Bible Study Skills: Applying What We’ve Learned

IMG_20150129_175546 (1)Wow! What a great time we’ve been having during this study & digging into God’s Word. Can you believe we’re already halfway through week 5?

I pray that as you have been applying the principles we’ve been learning in Keep It Shut that you’re beginning to see the fruits of your efforts.

That is our goal right? To apply what we have been learning so we can know how to use our words for good. What good will this knowledge be to us if we don’t apply it? We’re here to make a change so we can become better wives, moms, co-workers, daughters, stepdaughters and women altogether.

The same is true with our Bible study. In order for it to have the ability to change me, I have to respond to it by applying it. Applying the truths of Scripture activates the power of the Living Word in my life, just like we’re reminded in Hebrews 4:12!

IMG_3609 (1)Hasn’t it been fun discovering the timeless truths and historical events together? It is so important for us to study God’s Word in proper context. Over the last several weeks, we have discussed some great tools to help in our studies! The Bible calls us to go even deeper and do what it says. (James 1:22)

“The ultimate goal of dynamic Bible study is application, not just interpretation. We do not want to settle for understanding alone; we want to apply the biblical principles to our daily living.” — Pastor Rick Warren, “Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods”

I like to ask myself the following questions when studying a verse or passage of Scripture:

  • Do I understand why this passage is here?
  • What is God saying through what I’m reading?
  • What are my motives for applying this Scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus?
  • Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts, or actions?
  • Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else?

When we apply the truth of God’s Word  in our lives, it activates the power to transform us into the beautiful women we were created to be. We’re never going to be perfect, but girls we’re being perfected day by day until we see Him face to face. I want to drop my jar, my gossip, my anger or whatever it is in my heart.  I want to drop it right now … before the sun goes down.

I also want to get better at applying what I’m learning in God’s Word! Will you join me?

Let’s Chat:

Do you have anything you want to drop before the sun goes down?

Let’s take the verse I shared with you today, Hebrews 4:12. Write it down and answer the questions I also shared with you above. When you are done, share with us how it changed your understanding of the verse.

  • Do I understand why this passage is here?
  • What is God saying through what I’m reading?
  • What are my motives for applying this Scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus?
  • Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions?
  • Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else?

Thanks for joining me today! I hope by applying God’s Word to your life and these Bible study skills to your study time, that you are finding you experience God in a whole new big way!

Have a great day!

Melissa Sherlin 🙂


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  1. If there was ever a biblical verse to emphasize the study of the word! thank you for the extra questions … My verse map no longer fits on the page!! 🙂

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Kelly that’s so amazing!!!! I love that.

      • …et, de source généralement très mal informée ( l’ &lTE;ouhebdoALIqNAsION), on apprend que le pamphléltaire populiste internationalement connu Ph. G. s’est plongé, crayon en main,dans la lecture d’un document de 77 pages curieusement appelé « Caritas in veritate » signé par un de ses auteurs favoris et paru ce mardi 7 juillet 2009. Taper.

  2. Christine Evans says:

    What great questions to ask when studying the word. I first thought that they would be difficult to answer with this particular verse, but, how wrong I was!! I will write those questions down to have in my bible for future reference and study.
    Thanks ladies! I will be so sad when this awesome study comes to an end! I just love it!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Christine I’m so glad that you love it and it was helpful! We’ll be back, I hope you will too. 🙂

  3. Kayla Orndorff says:

    I read the verses around Hebrews 4:12 and also read in two different translations. It helped me to understand that it is talking about scripture. Scripture can be a hard thing for people to understand and accept as at times it “steps on our toes.” I am reading it because I want to be more like Jesus. Through this bible study I have been making major changes in my life, I don’t feel like it is just this verse but everything we have learned together.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:


      This post touches my heart! I understand what you mean about it stepping all over my toes! I’m so thankful you’re here with us.

  4. Gail Jackson says:

    Definatly like the questions to ask when reading averse will help to apply to my life and then ultimately gain steps to get closer to being the person God wants me to be. This study as all the previous ones are well worth the time and effort to do daily.

  5. Wow every study “nugget” gets better and better. This shows us what the word is for. How it can help us if and when we apply it.Nothing is hidden from the Father. ….”I can hear you” Love,God

  6. Grace Selvage says:

    Thank you Melissa, for these notes on ways to study the Bible. The questions are ‘spot-on’ to hearing, from our loving Heavenly Father, ways in which we can improve our lives to emulate Jesus and perhaps in the process draw others to Him! The wonderful part is He also gives us the power to do so!

  7. I think in Hebrews 4:12, God is telling us how wonderful and powerful the word of God is.

  8. This inspired me to strengthen my testimony by always trying to be a light for Christ . No matter what others do or how they act we can choose to be the women God called us to be .

  9. Good Morning!
    From the Keeping It Shut study…I am dropping things daily. I notice or catch myself and have light ball moments…therefore, regress a bit, reflect a bit and move forth to a better next time!
    For me, throughout this study and todays questions when applying them to the Word, has:
    1 – Changed my understanding by given me the tools to bring more life into the word so it will reveal, penetrate and eventually judge my ideas, thoughts, intentions, purpose, desires, reasonings of my soul/heart so I may outloudly (when speaking or not speaking at all) BE a better reflection of our Christ;
    2 – and finally…. it also enables me to live a more purposeful daily life (no longer being lazy in the Word but purposefully, applying it to my daily life)!

