we just praise Him because He spreads snow like wool (16), He throws hail like rocks (17), and He controls the breezes (18).
  • Praise the Lord for the nature you see around you.
  1. Even the sun, skies, sea animals, and snow praises God (3-10). Their very existence glorifies God, their Creator.
  • Think about how inanimate objects and animals can praise God too. (This is not how the object itself can praise Him but how its being praises Him.)
  1. Back then, commoners would participate in wars. Common people who belong to God are important enough to put kings and important men in chains (5,8).
  • Think about why God can use you to do incredible things.
  1. We should praise God with music, from the peacefulness of the harp (3) to the passion of loud crashing cymbals (5).
  • Think about why God likes it when we sing hymns to Him as well as sing newer (rock, pop, etc.) music.

Proverbs

  1. Wisdom is very important for any person (2-3) because they will help you when you’re in trouble (20,25-26). The great thing about wisdom is that you don’t have to be knowledgeable to be wise (4).
  • Think about how Godly wisdom is different than knowledge, and how it can save you when you’re in trouble.
  1. Wisdom isn’t something that we can gain on our own. God stores it up; and if we honestly want it for noble reasons, He will give it to us (7).
  • Ask God for wisdom, and tell Him why you want it.
  1. Children must learn wisdom for their lives to be successful (1,5-6,21); and because they can’t teach themselves, it is the job of adults, not just their parents, to guide them in the right direction.
  • Think of 2 children and 2 ways you can guide them towards wisdom.
  1. Wisdom brings a long, meaningful life (13,22-23).
  • DFSA: how meaningful your life is and how wisdom has been a part of that
  1. If you try to find joy or happiness in a woman besides your wife, you will feel only sorrow, and your life will be taken away from you (3-4,8-9). Find happiness in your wife, no matter how imperfect she is, because she is beautiful and loves you (19).
  • If you have a spouse, let him/her know from the depth of your heart how much and why you love him/her. This will require some thought. (Many spouses don’t like a have-hearted compliment.)
  • If you don’t, think about why you should never go to a seemingly kind, beautiful woman who wants you when you have a wife that can seem annoying and unloving at times. (If the wife is continually unloving, then this doesn’t apply.)
  1. Reread verses 16-19. These are known as the 7 Deadly Sins because God hates all of them.
  • DFSA: your worst Deadly Sin
  1. Many men who cheat on their wives are good, decent people; and they don’t intend or want to cheat. When they see a pretty woman alluring them, they give into their desires and sinful nature. They are dead to their old righteous ways and are now on a path of self-destruction and depression (21,25-27).
  • Think about why cheating on your spouse will always end up hurting everyone in the end.
  1. Why is wisdom better to have than gold and jewels (10-11)? Wisdom will show you what is the most important thing in the world to want and how to easily obtain it.
  • Consider what is the most important thing to want and if it is correct. If not, pray, study, and ask about what it is supposed to be. If what you were thinking of is probably right, do you have it completely?
  1. Many Proverbs say that those who listen to foolishness will die, and that they are on their way to the grave (18). This means that those who choose a foolish lifestyle may have fun for a short time; but will spiritually die, lose their morals, and be separated from God forever.
  • DFSA: a foolish action
  1. It is never good to be evil. When we look back on our lives in heaven or hell (no matter where we are), our biggest regret will be our sins because God hates sin more than anything else.
  • DFSA: a big sin
  1. Righteousness and wisdom are connected. One cannot be truly righteous without being wise, nor can one be wise without being righteous (3,18,30-31).
  • Think about why they’re connected and what you can do to improve.
  1. Even if you are doing what you think is right, you are likely doing something wrong. The wise always listens to advice and other ways of thinking (15).
  • Think about something that you think you’re definitely right about, remember someone else’s point of view, consider why he could be right, and why one of the viewpoints is right (or neither).
  1. Wealth gained quickly will dwindle because those people haven’t gained the skills to use or save their money wisely; while those who slowly earn their money will increase it as they are successfully saving and wisely spending it (11).
  • If you have bills to pay, is your savings increasing or decreasing (despite the economy)? If they’re decreasing, think of 2 things you can do to increase them.
  • If you don’t have bills, think about how your lifestyle will be, how big your paycheck will be, and if those match up with a saving that increases.
  1. What categorizes a fool? One who is proud (3), not guilty when sinning (9), believes anything (15), lazy (18), and quickly gets angry (29).
  • DFSA: any foolish attributes
  1. If you love yourself and your life, you must pay attention to correction (31); if not, you hate yourself (32).
  • Think about how you take correction and how you can improve it.
  1. In today’s culture (especially in the United States), a person with gray hair is looked down upon for not looking young and attractive; this is because we live in a society that values personal appearance far greater than elderly wisdom (31).
  • Think about why older people with wisdom deserve much honor.
  1. Reread verse 15. If anything happens to you that you don’t deserve or something doesn’t happen to someone else, it’s for the overall good and justice will be given.
  • “I thank You for what happens in my life that I cannot understand—why good people get punished and evil people get away unpunished. I thank you because You do everything for good and will justly punish and reward those who deserve it.”
  1. God rewards us based on what we say (20-21).
  • TBA: Think about if what you say is righteous and good and if it’s deserving of God’s approval and rewards.
  1. Do you blame the Lord for your failures, maybe because he didn’t help you? Only a person’s own foolishness can ruin him (3); God helps those who truly love Him and ask for His help (Zechariah 13:9).
  • If you blame God for something in your life, consider if you even like God or have asked for His help.
  • If you don’t blame God, think about if you truly love Him with all your heart and truly want His solutions for your problems.
  1. Though revenge is hard to get rid of once we want it, God says to let Him take care of it (22).
  • DFSA: someone you want revenge on
  1. God wants you to do good but only if your reasons are just.
  • Think about 3 good things you do but if they’re for the right reasons.
  1. Wisdom builds upon itself. We are only given 31 chapters of wisdom, yet God reveals more wisdom to us so that we can give true answers to anyone who asks (20-21).
  • “Thank you God for giving me wisdom. It’s more important to be wise than be rich, be powerful, or live a comfortable life. Help me to believe this.”
  1. People will use fancy foods or gifts to get you to do what they want (1-3).
  • Think about what you would do if this situation happened.
  1. Don’t be happy when your enemies are overwhelmed (17). You should be happy you won but not happy that your enemy is facing problems.
  • DFSA: a time you were happy about someone else’s misfortune
  1. Give food or help your enemies if you want God to bless you and have your enemies feel like they have hot coals on their head (21-22).
  • TBA: try this to someone you dislike
  1. We try to honor foolish people, young children or lazy adults, in hopes that our good words will make them better people. In reality, this only encourages their bad behavior; foolish people should never be honored (1,3,8). Only loving correction will help them.
  • DFSA: a time you praise someone acting foolishly when you should’ve corrected them
  1. Though we are not supposed to judge if people are saved or not, we have to judge their actions (5).
  • Think about why we must judge wrong actions but not judge their souls.
  1. Reread verse 23. Though at first one who corrects might be disliked, he will be liked more than someone who half-heartedly or dishonestly praises bad actions.
  • DFSA: a time you did this
  1. Whether you’re good or wicked, people will hate you (27).
  • Think about how God would want you to handle people who hate you.
  1. Don’t add to the Bible because it doesn’t match what you believe (5-6).
  • Research why what the Bible says is true. Then, research, or ask someone about, one thing you think the Bible is wrong about.
  1. We should speak for those who cannot voice their minds and defend those who are helpless (8-9), for this is the will of our God.
  • TBA: do this for someone you know
  • If you cannot do this, think about how you could.

Ecclesiastes

  1. Reread verse 18. This is a very true statement. The wiser and/or smarter you become, the more you know about the problems in this world; and the magic of being a kid fades away. You must trust God completely to fill your life with purpose or you won’t be happy or joyous.
  • Think about how simple, non-knowledgeable people tend to be happier and how geniuses or people who have anything they want (musicians, actors) tend to be sadder.
  1. After chasing all kinds of happiness, wealth, women, hard work, projects, and wisdom, Solomon realized that even these good things are useless because we all die eventually (1,11,15). That is why the best life is one where you enjoy yourself, work hard, and do the Lord’s will, for all of this is a gift from God (24-25).
  • Consider why this is just as good as being a pastor, missionary, person who helps the poor, etc.
  1. There is a right time for everything (1-8). We must figure out the right time for every action so we do what is right. Sometimes it is right to kill, while at other times, it is right to be peaceful (8). If we mix up these times—being peaceful during wartime or killing during times of peace—we may be guilty of sin.
  • DFSA: one of the actions in verses 1-8 to figure out the right time to do or not do something
  1. No matter how independent you are, you are made to be with others (9-12).
  • Think about how many people you interact with every day, if this is healthy, and what you need to do to change it, if necessary.
  1. Wealth cannot buy happiness (10); so why should we work hard at all? Working is how we live, and God hates laziness. So, God will allow us to enjoy our work and life if we work hard, honestly, and for Him (19-20).
  • If you work, think about if you enjoy your job, why and if that’s the right reason (if you do), and DFSA how to make it more enjoyable.
  • If you don’t work, think about what kind of job you want to have—one that is enjoyable, able to support your lifestyle and family, and is pleasing to God.
  1. It is useless to argue with God over something in your life (10-11) because if He wants it in your life, it will stay. Always wanting something better isn’t how to live because you will then always want more (9); being happy with what you have is how to live happily and fully.
  • “Help me to not argue with You over something in my life; you put it there for a reason, and I will learn to be happy with it.”
  1. Wise people think about death because they’re not afraid to confront what happens to them for the rest of eternity; and foolish people are more concerned about having a good time now, though they don’t realize that having a good time is like a drug—the more they have, the more they want (4).
  • Based on thinking of death versus having a good time, are you more wise or foolish?
  • DFSA if you’re more foolish, or thank God if you’re more wise.
  1. There is a right time and a right way for anything; but because we don’t know the future, we have to learn how to do things right (5-7).
  • Ask God about how to do something in your life and for the right time.
  1. It is okay with God if you enjoy food and wine and wear good-looking clothes, as long as you’re not consumed by it (7-8).
  • Ask God what is the right balance between eating happily versus overeating and dressing nicely versus trying too hard to look good.
  1. A person is foolish if he talks too much about what he will do, for a person cannot know his future (14).
  • “I know it’s alright to talk about what I plan on doing; but help me to not talk too much about it and instead just do it.”
  1. God wants us to do whatever we want, as long as it’s not sinful, while we’re young (9-10).
  • Think about what you really want to do if you had no restrictions or setbacks and make it a goal to do a few of those.
  1. When you are old, you will have many problems; but remember, heaven is just a few years away.
  • If you’re old, think about where you’re going to spend eternity, if this is what you want, and how you can change it if you don’t want it.
  • If you’re young, think about why you should be thinking about the afterlife, death, and other related things now and not when you’re older.

Songs of Solomon

  1. Romance was God’s creation; treating our spouse lovingly is not only good for a marriage but is also fun, exciting, and how to start a good family.
  • If you’re in a committed relationship, do you talk to your partner like Solomon? If not, DFSA how to. If you do, thank God for giving you this hard to obtain gift.
  • If you’re not, make it a goal to be able to talk to your future spouse like them.
  1. Both the man and the woman complement each other.
  • If you’re in a relationship, TBA: Talk to your partner about mutually complementing each other.
  • If you’re not, think about why you should complement your partner all the time and with deep, thought-out meaning.
  1. The wife talked to her friends about her husband in and uplifting, kind, and endearing way (5-11).
  • If you’re in a relationship, DFSA: how you talk about your partner to your friends and family.
  • If you’re not, think about why you should talk mostly about the good in your partner to your friends while leaving talking about the bad to specific, closer people.
  1. The man uses poetry, symbolism, similes, and exaggerations to show his affection.
  • If you like or love someone, think about how you can express your feelings through poetry.
  • If you don’t, think about why doing this will be important.
  1. The woman’s friends, instead of being happy for her, were jealous and mean to her (9).
  • If you know someone who talks about his relationship, DFSA: how you react when he talks about his relationship
  • If you don’t, think about why you should be happy for your friend with a relationship instead of being annoyed or angry.
  1. Some women have insecurity issues (13); and it’s the man’s job to remind her how lovely, beautiful, and wonderful she really is (4-9).
  • If you’re in a relationship and a man, TBA: tell your partner how you truly feel about her beauty and attitude, and lean towards saying good things.
  • If you’re a woman, think about why you should gratefully accept these compliments.
  • If you’re not in a relationship and not a woman, think about what you gain from talking well of your future girlfriend.
  1. The man and woman leave their homes (11) to go make love in the fields (12). A relationship needs to be exciting and spontaneous; and both have to contribute to it.
  • If you’re in a relationship, TBA: something spontaneous for your partner
  • If you’re not, think about why spontaneity is important.
  1. True love bursts into flames and burns like a very hot fire (6-7); and while fire is good, it can also burn if not controlled.
  • If you love someone (who’s a lover), does your love feel like this? If it does, DFSA if you can’t control it.
  • If you don’t love someone like this, think of ways you could change your heart and actions so that your future love stays strong.
  • If you don’t love someone, think about why passionate love and controlled love are both important to a healthy and happy relationship.

