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Reformation Tour Through Germany: Wittenberg

Though we did not come during Germany’s famous Christmas markets, Germany is a great place to visit any time of year. After a good night’s sleep in Berlin following a full day of sites and experiences, our group of 28 travelers crossed the Elbe River and headed to the historic town of Wittenberg.

Wittenberg

Wittenberg is one of the smaller towns located on the river Elbe and was the launching point for the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther lived and taught in the city for 36 years.

Other reformers left their mark on this city, as well. Unlike many other historic German cities during World War II, Wittenberg’s city center was spared destruction. It felt like stepping back in time!

We began our two-and-a-half hour guided tour through the old town and had the best time. We missed the tourist high season and had much of the town to ourselves.

It was a crisp 60-degree day without a cloud in the sky as we strolled along a romantic road comprised of ancient cobblestone streets. The painted shops and traditional German architecture were worth visiting.

Lutherhaus

Our first stop was the Lutherhaus (Luther House) not far from the main square. When the University of Wittenberg opened in 1503, the Augustine monks were given land to build a monastery. In 1507, after being ordained as a priest, Martin Luther lived in the monastery until in 1521, when he was forced to hide in Wartburg Castle to preserve his life and continue his work.

In 1524, after Luther had returned to Wittenberg, the abandoned monastery was given to him as his home. He lived there until his death in 1546. The Lutherhaus is now the world’s largest Protestant Reformation museum. On display are Luther’s pulpit, his monk’s habit, his Bible, and many priceless papers, manuscripts, and pamphlets.

Lecturn from which Luther preached
Luther’s prayer book
Earliest print of Luther’s Autumn 1527 written hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
First complete edition of Luther’s Bible translation in High German language

One of the side entrances to the Lutherhaus contains a portico containing two stone seats which was a gift from Katie Luther to her husband Martin. Above one seat carved into the stone is a likeness of Martin Luther and above the other seat is the Luther rose.

The living quarters of Martin and Katie Luther have been beautifully preserved. The rustic wooden table, chairs in the window where they would catch up on the day’s events, and massive black iron heater. Such rich history!

Beautiful ceiling paintings

Martin Luther’s Tomb

Four days after Luther’s death in Eisleben, he was buried in front of the pulpit in the Castle Church. Next to Martin Luther’s grave is the resting place of his friend and fellow reformer, Philipp Melanchthon.

He is laid to rest under a low stone marker right under beautiful stained glass windows. As I taught our group who sat in the pews, the sun shone through the stained glass and cast beautiful colors on the floor around his marker.

St. Mary’s Church (Stadtkirche)

St. Mary’s Church is often considered the mother church of the Reformation for hosting the first German mass and the first ever distribution of the bread and wine to the congregation. From here, Martin Luther preached his eight famous ‘Invocavit Sermons” in the church.

Castle Church

We enjoyed lunch in nearby restaurants since we had enough time and strolled to the historic Castle Church. Construction of the Castle Church was completed in 1525 by Frederick the Wise. The church is most famous as the site where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses.

In 1760, the church was destroyed by a fire resulting from an attack during the Seven Years’ War. The wooden doors on which Luther had posted the Theses were destroyed in the fire. In 1858, King Frederick Wilhelm IV of Prussia replaced them with commemorative bronze doors weighing 2,200 pounds each.

Displayed above the doors is a painting depicting Martin Luther holding a German Bible and Melanchthon holding the Augsburg Confession. Both are kneeling at the cross.

We concluded our walking tour passed the town hall and city centre, then enjoyed a good time exploring the town on our own.

The Old Latin School

During our afternoon free time, several of us visited the Old Latin School, which was built in 1564 as the city school for boys. It is managed by the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg as a non-profit organization in partnership with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The Old Latin School sits directly adjacent to St. Mary’s Church (Stadkirche) where Martin Luther and other reformers preached a life-changing message of grace alone, faith alone, through Christ alone. Stemming from the new approach to education being taught by the Wittenberg reformers, the Old Latin School. The church and school were truly central birthplaces of the Reformation.

Special Ministry Connection

By the grace of God, I have a special ministry connection to the Old Latin School. Through WordRus ministries in Eurasia, several of my Bible studies have been translated into Ukrainian. As only God can orchestrate, the Old Latin School is currently housing many Ukrainian refugees. During our afternoon break, several in our group walked over to the school to meet Netalyia, who not only runs the school but is a Ukrainian refugee herself.

A Cambridge-educated teacher, she is proficient in English and has been a huge blessing for the refugees as she helps them with their required paperwork and begins the process of teaching them English.

We met her 11-year-old son and 8-8year-old daughter and are amazed at their positive, gentleness after escaping the war that rages in their homeland right now. We had a chance to leave them a financial blessing and pray with them for God to continue blessing their work.

It’s a Good Idea to Visit Wittenberg

Although there are no fairytale castles here like the Neuschwanstein Castle, being in the epicenter of the Protestant Reformation is a thrill of a lifetime. This is a great spot to enjoy rich history and beautiful historic sites within walking distance! This is one of the most charming small towns and hidden gems that I have ever visited.

If you are traveling here, it is an easy road trip or day trip with an early start and train ticket from many locations. I highly recommend adding it to your Germany itinerary to step back into the Middle Ages. We had a great time!

And even though we were here in September, it would be a lovely trip during the sunny days of the summer months. If you prefer medieval towns to bigger cities, don’t miss out on Wittenberg on your next Germany trip.

One Day in Berlin

We arrived in Berlin today on a beautiful 58-degree morning. After breezing through customs, we met our tour guide, Matthias, to begin our Berlin adventures!

We gathered our luggage and boarded a nice coach bus, our transportation for the next eight days. We swung by the hotel to pick up the rest of our group, and 28 adventurers began the first day of our guided tour. As an aside, the city’s train station offers the easiest way to travel if you are not on a Berlin tour and want to save time.

World War II Reminders

As we walked the cobblestone streets toward the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Matthias pointed out markers embedded in the cobblestone streets every so often. They mark the spots where a Jewish person (or family) had once lived but had been rounded up and sent to concentration camps for extermination.

Each marker remembers and honors the murdered Jews of Europe. These markers were embedded in front of a business, which used to be this family’s home.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

A short walk took us to the first stop of our Berlin itinerary: the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Originally constructed in 1895, it was a gift to the German people from Kaiser Wilhelm II. During a World War II bombing raid, the church was partially destroyed. The remnant has been beautifully preserved and offers a great place to see the resilience of the ordinary German citizens.

The rosette and stained glass windows were destroyed, as the damage is still visible in the stone’s pockmarks from shell fragments and absent gargoyles.

It was lunchtime so we dispersed to find the best places to enjoy local food. It was a welcome breather after the previous full day of travel. Several of our travelers tried German beer and discovered new favorites. German homemade noodles covered in cheese with meat were the best I had ever tasted!

Reichstag Building

We continued our walking tour with Matthias to the Reichstag building. Constructed in 1894 to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire, it was severely damaged by fire in 1933 and fell into disuse after World War II. After its reconstruction in 1999 it again became the meeting place of the German parliament.

