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

Michelle Nezat

More Than a Song is a weekly podcast dedicated to helping you discover the truth of Scripture hidden in today's popular Christian music. Each episode teaches 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.

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#440: "How Far" by Tasha Layton
Yesterday
#440: "How Far" by Tasha Layton
It's a valid question -- the question Tasha Layton raises in her song "How Far." Is there something we can do, somewhere we can go, that can outrun God's love for us? Her answer? "However far away I am from home, that's how far Your love will go." God's grace pursuing us is consistent with the entire story of Scripture. The reason we can sing along with this is that God has revealed this about Himself over and over again. 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 The grand story of Scripture, also known as the metanarrativeProclaim Truth Women's Conference - October 20-22, 2022, Fort Worth, TX - Grab Your Ticket HereGod's judgment and His grace that is never too far behind   How far is God willing to go? Until He gives His only Son to die a brutal death and rise again the third day that anyone who believes in Him might have eternal life.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comThe story behind the song" How Far" by Tasha Layton - NewReleaseToday.com ArticleWhat is a metanarrative? - GotQuestions.org Article Weekly Challenge Even if you haven't read the whole of Scripture for yourself yet, take some time to meditate on what you do know of God's judgment and His grace that is never far behind. If you haven't surrendered to His love and God's call to repentance, don't wait. If you aren't currently studying in a specific place in Scripture, I encourage you to read an account of Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension in one of
#440: "How Far" by Tasha Layton
Yesterday
#440: "How Far" by Tasha Layton
It's a valid question -- the question Tasha Layton raises in her song "How Far." Is there something we can do, somewhere we can go, that can outrun God's love for us? Her answer? "However far away I am from home, that's how far Your love will go." God's grace pursuing us is consistent with the entire story of Scripture. The reason we can sing along with this is that God has revealed this about Himself over and over again. 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 The grand story of Scripture, also known as the metanarrativeProclaim Truth Women's Conference - October 20-22, 2022, Fort Worth, TX - Grab Your Ticket HereGod's judgment and His grace that is never too far behind   How far is God willing to go? Until He gives His only Son to die a brutal death and rise again the third day that anyone who believes in Him might have eternal life.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comThe story behind the song" How Far" by Tasha Layton - NewReleaseToday.com ArticleWhat is a metanarrative? - GotQuestions.org Article Weekly Challenge Even if you haven't read the whole of Scripture for yourself yet, take some time to meditate on what you do know of God's judgment and His grace that is never far behind. If you haven't surrendered to His love and God's call to repentance, don't wait. If you aren't currently studying in a specific place in Scripture, I encourage you to read an account of Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension in one of
#439: "Always" by Chris Tomlin
Sep 26 2022
#439: "Always" by Chris Tomlin
What in your life do you take for granted? I have a reliable car, so I pretty much take for granted that it will start when I need it to. If nothing else, you probably expected that chair you just sat in to hold you up. What about God? This week we’ll use Chris Tomlin’s song ”Always” to meditate on an importan attribute of God we may not think about very much. Follow along as I explore God’s eternal nature 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 theme in ScriptureDefine words Meditate on God Exploring the idea that God is eternalExploring truths or ideas about God repeated throughout Scripture that provides the foundation for our beliefs (theology & doctrine)Utilizing a trusted outside source like Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology - Amazon Paid LinkScriptures that reflect God’s eternality - Psalm 90:2, Job 26:26Recognizing the clearer we see our Creator, the clearer we can see ourselvesWestminster Catechism’s answer to the question ”What is God?”Defining infinite, eternal, and unchangeableDiscovering God’s eternality impacts every aspect of Who He isThe eternality of God’s Word - Isaiah 40:6-8, 1 Peter 1: 22-24How God and His Word are one and the same - John 1:1-2Paul’s doxology in Romans 16:25-27 Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comStory behind the song ”Always” by Chris Tomlin - YouTube VideoWhat Does it Mean That God is Eternal? - GotQuestions.org ArticleThe Eternality and Aseity of God - The Gospel Coalition EssayThe Doctrine of God - Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Explore God’s attribute of being eternal and use our song to help you rehearse that idea all week. If you’re not sure where in Scripture to start you can head over to some of the areas we discussed today like Isaiah 40, 1 Peter 1, Psalm 90, or Psalm 102. As you’re reading, identify the characteristics of our eternal God you see there. You can also use some of the articles you will find in the show notes to inspire your study.
