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Most of us are what we at Biblestudycompany.com call "pew-sitters". We are not professionals at studying scripture. Good news. The disciples weren't either. Did you know that when Christ sent us the Holy Spirit, He will teach us? Do you have to be an ancient languages expert? No! Do you need advanced degrees to study the bible? No! Biblestudycompany.com can research the languages and definitions and does all that for you with a click of a button or finger push. Join Ric Joyner interviewing Dr. Korman of Loveisrael.org to learn how to study the Bible and what methods work well. It takes a willing heart praying for the Holy Spirit to open up the Word to us. The Holy Spirit is sent to teach us and bring order into our lives through God's Word. Let's shift our focus from knowledge about the Bible to knowledge about Him and His agenda for our lives. Lord, we pray for your will to come. Come follow Jesus by studying His word!
Has anyone ever thought about why the Lord told Moses to build a tabernacle in the desert? I mean really, traipsing around enduring the hot sun, lugging their possession’s, children, animals and Lord knows what else. Wasn’t that enough to deal with for the average Joe? On top of all that, they had to build a tabernacle to the exact specifications the Lord instructed. What’s that all about?
I’ve been studying Exodus for the past few years and I have to admit, I self-righteously thought “why don’t these people get it? Can’t they see all the provisions the Lord has given them?” Then I turned to Exodus 25:2 and it said, "Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.” This seemed very reasonable, until I read the rest of the chapter! God said to Moses, the contributions are everything from gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, ram skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breast piece. Guess what? That’s not the end of God’s instructions or the end of the chapter. They were told to build a tabernacle, furniture, gold overlay for rings, and poles, lampstands, dishes, snuffers and trays all out of pure gold. Now do you get the picture? This type of undertaking was not for the faint of heart and spirit. This task was not for the weak, literally!!!!
I began to ponder the reasons why God would ask his people to perform such detailed, laborious and mentally challenging instructions. How could any person or group of people ever accomplish half of this stuff? It was then the light bulb went on in my brain. God was very clear in Exodus 25:2, asking only those whose hearts moved them to raise a contribution. This contribution was only to be raised for God, not for Moses, not for the tabernacle, not for the fellowship of the Israelites but for God and God alone. Could it be that God calls each of us to raise a contribution to him, not because he needs it, but we need it? God surely didn’t need the Tabernacle to commune with his children. He had the power to relate instantly with them. The problem is, they needed it to relate to him. Gods power and majesty go way beyond anything we can handle without his help.
When I think about the jobs that needed to be filled in creating the tabernacle, it boggles my mind. For instance, they were asked to do everything from forging iron, sewing, dying fabric, baking, creating special oils, hunting for the right animals and sea life, jewelry making, designing, candle making, tent making, the list goes on and on. Could it be that the Lord was giving each person the opportunity to use the God given gifts he created them to have? My answer to this question, after much prayer, became very clear. I believe God wants each of his creation to live within the purposes they were created for. I may be a seamstress or designer. Someone else may dye fabric or weave it. Another may forge iron or bake bread. Everyone has a gifting they gravitate to and when operating in it they experience peace, joy and contentment. That’s how God wired us!
With that said, I believe we must be careful not to confuse our God given gifts with our purpose here on earth. Our highest purpose, in my opinion, is to worship and obey our Heavenly Father. Worship represents falling on one’s knees and giving honor to the one who created us. Out of worship comes the understanding that God created our very existence and we are nothing without a relationship with him. When we understand this, our desire to obey him comes from pure gratefulness and a genuine fear to not offend the One we love, our Lord and Savior.See full post & comments
We join Erin and Peter Janus as they explain how God's Presence came into their lives after asking Christ to prove if He is the One True God. What happened next is extraordinary! Their conversion and ensuing trials, lead them to walk away from their life of "all paths" and run to a faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Erin and Pete realized that God's presence was so real that they could be making an ETERNAL mistake by staying with their all paths faith. Will you? We each have a choice. A journey awaits you!
We have included resources below if you want to pursue more of a relationship with God and the truth.
Please share with others and if you have taken the challenge please share with us. To watch Erin and Pete's baptism here is the link.
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If you are ready to make a decision or explore further, here are some suggested prayers.
"Dear God, please show me whether Christ is the Son of God and I am open to searching for the truth, wherever that leads."