The beautiful glass dome visible on the roof has inner circular stairs all the way to the top. However, you can only enter with advanced notice and proper credentials, so be sure to obtain both if you wish to get inside.

Brandenburg Gate

We continued around the corner to the beautiful Brandenburg Gate. A former city gate, the Brandenburg gate was rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch. It has become one of the most well-known landmarks in Germany and is located in the western part of Berlin’s city center.

The gate suffered considerable damage in World War II and was inaccessible during the Berlin Wall’s use. It was fully restored in 2002. And one of the best things, of course, is that Little Luther had to be part of this historic visit!

Victory Column

We boarded the bus and traveled down the Unter Den Linden (main thoroughfare) through Berlin to view the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), Nikolai Quarter, and Potsdamer Platz on our way to the Victory Column.

The Victory Column sits in the middle of Berlin’s Tiergarten district. Atop the almost 61m high column, the larger-than-life bronze figure of the winged Victoria sits enthroned with a laurel wreath. The goddess of victory from Roman mythology, Berliners lovingly call her “Goldelse”. 

Designed by Heinrich Strack, it was finished in 1873 to memorialize the victories of Prussia in the German-Danish War in 1864, the German War in 1866, and the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71.

Four fluted column drums rise up on a roundabout with pillars, which gradually taper upwards. The first three drums are decorated with 60 gun barrels that were captured in the three wars, now covered in gold plating. Climbing up inside the Victory Column is the best way to see a panorama of West Berlin.

Checkpoint Charlie

Now located in the Allied Museum, “Checkpoint Charlie” was named by the Western Allies for this Berlin Wall crossing point. This is the location where Soviet and American tanks briefly faced off during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. This original sign still stands to mark the spot of crossing.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

On a site covering 19,000 square meters, New York architect Peter Eisenman placed 2711 concrete slabs of different heights to fully immerse yourself in the open spatial structure. The memorial is on a slight slope and its wave-like form is different wherever you stand.

Walking the uneven cobbled pavers and losing your bearings among the taller slabs gives many visitors feelings of uncertainty such as the Jews would have felt.

Its openness and abstractness give you space to confront the topic of the holocaust in your own personal way. It was one of the popular areas for spending a lot of time in personal reflection and remembrance of the horrors of war. People can sit on the slabs, but standing on them is against the law.

Berlin Wall Memorial

Constructed by East Germany on August 13, 1961, this wall completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany. Lined with guard towers, a death strip, and closely monitored checkpoints, the wall served to prevent massive emigration and defection of East Germans.

Our tour guide, Matthias, grew up in East Germany for over 20 years, where some of his family were separated from them in West Berlin. He describes it as a very dark period in his life, where even as a young boy he knew that what was happening was wrong. Everything was gray and sad with the absence of hope.

The wall was finally opened on November 9, 1989, to great applause and celebrations of freedom in Germany and around the world. By 1990, the wall had been completely destroyed except for a few sections saved for historical purposes as a reminder of the damage of divisiveness (like above). Double cobblestone pavers running through the middle of Berlin now mark where the wall used to stand.

This was our full day tour of Berlin, the capital of Germany! We had a wonderful time and were definitely ready to see our hotel rooms after a very busy day. God is so good!

On future visits, especially if it is your first time to Berlin, I would recommend including a beer garden, the Charlottenburg Palace, Jewish Museum, Holocaust Memorial, Hackescher Markt, Soviet War Memorial, and at least one UNESCO World Heritage site.

50 Bible Verses About Loving Yourself

Inching its way into our subconsciousness, our media-driven culture subtly and inevitably draws us into the comparison trap. Such comparisons can generate negative thoughts and low self-esteem.

The Comparison Trap

We tend to compare gardens, homes, health, families, good works, careers, outward appearance, education, churches, and even denominations. Perhaps we are tempted to go so far as to determine our “lovable” quotient based on these external things. So what does the Bible say?

We can even fall into the comparison game with people in the pages of Scripture. Perhaps we see the faith of Esther, Hannah, Rahab, or Ruth and compare our faith level to theirs. We see the bravery of Daniel, Joseph, or David and compare our strength to theirs.

And at whatever level we indulge in comparison tends to directly impact how we feel about ourselves if we do not let Scripture remind us of our worth in Christ as a child of God. It is important to cultivate those dear friends who remind us that God’s greater love is the true love that we cannot live without.

Loving Yourself

The spiritual collateral damage of the comparison trap is believing that anything external determines your inward value in Christ. It comes down to loving yourself based on the fact that you are made in the image of God through the sheer grace of God.

“Loving yourself” or “self-love” may sound like a feel-good, psychological sound bite, but there is much truth to it as Christ-followers. Believing by faith how much Jesus loves us enables us to embrace loving ourselves as He does.

Culture’s idea of self-love and being lovers of pleasure can lead to a multitude of sins. Such self-centered love focuses on our own happiness.

There is a huge difference between being lovers of God and lovers of self. Loving God means loving yourself through His eyes. Being lovers of self means loving yourself through external measures and leaving God out of the equation altogether.

So if you struggle to love yourself in the way God loves you or feel worthy of love, allow these fifty best Bible verses about His love for us and loving others to sink deep into your soul.

Old Testament Verses

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139:13-15).

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10).

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 36:7).

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7).

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good” (Proverbs 19:8).

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:3).

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).

Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love” (Psalm 109:26).

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26).

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

New Testament Verses

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (John 16:27).

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8).

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:29).

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-38).

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Owe no one anything, except to love each other” (Romans 13:8).

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9).

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

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Does God Really Collect Our Tears in a Bottle?

The Philistines had captured David in Gath. And even though he was a prisoner of war during that difficult time, David penned these beautiful words: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8, NLT).

David had every reason to cry and experience sorrow. He could have easily slung anger in God’s direction. Instead, he turned his face toward God to receive comfort.

But his words may raise a question. Did David mean that God used literal bottles as tear catchers, or was it simply a figure of speech?

It Takes a Lot of Tears to Fill a Bottle

Life happens, and as a result, so do tears. Whether we shed tears of joy or sadness or simply when God moves us in our soul, every tear holds meaning to Him. Pause to allow that truth to sink in for a moment. With seven billion plus people on the planet, God not only knows your name but notices each and every time you shed a tear.

In other words, our tears are not futile. They are not silly or a sign of weakness. Nor are they a waste of time as we impatiently desire to simply move on. Shedding tears reminds us of our humanity and vulnerability. We would be hard-pressed to recall every time we shed tears throughout our lifetime. But our heavenly Father remembers.

Tear Bottles in Antiquity

A quick history of the tear bottle in ancient Rome is in order. Around the time of Christ, Roman tear bottles were fairly common. Mourners in Roman times would capture their tears in small glass bottles and leave them in burial tombs as a symbol of respect.

Legend even says that during the Roman period sometimes women were paid to capture their tears in bottles as they accompanied the funeral procession of a deceased person. The more they cried and the more tears they captured, the more they were compensated, according to legend in biblical times.

Tear Bottles in the Victorian Era

Also known as lachrymatory bottles, tear bottles appeared once again during the 19th century in the Victorian era as a sign of mourning lost loved ones:

The Victorian era is also known for its fascination with death. Elaborate rituals surrounded the everyday occurrences of dying and grieving, and it was in this environment that tear bottles re-surfaced as a popular icon of grief and grieving.”

