More Than a Song - Discovering the Truth of Scripture Hidden in Today's Popular Christian Music

Michelle Nezat

This is the podcast dedicated to helping you discover the truth of Scripture hidden in today's popular Christian music. My goal is to teach you to connect portions of God's Word with the songs you are singing along with on the radio; to help you meditate on Truths that will transform your way of thinking and ultimately your life.

All Episodes

Is there room for rejoicing in the midst of fear? Charles Spurgeon writes, "Fear, without joy, is torment; and joy, without holy fear, would be presumption." Using Andrew Ripp's song "Rejoice" we explore a variety of responses (one of which is rejoicing) to the miracle of our risen Savior. Come with me to an open tomb with a lightning-bright angel perched atop a stone. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Make a list Slow down Remember the people described in the Bible were REAL The 30 Day Music Challenge A quote from Andrew Ripp about the genesis of this song - KLove Article Our inspiration verse - Psalm 2:11 How our inspiration verse brings together weeks of Bible study Episode 398 - talking about awe and wonder Episode 403 - talking about trembling before the Lord This week - talking about rejoicing with trembling Charles Spurgeon reminding us that, "There must ever be a holy fear mixed with the Christian's joy." - "The Treasury of David: Charles Spurgeon Commentary on Psalms" Amazon Paid Link Moving to Matthew 28 where we see rejoicing AND trembling Setting the stage with a GREAT earthquake - Matthew 28:1-3 Making a list of responses to Christ's resurrection How I tend to put myself in the column of "appropriate" responses when I may just find myself in one that should lead to my repentance More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com I always get the Mary's in the New Testament mixed up. Here's a great article that may help as you study Scripture - Gospel Coalition Article This Week's Challenge I've read and pondered this text for myself -- now it's your turn. Start in Psalm 2 and let it launch you to Matthew 28. Make a list of the responses you see in the text. Consider what it could look like in your life to respond to our God with rejoicing and trembling.

Nov 29

21 min 17 sec

Does the idea of trembling before the Lord inspire you or make you feel uncomfortable? Lauren Daigle's song "Tremble" inspired me to explore where people are described as trembling before the Lord. Spoiler alert: It should inspire you. Join me as we examine a couple of places in Scripture where we see why and how we should tremble before the Lord. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Read in context Read and keep on reading Repetition Follow the cross-reference Compare and contrast Make a list Examine the text in various translations Complete a word study The 30 Day Music Challenge Getting a Scripture starting point by typing in a keyword into BibleHub.com Understanding what the text actually says before moving to what it means before moving to what it means for me Finding the instruction to "serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling" - Psalm 2:11 Heading back to 1 Corinthians (where we were studying last week in Episode 402) - 1 Corinthians 2:3 How the Greco-Roman world of the Corinthian church placed a high value on professional orators who could persuade the audience through entertaining instruction - 1 Corinthians 1:22 How the gospel was silly to the Greeks and horrifying to the Jews - 1 Corinthians 1:23 Looking at the founding of the Corinthian church in Acts 18 Paul's chosen preaching approach in Corinth - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Comparing and contrasting what the audience expected with what Paul delivered and why Paul's fear and trembling were not a tactic; instead, they were a reflection of his deep-seated understanding of how weak and small he really is Enjoy the official live music video of our inspiration song below. More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com ESV Study Bible - Amazon Paid Link Overview of 1 Corinthians - BibleProject.com This Week's Challenge Read and meditate on Psalm 2 and let it launch you back into 1 Corinthians. Ponder the cultural surroundings of the Corinthians. Contrast your observations with our culture today as you move into what the truths of this text might mean for you today. In your prayer time this week, set aside every thought except that of Christ and Him crucified and see how that may change the way you think. And the next time you enter into the glorious presence of God, don't boast and don't beg, just worship and tremble.

Nov 22

22 min 3 sec

I know sometimes it's easy to think the division of our day has never happened before. As Ecclesiastes teaches us, "There is nothing new under the sun." Mike Donehey sings about being "All Together" in his new song. I want to explore what we can learn from a church family who DIDN'T have it all together and what they were taught to overcome the division of their day. Let's explore the first letter to the church at Corinth together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consider the opposite Historical context Read the envelope Follow the cross-references Read and keep on reading Repetition Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge Exploring the division revealed in the early church at Corinth Discovering the historical context of the city of Corinth as a cosmopolitan city made up of people from all over the empire brining their worldviews and practices with them into their new Christian faith Recognizing that we long for a church family where we are accepted while simultaneously realizing we bring our backstories with us into our new family in Christ Paul's appeal for unity - 1 Corinthians 1:10 The Corinthian church's tendency to follow their favorite dynamic leader over Christ - 1 Corinthians 1:11-16 How the gospel is the main thing - 1 Corinthians 1:17 How glorifying the preacher or the preaching can "empty the cross of its power" - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Being united around the gospel and united in love - 1 Corinthians 13 More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com The story behind the song "All Together" by Mike Donehey - Kevin Davis Article NewReleaseToday.com "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon Paid Link Overview of 1 Corinthians - BibleProject.com This Week's Challenge Read 1 Corinthians for yourself. Take in some of the backstory by reading Acts 18. Gain knowledge not immediately available in the text by consulting an introduction in your study Bible, in an online study Bible, or a book like the one I talked about. Interact with the Bible by making lists of ways the church was divided. Seriously consider if any of the big ideas represented in your list is evident in your life or church. If so, repent of these ways and refocus around the truth and power of the gospel.    

Nov 15

24 min 24 sec

When an obscure passage is brought to light in the lyrics of a song, it gives us an excellent reason to engage in areas of Scripture we may have overlooked for a while. Elevation Worship's song "RATTLE!" refers to the bones of a prophet whose life is worth exploring. Join me in looking into the life and miracles of the prophet Elisha inspired by our song this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Read in context Read and keep on reading Meditate Remember the people described in the Bible were REAL Prayer The 30 Day Music Challenge The obscure story about a man coming to life after being tossed onto Elisha's bones - 2 Kings 13:20-21 Yearning for what is unseen, not what is unspoken, as we wrestle with the holy text of Scripture Struggling with the question, "What am I supposed to do with this?" Reading about the beginning of Elisha's personal ministry - 2 Kings 2:9-12 Watching the waters of the Jordan part for the third time in recorded Biblical history - 2 Kings 2:19-22 The frustration I felt while reading the accounts of Elisha and his ministry Wondering what to do with accounts like the one in 2 Kings 2:23-25 The reminder in James that Elisha (thought a mighty prophet of renown) was just like us (had a human nature) - James 5:17 Praying for the wisdom of God as I wrestle with the text What a "type" in Scripture is and my previous discussion in Episode 378 The shallows and depths of Scripture Parallels between Elisha and Jesus - Ligonier.org Article Both Elisha and Jesus receive the Spirit on the other side of the Jordan More disciples surround both Elisha and Jesus than their predecessors Both Elisha and Jesus cleanse lepers Both Elisha and Jesus are itinerant miracle workers Both Elisha and Jesus reverse death by raising dead sons and restoring them to their mothers Both men had a covetous disciple Both Jesus and Elisha end their lives in a life-giving tomb from which people flee Parallels between Elisha and us as disciples More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Is "RATTLE!" by Elevation Worship Biblical? - The Berean Test Review A list of miracles performed by Elijah and Elisha - Berean Christian Bible Study Resources What is Biblical typology? - GotQuestions.org Article Considering Elisha as a type of Christ - Ligonier.org Article The Week's Challenge Read the details of the life and ministry of Elisha for yourself in 2 Kings. You can hop back to 1 Kings 19 to read about when Elisha was called to follow the prophet, Elijah. Pray and ask God to show you things previously unseen to you in these Scriptures. Meditate on the details of the stories. Feel free to read and keep on reading sections of Scripture you may never have read before.

Nov 8

22 min 42 sec

Our God is a God who celebrates milestones. This week is a significant milestone for the podcast, and the song "In Christ Alone" celebrates an anniversary, too! Let's celebrate by digging into God's Word! When was the last time you let your curiosity lead you down a path that led to greater insight? Let's explore Scripture together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Explore a topic Consult an outside resource Follow the cross-references Define words The 30 Day Music Challenge 400 episodes - we've gone from 1 in 86,000 podcast in 2014 to 1 in 2,000,000 in 2021 A little controversy around this song - Al Mohler's The Briefing - Part Three Considering the theology behind God's wrath being satisfied Being discerning in what we take into our lives as truth The various perspectives Scripture speaks about the cross of Christ Wrestling through the uncomfortable ideas in Scripture - John 3:36 How we think about anger Following the cross-reference to John 3:16-21 God's wrath is shown by honoring people's choices -- allowing their inevitable destruction - Romans 1:18-25 This idea -- "God is not content to let people sit in their own self destruction in the Bible -- God is on a mission to rescue." - Bible Project Video How we are saved from God's wrath through Christ - Romans 5:9 How the consequences for our sins was "satisfied" by the death of Christ - 1 John 4:10 Propitiation and expiation - Ligonier.org Article An opposing view - Ian Paul Blog Post How God will absorb the consequences for our sin if we will stop rejecting Him Additional Resources Lyrics - StuartTownend.co.uk Chords and links to the story behind the song (Passion's version) - WorshipTogether.com What is Propitiation? - GotQuestions.org Article In depth study on God being slow to anger - BibleProject.com 20 Year's Later - In Christ Alone Still Inspires Millions to Sing - Religionnews.com Article The Wrath of God Was Satisfied - DesiringGod.org Article One of my favorite trusted outside resources - the ESV Study Bible - Paid Amazon Link The Week's Challenge There are three areas of Scripture you can sit in this week. Meditate on John 3 and all that it teaches. Slip over to Romans 1 and see how the wrath of God is displayed as handing people over to the consequences of their own decisions. Explore the fine points of the Day of Atonement prescribed in Leviticus 16. And, finally, delve into what Scripture has to say about Christ's propitiation in 1 John. And if I've piqued your interest at all, consider hopping over to the show notes and exploring some of the links I used to prepare for this week.

Nov 1

27 min 42 sec

God calls us into His story through Christ. But before we place ourselves in the middle of His story, we need to remember the Bible is God's grand story of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. Olivia Lane's new song "Woman At The Well" inspires us to explore a story in John 4 afresh. Join me as we study this story in context and learn more about Jesus. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Read and keep on reading Remember the people described in Scripture were real Repetition Start with God Compare and contrast Consult an outside resource The 30 Day Music Challenge Exploring Scripture in the "right" order Reading the accounts leading up to our feature account and after - John 3-5 Recognizing that all Scripture is beneficial for our application - 2 Timothy 3:14-17 Recognizing that FIRST Scripture is about Jesus - John 5:37-40 The timing of Christ - John 4:1-3; Proverbs 15:23 Jesus preparing His disciples - John 4:2; Matthew 28:18-20 The divine appointment between Jesus and the woman at the well - John 4:4-6 The humanity of Christ - John 4:6 The deity of Christ - John 4:16-18 The woman moving from sarcasm to intrigue to proclamation Comparing and contrasting Christ's encounter with Nicodemus in John 3 to His encounter with the woman at the well in John 4 Recognizing that regardless of who we are, the thing of most significant concern to Jesus is eternal life in Him The joy of experiencing Jesus for yourself - John 4:42 More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - Ultimate-Guitar.com Story Behind the Song "Woman At The Well" by Olivia Lane - BellesandGals.com Article CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible - Amazon Paid Link This Week's Challenge Don't settle for a skimmed-over recap of this encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. Start in John 3 and read through John 5 and then focus on John 4:1-42. Start with what you can learn about Jesus through uncovering His character, conduct, and concerns -- what He is like, what He says, what He does, and what He seems to value most. After you've started with Jesus, then you can compare yourself to the woman (or even Nicodemus from the previous chapter) and see how Jesus responds to you, too.

