M&M: Why?? The Importance of Meditating – Part 2

M&M - Why?? The Importance of Meditating

M&M – Why??

The Importance of Meditating – Part 2


You can find Part 1 of this mini series here.

Now that we have established why to meditate and looked at three subjects worthy of meditation, what are the blessings of meditation? Six of the following are directly from my pastor’s sermon last week. I was so encouraged to have him list these blessings that I wanted to share them with you. I added a seventh from my own experience. May God pour out His richest blessings on you as you seek Him with all of your heart through the sacred discipline of meditation.

  1. Meditation Nurtures a Heart of Obedience. When we think about and reflect on God and the things of God, when we ponder the truth of His word, our desire to obey this great and mighty God is awakened, stirred, and inspired. As we come to know Him as holy, righteous, good, and forgiving, we are intrigued by this God who loves us so. His love for us, His forgiveness of our sin, His desire to walk with us through life draws us to want to honor Him through obedience. As we consider His sovereign will and rest in Him our obedience follows.
  2. Meditation Blesses Our Hearts. Solomon charged his readers to guard their heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Furthermore he wrote that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Our hearts are central to our actions and our words. If we don’t guard our hearts we are in real danger of self-destructive behavior. Meditation serves as a security system for our hearts. When we intentionally consider and think on God’s truth, we are able to protect our hearts from the world’s poisonous distractions.
  3. Meditation Grants Us Wisdom. Paul wrote that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 3:19). And so it is. The world’s values and priorities are in complete contrast to God’s standards. God’s wisdom is at odds with the worlds. They are complete opposites. The world says “it’s all about you” while the Bible teaches that “it’s all about God.” The world says that “you can be good enough” while the Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fallen short.” The world says that the universe “just happened” and the Bible’s account records that “in the beginning God.” God’s word is true. When we meditate on God’s wisdom, it grants us insight into relationships and situations beyond ourselves. His ways are not our ways and He patiently teaches His ways to us as we seek Him.
  4. Meditation Inspires Worship. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty who was and is and is to come. God is sovereign, over all things. He is Almighty, the Holy One of Israel. He is the One who put the stars in order, the planets in orbit. It is He who orchestrates the birds’ morning song and the watercolors of the sunrise. The intricacies of the flower, the unique structure of each snowflake, the ingenuity of the hummingbird’s flight. All of these and countless others lead us to worship Him. All creation worships Him. His word reveals truth to our souls, grants us strength in our weakness, and provides Living Water for our thirsty souls. We were made to worship and for fellowship with Him who alone is Worthy.
  5. Meditation Delights Our Souls. Fellowship with Him is what we are created for: to walk with Him daily, to trust Him in all things. John Piper says, “God is fully glorified when we are fully satisfied in Him.” He is enough. He invites us let Him be our all in all, to stop trying to find our fulfillment in anything else, to be satisfied in Him alone. He wants to be our delight and our joy. It’s an opportunity to be content in a world filled with discontent.
  6. Meditation Gives Us Courage and Bravery. Meditating on the things of God grants us confidence in Him, His will, and His plan. We can exercise courage to stand on His truth. God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you.” We don’t find Joshua saying he was afraid, but we do find God encouraging his fearful heart. We all struggle with fear. Through meditation on His word and its truth, He grants us confidence and courage. Courage is the outplay of His strength in our weakness. It means we can stand boldly against our enemy. It means we don’t waiver when trials come because we know our ability isn’t limited by ourselves. We have His mighty right hand to protect us.
  7. Meditation Promotes Peace. In a world filled with conflict and problems, with wars and rumors of wars, peace is rare. Most would say it’s an impossibility and ridiculous to even consider or pursue. But those of us who know Christ as the Prince of Peace also know that peace is possible and that it is freely given. If we are more tuned into the news than to His word, we are sure to be peace-less, but when we are in His word, meditating and memorizing His truth (including His promise of peace which transcends understanding), then we can experience His perfect peace because of the hope we have of His imminent return. Our hope is not the world’s hope of wishful thinking, but rather a confident expectation.

May the Holy Spirit draw your heart into a deeper relationship with God. May you long to meditate on His law both day and night. May you be teachable as He leads you into all truth. May you be blessed as you are reminded of His faithfulness. May you be changed from the inside out. May you glorify Him in all you say and do.

Rachael Carman

M&M: Why?? The Importance of Meditating

M&M - Why?? The Importance of Meditating

M&M: Why??

