Bible Study That Leads to Action: 1 Simple Solution

This is just a thought that hit me this morning. How many bible studies have you been to this week?



Three or more.

I know of many people that hear the bible taught, preached, and proclaimed more than three times per week. Awesome! Right?

Well my answer depends on the answer to another question.

What is the purpose of bible study? Most would answer to learn or to grow. Which is true in part. But ultimately the purpose of bible study is equipping for action.

1 Timothy 3:16-17 comes to mind here. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

The success of the teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness hinges on the SO THAT. Why are you taught, reproved, corrected, and trained in the word? SO THAT you are equipped for every good work. It is training that leads to action.

What if our military provided a 20 year boot camp for our military folks? They could put in their 20 years of training and never get in the battle.

Our current approach to bible study in many cases seems to take this same approach. Train, and train ,and train but never enter the battle.

I am afraid that we have many people who will go to their graves with heads full of biblical knowledge with no fruit to show for it.  They never moved on from boot camp. They never entered the battle.

One solution for this is not to study the bible less. I would never take that position. The word is life. We must be in it and get it in us. Allowing it to take root and to prompt us to take action.

The solution is found in a discipleship strategy that I came across several years ago called Truth 4 Trainers or T4T for short. T4T has a lot of great principles and teaching strategies within it but I want to share one with you that I believe could be transforming for the way we currently do bible study.

That principle, which I offer as one solution here, is to have an accountability portion of the bible study with the question, “Who are you going to tell about what you learned today?” The learner then must identify a person by name (preferably a lost person) and share that name with the group. Now that person is accountable to the group and the group prays for the persons named.

At the next bible study gathering when the accountability time comes up the follow up questions is asked, “Who did you tell the bible story to?” followed by “What happened?”

This is a very simple solution that only involves asking a few questions and then holding the group accountable. This encourages the learners to see the word not just as a source of information for themselves but as a source of life for those that they share the story with each week. It is a simple question that leads the learner to take action with the information they have learned.

So my answer to the first questions, “Is it awesome that people hear the word taught, preached, and proclaimed more than three times a week?” Absolutely, as long as it leads to a life of actively living out the truths that they learn.

I know that there is so much more to be said on this idea but I just wanted to get it out there for today.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you would like to read more about T4T I have provided a link below.

Have a great day!



5 Ways To Set Your Personal Bible Study on Fire

If it is true that “The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” Then we should strive to be interacting with the word on a daily basis. So many people I know struggle with taking the time to study the word on a personal level. So they struggle in life because they walk about in darkness.

For some it is because they have never been taught howto have a personal Bible study time. For others it is busyness. Or maybe even laziness. The list could go on and on. If you, or someone you know has struggled with maintaining a consistent Bible study time then I would like to offer some ideas to maintain consistency.

Here are 5 ways to set your personal Bible study time on fire

1. Be consistent. – You immediately think, “Right! that is the problem. I am not consistent.” A great way to develop consistency is to set aside the time and guard it with great tenacity. You may be a morning person. You may be an evening person. Whatever is best for you commit to a specific time that you will study the word. Write it on your calendar, save it in your phone, and then guard it like a dog guards his favorite bone. Do not let this time be taken away. I wake up early and give 15 to 20 minutes each morning to personal time in the word.

2. Have a Plan – So now that you are guarding the time to be consistent you have to have a plan. A plan that guides your study time. You can search the web to find specific Bible reading plans. Some take you through the Bible in a year. Others take you through specific topics in scripture. I would like to recommend that you simply pick a book to work your way through. I just finished up 2 Thessalonians. Pick a book and get to studying.

3. Write out the Scripture – It is good to read the word and to underline or highlight it in your copy of the Bible but there is something to be said about writing out the passage you are working through. I normally work through 8-10 verses per day in the book I am working on. This is very manageable and allows me to remember what I have studied for that day. I have a designated notebook that I write in. You can write wherever you want and you can write out as many verses as you want. Try this for a week and you will be surprised at what takes place. The Lord will begin to enlighten and enliven your Bible study time.

4. Underline, Circle, Highlight – Another advantage to writing out the word is that you can then mark it up in any way you like. I normally write the passage in one color pen and then mark it up in another color pen. This allows me to see the areas that the Lord showed me were important during my study. There is no real process to this. You can underline, circle, and highlight in any way that helps you remember and act upon the word. Remember, being in the word is not just about information but also about relationship development with the Lord. The word of God will change you and marking it up will help identify those areas where you need the change.

5. Ask questions and write out the answers – A good way to know what to mark up and underline, circle, or highlight is to ask some questions about the passage of the day. These questions can help identify important information that will lead to transformation. There are many questions you can ask of the passage but I would like to share 4 very simple and straight forward questions with you.

  1. What does this passage say about God?
  2. What does this passage say about man?
  3. What does this passage say about sin?
  4. Should I change anything in my life based on this passage?

These are five very simple ideas to help you see your personal Bible study time set on fire. There is nothing more powerful than sitting before the word of God and allowing it to inform and transform your life.