Isaiah

  1. God is displeased with sin and disobedience (10-11,20,24-25).
  • Consider what it’d be like to have God hate most of who you are and what you do (though God will always love you), if you think God is displeased with you, and what you can do to please God.
  1. Bosses who give money, spouses who give love, friends who give support, and even parents who give themselves are just people in the end. They cannot save you the same way God, who gave His life for you, can (22).
  • DFSA: who you truly put your trust in
  1. Women were made to be beautiful prizes won by the most loving and noble of men; but now, some women choose to flirt with many guys, try to take the interest of others guys while they have someone already (16). They’re secular beauty makes them proud, and God will take that away from them (17-24).
  • Think about the difference between secular seductiveness and inner, spiritual beauty. (Hint: Seductiveness deals with staring at certain body parts, while beauty cares more about the person.)
  1. When the countries Judah and Jerusalem were too evil and proud, God took away those things which they cherished (3:1-5,18-26) most; but He protected and aided the holy ones from those cities (3,5,6).
  • Think about if your country is getting more evil and proud, if God should destroy it, and how He could do that.
  1. It will be terrible for those who think good things are bad and bad things are good (20).
  • DFSA: something you think is good but probably isn’t
  1. No matter who we are, when we see God, we will tremble at how holy and pure He is and how unholy and sinful we are (5).
  • Think about the day when you’ll be face to face with God and how you’ve prepared for that.
  1. Though it seemed good that Ahaz didn’t want proof of God (10-12), it was actually bad because God told him to ask, and he disobeyed (13).
  • Think deeply about something God is telling you to do and if you’re doing it correctly.
  1. Isaiah was not supposed to be afraid of the things the people were afraid of (12), but he was supposed to fear and dread God (13) because He is the only Being that had any control of his life.
  • DFSA: what your most afraid of
  1. The Israelites are like children to their Father God; and though no father likes punishing his children, God did punish them to make them better people (8-21).
  • If you are a parent, think about how you feel when you punish your child and how this relates to God and Israel.
  • If you’re not, think about much your parent’s truly love you and why they punished you.
  1. God was using an evil king’s sin for good (5-27).
  • Think about how God can use your country’s main leader for good, even if it seems like he does only bad.
  1. When Jesus comes back, wolves will sleep with lambs and cows will eat with bears (6-9).
  • Try to think about how this miraculous time will be for those who believe in Jesus.
  1. Though we are to fear the Lord with respect and awe-inspiring wonder (Psalm 33:8), we are not to be afraid of Him (2).
  • Think about the differences between these two meanings of fear, and talk to God about it.
  1. Babylon was a proud nation, and they were destroyed because of it (19).
  • “God, please help the leaders of my nation to trust in You for their guidance; some of them are proud people who do whatever they please; so please guide them in the right way for the sake of the people.”
  1. Even the greatest and most powerful king in the world was humbled by God (4-6).
  • Think about who in this world has too much power, who doesn’t deserve it, and realize that God can take away his power whenever He wants.
  1. Moab was deserving of God’s judgment; and no matter how much they cried (2-4) or how much sadness the refugees show (7-8), they cannot escape God’s judgment.
  • Think about and truly ask God what His current judgment for you is (for He will tell you if you truly ask for Godly reasons).
  1. God made everything the Moabites were proud of hated (14).
  • Think of something in your life that you were wrongly proud of but now dislike.
  1. Many forget that God saves us from our problems (10); we forget because our problems consume our minds.
  • “God, please help me to get this problem I can’t stop thinking about to a healthier level. I know I need to think about it; but help me be in control of it, instead of it controlling me.”
  1. Cush was destroyed, and there’s no obvious reason why. One doesn’t have to know God’s reason to know that He’s justified in doing what He does.
  • “Help me to understand that everything You do is just and pure; I don’t have to understand why You do something to know that Your decision was good.”
  1. “Wise men” who serve kings and presidents aren’t automatically wise because of their position; many times they give false advice (11-13).
  • Learn a story about your country and government and why the important advisors are giving good or bad advice.
  1. Reread verse 2. God said something to Isaiah that didn’t make much sense, but he obeyed.
  • Take some time to listen to what God wants you to do; and in how a child obeys his parents because he trusts them, obey God.
  1. The traders from Dedan gave food and water to needy travelers and fleeing soldiers (13-15).
  • Think about what you’d do if you saw a needy homeless man on the road, or a dangerous, bloody guy in need of help.
  1. No matter how important you are, God can always take your job away from you and give it to someone else.
  • Thank God for something you do now and acknowledge to Him that He is the One who controls that situation, not you.
  1. God wants His people to have much food and nice clothes (18).
  • “Help me to understand the difference between indulging in food and vainly wearing attractive clothing and enjoying food and dressing appropriately and nicely.”
  1. One day, God will punish the world for its sins.
  • Think about if you are ready for the day when God will destroy the world and you will be standing before God, Who will judge your life and mind to see if you belong in heaven or hell.
  1. When good things happen to our lives, we must remember to trust God that He is the cause of our goodness, not random chance (9).
  • DFSA: a time you thanked yourself for something God did
  1. Life can be hectic and hard; but to have real, everlasting peace, we must depend and completely trust in God (3).
  • “I may not be able to trust You in everything; but I definitely want to, for I know this is Your will and the best thing for me. Please, give me faith to completely trust You.”
  1. The people refused to understand God; so God wouldn’t comfort or be kind to them (11).
  • “I want to understand You to the very depths of Your mind; I know that, for now, that is impossible, but please help me learn more about You. I want to do Your will, for Your glory and even for my own good.”
  1. God uses justice and goodness to measure us by (17).
  • DFSA: your justness and goodness
  1. Some people try to convince themselves that humans created God—that He is just an imagination.
  • No matter how you view God, talk to Him about who He is to you and who He should be.
  1. God always has the ability to help us, but He waits for us to ask Him so that we know Who is our God and Who is the One with the real power (1-2). He also loves having a relationship with His people.
  • Pray to God for help in something.
  1. Never rely on a country, for they are just a group of imperfect people (1-3).
  • Think about who you go to when you need help for your biggest problems, if this is good, and who you should be going to. (This answer isn’t just God.)
  1. While men care about safety too, women like to feel safe—in their family, money, or even themselves; but only God can give true safety, for He alone has all power (9-11,15).
  • TBA: Tell the women in your life about how God is the only one Who gives ultimate safety.
  1. In the time of Jerusalem’s great desperation and Assyria’s great wickedness, God intervened to save Jerusalem, a city of people He loved.
  • “God, I know You love me, despite all my imperfections and failures. Help me to realize this before your judgment. Help me to also know that a loving God, just like any loving father, either rewards or punishes his children based on their decisions.”
  1. While God is always gracious, loving, and kind, He can also be angry (2); but His anger is not mean or sinful but righteous and just.
  • Think about why anger isn’t sinful in itself, is necessary in certain situations, and why God would be wrong to not get angry at certain things humans do.
  1. God says to those who are afraid and confused to be strong and brave, for God will come and punish our enemies (4), assuming they did wrong.
  • DFSA: something you are afraid or confused about
  1. The Assyrian commander tried to scare the people of Judah into thinking that God wouldn’t save them (18), and their only source of salvation was the Assyrian king (16).
  • DFSA: something someone said that caused you to not trust that God will save you
  1. It must have not been too reassuring when your country is about to be destroyed to hear that they will be saved because the king will hear a report to return to his country (5-7). The people believed that the king will kill them, not return to his country.
  • “Help me to find Your methods sufficient enough for my life.”
  1. Even though God knew that He was going to extend Hezekiah’s life by 15 years, He told Hezekiah that he was going to die because He still wanted Hezekiah to pray to Him. God wants us to talk to Him (1-5).
  • Think about why God helps us more when we pray to Him as opposed to when we don’t pray to Him. Which one would give Him glory?
  1. Because Hezekiah was bragging about his wealth (2), God took away most of what he had (5-7).
  • DFSA: something you brag about
  1. On earth, we can never completely know the mind of God (13); so don’t get stressed or annoyed if you cannot understand Him completely yet.
  • “God, I may not feel strongly about this; but I know I want to get to know You more. Help me understand Who You are, Your love for me, and Your plan for my life.”
  1. Only the Lord can help us in our daily endeavors; only He can save us. All other gods aren’t real, and God challenges anyone who thinks otherwise to prove Him wrong (21).
  • DFSA: who you go to when you need help with normal, mundane tasks
  1. Reread verses 1-4. Jesus will never fail us.
  • DFSA: a time you thought Jesus failed you
  1. God doesn’t remember our sins because this pleases Himself (25).
  • Think of an instance in your life where you can follow this example.
  1. We make false gods for ourselves, like football, good grades, happiness, in hopes that they will fulfill us (17), but only the one true God can save us (23-24).
  • DFSA: something you put hope in to fulfill you and give you happiness (We can still find happiness in ordinary things, but they cannot be the main source of our joy.)
  1. God gave King Cyrus, who had no relationship with God, everything a king could want because He wanted to show the world that there is no other God (1-6).
  • Think about why God would do good things for people who don’t believe in Him.
  1. God cares about you and will save you (3-4); no amount of money will ever save you (6-8).
  • DFSA: your trust in money
  1. Babylon was a city of people who sought after their own desires (8), made the elderly work (6), and trusted in magic and tricks for guidance (12); so God allowed their troubles (11), their loss of family (8-9), and their loss of an easy, proud life (2-3).
  • Think about how the description of Babylon matches your own life.
  1. God is patient with us (9), purifies us (10), and saves us for His own sake—for His glory (9,11).
  • Think about why God does good things to us for Himself. (Would it be right if God did good things not for Himself?)
  1. God always audibly hears our prayers; but only in His perfect timing does He choose to answer them (8).
  • DFSA: a current problem in which you don’t think God hears you
  1. We are all God’s servants, and He teaches us to listen like students (4).
  • “God, teach me how to listen to both You and others; give me a humble heart so that I may learn to accept correction and listen with a goal to improve myself and not just listen because I have to.”
  1. Abraham had no children when God called him for greatness (2). (Not having children was one of the most disgraceful attributes of a person back then.)
  • DFSA: your worth in being used for God’s glory
  1. The Lord’s servants are those who suffer for His name (13-15).
  • Think about why it’s good to be a servant of God and how it’s beneficial to yourself to suffer.
  1. Can you relate to Jesus Christ? He was not noticed, suffering, punished, and disliked (3-5).
  • TBA: Reread verses 3-7 and remember them.
  1. God loves Jerusalem, a city of sinful people who constantly turned from him; and He truly and deeply cares for them (14).
  • Reread verse 7, and think about why God would hide from something He loves so much.
  1. Those monetarily poor need money to live, and those spiritually poor people need the Lord to live (1-2).
  • DFSA: what’s more important to you: physical or spiritual richness
  1. Those who are blind to their real calling just want to satisfy themselves and are focused on having a good time (10-12).
  • DFSA: what you focus on
  1. God distinguishes peace from real peace (19).
  • Think about the differences between the peace money or a job can give you and the peace God promises.
  1. We honor God by helping and being kind to others (6-10).
  • “Help me to help others more, instead of just worrying about my own problems, and help me to be kinder to others daily just as I want people to be kind to me.”
  1. Reread verses 15-16. These verses point out 2 important facts: that God prefers to use us to help others and that there was no one, in that time, able to be used by God.
  • Think about if you’re capable of being used by God.
  • If yes, think about what God has done through you.
  • If no, DFSA if you really are trying to become that person.
  1. This description is about the New Jerusalem, also known as Heaven.
  • Think about how amazing heaven will be and how you’re preparing for it with your life.
  1. All that [Isaiah] is rejoices in God (10).
  • DFSA: that who you are should rejoice in God
  1. God left, destroyed, and rejected Jerusalem (4,12); but He loves, saves, and chooses to glorify Jerusalem, not because of what Jerusalem has done, but because God chose them (12).
  • “I understand that You have chosen me to be holy and special; but my life won’t change until I choose to accept it.”
  1. God helped His children, the Israelites, when they called to Him for help; so that they will know Who helped them and Who to love. (7-14).
  • Think about this in reference to a moment when you’re wondering why you are calling out to God (and possibly hearing no response).
  1. God helps those who trust in Him, enjoy doing good, and remember how He wants us to live (4-5).
  • DFSA: those 3 attributes that God will help us if we have
  1. Reread verses 1-3. We wonder why God doesn’t help us while we’re doing something that makes Him angry.
  • “Lord, I will seek You above anything else, and I will stop doing sins that anger You. I know You love me and want to help me.”
  1. One day, God will judge all people.
  • Think of one thing you’re doing that displeases God.