#438: "Getting Started" by Jeremy Camp
Sep 19 2022
#438: "Getting Started" by Jeremy Camp
When starting something new, I tend to have two responses. Either I give myself the grace to learn and grow, or I let my past failures dictate my future. I realize the latter is unhealthy. I'm just trying to keep it real. This week I used Jeremy Camp's song "Getting Started" to inspire me to explore the Apostle Paul's handling of the past. Join me as we explore Paul's unique perspective as we learn each day of our walk with Christ is like "getting started" all over again. 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 in contextRead out loudCompare and contrastMake a list How even Paul believes he hasn't "arrived" -- in fact, in many ways, he's just getting started - Philippians 3:10-14Progressive sanctificationRemembering we have an enemy on defense - "How To Enjoy Reading Your Bible" by Keith FerrinMy special offensive play to push overcome the strategy of the enemy to keep me from reading my BibleContrasting Paul's past with the goals he is reaching for - Phil 3:4-14Whether you are in the camp of feeling good about your past accomplishments or the camp of the broken-heartedJust because we are saved doesn't mean we are complete   Just because we are positionally sanctified, we are not yet complete. This entire letter to the Philippians is full of ways we are to conform and change to be more like Christ.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comThe story behind the song "Getting Started" by Jeremy Camp - NewReleaseToday.com Article"What is sanctification? What is the definition of Christian sanctification?" - GotQuestions.org Article"What is progressive sanctification?" - GotQuestions.org ArticleCSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible: 1500 Principles To Live By by Gene Getz - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Read Paul's letter to the Philippians. Combat a wandering mind by reading it aloud. Focus your study on the contrast between what was behind Paul and what he was reaching for. Make note of the progressive sanctification in your own faith journey. And don't forget, your citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Savior from there, so stand firm in the Lord.
#437: "Me On Your Mind" by Matthew West
Sep 12 2022
#437: "Me On Your Mind" by Matthew West
Sometimes Christians say things that are meant to be a comfort to others but aren't theologically sound. Shocking, I know. Some of my favorite videos to watch are when the guest has to guess if it's something that comes from the Bible or a quote. Today on the podcast, we prove the comforting ideas found in Matthew West's song "Me On Your Mind" come from Scripture. We'll study a wonderful prayer of Jesus to encourage us that He, indeed, had us on His mind. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditate on ScriptureRead in contextUse the subheadings to gain your bearingsFollow the cross-referencesSlow downLook up words in the dictionaryConsult an outside resource Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Amazon Paid LinkHow Jesus had us on His mind in his recorded prayer in John 17Backing up to John 13 and reading forward to get the full context of what was happeningContrasting two gardens in Scripture - "Two Gardens, Two Betrayals, Two Outcomes" by Dr. Jim and Janean ReishJesus' posture - John 17:1Exploring when Jesus' hour "had not yet come" compared to the hour that has come at the time of Christ's prayer John 2:4John 7:30John 8:20 "Glory" and "glorification" and what they meanEternal life through Christ - John 17:2-3Christ's role in bringing attention to God's character through His obedient lifeWhat it means that Christ "manifested" the name of God - John 17:6Highlighting themes of sanctification and unity in addition to glorificationA pattern we can follow from this prayer (see the Fire Bible Amazon Paid Link) Pray that they may know Jesus Christ and his Word intimately (John 17:2-3, 17, 19)Pray that God may protect them from the evil influences of the world, keep them from turning away from him and give them discernment to recognize and reject ungodly beliefs and false spiritual teaching (John 17:6, 11, 14-17)Pray that they may constantly possess the full joy of serving Christ (John 17:13)Pray that they may live by God's standards of purity and truth in thoughts, actions, and character (John 17:17)Pray that they may be unified in love and purpose, just as Jesus and his Father are (John 17:11, 21-22)Pray that they may lead others to Christ (John 17:21, 23)pray that their faith will endure so they will one day be with Christ in heaven (John 17:24)Pray that they may constantly experience God's love and presence (John 17:26)   Am I following Christ's pattern in my own life? Do I look at my obedience to God's ways as a way to magnify His character, or as something I'm supposed to do?   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com"Loved by the Father in the Son" - Ligonier.org DevotionalJohn 17 Commentary - Enduring Word Commentary"What is sanctification? What is the definition of Christian sanctification?" - GotQuestions.org ArticleESV Fire Bible - Amazon Paid Link"Two Gardens, Two Betrayals, Two Outcomes" - Dr. Jim and Janean Reish Article Weekly Challenge Read John 17 in context, then go back and study it line by line and word by word. Look up words
#436: "Time And Time Again" by Local Sound
Sep 5 2022
#436: "Time And Time Again" by Local Sound