For some additional insights into how to have a quality Bible study time as well as ideas on journaling the Bible check out Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S Whitney. I revisit this book each year as it provides valuable insights into consistently being in the word and allowing it to inform my life.



Church Planter Brian Shepard – Planting Mars [Ep. 006]

“Our Story is probably not what you would expect. So maybe this story will be helpful to others.” – Brian Shepard

Welcome to episode 6 of Planting Mars. In this episode I interview church planter Brian Shepard. Brian is from Oklahoma but is currently planting a church in San Francisco, California.  As you listen you will find that Brian’s story is unique in that his approach to ministry in San Francisco has transitioned over time. He will explain that transition to you in this interview.

It was really informative to hear Brian share about the four different approaches that church planters take when planning to plant a church. He explains the four approaches and then explains why they are taking the Amos Priority in their church planting efforts.

I really enjoyed visiting with Brian and I believe you will enjoy all that he has to share. As you listen you will really hear and understand Brian’s heart for ministry, his family and his love for the Lord.

Ultimately the goal of the podcast is that you will hear something that is encouraging to you and help your relationship with the Lord grow deeper and stronger.

I hope you enjoy this interview with Brian Shepard.

Subscribe on Android

Selected Links From The Episode:

Connect with Brian:

Instagram: @brianshepard

Facebook: Brian Shepard

twitter: Brian Shepard


Other links mentioned in the episode:

Unlock Hope

Use discount code SAMESHIRTYESTERDAY to receive a 20% discount on your entire order.

Other Items Mentioned:

Guitar Pick Punch Kit (I am not sure if this is the exact one that is mentioned but it is something like this)

Books Mentioned:

The Hardy Boys

Show Notes:

5:00 Brian Shares His Bio.

9:30 Where are you at with the church plant?

13:30 Different Kinds of Church Plants:

  1. The Antioch Priority- Strong Sending Based Churches
  2. The Acts 2 Priority – Multiplying Indigenous Missional Communities
  3. The Amos Priority – Engaging the Gospel in Ministries of Justice
  4. The Athens Priority – Starting Churches Among the Least Reached People Groups

24:30 “No one really wants to hear about the Gospel. And I think more importantly they are wanting to see the Gospel lived out.”

27:00 “What non-Christian people do you have that are asking you not to move?”

27:55 What is the key quote or scripture that motivates you each day?

37:30 Brian explains how he is taking in the scripture at this point in his walk.

43:00 Brian share how he guards his time with his family.

55:10 “Don’t pigeon hole yourself into thinking it is the only context of a church and I need to get paid full time at the church.”Here Brian talks about how ministry may lead you to a place that is not traditional church work.

55:40 “Wherever I land I am on mission. No matter where I am.”

“God do you want me to go around the world or do you just want me to go across the street?

1:00:20 What is your favorite book of all time?

1:01:00 What tweet would you send that everyone in the world would read?

Jesus loves you. He really does save. Trust him today. I’m praying for you.


The Show Is Brought to you By:
Unlock Hope


Make a purchase and use the code SameShirtYesterday at checkout to receive a 20% discount off of your purchase.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 [VIDEO]

As I returned from the activities of the past summer I was burdened for those who are lost. I was burdened for those who serve false idols. As I prayed about what to do the Lord showed me this message in 1 Thessalonians 1. My prayer for those that are lost is that they would turn form their idols and serve the living God.

Cool Video From Space X

I am in favor of the exploration of space. Not as a means to the propagation of our species (as Elon Musk Promotes) but as a continued exploration of the vastness of our creator. To call oneself intelligent and then conclude that the universe came to be by chance is an absurdity. Everywhere one looks there is a framework that was designed for the balance and function of the universe. The continued exploration of that creation only leads us closer to the one who created it.

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” Psalm 19:1


Kingdom Building Entrepreneur Trent Anderson

“Fail early and fail fast.” – Trent Anderson

In this episode of Planting Mars I interview Kingdom building entrepreneur Trent Anderson.

Trent works for the mission organization Praying Pelican Missions which is the largest provider of short term missions in the world.  In this role Trent coordinates short term mission trips to Central America. He has also founded a business to help support his missional lifestyle. Reach International Outfitters is a business that he created to help offset some of the costs associated with being a full time missionary.

Now Trent wants to teach others how to be a Kingdom building entrepreneur. You can find out more at his personal website

In this interview Trent will share:

  • The vision behind Reach International Outfitters
  • His philosophy to make sure he is always moving forward with his dreams.
  • What it is that motivates him each day.
  • His insights into starting a Kingdom Building Business.
  • How he grew his Instagram account to over 14 thousand followers.
  • And so much more.

Trent is only 23 years old but has some great insight and wisdom that I am sure you will find useful.

I hope you enjoy this interview with Trent Anderson.

Subscribe on Android


Selected Links From the Episode:

Connect with Trent:

Instagram: @trentanderson16      @reach_international_outfitters


Other Links Mentioned in the episode.

Unlock Hope

Use discount code SameShirtYesterday at checkout for a 20% discount on your purchase.