Oct 25

26 min 34 sec

I miss the wonders of God all the time. I tend to be so self-involved that I fail to look up and behold the majesty of the One who loves me so much He redeemed me. "I Stand In Awe" by Christ Tomlin and Nicole Serrano inspires me to consider God in all his glory and discover more about Him in Scripture. We're back in Psalm 33 this week to examine our response to the character and conduct of God. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Start with God Define words Consider the opposite Repetition Observe interesting phrases/words Study in various translations The 30 Day Music Challenge Today's partner episode - listen to Episode 397 first Our inspiration verse for this week - Psalm 33:8 What it is to fear the Lord G.K. Chesterton's quote, "The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder." - "Tremendous Trifles" by G.K. Chesterton Defining wonder and considering the opposite J.I. Packer's quote, "You don't get awe until you've begun to cultivate the sense that God is very great and you are very small." - YouTube Interview Exploring the action words in Psalm 33 that reflect our appropriate response to God Observing the interesting word "fitting" in Psalm 33:1 The opposite of praise Waiting for the Lord - Psalm 33:20 Changing the attitude of our heart to look up in wonder More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com "Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do" by Paul David Tripp - Amazon Paid Link This Week's Challenge Keep reading Psalm 33. Read it repetitively and in different translations. With a list of God's characteristics and conduct at your fingertips from last week, consider your appropriate response. Cultivate a sense that God is very great and you are very small. Stand in awe of our great God.

Oct 18

21 min 19 sec

Trust is not always an easy thing to do. Sometimes we wrongly assign character to someone because of the actions of another. It would be a shame to assign character to God based on our interactions with people. In their song, "I Will Trust My Saviour Jesus," City Alight reminds us of many reasons we can and should trust Him. The psalms teach us much about the trustworthy nature of our God as well. Join me as we explore Psalm 33 together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Consult an outside resource Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge The live conversation I had with Joel Arcieri and Vince Wright - YouTube Recording Exploring a new topic in an area of Scripture you have been sitting in How Scripture is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) AND we are constantly growing in maturity and perspective Being willing to dig for insight like treasure - Proverbs 2:3-4 Psalm 33 beginning and ending with trusting God - Psalm 33:4, Psalm 33:21 How we can trust everything God does - Psalm 33:1-5 Exploring the activities of God recorded by the psalmist in Psalm 33 How we can trust what God does because He is our creator and designer and His creation is good Consulting an outside resource - Reformation Study Bible The joy and inheritance for the people of God God as all-knowing How we often trust external things that don't have the power to save completely like God does Trusting in the name (and thus the character) of God as revealed in Scripture Enjoy the official live performance below. More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - CityAlight.com This Week's Challenge Spend some time in Psalm 33 this week. Maybe listen to an audio version of it every morning and then choose a day to interact with the text. Consider what the psalm teaches us about the actions of God and the character of God. Ponder why His actions and character should cause you to place your trust in Him. And in the words of Apostle Paul in Romans 15:3, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Oct 11

19 min 52 sec

The names of God teach us about His character. When we get to know His names, we get to know Him. Using "He Is Yahweh," as sung by Blake Reynolds to inspire us to explore Scripture, we uncover wonderful truths. Join me as we explore the first mention of Yahweh in Scripture and much more. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consult an outside resource Complete a word study Start with God Mark up the text Consider the opposite The 30 Day Music Challenge "The Names of God: His Character Revealed" by Melissa Spoelstra - Amazon Link The first mention of the name Yahweh - Genesis 2:4 The difference between the names Elohim and Yahweh Discovering our God is a personal God How Yahweh is God and there is no other - Deuteronomy 4:32-35 Yahweh is God's eternal name - Exodus 3:13-15 Noticing that the serpent only uses one name for God when the text uses two - Genesis 3:1-19 How Yahweh is three in one What the Trinity is NOT Verses that reflect the trinity Deuteronomy 6:4 John 1:1-3 John 10:30 Matthew 28:16-20 Enjoy the official audio below. https://youtu.be/CaHtwF38VBQ More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Chords - WorshipChords.com "The Upbeat Podcast" hosted by Blake Reynolds - Spotify Link "The Names of God: His Character Revealed" by Melissa Spoelstra - Amazon Link This Week's Challenge Read Genesis 1-3, keeping an eye on the names of God (Elohim and Yahweh) as they are revealed in time in the text. Consider how you may have elevated one name or characteristic of God over another in a way that has actually diminished Who He really is. Recognize that though you may never have really questioned the doctrine of the Trinity before, it is a foundational belief that cannot be overlooked.

Oct 4

22 min 33 sec

It is a good habit to keep your "thankful antenna" up. Who are you thankful for? What are you grateful for? Chris Tomlin's song "Thank You Lord" reminds us to be thankful for the simple things and the special people in our lives. Many of Paul's letters begin with a heart of gratitude for his readers. Let's explore them together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Mark up the text Start with God Make a list Complete a word study Compare and contrast The 30 Day Music Challenge New Testament letters that have a "thankful" introduction Romans 1:8-15 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 Philippians 1:3-11 Colossians 1:3-14 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 2 Timothy 1:3-18 Philemon verses 4-7 An example of my highlights, lists, and notes - PDF Example Starting with God Recognizing that Paul's concerns should be ours as well Making a list of God's attributes, what Paul is thankful for, and Paul's concerns Completing a word study on "obligation" from Romans 1:14 - BibleHub.com How Paul's concerns become his prayers for the people he's thankful for Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com The story behind writing the song "Thank You Lord" - EverythingNash.com Article ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: New Testament- Amazon Link This Week's Challenge Choose one, or all, of the letters from Paul to meditate on who and what he was thankful for. Start with God as your habit for engaging Scripture. Identify what Paul was grateful for. Look closely at his prayers and concerns. If you engage in several letters, use the Bible Interaction Tool Exercise (BITE) of "compare and contrast" to see if you can see themes or identify specifics for that audience. qUSh1qnAeWf34W5GE3tF

Sep 27

24 min 34 sec

There is an account in the Bible of Jesus speaking to the wind and waves and calming them down. This idea often makes its way into our prayers and songs -- not unlike Jeremy Camp's song, "When You Speak." I think it deserves a deep look from us to see what we can learn from ALL of the words Jesus speaks in this scene. Join me in the Gospel of Mark, in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditating on Scripture Completing a word study Defining words Reading Scripture out loud Imagining the scene Reading in context The 30 Day Music Challenge The Father initiates the plan of salvation, the Son accomplishes the plan of redemption, and the Spirit applies what has been initiated and accomplished Seeking the face of God before we seek His hand Studying the actual Word of God to more easily identify its counterfeit - James 1:25, Joshua 1:7-9 Completing a word study on the word meditate as found in Joshua 1:8 - BibleHub.com Looking up words related to meditate such as soliloquize, muse, and ruminate Our focus verses found in Mark 4:35-41 Imagining the scene in the context of the whole Examining the words of Jesus vs. the words of the disciples The words of Douglas O'Donnell, "Jesus is...addressing...their "excessive fear"...Fear that doesn't acknowledge who's onboard the boat." - "Matthew: All Authority in Heaven and on Earth (Preaching the Word)" by Douglas O'Donnell Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleasseToday.com Story Behind the Song "When You Speak" - NewReleaseToday Article Fascinating articles on counterfeit detection and the spiritual parallels - Challies.com Article Part One and Part Two This Week's Challenge Read our focus passage in Mark 4 in the context of Mark 3-5. When you focus on Mark 4:35-41, be sure to make some observations and make time to meditate on the text. Let it roll around in your mind a bit. Ponder the text. Talk to yourself about it. Chew on it over and over again. There is much more to see here. I hope I've inspired you to spend some time here for yourself. And remember, when God speaks, the wind and the waves bow to His will.

Sep 20

22 min 24 sec

What kinds of choices do you make in the face of fear? Building 429's song "Fear No More" is an anthem born out of a personal time when fear led the songwriters to seek God. There's a king in Scripture who faced fear more than once. His story gives us two separate examples of choices and two distinct responses from God. Let's explore the life and choices of King Asa this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Pray Read in context Using section titles to get your bearings Remember that the people described in the Bible were REAL Meditating on Scripture The 30 Day Music Challenge Praying for God to give the desire to read Scripture Praying for God to help you understand what you're reading Praying for God to reveal truth to you as you read Reading the end of King Asa's story in 2 Chronicles 16 Seeing that "the end justified the means" in the mind of King Asa - 2 Chronicles 16:1-6 God's rebuke of King Asa's choice in the face of fear - 2 Chronicles 16:7-9 Giving yourself a chance to get familiar enough with Scripture that it begins to "all fall into place" Meditating on the details of the story Considering Asa's response - 2 Chronicles 16:10-14 How Asa started off right, but ended badly Examining our choices when we feel powerless Examining God's response to Asa the first time he felt powerless and overwhelmed by his circumstances - 2 Chronicles 15:1-8 Additional Resources Lyrics - Klove Story Behind The Song "Fear No More" - YouTube Video Story Behind the Song "Fear No More" - New Release Today Article This Week's Challenge I know I started in 2 Chronicles 16 this week, but I want you to read chapters 14-16 for yourself. There's so much more there that we didn't cover. I didn't start "at the beginning" because I wanted to show you how easy it is to jump in the middle and not get the big picture when you don't engage in the whole. It's not a waste, but it's so much richer (and more effective) to do the study work. And don't forget to PRAY. God wants to meet you in His Word!

Sep 13

21 min

Did you know God has a tone of voice? When He speaks to us, He comforts, encourages, or convicts with kindness. He offers the perfect balance of truth and grace. So if the voice inside your head has an accusing tone, then it's not from your heavenly Father. This is what Tasha Layton sings about in her song "Look What You've Done," and it's what we discover in Scripture as well. Let's compare and contrast the voice of evil and righteousness together this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Compare and contrast Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge Accusations and agreements The Place We Find Ourselves Podcast - Episode 42: Accusation & Episode 43: Agreements How satan is an accuser and a deceiver - Revelation 12:9-10 How satan is the "father of lies" - John 8:43-44 How satan seeks to devour us - 1 Peter 5:8 How satan as a strategy and sets traps - 1 Timothy 3:7 One of satan's strategies -- to accuse you of sin and bring condemnation on you to the point that you make an agreement to walk in the accusation rather than the truth and freedom of Christ How satan is our accuser, but God is our judge and has canceled the record of debt that stood against us - Colossians 2:13-15 Paying attention to the tone - evil's accusations are unkind and harsh, but God's confrontations never lack kindness How the accuser wants to deceive you into forming agreements with his accusations How spending time in God's Word is part of His freedom plan Psalm 52 and how it relates to our discussion about agreeing with evil rather than trusting in the steadfast love of God Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Chords - Ultimate Guitar Tabs Behind the song "Look What You've Done" with Kevin Davis -New Release Today Article This Week's Challenge Read and meditate on Psalm 52 this week. Follow the cross-reference to 1 Samuel 21-22 to familiarize yourself with the story that inspired David's song in the first place. It's not a pretty story, but our very real enemy plays dirty, too. Check out this week's show notes above for links to the podcast episodes I talk about that highlight the accuser, the agreements we make with his accusations, and how to find freedom.  