The Importance of Meditating

I have been doing M&M’s for the last couple of years. It has been my desire to inspire women to meditate and memorize God’s word. So many women have shared with me how doing the M&M each month has blessed them and subsequently their families.

This last Sunday the Pastor at our church, Dr. Alex Kennedy, began a series on spiritual disciplines. Guess what he started with? That’s right. Meditation. I thought that he had some great points, so I have decided to share them with you here. I have expanded on his outline with additional thoughts and Scripture.

Why Meditate?

First of all, it is important to define meditation. It means to ponder, muse, consider, ruminate, or consider something or someone, a circumstance, problem, choice, decision, or obstacle. Meditating means to think about, to think through, to think deeply.

Meditation isn’t something you do accidently or passively; it is something that you do intentionally and actively. Meditating requires a decision, time, and quiet. Since those three items are in such high demand for every person, meditating gets shoved to the bottom of the list, pushed aside for seemingly more important or urgent issues.

But meditating is important; it is urgent. Given our busy, highly-connected, exhausting lives, we could all use a break down a tranquil path with only birds singing overhead, without our phones, without the rings, beeps, and buzzing that harass us every moment. Our eyes have fallen down causing us to shuffle, rush, and even panic because we’ve lost our vision.

How do we stop the madness? How do we restore peace? Order? Joy? It might sound impossible, but I would suggest it’s not. It is more than possible. All this is promised as a by product when we choose to live as a “tree firmly planted by streams of water.” According to Psalm 1 the key is to meditate on His law both day and night.

“No, thanks,” you reply. “Meditate on the law? Day and night? No thanks. I’ve got other more important and pressing things to do. For that matter I have more interesting things to do. That sounds profoundly boring.”

I get it. Really I do. I’ll grant you that on the outset, it sounds boring and totally uninteresting. But step back for a moment. The psalmist is suggesting that we consider the love of God for us. To ponder His care for us, His plan for us, His desire for relationship with us, His encouragement for us, the strength, hope, mercy, and grace that He desires to extend to us. These are the insights we receive when we meditate on the law.

The Law (otherwise known as the Torah of the Old Testament) was expanded to 613 rules with which the Pharisees burdened the people. When Jesus arrived on the scene, He reduced the long list to two. These two greatest commandments encompassed, summarized, and simplified matters. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your strength, and with all of your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:28-31)

Now that is worth meditating on. The summation of the law and the prophets, summed up in one word: love. Imagine how it would change the world if we meditated on loving the Lord and each other. Take the words of Jesus and contemplate what they mean: You shall; love; the Lord; your God; with all; your heart, and so on. Those are words that are nourishing and productive. Those are words that change hearts, minds, actions, and words. Those are world-changing words. Those are words worth meditating on.

And those are just the beginning. The Bible is filled with life-changing, choice-altering, action-inspiring words, phrases, and passages. The word of the Lord is alive and active. In Deuteronomy 31, Moses said these are not idol words. This is your life.

This is the why of the monthly M&M’s. Because meditating on truth changes everything. It changes your perspective, your attitude, your life. It changes your focus, your marriage, your parenting. It changes you as a son, a daughter, a neighbor, a friend. In the words of Lee Iacocca: “This changes everything”. Meditation matters.

  1. Meditation on His Word. It’s timeless and unchanging. Having read it through I can say that when I read it again, I come across passages I don’t remember being there last time. But here’s the deal. It was there, but I wasn’t where I am now. The Holy Spirit guides and teaches as we read, study, and meditate. Truth doesn’t change, but our understanding of it expands and deepens as we dare to marinate in it.
  2. Meditation on His Creation. In Romans 1, Paul writes that man is “without excuse.” The evidence of God’s handiwork surrounds us. Just like the great paintings of Da Vinci point to a master painter, the rose, the sunset, the forest, the hummingbird, the lion all point to a master Creator. We need to take time to meditate on the wonders of creation. Ponder the precision of a spider’s web, the fluttering of the butterflies delicate wings, the instinct of the polar bear. Consider the uniqueness of water, the perfect tilt and gravity and atmosphere of the Earth, the specific mixture of chemical components of the air we breathe. Children are amazed everyday at lizards and frogs. A child-like faith and wonder would serve us well to recapture.
  3. Meditation on His Faithfulness. Just like Scripture is unchanging and creation is full of evidence of His creativity, our lives testify to His faithfulness. As believers we can recall situations when we are confident He walked us through, held us, defended us, guided us. We cannot deny His mercy, grace, and love. Most of us can recount huge life events, but what about the everyday ones? What about His faithfulness in His provision for our everyday needs, our beds, food, and clothing? What about our families, friends, and neighbors? What about our health? And what’s more, what about those areas where we are lacking and He is enough. He is our vision. He is our Father. He is our Redeemer. His faithfulness is worth not only our meditation, but also our sharing with others. These are the stories we will share forever in glory. In Heaven we will be reunited with friends and family. We will meet new friends and for all of eternity we will share stories of what He did, how He glorified Himself, how He grew us. We will never run out of stories to share as we worship the King of glory!