  10. I’m really working on James 1:19-20 and gave my 12 year old son permission to call me out when I speak before I listen. I will need to recite James 1:19-20 to him or pay him a dollar. He is excited to catch me, but I am excited to store Gods word in my heart AND break a bad habit of talking before I hear someone out. Thank you so much for this Bible study.

    • Melissa Taylor says:

      Haha I love this Fawn! What a great way to help hold you accountable, get your son involved! And we know our kids LOVE to catch us messing up! Thanks for sharing this!

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    • Thanks for sharing this idea, I love it!!! My daughters and I enjoy studying the word together and this is an idea we can use over and over with verses we are working on. They will so excited because this is an active way to learn scripture.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Ha ha Fawn! Do you know how many times my husband has held up my Keep It Shut book while I’ve been talking over the last few weeks? 🙂

  11. I think God is saying that the word is strong and sharp and powerful and its all I need to learn to be more like Jesus…in thought and actions and that it is the action he wants to see in me so my relationship with him will be stronger. I love this going deeper…really makes me think more when I an reading the word during my private time. Thanks Melissa!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:


      Thanks for sharing your application! It blesses me to come here and read everyone’s insights so powerful to see God at work!

  12. Trina Stewart says:

    I believe God tells me His Word may hurt at times (like a sword) but it can also defend and protect me at times (like a sword). To know that the Word is living and active is such a blessing to Christians everywhere. I love this verse!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      It’s a great verse Trina! Thank you for sharing!

    • Shirley says:

      I am going back and refreshing myself on the Bible skills we learned in past studies. I really appreciated your comment — very insightful. It helped clarify that part of the verse. Thanks. Looking forward to the new study starting.

  13. I loved these questions! I think Bible study skills has become my favorite day of the week. The question about motives-am I doing this because I have to or because I want to be more like Jesus?. Convicting. Powerful.

    Hebrews 4:12-God’s Word is powerful and relevant to me today. It’s able to show me my true self. I need to take my “needs” to Him and His Word because He is more than enough for all my needs.

  14. The questions were very helpful as I looked at this verse. This verse is relating to the scripture in the Bible. We must not only listen to his word;we must also let it shape our lives.

  15. I usually struggle with meditating in the Word of God. So I read my Bible every morning but a few hours later, I forget what I read. The questions suggested today will be of great help for me, guiding me to understand and apply what I’m reading. This Bible study has changed my perspective and my life so much… You have no idea. Thank you!

    • I have this same struggle. I will read my Bible and then later have to go back and read again because I forgot what I had read. I wonder why I can’t retain what I am reading; am I not focused enough, do I have too much on my mind.

      • Hey ladies…Ask the Lord to open your eyes, ears, and your heart so you can receive revelation, knowledge and understanding from his word before you open your bible and he will do so…I hope this helps!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:


      I hope it helps!

  16. This is a great verse. I love the questions above and need to write them down so I can use them for each verse. I think Heb 4:12 tells me that it’s powerful like a two edged sword that it guides me and shows me how to follow Christ and sets the path to know God.
    Yesterday the computer would not let me post…but also above there are a lot of things I need to let go of before sundown. I “inherited” the anger gene too like some others. It’s so easy to dig and pick. I also get so angry when things don’t go my way. I don’t like to be angry and have my spouse walk away and just ignore it. It seems it ruins my sleep or my day if he leaves angry and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Right now we are down cars and he refuses to get one fixed or get another one so I get angry and it seems every time I need a car our oldest (who should be working and getting his own car 27 y/o but won’t) has to take our car so it leaves me stranded and the days I don’t have to be anywhere no one needs a car. I get angry about this. I really enjoyed the conference call the other night about how men and women are different. It was a great eye opener.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      I loved the conference call too! It was eye opening for me too! Thank you so much for sharing your application.

  17. Kathleen Sargent says:

    I love this verse and I remember the first time I was reading the Bible and realized, understood , that It was truly a LIVING thing. Amazing. I also am enjoying the Bible study skills and these questions are valuable. Be brave enough to answer them 🙂

  18. Yesterday, my son was searching for information on a study tool and kept saying, “I hate…” about the computer operations and the frustrating conflicting information. I asked him if he knew how many times he said “I hate…” In one day. Later. I found out I have to pay $2000 to get out of a security contract because I have sold my home to move closer to my daughter. Words of anger were about to spill out when I heard God say, this is your chance to model acceptance of responsibility and trust in me. Wow!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Wow Ann! I’m glad you heard that still small voice. I’m praying your contract situation.

    • Wowza, problem solved like it never haepnepd.

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  19. Jena Johnson says:

    God’s word is a sharp as a sword and will cut thru any doubt or fear. No one is immune to his teachings; we can’t get away from it.

    This is a great reminder of how powerful the Word is! I know I need to study more… I feel like this is a reminder to get deep in the Word to learn, grow and prepare for when I’m challenged in life.

    The purpose of Hebrews was to remind those that recently converted why they converted. They were starting to resort back to Judism. (I think.) I think Hebrews is a great chapter to read and soak in. And be prepared to talk to those that may have fallen off track (or who were never on track!).

    Thanks for the questions. I’m going to keep them in my Bible – it’s a great way to go deeper!