Sep 6

22 min 48 sec

Throughout the ages, people have scoffed at God and His ways. Some claim He isn't powerful enough, or close enough, or real enough. These scoffers think they have it all figured out and don't believe that Jesus is relevant, much less coming back. TobyMac's song "Help Is On The Way" inspired me to sit in a letter from Peter. I think you'll see a lot of similarities between scoffers in Peter's day and our own. Join me as we explore Scripture to gain perspective and marching orders as we continue to await God's perfect plan for the future. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Read repetitively Listen to an audio version of the text Follow the cross-references The 30 Day Music Challenge The Lord is not late and he stands by what He claims - 2 Peter 3:8 Using BITEs to create habits of consistency in your Bible time - download a free resource as a guide to help you this week How developing habits OVER TIME will produce spiritual health An overview of 2 Peter - Bible Project What the scoffers INSIDE THE CHURCH in Peter's day were claiming You made this up There won't be any consequences Jesus isn't coming back How the Old Testament is relevant for pointing to New Testament realities - 2 Peter 3:1-3 Following the cross-reference about Christ's return to a parable - 2 Peter 3:4 and Matthew 25:1-13 Recognizing the power of God's Word - 2 Peter 3:5-7 Following the cross-reference to a psalm of Moses - 2 Peter 3:8-9 and Psalm 90 How God isn't slow, He's patient - 2 Peter 3:9 How we should live in light of God's patient, but imminent return - 2 Peter 3:14-15 and 2 Peter 3:17-18 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - EssentialWorship.com Story behind the song - KLove.com This Week's Challenge Spend some time 2 Peter this week. If you want a guide to walk you through this letter, go to michellenezat.com/391download, and I'll send you suggestions for 7 days of interacting with 2 Peter. Build consistency in your time in God's Word. And remember, don't lose your balance. The patience of the Lord should bring you peace and stability as you continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus.

Aug 30

22 min 30 sec

There is a magical and terrifying place described in Scripture. It is the throne room of heaven where fantastical creatures proclaim the holiness of God, and crowned elders fall at His feet in worship. Influence Music's song "Glory, Honor, Power" brings us through the door of heaven with Jesus and John. May we leave changed. Let's take an unforgettable trip to the throne room of God in Revelation 4. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Listen to epic music while reading/studying Scripture Meditate on Scripture Slow down Use your imagination Consult an outside resource Consider the opposite The 30 Day Music Challenge Another episode where we discuss Revelation 4 - Episode 369 Imagining each detail of the throne room What jasper and carnelian look like as mentioned in Revelation 4:3 A quick reference to the 5 heavenly crowns mentioned in the New Testament - GotQuestions.org Article What the "seven torches which are the seven spirits of God" might mean - GotQuestions.org Article How the only reason we exist is that it was God's will to create us Considering the opposite of glory, honor, and power Looking at the word picture of the potter and the clay in Jeremiah 18:1-12 Recognizing that we could never adore a God that isn't worthy of all glory, honor, and power Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com Influence Music Artist Profile - NewReleaseToday.com This Week's Challenge Spend some time in Revelation chapter 4. Go slow. Imagine the scene. It is a dramatic scene, so I don't think you can "overdo it" in your conceptualization. Once you really have the throne room and what is going on there firmly in your mind, ask God to reveal how that should change the way you think.

Aug 23

22 min 55 sec

I love to talk about Jesus. There's a lot to say about Him. If we spent our entire lives plumbing the depths of Scripture, we would never come to an end. This is why I love Anne Wilson's new song, "My Jesus." She gives me a reason to talk about Him a little more. Join me this week as we explore Christ's deity and humanity. In this episode, I discuss:   Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read larger chunks of Scripture Consult outside resources Meditation Make a list Look up definitions Read in various translations Read in context The 30 Day Music Challenge How the study of Christ is known as Christology How we can't cover everything about Jesus in 20 minutes - John 21:25 How the creeds were ways to affirm core beliefs The Apostles Creed The Nicene Creed Learning to understand that Jesus is fully God and fully man A chunk of Scripture in Colossians all about Jesus - Colossians 1:15-20 Making a list of truths about Jesus found in our focus Scripture Knowing that if you've seen Jesus you've seen the Father - John 15:8-11 Understanding that Jesus was part of creation in the beginning - John 1:1-3 Meditating on the preeminence of Christ (or not) in my own life A chunk of Scripture in Philippians all about Jesus - Philippians 2:6-8 Discovering that the humanity of Christ leads to Jesus as our example - Philippians 2:3-5 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com Anne Wilson artist profile - NewReleaseToday.com "What is Kenosis?" - GotQuestions.org Article This Week's Challenge Spend some time in Colossians 1 and Philippians 2 this week. Make a list of what these sections of Scripture teach us about Jesus. Then take each truth one by one and meditate on them this week.  

Aug 16

21 min 46 sec

While we may not be able to choose happiness, we can choose joy. We can choose joy because it's not rooted in our circumstances or feelings but rather the truth of Who God is and who we are in Him. "Joyful" by Dante Bowe is a fun, upbeat song that can remind us of that foundation of truth. Let's explore a psalm together that reminds us that this is the day the Lord has made. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Repetition Read in a variety of translations Meditate on Scripture Follow the cross-references Consult outside resources The 30 Day Music Challenge A quote from Dante Bowe - JubileeCast.com Article Getting inspired to study Psalm 118 by a Scriptural lyric in our song - Psalm 118:24 How the psalmist bookends the song with the same phrase - Psalm 118:1, Psalm 118:29 Meditating on phrases/verses that "pop out" at us Psalm 118:6 - what can man do to me? Psalm 118:8 - contrasting trust in man with trust in God Psalm 118:14 - recognizing a verse I've already studied in Exodus 15 Using this psalm as a jumping off point to explore other areas of Scripture through following the cross-references God answering out of deep distress might send us to Chronicles and Kings to learn more about King Manasseh - 2 Chronicles 33:12 Remembering God is for us in Romans 8 Learning a new song in Exodus 15 Discovering this may have been the last song Jesus sang with His disciples at the Last Supper Tools I use to identify cross-references Following the cross-references listed in our study Bibles Using an online tool like BibleHub.com A few outside resources I used in my interaction time this week New Living Translation Bible with Filament Bible App for study notes - Amazon link English Standard Version Study Bible - Amazon link The One Year Book of Psalms - Amazon link Additional Resources Lyrics - New Release Today Chords - Praise Charts This Week's Challenge Read Psalm 118 for yourself. Read it repetitively and in several translations. Choose some verses to meditate on and perhaps even commit to memory. Sit down one day and chase down a cross-reference and explore a connection you may never have seen before. And remember, this is the day the Lord has made. Don't forget to rejoice and be glad in it.

Aug 9

22 min 10 sec

How does God do "new" things? What does it mean that He makes all things new? These are the questions I asked myself inspired by Big Daddy Weave's song, "All Things New." Join me on a discovery tour from Old to New Testaments inspired by this song. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Utilize section headings Consult an overview The 30 Day Music Challenge Rehearsing phrases in songs and not really knowing what Scripture says about them Reading Isaiah 42-44 to take in context Isaiah 43:19 where God was doing a new thing Spending time in these same chapters in Episodes 384 and 385 Consulting an overview I use the ESV Study Bible - Amazon Link I also refer to Bible Project videos - YouTube Video How the original audience of Isaiah 44:14-21 were defeated people under worldly domination The new thing God may be doing could be now, but He always has His eyes set on eternity How I need to stop resenting the way God chooses to fulfill His purposes How freedom from captivity in Isaiah 44 was considered a "new thing" by God, and our freedom from the captivity of sin is also called "new" - 2 Corinthians 5:17 God's reason for making us into a "new creation" is to give us the ministry of reconciliation - 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 Where we see the actual phrase "all things new" - Revelation 21:1-7 Keeping our eyes fixed on the "new" God has in mind - 1 John 2:17   Additional Resources Lyrics - New Release Today Chords - Praise Charts Behind The Song With Kevin Davis - New Release Today Article "What does it mean that a Christian is a new creation?" - GotQuestions.org Article "Behold, I Make All Things New" - John Piper Sermon - DesiringGod.org This Week's Challenge Let the Word of God change the way you think. Continue to spend time in Isaiah 40-55, focusing on chapter 44, where we see God doing a new thing in an unexpected way. Head over to 2 Corinthians 5 and learn all about the new bodies we'll get in eternity and how we're made into a new creation here on earth, and why. Finally, dwell on Revelation 21, taking in all the newness promised Christ-followers in eternity.

Aug 2

22 min 18 sec

What does Scripture say about the house of the Lord? That's what I set out to discover with Phil Wickham's new song, "House of the Lord," playing in the background. The answer weaves through the Old and New Testaments. We only scratch the surface, but let's see how much we can explore. In this episode, I discuss:   Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Explore a topic Make observations Slow down Share with a friend Follow the cross-references The 30 Day Music Challenge Phil Wickham's thoughts in the story behind the song - YouTube Video David's own joy at the thought of going to the house of the Lord - Psalm 122:1 Expressing curiosity at the thought that David implies going to the temple, but it wasn't built in his lifetime The story of David's desire to build a house for the Lord and God's response - 2 Samuel 7:1-7 A wonderful resource to explore the tabernacle and what all the pieces represent - "Made According to Pattern" by CW Slemming Learning about the first dwelling place of God among His people...a tent - Exodus 25 The presence of God filling the tent of meeting and some observations - Exodus 35:34-38 God declaring that David's son would build him a temple - 2 Samuel 7:11-16 Solomon beginning the building process in 2 Chronicles 3 The angel declaring Jesus as the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant - Luke 1:31-33 The temple as a house of prayer for all peoples - Isaiah 56:7 Comparing Jesus and His new covenant to the copy and shadow of the old covenant - Hebrews 8:1-6 Understanding that individually as believers in Christ we are the temple of the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Learning that collectively, as believers, we are the dwelling place of God as well - 1 Peter 2:4-5, Ephesians 2:19-22 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - Essential Worship Behind The Song With Kevin Davis - New Release Today Article "Why didn’t God allow David to build the temple?" - GotQuestions.org Article This Week's Challenge You have a lot of reading and observing to do this week! Head over to Exodus to read all about the tabernacle -- its design and purpose. Then read God's response to David's desire to build Him a "house" in 2 Samuel 7. You can read all about the building process of the temple beginning in 2 Chronicles 3. Explore the fulfillment of God's covenant in Christ in Hebrews 8. Finally, meditate on the truth sprinkled throughout the New Testament that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit -- both individually and collectively. We are the house of the Lord, and there's joy in the house of the Lord.    