Dear Heavenly Father, (Matt. 6:9)
I want a relationship with You...not a religion. I come to You and open my heart. (John 3:16) I will be honest and sincere with You. (John 4)
I am running my life and need Your help. (Matt. 6:10)
I was made in Your image and I won't be happy until I am in a relationship with you. (Gen. 3)
Most of my behavior does not please You. (Romans 3:23, Exodus 20)
I know I am a sinner, so please forgive my sins because Jesus Christ, Your Son, came to die for me. (John 3:16) I believe Jesus Christ is my savior and salvation is a free gift! It cannot be earned through good works. (Eph. 2:8) You did this so that I can be in relationship with You on earth and for all eternity. (Romans 10:9-13)
And, I will forgive those who have sinned or hurt me too, since you have forgiven me. Take away any bitterness or resentment I carry. (Matt. 6:13-14)
Please show me and teach me how to live a praiseworthy life on earth to You. (Matt. 6:33, Acts 9 and 10)
I know You love me Father, and I want to love You as well and that you have a purpose and plan for my life.
Please teach me to pray. (Matt. 6:9)
Thank you, God for saving me to Yourself (Ex. 19:1-8) and making me a new person! (2 Cor. 5:17)
In Jesus name I pray, Amen!
Please let us know if you prayed this prayer.
Learn to grow at www.biblestudycompany.com
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Growing up in church doesn’t guarantee a relationship with Christ. Here is a story of Erin and Pete Janus who grew up in Christian homes but found religion versus a relationship. Religion can be dry and not satisfying. So they sought after a more "universal" path which took them on a search that led them to many gods and religious experiences. Occult practices, positive thinking projection and the study of other eastern thought showed them that it led not to "enlightenment" but darkness. A simple question to God, that if He was real and that if Christ was the Son of God, brought a new and fresh revelation of who Christ really is. The awareness of God’s presence brought excitement, and their realization that "all paths actually led away from the True God and His Son Jesus Christ". Listen to Podcast 1 to see the build up to the revelation, how Erin challenged God and how He responded to her sincere prayer and the startling changes that they both experienced. Praying Christian parents can have hope for their adult children.
In the Gospel of John 14:1-11 Christ said: "I am the Way the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through me..."
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You may think this post will be about Saul of Tarsus who met Christ on the road as he was hunting down the followers of Christ. The Christians were fleeing Jerusalem for Damascus Syria from the “face of death” and the confiscation of their belongings because they loved Christ.
I posted the previous blog about worshipping in the face of fear. What do you do with fear and anxiety as a Christian? The kind of anxiety that causes your chest to squeeze and you lay awake staring at the ceiling thinking of all the possible scenarios that the media is telling you.
We went to bed Saturday night (10th) with the news telling us that we were a bullseye for unprecedented destruction. My friends who were staying to ride out Irma were now fleeing due to mandatory evacuations! The potential catastrophic scenarios were played out over and over on T.V. We chose to worship. We did not pray an agenda that the hurricane would go away. We prayed that we would know what to do afterward to rebuild our lives and how we could help others while we may need help. Should we stay or go from Florida, our home? We prayed for our friends. We prayed for those who had suffered already and those about to be hit. We were terrified. That word carries no feelings. The best way to describe terrified is a racing heartbeat, and our appetites fled like those running from the hurricane! Our joints ached from holding in the stress. We had to take long breaths and let them out slowly as we answered texts and Facebook posts from well-wishers. Sometimes we shook, and our hearts felt like rubber and that they would stop at any moment. And we worshipped by reading psalms back to the Lord.
Rewind a week to September 2. As Mary and I left Florida for Madison WI to spend time with our family, and friends until the end of September, we got word of Irma forming in the eastern Atlantic. It was winding up fast and headed toward the Caribbean. Lord, what should we do? Do we turn back around and make the house more “bullet” proof than what we had already prepared? Or should we let our family back in St. Petersburg finish up? We decided on the latter.
I sensed from the Lord that “you are not to worry about this hurricane.” Did I just really think that? Had I just said this to myself to feel better? So, I shared with Mary, and she had the same sense and an unusual calm about Irma. But the media was telling us we SHOULD WORRY. This storm was of monstrous proportions and ferocity. So was Saul of Tarsus. He had a small army chasing innocent people. Can I catch a glimpse of their fears with Irma? They had no control over Saul, and we had no control over Irma.
Fast forward “all Irma news week” to last Sunday (11th) morning at church. The night before I was beside myself with fear while watching the news coverage. I suffer from worry and anxiety caused by “what ifs” and “I should not have or should have done something different,” and “I wouldn’t be in this mess if I would have_____________”(fill in the blank).