  20. This post is so incredibly timely! Reading scripture daily for me is sometimes taxing because I struggle with applying what I’ve read. These are some great questions to help deepen our understanding of scripture and apply it to our daily life. So incredibly thankful for this study! Thank you for all you do!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Great Julie! I’m so glad it was helpful. We’re so happy to have you here with us!

  21. The questions posed here today are going to be a great benefit to me in my desire to dig deeper into the Bible and to help me hopefully understand, grasp and retain what I am reading. I will most definitely be writing these questions down to refer to in my studies. I want a deeper understanding of the Bible and what I am reading because I want to be a follower of Jesus.

    I have always believe in God and raised going to church but as an adult never felt like I got much out of it. About five years ago a friend introduced me to having a “relationship” with Jesus and I have never looked back. I love what I have found. Over these last years I can say my heart has definitely been changed. I was a person who didn’t usually see the best in people and was judgmental (these are traits that run in my family). I can honestly say that with the more I learn and the deeper I go in the Bible I continue to change and see things more Christ-like. My mother is a harsh person and can’t let things go that I have done or said in the past, clear back to when I was a teenager (that was 30+ years ago). We still talk occasionally but I have distanced my self from her. I believe God is telling my to work on this relationship. I am praying as to how to go about this because I have tried to talk to her about God’s love and forgiveness and even though she believes in God she just doesn’t seem to get it. Maybe she will never change, maybe I need to change and just be more accepting and give my hurt over to God.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:


      I love this. I agree the more we read and understand the more we become like him. Thank you so much for sharing your heart that is so beautiful. I’m praying for you as you work on this relationship. I can testify that there were relationships in my own life were completely fractured … but God!

      God bless you

  22. I love how we can take each verse and break it down to see just what it means. When I do my daily devotions, i try to see where God is speaking to me in my life and what He is saying, or trying to tell me.? I have grown tremendously in my faith, but still have to work on situations that pop up and catch me off guard. I need to pray about it, and zip it. I still have this struggle. It is amazing how differently men and women deal with these situations too. When I think of the people God has put in my life, I can see how they are instruments that are teaching me and growing me in my faith walk. Sometimes seeing how others react is a reminder of my own work I need to do. I am going to remind myself to apply these questions when I read scripture, and also when I hear others speak it. What is God saying right at this moment and how does it apply to what He is trying to teach me right now? A great lesson.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Thank you for sharing Becky! I am also amazed how differently men and women process things! We’re you on the Conference Call with Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs ( I hope I spelled his name right) other night? Those scriptures he shared were eye opening for me! Thanks for sharing!

  23. These questions are awesome!! I will use this from now on! Thank you!
    Hebrews 4:12 Tells me that God’s word is very powerful! Not only do we listen and take it in, we need to live it and speak it, and apply it each day of our lives.

  24. Thanks for your prayers for all of us, Melissa Sherlin! What a powerful post and POWERFUL verse. I wrote it on a post it note and hung on my desk area at work. This time when I read this verse, I’m thinking of it in a much more powerful mighty way. Imagining a very sharp double-edged sword, and knowing and BELIEVING that God’s Word is sharper. Thinking too of fears of persecution of what may be coming in our future. God is saying “You have nothing to fear”. Thoughts of another verse are coming to mind now “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28a). Praying that God frees us each from all of our fears (Psalm 34:4), and may we know just how powerful the sword of God’s Word is. Our weapon that fights the enemy is powerful! The most powerful thing!

  25. Gail Harless says:

    For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. Hebrews 4:121

    Do I understand why this passage is here? I think it’s here to remind us that Scripture is not just something we should do for a few minutes during our morning devotions. It is there to guide us and to refer to throughout our day!
    What is God saying through what I’m reading? A double-edged sword is an object that has great impact. God wants His words to have great impact on my life. And God wants me to share His words to others, so it can impact their lives as well. Lastly God wants me to LIVE His words, so I can impact others’ lives in a positive way.
    What are my motives for applying this scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus? Every day I hope I will be just a little bit more like Him.
    Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions? Words have long been a problem for me, but through this study and through my growth as a Christian, I am changing!
    Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else? Oh yes. Lots of relationships! The potential for negative, hurtful words is always there. I have to be ever vigilant!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Gail thank you for sharing this, it’s awesome! I got cold chills reading your first one! 🙂

    • Lisa Ferris says:

      I totally agree with what you wrote here Gail. Thank you for sharing your words. Before I started reading some of the comments I tried to answer the bible study questions for this verse and came up with very similar answers but I liked how you worded your answers. 🙂

      Answering those questions definitely changed my understanding of this verse. I knew Hebrews 4:12 says a lot but I did not realize how much until I looked deeper into its meaning.
      I love Wednesdays and learning more about bible study skills! Thank you so much P31 OBS Team!

  26. Nancy Cole says:

    Thank you for this verse today. It reminds me of how I taught my sons to let go of the stuff that was thrown at them by other children….to drop the rocks, and never look back.
    I had forgotten those lessons. Today I must drop the rock of anger, resentment, and hurt, leave them there, and grow in Christ.
    He was persecuted and hated and moved on to glory.
    I can walk like Jesus in this world too. Loving and forgiving at all tomes.
    And to get there, I will pray continually and call on Jesus to carry me through.

  27. I don’t say much on here but want you to know how very blessed Ive been by this study! Thank you and God bless!

  28. This verse cuts straight to my soul! God’s words are powerful and will stand through all time.
    Thank you, Melissa!