Jul 26

21 min 45 sec

I had a student director in college who was a master at asking questions to get you to think. He said he learned it from Jesus in Scripture. I guess Jesus learned it from His Father. Natalie Grant asks a question in her song "Who Else" that God rhetorically asks of Himself. Let's explore our incomparable God together in the book of Isaiah. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Read and keep on reading Use your imagination Consult an outside resource The 30 Day Music Challenge How even God asks "who is like me?" - Isaiah 40:25 How God doesn't compare Himself to other "gods" when defining Himself - Exodus 3:14 How God wants the whole world to know there is no one like Him - Exodus 8:10 David's view of himself when faced with God's greatness - 2 Samuel 7:19-21 David's praise response to God's covenant with him voicing again that there is none like Him - 2 Samuel 7:22 Episode 373 and how we are made in God's image Recognizing that being made in His image and being like Him in our "being" are two different things God's communicable and incommunicable attributes and the difference between the two God establishing there is none other like Him - Isaiah 44:6-8 Moving from understanding what the text says to what it means to what it means to me Declarative statements and questions wrapped up in Isaiah 44:9-11 Using our imagination to picture the scene described in Isaiah 44:12-17 The irony of trees used in making idols being watered by rain that worthless gods cannot send - Jeremiah 14:22 Personally examining whether the "good things" in our lives have replaced a good God using Joe Carter's article at The Gospel Coalition - TGC Article Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Chords - Praise Charts "How to Expose the Idols in Your Life" by Joe Carter - TGC Article This Week's Challenge Read Isaiah 44 for yourself. Consider starting in chapter 40 and reading through chapter 44 (and beyond if you're so inspired). Use your imagination to picture the scene depicted. Follow the logic to see how foolish idols really are. Then examine your own life to identify the idols found there. Finally, turn in deep gratitude and praise to our Creator Redeemer with a humble heart. After all, who else can compare to our God?

Jul 19

21 min 30 sec

What if you could have that ONE relationship where, no matter how bad you mess things up, the other One won't let go? Our Heavenly Father offers us that stability and consistency we desperately want. When Lauren Daigle sings "Hold On To Me," I think of the many times in Scripture where God promises to do just that. Let's learn more about our Father, who holds us close. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consult an overview Read in context Start with God Compare and contrast Make a list Meditate on Scripture The 30 Day Music Challenge A trusted overview of Isaiah - BibleProject.com How God not only holds us, but carries us - Isaiah 40:11 How God holds us, has the power to keep us, and has our good at heart - Isaiah 41:10 Staying faithful to study God's Word no matter the stage of experience you are in Starting with God when you approach Scripture Using questions to spur on additional study or leaving them unanswered while you meditate on the parts you do understand An article on "recompense" - GotQuestions.org Correcting any wrong thinking that may say we are hidden from God's sight or that He is indifferent - Isaiah 40:27-31 Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Chords - Essential Worship The Story Behind the Song "Hold On To Me" by Lauren Daigle - YouTube Video Commentary on Isaiah - BibleStudyTools.com This Week's Challenge Read Isaiah 40 and 41 and note the characteristics, conduct, and concerns of our mighty Creator. Figure out how these chapters of Isaiah fit into the whole by watching the overview videos over at BibleProject.com. Make a list, compare and contrast, and meditate on all that God has revealed Himself to be. Then turn in trust despite your current circumstances knowing that He's holding on to you.

Jul 12

22 min 55 sec

It is comforting to me to know that no matter the tragedy, season of pain and sorrow, and storms of my life, the Holy Spirit is a river that flows through the canyon of my life. Ellie Holcomb uses this metaphor in her song "Canyon," and I use it to inspire my exploration Scripture to discover what it has to say to us. Join me as we see the waters of life flow through Scripture and in and through our lives. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Use your imagination Read in context Utilize the section headings Follow the cross-references The 30 Day Music Challenge The story behind the song "Canyon" - New Release Today Article The metaphor of your life as a canyon with major events making up the layers What we learned about water as a metaphor from last week's episode - Episode 382 Using your imagination to interact with Scripture The Holy Spirit as "rivers of living water" flowing from your heart - John 7:37-39 Using a physical Bible to aid in "picturing the words on the page" Finding out what Scripture Jesus was quoting by following the cross-reference to Isaiah 55:1 Discovering the gospel message in Isaiah 55 Repentance in Isaiah 55:6-7 God achieving His purposes through His Word - Isaiah 55:10-11 Following the cross-reference to Acts 13 Looking at the layers in the canyon of the history of the Hebrew people and seeing the river of God's presence and life running through it Additional Resources Lyrics - New Release Today Story Behind the Song "Canyon" by Ellie Holcomb - New Release Today Article Chords - Worship Together This Week's Challenge We went to three amazing places in Scripture this week. You could follow the path I took or choose to stop at lookouts along the way. Read John 7. Take the BITE of imagining the scenes described. Ponder the thought that the Holy Spirit is described as a river of life. Follow the cross-reference to Isaiah 55 and uncover the beautiful gospel message held in the text. Ride the rapids to Acts 13, where Paul describes the deep canyon of God's people and reveals that there was a river running through it the entire time.

Jul 5

24 min 53 sec

It's easy to get swept away by our emotions when our environment changes. Circumstances don't change God, but they may reveal Him to us in new ways. When We Are Messengers sing "Come What May," I am reminded that I can rely on God no matter what. David sings about this same thing in Psalm 23. Let's explore it together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Repetition Read in a variety of translations Meditate on Scripture Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge The way the bridge of our song inspired me to soak in Psalm 23 The benefits of reading repetitively Recognize new details you may have missed before Increase your ability to retell what you've read Build confidence in what you're reading Meditating on Psalm 23 by thinking deeply and imagining the various environments described in the psalm Making a list of environments in Psalm 23 Green meadows Peaceful streams Right paths Darkest valley/dark valley of death Banquet table How a shepherd does not write this psalm, but a sheep Additional water references Isaiah 49:10 Ephesians 5:25-27 Revelation 21:6 John 7:37-39 Our own roles as priests in God's kingdom - 1 Peter 2:9 Additional Resources Lyrics - New Release Today The story behind the song "Come What May" by We Are Messengers - TheChristianBeat.org Article "What Does the Bible Say About Anointing Oil?" - GotQuestions.org Article "What Does it Mean That My Cup Runneth Over?" - GotQuestions.org Article This Week's Challenge Spend some time in Psalm 23 yourself this week. Read it repetitively. Try reading it in various translations to see if details that you may have missed before jump out at you. Spend some time meditating on the text, taking into consideration the environments/circumstances described. Don't be afraid to use your imagination as you picture the scenes in your mind.

Jun 28

21 min 30 sec

There is a difference between complaining and lament. While bringing our complaints to the Father is part of the pattern of lament we discover in Scripture, it doesn't end there. Alisa Turner offers us a song of lament similar in pattern to what we see in Scripture. In her song "Miracle Or Not," she gives voice to her questions while keeping her feet firmly on the path of praise and trust. King David does the same in the Psalms. Let's explore one of his songs of lament together and see what we discover. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consult an outside resource Meditate on Scripture Make a list Journal Read in a variety of translations The 30 Day Music Challenge Alisa Turner's life story - YouTube Video The story behind the song "Miracle Or Not" - YouTube Video The idea of pouring out our grief and complaint into writing a lament as shared by my listener Margot - The Habit Podcast Season 3 Episode 7 How one-third of the Psalms are songs of lament Introducing Psalm 13 as our Psalm to meditate on for the week The resource I gleaned from heavily when considering the topic of lament - "Dark Clouds Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament" by Mark Vroegop The podcasts I listened to that introduced me to Pastor Mark's book - Revive Our Hearts Podcast episodes featuring Mark Vroegop Defining lament Wrestling with feelings that "I shouldn't be feeling this way" Not rushing to the end of sorrow Following a pattern of sorrow that ultimately leads to trust The pattern of lament as found in Scripture Turn to God in prayer Bring your complaint Ask boldly Choose to trust Making a list of King David's questions of complaint in Psalm 13:1-2 Making sure our complaints are based on God's truth. Like the complaint of God seeming to forget when we know from Isaiah 49:14-16 that He does NOT forget. Being raw and real with God -- even journaling our thoughts, questions, complaints, and frustrations -- with the ultimate goal of moving TOWARD God Asking boldly - Hebrews 4:14-16 Reorienting our vision to the ways of God that leads to praise and trust Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipChords.com The story behind the song "Miracle Or Not" by Alisa Turner - YouTube Video "The Heartbreaking, Hopeful Story of Alisa Turner" - New Release Today Article "What Are The Psalms of Lament" - GotQuestions.org Article "Psalm 13" by Alisa Turner - YouTube Audio This Week's Challenge Read and meditate on Psalm 13. Consider the pattern of lament described in Mark Vroegop's book  "Dark Clouds Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament." Then, journal your own genuine questions and frustrations, keeping a Biblical boundary of complaining out of understanding who God is and what He's like compared to your current situation.

Jun 21

23 min 50 sec

Worship is something I want to get right. What is the "Heart of Worship" that Matt Redman sings about -- and is it right? God gets dibs on defining the type of worship that delights Him, don't you agree? Let's explore Scripture to see how the type of worship that is pleasing to God is "more than a song." In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consulting an outside resource Read in context Use section headings to get your bearings Make a list Follow the cross-references The 30 Day Music Challenge Getting inspired by our theme verse - Colossians 3:16 Using a chart from an outside resource to jump into Scripture - Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts How the Colossians were to "emphasize the ministry of teaching and admonition by the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" Exploring a song Moses wrote at God's request - Deuteronomy 32 Reading about the purpose of the song through reading in context - Deuteronomy 31 Making a list of the characteristics of the song - Deuteronomy 31:19-22 Jumping over to 2 Chronicles 29 to experience a "coming back to the heart of worship" moment Gaining clarity through the cross-references - Hosea 6:6, Isaiah 1:11-17, 1 Samuel 15:22, Matthew 9:13 The replacement of the Old Testament sacrificial system - Hebrews 10 The kind of sacrifice that God requires of us - Romans 12:1, Hebrews 13:15 Making a list of "more than a song" things that are pleasing in God's sight from our study of Old and New Testament references (see lists above) Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com The story behind the song "Heart of Worship" by Matt Redman - Crosswalk Article This Week's Challenge Read the song God had Moses write in Deuteronomy 32 in context. Consider what the song was intended to do for the people. Then explore the worship service after Hezekiah cleansed the temple in 2 Chronicles 29. Keep in mind what God said through the prophets in Hezekiah's day in Hosea 6 and Isaiah 1. Start to wrap your head around God's true intention in the sacrificial system and discover how Christ fulfilled it in Hebrews 10. Finally, make a list of the kind of sacrificial life that delights our Father in heaven.

