Welcome to Empowered Bible Study Ministries

Bible study is essential to our Christian walk. As we study God's Word, our personal relationship with God grows deeper and deeper. It empowers us to live for the Lord in every aspect of our lives. This is what has inspired me to do an online Bible study.

Many years ago my husband introduced me to a commentary on the book of Colossians and I was so blessed as the Scripture came to life before my very eyes. Since that day we have developed an extensive library and enjoy studying God's Word.

I have prepared some Bible studies that I would like to share with you. My prayer is that they will bless you as much as they have blessed me in preparing them. I pray your life is touched and that it would inspire you to live every moment of every day for Christ.

Please click on the link to the left under 'Empowered Bible Studies' for the Bible Study you would like to view.

Making Life Choices

Daily Devotions:

You may receive our Daily Devotions via email - look for the 'Follow by Email' on the Left hand side.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Beginnings

Let’s continue Ruth 1:19-21: we see here that Ruth and Naomi made the arduous journey to Bethlehem.

You can feel Naomi’s shame as she enters Bethlehem. The women called out to her – is that Naomi? Ruth 1:20 “But she said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” - She stated that her name Naomi, which means sweetness or pleasantness, was improper for her in her condition. She said she should be called Mara, which means - bitter. You feel her pain, verse 21 says “I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?" Ruth 1:21

Naomi had left Bethlehem because of a food famine, She returned with a famine in her soul. My friend, are you experiencing a famine in your soul? Do you feel, like Naomi, that God is chastising you? We cannot control the circumstances of life, but we can control how we respond to them. We need to remember that God is in control and that we need to totally submit our lives to Him and live our lives to glorify Him.

Naomi's complaint began and ended with a reference to the Almighty ―El Shaddai, the name of the all-powerful God. But as we continue our study we will see in the face of her deep tragedy God would soon proceed to act in gracious mercy.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Totally Devoted Life

My friend, we all come to crossroads in our lives where we have to make a decision that will affect our lives forever.

Orpah made the decision to go back to her people and her gods in Moab as we see in Ruth 1:15, but we see Ruth's undying sense of devotion in verses sixteen through seventeen. Ruth loved Naomi and clung to her as we see in verse fourteen. She was totally devoted to Naomi and insisted that she stop urging her to leave, that she would go wherever she went and stay wherever she stayed. Her devotion compelled her to remain by Naomi’s side never leaving her. We see in verse sixteen that she made a strong commitment to God and to God’s people – by this she was renouncing her Moabite roots, the world of unbelievers and false worshipers. She was determined to become identified with the people of God, the Israelites. Ruth declared, in verse seventeen, that her commitment was until death; it was total, final, and unshakable.

My friend, Ruth's total commitment is a strong example for us. She was not indecisive or neutral; neither can we be. Our commitment can be no different than hers, just as she made a total commitment to God and His people, we must be totally, wholeheartedly committed to Jesus Christ. Let us say to The Lord, "I will go where you want me to go and I will live a totally devoted life to you Lord".

Friday, April 24, 2015

Word of Hope

As Naomi and her daughters in-law grieved their loss, a word of hope came - we see in verses six and seven that the famine was over and the three women arose and departed from the land of Moab to go to the land of Judah.

Naomi resolved to return home to the Promised Land, and in so doing she believed that she had to leave her daughters-in-law in Moab because she thought that would be best for them. Notice the word ―kindly in verse 8. Ruth 1:8 “And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each to her mother's house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” (NKJV) The word kindly or kindness is the Hebrew word ḥesed̠ . It is an important word in the Book of Ruth (cf. 2:20; 3:10) and throughout the Old Testament. It speaks of God’s covenant loyalty to His people. It involves grace in that it was extended even when it was not deserved. The basis of Naomi’s blessing was the gracious actions of Ruth and Orpah to their husbands and to Naomi. Both young women were worthy in the eyes of their mother-in- law, so she wanted God to be good to them. Though they were foreigners, they had married Israelite men and thus were under God’s covenant.

Three different times Naomi insisted that Orpah and Ruth return to Moab, the world of unbelievers and false worship (1:8, 11, 12) thinking that they would be better off. The sad thing is that she felt God’s chastisement on her life, as we see in verse thirteen, so she didn’t think about the opportunities she had before her, the chance she had to bring her Moabite unsaved daughters-in-law to the Promised Land where they could hear the Gospel and be saved. Ruth and Orpah were both on their way to the Promised Land with Naomi, They were both committed to Naomi that they would have followed her, but with Naomi’s persuasion Orpah returned to her family in Moab – a missed opportunity.

My friend, it is never too late to ask God for forgiveness. If there is something in your life that you feel God is dealing with you – seek His face – seek His will for your life. We need to be in our word daily seeking a deep personal relationship with God. Constantly in prayer seeking guidance from the Lord and seeking His will for our lives. We need to be looking for opportunities to glorify God in every aspect of our lives.

Orpah stayed in Moab and we will see Ruth's decision in our next post. Until then, have a blessed day.