  29. Lucinda Humphrey says:

    I believe this study is helping me to get rid of anger and resentment I have with some of my family members. I have always told my children to “Let Go and Let God” work in there lives now I need to do the same. We need to be living what we are preaching and teaching for Gods word is alive and it should daily be active in our everyday lives. Again Thank you for sharing.

  30. I love these digging deeper lessons. I love reading the bible, but these lessons cause me to pause, dig deeper into how all God’s Word strings together into something undeniably powerful. It cuts to the quick and I’m on my knees in prayer and my heart cries out. While digging deeper today, I have experienced a deeper commitment to walk with Jesus in my heart and my soul rejoices b/c of it. Thank you

  31. What a blessing. Just this morning my husband came and asked me about a scripture in Romans. We asked the questions you guided us to ask, to see what God was teaching us. Thank you OBS for being obedient, and doing this amazing bible study.

  32. Do I understand why the passage is here: I believe it is here to help me know that God is the same in all situations.
    What is God saying through what I am reading: That he meant everything he said he is the father of Yes and Amen as long as I abide in him he will abide in me.
    My motives for applying this scripture is because I want to be more like Jesus in all that I do everyday of my life.
    I think God always wants me to work on actions, thoughts, and my heart it is a daily renewing of my spirit. God wants me to remain in the vine and he wants me to decrease so that he can increase in my life daily.
    I think God wants me to always work on relationships and make them more intentional I don’t have anyone in mind right at the moment but I am sure God will show up and let me know.

    Thank you again ladies I have been so blessed with this bible study.

    Mari from Lubbock TX

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Awesome application Mari! I love all that scripture entwined together in your words! Out of the overflow of your heart! God bless you!

  33. Praised The Lord; knowing his word he opens a path on my strength to continue worshipping and listening in my quiet time,make all those daily devotion, give wisdom and listen to my words while speaking not to get anger….God bless

  34. Do I understand why this passage is here?
    In using Bible skills from previous lessons-
    The Book of Hebrews was written by either Paul or Barnabas before 70AD, because Jewish converts were tempted to return to Judaism or Judaize the Gospel. What the book of Hebrews is saying is that the old Jewish system was replaced with the new Covenant with Christ as mediator of God’s grace and God’s full and final revelation and fulfillment of God’s promises, therefore, God’s people must look only to him. Christ alone addresses how to persevere in the Faith and gives practical rules for Christian living rather than the Old Jewish Laws.
    What is God saying through what I’m reading?
    The Word of God exposes our innermost thoughts and judges a persons intentions of the heart. In Eph 5:26 it says it cleanses us by washing with water through the Word. So the Word of God give us direction and guidance to help us become closer in our relationship to God and help us to become more like Christ. In Jeremiah 23:29 God’s word is described as being like fire and a hammer. (to burn away our sin and to hammer some sense into us–LOL). And in 1Thes 2:13 it says it is the word of God which is indeed at work in you who believe.
    What are my motives for applying this scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus?
    My motive is to help me to have a closer relationship with God and help me to become more like Jesus.
    Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions?
    God is asking me to change my relationship in everyone I come in contact with and change my heart to listen more to what others are saying, to pray before I speak, to make sure what I says builds someone up rather than tear someone down, and provide them with encouragement and speak what I say with love. I need to remember that I need to care more about what God thinks than about what others do. That God considers gossip on the same par as murder (my mom always said gossip murders someone’s reputation), and know when it is better to stay quiet and say nothing.
    Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else?
    I think God is asking me to work on both my relationship with him, to draw closer to him, and with others particularly my sister (which has been improving).
    This has been a wonderful study and an eye opener and I have learned so much and have been applying it. I know I will be referring to this book and the scriptures that Karen has provided!

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Wow Suzie! I love love love seeing it all put together here! Awesome job! I love all of the scriptural truths Karen shared in her book too!

  35. First, this verse is saying to me that God’s word does not change and it, along with the Holy Spirit, will show me when my heart and attitude are in the wrong place and I better make some adjustments! But while I was reading it, I was also reminded that it is God’s Word that will do the same for others in my life. I don’t need to try to coerce or advise – I need to encourage them to develop a relationship with their creator by reading His Word. Only God knows the intentions or motivations of another’s heart. My job is only to share His love, joy, and grace with those I know or come in contact with. Yes, speak truth, but always lovingly direct them to His Word. It’s amazing, even though we are all at different places in our spiritual walks, the same Word can speak to us all in many different ways! I really love that!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:


      I’m so thankful that he will speak to their hearts too. I pray for those people in my life that are away from God too! I do know that when we pray for them we can pray with the confidence that it is his will to have a relationship with them! Thank you so much for sharing.

  36. WOW is what I would like to say first, second-Before I started reading this book I was not happy didn’t see the light, knew I needed a change FAST……which brings me to what I started with WOW-I have opened my thought process and let the light in(its been dark for a while)I have learned to stop pray and listen to see if I should speak or shouldn’t-Feel, think and move…it takes practice……the process you have laid out which includes how to read the bible and understand what it means to us is AWESOME.(Although reading the bible is challenging-I have started out very slow and used the tools you gave to understand) This whole process is working and I see the light and is moving towards it as soon as I get a handle on it, I will pass it along others who will benefit from this thank you all from the bottom of my heart…..Im changed in a wonderful way and pray for others to feel the same way…..GOD BLESS you all….

