Last week we talked about using the Blue Letter Bible app to look up words in the original languages. Today I want to show you another way I have found the Blue Letter Bible app to be useful: studying a specific word in our English Bible. This is helpful in increasing our understanding of passages and concepts in the Word of God. For this example, we’re going to study the word “rest.”


Open the Blue Letter Bible app and tap the magnifying glass in the top left corner. Then, type in the word you want to study and tap search.


As you can see, the word “rest” occurs in 265 verses in the Bible. If you’re researching a common word like “rest,” it may take some time to read through all the verses. Plan accordingly!


As you find verses that spark your interest, tap them to bring up a menu. Select “Append Clipboard” to add them to your clipboard.


When you’re done reading, go to your notes app, open a new note, and paste your clipboard into your new note. Now you have all your verses of interest in one place, and you’ve likely narrowed down your research.


Go back to the Blue Letter Bible app and look up your verses of interest. From here, you can further study you word by looking it up in the original languages. (If you’re not sure how to do this, check out my blog post from last week.)


When we want to develop a deeper understanding of a Bible word, studying the way that word is used in the Bible can be incredibly helpful. I hope this will be a great tool for you as you dig deeper into God’s Word!


My favorite app to use when studying my Bible is the Blue Letter Bible app. It’s easy to use, it’s a wealth of knowledge, and it’s free! I’m sure I’m not even using a fraction of the resources on this app, but I want to share with you the ones that I do use and have found to be helpful. One thing that is incredibly helpful in studying the Bible is looking up words in the original languages in which the Bible was written. Gone are the days of bulky lexicons and expensive computer programs! You can easily look up Greek and Hebrew words on your phone. In this post, I will walk you step by step through using the Blue Letter Bible app to look up words in the original languages.


By tapping the Scripture reference at the top of your screen, you will be brought to an index of all the books of the Bible. From here, you can easily navigate to the passage you would like to study.


Once you have brought up the chapter you are studying, tap on the verse for which you want to look up words in the original languages.


At the very top of the menu, you will see “Interlinear/Concordance.” Tap that!


If you’re in the Old Testament you’ll see Hebrew words, and if you’re in the New Testament you’ll see Greek words. Scroll down and tap the Hebrew or Greek word that corresponds with the English word you would like to study.


Scroll through this page to find definitions, how the word is used in the Bible, and other Scripture references where this word is used.


I’m so thankful for resources like this that allow me to deepen my understanding of God’s Word even though my knowledge of Greek and Hebrew isn’t as great as I would like for it to be. I pray that this will be a blessing to you. I will be creating more tutorials for the Blue Letter Bible app in the future, so make sure you’re receiving my newsletter so you don’t miss a post! You can sign up by entering your email address below!


We live in a culture that is wildly obsessed with success. Having a flourishing career, making money, owning a home, and living up to some ideal of “The American Dream” has become all-consuming for many people. Don’t get me wrong; none of those things are necessarily bad. There is nothing wrong with making money and owning things, but when achieving those things becomes our standard of success, it is likely that we will end up feeling empty in the end.

If we want to live truly satisfying, successful lives, we may need to redefine our definition of success. The Bible tells us clearly what the key to true success is:

Joshua 1:8

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

True success is found in living a life based on God’s Word. This formula that God outlined for Joshua before going into the promised land can also help us find true success in life as well. By redefining success as talking about God’s Word, knowing God’s Word, and doing God’s Word, we will find the satisfaction we are looking for.


God told Joshua that the law should not depart out of his mouth. This command to Joshua was likely referring to God’s previous command to his people found in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

The truth of God’s Word should be a constant centerpiece of our conversation. How much of our talking is centered around the Word of God? Even if we’re not talking directly about God’s Word, it should have an influence on all of our conversation. If someone listened to everything I said for a day, would it be obvious that I’m a Christian? Or would they be surprised to find out that I’m a believer? What is in my heart will always come out of my mouth.


If what is in my heart will always come out of my mouth, I want to make sure I fill my heart with the truth of God’s Word. I can’t talk about God’s Word if I don’t know it. So how can I know God’s Word?

Read God’s Word

I can’t know God’s Word if I don’t read it. A daily Bible reading routine is the very foundation of knowing God’s Word. As I have read God’s Word over and over through the years, its truth has become familiar to me. There’s so much that I still don’t know, but simply reading the Bible over and over again increases my understanding over time.