Did I hear you correctly Lord, not to worry? I doubted myself. Why was He strangely silent all week because I pleaded with Him to give further confirmation that I heard correctly or not so what could be the reason He isn’t answering me? Now I worried that I sinned somehow and was letting the Lord down by not believing correctly? You can see my head was spinning. Storm, monster, fear, the news is predicting catastrophe, etc. I am writing honestly.
We went to a church in Madison WI. The worship team began singing uplifting worship songs. I was pulling my emotions along and trying to leave my fear aside, which wasn’t working well. I then saw the worship leader decide to change songs. The song she chose was going through the storms of life with the Lord! I was stunned by this song selection. I was appreciative of the lyrics and the quality of the worship team. As I sang, I had tears. Then a sense of love and care from God came pouring over me like cold fresh water. I thanked Him for being so supportive to our family and worshipped again for our safety. Our physical possessions a concern but our Florida family was safe.
After the worship concluded I asked to share that we were from Florida visiting and were in a state fear due to hurricane Irma. We brought Florida and H. Irma to this little church in Madison WI. The face of destruction was staring us down. The early Christians were running too from destruction. I held back tears as I tried to share. Someone came over to pray for us. The pastor shared a message about the name of God being a mighty Creator and that He is in control.
I had wanted to hear from the Lord, and it finally came through the worship and message of the pastor. But then I remember the disciples in the storm-tossed boat and Peter asked to leave the boat and go out to the Lord who was walking on water in the midst of the storm. And the thought came to me: “If you are going to step out of the boat in faith - don’t look at the storm, but instead keep your eyes focused on the Creator who controls the storm….”. The “storm” in this case was watching the media. So, the lesson was clear. I had heard from the Lord about not worrying about this storm a week earlier. I did take a step of faith but chose to focus on the storm. But through my mistake of not keeping my eye on Him, He taught me a great deal about my worry and fear that plagues my life. I have a new brick in my foundation and a deep heart healing over fear. But in a relationship with God, aren’t the purpose of trials and circumstances to change us? Don’t they show us what is “in” us so we can work with Him to receive healing? And secondly, He was loving and caring to help heal my fears by giving me a great life lesson.
Back to the story. The rest of Sunday I had not watched any news of the storm and had a growing peace. It was more like joy. A quiet knowing joy that all would be well as I had originally heard a week earlier, but this time my mind focused on Him, and my fears were abating. As the storm unfolded towards midnight, what the news was reporting and what was happening on the ground were remarkably different, so different that I will not use the news media for information on storms. I will use radar and graphing models to watch the track.
My brother texted me that he was going outside as the eyewall had just passed near St. Petersburg and I looked on the radar, and it was true! Another friend texted and said that light wind and rain was happening. The news was not reporting this! Before the eyewall was passing, they had moderate rain, which is nothing unusual for a summer storm in Florida but which included 60 miles an hour winds which caused lots of damage. But not the damage that was T.V. predicted. Why Tampa/St. Pete was spared I will never know?
The two lessons are: We worship regardless of the outcome, and the second lesson is if you are going to step out of the boat in faith - keep an eye on Jesus our Creator - not the storm.
And this blog post is about the Damascus Road experience that was a major event in Paul’s life and the life of Christians. Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus. And we met Christ through the good people of Damascus Road Church in Madison WI.See full post & comments
Today is Saturday, a day before a monster hurricane explodes on Florida. It’s a storm the size of Texas that wants to devour our little state. You may be asking questions like, “What if my home gets destroyed? Where will we live? What if my friends and family don’t evacuate? What if they don’t survive? Why is this happening to me?”
We’re scared because we live in the storm’s path, but how do we handle the crippling anxiety?
When the storm was predicted to travel east, some of my dear friends decided to stay in Florida. Now they’re trapped in low areas, because the storm decided to move west – we can never predict the movement of monsters.
I’m a worrier to begin with, but my heart aches over the fear and terror. We’re all safe in Wisconsin, but I worry for my friends. God is helping me as my Father in Heaven to work through this anxiety. He is in control. I looked into the worried eyes of my son-in-law, who also lives in Florida, and saw the question form in his mind, “What will happen?” I have no answers, and that’s the definition of not being in control – that’s the root of our fears. Do you think this is how people live in war torn areas? Where do we turn? What do we do?
We should worship.
People are yelling on social media, “FLORIDA AND TEXAS DESERVE THIS! THEY VOTED FOR TRUMP!” or "THIS IS A JUDGEMENT FROM GOD". What they don’t know is that 50% of people didn’t vote for Trump – even in churches. Both concepts makes me so sad. The kind of sadness where tears well up. Who can crawl into the mind of God, and who would project devastation on people for not agreeing with their political views? What has happened to our country?