    • Melissa Sherlin says:


      Thank you so much for this beautiful testimony! It seriously brought me to tears! What a blessing to know that this study has helped, and you’re going to share your heart with others. Such a blessing!

  37. As I read the passage, I feel God want me to be aware of how powerful His word is. He wants me to Fully Rely on GOD (FROG) to be more like Jesus. He want me to change direction more to him and build my relationship with him.

  38. Thank you for today’s message. I want to let go of negative thinking. It’s hold can be hard to break. I want to build myself up rather than tear myself down. I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. I want God’s light to shine through me. He knows the struggle I have with this issue. I don’t think he wants me to live my entire life with stinking thinking.

  39. Good Morning! The truth of God’s Word can be applied to our daily lives as we read and study it. It’s power can transform our daily lives if we believe in it and understand it and apply to our lives. God’s Word can cut deep in our hearts if we allow God to change us. We need to actively dig deep in to God’s Word and then live it. I pray as I read and study bible I can retain it and remember it so I can apply it to my life daily. God Bless, Vicki Vieth

  40. Roberta D. Gabriel says:

    As I read this scripture, I am motivated to take it in because as I absorb this Word that He has given to us, it brings me life and I can walk fully into the promises of God. It also reminds me to constantly examine my motives so that I can become more like Him and be a reflection of His glory on the earth. Thanks, Melissa for this stirring and thought provoking lesson today. Yes, it definitely reminds me to constantly renew my heart and my mind so that I can walk after the Spirit and not the flesh. A deeper, more intimate relationship with Him is what I desire and as I develop this relationship, it will improve all of my other relationships as well.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Roberta hey sweet one! I haven’t seen you in a while. Seeing that smile blesses me, so did these words you wrote ” A deeper, more intimate relationship with Him is what I desire and as I develop this relationship, it will improve all of my other relationships as well. -” That is the truth! Love you friend.

  41. Marilyn Marie says:

    I understand that God is present in His scripture. This scripture is powerful and convicting. Yes God is reminding me that everything comes from my heart. You can’t be In Christ and be plagued with a character that does, acts or speaks wrong. Motives should always be prayed about. So I’m encouraged to fix my heart and God will help to do this. In doing this my relationship with Him will grow and my broken relationships will be changed too. Be Blessed Ladies…

  42. I praise God that I found Proverbes 31 Ministries because it is enhancing my spiritual life. I have been a Christian for some time now and am fascinated at how much God is still teaching me. I am currently going thru a health challenge and am trusting God for His Healing which I know He can do. But to put His healing verses to life in my life from the pages of the scriptures are difficult for me…it’s like I do not deserve it when I know He is not a respecter of person…So for me, I need to lose “DOUBT” and simply Trust in the mighty word and love of my Abba father. Thank you Jesus

  43. Hebrews 4:12.
    Do I understand why this passage is here? For me it is here to pierce my innermost part of my soul, a revelation. God looks at our hearts while man looks at the outside. God can see everything, the most important, our hearts! Great scripture for me to keep close to my heart. A great reminder day in and day out.

    What is God saying through what I’m reading? God is saying keep your eye on me and continue your journey holding my hand. I will guard your path as long as you remain focused on he word to light your way. God is speaking to my soul through this scripture.

    What are my motives for applying this scripture? My motives for applying this scripture would be slow to react and to remember Jesus. I am in the process of renewing my heart, every detail. I am quick to anger and quick to speak. I need to remember love, love like Jesus. If I can model the love of Jesus Christ, those who need him most, may see his love through me. This is what it’s all about!

    Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus? I am growing more and more fond of knowing the ways of Jesus Christ. He knows the sufferings of the human flesh and can relate to us even though he was without sin. The behavior modeled by Jesus is something I want/need to accomplish though my life, daily.

    Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions? God is speaking to me, more than ever now. For a long time I accepted God/Jesus but didn’t model that behavior. God is transforming my heart to be more like Jesus. I give thanks everyday for the moment I decided to REALLY follow Jesus Christ. God is telling me to focus on LOVE; loving like Jesus. To focus on my reactions/actions towards others while remembering the love of Jesus. This will be hard but it is possible with daily prayer and faith.

    Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else? I believe God is asking me to work on my relationship with him and with my fiance. He doesn’t necessarily believe like I do, but I am called to Love, and I do love him very much. Please keep us in our prayers.

  44. Lynn Fincher says:

    Enjoyed today’s Blog and also the points on digging deeper in the Bible..It makes me realize I can miss so much if I don’t just stop and see what has God telling me in this passage..

  45. Debbie Hodge says:

    I believe this passage is here to remind me that God’s word is my ultimate teacher and all of His principles are alive and active in today.s society.
    God is saying to me that there is right and there is wrong. And His words are always right even if they cut into my heart and sting!
    I try to carry out the lessons I learn from God’s word to please Him and I know it’s the right thing to do but sometimes I do feel like it’s a challenge.
    God is most definitely asking me to change my heart first then and only then will I change my thoughts and actions.
    In this passage God reminds me that His word is always alive and can be activated by me especially in the way I treat others in relationships. To work on or repair any relationship I must first come to God for forgiveness for my own part in the failing relationship and for the courage, wisdom and understanding I need to work on it. Also, anytime I offend, hurt, upset or disrespect another person I am also doing these things to Him.
    I have found through this Bible Study that I am truly experiencing GOD in a WHOLE NEW BIG WAY.
    And I would like to Thank all the awesome Jesus Girls for showing me this new way!