Ruth 1:6-13 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food. So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. “May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, “No, but we will surely return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? “Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the LORD has gone forth against me.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Through the Crisis

We are now introduced to Orpah and Ruth the Moabite women who married Chilion and Mahlon in Ruth 1:4.

Keep in mind that Ruth was not converted yet; consequently, the marriage of Naomi's sons to these two Moabite women was in direct disobedience to God; God had forbidden His people to intermarry with unbelievers. Naomi's family had lived in Moab for ten years, then the unbelievable thing happened - look at verse five: "Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband." This was a terrible crisis, one of hopelessness and despair.

At this time, Naomi and her two daughters-in-law are mourning the deaths of their husbands. But this was not the only grief these three widows were suffering. They lived in a male-dominated society. How could they earn a living, provide for themselves? Remember, the Law of Moses stated in Duet 25:5-6: "If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. Deut 25:5-6 Both of Naomi’s sons were deceased. She was too old to remarry and have more sons. A deep sense of hopelessness and despair undoubtedly gripped all three widows, but in particular Naomi.
Then Naomi hears a word of hope - we will look at this in our next post...

My friend, if you are experiencing deep grief as Naomi and her daughters in-law, know that there is hope in the Lord. Until our next post, have a blessed day knowing God is with you even when all else seems to be crashing down on you, God will see you through it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Trusting God through the Famine

For those of you who know the story in the book of Ruth you know that it is a beautiful story of God sovereignly working to complete his ultimate plan; and as we continue in our study, we will see how it all unfolds chapter by chapter and verse by verse, so let us not jump ahead, but glean from the wonderful truths that each chapter brings.

In this first section we see a family struggling as they experience crisis after crisis. Sometimes we want to take the easy way out, but the easy way is not always the right way. David said in Psalms 37:25: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” In difficult times we need to die to self and put God’s will first. God will either take us out of the trial or see us through it, either way we are in His hands and He is in control. We cannot run from our trials we need to embrace them. We need to claim the promises of God and obey the Word of God, in spite of what we see or how we feel or what may happen to us. We need to Fully Rely of God in every circumstance of our lives.

Elimelech took his wife Naomi and their two sons to escape the famine, but we see in Ruth 1:3 that the result was catastrophic. Elimelech died leaving Naomi alone to raise two sons in a foreign land, living among people who hated the Jews. The name Elimelech means My God is King, but Elimelech had not allowed God to be the King of his heart and life.

My friend, what is the famine in your life your are facing? Embrace the promises of God and trust Him to see you through it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Journey Begins

As we begin our study of the book Ruth, the first verses give us the background of the time setting; Let's open our Bibles to Ruth 1:1 "Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons."

The judges ruled throughout Israel after Joshua's death up until the coronation of the first king, King Saul (about 1375-1050). The last verse in the book of Judges sums up what it was like then: Judges 21:25 "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." The Israelites did not listen to the Judges and there was no moral leader in Israel, everyone did whatever seemed right in their own eyes, doing what they wanted, whenever they wanted. During this time period Israel repeatedly turned from God and worshipped the idols of the heathen nations around them. Judges 2:10-19. It was a very hard time. Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion had to live in a corrupt world with everyone doing what they wanted - just as we see in the world today. They were living in the Promised Land and when God allowed a famine to come to Bethlehem instead of seeking guidance from God and trusting in Him to meet their needs, they ran from their problems in unbelief. Because of the famine, Naomi and her husband forsook the Promised Land to live in Moab. This was a clear symbol of turning away from God, of turning to the world. Moab was about 50 miles east on the other side of the Dead Sea. You remember The Moabites were descendents of Lot from his incestuous union with his firstborn daughter (Genesis 19:30-38). And they were the Jews' enemies because of the way they had treated Israel during their pilgrim journey from Egypt to Canaan (Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Numbers 22:25). So why they picked Moab we don’t know it is not stated in scripture perhaps they heard there was no famine there. But, as we will see, Moab was the worst choice they could have made.This was their first mistake for it was in Bethlehem that God would have blessed them not in Moab.

Remarkable Faith

We are beginning a new Bible study about two women who are from totally different backgrounds; One was a foreigner and a peasant, the other, a reluctant queen to a man she hardly knew.

But their stories have one thing in common: A remarkable faith committed to doing God's will. We are talking about Ruth and Esther.

For both Ruth and Esther, God used stressful circumstances to bring about his eternal purposes. Ruth's commitment to the God of Naomi affected every generation to come, as she became an ancestor of King David and more importantly, Jesus Christ. Esther's obedience led to the preservation of her people at a moment in history when all seemed lost.

The stories of Ruth and Esther will make you contemplate: Would I trust God enough to do what they did? We will go chapter by chapter through the books of Ruth and Esther to see how the lives of these two remarkable women epitomize the type of faith that glorifies God.

As you view the Bible study, ask yourself: How does God want to use my faithful commitment? Will he use your life to affect the generations to come, or will he use your life to impact the current generation? Either way, we will learn to be prepared and be committed to God's will no matter what the cost. I look forward to doing this study with you.