Join me next week as we continue with The Importance of Meditation – Part 2.

Rachael Carman


Memorize & Meditate (M&M) John 15

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) John 15

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) John 15

John 15:1-11  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

M&M October 2015

John 15:1-11


Repeating words/phrases












What a passage! It’s full of encouragement and admonition. This is truly a passage where we need to sit and soak. This is a portion of Scripture we need to just take our time, to sit and read over and over, to listen to the Spirit through. This passage complements the I John study that I’ve posted here. The same John, the cousin of Jesus, wrote this book, 1, 2, and 3 John and Revelation. John and Jesus’s mothers were sisters.

John is unique from the other three gospels-Matthew, Mark and Luke-which are chronological in organization. John’s gospel was written much later than the others and is much more reflective in nature. John was referred to as the ‘beloved’ disciple. He was also the only disciple at the cross and not surprisingly, Jesus gave him charge of His mother before He died.

I would challenge you to read the whole book of John before approaching this month’s passage. It will give you a better contextual appreciation as you being meditating and memorizing the truths contained in John 15.1-18.

Take time to go through and mark all of the verbs, reoccurring words, and conditional conjunctions (if).

There are 7 ‘I am’ statements of Christ in the book of John. List them.








Jesus is speaking in this passage and in the first verse He declares who He is and who the Father is. What figurative images does He use?



In verse 2 the absolute word ‘every’ used. What does it mean? What are the two options for branches and what are the results? Is there a neutral option?

What makes us clean? (vs3)

Verse 4 gives the secret to bearing fruit, what is it? What does it mean?

Jesus makes a declaration in verse 5. What is it? Is this literal or figurative? How do you know?

In verse 5b Jesus says that we can do nothing apart from Him. How do the following passages relate to this statement?

John 5:59

John 5:30

Who was Jesus dependent on? How does this support the doctrine of the Trinity?

Verses 6, 7 and 10 Jesus uses the conditional conjunction ‘if’. What are the three conditions He lays out?




The word ‘whatever’ is used in the New Testament 52 times (NASB). In this generation it has come to represent a flippant attitude towards responsibilities, decisions and even God’s word.

Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!

Rachael Carman

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) James 1

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) James 1

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) James 1

James 1

James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.

12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear,slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Repeating words/phrases






This is a longer passage this month. Please take the time to read the entire book of James. It will be a better context for you to study the whole book rather than just the first chapter alone. There is more here than we can possibly cover in just a few minutes. I pray that you will allow this passage to wash over you. Dare to dig deeply into it. Don’t try to answer the questions quickly, but rather come back to them over and over and allow them to draw your heart closer to God as you seek Him through this passage.


Who is this James? How do you know? (Check out I Corinthians 15.7, Galatians 1.19 & 2.9)


After his initial greeting, James goes straight to the point. Under what circumstances is he suggesting we should we be joyful? Why? What result does he offer?


Verse 5 talks about the importance of wisdom. Who grants it? How can we ask for more?


What is doubt compared to?


What is a double-minded man? James uses this same word, double-minded again in James 4.8. How are these two verses related?


These two verses give us insight into James’ heart for his readers. What do you hear in his admonishments regarding being double-minded? What are some dangers of being double-minded?


Can you think of an example of being double-minded in your own life? Take a moment to pray in faith that God will grant you wisdom and strength to overcome the double-mindedness in your life.


James uses three similes (using the word “like” or “as” to compare and contrast) in this chapter to make illustrations of the points he is trying to communicate. List them and their significance:


Vs 6

Vs. 10

Vs. 23


To what does James compare a rich man’s pursuits in verse 11? How does that compare with Isaiah’s comparison in Isaiah 40.8?