Meditate on God’s Word

“Meditate” is the word God specifically used in His command to Joshua. This word means to muse or to think about. My mind is constantly turning; what if I brought those wandering thoughts captive and spent my time thinking about Scripture? This allows the truth of God’s Word to sink deeply into our hearts, and eventually it will be sure to come out in our lives.

Memorize God’s Word

I hate to admit it, but this is something I struggle to do. When I was a kid, Scripture memory came easily to me. I still remember many of the verses I memorized in church. The older we get, the harder memorization becomes, but hiding God’s Word in our hearts is still a vital part of building a life based on the Word of God. Memorizing Scripture and meditating on Scripture go hand in hand—as we meditate on a verse, it will become more deeply engrained in our hearts.


It’s not enough simply to know God’s Word and talk about God’s Word; I must actually live out the truth of God’s Word in my life. God told Joshua that the whole point of meditating on God’s Word day and night was so that he would be able to do the things it taught. However, no matter how well I know God’s Word, I will be endlessly frustrated if I try to apply it to my life in my own strength. This can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we trust Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. He will give us the strength we need to follow God’s Word if we stay sensitive to His guidance.


As I was writing this blog post, I received an email from our landlord with information about renewing our lease for another year. If I defined success like the world defines it, I could easily be frustrated that we haven’t bought a house yet. But when I define success as living a life based on God’s Word, I can have peace in knowing that we’re right on track in God’s eyes. I can be thankful for the amazing place He has provided for us to live. And I can keep serving Him joyfully. After all, this world is not my home. I’m here for a short while to reach others with the gospel. If I can accomplish that, I know I will be successful in God’s eyes. And that’s all that matters.


When I first entered the youth group at the age of twelve, I did not have any kind of consistent routine for daily devotions. I knew that God’s Word was important, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to be faithful to reading. Through my time in youth group, God placed multiple people in my life who gave me the tools I needed to have a consistent quiet time. One of those people was my youth pastor, Dwight Martin. He always provided us with recommendations for devotionals and Bible study materials, and he even had copies available at church for us to purchase. When I didn’t know where to start, this helped me develop a Bible reading routine that has become an anchor for my days. I don’t often use devotional books anymore, but you may find one to be helpful in certain seasons of life. I want to share with you a guide to devotionals that will help you know when a devotional might benefit you, what to look for in a devotional, and which devotionals I recommend.


It’s far more important for us to know what God’s Word says than for us to know what someone else says about God’s Word. For this reason, I would encourage you to keep your devotion time centered around the Bible rather than on devotionals. However, there are three times when I believe that devotionals can be beneficial.

For Developing a Routine

I already mentioned that devotionals were especially helpful for me in developing a routine for reading God’s Word. If you don’t have a consistent Bible reading routine, a devotional may be helpful in developing one. Many devotionals have dates in them, so you’ll know exactly which passage to read on which day. Supposedly it takes twenty-one days to create a habit. A daily devotional might be just the thing that will help you create a habit of reading God’s Word.

To Find Encouragement in Hard Seasons

In the difficult seasons of life, we may just need some extra encouragement. God very well may use the insight and perspective of a devotional to give you the encouragement you need.

To Pause to Refocus on the Lord

In busier seasons, it may be helpful to read God’s Word more than one time per day. This may seem counterintuitive; if we’re busier, how will we have time to pause to read God’s Word more than once? Yet it is in these busy seasons that we often find we need God the most. This was especially true for me in my early days of motherhood. I found that it was helpful to take an extra pause in the day and read a short daily devotional to refocus my attention on the Lord. If you normally have your devotions in the morning, you might try doing this in the afternoon or evening.  Or, if you normally have a quiet time later in the day, you may take a minute in the morning to read a devotional to focus your mind on the Lord for the day.


There’s really only one question to ask when you’re choosing a devotional: is it based on Scripture? If a devotional is just someone’s nice thoughts, it isn’t really going to be beneficial. Scripture should always be the central focus of a devotional because God’s Word alone is able to speak hope into our lives.


Although there are many devotionals I could recommend, I’ll just list three here. If you need further recommendations, check with your pastor or a leader in your church. I’m sure they would love to recommend their favorites as well!



This classic by Oswald Chambers is my all time favorite. I read it for the first time in high school, and I’ve probably read it a total of three times over the years. I’m sure I’ll read it again at some point. It has a devotional reading for every day of the year, it’s Scripture based, and its content remains relevant, even though it was originally published in 1927.



This is a devotional I read in my college years. Within its pages, Paul Chappell shares the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. It has a reading for every day of the year followed by a practical application for your daily life.