Jeremiah

  1. God will use anyone, even a youth, to further His plans (6-8).
  • Think of 1 way God can use you.
  1. Everyone at one point isn’t with God.
  • DFSA: your #1 idol
  1. God hates the unfaithful.
  • Pray about one person who hasn’t been faithful to God.
  1. Because Israel was evil, God brought disaster.
  • DFSA: 2 horrible sins
  1. We should fear God.
  • Think of 3 reasons why you fear God
  1. Because of Jerusalem’s wickedness, it was destroyed.
  • DFSA: 2 wicked things you do
  1. God doesn’t want Jeremiah to pray for Judah’s wickedness.
  • “Why didn’t You want Jeremiah to pray for Judah’s wickedness?”
  1. The wicked refuse to acknowledge their wickedness.

DFSA: 2 wicked things you do.

  1. Judah lied and was punished.

DFSA: 1 lie

  1. Don’t interact in any way with false idols.

DFSA: 2 idols

  1. Trust God even when people want to kill you.

Figure out your worst problem and why God is allowing that problem.

  1. Evil people do prosper but not forever.

I understand that the evil, successful person in my life will be punished according to the wrong he has done.

  1. Even if God will punish you, praise Him, for He is God.

Praise God for the lessons from a problem you’ve gone through.

  1. Don’t believe in the false prophets who claim to know God.

Give me guidance against false prophets.

  1. The fact that this chapter is still talking about the non-believers’ punishment emphasizes the fact that He doesn’t deal with them easily.

Pray for a non-believer.

  1. The idol worshippers will be punished.

Pray for a different idol worshipper than “15.”

  1. You cannot trust in man; you must trust in God.

DFSA: 1 person you trust too much.

  1. God controls everything.

Pray about the future results of 1 situation. (Even though it’s bad, God controls it.)

  1. Because Judah worshipped fake gods, it will be like a broken pot.

Why do You give us so many metaphors?

  1. Even though Jeremiah felt constant pain and misery, he had an important purpose.

Think about this: You aren’t useless; you can’t be. God has an important job for you to     do.

  1. God controls everything. He can change every part of your life.

I am open to You changing my life.

  1. Don’t be sad when the wicked are punished.

Punish _____; he’s wicked and deserves to be punished.

  1. God hates false prophets.

Research a modest amount of information about 1 false Christianized religion (It’s a          religion that claims to be like Christianity but with some differences; those differences are usually what make them false.)

  1. God decides your fate.

Will you a glimpse of your future?

  1. Even with God’s prophets, we can still stray from Him.

Keep me on the right path.

  1. We might think God’s prophets are false.

Show us who the right prophets are.

  1. Sometimes God’s way isn’t what we’d expect.

Give me an open mind that doesn’t reject the truth.

  1. God will punish false prophets.

Tell me if I’m saying something that goes against You; if I am, stop me.

  1. God comforts us when we have problems.

Please give me comfort.

  1. God punishes us, but He’ll take us and comfort us.

Please give me comfort.

  1. God changes our sadness to happiness.

DFSA: 1 sad moment

  1. God’s always in control.

DFSA: 1 area in need of self-control.

  1. God always keeps His promise.

Promise God something without making a request.

  1. God doesn’t want slave drivers (including minimum wage workers when you can pay more).

Help me be more generous.

  1. God rewards the faithful.

Help my faith grow.

  1. God punishes pride.

Help me be less prideful.

  1. Even though Jeremiah prophesized what the people of Jerusalem didn’t want to hear, it did happen.

Help me cope with what You don’t want.

  1. Always seek advice from the Lord.

Give me some advice in [an area of your life in need of help].

  1. If God says something, it’s already true.

Help me always to follow what You say.

  1. Don’t believe every rumor; they can lead you away from God.

Guard my heart from rumors.

  1. Don’t think that being a nice guy will prevent other people from being sinful towards you. Being a Christian isn’t being a pansy; stand up for yourself without sinning.

I will fulfill this.

  1. Always follow what God expects of you, even if you’re dying to do the opposite.

If you don’t already Lent, then make the next week a time of Lent. If you do, make sure the next one is tough (plan ahead).

  1. Don’t let fear take you away from God. God will always protect you and do what’s best for you.

I’ll always remember this.

  1. Sometimes following God brings pain and ignoring Him makes your life better. Don’t think that God doesn’t exist because He makes your life painful (e.g.—a family member died); He puts problems in your life to draw you closer to Him, to teach you a lesson, and to use the situation for His glory.

I understand this.

  1. God answers your prayers, but He might allow pain along the way.

Help me through my pain.

  1. God punishes fairly, and you can’t escape that.

If you haven’t already, make it a daily task to ask God to forgive you of your sins.

  1. You can’t say God is mean if He punishes you for sins that you do; you deserve the

I understand that You aren’t mean and that You’re fair.

  1. Moab thought they were better, but in the end, they were destroyed.

DFSA: 2 prideful attitudes

  1. God decides the outcome of wars.

I want to desire Your will when it comes to war issues.

  1. God can make the greatest and strongest foes resemble little afraid girls.

DFSA: 2 prideful attitudes

  1. Don’t feel sorry for those punished by God.

Remember 2 of God’s punishments and how they helped you.

God gives us many chances to repent.

Help me to realize when You give us many chances.

  1. God always fulfills His promises.

Help me in obeying You.

Lamentations

  1. Don’t expect help if you turn against God.

Help me to listen to You.

  1. When God punishes, you can understand how much God wants you to follow Him.

I’ll never leave You.

  1. Though we suffer and feel alone, God is always there for us.

I’ll always love You and strive to follow Your will.

  1. God punished His chosen people for their sin.

DFSA: 2 sins

  1. Turn to God for your problems to be alleviated.

Pray to God for the problems He gives you.

Ezekiel

  1. God will give people signs, but make sure to follow His will above all else.
  • Think about some signs God has given you and pray for more.
  1. If God tells you to do something, even if the situation is pointless, do it; not listening to God is ­­­­worse.
  • Pray to God without saying anything; just listen.
  1. God gives us many warnings.
  • “I will completely accept Your warnings.”
  1. God can and will make unfair things happen to us.
  • “I’ll accept all unfairness in my life.”
  1. God punished the Israelites for their disobedience
  • If you worship God, then you should also obey everything He tells you.
  1. The unfaithful will soon realize that what they worship is useless.

DFSA: 2 unfaithful people

  1. When God punishes, it can be extreme.

DFSA: 2 reasons why God should punish you extremely

  1. Idols don’t have to be stone or gold; they are anything that you enjoy more than spending time with God.

DFSA: 2 gods

  1. Sometimes seemingly unfair circumstances are fair.

Help me to realize if the unfair circumstances in my life are really unfair.

  1. God can do amazing things.

I’ll never doubt Your power. / DFSA: 1 time you did.

  1. God can change the worst situations.

Change my worst problem.

  1. If we disobey God, we’re more likely to ignore Him when He calls us.

Help me to understand and hear You.

  1. God hates those who lie for profit. Even if it seems that you lie for good or to help someone, a lie is a lie.

I’ll do my best to not lie, no matter what the circumstances.

  1. We can find comfort in God’s punishment for us; it means God cares for us (like when a mother punishes her child).

“I know that Your punishment for me is for my own good.”

  1. You deserve punishment for your sins. God puts you through a disaster in which you escape without His help. God will punish you later.

My pride won’t be so great that I thing that I can do anything without You.

  1. God hates it when we act like prostitutes to our Husband (God). If we cheat on Him (worship idols, love someone more than God, spend too much time with something, like a game or sport, etc.), He will punish us.

DFSA: how you act like a prostitute to God

  1. God can take down a king and put a peasant in his place. Just because you’re important, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to respect God. Always think of yourself lowly (humbly).

DFSA: 1 prideful moment/I won’t think too highly of myself.

  1. God wants us to repent our iniquity and live righteously.

“God, I know You hate the sin I do every day, and I am truly sorry for how I have wronged You.”

  1. The blessed can become unblessed.

DFSA: 1 time that your life was good, and it turned bad.

  1. No matter how much you believe in something that goes against God, it doesn’t disprove His existence.

Help me guard my heart from sinful pleasures.

  1. God will use the evil to punish the good. The evil will get their fair share of punishment in due time. God wants to make sure the good stay good.

“I understand and accept this, and I won’t get angry.”

  1. The chosen people thought they could do whatever they want—commit sexual abominations and shed blood; but the Lord saw it all and allowed it to happen, until the day He punished them.

“I understand that I am worthless, yet You chose to give me worth. Thank you.”

  1. You are as bad as a prostitute if you worship something more than God. Worship can be playing video games for long periods of time, constantly looking up pornographic images, or devoted your life to being social and popular.

“Help me to not fall victim to the ‘prostitutes’ that will keep me away from You.”

  1. God told Ezekiel that He was going to take away his wife (16), but he was not supposed to mourn at all (17). This happened because Ezekiel was supposed to be an example to the Israelites (24) because God would destroy Jerusalem, because of their evil (21), and they were not supposed to mourn either (22-23).

“I won’t love anything more than You.”

  1. God punished the nations according to what they did.

“I understand that Your wrath must be poured out on those deserving; those who do evil must be punished justly.”

  1. God can use our sufferings as an example for others.

“I know that my suffering is good for myself but also for others too.”

  1. Even the most beautiful and rich can become poor and shunned.

“I will never put these 2 attributes over what’s really important.”

  1. The prince of Tyre became so proud that he thought of himself as a god (2) because he was very wise (3) and wealthy (4). He did not worship the one true God anymore, and he would be killed for his proudness (6-10).

DFSA: something you are too proud about

  1. God will reward us for our hard work (17-20).

Think of 2 times your hard work paid off.

  1. Even the most powerful can be destroyed.

Think of 1 powerful person who will be destroyed for their lack of faith.

  1. Don’t be proud of your power, glory, intellect, etc. God gave it to you, and He can take it away.

“Help me to be humble.”

  1. The young and happy can be destroyed if they disobey God.

The young: I won’t let other things distract me from obeying You.

The not young: DFSA: 1 rebellious child

  1. If God tells you to do something, even if it seems pointless to you, do it.

DFSA: 1 seemingly pointless act God wants you to do.

  1. God will take care of His people, even though we are helpless.

Figure out 2 reasons why God is the only one who can help you.

  1. Read verse 11 again. Like the golden rule, God could punish us the same way we hurt someone else.

Help me to follow the golden rule.

  1. God saved the Israelites, not because they deserved it, because He was bringing honor to His Name. God cares about how we think of Him. We should want others to think honorably about us, but we should not care too much. Some people won’t like you. As long as God respects and loves you, that’s all that really matters.

I understand this.

  1. God can use us to do miracles.

(Think this one through) I’m open to what You wants to do with me. I’m willing, no matter how painful or costly.

  1. God is angry with those who go against what and who He honors.

Give me wisdom in worldly affairs (e.g.—abortion, pro-Israel, etc.)

  1. God had mercy on the Israelites, even though they didn’t deserve it.

Please give me mercy, even though I don’t deserve it.

  1. If God tells us to do something, we should do our best job at it.

DFSA: 1 sloppy job

  1. The little things in life do matter. God might not want you to overlook them.

DFSA: 3 little things in life to not overlook

  1. If you have more important jobs for Christianity, you’ll work a lot more. Don’t fear a deep relationship with God because you’re afraid of wasting your life.