I love Christ, and I love people. Let’s walk through this together. Whoever you are, I will be by your side just like Christ would. Like Acts 2, we are in a situation where we need to share our resources to overcome this trial. And Hurricane Irma is certainly a trial.
Let’s get back to worship. Worship in Hebrew means to bow down to someone or some THING. When studying Exodus, Mary and I learned how the Children of Israel (us) reacted to God and situations by complaining. The Israelites panicked when an army of angry Egyptians was at their doorstep, and instead of looking to God they COMPLAINED to Moses and God.
Mary and I realized that this is what people do too – we complain about trivial things. So we decided to put ourselves in God’s hands, and even though it looks bleak or that we may die, we will worship. It’s OKAY to be fearful of a giant hurricane. Being worried about our homes and the people close to us is okay too. These aren’t trivial things in our lives.
As we know from Scripture, God made a way for the Israelites through the Red Sea and we will go through Hurricane Irma. He was showing the Hebrews that even going through tough times and impossible situations we can trust Him. He has proven this to us time and time again.
So, as I write this with fear in my heart of what could happen to my friends and my home, I get on the floor and bow my face to the One who will see us through. I worship Him because He is in control.
Does it relieve my fear? If I’m being honest, not really. But I do have peace in my heart that comes during times of fear and panic.
I don’t have a formula for how to be a Christian, because it doesn’t exist. Why? Because we should be in a relationship with God, not a religion. I love God, and I will show Him through worship in the face of fear, and praise Him in the face of panic and stress.
So I ask you to get on your knees with me and honor our God, whether He turns the storm or not. He is worthy of our lives, and worthy of our praise because He paid the price for us on the cross to redeem us from our sins.
My definition of worship is this: “praising and loving God in the midst of fear and stress before we know the outcomes.” I will grab a psalm and read it back to Him because sometimes I can’t find the words. I am scared of you…who read this…because I may sound like a crazy person. Yes, crazy because I love Jesus Christ and trust in Him for all the situations, even though scared half to death and HE WILL TAKE US THROUGH.
Worship God with me in this rare opportunity to praise Him before we know the outcome. Let’s love our brothers and sisters whatever comes our way.See full post & comments
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Overview: Dependence on God versus people, things or even churches is an interesting concept, but could anything other than dependence on God be idolatry? WOW! That’s a scary thought. Let’s take a look at how the Bible fits into churches and how we, the pew sitters, fit into a relationship with God!
This podcast sets the stage for our future Bible Study of Exodus.
Your hosts, Ric and Mary Joyner of Bible Study Company take you on a journey of discovery. Can we depend solely on God? What does that mean? What about people and churches? Churches can wound people. People wound people. Is that something God wants for His people? We are studying Scripture to find out what pleases God and act on that. We aren’t looking for formulas. Performance and formula-driven people fill churches and companies. Is God looking for performers? We are all broken pottery. By spending time with the Lord, we get filled to the brim and then we “leak” out to the world around us. Ric tends toward formulas and performance for approval and Mary is grounded in the knowledge that she is loved because she is part of her organic family. You are part of God’s organic family! He is looking for a relationship with us. Grab your favorite cup of “joe,” or your favorite beverage. We can travel together because God is not a formula! He is a deep relationship. Let us know what you think!
Thank you and please provide feedback!
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WELCOME FELLOW PEWSITTERS to our first podcast! Grab some coffee or your favorite beverage and of course, your bestie. We will discuss how and why Bible Study Company got started. We are not a company per se'. We are a "company of believers" studying scripture to live a praiseworthy life to God.
Now you don't have to be a theologian to study God's word. We just needed some tools. And by watching videos of Dr. Baruch Korman of Loveisrael.org, we were able to start studying scripture.
Approaching the Bible with the eye toward living a praiseworthy life to God changed our marriage and our relationship with Christ. Scripture started invading our life! Afterall, His will is done in heaven right, so why not in my life, our life, and your life? The podcast is our journey of what we went through to create biblestudycompany.com. We tried to capture our bumbling and stumbling in the pcast. I think you will find it honest, genuine and fun. Please join us.
The future podcasts will be studying Exodus, and we will have people interviews. On deck for the interviews are Dr. Baruch Korman, Loveisrael.org and Erin and Pete Janus, and their story on a journey to faith.
Oh...and don't forget to heat up your coffee as the podcast progresses! You will need the boost!
And will you comment for us?
Bible Study Company Beginnings
(to download the podcast for listening offline, right click this link and save the file)
Ric and Mary Joyner
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