Jun 14

23 min 38 sec

There's a great invitation in Scripture. It's sprinkled throughout the pages of the Bible in the Old and New Testaments. The invitation is to walk in newness of life in the very presence of our Creator and direct opposition to our human nature. Zach Williams sings of this idea in his song "Less of Me." Let's explore Paul's letter to the Colossians to see what living a little more like Jesus looks like. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Read the envelope Consider the historical background Consult an outside resource Read the overview/introduction Consult a map Make a list Compare and contrast The 30 Day Music Challenge Reading the letter all the way through My favorite overview resource - The Bible Project The solution of spiritual maturity in Christ Focusing our attention and efforts in the right direction - Colossians 3:1-4 Dying to self - Colossians 2:12-14 Killing off the earthly remnants in our lives - Colossians 3:5-11 Putting on a new wardrobe that looks a whole lot more like Jesus - Colossians 3:12-17 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - EssentialWorship.com An overview of Colossians - BibleProject.com Introduction to Colossians - BlueLetterBible.org The story behind the song "Less Like Me" by Zach Williams - YouTube Video This Week's Challenge Read Paul's letter to the Colossians. Watch the overview video from The Bible Project. Read over an online introduction or the introduction in your study Bible to the book of Colossians. Hone in on Colossians chapter 3 and create a chart of ways we live that reflect our "old selves" and how we live to look a little more like Jesus.

Jun 7

18 min 54 sec

The Bible may be comprised of 66 books by 40 writers over 1,500 years, but it has one Author (God) and offers a grand storyline running throughout. In the song "Christ The True And Better" by Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, and Matt Papa, we see the Old Testament connecting with the New as it displays men who were types and shadows of all that Christ would be and fulfill. Let's compare and contrast Christ and Adam as revealed in Scripture. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Repetition Read in various translations Listen to an audio version of the text Make a list Write out observations Ask questions Consult an outside resource Define words Compare and contrast The 30 Day Music Challenge My chat with Joel Arcieri over at the Theology of Music podcast - iTunes Show Link | Spotify Show Link Free study guide to continue using this song to inspire further study - Episode 378 Download Answering the question about "types" in the Bible - BlueLetterBible.org Article Discovering Adam was a type of Christ - Romans 5:14 Exploring who Adam is and the purposes God had for him - Genesis 1-3 The ruin of all mankind through original sin - Romans 5:12 Asking questions about Romans 5:13 My trusted outside resource for Romans - Romans Commentary by R. Kent Hughes Mankind lives under death and sin whether there was a law to point it out or not - Romans 5:14 Contrasting the free gift and the trespass - Romans 5:15-16 Defining "justification" - GotQuestions.org Article Discovering through one man death reigns and through the other life reigns - Romans 5:17 The good news of the gospel - Romans 5:18-19 Further looking at the contrast between Adam and Christ - Philippians 2:6-11 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - PraiseCharts.com "The Bible is Not Basically About You" - The Gospel Coalition Article "Jesus the True and Better" - Tim Keller clips "Jesus the True and Better Adam" - JD Greear Article Defining "justification" - GotQuestions.org Article This Week's Challenge I encourage you to retrace my steps this week and read Genesis 1-3 with your antenna up looking for details about Adam and the purposes God designed for him. Then meditate on Romans 5:12-19 and consider the contrast between Adam and Christ, the true and better Adam. Then grab the free study guide at michellenezat.com/378download to use the song "Christ The True And Better" to inspire further study in Scripture. And don't forget to listen in on my conversation unpacking this song with Joel Arcieri over at the "Theology of Music" podcast.

May 31

21 min 12 sec

There's a problem in our hearts that is not a new problem. We have hearts that are prone to wander from God. Hillary Scott & The Scott Family sing of this very thing in their rendition of the famous hymn, "Come Thou Fount." These lyrics will take us on a wonderful journey through Scripture this week. Perhaps you'll find a place to sit and stay for a while with the Source of all our fountains. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Journaling The 30 Day Music Challenge How all of our fountains are in Him - Psalm 87:7 Allowing God to tune our hearts like a master musician Understanding the significance of the Ebenezer stone - 1 Samuel 4-7 The time "when completeness comes" - 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 Wandering hearts are not a new phenomenon - Deuteronomy 31:16 We can be sealed for "Thy courts above" - Ephesians 1:13-14 Additional Resources Purchase the album or single on Amazon Lyrics and chords "Come Thou Fount" lyrics - New Release Today Song story "Come Thou Fount" as sung by Hillary Scott and Family - YouTube Video Behind the hymn "Come Thou Fount" - Hymnary.org article Weekly Challenge Choose a phrase that resonates with you from our hymn and spend some time in Scripture this week. Perhaps you could take your time through the story found in 1 Samuel chapters 4-7. It may just inspire you to pull out your own Ebenezer stone and add a symbol of remembrance to your walk with God. Perhaps you need to surrender to the call of the gospel -- to believe and receive the seal of the Holy Spirit on your life. Pray and ask God to guide you this week, but don't miss this opportunity to spend time with Him...in His Word, in prayer, in praise, and in remembrance.

May 24

21 min 49 sec

Sometimes my grandmother bemoans the repetition in contemporary worship songs. Once she mentioned she felt like the worship team might just "sing of your love forever"…forever. I'm pretty sure she'll excuse the repetition in the classic hymn "Nothing but the Blood" as it leads us to consider the significance of the blood shed by our Savior. No matter how hard we may "try," NOTHING but the blood of Jesus can atone for our sin. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Write out Scripture Meditate Read in context The 30 Day Music Challenge The story behind the song by Jars of Clay lead singer Dan Haseltine - BeliefNet Article Nothing can for sin atone...not of good that I have done - Isaiah 64:6, Romans 5:8 No other fount I know - Zechariah 13:1 For my pardon this I see - Ephesians 1:7, 2 Corinthians 5:17 This is all my hope and peace - Colossians 1:19-20 This is all my righteousness - Titus 3:4-6 Nothing but the blood of Jesus - Hebrews 9:19-22 Why? So that we might LIVE saved - 1 John 4:7-12 Weekly Challenge Listen to the song and then do the work. Use the Bible Interaction Tool Exercises I introduced to interact with God’s Word this week. Reflect on the idea that nothing but the blood could have atoned for our sins, but it was not merely so we could be saved…but rather that we would LIVE saved.

May 17

20 min 4 sec

Let's develop a sense of wonder, shall we? The famous hymn "How Great Thou Art" leads us to consider God with a sense of "awesome wonder." I chose Carrie Underwood's rendition to meditate on Psalm 145. David sat in awesome wonder of God and gives us a host of truths to meditate on in just one Psalm. Let's learn from his song of praise. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Slow down Meditate Follow the cross-references Share with a friend The 30 Day Music Challenge The one word that jumped out at me in the hymn this week - WONDER The background of how the hymn was written - hymntime.com Thinking about the WONDER of God speaking everything into existence The WONDER of walking on a glacier Slowing down to change the pace and perspective No one can measure God’s greatness - Psalm 145:3 How amazing it is that an immeasurable, deep, unsearchable, and untraceable God has revealed Himself to us - Romans 11:33 God’s wonders are without number - Job 5:9 The limitlessness of God - Job 11:7 Turning on your “noticer” Getting to know the God in whose image you were created - Psalm 145:13-20   Additional Resources Lyrics and chords Behind the song "How Great Thou Art" by Carrie Underwood - YouTube Video   Weekly Challenge Read Psalm 145. Pray Psalm 145. Slow down. Meditate on these Scriptures. Meditate on God and His amazing characteristics. Develop a sense of wonder. Consider all of creation that God spoke into existence. Recount His good deeds and miracles. 

May 10

22 min 44 sec

From time to time, I enjoy a few (or a bag) of Oreos. While they are enjoyable, they are not nourishing. The hymns of old are full of rich nourishing doctrines that help form a strong foundation for the believer. This week I use Rend Collective's rendition of "You Are My Vision," a classic hymn versified by Eleanor Hull in 1912. Join me as I uncover the Scriptural recipe for a nourishing meal at the table of God. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Read in several translations Review the section headings The 30 Day Music Challenge The history of hymns in my own life How light on doctrine much of Christian music can be these days A verse on vision - Proverbs 29:18 Making connections with God's Word in such a way that you SEE what God is teaching Focusing on finding connections to the point where you train yourself to see them Casting aside our own plan for Christ alone - Proverbs 19:21 God's presence my light - Psalm 27:1 God as the only source of wisdom - Proverbs 2:6 "You dwell inside me, together we're one" - 1 Timothy 1:14 The Lord is our inheritance - Deuteronomy 18:2, 1 Peter 2:9 Finding the Scripture we're looking for by searching for a phrase and typing "Scripture" at the end of our search Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com   Weekly Challenge You can go back to these Scriptures and link them to what you’re singing about in “Be Thou My Vision.” Perhaps you need a place to sit for a while. Psalm 16 is a really good place. It talks about God alone being our portion/inheritance just like our hymn.

May 3

21 min 22 sec

There are foundational truths found in Scripture that we may not question but may not be able to defend. In their song, "Image of God," We Are Messengers sings of a truth that has a profound impact on our daily lives. Let's gain a Biblical perspective on being made in the image of God in our study this week. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Utilize outside resources Read in context The 30 Day Music Challenge Systematically poring over Scripture as it relates to a topic Using a resource like Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology" as an outside resource to guide your study Additional resources I used in my study prep for this episode: "The Image of God - An Approach from Biblical and Systematic Theology" - DesiringGod.org Article "Tim Keller on the Image of God" - Focus on the Family Article "3 Reasons We Must Preach on the Image of God" - Lifeway Research Article "What it Means to be 'Made in the Image of God'" - Focus on the Family Article "In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character" - Book by Jen Wilkin "God and the Transgender Debate" - Book by Andrew Walker God's creation was VERY GOOD - Genesis 1:31 God's creative brilliance climaxes with humanity - Genesis 1:26-29 God is the master artist that brought humanity to life Imago Dei is Latin for "image of God" We were created to glorify God - Isaiah 43:1-7 God retains ownership over our lives - Psalm 24:1-2 In the fall, God's image is distorted, but not lost - Genesis 9:6 Even though marred by sin, humans retain enough of God's image to be described as "made in the likeness of God" - James 3:9 Even though God retains authority, we like to make our own plans - Ecclesiastes 7:29 As Christ followers we set our feet on the path of image-bearing renewal - 2 Corinthians 3:18 When Jesus returns, the transformation will be complete - 1 John 3:2 Because we are image bearers our time in God's Word is crucial to know Him and thereby be able to represent God to a lost and dying world "God is Designer and Creator. The earth and everything in it are His. Therefore, He gets to set the plans and directions for our lives." Additional Resources Lyrics - New Release Today An acoustic version of "Image of God" featuring Vince Gill - YouTube Video "The Image of God - An Approach from Biblical and Systematic Theology" - DesiringGod.org Article "Tim Keller on the Image of God" - Focus on the Family Article "3 Reasons We Must Preach on the Image of God" - Lifeway Research Article "What it Means to be 'Made in the Image of God'" - Focus on the Family Article "In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character" - Book by Jen Wilkin "God and the Transgender Debate" - Book by Andrew Walker Weekly Challenge Read the first two chapters of Genesis and really focus on how God created humankind in the beginning. Utilize some of the outside resources (both free articles and books you may want to purchase) to explore what it means to be created in the image of God. Read the Scripture references in the show notes above in context and ponder how our image-bearing fits into the truths found in these various sections of Scripture. If you want to focus on a larger chunk of Scripture, consider 1 John 3 as it dials into the conduct that should be evident in the life of a believer made in God's image who represents God to the world.