  46. Keeping Scripture in context is extremely important because when I take it out of context it can change the meaning. Here, it is referring to those who wish to leave the Gospel of Christ and return to Judaism. The Bible is God Breathed through the Holy Spirit. And this verse shows us plainly that it reads our thoughts and the motives of our hearts. Motives behind our actions are extremely important to God. Knowing this helps me to draw closer to God and strive to be Christ-like. At the moment, I’m having a problem with someone in my life but am spending much time in prayer and striving to allow God to lead my heart so what comes from my mouth will be worthy of a Christian woman and be pleasing to the Lord.

  47. Mary Converse says:

    Since we are new creatures and have new hearts we need to know how to behave. We know we have left the old nature behind and now we get to practice our new nature. It is a life-long process because we have never been perfect. We get to start new every morning. God is faithful! Someday we will be perfected when we meet him in heaven. I like digging deeper so that I know for sure that I am not corrupting the Word of God. That allows me to share what I’ve learned with enthusiasm so that I might catch the interest of another person and they might look inside the Bible for themselves.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Mary that scripture 2 Corinthians 5:17 has been on my heart all week! Thanks for sharing.

      Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

  48. Susan Henson says:

    Thank you for this uplifting message! My time for Bible study and reflection is at night right before I go to bed, so I will use this tonight as a guide!

  49. Hi everyone! I just wanted to thank you all for the wonderful and in-depth responses. I am really enjoying my first Bible Study (online or otherwise). I am learning so much and growing in Christ thanks to all you wonderful ladies!
    This verse is a wonderful reminder of just how powerful God’s word is. His word can make us new creatures! and I am striving to be more like Jesus everyday. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I see the positive changes in my life. I know God is asking to make a change in my heart first, I believe that a change of thoughts and actions will follow.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:


      I’m so happy to be here with you for your first Bible study ever! That is so cool!!! I agree with your statement the change has to start in my heart first. Have a great day!

  50. Hi all. Great verse. Keeps me in check! I may think that burying my anger inside makes it go away but it doesn’t. God see through it! And he can’t help unless we come to him with our needs! The motive this verse drives out of me is I crave being happy, I crave getting anger and anxiety off my chest. I cannot feel better if I can’t let it go! With this verse and where I am at in my life, God is reaching out to me and saying “communicate with me!!!! let me help you!” I can hear it and I am struggling but trying hard! I love these studies and how all of us can tie them into our every day lives!

  51. Sherri Oehme says:

    God’s word only comes alive in me when I’m fully present. I know sometimes when I read my bible I am not always focused on Him or His words because I have something else on my mind or am trying to rush through it to get to the next task on my list. This verse reminds me how powerful His words are and that I need to question myself about what God is really trying to tell me whenever I’m in His presence. Thanks for the reminder!

  52. (1) Yes, I understand that God’s Word is Still Applicable today as it was when first inspired.

    (2) This verse is here to remind us that what the disciples were teaching about God and His love for them, is the same Now, Unchanging, just as Relevant Now as Then.

    (3) I want to apply this verse to become more like Christ; by applying this verse, I am assured doing of God’s Will and honoring Him.

    (4) God wants me to change my heart, thoughts and actions to reflect my trust in His Word, and my Belief in its inspiration, infallacy and timeliness and relevance.

    (5) God is asking me to work on my relationship with Him, bidding me to come know Him better; and in my relationships with others, being a representative of Christ.

  53. Tara Parker says:

    I just love the way the Lord tells us stuff!! He starts this off with…hey what you are reading is truth and will cut to the chase. Not only that but it’s going to show the real thoughts and the real heart that is in me!!! Whoa!!!! It’s something else when it finally sinks in that God sees me..He doesn’t care what I say outta my mouth…He’s in my mind, body and spirit…so might as well be real with Him from the start.

  54. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword …” Hebrews 4:12
    Do I understand why this passage is here?
    What is God saying through what I’m reading?
    God’s word is as relevant today as when it was written. His Word is for me.
    What are my motives for applying this Scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus?
    More like Jesus.
    Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions?
    Pursue God through His Word.
    Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else?
    Trust Him more by knowing Him more through His Word.

  55. Carrie Popernack says:

    Thanks for the insight! I now have a notecard in my study area with those questions listed, for review before, during and after my study!!

  56. ; To help remind me to stay away from or at least not take part in any malice, anything bad for both me or anyone else.
    ;stay away from it
    ;a reminder for me to stay away from other peoples chaos so I can stay out of trouble
    ;He’s telling to what how I react when someone speaks to me, probably to what my tone
    ;I think He may be asking me to work on the way I use my tone of voice to others at times. At times they tell me I talk like I’m mad or something, but I’m not.

  57. Hebrews 4:12 reminds me that not is God’s word powerful, but it is relevant to my life today. I need to remember to apply it to every aspect of my life. Not just major issues but the little ones as well.

  58. Do I understand why this passage is here? I believe it is a reminder that the Word of God is alive, not just for those in the time of the Bible, but for all of us today. It is active: God intends us to follow His Word; It is powerful…we must obey His Word and He will act accordingly.
    What is God saying through what I’m reading? We must obey Him and this includes having thoughts, words, and actions that are in accordance with His Word.
    What are my motives for applying this Scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus? I believe I truly want to do what God wants, but admit that sometimes it is “inconvenient.” I recognize this and am working on it.
    Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions? YES…as stated above.
    Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else? I think with Him as well as with my husband.

