Holidays (Other), New Year's

Sanctification > Resolutions: 6 Ways God Could Sanctify You in the New Year

Originally published January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

There’s just something about the beginning of a new year that brings with it a yen for getting a fresh start. We think back over the past year, evaluate what we’ve spent our time and efforts on – or what we should have spent our time and efforts on – and, invariably, there’s a desire to make this year better.

Lots of people make lots of resolutions on January 1: to lose weight, to stop smoking, to exercise more. And by mid-February, some 80% of those people will have failed and given up on their resolutions.¹ Why? Partly because (statistically speaking) most of those people are lost and the flesh is exceedingly hard to tame by sheer “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” willpower. Even Holy Spirit-indwelt Believers can testify to the pull of the flesh.

Should we, as Christians make New Year’s resolutions? Is it OK to set a goal to get a certain area of our lives under better control? Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, is it possible there’s a bigger picture we need to take a look at?

Should we, as Christians make New Year’s resolutions? Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, is it possible there’s a bigger picture we need to take a look at?

The Christian life is not one of putting out fires via resolutions. We don’t tackle one problem, get it under control and then move on to each of the other five problems that popped up while we were working on the first one. It’s more like fire prevention. We get up every day and hose down the house and yard by resting in Christ, communing with Him through prayer and the Word, and seeking to obey Him throughout the day. Sanctification is not mainly reactive, it’s proactive. And it doesn’t come by our own outward effort and striving, but by Christ growing us, changing our hearts, and enabling us to obey Him from the inside out.

Sanctification is not mainly reactive, it’s proactive.

And guess what? Along the way as Christ is conforming you to His image, you’re going to fail. You’re going to give in to temptation, and you’re going to sin against your Master. But here’s what biblical sanctification offers you that New Year’s resolutions cruelly withhold:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

You don’t just get a fresh start once a year. You get a fresh start every time you confess your sin, repent, and receive Christ’s cleansing and forgiveness. You get the mercy of Christ, the grace of God, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to move forward in submission to God’s Word. You get the steadfast, never ceasing love of the Father who is out for your good rather than the unfeeling “do more, try harder, be better” taskmaster of New Year’s resolutions.

So, bearing all that in mind, how might God be trying to grow you in Christlikeness this year? What are some ways you can get up each day and proactively rest in, and obey Christ? Let’s prayerfully consider the following aspects of our walk and ask God to sanctify us and help us submit our will to His as we follow Him in this new year.

Growing in the Word

1. Daily personal Bible study. Do you set aside daily time for the personal study of God’s Word? Have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? Have you considered, maybe just for this year, putting away all of the Bible study books and materials authored by others and using only the Bible during the next 365 days of your personal study time? Evaluate your daily time in God’s Word. Here are some resources you might find helpful:

📖 Bible Study Resources (how to study the Bible)
📖 Bible Studies
📖 Bible Reading Plans for the New Year- 2023
📖 You’re Not as Dumb as You Think You Are: Five Reasons to Put Down that Devotional and Pick Up the Actual Bible

2. Scripture memorization. This is something God has gotten a hold of me about recently. It’s important to store up God’s Word in our hearts as a weapon against temptation, for comfort, for prayer, and to encourage others. Try starting with verses you’re already somewhat familiar with. Many find it easier to memorize Scripture in song form, or by typing it out. If your pastor is preaching through a certain book, memorize a verse or passage out of each chapter as he comes to it. I’ve found it helpful to recite my verses in my head in bed at night. It helps me fall asleep faster, and there’s actually research that shows retention is improved if you study right before bed.

🧠 Scripture Memory with Susan Heck at A Word Fitly Spoken

Growth In Prayer

3. Daily prayer time. Of course we should be talking to the Lord throughout the day as we go about the routine of life and work, but that’s not a substitute for having a daily block of time set aside for focusing all of our attention on communicating with God. Jesus set this example for us, and we should follow it. Do you have a daily time of prayer? Do you know how to pray in a way that’s pleasing to God and helps you grow in Christ?

🙏 Prayer
🙏 After this Manner Therefore Pray
🙏 Basic Training: 8 Things You Need to Know about Prayer
🙏 Sweet Hour of Prayer (Bible study on prayer)

Growth in the Body of Christ

4. If you don’t have a church, find one. Physically gathering with the Body of Christ for worship, teaching, fellowship, prayer, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, giving, serving – and so much more – is not optional. It’s vital to your growth in Christ.