Apr 26

23 min 23 sec

Stale. Fake. Dead. Dying. Faded. Worthless. Delusional. There are all kinds of hope in this world, but believers in Christ are born again into a living hope. Phil Wickham's song "Living Hope" leads us straight to Scripture where we discover that a Living God gives us a Living Hope through a Living Savior. The original recipients of 1 Peter needed assurance of their living hope as they were suffering greatly. Let's explore it together. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read and keep on reading Read an introduction to the entire book of the Bible you are studying Consult outside resources Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge "The Lord is My Strength and My Song" Women's Conference - More Information An introduction and outline of 1 Peter by J Vernon McGee - PDF of notes and outline Reading all the way through 1 Peter The theme of 1 Peter - the Christian hope in the time of trial J Vernon McGee teachings on 1 Peter - BlueLetterBible.com The Living God, our Living Hope, through our Living Savior - 1 Peter 1:3-5 God's call not to follow the culture - Jeremiah 10:3-5 Jeremiah's response calling God the living God - Jeremiah 10:10 Making a list of the characteristics of the manmade idols vs. God's characteristics in Jeremiah 10 Our living hope comes after being born again - John 3:5-8 Our living Savior Who bore our sins - 1 Peter 2:24 The description of our living hope - 1 Peter 1:4-5 Our proper response to the gift of our living hope - 1 Peter 1:13-16 Our conduct reflecting our living hope - 1 Peter 1:22-23 It is through Christ we believe in God - 1 Peter 1:21 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - Essential Worship The Story Behind the Song "Living Hope" by Phil Wickham - Essential Worship Weekly Challenge First, if you’ve never been born again…place your faith and hope in God through Jesus, your living Savior. Then read 1 Peter. I think you’ll be surprised at the suffering it reveals…all the more need for a living hope. Read Jeremiah 10 for a snapshot of the effectiveness (rather ineffectiveness) of our false idols and the worthiness of our living God. Review the introductions to these books, interact with God’s Word as you read, and consult tried and true outside resources to shed even more light on what you’re reading.

Apr 19

21 min

Are you in need of a fight song these days? The struggle is real, but it's not against who you might think. "Stand My Ground," a new song by Zach Williams is a great anthem for your playlist, but it points to truths more meaningful than any lyric. Let's learn how to stand our ground and observe a man in the Old Testament standing his ground. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Repetition Reading in context Completing a word study Mark up the text Journal your thoughts Read in a variety of translations Make a list Use a reading plan (outside resource) The 30 Day Music Challenge Focusing on standing our ground against the devil - Ephesians 6:10-18 Friday with Friends on Michelle Nezat TV - YouTube Channel Seeing "stand" mentioned three times in 10 verses - BibleHub.com How a key part of the devil's "scheme" is to convince us our battle is against people How we are called to stand, stand, stand and pray, pray, pray in Ephesians 6:10-18 A reading plan about Daniel and his friends taking a stand - YouVersion Reading Plan The book of Daniel in one sentence - OverviewBible.com Daniel taking a stand because of his resolve - Daniel 1 Daniel taking a stand and praying (and recruiting his friends to pray, too) - Daniel 2 Reading Scripture before commentary Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Story Behind the Song "Stand My Ground" by Zach Williams - YouTube Video YouVersion Reading Plan Weekly Challenge Spend some time in Ephesians 6 learning about the armor of God with the focus on standing your ground against the enemy. Read this section of Scripture repetitively and interact with it in new ways. Then consider reading about Daniel and his friends in the first few chapters of the book of Daniel with the focus on how they stood their ground.

Apr 12

19 min 53 sec

We spend a lot of time celebrating Jesus at Christmastime. Easter doesn't have as much secular fanfare, and one reason may be because Easter forces us to answer hard questions about who Jesus is and who we are. In fact, Aaron Shust's song "Isaiah 53" leads us to an important section of ancient Scripture that forces us to answer those questions. Let's study the ancient prophecy written by Isaiah 700 years before Christ fulfilled its words. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Repetition Meditation Follow the cross-references Consult various translations The 30 Day Music Challenge Our focus Scripture for the week - Isaiah 52:13-Isaiah 53:12 The Mysterious Prophecy of Isaiah 53 by Michael Rydelnik - RightNowMedia.org How the interaction between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch confirms this Scripture is about Jesus - Acts 8:26-40 How God revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Messiah (and Jesus confirms it) - Matthew 16:15-17 John the Baptist prophesying that Jesus is the sacrificial lamb - John 1:29 Unpacking the focus Scripture verse by verse with cross-references Isaiah 52:13 - Jesus is exalted - Philippians 2:9 Isaiah 52:14 - crucifixion is disfiguring Isaiah 52:15 - we will be sprinkled clean - Ezekiel 36:25-27 Isaiah 53:1 - explained in John 12:37-43 Isaiah 53:2 - Jesus was a common man - John 1:46, John 6:42 Isaiah 53:3 - Jesus was rejected - John 1:11 Isaiah 53:4 - Jesus was thought to be rejected by God because of false claims of divinity - John 19:7 Isaiah 53:5 - it was our sin he died for - Romans 4:25 Isaiah 53:6 - we've all sinned - Romans 3:23, 1 Peter 2:25 Isaiah 53:7 - Jesus remained silent - Matthew 26:63 Isaiah 53:8 - read in the New Living Translation Isaiah 53:9 - Jesus died between two wicked men and was buried in a rich man's tomb - Mark 15:27, Matthew 27:57-60 Isaiah 53:10 - it was God's plan before the foundation of the world - Revelation 13:8 Isaiah 53:11 - we are justified through Christ - Romans 5:18-19 Isaiah 53:12 - Jesus bore our sin - 2 Corinthians 5:21 Christ's sacrifice happened once, and he will appear again to bring salvation to those waiting for Him - Hebrews 2:28 Additional Resources Lyrics The Mysterious Prophecy of Isaiah 53 by Michael Rydelnik - RightNowMedia.org Isaiah 53 TALK (w/ Rabbi Ken) by Aaron Shust - YouTube Video Why Isaiah 53 is Important by Aaron Shust - YouTube Video Weekly Challenge Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Then read it again. Consider how Jesus has fulfilled this prophecy through your own understanding of Scripture. Use the cross-references listed in the show notes above to get you started. Finally, read the account of the last days of Christ on earth in Matthew 26-28 or one of the other gospels. Take in the entire picture and rejoice that our iniquity has been paid for by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and our eternity is secure through his victory over death in resurrection power.

Apr 5

26 min 46 sec

There is a critical question posed by an imposing angel in the throne room of God described in the book of Revelation, "Who is worthy to open the scroll?" Meredith Andrew's song "Who Could" reminds us of this question, and the apostle John transports us through vivid imagery. Visit the throne room of God with me this week on the podcast. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Listen to epic music while reading epic scenes in Scripture Read and keep on reading Meditation Ask questions Mark up the text Follow the cross-references Complete a word study Consult an outside resource The 30 Day Music Challenge My interview with Vince Wright and his resources at TheBereanTest.com - YouTube Video Listening to epic music while reading epic scenes, I used a track from unminus.com under a portion of Scripture this week Tips for reading Revelation from an outside resource - "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth" by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart Tips for reading apocalyptic literature in the Bible - Blog with Video Marking up the text using the Illustrated Scripture Journal - Amazon Link Getting answers to some of my questions - GotQuestions.org Picturing the scene in the throne room of heaven - Revelation 4:1-11 The 24 elders casting their crowns before the throne - Revelation 4:10 Imperishable crown - 1 Corinthians 9:25 Spiritual children - Philippians 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 2:19 Crown of life - James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10 Crown of righteousness - 2 Timothy 4:8 Crown of glory - 1 Peter 5:4 Lord (Kurios) as a master and person exercising absolute ownership rights - BibleHub.com God (Theos) as the supreme Creator who owns and sustains all things - BibleHub.com Allowing Scripture to roll around in your mind a bit (also known as meditating on Scripture) Pondering the extreme emotional response of John in Revelation 5:4 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - EssentialWorship.com Behind The Song "Who Could" by Meredith Andrews - New Release Today Article by Kevin Davis "5 Tips for Reading Apocalyptic Literature in the Bible" - Zondervan Academic Blog and Video Weekly Challenge Read the book of Revelation for yourself. Consider the literary context as you read so that you don't fall into the trap of misreading the text. Sit awestruck at the sight of the whole before inspecting the parts. Immerse yourself in the throne room scene and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal just how worthy the Lion and Lamb is of our praise.

Mar 29

25 min 20 sec

Sometimes we need a good reminder that this world is not our home. As Jordan Feliz sings about, there is a day coming when "Jesus Is Coming Back!" Knowing this should lead to eager anticipation in our lives and give us hope. Join me this week as we explore God's Word to learn all about the return of Christ. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Exploring a topic Utilizing outside resources Read in context Share with a friend Compare and contrast The 30 Day Music Challenge Exploring a topic in God's Word Defining systematic theology - RC Sproul Video A C.S. Lewis quote about theology - "If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones -- bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas." Transitioning from an "I think" approach to a "the Bible says" approach Utilizing a systematic theology resource to gather Scriptures on the topic of the return of Christ - "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem The multi-verse retrieval resource at BlueLetterBible.org That there will be a sudden, visible, personal, bodily return of Christ Copy and paste the list of verses below into the multi-verse retrieval box at BlueLetterBible.org Matthew 24:44; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess 4:16; Heb 9:28; James 5:8; 2 Pet 3:10; 1 John 3:2; Rev 22:20; Rev 1:7 That we should eagerly long for Christ's return Titus 2:12-13; Phil 3:20; 1 Cor 16:22; Matt 24:44 That we do not know when Christ will return Matt 24:44; Matt 25:13; Mark 13:32-33 That Christ could come at any time Matt 24:42-44; Matt 24:36-39; Matt 24:50; Matt 25:13; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:40; 1 Cor 16:22; Phil 3:30; 1 Thess 5:2; Titus 2:12-13; Hebrews 10:25; James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 4:7; Rev 1:3; Rev 22:7; Rev 22:12; Rev 22:20 The A.W. Tozer quote regarding over and underemphasizing Scripture - "Lack of balance in the Christian life is often the direct consequence of overemphasis on certain favorite texts, with a corresponding underemphasis on other related ones." Studying these truths with a friend - Hebrews 10:25 Being on the lookout for direction in Scripture as to how we are to respond to the truth that Jesus is coming back! Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Devotional article using "Jesus Is Coming Back" as inspiration - New Release Today Article "What Is Theology" by RC Sproul - Ligonier Ministries Video "The Second Coming of Christ" | Billy Graham Classic {Note: Don't watch this until AFTER you study Scripture for yourself! It will mean so much more!} - YouTube Video Weekly Challenge Grab the verses in the show notes above and use them as a launching point to read them in context, learning all you can about what the Bible says about the return of Jesus Christ our Lord. While you're in these larger sections of Scripture, be on the lookout for how we are to respond to this truth that Jesus is coming soon.