I don’t fear a deeper relationship with You.

  1. One of the points of God showing us that they used to sacrifice many animals is that now we don’t have to.

Praise God for this.

  1. God rewards the faithful.

Give me obedience to follow Your rules better.

  1. God wants fairness.

Help me to be more fair.

  1. God also died on the cross so all of these rules wouldn’t have to be followed.

I am very grateful that You took away these offering rules.

  1. Anything is possible with God.

I know that You’re all-powerful, and You can make anything happen.

  1. Sometimes God wants us to set aside the best in our life for Him.

If you have a job, and don’t already do this, tithe. Remember: if you give, you’ll receive more.

Daniel

  1. If you know something is right, do it, even if everyone else is telling you to do the wrong.

Help me to be bold in my faith.

  1. God can make important leaders do stupid things (kill all wise men) to make better things happen.

Help me to understand Your will in guiding the leaders.

  1. Even when you’re not sure if God wants to help you, trust in Him. There’s no one else who can really help.

I’ll trust You can save me from any problem.

  1. The proud will be made humble.

Help me to not be so prideful.

  1. God doesn’t like it when we disobey Him, especially if He have us a direct warning.

Help me to learn from the mistakes of others, especially my family.

  1. Don’t try to get the non-lazy or righteous in trouble because they’re doing better than you. They deserve their reward.

DFSA: 2 times those characteristics helped you.

  1. God gives and takes away power.

I won’t let my power control me because You control it.

  1. Don’t be upset if you don’t understand something from God.
  • DFSA: 1 thing from God you don’t understand
  1. When you pray for help, make sure you know that it’s not because you deserve help; it’s because of His mercy.
  • DFSA: 1 area of help
  1. Jesus gives us strength, so listen to everything He tells you.
    • Give me a willing mind to accept what You tell me.
  2. Pride of yourself won’t get you anywhere. Giving the glory to God can.
    • I give You glory for everything in my life / Give an example.
  3. The wise and righteous will live forever, if they can withstand His trials.
    • DFSA: 2 times something pushed you away from God

Hosea

  1. Even if God asked you to marry an unfaithful spouse, do it.
    • Why would You want a Christian to marry a prostitute, even though other people were unfaithful to You?
  2. God will show grace even to those who turned their back on Him.
    • Help me to never be like Israel and cheat on You.
  3. Give people 2nd Everyone, even prostitutes, deserves it.
    • If someone is in need of you giving them a 2nd chance, go give it.
  4. If you have authority in any way, don’t look down on your people; you sin too.
    • DFSA: 1 time you corrected someone, yet you sinned too, but no one was around to correct you
  5. God left His people, even when they came to worship Him, because they haven’t been loyal to Him.
    • Pray to God if you were/are not loyal to Him. If you were, pray you will never again be disloyal.
  6. God cares more about us being faithful about our love towards Him than sacrifices (e.g. good deeds).
    • Help me to focus more on a relationship with you than doing good deeds for You.
  7. Sometimes you can be so wicked so that God won’t help you get better. You have to allow Him to heal you, and He will do the rest.
    • I will allow You to heal me if You will allow that.
  8. Don’t trust in anything you know is wrong; it can never give you real joy.
    • DFSA: 2 times you spent too much time with some things.
  9. God hates and will punish those who are unfaithful.
    • I won’t turn away from You, so I won’t get punished for that.
  10. If you do good, good will happen to you. If you do evil, evil will happen to you.
    • Help me to go through my day and do good.
  11. Sometimes God chooses not to punish us when He’s angry with us.
    • Thank You God that You don’t destroy me in Your anger.
  12. You will eventually pay if you are disgraceful.
    • DFSA: 1 time you were disgraceful.
  13. God is jealous; He will punish you if you turn away from Him.
    • If you do something for 3 hours in a row, try cutting it back to 2. You’d feel better about not making God jealous and have an extra hour.
  14. If you confess that you’ve sinned, God will take you back, no matter how bad a person you are.
    • If you’re not a Christian, talk to somebody about confessing your sins. If you are a Christian, make it a daily routine to confess your sins (if you don’t already).

Joel

  1. Joel was prophesying of future destruction.
  • Imagine yourself prophesying to your friends, coworkers, or acquaintances, about their destruction.
  1. Joel is prophesying of the end times. There will be much destruction and war (3); but God is merciful and will forgive our sins if we repent (13). The Lord will pour out His Holy Spirit on those He desires (28); He will perform great wonders (30); and anyone who calls to Him will be saved (32).
  • Research the mark of the beast and the RFID chip, how many more natural disasters there has been recently, and pray to God about what you should do if the end is near.
  1. The Lord will judge the nations for scattering His people (2); and Judah and Israel will be inhabited by God’s believers forever (20).
  • Imagine the end times, when God will judge everyone for their sins.

Amos

  1. Amos was just a shepherd, but God used him for great things.
    • DFSA: 1 “just a” about you and how God could use it for great things
  2. No matter how wise, tough, good, honest, etc. you are, you cannot escape God’s wrath.
    • Say this: Forgive me of my sins and help me to remember my punishment for next time.
  3. You cannot sin without punishment, whether you get punished now or later.
    • Think of your most recent sin and if you’ve been punished yet.
  4. Just because you do something good for God, it doesn’t mean you have to tell people (otherwise known as bragging).
    • Help me not to brag when I do something for You.
  5. It’s as simple as this: do good, and good will return. Do bad and bad will return.
    • Help me to remember this saying throughout the day.
  6. God doesn’t like people who don’t feel sorry for others. You must not be prideful and help them.
    • Give me strength to not think I don’t have to help people in need.
  7. Even if God did something you don’t like, you can ask Him to take it away. He might fix it. Remember to always pray within reason and what you think God’s will is.
    • Guide my mind so that I only pray for what You want me to.
  8. When a holiday like Christmas comes, think about what’s really important.
    • Help me to remember this.
  9. God was trying to teach Israel a lesson. But like a parent, He won’t forget them. Parents: Never give up on your kids; God didn’t forget Israel. Kids: Try to learn from your mistakes; you’ll have a better life.
    • TGT

Obadiah

  1. Always love and respect your family.
    • DFSA: 1 time it was hard to.

Jonah

  1. Disobeying God can have grave consequences.
  • DFSA: 1 time this happened
  1. Sometimes we need motivation to stay faithful to God
  • Though the “motivation” might be bad, I accept it because I want to stay faithful.
  1. Even the king of Nineveh knew his people were evil. Anyone can receive God’s mercy if they repent.
    • If you know someone who is immoral, pray that they’ll change and God would show him mercy.
  2. You can’t get angry if God chooses not to punish someone who deserves it.
    • Think of 1 person who never gets angry and think about that person when you’re angry.

Micah

  1. Listen to people who warn you of your sin.
  • The next time somebody does this, I’ll remember so I won’t do it again.
  1. Israel was around liars because they told her what she wanted to hear.
  • Help me to be able to discern constant liars from the truth.
  1. Don’t be Godly if one of your goals is to get something in return.
    • I’ll be Godly not because of what I could get but because it’s what You want me to do.
  2. If you trust and obey God, He will make you strong.
    • I will keep all of your rules, not just the easy ones.
  3. The greatest people can come from nowhere. They don’t have to be strong, but God can help them.
    • Think of 1 person in your life who came from nowhere and is now successful.
  4. Obey what God tells you; don’t try to get around it.
    • Tell me what I’m doing wrong so that I can obey You.
  5. If you trust that God will protect you, He will.
    • Think of something you need protection from and ask God for protection.

Nahum

  1. God punished Assyria for being wicked.
    • I won’t trouble other people because if I do I know You might avenge them.
  2. One of the strongest people of this time lost something very important to him: his pride and courage.
  • DFSA: 1 time you might lose these things
  1. If you think God is telling you something, always listen. Don’t think it’s coming from Satan or someone else. If you refuse, you could also be destroyed like Nineveh, Assyria.
    • Help me to always listen to You when You call me.

Habakkuk

  1. God can use evil people to punish evil people.
  • The next time you get angry at someone because he’s evil, remember: God will punish him.
  1. Don’t hurt other people because they might hurt you later.
  • DFSA: 1 time this happened
  1. We need to pray, whether it’s to ask God for something or simply to praise Him.
  • Pray to God about something and praise Him for it.

Zephaniah

  1. God will destroy everyone eventually, so be ready.
    • Help me to always think of this when I sin.
  2. Even during total destruction, God gives a chance to change.
    • Change something you do now for the better.
  3. Be happy when good happens to you; don’t dwell on the bad.
    • Think of 2 non-ordinary good things in your life.

Haggai

  1. Don’t be selfish; give to the Lord what you should. If you give, you’ll never be in need.
    • If you have an income, tithe. (Don’t worry: God provides.) If you don’t, make it a goal to tithe when you get and income.
  2. Come to God when you have problems.
    • Think of 1 problem you haven’t told God and explain it to Him.

Zechariah

  1. Bullies, in life or in school, won’t get away unpunished.
    • DFSA: 1 bully
  2. No man-made protection can withstand God’s protection.
    • Please protect me from harm today.
  3. God is also Someone you need to ask forgiveness from; then, you’ll be blessed.
    • Think of 3 blessings in your life.
  4. God looks at everything in the world. Remember this the next time you think God isn’t paying attention.
    • Pray for this.
  5. Every time you do something wicked, God sees it and will punish you.
    • Help me to remember this the next time I do something wicked.
  6. Those who do what the Lord says will have honor. (If you have a strange inclination that God is trying to tell you something, don’t automatically think it’s from and evil influence or it’s just your imagination.)
    • If there’s something that you think God wants you to do, think of a plan to do it and get it done.
  7. When you’re worshipping God in church, in chapel, or in something similar, don’t do it just because you have to. Feel it.
    • The next time you are in this situation, focus on the words you are singing and what they mean to you.
  8. The Lord deeply loves us and will eventually bless us.
    • Tell God you understand this and that you love Him too.
  9. Don’t worry about your enemies; they’ll get what’s coming to them.
    • Could You please help me to stop worrying about my enemies?
  10. God strengthens His people.
    • Give me strength to live for You throughout this day.
  11. Those who don’t take responsibility will have it taken away.
    • Think of 1 responsibility you have and praise God that you have it.
  12. You will regret hurting someone.
    • DFSA: 2 times people you’ve recently hurt
  13. All sins are the same; it’s not how bad the sin is that you should worry about. It’s the fact that you chose to sin.
    • DFSA: 2 little almost not bad sins
  14. God will avenge everyone
    • DFSA: 1 person you want revenge on

Malachi

  1. Give God what He fully deserves: our attention and tithes.
    • Help me to remember this next church.
  2. Listen to your pastors, keep your promises, don’t divorce unneedingly, and don’t be cruel.
    • DFSA: 1 way for each
  3. God will be against those who cheat their workers (or people who can’t fight back) and those who don’t tithe. Stealing from others is stealing from God.
    • Throughout the day, give someone who is in need something. (It doesn’t have to be money.)
  4. On the day of the Lord’s judging, the evil will be all burned up, so do your best to be righteous, not just think you’re righteous.
    • DFSA: 1 area in your life that you think God will tell you about on the day of judging.