 Basic Training: 7 Reasons Church is Not Optional and Non-Negotiable for Christians
 Six Ways Not to Forsake the Assembly
 Searching for a new church?

5. Faithful church attendance. At a minimum, Christians should be at Sunday morning worship and Sunday School/Bible study class/small group every week unless Providentially hindered (circumstances beyond your control: illness, emergency, the rare out of town trip, occasionally having to work). That’s not legalism, that’s loving the Bride of Christ and having your priorities in line with Scripture. Contrary to popular metrics, habitually missing Sunday worship twice or more a month (when you could be there if you made it a priority) is not faithful attendance. If you’re lackadaisical in church attendance, examine your heart. What’s going on in your spiritual life that’s keeping you from wanting to gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ? (And if it’s a problem with the church itself, see #4.)

6. Don’t just “go to church,” invest yourself in it. Are you serving your church in some capacity? Do you regularly and fervently pray for your church, your fellow church members, and your pastors, elders, and teachers? Have you poured yourself into personal relationships with others at church for fellowship, care, and discipling? Do you regularly, sacrificially, and joyfully give offerings? Are you sharing the gospel with the lost? As with anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. God loves you and wants you to invest yourself in His Bride for His glory and for your joy.

⛪ The Servanthood Survey
⛪ Let Me Count the Ways: 75 Ways Women Can Biblically Minister to Others
⛪ Servanthood
⛪ Top 10 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor
⛪ To Tithe or Not to Tithe…
⛪ Evangelism
⛪ 10 Fun, Practically Effortless, and Free Ways to Do Missions and Evangelism

How might God want to conform you more to the image of Christ this year? Could it be in one of these areas? Maybe another area? New Year’s resolutions are often about how you want to shape your life. Sanctification is about how God wants to shape your life. Not just for the new year, but for eternity.

New Year’s resolutions are often about how you want to shape your life. Sanctification is about how God wants to shape your life. Not just for the new year, but for eternity.


¹Luciani, Joseph. “Why 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail.” U.S. News & World Report. December 29, 2015. Web. December 29, 2017.
Bible Study

Bible Reading Plans for the New Year- 2023

Happy New Year! Do you make resolutions or set goals you’d like to accomplish during the new year? A lot of people resolve to read the Bible more often or read it through in a year. If that’s you but you’re not quite sure where to start, here are some awesome and unique reading plans that can help. (Click titles for links to each plan.)

(Please note- I do not necessarily endorse all of the content of the websites linked below. These links are provided for Bible reading plans only. I do not endorse anything at any of these sites which conflicts with the theology outlined at my “Statement of Faith” and “Welcome” tabs at the top of this page. Should you choose to explore these sites beyond the linked Bible reading plans, please do so discerningly and reject anything that conflicts with Scripture.)

1. The Chronological Plan

I cannot recommend this plan strongly enough. You’ll read through the entire Bible in a year, following the events as they happened chronologically. I have been through this plan several times (I even took my ladies’ Sunday school class through it in 2014). It is wonderful for helping you see the big picture of the Bible as well as how all the little pieces of the biblical puzzle fit together.

2. 5 Day Bible Narratives Reading Plan and Family Devotional

You can use this year long, 5 days a week plan individually or with the whole family. It “focuses only on the narratives [stories] of Scripture, along with all of the psalms and proverbs,” and includes a 52 week catechism, a weekly hymn, and a study guide for each day’s reading. You can access the plan online, in CSV format, in Google Calendar, and via daily email notifications.

3. The M’Cheyne Plan

How about reading through the Bible in a year with your spouse or family (you could also do this one individually)? With the M’Cheyne plan you’ll read through the Old Testament once, the New Testament and Psalms, twice. Each day, you’ll read an OT chapter and a NT chapter as a family and another OT chapter and NT chapter on your own (“in secret”). Free Daily Bible study offers suggestions for making this a two or three year plan if one year seems too daunting.

4. The ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year with four daily readings from Psalms / wisdom literature, Pentateuch / OT History, Chronicles / prophets, and the gospels / epistles. The plan is laid out on four printable bookmarks so you can keep your place as you read.

5. The 21-Day Challenge

New to daily Bible reading and don’t want to bite off more than you can chew? Try Back to the Bible’s 21-Day Challenge. Each day, you’ll read one chapter in the book of John, and in three weeks, you’ll be finished. It’s a great way to get your feet wet.