Matthew 5 contains the famous beatitudes. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lists those who are blessed because of their attitudes. Who does James say is blessed in verse 12? What is he promised to receive? Why?


Name a relationship or situation or trial that you are persevering through right now. Take a moment to ask God to grant you wisdom and strength to continue on for His glory.


Does temptation come from God? How do you know? Who is your enemy? Does he tempt you?


According to verses 14 & 15 what is the progression that leads to death?


Lust is anything you desire, want, or long for more than God. Take a moment to ask God to reveal to you any lust in your heart. Take a moment to pray and ask God to grant you the wisdom and strength to overcome and renew the joy of your salvation.


What comes from God? (Verse 17) What attribute of God does this reveal? Name some of the good and perfect gifts He has given you.


In verse 2, 16 and now in 19 James refers to his readers as ‘my brethren’ or ‘my beloved brethren’. What tenderness he has for those in his charge. He is modeling speaking the truth in love. Are there some relationships wherein you need to either boldly speak the truth or be more gracious in your conversation?


Take a moment to pray that God would grant you wisdom to speak to others in a way that honors His name and encourages the person.


In verse 19 what three habits does James say everyone should do?




Which one of these do you think you do pretty well? Which one do you need to work on? How might practicing these three change your marriage? Your parenting? Your friendships?


What about your relationship with your heavenly Father? How is Psalms 46.10 related to these three challenges?


Verse 21 lists two things to ‘put aside’ and one to ‘receive’. What are they?




James takes the idea of receiving the word to a deeper level when he encourages his readers to do more than just hear the word. What does he say we must become? What does it mean to be a doer? In verse 25 he suggests how to be a doer. What does he say we need to do?


As chapter 1 wraps up, James advises us to bridle our tongues. How do we do that? Why is it important? James says that an unbridled tongue would nullify our religion. How?


Finally in the last verse of chapter one, James lists three characteristics of ‘pure and undefiled religion. List them:




What do these three activities have in common? These are not meant to create a check list for the legalist in you. These are examples of the ‘doing’ James encouraged earlier. All of these require selflessness and determination. How can you make it a priority to commitment to these three?


Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!

Rachael Carman

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) – Proverbs 3:1-13

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) - Proverbs 3:1-13


Memorize & Meditate (M&M)

Proverbs 3:1-13

Proverbs 3:1-13  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Rewards of Wisdom

My son, do not forget my teaching,

But let your heart keep my commandments;

For length of days and years of life

And peace they will add to you.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;

Bind them around your neck,

Write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good repute

In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your body

And refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord from your wealth

And from the first of all your produce;

10 So your barns will be filled with plenty

And your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord

Or loathe His reproof,

12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,

Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom

And the man who gains understanding.



M&M August 2015

Proverbs 3:1-13


Repeating words/phrases


Do not

The Lord




Who wrote Proverbs? To whom did he address this passage?


According to verse 1 what is the father pleading for? What danger is he warning of?


In verse 3 the writer suggests two things that the reader do with the teachings and commandments. What are they?


What are some practical ways you can do these?


Through out the passage there are 14 imperatives, things that the passage tells the reader to do. List them:
















Verses 2, 4, 6b, 8, & 10 lists 10 promises. List them:












Mark the ‘do not’s”.


What are some areas/circumstances/issues in which you are leaning on your own understanding?


How could you acknowledge Him, His sovereignty, faithfulness, and goodness in those situations?



 Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!

Rachael Carman


Memorize & Meditate (M&M) – Psalm 91

Join me every month for a little Memorizing & Meditating on God's Word. This month we're diving into Psalm 91 at


Memorize & Meditate May 2015

Psalm 91

Psalm 91 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Security of the One Who Trusts in the Lord.


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper

And from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,

Or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side

And ten thousand at your right hand,

But it shall not approach you.

You will only look on with your eyes

And see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands,

That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

16 “With a long life I will satisfy him

And let him see My salvation.”



June 2015 M&M

Psalm 91

This is known as the Warrior’s Psalm.


Repeating words/phrases:



I (referring to the Lord)







pivotal conjunction: but

absolute words: no, any, all


Print out the Scripture and mark so that you can


In verse 1 what does it mean to ‘dwell in the shelter of the Most High’ and ‘abide in the shadow of the Almighty’? How are the verbs different? Are they synonyms? Are the titles the same? (Use to help.)