Matthew

  1. God used Matthew, a sleazy tax collector who required too much money for personal gain. God will use you too.
    • Think of 1 way God can use you and your talents to glorify Him.
  2. Even Jesus needed protection. (Jesus was God but chose to be human.)
    • Ask one person who you trust for advice in an area of your life.
  3. We should be baptized; it tells everyone that our heart and life has changed.
    • Ask someone if they’ve been baptized and why they did it.
  4. If you choose not to be tempted by Satan and not tempt God, you’ll be better off. The next time you’re tempted to sin, remember Jesus and Stan’s 3 temptations.
    • When you’re tempted today, remember this.
  5. You must do your best to be like God: give mercy, don’t cheat or divorce unnecessaringly, don’t be angry for no good reason, don’t fight back, love your enemies, and do all that you can to be perfect.
    • Think about being perfect throughout the day.
  6. Don’t pray, give money, or other Godly things in public; God doesn’t like this and you won’t receive treasures in heaven.
    • “I promise to never purposefully do this.”
  7. (Golden Rule) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Every time you see/hear this quote, ask a person where they think it came from.
    • Live today with this quote in mind.
  8. Nothing is too powerful for God and God has control over everything.
    • “I understand that when I sin, You see it, and You can alter any area of my life.
  9. God loves honest faith over sacrifices and gifts. Worry more about your relationship with God than over making earthly sacrifices (like memorizing many verses a day, though can be useful) and huge tithes.
    • Tell God how are you going to do this.
  10. Don’t be afraid to spread God’s Word; He’ll protect you. You can do this through your daily life.
    • I’ll choose to share my faith and not be afraid of people because I know that it’s Your will.
  11. Jesus prefers those who have repeatedly sinned and repented than those who are good and haven’t repented.
    • “I understand that You care about our relationship with You and that we should study the Scriptures so we won’t make false statements about You.”
  12. Focus less on being a stickler to the Rules and more on being faithful and righteous. As long as you understand and obey the Bible, you’re on the right path.
    • Do 2 things nice for someone.
  13. When sharing the Gospel, we need to make sure someone understands what we are saying, that they understand persecution should get worse, and that their life in heaven will be infinity times better than the best life on earth is.
    • Help me to remember the story about the seeds the next time I share the Gospel.
  14. Nothing is impossible for God.
    • “I understand You can do anything, so I shouldn’t be afraid of life’s trials.
  15. Jesus would rather you follow God’s rules than man’s.
    • DFSA: 2 laws that go against the Bible
  16. The church is built on a rock, or faith. God doesn’t like it when people ask for proof (e.g. miracles) of His existence.
    • “I don’t expect You to ever give me any proof that You’re real; I already know that.”
  17. You only need the faith of a mustard seed to do great things.
    • If you want to pray that God will do incredible things with you, then try it. If you don’t, then pray you’ll always keep your faith.
  18. God won’t forgive you if you won’t forgive others (financially too).
    • Think about forgiving someone’s debt and how much that’ll mean to that family and God. (Put yourself in the debtor’s place.) If you don’t have debtors, forgive (or try to) all people that hurt you today.
  19. Those who give up what they have now will have much, much more in heaven.
    • Think about giving something to God. It doesn’t have to be your money or things; it could be your lifestyle or time.
  20. To be important in this life or in heaven, you must serve like a servant.
    • Go through your day today not urging to be the center of attention. Serve others through your actions and you’ll be happy.
  21. Even cheating tax collectors and prostitutes can enter heaven because they eventually believed. Pharisees (claimed to be Christian-like but lived differently) won’t enter heaven even though they’re prestige, renowned pastors of God.
    • “I know it doesn’t matter what I have done. You love me and have already accepted me.”
  22. Don’t question Jesus about His reality or divinity; He probably won’t give you proof.
    • “I know that You exist, even without proof.”
  23. God hates hypocrites; don’t teach good Scripture and live a life not obeying it.
    • DFSA: 1 time you thought of or did tell someone that they were doing something against the Bible but you do/did it to.
  24. Be careful of false Christs and false teachers. Christ will descend out of the sky with trumpets during the end times.
    • “I want to keep my faith, especially if those times are coming near. Help me to stay strong in my faith.”
  25. Always live your life for others, not for yourself.
    • Go through today not thinking of how you can benefit from others, but how you can help others.
  26. A woman chose to give an expensive bottle of perfume to Jesus instead of the money she could’ve made from selling it.
    • “I understand that I can glorify You in ways other than giving money to the poor. (I could give a television or music equipment to a church.”)
  27. Pilate guarded the tomb so the followers couldn’t take Him and pretend that He rose from death. Many people will try to prove the Bible is fake; so study the Bible to learn facts like this to defend Christianity.
    • Read Colossians 2:8 and figure out its meaning.
  28. People made up a story that the disciples took Jesus’ body. (Remember to return to Matthew when reading the other Gospels.)
    • The next time you hear a story that accuses the Bible to be false, read into it.

Mark

  1. Jesus was humble; He had every right to be popular, but He chose not to.
    • Tomorrow, focus on being humble and helping others instead of being popular.
  2. God have us special days to help us (Christmas, Sunday, Thanksgiving), not rule us.
    • “I understand that I shouldn’t chastise people for doing seemingly bad things on special days because David and Jesus’ followers did (David ate holy bread and the followers picked grain [work wasn’t allowed] on the Sabbath).
  3. A family divided amongst itself cannot stand; so Christianity cannot thrive when fellow Christians are mocking their “family.”
    • Remember this: when you see this happen, do something about it.
  4. Back then Jesus didn’t explain His stories to the people because they would automatically ask for forgiveness. (God wants us to believe through faith.) Jesus explains them now because, even with the explanation, we won’t ask for forgiveness.
    • Promise yourself that you’ll always keep your faith, even during confusing or tough times.
  5. God can change any situation in your life for the better, as long as you believe He can and will.
    • Tell God about 1 of your situations and apply it to this.
  6. It says Herod enjoyed listening to John the Baptist even though the teachings bothered him. He knows John’s teachings go against his lifestyle choices.
    • Write this down to remember next Sunday morning.
  7. Don’t get caught up in following all the earthly Christian rules and forget to follow the Bible’s (Jews).
    • Think of 3 earthly Christian rules that are good but not necessary for a fulfilling relationship with Jesus.
  8. Christians now will regret their evil lives because when we’re in heaven, there’s no taking it back. (Sinning in the heat of the moment is one thing, but sinning on purpose can make others question where your faith is.)
    • Go through today (in particular) thinking before you speak/act.
  9. When you pray don’t doubt; believe God will hear your prayer (22-24).
    • “I want to always pray with full confidence in You; help me to do that.
  10. Children will believe anything because they don’t have fear or doubt; we should believe in Jesus that way because we aren’t going to get proof (13-16).
    • TGT
  11. Jesus rarely showed off His glory publicly, but He probably did here to contrast the people’ happiness with their anger when they wanted to crucify Him.
    • Tell Jesus your current viewpoint of who He really is and how you can improve it so that you understand He is God.
  12. Don’t just give what you’re expected (10%); give more.
    • Next Sunday, try giving 20% (or more) than the weekly 10%.
  13. We won’t know when Jesus comes for the rapture in the end times; so always be ready. Live your life as if God will come the next minute; see how drastically your life changes.
    • “Help me to live my life as if it was my last moment because I don’t want my last moment to be bad.”
  14. It is easy to lose faith in Jesus; all 12 of His disciples lost their faith for a time.
    • DFSA: 1 way of losing your faith
  15. Jesus was offered myrrh, an ancient painkiller, to stop His pain, but Jesus knew that His pain had to be excruciating to atone for our sins; so He refused it. (It would be like running 2 miles and then forced to not drink water anything and breathe through a straw. Someone offered to “give water and take away the straw” from Jesus, but He refused for you.
    • Thank God for this (sometimes we forget how important this “task” is).
  16. If you have faith, you could do many miracles (15-18).
    • “Why hasn’t anyone been able to do these things?”

Luke

  1. God fulfilled the old Elizabeth’s wish for a child, a wish that is and was impossible; He can fulfill your wishes too.
    • Tell God of a few wishes.
  2. Even Jesus obeyed His parents (51), even though He was doing God’s work.
    • Today, try very hard to obey your parents, even though when they’re unreasonable or definitely wrong.
  3. In a way, we are all related to God because we are all related to Adam and “Adam was the son of God (38).”
    • Celebrate that you are a son of God by praying.
  4. Even though people were praising Jesus in the town, He chose to go on long journeys to preach to other people that might not accept Him.
    • Even though you are comfortable with a certain group of people, try talking to lonelier, quieter people and see how much they appreciate it.
  5. Jesus chose to sit and socialize with the worst people; this shows that God cares for all people.
    • Try showing this form of kindness to somebody.
  6. Anyone can act how the non-Christians do; it takes true love to do these things to praise God.
    • Try to act like this today.
  7. Everyone in heaven is equal in God’s eyes (28), though some people will have higher ranking jobs than others (but Matthew 25:23 and we will receive crowns according to our good works)
    • “Thank You God that, even though I’m a lowly sinner, I rank higher than John the Baptist (meaning we’re all equal).
  8. If you have a talent, don’t cover it up; don’t make excuses (“I don’t have enough time); use your talent to glorify God.
    • Think of 2 talents and how you can glorify God.
  9. Following God is a life commitment; we can’t be chained with earthly things, even our family.
    • “If it’s Your will, help me to use my life to spread the Good News.
  10. Don’t let business get in the way of spending time with Jesus (38-42). You should at least read 1 chapter of the Bible a day; no one should be too busy for that.
    • “I will make it a goal to read 1 chapter a day or do something else to glorify You, and I won’t make excuses.
  11. God wants you to continue to ask Him for the things you want/need.
    • Pray to God about 3 things and don’t forget to continue to pray for them every day.
  12. Always be ready to go to heaven (death or rapture) because you don’t know when it’ll be.
    • “Help me to think of this when I sin.
  13. God always gives us second chances (6-9); don’t waste them.
    • “Thank You God for giving me something I don’t deserve.”
  14. If you humble yourself, you’ll be great. In high school, I’m not well-known or popular, and I don’t try to be or care about it. But in high school I’ve always tried to be humble, put others first, and stand up for the Scripture. Today, I instantly became well-known and more popular. Whether it will last is up to God, but through me He has given an example of how humility works.
    • Think of 1 amazing thing God did for you for being humble.
  15. The father wasn’t celebrating the younger son’s good decision of coming home; he was celebrating the fact that he was home.
    • “Thank You for the grace You give me even when I don’t deserve it.”
  16. “[W]orldy people are smarter with their own kind than spiritual people are (8b).” We Christians need to reverse that. Don’t act unintelligent unless you need to be.
    • Think of 1 way that if you act unwise it could hurt Christianity as a whole.
  17. You have to give up your earthly life to obtain everlasting life.
    • Make a pact with God saying that your life will revolve around Him when you grow up and leave your parents’ house. If you have, promise God that you will do everything for Him.
  18. Don’t fret if you are poor; Jesus said that it’s harder for the rich to enter heaven (24).
    • Rich: Thank God for your blessing of wealth.
    • Poor: Thank God that it’s easier for you to enter His kingdom.
  19. Use the talents God gave you. Yes, you have talents.
    • Think of 3 talents you have and how you can use them to glorify God.
  20. Don’t think you can get away with doing evil; that’s impossible (9-16).
    • ETBA: Remember the dire consequences waiting for you the next time you sin.
  21. Reread verse 32. Does that mean the end times have already happened? (I personally don’t know but would have to guess they haven’t.)
    • Research this.
  22. The Jewish leaders chose to arrest Jesus at night in a place where nobody could see them. Why? Because they knew most of the people liked Jesus. Don’t be like them; don’t do things that you wouldn’t want other people to know (excluding non-sinful embarrassing things).
    • DFSA: 1 secret bad thing you have done
  23. Even the worst people (thief) can win Jesus’ favor by simply repenting (40-43).
    • ETBA: Repent of your sins.
  24. God controls your understanding (31, 45).
    • “I pray that You help me understand Your will through the Scripture.