6. Tear Up Your Bible 2023

This 355 day, 15 minutes per day plan begins “the Old Testament with a summary, alternates between the Old and New Testaments, and takes you through the entire New Testament in the first 70 days. It takes you through the New Testament twice in two different orders.” The plan is free, but does require you to sign up with your name, address, and email.

7. The 90 Day Challenge

Another great one for those who struggle with long term commitment. “The 90-day Bible reading plan integrates readings from Genesis, the foundational book of the Old Testament, with the three [synoptic] Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. On one side you’ll see God’s creative work and earliest interactions with His people; on the other, you’ll get to know Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us, fulfilling the promises made even in Genesis.”

8. Every Word in the Bible

Take time to slowly savor God’s word with this relaxed pace plan. Readings alternate between the Old and New Testament to keep you from getting bogged down in some of the more difficult sections. You’ll read through the whole Bible, one to two chapters per day, in three years.

9. 71 Days in Isaiah

“Carefully work your way through Isaiah in 71 days to experience the full impact of the prophet’s words.” Set up a free account to keep track of your progress.

10. John MacArthur’s Bible Reading Plan

If you like lots of flexibility and designing your own plan, this one’s for you. It’s really more of a guideline of how much of the Bible to consume and how to break it down. You handle the specifics. “Read through the Old Testament straight through at least once a year. About three chapters a day should get you there…When it comes to the New Testament…Read one book at a time repetitiously for a month or more.” Also includes Dr. MacArthur’s brief instructions on how to study the Bible.

11. The Five Day Bible Reading Program

“This special Bible reading system allows you to read the entire Bible (or just the New Testament) in one year while only reading five times a week. Five readings a week gives room to catch up or take a day off to focus on other Bible reading or spiritual disciplines, and makes daily Bible reading practical and do-able…The Old Testament readings [except Job] are placed as chronologically as possible.”

12. Daily Gospel Bible Reading Plan

“This plan focuses on the record of the life of Christ. You’ll read through all four gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John] in 45 days.” Set up a free account to keep track of your progress.

13. Navigators’ Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan

This one year plan takes you through the whole Bible with two readings per day. Begin at any point during the year with 25 reading days per month. “The first reading alternates between Old and New Testament books with the Gospels spread throughout the year. The second reading takes you through a chapter of the wisdom literature and Isaiah.” You can also alter this plan to a two year plan by using the first reading the first year, and the second reading the second year.

14. Chronologically Thematic Whole Bible Plan

The idea of this plan is to show you how the New Testament fulfills the Old. “Starting at Genesis 1, this plan moves chronologically through the Bible, but when a weighty person, place or theme is mentioned, other parts of Scripture are read alongside to go more in depth with the person, place or theme. Thus there are both Old Testament and New Testament passages all year, but they relate to each other thematically.” Unique to this plan are special readings for certain holidays, such as Easter, Christmas, Advent, and more. This is a six day per week plan if you wish to finish in a year, but it is undated, so you can set your own pace. Readings take approximately 30 minutes each.

15. The “How to Eat Your Bible” Plan

My friend, Pastor Nate Pickowicz’s latest book, How to Eat Your Bible, is a gem in the Bible study genre. This brief book is packed with great instruction on how to approach studying your Bible, and culminates with Nate’s seven year Bible reading plan, which you can customize.

16. Daily Wisdom Bible Reading Plan

“Find wisdom each day as you read straight through the Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon in 60 days.” Set up a free account to keep track of your progress.

17. 4-Month Layered Bible Reading Plan

Can’t wait a whole year to get from Genesis to Revelation? Would four months work better for you? In this fast-track plan you’ll do three readings each day: one from Old Testament history, one from Old Testament poetry / prophets, and another from the New Testament. Each reading takes about 15-20 minutes.

18. 31 Days to Know God’s Plan for Us

Though it’s billed as a plan for new Christians (and it’s certainly an excellent plan for that), this would also be a wonderful plan to work through to help you present the gospel to others, or to suggest to a lost friend who’s open to learning the gospel. Day 1 starts with the Fall of Man. Then you’ll work your way through OT passages demonstrating our inability to keep the law, followed by NT passages from the gospels and epistles detailing what Christ did for us and how that applies to us for salvation and eternity.

19. The 6 Month Challenge

“Over six months, this plan takes you through the New Testament from Acts to Revelation. This plan also integrates the worship and wisdom of Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes on a daily basis, for a balanced diet of instruction and intimate time with God.”