The rule and reign of Christ will never end. Local Sound sings about this when they declare the faithfulness of our "King through all the ages" in their song "Time And Time Again." Explore Scripture with me this week as learn more about our King of the Ages. 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 in various translationsUse your imaginationExplore a themeRead in contextFollow cross-references My special Friday With Friends interview with Emily and Drew, members of Local Sound - A link to the audio or video version of the interviewReading various translations to see the name King of the Ages also translated as King Eternal - BibleHub.orgThe office of king in the Old Testament as a mediatorial officeGod's chosen people rejected God from being king over them - 1 Samuel 8:7God revealing his Kingdom plan for a coming king in the line of David that will last forever - 2 Samuel 7:16Visiting the throne room of heaven in Daniel 7:9-14Seeing Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promised King of the Ages in the line of David - Matthew 1:1The Abrahamic covenant where God promises Abraham land, descendants, and blessingThe Davidic covenant where promises a king in the line of David to secure the promises of land, descendants, and blessingReading every New Testament mention of the Son of David in context - BibleHub.orgJesus as Son of David according to the flesh, but declared Son of God by the Spirit - Romans 1:3-4Son of David as the Messiah - Matthew 22:41-46Son of David as a miracle worker - Matthew 12:22-23Son of David for all peoples - Matthew 15:21-28The authority of the Son of David - Matthew 9:27-29Following the cross-references inspired by Matthew 21:9 Zechariah 9:9Psalm 118:8-9Psalm 118:22-23 Matt 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17Acts 4:11-121 Peter 2:4 Psalm 118:26-27 Luke 1:78-79 More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comBehind the song "Time And Time Again" by Local Sound - Friday With Friends Interview"Jesus the King" - Sermon The Gospel CoalitionAbrahamic Covenant - GotQuestions.org ArticleDavidic Covenant - GotQuestions.org ArticleWhat does it mean that Jesus is the son of David? - GotQuestions.org Article Weekly Challenge Use this week's song to inspire you to reflect on our King of the Ages. Search for references to the "Son of David" in the New Testament and begin exploring each reference in context. Ask questions along the way. Meditate on what you learn about Jesus in each scene. Use the cross-references I explore in this episode to guide you as you pore over what the Bible has to say about
#435: "Plans" by Rend Collective
Aug 29 2022
#435: "Plans" by Rend Collective
When God created the universe, He did not wind it up like a watch and cast it aside until time ran out. Instead, God has been working and continues to work. God has plans. Rend Collective sings of God's continued participation in their song "Plans." We'll explore evidence of God's plans for some key people in history. Without God's plans for these critical people coming to pass, His eternal plans for us would never be fulfilled. Come! Let's explore God's plans 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: Share with a friendRead the text aloudRead for a set amount of timeRead and keep on readingRead with a pen/highlighter in handAsk questionsWrite in a journalMake a list How Rend Collective said this song reflects "the grey space between faith and fear" - CCM Magazine ArticleMy morning Bible routine with my daughter, who is homeschooling this year (I share all the BITEs we use and how we use them)Looking at the song through the lens of Scripture versus finding Scripture as inspired by the songConsidering the plans of God for: Zechariah and Elizabeth Mary and JosephJohn, the son of Zechariah and Elizabethand Jesus, the son of Mary How God's plans for Zechariah and Elizabeth took time to come to pass - Luke 1:11-17Pondering what it would be like for God's plans to include you raising the forerunner of ChristGod's plans for Mary - Luke 1:28-33Mary's interpretation of God's plans for her - Luke 1:46-55Considering how Mary will feel about God's plans when the reality sets in that they are both powerful and painful, hopeful and harrowingSeeing that people surrendered to God's plans for them do not live pain-free livesHow a consecrated journey is woven into eternity in ways that cannot be measured   Mary believes God's plans for her are GREAT, but how will she feel when Joseph doesn't believe her, or she is an unwed mother in a culture that stoned such women to death? You see, God's plans for Mary were both powerful and painful -- hopeful and harrowing.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com"How Did We Get the Bible's Book Order? And Can We Change It?" - Institute for Bible Reading ArticleImmerse: Messiah - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Ponder the plans of God in the area of Scripture you are currently exploring. Be brutally honest about the comforting nature of God's plans AND the unpleasant aspects of God's plans for us -- all while surrendering in trust to Him. If you aren't reading anywhere in particular at the moment, pick up Luke and read and keep on reading. Might you consider reading
#434: "Build A Boat" by Colton Dixon
Aug 22 2022
#434: "Build A Boat" by Colton Dixon
Stepping out into the unknown with God is made possible through His grace bestowed upon us, and the evidence of His faithfulness He gives us. "Build A Boat" by Colton Dixon sings about walking with God to do the impossible. This is reflected in the life of Noah -- a man of great faith whose life is worth exploring. Join me as we dig in and think deeply about the lessons we can learn from the life of Noah in the Old and New Testaments. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditate on ScriptureUse your imaginationShare with a friendConsult an outside resourceDefine wordsRead in contextRemember the people reflected in the Bible were real Interview with Colton Dixon about the story behind the song - Wally Show YouTube VideoWhere to read about Noah - Genesis 6-9; Hebrews 11The favor of the Lord allowing Noah to be described later as righteous, blameless in his generation, and a man who walked with GodThinking through the benefits of walking with someoneHow God thinks it's important that we walk with Him - Micah 6:8Reflecting the character of God the more we walk with HimNoah's role in saving his family - "One factor which possibly helped was that their father probably kept them busy for many years in building the ark and making preparations for the flood." - Henry Morris - The Genesis Record - Amazon Paid LinkHow the record shows Noah's actions over Noah's wordsRecognizing that Noah was not silent in his generation, but was a "herald of righteousness" - 2 Peter 2:5Colton Dixon's own words as it relates to the song and Scripture, "When God asks you to step out and do something big, He’s not trying to rob you of anything. He wants to give you something greater." - New Release Today ArticleSeeing Noah's faith celebrated in the New Testament - Hebrews 10:32-Hebrews 11:7"True Bible faith is confident obedience to God's Word in spite of circumstances and consequences." - Warren Wiersbe's Hebrews Commentary - Amazon Paid LinkGrowing in our faith by walking with the faithful -- both God and His faithful followers When walking with God, He never runs ahead, leaving me behind. Sometimes I like to run ahead of God. But then that ceases to be walking with Him. More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com"Does the Bible Teach That It Did Not Rain until the Genesis Flood?" - Article by Don Stewart on BlueLetterBible.orgKevin Davis talks to Colton Dixon about the meaning behind his hit song "Build a Boat" - New Release Today Article"9 Things You Should Know about the Story of Noah" - The Gospel Coalition Article"What does it mean to walk with God?" - GotQuestions.org ArticleThe Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings by Henry Morris - Amazon Paid LinkBe Confident (Hebrews): Live by Faith, Not by Sight (The BE Series Commentary) by Warren Wiersbe - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Dig deep into the account of Noah's life. Gain perspective by reading from Genesis chapter 1 through Noah's death in chapter 9. Take some time to consider what walking
#433: "Dive" by Steven Curtis Chapman
Aug 15 2022
#433: "Dive" by Steven Curtis Chapman
The best way to explore deeper water fast is to dive in. You would never dive in the shallows -- that's dangerous. There's no place to dive in the shallows. You can pretty much see everything from the surface. But God calls us to deeper waters as it relates to exploring His Word. This week I use Stephen Curtis Chapman's 90's hit "Dive" to inspire us to dive into the book of Hebrews. Are you ready to go deeper? Hebrews offers deep waters that lead to endless opportunities to explore many other areas of God's Word. 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 in contextRead and keep on readingConsult an overviewAsk questionsRemembering the people of the Bible were realCompare and contrastMake a listJournal your thoughts and/or share with a friend Partner podcast for this episode - Mixtape TheologyStephen Curtis Chapman's Scriptural inspiration from his liner notes Romans 11:33-36Ephesians 3:16-19 The area of Scripture I was first inspired to explore - Hebrews 5:11-14How Hebrews may raise more questions at first, especially if you are not deeply acquainted with the first five books of the BibleThe reminder that Hebrews was originally written to real people with real struggles, real questions, and real tendencies to turn from truth to their own waysThe accusation that the audience no longer tries to understand the deep truths of ScriptureComparing and contrasting Student/teacherInfant/matureLazy/diligent Foundational teachings - Hebrews 6:1-3Final encouragement and warnings - Hebrews 6:9-12 Remember that the audience this letter was originally written to was made up of real people with real struggles, questions, and real tendencies to turn from truth to their own ways. Just like us. More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comOverview of the book of Hebrews - BibleProject.com"How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon paid linkReformation Study Bible Introduction to 2 Corinthians - Amazon paid link Weekly Challenge Read the letter to the Hebrews. Read it over the course of a few days if you need to. Consult an overview of the book to understand the themes better. Focus your study on Hebrews 5:11-6:12, comparing and contrasting student and teacher, infant and mature, and lazy and diligent. Share your thoughts and questions with a friend or journal them. And be sure to hop over to Mixtape Theology to hear the partner episode to this week's installment.
#432: Why I've Never Done This Before
Jun 13 2022
#432: Why I've Never Done This Before
For the first time in over 430 weekly episodes of More Than a Song, I will be taking a brief break from the podcast. I'll be diving back in with fresh episodes on August 15th using 90's Christian throwback song "Dive" by Steven Curtis Chapman. (See what I did there?) I'll also be over at Mixtape Theology (a fellow New Release Today Podcast Network member) for a partner episode on that same day. In the meantime, subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media platforms (specifically Instagram @michellenezat), as my daughter Emily will be highlighting a weekly featured episode from the archives you may have missed. We will also be producing a series of reels on my Bible Interaction Tool Exercises (BITEs) -- the exercises I use to keep my time in God's Word varied and effective. This way, you can keep reading God's Word for yourself and catch up on forgotten or missed episodes from the archives. Why take a break? In the past, if I've needed to take some time off, I've always played Encore Episodes, so why the break? In a nutshell? Obedience and a big assignment. Listen to this episode to hear a brief description of both. Why have I never done this before? My shiny reasons? I'm dedicated to creating fresh content each week, and God keeps meeting me in it! My not-so-shiny reasons? Fear and pride. Listen to this episode to hear my full confession. (I'm not the only one who struggles with this, right?) Until next time, take time to meditate on God's Word and consider His ways. Resource Mentioned in This Episode I mentioned Compel Training - a Proverbs31 membership site for writers. I am a volunteer leader in their Podcasting Community Group and have learned SO much from this community. Check it out if you are a writer or speaker (or want to become one).