The psalmist claims God to be-

My ________________________ vs. 2

My ________________________ vs. 2

My ________________________ vs. 2

My ________________________ vs. 9

My ___________________   ___________________ vs. 9


How is trust key when you’re in a battle?


How is putting trust in the Lord (vs. 2) related to not being afraid in vs. 5. Read Psalm 121 for more insight.


What imagery does David use in verse 4?



Do a word study on the words fear and afraid. How are they related? When is fear appropriate? When is it inappropriate? Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Is that biblical? Are we to fear fear?


In verses 3, 5 & 6, what are the things He promises protection from?


In verse 7 it says, “a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not approach you.” What does that mean? My right hand seems awfully close to me-


Describe an instance when you experienced His angels charge and guard over you. (Vs. 11)


There are several promises here-key word=will (some verses have more than one)

Vs. 1

Vs. 4

Vs. 5

Vs. 7

Vs. 8

Vs 10

Vs 11

Vs 12

Vs. 13

Vs 14

Vs 15

Vs 16


What is the promise given in verse 16? What does it mean to ‘see My salvation’?


Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!

Rachael Carman

M&M May Challenge – Romans 12:1-21

Romans 12 1 21

M&M May Challenge – Romans 12:1-21

Romans 12:1-21  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Dedicated Service

12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans can be outlined as follows:






Our passage for this month falls in about our service as believers. It begins with the word, ‘therefore’. In order to fully understand the meaning of this passage, we must get it into context. Take the time to read Romans 1-11 with the above outline in mind.

Repeated words/phrases-interesting list-very few

Do not





Now that you have a better context for Romans 12, notice Paul’s urging in verse 1. How does that set the tone for these verses?


What are the three things Paul pleads with his readers to do in the first 2 verses?


How does he characterize God’s will in verse 3? Using look these words up in the original Greek. What insight did you gain?


In verses 3-8 Paul discusses the varying functions we have as members of the same body. How are we to function together? What about our gifts? What gift has God granted you to share with the body? Are you currently using that gift? How?

Humility is a clear theme in these verses. What specific verses illustrate Paul’s emphasis on our being selfless?

There are 6 pivotal conjunctions using ‘but’. Note each one and the contrast that Paul is stating.







Throughout this passage Paul writes of practical actions a believer can do.  Depending on how our count there are around 30. Which ones stand out to you personally?

In the last three verses Paul writes about how to get along with difficult people in our lives. What does he encourage? How can we do this practically? (Note the verbs!)

There are four absolutes-3 ‘all’s’ and 2 ‘nevers’. What are the ‘nevers’ in verses 17 & 19 and why are they so important? What freedom do they offer?

Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!

Rachael Carman

M&M April 2015 Challenge – Isaiah 40

M&M April 2015 Challenge - Isaiah 40 with free download.

M&M April 2015 Challenge – Isaiah 40


Isaiah 40 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Greatness of God


“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.

“Speak kindly to Jerusalem;

And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,

That her iniquity has been removed,

That she has received of the Lord’s hand

Double for all her sins.”

A voice is calling,

“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;

Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

“Let every valley be lifted up,

And every mountain and hill be made low;

And let the rough ground become a plain,

And the rugged terrain a broad valley;

Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,

And all flesh will see it together;

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Call out.”

Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”

All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

But the word of our God stands forever.

Get yourself up on a high mountain,

O Zion, bearer of good news,

Lift up your voice mightily,

O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;

Lift it up, do not fear.

Say to the cities of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might,

With His arm ruling for Him.

Behold, His reward is with Him

And His recompense before Him.

11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,

In His arm He will gather the lambs

And carry them in His bosom;

He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,

And marked off the heavens by the span,

And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,

And weighed the mountains in a balance

And the hills in a pair of scales?

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,

Or as His counselor has informed Him?

14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?

And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge

And informed Him of the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;

Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.

16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,

Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are as nothing before Him,

They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

18 To whom then will you liken God?

Or what likeness will you compare with Him?

19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it,

A goldsmith plates it with gold,

And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.

20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering

Selects a tree that does not rot;

He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman

To prepare an idol that will not totter.

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,

And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,

Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain

And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,

Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.

24 Scarcely have they been planted,

Scarcely have they been sown,

Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,

But He merely blows on them, and they wither,

And the storm carries them away like stubble.