20. Bible Reading Plan Generator

This handy dandy little algorithm allows you to design your own Bible reading plan. You choose the start date, the length of the plan, your language, your favorite format, which books of the Bible you want to read, which days of the week you want to read, and several other options, and the Bible Reading Plan Generator creates a custom designed plan just for you.


Bible Reading Plans for Children

(Need recommendations for children’s Bibles? Click here.)

Depending on the age and maturity of your child (especially teens), I would certainly recommend any of the plans above or in the “Collections” section below. Perhaps you would want to start off with one of the shorter plans or one of the plans designed for new Believers or those who are new to reading the Bible. That being said, here are a few plans that are billed as being designed specifically for children:

Through the Bible in 20 Days– “…intended to be a child’s first exposure to regular Bible reading…geared toward ages 8 to 10. It includes twenty days of reading to be spread over one month, with five readings done per week.”

Through the Bible in 60 Days– “…designed to be a child’s second exposure to regular Bible reading,” this plan builds on the 20 day plan (above). “…geared toward ages 11 to 13. It includes sixty days of reading. This could be spread over three months, with five readings done per week.”

100 Day Summer Reading Plan– Though dated for the summer of 2021, this plan could be used at any time of the year. It breaks down the main plot points of Scripture into seven sections in case your child needs a break between sections. More info. here. (Please note I have not vetted, and thus, am not recommending anything on this page except the reading plan. Zondervan’s theology has been sketchy at times.)

Children’s & Teens’ Bible Reading Plans– Dozens of plans of varying lengths that will take your child through various books of the Bible, Bible overviews, topics, etc. Several of the plans have a few reading comprehension style questions for your child to answer at the end of each day’s reading. I was not able to vet all of these due to the sheer number of plans, but the several I checked appeared to be doctrinally sound. There are also helpful hints for encouraging your child to habitually study the Word. Carefully vet any of the additional or supplementary resources recommended before using them. I am recommending the reading plans only.

Be sure to thoroughly vet (for sound doctrine) any plan or website before assigning it to your child.


Collections of Reading Plans

Need more suggestions? Check out these collections of Bible reading plans:

  • Ligonier– A wide variety of plans, most available in PDFs.
  • ReadingPlan– There are literally hundreds of plans to choose from (there was no way I could vet even a fraction of them, so be very discerning) in this great little app. Download the one you like (Settings>>Reading Plan>>View Available Plans), set your start date, link up your favorite online Bible, and start reading. You can even sync and share your progress and set a daily reminder for reading.
  • ESV Bible– Here, you’ll find several good, “no strings attached” plans available in PDF format for easy printing. But if you sign up for a free ESV/Crossway account, you’ll have access to more than twenty great reading plans, many of them only 5-7 days in length. You’ll be able to read the day’s text, take notes, and track your progress, all online.
  • Bible Study Tools– Some awesome “start any day you like” plans, ranging in length from ninety days to two years.
  • Bible Gateway– Several great plans, especially if your church uses the Revised Common Lectionary or the Book of Common Prayer and you want to follow along at home. Log in each day and the selected text is displayed on your screen, or subscribe to your plan via e-mail. (Note: I would not recommend the Daily Audio Bible plan. It uses several different “translations,” which is an interesting idea, but while some are accurate, reliable translations (ESV, HCSB), others are faulty paraphrases (The Message, The Voice). However, many translations on Bible Gateway have an audio option, so pick another plan with a good translation and listen away!)
  • Into Thy Word– A number of diverse plans, including one in large print, from 31 days to one year in length. Available in PDF or Microsoft Word formats.
  • Heartlight– Five different one year plans that will take you through all or parts of the Bible. Daily passages are linked so you can read online, but translations are limited, so you might want to use the printable PDF guides with your own Bible.
  • Blue Letter Bible– Several one and two year plans that cover the whole Bible. Available in PDF format.
  • Bible Plan– Yearly and monthly plans, one chapter per day plans, and a few miscellaneous plans. Sign up for daily reminders for your plan via e-mail. These plans are available in many different languages.

Not Recommended:

While there are untold numbers of wonderful Bible reading plans out there, unfortunately, there are some I would not recommend due to their affiliation with certain unbiblical ministries or teachers. It’s certainly not unbiblical to use a mere Bible reading schedule (Day 1: read this passage, Day 2: read that passage, etc.) no matter where it comes from, but plans from the ministries below also have accompanying teaching or commentary that conflicts with Scripture:

Tara Leigh Cobble, The Bible Recap, & D-Group

The Bible Project


Additional Resources

The Mailbag: Which Bible Do You Recommend?

