Monday, September 26, 2016

The Widow of Zarephath ... Lesson #4

The Widow of Zarephath, Facing Trials and Tribulations

I Kings 17: 8 -24; Luke 4: 25-26

By Patsy Norwood
© 2004 - 2016  All Rights Reserved!

Lesson 4

Previous lessons can be found HERE.

At last, we meet the widow of Zarephath herself …

What had been commanded for a certain widow in Zarephath to do?  (I Kings 17:9)

Who commanded her?   (I Kings 17:9)                      

What do we learn about the kind of person the widow was from reading I Kings 17: 9-24?


The Widow of Zarephath ... Lesson # 3

The Widow of Zarephath, Facing Trials and Tribulations

I Kings 17: 8 -24; Luke 4: 25-26

By Patsy Norwood
© 2004 - 2016  All Rights Reserved!

Lesson 3

Previous lessons can be found HERE.

In lesson 3 we’re going to continue to set the stage for this study by talking about the town of Zarephath. 

Where was Zarephath located? (I Kings 17:9; Luke 4:26)      

Looking at I Kings 17: 9-10 what else besides its location do we learn about the city of Zarephath? Did you notice the city gate?

Just so you will know ….

City Gates …. Cities were often surrounded by thick high walls for protection.  The city gates were opened and or closed to allow entrance into the city, and in addition to being a focal point of the city were often where many business transactions were conducted.

Zarephath was located in what is now known as Lebanon


Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Widow of Zarephath ... # 1

By Patsy Norwood

 © 2004 - 2016  All Rights Reserved!

Last week we introduced the study by giving some background information.  This week we're going to delve into the study ...

Lesson 1

It is always best when beginning any Bible study to begin by reading the selected Scriptures and that's the first 'to-do' in this study …  read I Kings 17:8-24 and Luke 4:25-26.   (No skipping this reading ladies; it is very important!)

As mentioned in the introduction, our study takes place under the reign of King Ahab.  I Kings 16:30-33 tells us what kind of a king Ahab was.  Write these verses down and underline the things he did that displeased God.

Behind every good man there is a good woman and a lot of the time behind every bad man there is an equally bad woman.  Such was the case with King Ahab whose wife was the famed “Jezebel.”   Write out the things mentioned in I Kings 18:4 and II Kings 9:22 that Jezebel did that displeased God. 

I’m sure some of you are thinking that if this study is suppose to be about the widow of Zarephath, why are we researching King Ahab and his wife Jezebel.  Hold on dear ladies, in order to understand the plight of the ‘selected lady of this study’ we need to understand what was going on around her at the time and as you will see King Ahab and his wife Jezebel played an important role in ‘what was going on’ at the time.

What are your thoughts on King Ahab and Queen Jezebel?  

Do you agree or disagree that a wife can play a significant role in her husband's life, both for good and for bad?  

Was Queen Jezebel's influence good or bad on her husband?

In the next lesson in this study a prophet of God enters the picture!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Reading and Studying God's Word

by patsy norwood (c) 2003 -2016 ~ All Rights Reserved

The Bible is not only God’s Word, it is also our instruction manual. By reading and studying our instruction manual, we will learn how to live our lives as God would have us to. This sounds fairly simple on the surface, but let me assure you that it will take time and effort. Gleaning from God’s word is not as quick and easy as driving up to a fast food restaurant and ordering a burger. We must spend time studying and meditating in It.

A question I often hear is “how do you study?” Believe it or not this is not a silly question and I’m going to share with you some things I have done and some things that I have had recommended to me.

Copy verses or a book of the Bible. You’ll be surprised how much one can learn from simple copying.

Word Study. The purpose of doing a word study is to understand the meaning of a word/words in the context of what we are reading. Sometimes this is crucial to get the proper meaning and interpretation of what we are studying. You will need a good concordance and a Bible dictionary for this.

Outline a book of the Bible. I dare you to do this. You will truly be blessed by what you learn.

Dissecting a book, chapter, or passage from the Bible. Ask the who, what, when, why, where, and how questions.

Memorize a passage. My memory is not what it used to be so I need help when it comes to memorizing. One thing that helps me is to write the passage over and over again. Little by little I can write the complete passage without having to peek in the Bible for help.

Character Study. Pick out one person from the Bible and write down everything you learn about him/her from the Scriptures. Be very observant of what the Bible does and does not say about this person.

Topical Study. Choose a topic and look up every passage on the subject. When you put all your information together you may be surprised at what you learn.

Practical Application. After you’ve finished your reading ask yourself these questions, “What does this mean for my life and how can I apply it to my life?” This one is a ‘biggie’, without the application, what we read is just a story.

Prepare to Teach A Lesson. This will definitely send you searching and studying the Bible. The teacher is most certainly the one who learns the most from this method.

Purchase a prepared study. There are several good ‘fill in the blank’ Bible study books on the market that require you to get in your Bible and search out the correct answer.

Object Studies. Select objects found in the Bible and do a study on them. Find out how they were used during Biblical times and why. You’ll be surprised how much insight this will give you.

Geographical/Area Studies. Knowing the ‘lay of the land” and its surrounding area helps us to better understand some of the things we read in God’s word so pick an area, a body of water, a mountain, etc and find out all you can about it.