Tear Bottles During America’s Civil War

Since the U.S. Civil War happened during the Victorian era, the resurgence of a tear vial or tear jar goes hand-in-hand with that tragic time in our country’s history:

Stories of soldiers leaving their wives or new brides with a tear bottle can be found in the literature of the day. Some husbands are said to have hoped that the bottles with special stoppers would be full upon their return, as an indication of their wives’ devotion. Sadly, many of these men never made it back home.”

Is David’s Reference to God’s Tear Bottle Based on Fact?

As David endured that dark season in his life, he poured out the words of Psalm 56 to the Lord. Were David’s words simply wishful thinking, poetic language, or the fact that God actually bottles our tears?

Scholars generally agree that King David was using the metaphor of a small bottle to signify remembrance. By capturing the image of God catching our tears, we are reminded that God remembers and cares about our suffering.

In writing those words, David expresses a deep, abiding trust in God and His watch care over His children. Even when no one around us sees our tears, God sees each one. And David calls attention to that truth in the very next verse: “This I know, God is for me” (Psalm 56:9, ESV).

This I know. David knew that God was for him and never against him. As God’s beloved children, this we know, as well. Such knowing transcends the hurts and tears of this world to embrace the light and joy of eternity.

God is on Our Side

David initiated Psalm 56 with a guttural grasping for God amidst enemy attack: “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me” (Psalm 56:1, ESV). That may describe you this very day. It has certainly described many of my days where I have lost count of my tossings. He keeps account of my wanderings.

Then David turns his attention from his attackers onto God: “In God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:11, ESV). Such comfort! Such truth!

The Apostle Paul reminds us of our ultimate enemy’s identity: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).

The only One who can fight and defeat our ultimate enemy is God. And David knew that. God’s people are engaged in a battle in the spiritual realm requiring spiritual armor. Stepping on the battlefield in our own strength is a recipe for decimation.

So David turned his face and surrendered his sorrow to God alone. We do not know if David was in solitary confinement, but David knew that he was never alone. The God of the heavenly armies stood with him.

When We Suffer Because We Are His Disciples

If you have walked your faith journey for any length of time, you have experienced attack and sorrow simply because you follow Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus took time in the New Testament to warn and encourage His disciples about that very fact:

  • Everyone will hate you because of me” (Luke 21:17, ESV).
  • For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16, ESV).
  • Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9, ESV).

Such sorrow, loss, and suffering generate real tears. And as God’s image-bearers, Jesus feels our sorrow and is moved to tears: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35, ESV). The tears of our Lord speak volumes about His dispensation of grace. His dear friend, Lazarus, died. Jesus wept in that mourning period.

God may not have an actual bottle where He keeps our tears or a book of remembrance where He records our sorrows. However, He remembers all the things that happen in our lives, including the suffering endured for His sake.

Tears Speak Their Own Language

Tears speak a language all their own. They reveal what moves our souls. Tears of compassion often precede reaching out to help one another. Tears of joy often precede hugging the stuffing out of the nearest human being. Tears of sorrow often precede us straining after the soul comfort that only comes from God.

According to scientists, shedding tears is physically healthy: “Tears contain natural antibiotics called lysozymes. Lysozymes help to keep the surface of the eye healthy by fighting off bacteria and viruses. Because the cornea has no blood vessels, the tears also provide a means of bringing nutrients to its cells.”

What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul. For dirt, there is soap. For despair, there are tears. God does not forget the flood of sacred tears that have streamed down our cheeks. God remembers and sends His comfort without fail.

Our Future Tears

Our tears hold significant meaning for God. In fact, He goes so far as to reassure us: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

God sees when we ugly cry. It is a direct result of living in this sinful world. But in the presence of our Savior, tears are replaced by eternal light and joy that never ends. Ever. In the New Heaven and the New Earth, crying, pain, and death will be replaced with happiness, joy, and love.

Jesus’ Ultimate Pain Offers Us Ultimate Freedom

When Jesus took our nails on the cross, He also took on all of our sins. Every sin we have committed, are currently committing and will commit for the rest of our lives.

For the glory of God, Jesus experienced great sacrifice to relieve us from the eternal burden of sorrow and separation from God. And on the third day, when God raised Jesus from the dead, He also offered the hope of forgiveness and restoration in Christ Jesus.

As long as God keeps us here on earth, we will experience the pain of this life. But we do not suffer without hope. And hope is the game-changer.

Take Heart

If you are experiencing hard times or if this season of dark times, take heart. God sees your pain. He feels the sorrow and depression you experience. Reach out to Him in prayer. Journal your thoughts and feelings.

And one day, He will faithfully remove all of it in the light of His glorious grace. Lifted by the wings of His love, there will be no more pain one day.

In the meantime, like David’s confidence in Psalm 56, we keep turning our faces to the Source of all comfort and hope in the midst of our suffering. My life verse speaks directly about this hope: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

When life crashes hard and the tears flow, O Lord, enable us to stand strong on the Rock of Ages. 

{As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases. Photos are obtained from Unsplash.com}

The Shortest Chapter in the Bible Packs a Punch

The Bible is God’s breath exhaled on the page. Scripture is filled with wisdom and guidance for a Christ-follower’s faith walk, along with how we are to love, live, forgive, and interact with each other.

We can spend our whole lives studying the Bible’s contents, memorizing Bible verses, and participating in Bible study, never knowing it all. The Hebrew Bible does not contain verse divisions like our English translations, but those are certainly helpful for navigating through the books of the Bible.

So, let’s talk scope and facts first.

Facts About the Bible

Here is a quick content overview to demonstrate its complexity. The Bible contains:

  • 66 books total
  • 39 Old Testament books
  • 27 New Testament books
  • 783,137 words
  • 3,116,480 letters

Verses and Chapters:

  • The Bible has 1,189 chapters, which contain 31,102 verses
  • There are 929 chapters and 23,145 verses in the Old Testament
  • There are 260 chapters and 7,957 verses in the New Testament

Shortest and Longest:

  • The book of Psalms is the longest book with 150 chapters
  • Psalm 119 is the longest chapter with 176 verses (and longest psalm)
  • Esther 8:9 is the longest verse with 78 words
  • By word count, 3 John is the shortest book
  • By word count, Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter (and shortest psalm)
  • John 11:35 is the shortest verse with only 2 words: “Jesus wept.

The Timeline and Locations of the Bible

Inspired by God, the Bible was written by forty different authors from many different walks of life, covering forty generations experiencing different times. Spanning 1,500 years (from 1400 BC to AD 100), it covers three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe), and is recorded in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic).

The Old Testament

The 39 books of the Old Testament contain:

The New Testament

The 27 books of the New Testament contain:

There is a reason that the Bible is the most printed, most read, best-selling book in history!

What is the Shortest Chapter in the Bible?

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible. And even though it is the shortest chapter, it conveys the core message of Scripture: God’s never-ending love for us. The first half of verse 2 encapsulates this beautifully: “For great is His love toward us” (Psalm 117:2a, NIV).

