In preparation for Easter, join me in this 31 day scripture study on Jesus’ ministry as we reflect on his life and mission.
THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF JESUS
While Christmas gets a HUGE lead-up in our house every year, I’ve been more intentional the last few years to try and do the same for Easter. Our kids know the nativity and the resurrection story, but the in-between gets a little neglected.
So this year I’ve created a scripture study that covers Jesus’ life, focusing on his ministry. While I do my own study, I’ll be more aware of the conversations we should be having leading up to Easter. I’d even like to add more decorations for the holiday this year that focus on “the reason for the season” rather than overwhelming the house with cutesy bunnies.
7 AD Jesus amazes the teachers at the temple as a boy
26 AD Jesus is baptized, ministry begins
30 AD Jesus’ death & resurrection
THE FOUR GOSPELS
All 4 gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) cover the life of Jesus, but my study focuses on the book of Matthew. The reason for the four versions are the different audiences they were written for. (You can learn more in my New Testament timeline). Now centuries later, we can read all of them side by side (which I encourage you to do!)
For simplicity’s sake, I’ve taken the major events from Matthew and broken them down into a 31 day scripture study.
The directions are simple:
Print the scripture page and make copies of the journaling pages.
Write a scripture each day in the space on the left and reflect on it in the space on the right.
Learn about the conquest of Canaan in this book of Joshua printable and enter the promised land with the Israelites!
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
Moses has died along with all of the original Israelites who left Egypt. The next generation has risen up with Joshua as their leader and God delivers them to Canaan–The Promised Land!
But there’s a catch…the land is inhabited by other kingdoms, which they will have to take over in order to claim their land. Will they trust God this time around?
As spies are sent in to Jericho, a prostitute named Rahab hides and protects them. She tells them that the people of Jericho have heard about the power of the Israelite God and are fearful. The spies promise to spare Rahab and her family when they overtake the city in return for her kindness.
But Jericho isn’t the only city they must defeat, it’s only the beginning. Chapter twelve lists 31 battles the Israelites fight to conquer Canaan. A few mishaps along the way give them some setbacks, but eventually God gives them victory and land assignments are given to the 12 tribes of Israel.
For help understanding the basics, use this Joshua printable to help you organize your thoughts as you go:
Not getting much out of your Bible study? Try to these 5 tips for deeper, more meaningful study you can apply to your life today!
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TAKE THE BORING OUT OF BIBLE STUDY
You may have grown up in church your whole life, know John 3:16 and the Lord’s Prayer, but what do you really know about your Bible?
For years I only read the beginning of Genesis, the psalms of David and the gospels of the New Testament. I didn’t really know what the rest had to do in relation to the others stories of the Bible, or even their significance in my own life.
But as I’ve grown in my studies, I’ve come to enjoy learning about all books of the Bible because I understand how they relate to each other and fit into the overall story. In doing so, I’ve learned a few Bible study tips along the way that made it something I actually look forward to each day!
THE PURPOSE OF BIBLE STUDY
Your Bible isn’t supposed to be a burden, it’s a gift. It’s a tool for teaching, guiding and encouraging. It should be your link to relationship with God and understanding his character. If you see Bible study as a guilt trip–something your religion teaches you that you should do, you’re approaching it wrong.
Here’s what the actual Bible says it is:
Hebrew 4:12 — “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 — “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Romans 15:4 — “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Psalm 119:105,114 — “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.”
Romans 10:17 — “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
5 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR BIBLE STUDY
1. HIGHLIGHT ANYTHING THAT SEEMS EXTRA IMPORTANT OR RESONATES WITH YOU
There is no wrong passage to highlight in your Bible. Go back to the purpose of your Bible study. It’s about your relationship with God. Don’t look at your neighbor, look at yourself. What is your gut telling you is important right now in this moment? Highlight it!
Something really speaking to your situation right now? Write it out, post it on your mirror, maybe even memorize it!
2. CREATE A COLOR CODE FOR ORGANIZING IDEAS
I love highlighters. In addition to highlighting anything that sticks out to me in yellow, I sometimes add a color key to the beginning of a book of the Bible to organize the types of information in the passage.
For example, in Kings and Chronicles, I use orange and green to highlight any sections pertaining to the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah). In the gospels, I use different colors to identify parables and miracles.
3. USE BIBLE REFERENCE MATERIALS
I did a Beth Moore study a few years ago where she asked us to look up Greek and Hebrew words, and dug deep into cultural traditions of Esther’s time period. It was unlike any study I had ever done, and it taught me all sorts of places you could learn about your Bible from Biblical scholars.
While these should only supplement your study, and not replace the Bible as your main reference point, they provide great insight and context for what you are studying. Here are a few resources I use when creating my own Bible timelines:
Now you might be thinking, highlighting in my Bible is ok, but writing all over it makes me uncomfortable. Why is it that you struggle to take this step? Is it because you’ll write something that may not be true? Is it that your handwriting is messy, or that you’re worried that it might even be a sin to write in?
Friend, instead ask yourself this: Will writing in your Bible help your spiritual growth?
God is not judging you for writing down something that you may change later, or that your handwriting is messy—he’s looking at you with joy that you are digging in deep to his word, craving growth and knowledge and relationship with him!
If you are still uncomfortable writing on the pages, that’s ok! You can use a journal, but I prefer writing in my Bible because it keeps all of my studies in one place. I can compare notes, questions and insights from years before as I add to the pages. I write down names, dates and events next to passages that the I felt God was leading me to during that trial.
There are some great journaling Bibles out there to give you plenty of space to write if you’re concerned about tiny margins.
5. LEARN THE BASIC BIBLE TIMELINE
I grew up in church my entire life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally understood how the Bible stories fit together in the context of the history I was taught in school. I came to discover that the Bible isn’t even put together in chronological order! It’s grouped together by genre: history, poetry, prophecies, law and letters.
Through years of study, I began developing my own visual timelines to help break down the basics of each book of the Bible for myself. This past year, I began organizing all of my Bible notes and diagrams into one cohesive collection that is easy enough for children to understand.
You can recieve more Bible study tips as I work my way through these visual timelines and outlines for each book of the Bible when you subscribe to my weekly newsletter:
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To see how far I’ve gotten on my timeline printables, check my shop for all my Bible Timelines available for purchase. I release a new set every 2 weeks.