Mar 22

23 min 41 sec

There was a national crisis, and the king didn't know what to do. At that moment, the king had choices. He could turn to his own wisdom, to the advisors of those around him, or any number of places for advice. In the Scripture inspired by Phil Wickham's song "Battle Belongs," the king chose to seek the Lord. May we follow his example...well, mostly. Let's read the whole account of King Jehoshaphat's crisis in 2 Chronicles 20 and then read past it to see "the rest of the story." In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Storying Sharing with a friend Compare and contrast Remembering the people described in the Bible were REAL Prayer Praying Scripture The 30 Day Music Challenge Heading over to 2 Chronicles 20 for the week How I've used this area of Scripture in previous episodes - Episode 151 and Episode 305 Watching Phil Wickham take the BITE of "storying" this video - YouTube Video Not letting the "tweetable" verses in 2 Chronicles 20 distract from internalizing this Scripture Watching the king and his people go from a crisis to fear, to trust, to worship, to victory, to rest The difference between descriptive and prescriptive texts in Scripture - GotQuestions.org Article Using Scripture to shape the wording of our prayers How reading the "rest of the story" reminds us to finish well 2 Chronicles 20:33 Matthew 24:13 Colossians 1:21-23 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - Essential Worship The Story Behind the Writing of the Song "The Battle Belongs" - YouTube Video The Biblical Story Behind the Song "The Battle Belongs" - YouTube Video A critical thinking review of the lyrics testing for Biblical accuracy - TheBereanTest.com A discussion about the difference between prescriptive and descriptive Scripture - GotQuestions.org Article Weekly Challenge Become so familiar with the account in 2 Chronicles 20 that you can retell the story to others. The best way to practice this is with a friend. It will take some time and repetition, but it will be worth it! To get the full context of King Jehoshaphat's reign, you might even back up in 2 Chronicles to the beginning of his story -- or even go further back and take in his father's story. We all know how our heritage can shape us. Learn from Jehoshaphat and remember that the battle for your soul belongs to the Lord -- He has already won the victory!

Mar 15

19 min 40 sec

As a Christ-follower, it is my privilege to make much of God. My feelings, thoughts, and life should reflect Him and give evidence of His supreme greatness. That is, my life should magnify Christ, just like Cody Carnes sings about in his song "Christ Be Magnified?" Paul talks about magnifying Christ in his letter to the Philippians. Let's explore that a little deeper together. On this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Listen to an audio version of the text Read the envelope Historical context Consulting an outside resource Follow the cross-reference Read in a variety of translations Define words The 30 Day Music Challenge The inspirational verse - Philippians 1:20 Reading Philippians like a letter (because that's what it is) Reading the envelope to discover who the letter was written to, who it is from, and when and where it came from Consulting a trusted outside resource for the historical background - "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Gordon and Fee Gaining historical insight into the church at Philippi by reading Acts 15:35-Acts 17:1 The advancement of the gospel - Philippians 1:12 Ways the gospel advanced - Philippians 1:14-17 Paul's response - Philippians 1:18-19 The severity of Paul's situation and his emotional state How Paul was subject to being formed by feelings and his "eager expectation" This time in prison is a deeply personal and trying time for Paul. It is exacerbated by the evil of others, and it is sprinkled with hope by the advancement of the gospel and the love and support of his friends and the Holy Spirit.   Additional Resources Lyrics, chords, song story, etc. - WorshipTogether.com "Is Christ Be Magnified Biblical" - TheBereanTest.com   Weekly Challenge Read all of Paul's letter to the Philippians. Focus in on Philippians 1:12-30 (some of which we did not get to on the podcast) and discover what magnifying Christ in our body looks like to Paul. Use the BITEs we talked about on the podcast to interact with Scripture, including heading over to Acts to understand the foundation of the church at Philippi (the original audience of this letter). And may Paul's experience be yours as well -- may the prayers of your friends and the power of the Holy Spirit uphold you in your darkest times.

Mar 8

22 min 40 sec

I dropped a glass casserole lid on my tile kitchen floor the other day. It shattered into a host of small pieces. I'm still finding pieces of glass here and there. There's a difference between being broken and shattered. Shattered seem so irreparable. In Blanca's song "Shattered" she reminds us that the task of putting the shattered pieces back together is not too big for God. Scripture offers many examples of shattered lives that God touches. We'll look at one example together this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Make observations Ask questions Consult a map Remembering the people described in the Bible were real Consult section headings Read in a variety of translations Make a list Define words The 30 Day Music Challenge How we can comfort others because of our own experiences - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 The daily practice of being washed in the Word as an act of worship - Ephesians 5:26-27 The story of the widow of Nain - Luke 7:11-17 Asking questions like, "Soon after what?" and "Where did he come from?" Looking up the towns mentioned in God's Word on a map...or even Google earth (after all, they are real places, and many still exist today) Picturing the crowd with Jesus and the crowd with the widow Defining a bier while considering the funeral customs of the day Making a list of the people depicted in this short story REALLY looking at the widow of Nain and considering the shattered pieces of her story Coming face to face with how Jesus RESPONDED He saw her He had compassion for her He spoke to her He came up to the bier He touched the bier He spoke to the dead man He gave him to his mother The Japanese art of Kintsugi - Lifegate Article Weekly Challenge Read Luke 7 for yourself. You might even take the challenge of reading in context — reading chapters 6 through 8 for yourself. Take a close look at Jesus in these stories. Identify the characteristics of your Savior that you may have glossed over in the past. Interact with the Word! Make observations, write them in lists, look up words you don’t understand, and enjoy your time being washed with the water of the Word.

Mar 1

25 min 20 sec

What does it mean to live by faith? I'm not sure there's a simple answer to that question, but one practice may provide evidence. Tye Tribbett sings about it in his song "Anyhow" -- trusting and praising God no matter what comes our way. Let's explore the life and times of a prophet whose complaint to God could have been written this morning, and whose prayer we can mimic in our own lives. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Reading in context Read and keep on reading Repetition Consult an overview Follow the cross-reference Our circumstances can cloud our view of God - "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby An introduction to the prophet Habakkuk Habakkuk's "hallelujah anyhow" conclusion - Habakkuk 3:17-19 How we "need to appreciate how {Habakkuk's conclusion} derives from a serious engagement with the issues of God's justice if {we} are to appreciate just how radical it is." - ESV Expository Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Volume 7) Getting our bearings with a brief introduction to the book of Habakkuk - BlueLetterBible.org Gaining clarity through a deeper overview - TheBibleProject.com Habakkuk's complaint that could have been written today - Habakkuk 1:2-4 God's astounding response - Habakkuk 1:5-11 Habakkuk's concern with how God's response seems opposed to His character - Habakkuk 1:12-13 God's introduction to the phrase "the righteous will live by faith" - Habakkuk 2:2-4 Following the cross-references Romans 1:16-17 Galatians 3:2-3, 11 Hebrews 10:32-39 If God chooses to answer in a way that doesn't seem right to us, may we live by faith and sing hallelujah anyhow, trusting in our faithful God. Additional Resources Lyrics Story Behind the Songs - Tye Tribbett - YouTube Video (start at 28:30 to hear specifically about "Anyhow" Weekly Challenge Read the entire book of Habakkuk (all three chapters) several times. Then watch an overview video or read the introduction in your study Bible. Identify the comparisons to our own time and carefully observe how God replies. Track down the cross-references we mentioned in Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. Finally, spend some time internalizing Habakkuk’s conclusion — singing hallelujah anyhow.

Feb 22

19 min 2 sec

There are a lot of solutions offered in the world today. Unfortunately, most worldly solutions don't identify the root problem -- sin. In her song "Look No Further," Evvie McKinney reminds us that we don't have to look any further than Jesus for the salvation we seek. Her response of "look no further than Jesus" feels like an answer to a question posed in Scripture. Join me as we take a closer look at the life of John the Baptist and a key question he asks from prison. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Remember the people described in the Bible were real Ask questions of the text Explore the cross-references Read with friends The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE Looking in all the wrong places to find hope John's question to Jesus - Matthew 11:3 Understanding John's history by reading/studying Luke 1 Zechariah's prophecy over John - Luke 1:76-80 Learning even more about John the Baptist's ministry in Matthew 3 John was set apart John was different John was bold John knew his purpose The context of what was going on in the ministry of Jesus between being baptized by John and John's imprisonment Pondering why John may have asked the question in Matthew 11:3 Reading the cross-references related to Jesus' response to John's question Isaiah 19:18-19 Isaiah 35:5-6 Isaiah 61:1 Isaiah 8:11-15 Jesus responds with Scripture to encourage John to "look no further." He is the promised one. The key for John here is that he must know the Scripture to be encouraged by it. Weekly Challenge Read Matthew 11 and let it inspire you to explore all of the Scriptures related to John the Baptist in both the New and Old Testaments. Then go back to John's question to ponder how such a man of God could end up in such a season of doubt. But don't ponder alone! Enlist a friend to study this with you to broaden your perspective.

Feb 15

23 min 24 sec

As our trust in the Lord grows, our patience grows. We can rest in His timing because we can point to God's faithfulness over and over again in the accounts recorded in His Word. Not only that, but we have our own experiences we can point to in our own lives. Fred Jerkins' song "Patiently Praising" not only points us to promises we can cling to in Scripture but serves as a challenge in our own lives to praise while we await a resolution to painful parts of our lives. I didn't have to look any further than specific references to Scripture right in the song to get inspired to dive into God's Word. Join me! In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Repetition Write out Scripture by hand Ask questions of the text Utilize outside resources Internalize Scripture (often known as memorization) Consult various translations Read with friends The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE Spending a good deal of time discovering what the Bible actually says before jumping to meaning and application The lyric in the song that led me to Psalm 34:19 Internalizing God's Word by committing it to memory Keith Ferrin's quote, "The goal isn't to know the words. It's the know the Word." - "How To Enjoy Reading Your Bible" by Keith Ferrin Studying Psalm 34 verse by verse Reading the account in 1 Samuel 21:10-15 that the psalm declares was the inspiration for David's words Recognizing that the psalm was written as an acrostic, with each verse beginning with a subsequent letter of the Hebrew alphabet Seeing the theme of affliction throughout the psalm Referring to our study of this psalm in Episode 358 Discovering potential answers to our questions of the text through commentaries at BibleHub.com     Additional Resources Article revealing the music project was around cancer awareness - Billboard.com Lyrics Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on Psalm 34 at BibleHub.com   Weekly Challenge Work through Psalm 34 on your own. As we saw on today's podcast, this is an ideal psalm to commit to memory. If internalizing the entire psalm feels too intimidating, pick a few verses to read, reread, and repeat until you can write them out on your own, speak them out to others in common day conversation, and lift them back up in prayer to your heavenly Father. And here's a teaser...there's another direct Scripture reference in our song this week that could send you off to another section of Scripture in the New Testament to study.