God’s love for us and His creation spans the entirety of both the Old and New Testaments, yet simple enough to rest in the shortest chapter. He loves us. Period.

There are no conditions attached to His love toward us. There is no action that we can perform to earn it. God’s love is His free, extraordinary gift to us. The greatest gift, in fact, that we have ever or will ever receive – bar none.

Interesting Facts About Psalm 117

The two verses of Psalm 117 contain 17 Hebrew words. It is the shortest chapter in the Bible in both the number of verses and the number of words. Psalm 117 is also the precise center of the Bible. As the 595th chapter, there are 594 chapters preceding it and 594 chapters following it.

God’s Enduring Faithfulness

And if God’s never-ending love was not enough, the second half of verse 2 affirms: “and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever” (Psalm 117:2b, NIV).

God’s boundless love and tender care for us never cease. You and I can spend a lifetime looking for meaningful, lasting human love. Yet the shortest chapter provides the quickest assurance that we are loved beyond measure by the One who knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

Psalm 117 is Also About Praise

Psalm 117 begins with “Praise the Lord” and ends the same way. The shortest chapter in Scripture found the space to remind us twice of the importance of praising God.

Psalm 117 is both a personal and worldwide reminder to praise God. Here we are over two thousand years after Jesus’ glorious resurrection still worshipping Him regardless of color, creed, or credit. Because of His great love for us, we are able to love and serve one another (1 John 4:19).

Whether we read a short chapter in the Bible or absorb the longest one, every verse and chapter conveys God’s unwavering truth along with lessons we can learn and apply to our lives.

Even though Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, it is long on God’s love and faithfulness toward us. Knowing those truths enables us to live courageously to share the hope of Christ in our turbulent times when people are desperate to hear it.

Praise the Lord!

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11 Best Tips: How Long it Takes to Publish a Book

One of the questions that I am asked on a regular basis is how long it takes to write and publish a book. Yes, there are many variables, but there are certainly some solid points to consider if you are a first-time author.

Here’s what we will cover regarding writing a book:

  1. The average time it takes to write a book
  2. Setting and working within a deadline
  3. Lining up your support system
  4. The truth about research
  5. How to prioritize your time
  6. Setting word count goals…and sticking to them
  7. Set small challenges to write consistently
  8. Invest in a professional editor
  9. Unique insights for Traditional Publishing
  10. Unique insights for Self-Publishing
  11. Prayer is the game changer

When you embrace the right mindset, set up a reliable system, and keep leaning into God for the motivation to write, you will be a published author before you know it. So, let’s dig into the best tips that I have learned after publishing twelve books to date (both traditional and self-published).

1.    The Average Time it Takes to Write a Book

Whether fiction or nonfiction, a new author, on average, can take anywhere from six months to two years to draft and edit their debut book. That may seem like so much time, but take heart!

Your first book takes longer simply because it is probably the first time you have undertaken a serious, long-term writing goal. You likely have not discovered your writing rhythm or how many words you can sensibly commit to writing each day. A typical timeline for the first draft of your next book is usually less – somewhere between four to eight months.

2.    Setting and Working Within a Deadline

The first thing you have to decide is what you are going to write. Fiction or nonfiction? Novella or novel? Devotion or Bible study? A magazine article or a full-blown manuscript?

A novella is a shorter work of fiction with a word count between 17,500 and 40,000 words. (Traditional publishers focus on word count, not page count.) Standard fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, romance, mystery, young adult) is between 75,000 and 120,000 words. A stand-alone devotion has a word count between 2,000 and 5,000, and a full-length Bible study is usually between 50,000 and 65,000 words.

If you land a publishing contract with a traditional publishing house, they will set your manuscript deadline anywhere between four to six months from the date of signing, along with the word count they expect.

Keeping your writing on track is crucial in order to meet their deadline and expectations. Since their contracts tend to be a bit complicated, you may consider securing a literary agent. I had one of the best for the first ten years of my writing career.

3.    Lining Up Your Support System

The next step is your support system, which can take various shapes and forms. First and foremost, it includes the people closest to you: family and close friends. This is where communication becomes crucial. Let them know what you need!

You may need to get away for a weekend or an entire week to make serious headway (or to finish) your manuscript. Ask family and friends to watch your children, home, pets, and anything else so that your mind releases worry about the home front and you can focus on your manuscript.

If your house contains a spouse and children, you may need undistracted time for writing during a specific portion of each day. Communicate that with your family so that they do not believe you are simply avoiding them. That may sound silly, but it happens.

The overarching blessing is that those closest to you feel as if they were a helpful part of the process rather than a hindrance.

4.    The Truth About Research

Please hear this clearly: you need to have all of your research done before you begin serious work on your manuscript. As a Bible study writer, I need to ensure that I have done all of the relevant Greek and Hebrew word searches, read all the commentaries, researched dissertations and historical papers, and diligently gathered applicable cultural research.

If you try to write while you are researching, inevitably you will run across a tidbit of information that may change the entire trajectory of what you are writing. Doing all of your research ahead of time and knowing the direction your manuscript needs to go saves hours and days of the editing process later.

If you are writing a novel, make sure you have researched your location settings, historical timelines, and cultural idiosyncrasies to ensure that your novel’s genre and characters fit into the proper era. It would be odd for a John Wayne reference to find its way into an eighteenth-century crime novel.

5.    How to Prioritize Your Time

When you are down to the wire on finishing your manuscript, become a social hermit. That includes outings, impromptu coffee meetings, and especially social media. Sign off of social media during the home stretch. Nothing sucks time out of your day faster than social media and YouTube.

I give my loved ones and social media outlets plenty of notice when I will be socially missing in action. This avoids hurt feelings or numerous questions about why you fell off the radar.

Also, and perhaps the most important (other than your focused time away), the advanced warning includes people in your writing process. By supporting your need for radio silence, they feel a sense of accomplishment right along with you when the manuscript is finished.

6.    Setting Word Count Goals

When you have a solid deadline and have decided how many words your project requires (see item 2, above), it is time to set concrete word count goals. For instance:

  • 30,000-50,000 words: 500 words a day = 60-100 days
  • 50,000-80,000 words: 500 words a day = 100-160 days
  • 80,000-100,000 words: 500 words a day = 160-200 days

Approximately 350 words fit on a standard double-spaced typed page. My process is very simple. I pull out my calendar, mark the deadline date, and start counting backward. I determine which days can be devoted to writing around my current commitments, and a projected number of words I can do each day based on time availability.

Since I travel regularly for events in my ministry, I have learned that travel days are not conducive to quality writing. Even though downtime while waiting for flight connections may seem ideal, I do not concentrate well in such a distracting environment. Consequently, I need to add more words to other days to make up time. Finding what works best for you is key.

Pacemaker has a great online word count planner that I have found incredibly helpful. I have also used physical journals and word count tools equally well.

7.    Set Small Challenges to Write Consistently

The average person just starting to write usually has a full-time job, is a student, may have a family, serve as a caregiver, or has various other active commitments. Realistically, you may not have daily time to devote to your manuscript’s word count.