This is a new release that I finished reading recently. It’s a compilation of thirty devotional readings written by women just like you and me. It’s practical, relatable, and, true to its title, encouraging.


I hope this guide will give you some ideas for how to practically use daily devotionals as you grow in your walk with the Lord. Is there a devotional that has been a special blessing to you? Tell me about it in the comments!


I have a confession: I love donuts. I will never say no to a donut, at any time for any reason. If I had the opportunity to eat donuts every day, I probably would.

It’s no secret that donuts aren’t the most nutritious food. In fact, they could probably be listed among the least nutritious foods. They’re deep fried, full of refined sugar, and oh so delicious.

There’s nothing wrong with eating a donut on occasion, but I know better than to seek out opportunities to eat donuts every day just because I love them. I know that this would damage my physical health in the long run, and I would very quickly start to feel the negative effects of my choices.

We often think about what we are feeding our bodies, but how often do we think about what we are feeding our souls? That innermost part of our being needs to be nourished, but how often are we feeding it a consistent diet of spiritual junk food? We try to find our satisfaction in entertainment, relationships, and possessions, but in the end we just feel empty. In order to be filled, we may need to change what we are hungry for. I want to share with you some practical steps for developing a healthy spiritual diet.


If I told myself I was never allowed to have another donut ever again, I can guarantee you that would not help me to have a healthy relationship with donuts. In fact, it would likely make me crave them more. We’re not talking about sinful behaviors; we’re talking about things that can be completely pure and innocent. The problem comes in when we start trying to satisfy our souls with these things.

For me, it’s scrolling on social media. There’s nothing wrong with this in and of itself, but when I start to reach for my phone in moments of anxiety to soothe my soul, it then becomes a problem. Any form of entertainment can become a problem in this way. With the invention of wireless earbuds came the ability to easily plug into another world and drown out our unpleasant emotions. I enjoy podcasts as much as the next person, but I have to be careful about constant consumption. If I drown out every moment of silence to avoid unpleasant feelings, I’ll miss the opportunity to fellowship with God through prayer and receive the comfort of His still small voice in my moments of need.

So how do we put spiritual junk food in its proper place?


How much time each day is reasonable for you to spend consuming spiritual junk food? This boundary is between you and the Lord, but if you pray about it, He will make it clear what the boundary should be.

Maybe you should limit your consumption to a certain time of day. Since I know social media is a problem for me, I limit my time on social media to my daughter’s nap time after I’ve spent time in God’s Word.


As with all life changes, it’s easier to be consistent when you have accountability. The best person to keep you accountable is probably someone you live with. For me, it’s my husband. Do I like it when he asks me if I really need to be on my phone right now? Not at all. Am I thankful that he cares enough about me to help me stay accountable to the boundaries I have set for myself? Absolutely.


I can reduce my intake of donuts all I want, but if I don’t consume enough nourishing food in their place, I’ll still have uncontrollable cravings. We don’t put spiritual junk food in its proper place just for the sake of consuming less, but for the sake of making more room for the food that will satisfy our soul’s deepest longings.

True satisfaction can be found in God alone. How do we develop a relationship with God? By spending time in the pages of His Word and by talking to Him through prayer. When I have the urge to pick up my phone in moments of anxiety, how much better would I actually feel if I turned to the Lord in prayer? Rather than sitting down with a novel when I have some time to myself, what if I opened the pages of God’s Word and received the hope that He has to offer?


These changes won’t take place overnight. Just like changing our diets physically takes time and effort, developing an appetite for God’s Word isn’t an instant change. But if we learn to put spiritual junk food in its proper place and start giving our souls the spiritual nourishment they need one day at a time, we will find the true satisfaction that only God can give.


You get to the end of the day, and you realize you haven’t had a quiet time. Sound familiar?

We’ve all been there. Life happens. If you miss your time in God’s Word for the day, there is always grace. But I want to give you the tools you need to be as consistent as possible. Our time in God’s Word makes such a difference in our lives!

One thing that has helped me be consistent in my quiet time is having a backup plan for the days when life just gets in the way. I want to give you some practical tips for having a “Plan B” for your quiet time.


At the beginning of every day, know when you’re going to have your quiet time. Better yet, think through the week ahead of time! Is there a day this week that your schedule will be out of the ordinary? Do you have to wake up earlier certain days? Will you be traveling or out of the house more than usual? If you can think through the day before it starts, you’ll be able to adjust if your normal quiet time isn’t going to work.