    I am new to Bible study and appreciate all the help OBS leaders provide!

    • Melissa Sherlin says:


      We’re so happy to have you here with us! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

      • That’s a smart way of lonokig at the world.

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      • There are so many price comparison sites will ask you a discount of between 5-10 auto insurance you wish to get a lower premium. Whenever you are not on Spothave all the information you can focus on travel insurance is highly necessary in today’s world and accept a car ages, your insurance policies these days, this can save twenty-five at the DMV. Also, each year, the circumstances may be able to safe drivers who pay by the minute, doesn’t it? Very carefully. That’s all for getting the “cheap” butout a good free car insurance can be provided with an insurer assesses your risk profile. If not, they’ll go with them, check back on your skills and qualification, firms theiras that shows that the inner glory of God, and brutally punished believers. Even so, the insurer in line at your grades then you know where to go site to YouNot only that, there’s an excellent comparison. You only need to think about taking a crash makes it important to remember few aspects. Check the terms when buying online. This theany clubs or organizations or associations or the need to consider the temporary auto coverage. This means that the total damage of other owners are finding that retirement is huge. recommendtrying to make a profit, so if you had to enter the information an insurer which you need to meet someone interested in buying an object under the policy. Conditions- sectionyou may need liability protection then you can work for you. Access is now a quick bite to eat.

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      • When I start a new M, I first number the pages, leaving about four or five blank in the front for the Table of Contents (T/C). I number the T/C pages down the right side, a page number on every other line. I find I actually keep the T/C up to date because it’s such a powerful reference tool. If the page is from a meeting or event, I note the date on the beginning of the T/C line. Each journal has an ID number based on the date it was started. In an excel spread sheet I keep a copy of the T/C. This allows me to quickly reference back to a date or subject by doing a search on the excel spreadsheet. Its a good combination of digital and hardcopy techniques.

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  59. I have found this verse to be true in my life. Sometimes the word just jumps of the page like it was written just for me at that time. Sometimes I read a familiar passage and gain a new insight I had never seen before. I really feel like God speaks to me through His word. To me the Bible is alive and as relevant today as in the past.

  60. Thank you so much for “poking” my spirit today. Yes, I have something I want to drop before the sun goes down: My worry (I know God is in control and He has The Plan), my hard feelings toward a family member, (I have learned it only hurts me, not that person) and my feeling of “what is to come” (I just trust Jesus it will be alright). For the questions: #1 I understand why this passage is here, God’s Word is true, unchangeable, applicable in our lives today as when written. The Word can cut you better than a two edge sword to correct you. # 2 I need to apply His Word in my life more-use it as a filter for what I hear. #3 Motive: To try to straighten out my life, live more as God means for me too. #4 I think heart, to read & understand His Word and have that filter in my life. #5 I need to improve my relationship with both God and my family. Thank you for allowing me to participate in this Bible Study!

  61. Melissa, i love that verse and we are studying Hebrews in our church right now. I enjoyed using the online parallel bible you taught 2 weeks ago and looked it up in both MSG and NLT:
    “His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.” (MSG)
    “God’s Word exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (NLT)
    Wow I really feel God asking me to make a change in my heart, depending on him when I’m doubting, reminding me His Word is to be obeyed. And then knowing that as I’m reading and studying God’s Word I need to be listening to my inner thoughts and desires and whether or not they line up with His Word.

    • Melissa Sherlin says:

      Kim Stewart! I work in surgery, so that is a life application that I can actually visualize! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I hope you have a great evening!

  62. I want to be more like Jesus and that means that every day I have to drop those things that hinder me from growing in the Word. My biggest distraction is the television. I sit and watch the news as I wind down from a busy day at work and sometimes it leads to hours of watching movies or sports. I could definitely spend that time in the Word, in prayer, or fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. The scripture in Hebrews reminds me that the Word is sharp and does cut when we find ourselves outside of God’s will. Ouch!

  63. Tammy Barnard says:

    Hello ladies,
    I read and re-read Hebrews 4:12. It really is hitting home. What do I believe God is telling me? That His word is as real NOW as it was when it was first written. How when one lets it, His word just sinks into your spirit. It does mine. I’ve been a believer for many, many years. But recently, our “relationship” is just now growing. God is my strength. And I long to keep reading what He has to say. Is He telling me, I am the one who needs to change? Indeed. Is my relationship with my husband something He wants me to work on? Indeed, He does. Every single day~~I read something that just reminds me of this(it often plays this way in my mind), my child~~how many times do I have to remind you, keep going forward, quit digging up the rotten stuff. I have plans for you, and you STILL are missing the mark. 🙂 But I’m learning. I’m doing better at controlling my big mouth.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Tammy, God has used my relationship with my children to speak to me so many times! Thank you so much for sharing this application!

  64. What I want to drop is all malice and old hurts. I read ahead and one thing that stood out was don’t get HISTORICAL! LET GO! AMEN!

  65. Kimberly Dodd says:

    Yes I want to be a doer of the word and not just knowledge I love Gods word Hebrews 4: 12 is one of the first scriptures God opened up to me showing me how important He word is with Jesus being the word and the word became flesh and dwelt among us, that word is what changes my life and though we can’t see how it works as a visible thing, it causesus to see the truth and changes us

  66. Patricia Q. says:

    What I want to drop tonight is any resentment against others.