In that case, the solution is to set small challenges in order to write consistently. Let’s break it down practically by writing goal, available time, and how long it would take to complete your manuscript:

  • 30,000-50,000 words: 500 words, 3 days a week = 4-7 months
  • 50,000-80,000 words: 500 words, 3 days a week = 7-11 months
  • 80,000-100,000 words: 500 words, 3 days a week = 11 months-1 year +

You may want to move at a faster pace, but remember your quality of life is important. Also, the quality of writing is important. If it takes longer, God’s timing is perfect.

8.    Invest in a Professional Editor

Without exception, every contracted manuscript that I turn in to my publisher has been expertly reviewed by a professional editor. Some writer friends do not follow this practice, which is absolutely their prerogative.

Publishing is a very competitive business. There are many people who desire to become published authors. Consequently, it is incumbent on you to ensure that your manuscripts are the cleanest, best versions that they can possibly be. The less time and manpower the publisher needs to expend to edit and clean up a manuscript, the more readily they will turn to that author for future work.

Depending on how in-depth you ask the professional editor to tackle your manuscript, the average cost ranges from $2-$5 per page. My Bible study manuscripts are usually between two hundred and two hundred and twenty five pages. Yes, it is an investment, but one that will increase your chances of future publishing contracts with that publisher.

9.    Unique Insights for Traditional Publishing

When it comes to the actual publishing process, traditional publishers are the experts. Once you turn over the final manuscript, it is disseminated in-house in many directions: doctrinal review (if nonfiction/Bible study), editors, interior graphics designers, a cover designer, marketing, arranging printers, and holding a book launch.

I usually have one, if not more, online meetings with the marketing and/or graphics teams to discuss my inspiration for the book, design ideas, endorsement possibilities, and companion merchandise, such as t-shirts, notepads, and bookmarks. That is the fun part!

The traditional publishing route is definitely longer, but the quality is superb. From book proposal, signing the book deal, and finally release date, it usually takes anywhere from one year to eighteen months for the print book to hit the shelves.

10.   Unique Insights for Self-Publishing

Self-published authors have much more control over every aspect of self-publishing a book. However, that also means the burden falls on you to do all of the jobs of a traditional publisher – and do them well. This also includes securing beta readers, cover designers, choosing a book cover, the book description, book sales, learning Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), securing rights with the U.S. Copyright Office, and the list goes on.

You may choose (and I would highly recommend) to hire out various aspects of the publishing process. Invest in a professional editor as we talked about above, a graphic artist to lay out the book for both print and digital formats, connect with marketers to endorse and promote your book, and the list goes on.

Quality often suffers and stress levels escalate with a self-published book, although many avenues for self-publishing have improved over the past few years.

11.   Prayer is the Game Changer

A pastor that I admire once said, “Prayer is not the pre-game; it is the game.” For Christian authors, our inspiration, strength, and everything in between come from God. Inviting Him into the process from the very beginning is the best way to make all the difference.

Praying as you walk through the research, writing, and editing stages ensures that He provides you with everything you need to produce your best work.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Now that you know the tasks, prioritizing them at each stage of writing is the key to actually finishing your book. Consider these specific items:

  • List out all of the details for your book and turn them into tasks. For instance, setting a research timeline, drafting the outline, setting word count goals, etc.
  • Then prioritize that list by putting at the top those tasks that carry the biggest value to completing your book.
  • Be realistic about the length of time it will take to complete each task.
  • Be flexible in your writing schedule because, well, life happens.

Include Rewards at Each Stage

Once you set realistic deadlines based on honest expectations and have your task list set, be sure to reward yourself for achieving each stage of the process. Yes, writing can be tedious, but rewards inspire and keep us going on those days when the words struggle to form.

Bottom Line

The pandemic caused many of us to reassess how we spend our time. Regarding dreams and career paths, perhaps you asked, “What am I waiting for?”

If becoming a published author has been your dream, there has never been a better time than now to make it a reality. Technology and social media have made it more realistic than at any other point in history.

By following these simple, yet important, steps and guidelines, you will be a published author in no time.

Happy writing!

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Warriors in the Bible: 13 Essential Life Lessons To Learn

In some way, shape, or form, the pandemic infected and affected all of us. Our daily life. Our loved ones. Our communities. And the globe at large. Consequently, many of us can relate more intimately to being warriors. We have battle scars. Yet we have also experienced battle blessings.

If you keep a journal like me, you likely ran out of space a long time ago with all that has happened over the past two and a half years. This topic deserves a full-blown Bible study – perhaps especially for our military community. But for now, we will settle for diving in here.

The Lord as a Warrior

The Old Testament and the New Testament are full of metaphors and allegories associated with battles, military, and warfare symbolism. Moses even refers to the Lord as a “warrior” (Exodus 15:1-3), and Jeremiah calls him a “mighty warrior” (Jeremiah 20:11).

Isaiah certainly implies similar symbolism: “The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies” (Isaiah 42:13).

The Armor God Provides

The Word of God tells us clearly that every believer endures spiritual warfare. Period. Yet God does not leave us alone or unarmed. The Apostle Paul tells us how the Lord has given us good things in preparation for this warfare:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Paul begins with the most important instruction: be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. If we attempt to tackle spiritual warfare in our own strength, we will not make it past the first sixty seconds.

Paul also provides a clear description of our enemy: unseen dark forces in the heavenly realms. Facing off against such a powerful, unseen enemy with human armor basically guarantees our defeat. Ego is usually the first casualty when we do not armor up. The Lord’s armor of light makes all the difference.

Who or What Are We Fighting For?

You and I are called to battle for our loved ones, the forgotten, the culturally marginalized, the weak, the little children, and the helpless. We fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

We fight for truth and the fact that every single person is made in the image of God. Every life is precious. Every person has a purpose under God – none of us is “less than” in the economy of heaven.

When you and I step on the battlefield, we know that His love leads the charge because He desires for all to come to know Him. The power of God’s love will outlast us all.

How Are We to Fight?

If we are to finish well as God’s warriors, Paul himself says that he “fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7), and encourages us to do likewise.

We do not fight to simply wield a sword indiscriminately but to engage in the battle to make a difference in the lives of our family members, friends, acquaintances, and those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

There is no doubt that we are living in the last days. The clock started ticking a very long time ago. This present darkness is full of confused noise and false prophets. However, the timeless truths of God through our Bible stories teach powerful lessons about the battle of the warrior.

Fighting the Good Fight

Several times in Scripture, we see how we are to “fight the good fight.” What does that mean? Simply this: we need to prepare for the skirmishes we will undoubtedly encounter, put on the full armor of God and stand firm, and be clothed in the Lord’s integrity and honor on the battlefield of life.

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith” (1 Timothy 1:18-20).

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:11-12).

Spiritual Warfare Differs From Earthly Battles

On the spiritual battlefield, our weapons and the purpose of each look vastly different than any battle we face in this world.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

13 Life Lessons About God’s Warriors

God called King David a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). This son of Jesse of Bethlehem was an extraordinary leader and a great warrior. Also, he was arguably the greatest example of a prayer warrior in God’s Word. With that in mind, what does it look like to be a warrior after God’s heart? We will let Scripture do the talking.