#431: "Everything And More" by Citizens
Jun 6 2022
#431: "Everything And More" by Citizens
I think it's an excellent problem to have. The problem that Zach Bolen, lead singer of Citizens, shared with me as the foundation for the song "Everything And More" by Citizens. The problem is that words don't seem to express our God accurately. Any descriptor we can come up with God is all that and more. Join me as we explore the Old Testament book of Job this week to see a group of friends giving their best effort to figure God out. Spoiler alert -- they fail. 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 in contextRead and keep on readingConsult an overviewFollow the cross-referenceLook up words in the dictionaryMake a list My special Friday With Friends interview with Zach Bolen, the lead singer of Citizens - A link to the audio or video version of the interviewReading the book of Job for yourselfThe two main resources I used for an overview of Job Reformation Study Bible - Amazon Paid LinkHow to Read the Bible Book by Book - Amazon Paid Link The literary classifications found in Job lawsuitlamentdisputation (debate) How the author of Job raises the question: "Where is wisdom found?"How God's answer to Job's questions is more of HimselfJob's profound suffering - Job 3:11-13, Job 6:2-3Job's friend's truthful but unhelpful response - Job 5:9-11Discovering a truth like we discovered last week -- God may have a purpose for your suffering -- and sometimes that is so hard to acceptJob's poetic discussion about how wisdom comes from God alone - Job 28Following the cross-references that lead to more verses about the wisdom of God Deuteronomy 4:5-6Psalm 111:10Proverbs 9:10 God's revelation of Himself to Job - Job 38-41Making a list of the characteristics of God's wisdom found in Romans 11:33   We want insight, do we not? Then we need to set our faces and our efforts toward gaining knowledge of the Holy One. And where is the best place for that? In His revealed Word.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comBehind the song "Everything And More" by Citizens - Friday With Friends InterviewCitizens Artist Profile - NewReleaseToday.comBible introductions and overview links "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon paid link Reformation Study Bible Introduction to 2 Corinthians - Amazon paid link Weekly Challenge Read the book of Job. I know it's a big ask, but I also know it's worth it. It flows together well, but it will benefit you to read or watch an overview of Job to learn how to read this book filled with poetry, prose, irony, and drama. Focus your attention on the question, "Where is wisdom found?" Follow the cross-references to gain insight from the whole of Scripture. Peek in at Paul's teaching at the end of Romans 11 in light of what you've studied.
#430: "Godsend" by Riley Clemmons
May 30 2022
#430: "Godsend" by Riley Clemmons
There are truths in Scripture that make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we don't think they make sense. Other times they bump up against a belief we hold that doesn't align with Scripture itself. Riley Clemmons' song "Godsend" sent me to 2 Corinthians, where Paul describes something that seems a little "thorny" on the surface. Join me on the journey this week as we allow Scripture to change how we think -- despite the discomfort. 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 in contextConsult an overviewUtilize an outside resourceFollow the cross-referenceLook up words in the dictionaryRead in a variety of translationsHistorical contextMeditate on Scripture The elements of our feature verse reflected in the lyrics - 2 Corinthians 12:7How God may send painful circumstances to protect usHow 2 Corinthians is tricky to readConsulting an overview The Bible Project Overview of 2 Corinthians - YouTube Video"How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon paid linkReformation Study Bible Introduction to 2 Corinthians - Amazon paid link What those in opposition to Paul value vs. what Paul valuesPaul's bold speech to the Corinthian believersPaul's argument against the "super-apostles"Considering what the Christian culture of our day values and celebrates and lining it up against ScriptureHow the thorn in Paul's flesh was a Godsend - 2 Corinthians 2:9How "we can't receive God's strength until we know our weakness. We can't receive the sufficiency of God's grace until we know our own insufficiency." - David Guzik, BlueLetterBible.org   As long as we are operating in our own sufficiency we don't truly believe God's grace is sufficient. Our self-exalting actions scream that we don't need God's grace.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comBehind the song "Godsend" by Riley Clemmons - Kevin Davis New Release Today ArticleOnline commentaries for 2 Corinthians 12 - BlueLetterBible.orgBible introductions and overview links The Bible Project Overview of 2 Corinthians - YouTube Video "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon paid linkReformation Study Bible Introduction to 2 Corinthians - Amazon paid link Weekly Challenge Read 2 Corinthians this week. Utilize the overview resources at your fingertips, both online and in your study Bible or books, to get an overall grasp of the themes to explore. Meditate on Scripture to unwind yourself from any misbelief shared by the Corinthian believers that charisma, power, and personal proficiency are better than weakness. Allow the uncomfortable places in this letter to transform the way you think. Get low in your insufficiency -- Christ's power is made perfect in our weakness, and His grace is sufficient for you.