    I read all of chapter 4 and the footnotes for verse 12, so I could understand why the verse was written. Then I read the question again. What I gained was the Hebrew believers were wandering in their souls about their religion. They needed to be reminded of what they would lose. We need to turn to our spirit and let the active word work in us. For me I received that I need to get out of myself which for me is my thoughts and doubts. To turn to my spirit and let the active word which is the Lord lead within me. I do not want to loose the rest that will be mine in the kingdom.

  67. I actually used another bible skill we learned during this study and that is “reading in context” before I answered Melissa’s questions posted here today. By reading in context I was able to learn more about who wrote the book and why. I learned that Hebrews was written for Jewish Christians who were being persecuted and going to trials. It was written to encourage them to stay strong in their faith and not turn their back on Jesus. Then I answered Melissa’s questions and I feel like I had a better feel and understanding for the verse. It seemed to me to be saying we need to remember who is the giver and taker of life. He knows our every thought, motive and intentions. His word cuts deep into our innermost being and discerns our thoughts and intentions and even our attitudes. He can speak life into our bones and cause us to be renewed for His purpose and to remember that Jesus paid the price, we just need to keep fighting the good fight knowing our rewards are in Heaven. Not on this earth!

  68. I loved the questions given to use when you want to get a deeper understanding of the Word of God.
    I used the Bible study tools recommended before to read Hebrews 4 :12. It helped me understand how powerful the word of God is.
    During the study the Holy Spirit revealed to me the answer to why I so often had outbursts of anger, insulting or untactful words and broken relationships. my thoughts were negative and had been deformed by bad childhood experiences.
    He impressed upon my mind the truth that the word of God has the power to penetrate and cut to the bone those deformed thoughts and change it.
    As I spend time in the presence of God, prayerfully studying and meditating on His word, He, The Holy Spirit will reveal to me powerful and personal truths that will bring about the much needed change in thought and action. NO MORE MASKS! !
    Thank you for this study. God bless you all.

  69. Like the message from previous weeks in Proverbs, God’s word in Hebrews is saying that he knows our motives, which is a sobering thought.

  70. I knew that God is all powerful, but after searching out this scripture in my commentaries, I have so much deeper of an understanding of the Word of God. God’s Word and the Truth of God is penetrating and sees every thought and feeling, sees the truth of what is in my heart. This causes me to want more to clean up my heart and my mind. I want God to see the truth in my heart and smile.

  71. Terri Lanigan says:

    1) Scripture is clarifying, stressing that Christ is THE once and only necessary atonement. (from reading info introducing Hebrews.) 2) Scripture will find and expose to me what God want me to admit or re-examine, re-think, or change my thoughts, etc.. God will get into “my business” very personally – deeply. 3) At times both, honestly. But I truly desire to be more like Christ. He is teaching me with this study! 4) In all of these areas really. 5) Both really. I am definitely understanding more about God – deeper. And I can assume a lot – too much – too often. I am asking God to help me with my automatic thoughts.
    Thank you for this study! God bless you. #Ps31 OBS #Keepitshut

  72. (1) The passage before Hebrews 4:12 speaks about the promise of rest. Hebrews 4:12 points out that God’s word reveals the condition of our hearts. If our hearts are harden then we are likely going to disobey Him.
    (2) God is saying that we should have rest, just like He did when He rested on the seventh day.
    (3) Our (or my) motives in applying this scripture is to be more like Jesus and to be like Jesus we must follow His examples.
    (4) I believe God is masking me to change all, my heart, thoughts and actions.
    (5) God is asking me to work on my relationship with Him and from the looks of my current circumstances, my relationship with my husband.

  73. Waiting on God says:

    Is there anyway that we could get those questions in a “sticky note” form like Ann Voskamp does on her website? I’d love to have one posted where I do my study or to keep in my Bible.

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Hmm, I’m not sure what “sticky note’ form is but, i would love to check it out!

    • Shirley says:

      I’m not sure what you are referring to either, but if you have Windows 7 on your computer, there is a sticky note function which allows you to type the questions on a sticky note (in several different colors) and “stick” it on your desktop. I use it a lot. Hope this helps.

  74. Rhonda Kinsey says:

    I am so grateful for this Bible study. It reinforces what I already knew and gives me avenues to try different ways to both forgive and try to diminish my anger. I feel closer to God than ever, but Hebrews 4:12 reinforces the fact that I’m not there yet.!! just knowing of the separation from God, spirit, soul, everything that means anything is inspiration to keep working at it! James 1:22 teaches me that I need to put into action what I read. And the questions to ask after I read a verse totally makes it personal. Thanks ladies. As I said, I’m being taught to put into action what I already know…

    • Melissa Sherlin P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Rhonda that is great! I am being taught too. Being here with you all really helps to take our study & application so much deeper!

  75. Alexandra-Leigh says:

    Answering those questions certainly deepened my understanding of the verse. I found the Amplified version both helpful and beautiful.

  76. God’s Word isn’t just words flat on a page. It’s alive and applicable to my daily life. It reveals areas in my life where I need work–areas that I can’t keep hidden from God.

  77. Digging deeper, studying brings rich fruit. This simple verse is not so simple after all. It is powerful! It confirms that God’s word is still true. His word has power. The power to transform our lives. It can bring down strongholds, change men’s hearts, and turn us closer to God. God wants us to know He is the answer to our life struggles. When we can’t, He can.

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