1.    God’s warrior is redeemed to tell God’s story.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe” (Psalm 107:2).

2.    God’s warrior is trained and loyal to the Lord.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

3.    God’s warrior has his citizenship flag planted in heaven.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).

4.    God’s warrior follows our heavenly Commander’s will.

And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22).

5.    God’s warrior faithfully prepares for battle.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).

6.    God’s warrior diligently guards his heart.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

7.    God’s warrior practices unquestionable integrity.

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved” (Psalm 15:1-5).

8.    God’s warrior keeps his eye on the prize.

Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:26‐27).

9.    God’s warrior has been set aside for the Lord’s holy purposes.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

10. God’s warrior does good works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

11. God’s warrior stands prepared and ready.

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:2-5).

12. God’s warrior stands firm in the Lord.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).

13. God’s warrior finishes well.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Other Helpful Scripture to Know for the Battle

There is no shortage of bible verses that teach us what is expected of us as God’s warriors. As we close, here are others to inform and bless your journey:

If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:6-8).

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:3-5).

2 TIMOTHY 2:3-5

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Best 90 Day Chronological Bible Reading Plan [Free Downloads]

A great way to read through the Bible is to follow a Bible reading plan. In order to obtain the big picture of Scripture, try using a chronological Bible reading plan for 90 days.

A chronological plan leads us to a better understanding of the stories of Scripture in the order they happened. The chronological order is different than how the books of the Bible are laid out (especially in the Old Testament), so be prepared to skip around in Scripture during your daily readings.

Why a Chronological Reading Plan?

A straight read of Scripture allows us to notice the larger picture of how God developed His plan of redemption from the very beginning. We notice major people, the history of the Israel nation, key stories of the Bible, events of the Bible, and the power of God throughout.

When you finish, you will have read every single chapter in the entire Bible and have grasped a greater understanding of His Word. How God’s perfect timing is precisely that. How His love wins all the way to the end.

From the book of Genesis through Revelation, God shows us a whole new way of how to live counter-culturally within the culture that surrounds us.

Time Commitment

A 90-day plan requires approximately thirty minutes per day. You might find that such a time commitment may be tackled better during more structured seasons of life – such as when school starts back after the summer or winter holidays.

You may need to give yourself some grace days on your reading project, and that is perfectly fine. Sometimes our daily schedules vary greatly. There are also many smartphone apps that offer a great resource to listen to audio bibles with reading plans.

If you are not in a life season that allows you to set aside a long time for reading the Bible, you may want to choose a one-year plan, or even a two-year plan instead. I offer many simple Bible reading plans that you can choose from here.

Every minute you spend in Scripture will reap blessings, so do not hesitate to take it at a slower pace.

Which Bible Translation Should You Use?

The Bible has been translated, interpreted, and read in many different ways while maintaining its original substance. The simple answer is this: read whichever version you can easily understand. Personally, I like the English Standard Version (ESV) because it is the closest translation to the original languages using our modern-day vernacular.

If you were raised on the King James Version (KJV) and you love the way it reads, then by all means use that version. I also like the New Living Translation (NLT). The bottom line is to choose whichever translation you can best understand. Understanding God’s story is the goal, so pick a version that makes the most sense to you.

Why Commit to Reading Through the Whole Bible?

The Bible is God’s breath on the page. It is the inspired Word of God given to mankind so that we can know our Creator. Why He chose us. Why He pursues us. Why He loves us so very much.

It is by far the most important book you will ever read because, through it, God changes us to be more like Jesus from the inside out.

The Bible is a Christian’s ultimate source for guidance through life, comfort in difficult times, and how to forgive and love others as God has done for us.

God has drawn me deep into His Word for over thirty years now and I would not trade one moment of that journey. He has convicted me on how to live and extend grace and how to apply His life lessons to everyday living.

How Did the Bible Come About?

The Bible is a collection of ancient texts that were written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit over a period of about 1600 years. They lived in different cultures, eras, and circumstances, yet God’s overarching message of redemption and love remained constant.

Scripture is also a cultural and historical treasure trove of information. It provides unique insights (which archaeological finds continue to verify) into what life was like during those various time periods. The Bible contains real stories of people who actually lived. It is not a fantasy fiction novel.

The Bible’s stories encompass people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The God-inspired guidance and timeless wisdom provide indispensable tools for living a life that honors God and the sacrifice He gave to us in Jesus Christ.

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, translated into more languages than any other, with over 6.5 billion copies printed to date. Over the millennia, it has had an immense influence and impact on literature, music, science, art, and politics.

How Can the Bible Change Our Lives?

First and foremost, the Bible reveals that we have a Savior in Jesus Christ. Oftentimes, we look at the state of the world and wonder how we’re going to survive. Only through Christ will we survive and thrive in this life because Jesus conquered our sin on the cross.

He has redeemed us to live richer, more meaningful lives by teaching us how to love each other, reach out to our enemies, and stand strong on the spiritual battlefields. We can rewrite today’s headlines when we stand shoulder-to-shoulder against hate and selfish motives.

Balancing Life and Bible Reading Plans

God desires us to live loved and loving others, which starts with family. Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Our families come first right under our devotion to the Lord.

Loving our families well means caring for their mental, physical, and emotional needs. If cutting your daily Bible reading by ten minutes in order to remain at the dinner table as your children tell stories about their day, linger and listen to them.

What Will I Get Out of Regular Bible Reading?

Carving out regular time to read the Bible fuels Christ-centered love and compassion in our actions and conversations. It convicts us of our own behaviors that do not honor God and invites us to repent. It inspires us to serve others sacrificially. Committed Bible reading time is paramount for any believer.

Our lives are to reflect holy faithfulness as His children who realize how much we are loved by the One who knit us together in our mother’s wombs. Opening God’s Word is us lingering at the table with Him each day as He pours into us.

Reading Scripture daily can sometimes feel like hard work that turns into a checklist. Ask God to guard your heart against such baseline thinking. When schedules crowd our time and thoughts, stillness can be elusive. But it is invaluable and so very important. He is the power we need to fuel our days.

Different Bible Reading Plans

Choosing a Bible reading plan helps us methodically read the Bible by dividing it into easily-readable segments to digest and understand. It systematically guides us at our own pace to draw us closer to God.

With that said, tackling a 90-day chronological Bible reading plan may be a large chunk to chew if these are your first steps toward regular Bible reading. So you may want to consider another unique plan. There are several comprehensive plans here as free downloads to choose from to find your best option.

How Can I Stay on Track?

Undertaking regular Bible reading requires commitment, like any other worthy endeavor. Sometimes it may be challenging to remain motivated to read each day. Here are some helps for this Bible project that may keep you on track.

1)    Journal As You Read

I have countless journals that I have kept over the years that are filled with notes as I read through the Bible. Questions, observations, ah-ha moments, and more. I started each entry with the date and what chapters/books I read that day. Those journals are spiritual treasures to me today.

2)    Share What You are Learning

Even though God desires us to know Him more and more, sharing what we are learning can also be an encouragement to other Christians – especially new believers. Share what you are learning with your small group. They also may be able to expound upon what we are learning through their own experiences or reading time. This practice has helped me find fellow Bible nerds wherever I go.