#429: "Jireh" by Elevation Worship & Maverick City
May 23 2022
#429: "Jireh" by Elevation Worship & Maverick City
The names of God reveal aspects of His character. I identified two names of God to explore using this week's song "Jireh" by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music as inspiration. Come with me to Genesis to learn more about Yahweh Yireh and El Shaddai. 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 in contextRemembering the people described in the Bible were REALConsult a mapUse your imaginationSlow down My friend Vince Wright and his work at TheBereanTest.com - YouTube Interview on MichelleNezat TVThe Berean Test's review of "Jireh" - TheBereanTest.com Article"Jireh" in our song refers to Jehovah Jireh, the King James Version translation of the Hebrew name for God Yahweh Yireh, meaning "The Lord Will Provide""You are enough" in our song refers to the name for God El Shaddai, meaning All-Sufficient OneWhere God reveals His name El Shaddai - Genesis 17Considering the multiple cross-country moves Abram and his family madeHow Abram responded to God's "enoughness"How El Shaddai steps into our not-enoughness with His all-sufficiencyContinuing to read through Genesis 22 to the story of Abraham's near-sacrifice of IsaacGod's provision of a substitutionary sacrifice in Genesis 22 and again in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus   It's not letting God down we should be worried about. It's lifting ourselves up that gets us into trouble. Like Abram, I want to get LOW in light of God's all-sufficiency.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com"Live Beyond The Music" with Jasmine Patterson - NewReleaseToday.com Article"Can We Let God Down?" - Article by Barbara Lee Harper"Does God Have Emotions?" - GotQuestions.org Article"The Names of God: El Shaddai" - BlueLetterBible.org"What does it mean that God is Jehovah-Jireh?" - GotQuestions.org ArticleMap of Abram's Journey to the Promised Land - Headwaters Christian Resources Weekly Challenge Read Genesis 11-22. Remember, the people depicted on the pages of Scripture were REAL. Slow down and let your imagination help you picture the scene (and even some of the scenes that likely happened between the scenes God inspired to record). Meditate on the two names of God highlighted in our song -- El Shaddai (All-sufficient One) and Jehovah Jireh (the Lord Provides). Get low as you lift God up.
#428: “Still Rolling Stones” by Lauren Daigle
May 16 2022
#428: “Still Rolling Stones” by Lauren Daigle
What constitutes a miracle to you? How about raising a dead man to life? Of course! Did you know that miracle is available to us as well? That's what Lauren Daigle sings about in her song, "Still Rolling Stones." We learn straight from the words of Jesus in this episode. Explore a familiar story with me in John 11. In this week’s episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: RepetitionRead in a variety of translationsWrite in your Bible Reading the account of Christ's resurrection in all four gospelsChoosing the rolling stone incident in John 11 - John 11:39Why I use the English Standard Version to study - Bonus article by Wayne GrudemLetting things "rise to the surface" by reading repetitivelyDoing the work of interacting with God's Word to get resultsFocusing on what we DO understand before getting thrown off by what we don't understand in a textExploring some "so" and "so that"s in the text Lazarus' illness was for God's glory SO THAT the Son of God may be glorified - John 11:4Jesus loved the sisters and Lazarus, so he waited to go meet them in their grief - John 11:5Jesus was glad he wasn't there so that they would believe - John 11:14-15 Recognizing that we don't always know God's motive and big-picture plan (even though we often ascribe motive to Him anyway)Exploring exactly what Jesus wanted us to "believe" since he said it six of the nine times it was mentioned in this chapter - John 11:25-26Stepping out in faith to believe Jesus so that we too can be called from death to eternal lifeRecognizing that there were people who witnessed this miraculous event and still chose not to believe   It's REALLY, REALLY important to Jesus that you believe in Him. THAT is what leads to eternal life. He want to roll the stone away from your life.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - Essential WorshipThe Advantages of the English Standard Version (ESV) Translation - by Wayne Grudem (on the translation team of the ESV Bible) - online article Weekly Challenge Read John 11. Read John 11 several times and in several translations. Mark in your Bible, or print out a version you feel comfortable marking up and highlight the areas where the word "believe" is used. That is the theme I don't want you to miss. Explore the conjunction "so" and ponder the reason and explanation clauses surrounding it.
#427: "STAND" by Newsboys ft. TobyMac
May 9 2022
#427: "STAND" by Newsboys ft. TobyMac
Our convictions govern our behavior. You will need deep convictions to stand for your faith in the culture today. This is just what Newsboys sings about in their new single "STAND."     I hope to inspire you to read your Bible for yourself this week. Submitting to God's Word as true will develop deep convictions. This is just the foundation you need to stand on when the waves of culture come crashing upon your shore. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditate on ScriptureRead and keep on readingRead in context Two college-aged girls who have taken a stand for the unbornThe Ethics 101 article in the Maxwell Leadership Bible - Amazon Paid LinkHow Uriah's convictions determine his behavior, and ultimately his fate - 2 Samuel 11John Maxwell's definition of conviction - "A strong belief that so governs your decisions that you are willing to die for it."The progression from idea to opinion to belief to commitment to convictionDeveloping convictions in our lives through: Acknowledging the Bible as the truth source from which we will liveChoosing to apply truth from that source to our daily lifeExposing ourselves to a relevant need or crisisDetermining ahead of time where we stand Uncovering Paul's call to stand in his letter to the Philippians - Philippians 1:27, Philippians 4:1Counting the cost with Paul in Philippians 1:20-21Discovering how Paul was willing to die for the magnification of Christ - Philippians 1:24-36How Paul was willing to die for the gospel, and it is in light of this deep conviction that he calls on us to stand - Philippians 1:27-30Standing firm as unified believers, not as individuals TogetherWith the same mind (the mind of Christ)In service unto death (if necessary) Taking a stand because our future hope outshines the cost to stand   So we stand firm by leaning into each other. Building one another up. And working hard to have the same mind. Not unanimous agreement in our ideas or opinions all of the time, but the same convictions founded in truth. Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comMaxwell Leadership Bible - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Ask God to reveal any holes in your convictions. Are there areas you need to fill with the truth of God's Word? Have your convictions been tested? In light of the discussion on convictions, read Paul's letter to the Philippians. Identify how Paul encourages believers to stand and practical ways to do that.