John

  1. What amazing faith! John preached about Jesus who was younger than him (a big deal back then); he also didn’t know who He was (31) yet but knew he had to glorify and praise Him.
    • “I hope that I could have amazing faith like John.”
  2. Was it wrong that Jesus destroyed the peoples’ stuff in the Temple and tricked (all trickery isn’t sin: magic tricks) them into thinking that He would build the physical temple in 3 days? Of course not! That was His temple, and they were defiling it by selling overpriced animals. When it comes to the temple, Jesus did build it again in 3 days, only He meant His body. Jesus can’t sin (Jesus=God=perfectness=no sin).
    • If you truly want to be Christ-like, then go through today trying your best to not sin.
  3. John the Baptist lived away from his family and ate locust all the time. He was probably bored of doing the same baptisms and preaching the same message over and over. The one thing he probably enjoyed was his prestige and followers (one doesn’t have to be self-conceited to take pleasure in having people appreciate one’s work), yet he willingly sacrificed that. He knew that the Father’s will wanted Jesus to become greater and him to become less important. He purposefully diminished the one good thing in his life to glorify God. Can you do that?
    • Think about the best thing in your life and how you can change it to glorify God.
  4. God really wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth (23-24), not with physical sacrifices (tithes or mission trips [although He wants us to do these things too on top of real worship]).
    • Write this down (if you can’t remember) for next Sunday and deeply ponder those verses.
  5. When we become Christians, we leave death and enter life (24). Death = separation from God. (Remember this whenever the Bible mentions death [whether physical or spiritual]).
    • Think of 3 people you personal knew who are physically dead but spiritually alive.
  6. No matter what you do, God is the ultimate authority of who gets to heaven (65).
    • Praise God because you’re one of those lucky people.
    • Pray for a few that you know who aren’t.
  7. Back then, the only way to gain knowledge of the Scriptures was to go to school or have a Bible, but only a select few had Bibles. Jesus never went to school (15) and yet He knew more than any other man (46).
    • “Thank You God that I live in a country that allows open studying of the Bible, a privilege most people don’t have.”
  8. Many famous quotes originate from the Bible: the truth will set you free (32). The Truth (Bible) will set you free (from eternal death, or hell). The more you understand the Truth, the safer your freedom becomes.
    • Find something in this chapter that stuck out, write something about it, and write an action that follows.
  9. “If you were really (spiritually) blind, you would not be guilty of sin. (41)” Those who don’t understand evil (babies, mentally ill) are sinless. Sinless people go to heaven. If you know someone who is spiritually blind, don’t be sad; be happy!
    • Think about a dead “blind” person and how happy he/she is in heaven. If you don’t know any, thank God for those who are in heaven.
  10. Sheep (Christians) can find safety in the Shepherd (Jesus).
    • DFSA: 2 things that make you feel unsafe
  11. Jesus was human just like us. Jesus wept (35). He felt very sad in His heart. He was deeply troubled.
    • Talk to Jesus about how He used His emotions for good.
  12. Jesus is the Light (understanding) in a dark (evil) world. We can see (know the truth) because of the Light, or we’ll fall in the dark.
    • Ask Jesus for His light.
  13. If John wrote the book John and if he was the “beloved disciple” (though both “if” statements are majorly controversial), he shows great humility by not mentioning that Jesus loved him especially.
    • The next time you receive glory (1st place in a contest, good grades, etc.), remember to thank God.
  14. If you love Jesus and obey His teaching, the Father and He will make a home of you. They will take care of Their home, and a good home will make their Homeowners renowned by its neatness and cleanliness (good character, not sinful). Meaning: you can increase the fame of the Father and Son simply by living a good life while always giving credit to Jesus.
    • ETBA: Clean God’s house—live today purer and see how you can give that credit to God.
  15. You cannot produce fruit (Godly characteristics) without Jesus. Because Christians have taken Jesus out of morals, new, strong religions are forming: cosmic humanists, atheists (yes—it’s a religions), and post-modernists.
    • Look up one of these religions and figure out why they can’t work.
  16. The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us truth.
    • Thank the Father and Jesus for the Holy Spirit and pray to the Spirit for truth.
  17. Jesus prayed that His followers (Christians) can be one (21). In doing so, the world will believe that Jesus was sent from the Father.
    • ETBA: Fulfill this by trying harder to get along with fellow Christians.
  18. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, yet he turned Him over to be killed because he loved his job. Don’t let work or school control you to sin (cheat on homework, yell at workers, lie to get a promotion or good grades).
    • Next school day or work day, remember Pilate and how he sinned to keep a job that he’ll lose in a few years when he dies.
  19. (read both)
  20. For a guy who was too scared to openly be a follower of Jesus, he had enough courage to ask for the Savior’s body. He then spent money for 75 pounds of spices to give to Jesus and gave his own burial spot for Jesus. Can we, open believers of Christ, be that bold and generous?
    • “Help me to be more bold and generous in my daily life (other than tithing).”
  21. Sometimes we overlook the importance of the pain of Jesus’ death.
    • Think of the worse physical pain you’ve ever felt (think really hard!). After you’ve done that, imagine having that pain every single day for the rest of your life. Then, imagine combing all that pain into an afternoon. I believe that’s still nothing compared to Jesus’ pain.
  22. Don’t be like Doubting Thomas (25). “Those who believe without seeing Me will be truly happy.”
    • “Help me grow in my faith in You because I do believe You rose from the grave.”
  23. Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him (agape—purest, ultimate form of love), and Peter said that he loved (phileo—like loving a brother) Him (15-17). When you feel Jesus telling you something, don’t try to get around it; just do it.
    • “God—I agape You, and I’ll try to just do what You want.

Acts

  1. Matthias is Judas’s replacement as the 12th disciple and as leader (20, 26). Matthias was 1 of 2 people who chose to follow Jesus His whole life and knew that they couldn’t be one of the special 12 disciples.
    • “I hope to have the humility like Matthias, to always follow You with no reward in return.”
  2. Peter was just 1 person (who denied Jesus 3x), and yet he changed the future of Christianity.
    • Figure out 1 way you could change/help Christianity.
  3. Peter gave credit to God when he healed the crippled man. Is that what we do when we win a sport’s game, buy something expensive, or accomplish something great?
    • ETBA: Give God glory for all the accomplishments you do today.
  4. If you regularly go to a place that doesn’t allow Christian talk (public school), don’t listen to them! It can’t be a sin to disobey authority (the principal or teachers) because you’re listening to the greater Authority (Romans 13:1).
    • Thank God that you at least live in a country that allows freedom of religion. (If you don’t, praise God because you’ll be rewarded further for disregarding earthly authority to glorify Him.)
  5. If we’re physically punished for Jesus’ sake, we should be happy, not get angry at God (40-41); physical pain helps you grow.
    • Thank God for your physical pain.
  6. Re-read verse 2. As you can see, it is wrong to stop teaching or doing the Lord’s ministry if you’re doing it at that moment. (It’s not saying it’s wrong to have a job.)
    • “Help me to always focus on You when I’m furthering Your Kingdom; I realize that distractions are so much more severe than they seem.”
  7. Steven’s speech is about the lives of Joseph and Moses; he said this because a high priest disbelieved the truth about Jesus. Re-read 52-44. Worldly people will hate it when we talk about Jesus, but that’s okay.
    • “Help me to overcome peer pressure, fellow workers, and just random people who try to suppress Jesus’ impact on the world.”
  8. Superstars (Simon) who think they can buy eternal life and happiness (18-19) aren’t right with God (23) and will pay the consequences.
    • “Help me to always remember that a cheap, humble life is better than a famous, wealthy life.”
  9. If someone as evil as Saul became a Christian, anyone can.
    • Pray for 2 people who seem like they’ll never become Christians.
  10. People can’t be better than other people; we’re all the same in God’s eyes (13-15, 34-35).
    • ETBA: Go through today thinking of reasons why you can’t be better than other people (focus your reasons on them, not you).
  11. Re-read verse 29; they didn’t just send them money; they sent them as much money as they could, knowing they might not have enough food to eat because of a coming famine! That’s real charity.
    • “Help me to care less of myself so I can care more for others.”
  12. Many people thought the servant was crazy even though they prayed for Peter to get out of jail. They didn’t have faith in their prayers or in their fellow Christian.
    • “Help me to have more faith that my prayers can be answered and have more faith in my fellow Christians.”
  13. Don’t be like Barjesus; no amount of earthly glory can compare to heaven.
    • Think of 2 things that people are trying to change about the Truth and why they are (e.g. Christian homosexuals).
  14. Though Paul and Barnabas could’ve been treated like gods, they chose to give all the glory to God.
    • DFSA: someone you treat “like a god” (e.g. family member or superstar)
  15. Sometimes friends separate (36-40), even if you devote yourself to God; bad things can happen for God’s glory (separation of Paul and Barnabas means they’ll cover 2x as many people).
    • DFSA: 1x you lost a friend and how it is better for you and/or God’s glory
  16. The jail collapsed—they could have escaped, but they risked their lives to witness to their jailer, a true act of faith (in God) and courage.
    • “God, please give me that kind of courage when You are telling me to do something.”
  17. In Athens, Paul didn’t just start randomly talking about Jesus and the Gospel: he introduced his message by relating it to their “GOD WHO IS NOT KNOWN.” If we Christians are to convert people, we are to talk to people through their era and culture. Do not talk to an old lady like a gangster. Do not talk to a gangster like a formal preacher; it’ll just get them angry and uninterested.
    • “Help me, God, to follow this so I can further spread Your Word.”
  18. If people choose not to listen to the Gospel, don’t force them; it’s not your fault (6).
    • Remember: The next time when you’re teaching a person about God, don’t go overboard and annoy them away from God.
  19. Real magic is evil (18-19).
    • Promise God that you will stay away from anything that deals with real magic.
  20. Reread verse 24. Paul knew that he should care more about his mission than his life.
  • “Help me to realize this too.”
  1. Even though Paul knew he could’ve died, he chose to go to Jerusalem anyway.
  • “Help me to have this level of courage for Your work that you gave/will give me.
  1. Paul gives a testimony to the people. He gives a story where something amazing happened, and it glorified God.
  • Think of a testimony that you can give to someone and remember it the next time you have a deep, meaningful conversation with a non-Christian.
  1. Sometimes when you’re arguing with someone, they choose to be close-minded—they only follow/believe their own set of codes or beliefs. Paul used the Jew’s beliefs (law of Moses) against them. Paul realized that the high priest hit him even though the high priest claims to follow the law of Moses, and it says that he couldn’t hit Paul (3).
  • The next time you argue with someone, argue using their rules and logic (in a Christianly way, of course); then argue in a non-annoying (important to not close their minds to the Bible), Biblical way.
  1. Even though everyone around Paul told him that he was wrong, he knew his faith in Jesus was the only right way to salvation.
  • Remember this the next time people gang up on you to tell you that your faith is stupid or wrong.
  1. Paul and Festus both knew that Paul didn’t do any wrong to the Jews (10). This is why Paul wasn’t afraid to ask to have the most powerful man on earth hear his case (12).
  • “Give me this amount of courage; I want to please You with it.
  1. We as Christians are supposed to convert all people, not just the open-minded. Paul tries to convert King Agrippa, a very important man who could do almost anything he wanted (with Caesar’s permission), including to have Paul killed.
  • “Give me courage so that I may try to convert all people, including the close-minded.”
  1. In that time, people didn’t write books for entertainment; they wrote for informative reasons that pertained to their purpose. This chapter included some information that didn’t teach us anything (the boat sailed to that island or the water was 120 feet deep). If the Bible was completely made up (like most atheists believe), they wouldn’t have included information like this.
  • “Help me to remember this story the next time I hear that the Bible is made up and to tell them about it politely.”
  1. Have a bold faith! Paul risked his life by crossing the ocean, risked his life again by arguing with Caesar, and for 2 more years risked his life by living in fear of radical Jews.
  • “I’m willing to risk my life for You to have a bold faith.”

Romans

  1. Before Paul starts preaching to the Romans, he gives a prayer of thanks. Giving thanks should be something everyone does before they preach or pray.
    • ETBA: Remember this when you pray tonight.
  2. Those Jews are bad people; they don’t follow the law. No wait! We can’t judge them! We are sinful too.
    • ETBA: Help me to not judge people today.
  3. All people are the same; no one is better than another (9-10).
    • “Help me to remember this the next time I feel like bragging.”
  4. Paul used Abraham to teach the Jews; because Abraham was the most respected man to the Jews, Paul knew that he could convert the Jewish people to Christ through Abraham.
    • “Help me to remember that we Christians need to teach a person about Jesus through his specific culture.”
  5. Do you think you have nothing to be happy about? You always have something—the hope of living in heaven, God’s glory (2).
    • “Help me to remember this the next time I feel unhappy.”
  6. When you received God’s gift of grace, it’s not a reason to continue sinning. You received grace because you broke away from sin’s power and chose to live under God’s law.
    • ETBA—”I choose to control and suppress my sin today.”
  7. There are 2 laws you can follow: the law of sin or the law of God.
    • Tell God which law you prefer to follow and why; then tell Him which law you want to follow and why.
  8. Reread verse 26. The Holy Spirit understands that we mean well (most of the time) when we pray; so He sort of translates our prayers to the Father with “deep feelings.”
    • Thank the Spirit for His help. (Thank Him as you wish someone would thank you for all your work in something, like raising a child or working hard at your homework.)
  9. Pretend there is a serial killer with a gun in front of you, and your friend is next to you. The gunman says that he is going to shoot you and let your friend go even though you both did nothing. Are you going to question him?!? No! If you do, he might shoot both of you. This is like the situation with God, but God isn’t a psycho; He is a God of pure love and fairness, and He has a reason for doing this. We can’t understand God’s logic is because our mind is less than .000000001% of God’s mind.
    • “Why do You choose to close certain people’s minds so that they can’t believe in You and therefore go to heaven?”
  10. Remember yesterday’s lesson—about God making people stubborn so they won’t believe in Christ’s resurrection. Read verse 21. Obviously, people who God made “stubborn” can still accept Jesus.
    • Praise God for His never-ending love for us.
  11. God allowed the non-Jews to receive grace because the Jews stopped believing and were jealous of the non-Jews.
    • Praise God for His mercy towards all people.
  12. Let’s say that you make fun of someone, hurt his feelings, or gossip behind his back. Now imagine that that person said, “I still love you because God loves you.” (20) Whoah!?!
    • Try being nice to someone today who’s not nice to you.
  13. If the person you most respect told you to obey the most important rule, would you? It’s “love your neighbor as yourself.”
    • ETBA: Remember this when you feel like hating someone today.
  14. If something is right, but you think it’s wrong and do it anyways, your sinning (23).
    •  Think of one questionable thing you do and think about it through verse 23.
  15. As Paul said, it is good to visit friends after your work for the Lord is done (temporarily, of course; your work for the Lord is never completely done).
    • “Help me to stay focused when You give me an assignment.”
  16. Even a simple greeting is good in that it shows that you care about that person.
    • Greet someone formally, not superficially.