3)    Read Aloud, if Possible

This has been by far one of the most powerful Bible reading tools in my life. Reading aloud allows us to hear the stories as believers would have originally heard them. Usually, only rabbis in synagogues had the scrolls containing God’s Word, and the people faithfully gathered to hear them read aloud. It also slows us down so that our eyes do not mindlessly skim the text.

4)    Highlight and Underline in Your Bible

If a specific verse or saying contains special meaning to you, be sure to highlight or underline it in your Bible. Write a note in the margin regarding what you found interesting or meaningful. I love going back through my older Bibles and simply reading my decades-old notes in the margins.

5)    Set Daily Reading Goals

Whether you choose a 90-Day Bible Reading Plan, a one-year plan, or simply read a chapter per day, write out your goals and stick with them. This helps us keep on track and finish each day’s reading without second-guessing if you already covered it.

6)    Mark Your Goals on a Calendar

If you choose a one-year plan, mark your goals on a calendar. perhaps start on January 1 and finish by December 31. You could start July 1 and finish by June 30. You get the idea. You will be surprised at the end of your reading plan how much God has taught you.

7)    Start and End Your Reading Time with Prayer

We are not reading through any ordinary book. The Bible is the inspired Word of God that demands a response to how we live, think and operate in this world. Ask God to give you guidance and understanding as you read. Ask Him how you can apply what you have learned. Then thank Him for faithfully leading you through each day.

Reading through the Bible is one of the best things you can ever do in your life. And there is no better time to start than right now. God’s blessings as you dive into the most epic adventure of your lifetime!

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13 Best Ways to Live Out Gentleness in the Bible

How much has gentleness taken a hit during our last few difficult years? We want to break down walls, but end up building fences with our words. We certainly cannot manufacture a gentle spirit. However, we can surrender our attitude to God and trust His Spirit to empower us toward gentleness.

Perhaps you can think of someone in your life who consistently lives with gentleness at the forefront. Gentle people are key to diverting relational disasters because they refuse to fall to pieces under pressure or harsh words. They are unfailingly gentle and kind.

And God gives great worth to such people: “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4, NIV).

Gentleness: We Already Have It

All believers already possess gentleness as a gift of the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV).

I do not know many people who would characterize me as gentle. I can have a soft tongue in a moment, but consistent gentleness proves challenging. And the Lord has convicted me about that fact. Hence this post.

Such consistent gentle composure is rare, yet it is precisely what the Apostle Paul refers to when he says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:5-6, NIV).

Since we already have gentleness, what exactly does that look like?

What is Gentleness?

The Greek word for “gentleness” in that Philippians 4:5 verse references a mature and seasoned temperament. I love the word “seasoned” because, as any cook knows, it takes a long while to properly achieve good seasoning. It means that no matter what comes, the gentle person remains levelheaded and even-tempered.

Sometimes gentleness is used interchangeably with “meekness” in the Bible. While many view meekness as a weakness, it is actually strength under control.

  • Jesus had it: “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29, ESV).
  • Moses had it: “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3, ESV).

They not only had gentleness, but they also lived it. Jesus was the epitome of strength under control. And Moses never let people walk all over him, either. Yet in submitting to God, their gentleness carried immense strength and power.

What if I’m Not Naturally Gentle?

As Christ’s hands and feet, we are not called to place band-aids on bullet wounds. We are called to step into those hard places with Christ-like gentleness and compassionate hearts to create space for His good work of healing to take place.

Max Lucado put it this way: “The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, ‘God is in control’.” You and I are to embrace and live in such gentleness. Yet, perhaps like me, you rarely allow it to surface past the “get ‘er done” mentality of the daily rat race.

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Diligent Bible study regarding true gentleness has helped me tremendously. There are many examples of gentleness and good behavior in both the Old Testament and New Testament, whether seen through Christ Jesus, a gentle lamb, little children, or a servant of the Lord.

Have you ever noticed the effect that the gentleness of Christ has on others? It disarms anger. Diffuses a tense situation. Opens doors for meaningful conversation. Creates a bond of peace. Sifts past agendas to the heart of compassion.

How Do I Live Out Gentleness With Others?

Gentleness never pushes its way to center stage. Gentleness is the gentleman in the room. It is considerate of people’s feelings for the glory of God. It anticipates others’ needs because it is godly.

The litmus test comes when people disappoint us, are caught in a sin, or differ in their opinions. It seems counterintuitive to combat sin and fallenness using gentleness, but that is exactly what God calls us to do.

I often picture gentleness as a lush rose bush with no thorns. Its imperishable beauty and sweet fragrance invite people to inhale deeply of its aroma with no threat of harm.

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You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12, GNT).

How Do I Live Out Gentleness With Myself?

Even when our bodies are still, our minds are often racing. Do we pay attention to what that race is speaking into our souls? When each thought represents worry, anxiety, and self-deprecating thoughts, our days quickly crash and burn.

But what if we applied gentleness to ourselves? Waking up with Scripture in our minds makes all the difference. For instance: “You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great” (Psalm 18:35, ESV). His gentleness. Not our manufactured version.

As soon as I wake up each morning, I lay there and listen closely to my thoughts. Have you ever intentionally done that? What are they saying? Oftentimes, a negative reel starts playing. That’s when I change the tape and ask God to bring Scripture to mind about my value and worth in Christ alone. It is a much better way to start the day.

13 Best Ways to Live Out Gentleness

1.    Gentleness Allows Us to Experience Jesus

When you and I surrender every part of ourselves to God, the Holy Spirit enables and empowers us to walk like Jesus. When we see how Jesus was gentle with the hurting, compassion pricks our souls to be like Him.

Let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of human nature” (Galatians 5:16, GNT).

2.    Gentleness Stirs Hearts

An argumentative person constantly pointing out others’ faults simply shoves people away. Gentleness stirs our hearts to open our ears and drop our defenses.

We will disagree with one another because we all come from different walks and different thoughts. But in Christ, we stand together under the banner of God’s grace in the unity of the Spirit.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1, NIV).

When one is slow to anger, a ruler may be won over. A gentle tongue will break a bone” (Proverbs 15:15, NLV). 

3.    Gentleness Fosters Restoration

Uncertain times can cause fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to detour down a life path that does not honor God. Berating and shaming them is not conducive to restoration. Speaking and acting with gentleness opens the door once again for them to repent and see Christ.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1, ESV).

4.    Gentleness Embraces Grace-Filled Speech

Because we live in a fallen world, we encounter people experiencing fear and unrest. Harsh words and hard-lined actions deflect fellowship. With a heart for the Lord, let gentleness reach out in love with the hope of Jesus.

Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do. Be gentle as you speak and show respect” (1 Peter 3:15, NLV).

He must be gentle in correcting those who oppose the Good News. Maybe God will allow them to change the way they think and act and lead them to know the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25, GW).

5.    Gentleness Displays the Lord’s Wisdom

If someone is already hostile to the Gospel, pray for God to give you gentle words to share. Disarming hostility opens hearts to hear wisdom from the Lord.

Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his good deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom(James 3:13, AMP).

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17, KJ21).