My Favorite Bible & Study Apps

The Mailbag: I love the Bible, but I have to force myself to read it

Nine Helps for Starting and Sticking to Daily Bible Study

10 Simple Steps to Plain Vanilla Bible Study

Rightly Dividing: 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Effective Bible Study

Bible Book Backgrounds: Why You Need Them and Where to Find Them

The Mailbag: As a newly doctrinally sound Christian, should I stop journaling? (Taking notes on the text of Scripture.)


Which plan looks most interesting to you?
Have a plan you love that isn’t listed? Please share!

Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 7- Wrap Up

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wrap Up

Questions to Consider

1. Was there anything new God taught you in this study that particularly impacted you? What was it, and why was it so significant?

2. How is your walk with the Lord different after this study than it was before?

3. What did you learn from this study about the nature and character of God?

4. What did this study teach you about the structure and order of the church? About the orderliness of God?

5. What did this study teach you about your role, function, and responsibilities as a church member?

6. Have there been any passages or concepts in this study that God used to convict you of disobedience and lead you to repentance? How will you walk differently in this area from now on?

7. Describe one specific, practical way you will apply to your life something you learned in this study.


Homework

Spend some time in prayer this week asking God to show you how to put into practice one thing you learned from this study.

Recite all of your memory verses from this study. Which one is most meaningful to you right now?

Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 6

Be sure to come back Wednesday, November 2,
for our wrap up lesson!

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Read Titus 3

Questions to Consider

1. Review your notes from last week’s lesson. How does that passage carry over to, impact, and set the tone and context for this week’s passage?

2. If we broadly characterize the lists of personal requirements in chapters 1&2 as character and behavior of Christians inside the gathering of the church, how would you broadly characterize the list of instructions in verses 1-2, 8b, 14? Do these instructions tend more toward character or external behavior? How does this compare with the requirements in chapters 1&2?

Let’s examine each of the instructions for church members in 1-2, 8b, 14:

Be submissive to rulers and authorities: Examine the cross-references for this phrase. What does this generally mean for law-abiding citizens today? Are there times when we shouldn’t obey our rulers and authorities?

Be obedient: Describe a Christian who walks in obedience in her daily life. To what and whom is she obedient? Is she subservient? Oppressed? How does her obedience look like Jesus’ example of obedience in the gospels?

Be ready for every good work: Notice this phrase doesn’t just say to do good works, but to be ready for every good work. What does it mean to “be ready” for every good work? How does being ready – being prepared, organized, planning ahead, etc. – help us get more good works done, and done well? How does this concept of being ready line up with the theme of “setting things in order” in the book of Titus?

Speak evil of no one: Wait a minute, didn’t Paul just say (1:12-13) it’s true that Cretans are “liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” and that they should be rebuked sharply? Isn’t that “speaking evil” of them? Why not? What does it mean to speak evil of someone? How is that different from speaking hard truths about someone or something when the situation requires it? Some professing Christians would say that warning against false teachers is “speaking evil” of them. Is this true? Why not?

Avoid quarreling: Give some examples of what this might mean in your own life. What does it not mean? (For example, does it mean not to contend for the faith? Never to oppose or correct anyone?)

Be gentle: What does it mean to be gentle as a Christian? Do Scripture’s various admonitions and descriptions of gentleness mean there is never a time to be assertive, even harsh, or is it more of a general descriptor? Consider again Paul’s instruction in 1:13 to “rebuke them sharply,” and these Scriptures.

Show perfect courtesy toward all people: Apply the questions asked in the sections above (speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, and be gentle). Does showing perfect courtesy to everyone mean never to confront someone, stop someone from hurting others, etc., or is it just a general instruction not to be a rude person? Consider these passages.

Devote themselves to good works: Why do you think Paul mentions this twice (8b, 14)? What is the difference between being devoted to good works and being ready for every good work? How do the two go hand in hand? Some Christians can be a bit “triggered” by the phrase “good works,” afraid that any time they see or hear it, the writer or speaker is saying that we are saved by our own good works. Is that what Paul means by “devoting themselves to good works”? How do you know? (Hint: Look ahead to v. 5.) What is the difference between a person who thinks she can be saved by her own good works and a person doing good works out of love for Christ and obedience to Scripture because she’s already saved?