You know your day is going to be off, and you honestly don’t know when you’re going to be able to have a quiet time. Ask the Lord to help you to be aware of the earliest possible time when you can pause for a quiet time. This may mean that your time isn’t completely quiet. I’ve had my “quiet time” on the couch while a toddler climbed all over me. But if you ask God to help you be aware of an opportunity to pause for a few minutes, He will make it clear.


Sometimes life takes us by surprise. Someone gets sick, or there’s some sort of emergency. You weren’t able to plan ahead, and there really was no moment to pause. Before you go to bed, open your Bible, even if it’s just for five minutes. This is the thing that has helped me be most consistent in my Bible reading. If I don’t get to read at my normal time, I know I can always spend a few minutes with the Lord before I go to bed. Besides, those days when life completely overwhelms us are likely the days we need God’s Word the most.


If you think ahead through your days and weeks, stay sensitive to the Spirit’s leading to pause, and commit to reading for just a few minutes before bed, you will be far more likely to be consistent with your quiet time.

Do you have a backup plan for your quiet time on the busy days? Tell me in the comments!


Have you ever reached the end of your time in God’s Word and wondered what you had just read? Do you wonder if you’ll ever understand certain parts of God’s Word? I just read through Ezekiel for the second time this year, and I can assure you this is how I felt most days after reading. 

Sometimes the Bible seems hard to understand. It can be tempting to give up trying, avoiding the parts that don’t make as much sense to us (hello, 1 Chronicles!). But there is so much reward found in continuing to read and study the Bible, even the difficult parts. I want to share with you three things to help you stay encouraged when the Bible seems hard to understand.


I have to be willing to admit that part of the problem with my lack of understanding may be me. I realize that my mind is prone to wandering when I’m trying to read God’s Word. Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and our phones and the internet are partially to blame. But we still have a choice. I want to choose to engage my mind. When I notice my mind wandering during my quiet time, I will choose to refocus my attention on God’s Word. This takes work every single day, but it is so worth it.


The truth is, we can’t understand God’s Word on our own. We need a Teacher to help us. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit for this very purpose.

John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

We receive the Holy Spirit at salvation, and He is the one Who will teach us all things and give understanding.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Knowing that I have the Holy Spirit to guide me, I will keep being faithful to my time in God’s Word. If I take the time, God will do the teaching.


There are some things we just won’t understand until we get to heaven. Even a lifetime of studying God’s Word will not be enough to know everything God has for us within its pages. But I want to devote my life to getting just a little closer to understanding every day. I want to get to know God in this lifetime so that stepping into eternity with Him feels as natural as taking my next breath.

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

There are things I will not understand this side of eternity. Until then, I will delight in the mystery.


If we engage our minds, trust the Teacher, and delight in the mystery, we will find satisfaction in our time in God’s Word, even on the days when we don’t fully understand. The Holy Spirit will teach us little by little, and when we get to heaven, we will know even as also we are known.

I would love to pray for you that God would give you understanding of His Word. If you would like prayer in this area, will you let me know in the comments?


I’ve been told many times over the course of my life that the best time to have a quiet time is in the morning. Although that may be true for some people in some seasons, it has rarely been true for me. I remember a period of time as a teenager when I slept with my Bible next to my bed and asked my mom to hand it to me when she woke me up for school so I could have a morning quiet time. Although my intentions were good, this didn’t work out very well in practice. By the time I got to school, I could barely remember what I had read. I knew I had to find a different way because the whole having-a-quiet-time-in-the-morning thing wasn’t working for me. So I started having a quiet time at different times of the day.

Yes, there are passages in the Bible that talk about seeking God in the morning. Yes, Jesus went out to pray a great while before day. But He did that because it was the best time for Him to meet with His Father before His followers started demanding His attention. In college I found that the morning really was the best time for me because the dorm was still quiet. The best time to have a quiet time is the time you’re consistently able to have it. I want to share with you five times to have a quiet time (other than in the morning!) that I hope will help you have a more consistent time with God in His Word.


I first experimented with having a quiet time at night before going to bed. As a teenager, that was when my mind was the most alert and ready to read and comprehend God’s Word. If you’re not a morning person or you have to wake up too early in the morning to have a profitable quiet time, this may be a good option for you. My husband wakes up at 3:30 AM most weekdays, and I often see him reading his Bible before going to bed. In this season of life, it’s the best time for him.


If you have a job that includes a lunch break, try having your quiet time during this time! It’s okay if you eat lunch while having your quiet time. Consider it having lunch with God! This may require you to give up some social time or entertainment during your lunch break, but the refreshment you will receive from God’s Word will be well worth it.