#426: "I Will Carry You" by Ellie Holcomb
May 2 2022
#426: "I Will Carry You" by Ellie Holcomb
In what circumstances do you need to be carried? I think of when I'm hurt or incapacitated -- any time when I can't carry myself. Ellie Holcomb's song "I Will Carry You" led me to consider God's thoughts on why He carries us. Join me in the pages of Scripture to see why God even indicated He would carry us in the first place. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Slow downMake a listMeditate on ScriptureRead in contextComplete a word studyConsider the oppositeCompare and contrast How our featured area of meditation inspired Ellie Holcomb in the writing of the song as well - Isaiah 46:4 - JubileeCast.com ArticleHow slowing down can lead to deeper observations and greater understandingGod's method of getting us to look more closely at an idea - "Listen to me"The different words for "carry" used in this section of Isaiah "borne" - Strongs #6006"carry" - Strongs #5375 God's reasoning behind His willingness to carry usConsidering the opposite of what it would look like if God did not carry usGod's compare and contrast between false God and Himself (spoiler alert: there is no comparison)Discovering the best place to start in Isaiah to take in more of the context of our focus area - reading Isaiah 40-46 J. Vernon McGee's Outline of Isaiah - BlueLetterBible.org"How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon Paid Link Uncovering the contrast between how we must carry our false gods and how God carries us - Isaiah 46:1-4The sky god and the wisdom god of Isaiah 46:1 compared with the only true God - Isaiah 40:12-14,God's question to us -- and His answer - Isaiah 40:18, Isaiah 46:5, Isaiah 46:9   As you sing this song and meditate on God's words through the prophet Isaiah, I pray you allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what ways you are leaning on other things to carry you.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com"Ellie Holcomb Shares About the Making of 'I Will Carry You'" - JubileeCast.com ArticleDr. J. Vernon McGee: Outline for Isaiah - BlueLetterBible.orgEnduring Word Commentary: Isaiah 46 - EnduringWord.com"How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Fee and Stuart - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Read Isaiah 40-46. Unpack and meditate on verses 1-4 of chapter 46. Focus on who God is and His promise to carry you. Meditate on the truth. Consider what the opposite of depending upon God to carry you looks like. Respond to your Heavenly Father with a heart of gratitude for His faithfulness. The God who created the heavens and is Wisdom lifts you, carries you, and delivers you.
#425: "See Me Through It" by Brandon Heath
Apr 25 2022
#425: "See Me Through It" by Brandon Heath
When Brandon Heath sings of days getting dark and life getting hard in his song "See Me Through It," I immediately thought of Habakkuk and the national crisis during his time. The darkness and injustice of his time can be seen in our own, and just like Habakkuk, we can trust that God will see us through it. I have a plan to help you interact with the text of this minor prophet all week. You don't want to miss it. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Remembering the people reflected in the Bible were realListen to an audio version of the textReading in contextRepetitionStudy in various translationsMake a listWrite down observationsAsk questionsWrite out a prayer inspired by Scripture Using this week's song as Habakkuk's theme songThoughts about prophets I learned from reading in Abraham Joshua Heschel's book "The Prophets" - Amazon Paid Link "The prophet is a person, not a microphone.""The prophet's task is to convey a divine view, yet as a person, he is a point of view. He speaks from the perspective of God as perceived from the perspective of his own situation.""To us, injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets, it is a deathblow to existence; to us, an episode, to them a catastrophe, a threat to the world." Habakkuk's "how long" and "why" questions we may be asking as well - Habakkuk 1:2-4Learning to be more sensitive to the things God is sensitive aboutA plan to utilize small chunks of time during the week to make a significant impact (as inspired by James Clear's "Atomic Habits" - Amazon Paid Link) Day one: Listen to an audio version of Habakkuk 1-3 (it will take less than 10 minutes) - I use the YouVersion Bible AppDay two: Repeat day oneDay three: Listen to an audio version of Habakkuk in a different translationsDay four: Watch the Bible Project's Habakkuk Overview Video - BibleProject.comDay five: Take 10 minutes to write down questions, prayers, lists, or general observations from the text (at this point, you've invested almost an hour, just split over several days)Day six: Schedule extra time to follow some cross-references and see how Habakkuk connects to the rest of the Bible and Christ Romans 1:7Galatians 3:11Hebrews 10:37Revelation 19:11-21Philippians 4:10-13   We are a people called to live by faith and God is a God who will see us through it until His appointed time.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com"The Prophets" by Abraham Joshua Heschel - Amazon Paid Link"Atomic Habits" by James Clear - Amazon Paid LinkESV Expository Commentary: Daniel–Malachi - Amazon Paid Link Weekly Challenge Follow the plan laid out in this episode to interact with the book of Habakkuk this week. You will be amazed at how small chunks of time invested in interacting with Scripture will add up -- not only in an accumulation of time but in familiarity with the Scripture itself. As you read (or listen to) the interaction between Habakkuk and God, remember that Habakkuk was a real person, not a microphone.