1st Corinthians

  1. Paul writes to the Corinths because they believed so many lies when they should’ve believed in Christ’s resurrection.
  • Promise God that you won’t let the false wisdom of this world (Big Bang, evolution, etc.) convert your faith.
    1. No one can understand the wisdom of God but the Spirit, and the Spirit lives in us.
  • “Spirit—I pray that you’ll allow me to better understand God’s wisdom.”
    1. Don’t follow men; no matter how smart they are, they are still human and prone to sin.
  • Declare proudly that you’re a follower of Christ (who was fully man and fully God).
    1. God wants a servant who actually does what he says (19-20). He has to withstand beatings, cursing, hate, and ridicule while blessing those people (11-12). There’s no getting around how tough this is.
  • “God—there’s nothing more that I can say but help.”
    1. Paul says to fellow Christians to not associate with Christians who purposefully sin (11). We still have to associate with non-Christians, or else we’d have to leave this world (10).
  • “Help me to distinguish between the Christians who strive to be like Jesus and those who just say they’re Christians.”
    1. If you have a problem with a fellow Christian, don’t go to court or to non-Christians (friends, parents). Go to the church or a group of Christians who love Jesus.
  • DFSA: 1 problem you could openly talk to a Christian group about
    1. Though I’m not married, I see what Paul is saying. Being married shifts your attention from God to your spouse (33).
  • If you’re married, promise God that He is above your spouse in all ways.
  • If you’re not, then simply consider staying free from the hindrances that come with a spouse.
    1. (CAUTION—references to a rated-R subject) Reread verse 7; now apply this to masturbation. We feel it’s wrong because in the past it was taught that way; so this—and the fact that masturbation isn’t directly prohibited in the Bible— can be Biblical reasons why masturbation is okay. There are many verses that do prohibit sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3); although I don’t believe masturbation is sexual, because I’m not having sex, I don’t know that for sure. Because I don’t know if masturbation is right or wrong, I choose not to do it because it could be wrong and therefore a sin against God. (If anyone has an opinion on this topic, I would love to hear it.)
  • “God—it doesn’t matter what I think is right; lead me to the right answers to tough controversies like this.”
    1. Reread verses 20-22. You have to become like, not change into, the person you are trying to witness to. If it’s an idol worshipper, learn about that culture. If it’s a loudmouth or troublemaker, figure or why he acts like that.
  • “Guard my thoughts and actions from sin when I learn about those I want to witness to, and help me to actually do this and not say that I’m too busy.”
    1. Do not take part in any non-Christian religious traditions (doesn’t have to be a part of a real religion; just something done religiously); you might not mean anything by it, but you’re still praising something other than God.
  • DFSA: 1 non-Christian religious tradition you’ve done once
    1. Some Christian feminists try to get around chapters like this. Even though women were made for men, both are important and both have problems. If God made you weak, it’s not bad; it’s just a characteristic. Same goes for females.
  • Females: “I understand that we have to obey certain rules and be subject to our husbands.”
  • Males: “I understand that I’m just as important to God as females, and I’m in charge of caring for the females in my life.”
    1. We all are different: some are nice, mean, smart, unwise, helpful, selfish, etc. If all are Christians, we shouldn’t care about whose better and more prestigious; we all need to help each other to be a functioning part of the church.
  • DFSA: why you make fun of 2 people
    1. You may be intelligent, have street smarts, be athletic, artistic, play an instrument, etc., but if you don’t easily love people, you have nothing.
  • Think of 2 ways (about you) why you personally can’t love easily.
    1. Use your talents to glorify God; whether it’s music, public speaking, helping around the church, etc., you can do something.
  • Think of 2 things you can do to help your/a church.
    1. Because Christ died on the cross, Christians will be raised from death to heaven, and we will have spiritual bodies.
  • “Thank you Jesus for dying for us and that we have heaven to look forward to.”
    1. It’s good to end letters, text conversations, speeches, or even real life conversations by mentioning God.
  • “Give me an opportunity to end a form a communication by mentioning You; help me not to forget.”

2nd Corinthians

  1. Don’t be like the Corinthians; apathy grew in their hearts, which lead them into sin.
  • Make a plan to do something that will increase your fervor in glorifying God (it doesn’t have to be big).
    1. Reread verse 17: I believe we are only to make profits from Christian-related things if we use those profits to further His kingdom.
  • If you know of a Christian organization (church, store), figure out what they do with their profits. If they use it only for personal gain, don’t support them.
    1. The glory of God is too great for words; this glory is shown in the 21st century through the New Testament and the Holy Spirit that lives in us, not through Moses’ Old Testament (though still good to follow those rules too).
  • “I understand that God is in favor of change; so I can’t be against it, whether conservative or liberal (unless it goes against the Bible’s economic or moral philosophies).”
    1. Even if we or someone we know dies, we know it’s for God’s glory. God isn’t evil for killing people; if people die anyway, how’s a few more years going to make a difference? There death can actually bring people to God.
  • Imagine (unless you actually know) someone who loved God so much, and he/she did so many amazing things for God, but he/she died for Him. Then go to http://www.enotes.com/topic/List_of_Christian_martyrs#Modern_Era.E2.80.9417th_to_21st_centuries and just look at all the 21st century martyrs there are.
    1. If the physical body is like a tent, the heavenly body will be like a house.
  • Imagine what it will be like to not have any physical body problems.
    1. Though we can interact with non-Christians, we shouldn’t “join ourselves to them (14).” I believe this means we shouldn’t do their evils, but we still need to be with them to be a good example.
  • Think of a non-Christian type of people you interact with and how you can be a better example to them.
    1. If we make someone feel bad to teach them a Biblical lesson, we shouldn’t feel like we did something wrong. (This isn’t an excuse to act like a jerk or bully.)
  • Think if the last time you hurt someone’s feelings, and it helped him/her grow mentally, socially, or spiritually.
    1. God doesn’t necessarily want us to “give”; He just wants us to “want to give.”
  • Think of 3 good things that can come out of wanting to give.
    1. As Christians, we shouldn’t feel sad or feel like we are being forced when we tithe (7). If you can’t be happy when you give, remember this: everything in your life is a gift; the least you could do is give 10% of your income.
  • Thank God for the gift of life and every gift in your life.
    1. If you minister for Christ, there will always be those who condemn your work. Why? Because we live in a sinful world where the truth of the Bible is corrupted, either by those who minister or their critics.
  • Pray to God so what you say is really what He wants you to say.
    1. Paul knew that no matter what, the people he was talking to wouldn’t accept him unless he proved himself; sometimes it’s what we have to do.
  • “Help me to be as meek as possible, even when I have to brag about myself (e.g. Testimonies).”
    1. Sometimes God will answer our prayers with “no.”
  • “I am okay if You don’t want to give me what I want because You know better.”
    1. Test each other to see if you all are still of the faith.
  • Ask people questions concerning your life and see if their answer reflects the Truth.

Galatians

  1. If you are trying to teach someone something from the Bible, you have to prove that you are qualified to do so. Paul explained his whole life—how God chose him to preach.
  • Think of 2 things you can tell someone about yourself if they ask you, “Why should I trust you?”
  1. The disciples were ready to preach to the Jews, and they only asked one thing for Paul and Barnabus to remember: help the poor. They’re so many things Christians can do, yet helping the poor is the only thing they wanted them to do.
  • ETBA: Be more generous throughout your day (give more at church, hand money to the homeless, or you can do what my radio station is doing: pay for the meal of the car after yours in a drive-through).
  1. Don’t feel like you’re better than others because you’re more Godly (28, 18). You might be a more devoted Christian, but you aren’t better.
  • “I realize I’m equal with [most hated person in my life] because You made us that way.”
  1. We aren’t slaves to the world, its laws, or its people. We still have to obey authority, but God made us free to obey Him above all else.
  • Thank God for freeing us from the useless rules of the world (3, 7).
  1. Reread the end of verse 21. It’s not saying that whoever does these things will go to hell; it means whoever continues to do these things without regret will go to hell. I have found even “good” Christians enjoy the act of hating (Justin Beiber, people on Xbox, our co-workers) and wild parties.
  • Help me to not want to do these things.
  1. Life is like planting a field; so don’t be stingy with the good seeds (good ideas, thoughts, and actions). More good seeds will produce more good plants (the outcomes of our seeds).
  • Think of 3 good seeds in your life that can/has blossomed into fruitful plants.

Ephesians

  1. God wants Jesus to be everything in our lives.
  • Listen to and read the lyrics of “Everything” by Tim Hughes.
  1. We are allowed to be Christians and go to heaven all because of Jesus; God’s gift of grace saved us (8).
  • “Thank You God for giving me the gift of eternal life.”
  1. Reread verses 9-10. God’s purpose is to reveal His wisdom through the church.
  • Think of 3 reasons why you understand God’s wisdom and tell Him.
  1. We all get angry. Reread verses 26-27.
  • “How do I stop staying angry all day?”
  1. Reread verse 16. We should find ways in every part of our lives to do good. (Did I mention EVERY!)
  • Think of 2 places where you can do good where you’re usually not totally devoted to being like-Christ (e.g.—most places other than church).
  1. We are to always pray for all Christians (18).
  • Pray for all Christians.

Philippians

  1. God uses our troubles to give Himself glory.
  • Think of a way one of your problems could have given God or helped someone have a better relationship with Him.
  1. All Christians should have the same thoughts, same love, and same purpose (2).
  • Ask yourself the questions in verse 1. They should all answer “yes.”
  1. “They do shameful things, and they are proud of it (19).” We should never be proud of our evil.
  • DFSA: 2 evils you are proud of (making someone angry; ripping someone off)
  1. Always give thanks when you pray (6).
  • Think of what is good and worthy to be praised in your life (8).

Colossians

  1. Jesus is the head of the church (18).
  • Next time you go to church, remind yourself that it is Christ’s “body.”
  1. Reread verse 21. These only apply to religious commands—if these are a part of any Christian religion, you don’t have to follow them. If these rules are a part of any earthly rule to prevent damages and theft, then you have to follow them.
  • “Thank You that I don’t have to follow silly rules and that all I have to do is believe that You Jesus died for my sins.”
  1. Reread verse 5. Don’t make excuses; if something is evil, get it out of your life.
  • Think about something possibly evil, and figure out if it is.
  1. We should talk to people kindly and with God’s wisdom.
  • DFSA: 1 person you don’t talk to well

1st Thessalonians

  1. Reread verses 7-8. Our faith should spread like this.
  • ETBA: Spread the Gospel by being an example of a believer of Christ.
  1. We don’t have to use our power if it’s better not to (6).
  • Think of 2 powers that you should refrain from using.
  1. Those who believe in Christ, though they can feel miserable at times, have an inner joy that is too intense for words.
  • Try to understand this inner joy that you have by thinking of all the good Christianity has brought.
  1. We can comfort one another by reminding ourselves that we will be with God in heaven forever (17-18).
  • Remember this the next time you are trying to comfort somebody.
  1. Never stop praying (17)—a great command to keep us focused on God.
  • “Help me to always pray: when I’m down, when I’m bored, when I’m happy—always.”