25 “To whom then will you liken Me

That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high

And see who has created these stars,

The One who leads forth their host by number,

He calls them all by name;

Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,

Not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord,

And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth

Does not become weary or tired.

His understanding is inscrutable.

29 He gives strength to the weary,

And to him who lacks might He increases power.

30 Though youths grow weary and tired,

And vigorous young men stumble badly,

31 Yet those who wait for the Lord

Will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles,

They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary.



Repeated words/phrases:

The Lord






Make sure you take the time to read the whole passage through. Parts of it will be familiar to you, others might be new, but take in the entire context. Pray that God will speak to you through His word.


Mark all of the verbs. Notice how active God is in this passage.

In verse 2 there are three things that the Lord wants Israel to know. What are they?




Verse 3 is a foreshadowing of what the forerunner of Christ would say. Who was he and where is this declaration found in the New Testament?

The Bible is not without the use of beautiful imagery. What comparisons are made in verses 6-8? What contrast is made?

What is the significance of verse 8 in a culture, which embraces relative truth?

This passage lists several promises. Name the promise in each verse below:

Vs. 5

Vs. 10

Vs. 11

Vs. 31

List all of the things, which are His. (e.g. Vs. 10 ‘His arm’)

What has He done according to verse 12?

Name the attributes of God according this passage.

How are the nations characterized verses 15-17?  What is the significance of this truth.

There are several similes in this passage. List them.

There are two pivotal conjunctions in verses 8 & 24. What contrasts do they underscore?

Verse 26 admonishes the reader to ‘lift us your eyes on high’. Why is it important to lift our eyes up to God? What Psalm encourages us to do this?

What is the conditional laid out at the beginning of verse 31? How do we do it? What are the rewards associated with doing it?


Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!


Rachael Carman

M&M February 2015 Challenge – Matthew 5:1-16

Memorize & Meditate {M&M} February Challenge

Memorize & Meditate – February 2015

Matthew 5:1-16  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.



This month’s M&M is familiar. Try to set aside all you already know, or think you know and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you. Read it several times over before continuing on to the questions below. Really soak in it and allow yourself to become saturated.


Repeating words/phrases

Blessed are

For they shall







In verse 1-2 Jesus acts. What does He do?

Many of us have read and even memorized the beatitudes at some point in our lives. It is easy to read over them and not think about what they mean. Using some kind of a Bible study tool, research what they following phrases mean:

  1. ‘poor in spirit’
  2. ‘those who mourn’
  3. ‘gentle’
  4. ‘hunger and thirst’
  5. ‘merciful’
  6. ‘pure in heart’
  7. ‘peacemakers’
  8. ‘persecuted’

Similarly, what is the significance of these phrases?

  1. ‘the kingdom of heaven’
  2. ‘be comforted’
  3. ‘inherit the earth’
  4. ‘be satisfied’
  5. ‘receive mercy’
  6. ‘see God’
  7. ‘be called sons of God’
  8. ‘theirs is the kingdom of heaven’

There are three imperatives, two in verse 12 and one in verse 16. List them.

How do these seem challenging in light of the whole passage?

Jesus compares believers to two things in verses 13 and 16. What are they?

What does it mean to be salt? What difference does salt make?

What does it mean to be light? What difference does light make?

How can we be world changers as we live our daily lives?

Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!

Rachael Carman

M&M January 2015 Challenge – Philippians 4:1-13

Memorize & Meditate (M&M) Philippians 4:1-13 {January 2015}

M&M January 2015 Challenge

Philippians 4:1-13New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Think of Excellence
Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Join me on YouTube for the full study of Philippians 4:1-13!

Repeated words/phrases
List the imperatives:
  1. Stand firm in the Lord vs 1
Three uses of the conjunction ‘but’, what are the comparisons/contrasts?
Two promises:
Vs 7-
Vs 9-
List the 8 qualifiers for the things we should think about
Which one of these is the most challenging for your personally?
Paul is the author of the book of Philippians. Read 2 Corinthians 11.23-27. Paul knew the hardships associated with being a Christ follower, a proclaimer of the Good News. Through it all, what had he learned? (vs 11-12) Have you learned this? How? Through what life circumstance?
How does vs 13 sum up this passage?
What is the issue in your life right now for which you need His strength to sustain you? Are you willing to give it to Him and trust Him with it?
Download your outline and verse here and get ready to mark it up!
Rachael Carman