#424: "Firm Foundation (He Won't)" by Maverick City Music
Apr 18 2022
#424: "Firm Foundation (He Won't)" by Maverick City Music
Christ is my firm foundation. He is the rock on which I stand. These are not just great lyrics from Maverick City Music in their song "Firm Foundation (He Won't)," but they're founded in Scripture. Come with me on a journey through God's Holy Word to learn more about our Rock. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Make a listRead in contextCompare and contrast God does not change and is not impacted by our current chaosMoving beyond powerful lyrics to the deeper truths that inspired themHow Christ is our firm foundation - 1 Corinthians 3:11Christ as the cornerstone - Isaiah 28:16 a tested stonea precious stonea cornerstonea sure foundation How Christ was rejected - Psalm 118 and Mark 12:10-11What it means that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone - GotQuestions.org ArticleHow we fit it in the building of God as living stones - 1 Peter 2:4-8Christ as our only foundation - Use Episode 414 as a companion to this week's study - Psalm 62The use of "Rock" as a proper name for God rather than just figurative descriptions - Deuteronomy 32Discovering a contrast between our Rock and the rock of pagan cultureHow we can only declare that our house is built on Christ if we hear His words and do them - Matthew 7:24-27 - use Episode 271 as a companion to this week's study We can only declare that our house is built on Christ if we hear His words and do them.   More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comWhat does it mean that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone? - Got Questions Article Weekly Challenge Explore Christ as our foundation using the Scriptures I've listed in the show notes above. Read and meditate on Psalm 62, where we learn that God alone is our rock and salvation. Don't miss out on what you will learn in Deuteronomy 32 by contrasting the faithfulness of God and His unfaithful people. Finally, commit to building your life on the rock of Christ by doing what He teaches in Matthew 7 -- hear His words and do them.
#423: "Fill My Cup" by Andrew Ripp
Apr 11 2022
#423: "Fill My Cup" by Andrew Ripp
Our God is a God of abundance. But while we are looking around thinking an abundant life has to do more with material blessings and a lack of conflict, God has a better idea. Andrew Ripp's song "Fill My Cup" inspired me to discover what God wants to fill us with, as revealed by His holy Word. Join me as we meditate on a couple of psalms and then diligently seek out what Scripture describes as a cup running over. In this week's episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditate on ScriptureExplore a topicMake a listCompare and contrast Psalm 23 because of the phrase "my cup overflows" as inspired by our song - Psalm 23:5-6Debbie Devries podcast on Psalm 23:5-6 - Debbie Devries Ministry Podcast Episode 30 - "Dinner"How the table of a host was a place of provision and protectionPsalm 16 because of the phrase "the Lord is my chosen portion and my cup" - Psalm 16:5-6Discovering that God is our cup and He is also what He fills us withWhere the table of Psalm 23 is represented in our lives today - John 14:23Our feature verse - Romans 15:13Using the Greek word for "fill" found in our feature verse to discover every other time it was translated "fill" in the New Testament and what the context teaches us - BibleHub.com listing of every mention of pléroóThe beatitude that teaches about being filled with righteousness - Matthew 5:6The contrast of what it looks like to be filled with unrighteousness - Romans 1Learning that Christ is our righteousness - 1 Corinthians 1:30Jesus' encouragement that our thirst for Him will lead to an overflow of the Holy Spirit in our lives - John 7:37-38Discovering that Christ does the filling - Ephesians 1:23Uncovering that we are filled with all the fullness of God when we comprehend the love of Christ - Ephesians 3:19Concluding that God IS our cup, and God fills our cup with Himself to overflowing A cup that runs over cannot hold all that is being poured into it.     More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.comStory Behind the Song "Fill My Cup" by Andrew Ripp - JubilieeCast.com ArticleWhat does it mean that my cup runneth over? - GotQuestions.org Article Weekly Challenge Read Psalm 23 and Psalm 16. Meditate on these two psalms and the idea that God is both our cup and the One who fills it to overflowing. Then take the challenge to look up verses talking about things and people being "filled" and discover what God's Word says about it. What you learn may change your perspective forever. You can do it!