2nd Thessalonians

  1. Our suffering on earth is so that we can later be in heaven; but also on earth, God will give troubles to our troublers (5-6).
  • “Thank You for my suffering, and also thank You because my enemies don’t go unpunished.”
  1. Jesus won’t return again until the Man of Evil reveals himself first, says he’s God, and does evil miracles.
  • “Ask God if this has already happened.” (The Christian “Preterists” do. As a Baptist, I don’t believe Jesus has returned again.)
  1. All Christians have to work, whether that means a wage, helping others, or trying your best in school.
  • Out of those 3, figure out how you can improve one you’re doing to glorify God.

1st Timothy

  1. Timothy followed Paul in doing God’s will.
  • Think of 1 person who you can follow as a good example of a Christian.
  1. Women should dress respectfully (9) and shouldn’t have authority over men (12).
  • Figure out 1 reason why God would want women to be second to men (other than because women were made after men and Eve was tricked, according to verses 13-14).
  1. Those of the church need to act as the best Christians they can be because they have a very important job: leading newer Christians.
  • If you’re a leader, how can you improve?
  • If you’re not, how can you better example your leaders?
  1. Even the young can be an example to others (12).
  • “I know that even I can show my Christianity to others older than me.”
  • If almost no one is older than you: “I know I have to live righteously to be an example to younger people.”
  1. Was Jesus wrong for drinking wine? In verse 23, Paul told Timothy to drink water instead of wine (water back then wasn’t purified completely). Wine was very clean; drinking light wine isn’t wrong unless you get drunk.
  • “I’ll do my best to drink beer and wine in moderation (total abstinence also good).”
  1. We shouldn’t trust in money; doing good deeds is more important (17-18).
  • If going to college: think about your major in respect to this statement.
  • If not: How can you change your work ethic so that it follows these verses?

2nd Timothy

  1. This is Paul’s last letter; he’s in jail and has nothing left. With such a horrible condition, he still encourages someone else.
  • ETBA: Even in your pain, find time in your day to encourage someone.
  1. Reread verse 21. If we guard our lives from doing evil, God will make us holy for special purposes.
  • “I want to do Your special job; so I will avoid evil things.”
  1. Because all Scripture is inspired by God, we can use it to correct and teach others.
  • “I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in and quote Bible verses (while not annoying the other person) to teach and help others (16).”
  1. We are supposed to tell others what they’re doing wrong, but we have to do it carefully (2).
  • “Teach me how to teach others without offending them.”

Titus

  1. Don’t be like the Cretans. Any wrong they did is something you can also do yet is against God.
  • DFSA: 3 bad qualities of the Cretans in this chapter
  1. Sometimes we do a sin because we know that God will forgive us after we do it, but sin is dangerous. It can lead to more worse sin.
  • “I will not sin on purpose even if You’ll forgive me later because You are my Ruler and it’s what You want.”
  1. Warn those who argue foolishly; if they persist, don’t be around them.
  • Consider how you can warn someone you know who argues a lot for no reason.

Philemon

  1. Although Onesimus ran away from Philemon, his master, Paul asks Philemon if he will take back Onesimus anyway. If Philemon represents God, we are Onesimus.
  • Remember 1 time you disobeyed God, and He took you back.

Hebrews

  1. The Son is important—more important than all angels—and is the Son of the Father.
  • ETBA: Remember this when you worship Him.
  1. Jesus was fully man (16-17); it is the only way He can be our leader in service to God (17). He helps only because He suffered and was tempted (18).
  • “Thank You Jesus for going through what You did so You can lead us into a holier life.”
  1. If we want things from God, we need to believe that He is our Savior (19).
  • “If I ask, it’s because I believe in You and Your power to help me.”
  1. Jesus, who is God, does understand our level of pain; He went through it all (15).
  • “I know You know what’s best for my problems because You’ve been through them too.”
  1. Christian leaders have very important jobs, but even they need to be reminded the important lessons of the Bible.
  • ETBA: If you’re trying to help somebody (lead them in the right way), make sure you first have a considerable understanding of the topic.
  1. As growing Christians, we shouldn’t only relearn old lessons; our lessons need to make us think (1-3).
  • “I want to deeper analyze Your Word so I can have a closer relationship with You.”
  1. Melchizedek was an important king without a known family history or a lifespan. He is like Jesus, who is known forever. We should strive to be impacting like Melchizedek and Jesus to the point where our names will be remembered in history.
  • “Give me the desire to be important, if it’s Your will.”
  1. God made a new agreement (rules of the New Testament) to cancel out the old one (rules of the Old Testament).
  • “Why didn’t you just have one agreement for all?” (possibly to prove humanity cannot be perfected)
  1. It is possible to sin without knowing it (7).
  • Educate yourself about something that could be a sin (doesn’t have to be long).
  1. Who is the most perfect-looking person you know? God is making all Christians more perfect than that (14).
  • Thank God that you’ll be so perfect in heaven.
  1. You cannot be a Christian without believing the physically impossible; you must have faith that God is real. Not logical to do? What about Elvis Presley, Caesar, or Queen Elizabeth? We know they are real. We also have reasons why God is real—one being the complexity of the universe.
  • “Please give me strong faith like the people mentioned in this chapter.”
  1. Never give up your most important fight in this life—staying a Christian while there are evil people who make you want to give up.
  • “Help me to always remember to counter evils with my motivations; those being heaven and glorifying You.”
  1. Don’t forget those less fortunate; welcome strangers in your home (They may be angels.) and visit those suffering (in jail, the hospital, etc.).
  • Think of someone who needs a visit, a shelter (like your house), or who is suffering. How can you invite or visit him or her?

James

  1. God never tempts us (13), and everything good in our lives comes from Him (17).
  • “Thank You for never hurting me and always encouraging me.”
  1. Those who are poor actually have it better than the rich; they have more faith (5), although it’s good if you can keep your faith and be rich.
  • Thank God for your abundance in faith, wealth, or both.
  1. If you are truly wise, you wouldn’t brag about it but show it through your good life (13).
  • DFSA: 1 way you flaunt your knowledge or wisdom
  1. We have to have the right reason when we ask God for something.
  • Ask God for something.
  1. Prayer is an amazing gift; it can accomplish miracles.
  • Pray for someone that is sick and have faith that he will be better (15).

1st Peter

  1. Being holy means you are separate from the evil ways of this world; you cannot let little insignificant sins get in your way of being perfectly holy.
  • DFSA: 1 small sin
  1. Sometimes we forget that it pleases God when we think about Him when we are wrongly hurt (19-20).
  • ETBA: Remember God today when you’re in pain.
  1. It is good for wives to obey their husbands as if the husbands were their masters (6).
  • If married: Talk to your spouse about this.
  • If not: Figure out how your relationship with your spouse will be in respect to verse 6.
  1. Non-believers do see the evil ways we act (4). Then, they don’t have any reason to convert.
  • ETBA: Remember this when you see a non-Christian today and show him a Godly example of a Christian.
  1. Reread verse 7. Sometimes we worry because we focus on ourselves and how others think of us instead of focusing on God.
  • Give 2 (specific) worries you have to God.

2nd Peter

  1. God has chosen us Christians apart from all other people as “God’s chosen people.”
  • “Thank You for choosing me.”
  1. Don’t listen to false teachers; they’ll encourage a wrong way to live, sexual sin, evil things, etc.
  • Think of 3 movies or TV shows that are teaching you false principles.
  1. When Jesus comes again to take us to heaven or hell, it’ll be a surprise. Are we ready?
  • DFSA: 3 sins you have little remorse for

1st John

  1. We have to ask our Creator for forgiveness; it’s the only way to have a healthy relationship with Him.
  • Simply ask God for forgiveness.
  1. If we don’t strive to live righteously, we aren’t Christians (4,6).
  • Figure out 3 new ways to live more righteously.
  1. Reread verses 6 and 8. Come on—cheating on a small homework isn’t sin! “Sampling” a grape from a grocery store isn’t sin! Yes it is; they’re sin because they go against the rules of authority. Worse yet, continuing to disobey authority (which is really disobeying God) means we never understood Christ and we belong to the devil’s plots.
  • Help me to realize that even the smallest sins (cheating the speed limit) are so wrong because they disobey Your will.
  1. We cannot have fear if we have perfect love (18).
  • If you’re afraid of someone or something, work on loving (not necessarily a person you like) better.
  1. There are sins that don’t lead to hell (16), but they are wrong and should be fixed.
  • Pray for someone who is living in sin.

2nd John

  1. It is better to talk to a person in reality than by texting, calling, or e-mailing (although these are necessary at times).
  • Figure out 2 ways your conversations can be more real.

3rd John

  1. Be more like Gaius who is a loving and helping Christian instead of Diotrephes who lies and says evil things.
  • “Help me to be like Gaius and not Diotrephes.”

Jude

  1. Although understanding by feeling is a way God guides us (3), it is very important to understand through thinking (10).
  • Ponder the difference between thinking and feeling (through a recent problem).

Revelation

  1. Jesus told John to do something (write what he saw; verse 19), and John obeyed.
  • Ask God what you need to do in 1 area of your life (just 1 so you can focus).
  1. Everyone will have new names in heaven.
  • Think about what name God will give you.
  1. You might not have anything important now, but soon you’ll have a crown that no one can take away (11).
  • “Thank You God for the amazing crown You’ll soon give me.”
  1. Reread verse 8. I wonder why God wants creatures saying that He’s holy; He already knows that.
  • “Why do You want us to say Your holy?”
  1. Reread verse 12. Only Jesus is worthy of these things.
  • “God—You don’t owe me anything.”
  1. I believe martyrs will have a special recognition in heaven (9-11).
  • Ask God if He wants you to be a martyr.
  1. Only those whose actions and mindsets are changed by what Christ did on the cross can be in heaven (13-15).
  • Ask yourself if you think your mind and heart are worthy to wear the pure white robes of heaven. Why?
  1. God knows all these symbolisms and metaphors will confuse people (although some we understand: 7 is for completion and 1/3 might allude to the Trinity).
  • “Why don’t You simply tell us plainly what these words mean?”
  1. God puts troubles in our lives to bring us closer to Him, to cause us to repent (20).
  • Think of a problem that has given you a closer relationship with God (because you pray to him more).
  1. I don’t think an angel was literally dressed in a cloud and rainbow. In heaven, even the angels are too wonderful to describe in mere words (1).
  • “Thank You God for my future, new, amazing body.”
  1. Soon Jesus will reign forever (15), and we won’t need to worry about troubles anymore.
  • “Until this day comes, I pray that I continue to do Your will and bring You glory throughout my life.”
  1. Satan is making war with us Christians (17).
  • “Help me to continue to obey Your commands and believe in the Truth.”
  1. Don’t succumb to the devil’s power; you have stronger power in Christ.
  • “Protect me from the evil sayings of Satan (you aren’t smart or good enough / someone is better than you; so let them do it).”
  1. One day the earth will be “harvested” of all God’s chosen people (15-16) and “harvested” of all those who will face God’s wrath (18-20).
  • Thank God if you’re part of his chosen (a Christian).
  • If not, pray to God about why you should want to be a Christian.
  1. We will sing songs to God when were in heaven (2b-4).
  • Thank God for all the future joy you’ll soon have.
  1. God is punishing these people because He has a high standard for us. We can’t just be good to get to heaven; the idea of goodness is us comparing ourselves to worse people. God wants us to compare ourselves to Him and try to be perfect.
  • “Help me to be perfect like You.”
  1. God will eventually punish the wicked.
  • “Help me to not be overcome with a desire for revenge; I know You’ll take care of that.”
  1. We can be happy when terrible people are punished.
  • Praise God for someone evil who died recently.
  1. The best thing we can do with our lives now is to praise God.
  • Praise God for 3 amazing things in your life. (If you can’t think of 3, keep thinking.)
  1. Each person will be judged according to what he has done.
  • Imagine explaining to God on Judgment Day the worst thing you have done recently.
  1. Heaven’s wonder is too great for us to imagine.
  • “Thank You God for creating such a place for us sinful people to live with You forever.”
  1. We must wash our robes (confess of our sins) so God will give us eternal life (14); for the end is near (7). This might not mean the end of the world but the end of our short lives.
  • If you haven’t confessed your sins to Jesus yet, go talk to a nice Christian you know about becoming a Christian.
  • If you have, remember to always read the Bible or do something Biblical on a daily basis; it will be a constant reminder of what’s the most important aspect.