Freedom Fastlane

The Amazing Seller

Freeletics App


Selfie Tripod

Books Mentioned:

The Four Hour Work Week

Humility: True Greatness

Show Notes:

[5:45] What is a lifestyle engineer?

[8:10] Introduction to Reach International Outfitters

[10:00] The idea behind Reach International Outfitters

[13:00] How do you go about finding manufacturers?

[15:00] What is a major challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

[17:00] How do you make sure you are always taking action on your dreams?

[25:00] What is it that motivates you each day?

[27:20] How do you approach you Bible study time?

[29:40] How do you maintain your health?

[31:15] What excites you about your current work?

[34:00] What would you say to someone who wants to do what you are doing?

[36:00] How have you seen God’s provision in your work?

[39:25] What are one or two keys to having a successful Instagram account?

[44:00] What can we learn by thinking big?

[50:00] What is your favorite book of all time?

[51:00] If you could send one tweet that everyone in the world would read what would it say?

This show is brought to you by:
Unlock Hope

Make a purchase and use the code SameShirtYesterday at checkout to receive a 20% discount off of your purchase.

Get The Center Right

This is an excerpt from a daily devotional found in Abundant Living by E. Stanley Jones.

Get The Center Right

You have to relate yourself to four worlds: (1) yourself; (2) things; (3) your brother; (4) God. Until you relate yourself to God in fellowship and obedience, none of the other three relationships will come out right. You will be out of sorts with yourself, with things, with your brother, until you get the center right. When you get the center right, the circumference takes care of itself. Said a wife concerning her husband, “He has a brilliant mind, but he will not rest in the Eternal.” Hence he was restless with himself, with things, with his fellow men.

The chapel steeple of a great university, where the minister is humanistic, has a weather vane on it instead of a cross, symbolic of the fact that people point in every direction, turned by the winds of circumstance, until they have a faith in and a committal to God. That gives an unchanging steadiness to life.

Then why is it that men do not rest in him? Because they try to rest in something else. They love God with the top of their minds, but not in the bottom of their souls. Something else holds the bottom of their affections. That deep affection then decides their thinking, for men think more with their emotions than with their minds. The affections draw reasons to themselves as a magnet draws iron filings. Men lose faith in God not so much by honest doubt as by dishonest sin. A brilliant headmaster, on a salary of $25,000, talked beautifully about faith in God–and he had it. Then his faith changed. He gave a commencement address and shocked everybody by saying, “Christianity is outworn; it has lost its hold on the world.” At the bottom of that decay of faith was a decay of morals. He had begun to keep a mistress. He was dismissed in disgrace. The mind had tried to find reasons to justify the emotions.

After one of my meetings a banker walked the floor all night and his daughter wept the long night through. Both had sin in their lives, and would not rest in the Eternal. Hence their restlessness.

Oh God, I cannot rest until I rest in Thee. I am made for Thee, as the eye is made for light; so I cannot find peace except in Thy will. For Thy will is my peace. Oh, let me settle down in Thee. Let the wandering, restless needle of my affections at last rest in Thee, Thou polestar of my life. I do. I do at last rest in Thee. Amen.


Planting Mars [Ep. 004] – Listen As This 6 yr Old Describes the Biggest Problem The World Faces Today

This is an in between episode. I will have the next full interview up next week. But in the mean time I hope you enjoy this 10 minute interview I did with my 6 year old daughter. It was a lot of fun and she has some interesting and funny responses to some of my questions.

In the end she asks me some questions too. This was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Have a great day!

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Persecution Causes the Necessary To Become Important

Last night a student asked if we should put ourselves in places of persecution so that our faith grows. It is a good question.

This answer is inspired by 2 Thessalonians 1

Of course the answer is hard. The answer that I want to give is NO! Your faith can grow without struggle. But the true answer is YES! Yes I think we should strive to do hard things that push us to the boundaries.

What I really mean to say is that we should push beyond our boundaries. That is where our faith grows. Here is the scenario. God calls you to take a stance. That specific stance scares you. “People will make fun. People will unfriend me. People will think less of me. People will…” Fear is a boundary.

It is a boundary that consumes too many of us. Go do the thing that God has called you to that really scares you. That is where you grow. Persecution may come. No, persecution will come as you stand on the principles of scripture. SO WHAT?

In the midst of persecution the necessary becomes important and the unnecessary falls away.

Can you imagine being in a secret house church in a middle eastern country when suddenly you fall under attack by men who want to kill you? Immediately you decide what is important and all else is left behind.

The necessary becomes important and the unnecessary falls away.

I have too much junk. I worry too much about that junk. Think of all the physical, financial, and mental effort that has gone into that junk. When persecution comes that stuff will be unnecessary.

So why is that junk necessary now?

I have to be honest, I don’t yet pray for persecution to come. Maybe I should. Maybe I will one day.

I know it is coming. There is a day that there will no longer be in middle moral ground. You will have to take sides. You will have to join the battle for the kingdom or you will fall victim to the enemy.

I guess what I am getting at is prepare now. Get in the battle now. Decide what is important now. Fight the good fight now.

Do something that the Lord has called you to now.