6.    Gentleness Empathizes Like Jesus

Whether or not we agree with another person’s point of view, gentleness acknowledges it in order to understand how they feel. We all have faults in our thoughts, actions, and motives, yet gentleness sees beyond them.

We are called to extend grace and make allowances: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of Your love” (Ephesians 4:2, NLT).

7.    Gentleness Lives Out the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is simply this: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (Matthew 7:12, NASB). The life of Jesus centered on loving people and showing compassion. We desire the same from people around us.

When you and I mess up, we long for forgiveness and grace from God and others. Gentleness acknowledges that longing and points them to their Redeemer.

8.    Gentleness Characterizes a Godly Leader

In high school, my band director would literally throw music stands at anyone who made mistakes while playing. Yet now and again I would hear him mention how much he loved his church. It was incongruous, to say the very least. His actions did not fit his allegiance. I can no more picture Jesus throwing music stands than having a pet snake.

Godly leadership encourages the gifts and talents of those entrusted to him. Throwing temper tantrums, music stands, or anything else slams shut the door of approachability. Gentleness is a powerful key to reopening communication.

May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb” (Deuteronomy 32:2, ESV).

9.    Gentleness Shows Respect to Others

There is much truth to the fact that we need to be kind to others since we do not know what is going on in their life. That store cashier who may have just been really rude could have just lost a loved one. No, it does not excuse her behavior, but it need not affect the tone of our response.

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4, ESV).

10.      Gentleness Seeks Peace

Fighting can easily destroy relationships. And ugly words can take much time to repair. You can’t unsay ugly. They can dangle and fester. Yet when we respond with gentleness, it disarms anger and seeks common ground on which to agree. Gentleness diffuses tense situations and opens our ears toward understanding.

After my speech, they didn’t respond. My words fell gently on them” (Job 29:22, CEB).

11.      Gentleness Offers a Calm Atmosphere

Most people will turn and go the opposite direction if they sense drama coming down the hall. Drama and unkind words can shut down the open exchange of fellowship in a heartbeat. A raised voice with fists pounding on a table to hold people’s attention oftentimes brings the opposite effect.

However, the gentleness of a soft answer offers a safe space to encourage honest conversation. It invites people to sit down, exhale, and join in fellowship.

What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:21, ESV)

12.      Gentleness Listens More Than It Speaks

Jesus himself was the best model in this regard. He made it a practice to ask probing questions and then simply listen.

Remember this, my dear brothers and sisters: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and should not get angry easily” (James 1:19, GW).

13.      Gentleness Acts Humbly

Truly humble people are rare gifts – especially in a culture that shouts opinions over self-erected walls. Being humble to the point of claiming to be “crucified with Christ” takes a lifetime and happens only by God’s relentless grace. It requires repeated surrender of our individual agendas to God’s plan.

Jesus himself was the best model of humility and humbleness in the New Testament. The One who created all ordered Himself under His heavenly Father’s authority to save all from death.

And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8, ESV).

The Bottom Line

As followers of Christ, others see the Spirit’s work in our lives when we let gentleness lead the charge. And the resulting peace is something our souls desperately need in our current day and age.

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50 Motivational Bible Verses About Aging Gracefully

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” Agatha Christie

At the age of 40, Agatha Christie married prominent British archaeologist Max Mallowan in 1930. Afterward, she spent several months each year traveling with her husband to archaeological digs in the Middle East.

Leveraging her first-hand acquired knowledge of archaeology, she became one of the most well-known, best-loved, and best-selling detective novelists of all time. And she was no spring chicken!

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How can we age gracefully in the Lord when the world around us only sees our wrinkles?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Aging Gracefully in the Lord
  2. Old Testament Bible Verses
  3. New Testament Bible Verses

1. Aging Gracefully in the Lord

When it comes to aging gracefully, one of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

There’s no age limit on that verse. We count each day significant because through them God increases our spiritual wisdom. And the longer He keeps us here, the more opportunities we have to share that acquired wisdom.

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On countless occasions, I have said to my family, friends, and at conferences: “If you are still breathing, God still has a purpose for your life.”

Perhaps the Best Years are Still to Come

I am in my mid-50s, but I truly believe in the marrow of my bones that my best years are still to come. God controls the steering wheel and I am simply a passenger in the most glorious, thrilling adventure of all time.

The truth is that God faithfully watches over us. No matter how advanced in years we become, He’s still got us. He still has a purpose for our lives for our good and His eternal glory.

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Since before the foundation of the world or before He knit us together in our mother’s womb, God’s plan for our life was already mapped out in its entirety.

We Have a Choice

We have a choice. We can enter our “Golden years” kicking and screaming, or we can enter them with the greatest sense of expectation and wonder.

Our health may decline in our senior years. We will face difficult times. We will likely need glasses, hearing aids, false teeth, or joint replacements. We will likely need a little more time and a little more effort to get from point A to point B.

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Yet the good news is that aging is a truly beautiful gift from God. When we abide in Him, wisdom abounds.

Giving Thanks for “Spiritual Giants”

I am so thankful for the older “spiritual giants” in our lives. Only those dear friends can offer godly guidance to the deep spiritual questions we ask. And all because God has given them the gifts of faith, time, and wisdom.

And now, we have the privilege of being those older, spiritually wise people for the next generation.

We cannot turn back the clock on the aging process to wrinkle-free days. But we can embrace this season of life as wisdom-rich days.

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When Agatha Christie reached seventy-five years old, she said: “What can I say at seventy-five? Thank God for my good life, and for all the love that has been given to me.” Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

God’s Word provides infinite encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom on how to age gracefully. I pray that these Bible verses encourage, challenge, and inspire you. May God bless you in your Golden years!

2. Old Testament Bible Verses

*Note: All Bible verses are in the English Standard Version.

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  • “He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age” (Ruth 4:15).
  • “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days” (Job 12:12).
  • “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31).
  • “I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand” (Job 32:7-8).
  • “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).
  • “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair” (Proverbs 20:29).
  • “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedars of Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Psalm 92:12-15).
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  • “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
  • “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more” (Psalm 71:9, 14).
  • “With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation” (Psalm 91:16).
  • “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).
  • “[The Lord] redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:4-5).
  • “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child” (Exodus 22:22).
  • “You shall walk in all the way that the Lord you God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33).
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  • “That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever” (Psalm 48:14).
  • “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you” (Deuteronomy 32:7).
  • “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).
  • “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated” (Deuteronomy 34:7).
  • “These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:7-8).
  • “He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11).
  • “Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:12-13).
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).
  • “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22).
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  • “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “Even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).
  • “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
  • “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32).
  • “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6).
  • “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like You?” (Psalm 71:18-19).
  • “As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age” (Genesis 15:15).
  • “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things” (Genesis 24:1).

3. New Testament Bible Verses

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  • “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
  • “Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is appealing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:3-4).
  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).
  • “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
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  • “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land’” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
  • “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).
  • “So that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:7-9).
  • “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things” (2 Peter 1:12-15).
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  • “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
  • “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14-15).
  • “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
  • “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
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  • “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
  • “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
  • “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves with too much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:2-5).
  • “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
  • “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).

DOWNLOAD PDF OF BIBLE VERSES

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