Help cases of urgent need: Think about socio-political culture of the first century. What sort of “cases of urgent need” might have presented themselves in the churches of Crete? How does your church family work together to “help cases of urgent need”?

Not be unfruitful: Examine the cross-references listed. What does an unfruitful church or individual Christian look like? Why does Paul admonish against unfruitfulness? How can the church and individual Christians be fruitful instead?

3. Examine verses 3-7. How do verses 3-7 answer the question of why Paul wants Titus to “remind them to be…” in verses 1-2? (Hint: What’s another word you could substitute for “For” at the beginning of 3?) How does this “why” apply to your life and behavior today?

How does verse 3 describe lost people? How does each descriptor in verse 3 describe you prior to salvation? Why is it good, from time to time, to remember how we lived and what we were like before we got saved?

Verses 3-7 explain how salvation happens. Work carefully through these verses and explain each step of the process in your own words.

Imagine you had a friend who believed in works righteousness – the idea that we can earn our salvation by our good works alone or by Jesus plus good works. Using verses 3-7, how would you explain salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone to her?

4. Examine verses 8-11. List and explain the reason for each specific instruction God gives Titus in these verses.

Notice God’s instruction to Titus (and all pastors) to insist (8) on these things in 1-7. Describe what it would mean for a pastor to insist on “these things” in verses 1-2, verse 3, and verses 4-7. (It might help to look at 8 in a few different translations.) How does this fit with the perspective many hold today that pastors should be “nuanced” and “winsome” when addressing these things?

Summarize God’s desire for the church in these verses:

  • 8- God wants the church to focus its efforts and attention on what? Why?
  • 9- God does not want the church to focus its efforts and attention on what? Why?
  • 10-11- What are Titus / pastors to do if someone in the church starts stirring up dissension by getting those two things (8-9) backwards? Why?

5. Sometimes we can accidentally slip into thinking of people like Paul and Titus as characters in a story. How can passages like verses 12-15 serve as an endearing reminder that they were real people with real Christian friends living real day to day lives just like you and me? Has it ever occurred to you that, even though you can’t see them, Paul and Titus are – right this very minute – your brothers in Christ, and you are their sister in Christ, just as much as the brothers and sisters in Christ you see every week at church? What are your thoughts about that?


Homework

Verse 1 says: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities”. Christians submitting to the authority in our lives is a major theme of the New Testament. Do a study of this theme. Type into your concordance words like “submit,” (often, if you’ll type in, for example, “submi,” your concordance will give you all forms of the word: submitting, submission, submits, etc.) “obey,” “authority,” etc., and examine the verses that pop up. Why, in general, does God want Christians to submit to authority? Are there times when we should not submit to particular authorities? How do Scripture and godly wisdom play into this? Who are the authorities in our lives that God wants us to submit to, and why? How does submitting to authority grow us, sanctify us, and make us more like Christ? What does our submission to authority teach a watching world about submitting to God?


Suggested Memory Verse

Holidays (Other), Reformation Day

A RefHERmation Day Study

Originally published October 31, 2018

Reformation Day is Monday, October 31.

This article is excerpted from my Bible study
Imperishable Beauty: A Study of Biblical Womanhood.

What better way to celebrate Reformation Day and biblical womanhood than to combine the two? Today, we’re going to take a look at some women in Reformation history and in biblical history who exemplified biblical womanhood by influencing others toward godliness.

Choose any of the women below and read their stories (click on their names). Then consider the following questions:

1. In what ways did this woman exemplify biblical womanhood in her culture, context, circumstances, family situation, or church?

2. Which godly character traits or Fruit of the Spirit were especially obvious in her life, words, and actions?

3. Which Scripture passages come to mind as you read this woman’s story? In what ways did she live these Scriptures out (or fail to live them out)?

4. Are there any instances of sin in this woman’s story? If so, how can you learn from what she did wrong and avoid this sin in your own life?

5. How does this woman set a godly example that you can apply to your own life?

6. In what ways did this woman point someone to Jesus, serve the Kingdom, or help God’s people?

Women of the Bible

Esther

Ruth

Abigail

Deborah and Jael

Miriam

Mary

Priscilla

Lydia

Dorcas

Women of the Reformation

Catherine d’Bourbon

Jeanne D’Albret

Marguerite de Navarre

Katharina Schutz Zell

Anna Adlischweiler

Anna Reinhard

Katharina von Bora Luther