Okay, now you’ve made the commitment to spend more time in God’s Word and in your Christian walk, but life seems to get in the way. You start each day with good intentions, but before you know it the day is over and you haven’t even opened your Bible, much less thought about your Christian walk. You fall into bed determined to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow is a repeat of the day before and before long several days have gone by. The only time you have touched your Bible is when you picked it up to take to church with you. Discouragement begins to set in and your commitment seems like an impossible task. What is a person to do? Ladies, we cannot give up, we must persevere! Giving up is what Satan wants us to do. We must beat him at his own game and come up with ways to get our “spiritual food” on a daily basis.

Here again I have some ideas....

Since most of us spend a large amount of time in our automobiles, get your hands on some CD’s or thumb drives of sermons, lessons or the Bible and listen to them while you travel.

If you are fortunate enough not to have to spend a lot of time traveling you can apply the above concept to your activities at home, instead of having the TV on put in one of these CD's or thumb drives. You’ll be surprised how much more quickly housework or for that matter any task goes when you have a song in your heart or are listening to a meaningful sermon or lesson.

How about all the time you spend waiting in doctor’s offices or at children’s activities, take advantage of this “down time” to give yourself some “spiritual food” by reading your Bible, an inspirational book or magazine.

For those that exercise on a regular basis listen to some spiritual encouragement as you exercise. You will not only be giving your body a workout, but you will also be feeding your soul as well.

Hebrew 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Not only will we be encouraged from worshiping and studying with others, but we will also be with others who are trying to “persevere in the Lord.” There is strength in numbers!

I don’t know about your house, but at my house the bathrooms are great places to have reading material. This would be a good place for those Bibles, inspirational books and magazines we talked about earlier.

Speaking of the bathroom, what about the bath or shower? This is a really good place for praying sessions and/or times of just singing unto the Lord while we are cleaning our bodies.

I would be remiss if I did not include here something about our desire to find time for our ‘spiritual food.’ Half the battle is “wanting” to find a way to spend time learning of God. If we do not have the desire to know God it does not matter how many ideas are presented to us. Everything takes effort, even knowing God. The old adage “where there is a will, there is a way” certainly applies here. Ladies, we must “seize the moment” when it comes to getting our “spiritual food.” We must put some thought into it and if necessary, get creative. We must not let Satan rob us of the opportunity to feed our soul spiritually and to learn of God.

Just as those who work outside the home have to get up and go to work in order to earn a paycheck, and just as we have to continually work in our homes in order to maintain some sort of order, and just as we have to make our husbands a priority in order to have good marriages, we have to spend time in God’s word in order to learn of Him and reap His blessings.

When we put ‘nothing’ out that’s exactly what we get in return. Zero efforts equals zero results, and in the case of studying God’s word zero results can lead to eternal consequences.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Widow of Zarephath: Introduction

I wrote this Bible study way back in 2004, I hope you will enjoy it and that it is beneficial to you in your spiritual walk.

(art work and design by Jeni Moore of Jeni's Designs. Didn't she do a great job!)

The Widow of Zarephath, Facing Trials and Tribulations

I Kings 17: 8 -24; Luke 4: 25-26

By Patsy Norwood    © 2004 - 2016  All Rights Reserved!

In order to set the stage for this study we need to gather some background information.  It’s been an ‘on again – off again’ relationship that the children of Israel, through their own choice, have had with God since Moses brought them out of Egypt.  They turned away from God on more than one occasion only to be led back to Him through godly leaders.  

Our study takes place under the reign of King Ahab.  King Ahab was a very wicked king who had no compassion for the people he ruled over.  As a result of King Ahab’s wickedness God sent a famine on the land.  Being a widow at this time in history was difficult enough but when you add in the consequences of a famine the situation worsens.  Such was the case when we first meet The Widow of Zarephath.

In this post we've set the stage and gathered some background information. It makes understanding the lesson so much easier when you know what was going in the world at the time.  In our next entry we'll move forward into lesson 1.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Having a Bible Reading and Studying Schedule

There are so many methods, studies and ways to study God's Word that it can sometimes be difficult to stick with one method long enough to get the benefit from it.

To combat this problem, I developed a weekly schedule and thought you might get some inspiration from seeing what I do.  

Here's what my weekly Bible Study schedule currently looks like ...

Monday:  I just started a new year long Bible study called "In the Shadows, A Digging Deep Bible Study of Types & Shadows by Cindy Colley.  You can find it here.  It's free!  (I know this lady and she is sound in her Bible teaching.)

Tuesday:  I work on the same study, "In the Shadows."

Wednesday:  I'm currently 'doodling' my way through the book of John, so I work on this study on Wednesdays.

Thursday:  I continue 'doodling' my way through the book of John.

Friday:  I do Bible Marking of specific topics in my Bible on this day.   These are great for finding out what God's Word says on specific topics.  You can find several Bible marking studies here.  (I know this lady too and she is sound in her Bible teaching.)

Saturday:  I work on the Sunday School lesson I will teach to 10-12 year olds on Sunday morning.

Of course all of this is subject to change, while I find a schedule helpful it is not written in stone and sometimes I do something completely different.

Early mornings work best for me to do my Bible studying.  It is about the only time of my day when the house and/or phone is quiet.  It really doesn't matter what time of day one studies their Bible though, the important thing is to try to spend time in God's Word as often as possible.  You will be greatly blessed by what you learn.

I hope this is helpful.  Do you have a tip for reading and studying God's Word?