Feb 8

25 min 12 sec

There's a shortage of truth in the world today. Of course, the definition of truth seems to up for grabs for some, but today we're talking about sincerity in action without pretense. Matthew West sings about this in his song "Truth Be Told." Jesus teaches about it in the Gospel of Matthew. Spend some time this week examining the words of Jesus with an open heart. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consider the historical background Follow the cross-references Utilize a trusted outside resource (like a commentary or Study Bible) Read in context Summarize the text in your own words Ask questions of the text Remember, the people in the Bible were real The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE Matthew West's story behind the song - YouTube Video The book Matthew West wrote that he mentioned in the video - "Hello My Name Is" by Matthew West The verse in Isaiah Matthew West refers to in the video - Isaiah 29:13 How Jesus uses two metaphors to talk about what He thinks of being clean, put together, and FINE only on the outside - Matthew 23:27-28 The historical context of why touching tombs would have been a big deal to Christ's audience - Numbers 19:16 Why it was their practice to whitewash tombs - Douglas Sean O'Donnell "Preaching The Word" Commentary on Matthew Really considering the root of what Jesus is teaching and how it may apply to our own "clean on the outside and a hot mess on the inside" moments Zooming out all the way to Matthew 21 to see the context of our focus teaching Summarizing Matthew 23:1-11 in our own words Recognizing the seven "woe"s in Matthew 23 Checking out another "woe" from the Old Testament - Hosea 7:13 Hearing the "rolling thunder of Christ's wrath" in the text Recognizing the hypocrisy in our own lives and treating it with the weight Christ demands Additional Resources Matthew West makes the case for honesty - KLove Blog Lyrics - WGBL.org "Truth Be Told" by Matthew West Story Behind the Song - YouTube Article on the seven "woe"s in Matthew 23 - GotQuestions.org Article on what "woe" means in Scripture - Patheos.com Commentary on the book of Matthew - Amazon.com Weekly Challenge Read Matthew 21-25 to understand the complete context of Jesus' teaching. Focus in on Matthew 23 and really study it (I've included resources I used "Additional Resources" above). Identify and write down summaries of the seven woes. Hear the rolling thunder of Christ's wrath and take His rebuke seriously. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal any hypocrisy in your life.

Feb 1

22 min 34 sec

We spend so much time trying to make things happen in our lives. This last year has shown us on a global level how little control we have. Elevation Worship's song "Graves Into Gardens" reminds us that God does transformational things -- and He's the only One Who can. Let's use this song to send us to the words of a prophet and a king to learn more about our transformational God. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consider the historical background Start with God Ask questions Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE My prayer for my listeners -- that God will give you an unreasonable desire for His Word that leads to an unsurpassable relationship with Him God, Himself is our goal, and our priority must be our Father and His kingdom Spending time in Isaiah 61 in Episode 282 Our starting-point verse that uses the phrase "mourning to dancing" - Psalm 30:11 Gaining historical perspective by consulting my study Bible - ESV Study Bible Observing concrete details in the life of David, empathizing with those details, and translating that into worshiping God from the same place Starting with God by asking questions of the text that lead us to Him A trusted resource to teach us how to ask questions of the text - "Asking the Right Questions" by Matthew Harmon Making lists of God's character, conduct, and concerns revealed in Psalm 30 Discovering more transformations in Isaiah 61 Weekly Challenge Spend some time in Psalm 30 and Isaiah 61 this week. Try starting with God as you interact with the text. Seek where you can learn more about His character, His conduct, and His concerns. Identify some of the transformations we sing about in our song that are directly reflected in the text but don't stop there! Pray and listen for what God wants you to learn from His Word.

Jan 25

23 min 33 sec

It doesn't matter how thick the walls are to us; it only matters how thick the walls are to God. When Andrew Ripp sings of our fears coming down like Jericho walls in his song "Jericho," I was inspired to study the story leading up to that moment. I learned a lot about Joshua and what God commanded him. {Spoiler alert: God speaks directly to his fear.} Join me on the journey this week! In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Context Read larger chunks of Scripture Consider the opposite Use section headings to get your bearings Read/watch an overview of the book you're studying Consider the historical context Meditate on God's Word Follow the cross-reference The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE Not overcomplicating our time in God's Word Taking in the whole story - Joshua 1-6 Considering that "courage" is the opposite of "fear" An overview of the book of Joshua - BibleProject.com Taking on Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy to gain historical context (look for Joshua in these texts as well) God's four calls for Joshua be strong and courageous - Joshua 1:1-9 One more call to courage from Joshua's fellow Israelites - Joshua 1:16-18 Trusting God and letting fear crumble to the ground because He's trustworthy Following the cross-reference to see Moses sending out spies - Numbers 13:18-20 Reading on to Numbers 14:7-9 to hear Joshua's own words in the face of fear the first time they pulled up to the promised land   Additional Resources Lyrics - mykits.com Individual song - Amazon Weekly Challenge Read Joshua 1-6. Consider reading it multiple times in various versions. Note the repeated call to courage and meditate on the details surrounding each call. Follow the cross-reference to Numbers 13 and 14 and compare and contrast the sending of spies into the promised land.

Jan 18

24 min 1 sec

Words cannot describe how worthy God is of our adoration and thanksgiving. Sarah Kroger's song, "A Thousand Thank Yous," gives God all of the glory as He deserves. It also inspired me to soak in some psalms of gratitude this week. Incorporate more adoration and thanksgiving into your prayer life this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Praying the Scripture Journal your interactions with Scripture and God Choose one word to meditate on Read the text aloud Slow down The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE Utilizing the resources over at TheBereanTest.com - A Thousand Thank Yous Review Choosing Psalms of Gratitude with the help of SheReadsTruth.com - Psalms of Gratitude Using the prayer model of A.C.T.S. and focusing on adoration and thanksgiving Logging our interactions with God's Word in a journal Acknowledging the authority, validity, and claims of God in Psalm 100 Asking God to help me tame my tongue so that the words of my mouth are acceptable to Him - Psalm 19:14, James 3:10 Filling my heart with God's Word so that the meditations of my heart are acceptable Looking to the Lord to visibly reflect radiant joy - Psalm 34:4-7 Recognizing that God's plans for and works in my life do not compare to HIM - Psalm 40:5 Renewing my sense of awe and wonder in Psalm 66   Additional Resources Lyrics Individual song - Amazon Weekly Challenge Grab your Bible, thank God for His Word, and dive into five Psalms of gratitude and praise this week -- Psalm 100, Psalm 19, Psalm 34, Psalm 40, and Psalm 66. If you find yourself distracted, read the text out loud. Look for one word that jumps out at you in each psalm. Ponder the word and the context of the verse it's found in. Incorporate your thoughts into your prayers. Discover what you can learn about who God is and what His great acts include. Log your findings in a journal or a notebook as prayers of adoration and thanksgiving. Use this week's song as a soundtrack for your prayerful efforts this week.

Jan 11

22 min 38 sec

Happy New Year! Each new year brings with it an opportunity to set new goals and consider what your focus will be before life gets in the way. Kings Kaleidoscope has a song set to the tune of the traditional new year’s song "Auld Lang Syne." Their song “All Glory Be To Christ” reminds us ultimately what each new year is about…Jesus. The song leads us to Psalm 127 where we are reminded that we are nothing without the Lord. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Context Ask questions Make observations The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE The Rapid Bible Read Through that I do every year with my friend, Keith Ferrin - information about year's read through can be found here RBRT2021 The Psalms of Ascent - Got Questions Article Focusing more on the Architect than the house plans - Psalm 127:1 The role of a watchman - Psalm 127:1 Keeping in context the warning in verse 2 - Psalms 127:2 Not separating the "in vain" section from the "family" section of Psalm 127 Our duty to smooth and prepare our arrows (children) to be shot into the battle - Psalm 127:4 How I don't want to do anything this year in vain...with my family, ministry, or career   Additional Resources Lyrics and chords Individual song or full album - Amazon Weekly Challenge Read Psalm 127 for yourself. While you do, make sure you don't take each verse out of context…it is one song, after all. Ask questions, make observations, and fix your eyes on the Lord. Pray and ask Him to be the architect of your life this year. Determine in your heart to bring Him glory.    

Jan 4

19 min 4 sec

Here are a few resources I use in storing up God's Word in my heart. I sprinkle them throughout my podcast episodes, but I thought this would be a great time to put them all down in a list. In fact, you can download a free pdf with live links HERE.

Dec 2020

20 min 36 sec

God's names help us get to know him better. Matt Maher's Christmas song, "He Shall Reign Forevermore," points us to an area of Scripture that reveals four powerful names of Jesus. It is at Christmastime we are reminded, "To us, a child is born." Let's get to know Him better through his names. In this episode I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - our Bible Interaction Tool Exercises this week are: Consulting an outside resource Reading in context Completing a word study Following the cross-references The 30 Day Music Challenge - ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE Getting really good at reading, studying, and understanding Scripture so I'm prepared for quality life application Soaking in Isaiah 9:1-7 inspired by our song Exploring Christ's kingdom, government, and eternal reign in Scripture He will reign forever and ever - Revelation 11:15 Parables of what the kingdom of heaven is like Wheat and weeds growing together until sorted out at the harvest - Matthew 13:24-30 A huge tree growing from a small start - Matthew 13:31-32 Like yeast, a little bit, growing from within permeates the entire loaf - Matthew 13:33 A hidden treasure worth selling everything for - Matthew 13:44 A jewel of inestimable value - Matthew 13:45 A fishing net catching good and bad fish to be sorted out later - Matthew 13:47-50 Filled with teachers who bring out new and old gems of truth - Matthew 13:52 A forgiving king who expect those who have been forgiven a great debt to "pay it forward" - Matthew 18:23-25 The vineyard workers who are last receive the same blessing/payment as those who are first - Matthew 20:1-16 The wedding feast where all are invited, but few responded - Matthew 22:2-14 A bridegroom who may return at any time and we must be ready - Matthew 25:1-13 The servants who invested what the Lord had given them and were entrusted with more - Matthew 25:14-30 JD Greear's book "Searching for Christmas: What if There's More to the Story Than You Thought" - Amazon Link JD reading his short book for free on his podcast - Spotify Link Jesus, our Wonderful Counselor, instructs and guides us with authority so great it is beyond our understanding God's ways are higher - Isaiah 55:8 What we can know of God is just the fringe - Job 26:14 Jesus understands what we're going through - Hebrews 4:15 Jesus is our Mighty God -- our El Gibbor Scanning the 159 times "gibbor" is used in Scripture to discover when it is applied to God - BibleHub.com Following the cross-reference to Psalm 45 Recognizing that our Everlasting Father is the PERFECT Father He's engaged and full of love - Psalm 103:8 His love is sacrificial - John 3:16 He loves lavishly - 1 John 3:1 His love rejoices over us with singing - Zephaniah 3:17 A little gem hidden in Zephaniah 3:17 that is uncovered by our study this week Understanding more about Biblical peace to better understand how Jesus is our Prince of Peace - BibleProject.com How Jesus makes everything whole - Ephesians 3:12-14 I just want to be really good at reading, studying, and understanding God's Word so that I know my conclusions (or the conclusions of pastors and teachers I sit under) are rooted in truth and understanding. Trust me, when that happens, the application is all the richer. Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - EssentialWorship.com Story behind the song "He Shall Reign Forevermore" - YouTube Video Chris Tomlin sharing "He Shall Reign Forevermore" in the New Song Cafe - WorshipTogether.com Weekly Challenge Read all about the promised Christ child in Isaiah 9. Meditate on the names given to Jesus in this text. Consider the significance of what we learn about Him through these names. Try exploring one of His titles further in Hebrew through an online resource. Chase down a few cross-references -- you never know where they may lead. Respond to God's lavish love by placing your faith in our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace.

Dec 2020

22 min 11 sec