For a period of time I had a quiet time in the afternoon as soon as I got home from school. I was able to go to my room where it was quiet and take some time to read God’s Word and refresh myself after a day at school. If you’re a student, this may be a good option for you. It could also be a good option if you work and can take a little time when you get home.


As a newly married wife, I enjoyed having a quiet time later in the morning after my husband had left the house. If your family has a bit of a different schedule than you do and you find that you have some time at home by yourself, this is a perfect time to meet with God through reading His Word.


As a new mom, I ignored the advice to sleep when the baby was sleeping and had my quiet time when the baby was sleeping. Now that my “baby” is almost two, I still do this. This may be the best option for moms: meet with the Lord when the little ones are napping or after their bedtime. But know that it’s okay in this season if your “quiet time” isn’t always quiet. There may be interruptions, but your ministry as a mom is so important! Give God the time you have, and He will bless you for your faithfulness.


If having a morning quiet time isn’t working for you, I hope that one of these options will help.

What time do you meet with God by reading His Word? Tell me in the comments!


Last week I shared with you my Three Step Bible Study Method. I promised a follow up post with three commentaries I recommend, so here it is! This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many great commentaries that can help you dig deeper into God’s Word, but if you don’t know where to start, these are three commentaries that I use and enjoy. If one of the commentaries in this post sparks your interest, you can click the title to find where to purchase it!


This two volume commentary set is a great option for beginners. With one volume for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament, it has a slightly devotional feel to it.


– Easy to read.

– Mid-range price.


– Not as much content.


This is a concise, one volume commentary on the whole Bible. It goes verse by verse giving all of the facts with none of the fluff.


– Sticks to the facts without devotional thoughts.

– Easy to read.

– A very affordable option.


– Not as much content; may need to reference other commentaries for clarification on some verses.


This twenty-three volume commentary set is really the best of the best in my opinion. No matter how obscure the passage you are studying is, you’re sure to find insight in this commentary.


– Very extensive quality content.


– Definitely a more expensive option.

– Written on a higher reading level (this is not necessarily a con for me, but it may be for some).


I hope this will help you get started with using commentaries to deepen your Bible study. If you want more recommendations, check with your pastor or a Bible teacher in your church. I’m sure they would love to help you deepen your study of God’s Word!

Is there a Bible commentary that you use and love? Tell me about it in the comments!


You know you need to dig deeper into God’s Word, but you just don’t know where to start. You hear there are endless resources, but you honestly don’t know what they are! Sound familiar? This was me not too long ago. I had a great daily Bible reading habit. I even had a degree from a Bible college! But I still felt clueless about truly studying the Bible for myself. I’ve picked up some simple tools that have made a huge difference in my Bible study time, and I want to share with you my three step Bible study method that will help you dig into the Word of God just a little deeper.


This one seems obvious, but it’s so important not to miss this first step! It’s easy to go to commentaries or devotionals when we start studying a passage. But the Spirit of God is living within us, and He wants to teach us the truths contained in the Word of God. Don’t get me wrong; I love commentaries and devotionals. I’ve even written two devotionals that go verse by verse through the Bible! But these need to stay in their proper place. If you want to study a book or passage, start by reading that passage over and over again. Read it a hundred times if you need to. Take notes on what the Lord is showing you. When you feel like you know the passage backwards and forwards, move to the next step.


The Bible was written thousands of years ago, so it makes sense that some words and concepts may not make complete sense to us, even in our English translation. There are two ways we can define words to help give us a better understanding.


If there’s a word you don’t fully understand in English, look it up! Whether you use a dictionary app or an old-fashioned paper dictionary, looking up the meaning of words in English will help you gain a better understanding of the passage.


If you understand a word in English, but its use in the passage still seems unclear, look up the word in the original language. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. Understanding how these words were used in their original context can help clarify the meaning of a passage. I like using the Blue Letter Bible app for this.


Once you’ve gained a clear understanding through your own reading and through looking up words, it’s time to read the words of other people to continue to deepen our understanding. I’m thankful for men and women who have dedicated their lives to studying the Bible and have preserved their knowledge in books. There are many options for good commentaries; ask a pastor or Bible teacher you trust for their recommendations. Next week on the blog, I’ll be talking about three commentaries I recommend.


These three practices have made such a difference in the depth of my Bible study. I hope they will be a blessing to you as well. If you want to learn about more tools for studying the Bible, I highly recommend Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.


What Bible study tools do you use? Tell me in the comments!