Z is for Zion

Zion is referenced a lot in the Bible. It’s oftentimes used as a synonym for Jerusalem, the City of David, God’s chosen people in general, God’s chosen Israel or the Church of God.

Some of the Bible verses that reference Zion include the following:

Blogging A to Z Challenge: Z

Y is for Yahweh

Yahweh is another name for God. It’s a form of the Hebrew name used for God. God is known by many names. Yahweh is thought to be another transliteration of Jehovah, the name that God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14. The Jews regarded the name as too sacred to be spoken, and it’s vowel sounds are uncertain. In Hebrew, it’s only YHWH.

See this resource for more history on the origins of the name: Yahweh Translation, Meaning & Facts.

Exodus 3:14 – And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

It’s important to note that in English translations of the Bible (like in the verse above) that LORD spelled in all caps is a translation for Yahweh (YHWH).

To learn more about the origins of the name Yahweh, see the following link: Blue Letter Bible: Why is God Called Yahweh?

Blogging A to Z Challenge: Y

X is for Xerces

“X” has been the hardest letter in this blogging challenge thus far. There aren’t many biblical terms that begin with the letter “X.” After much thought, I finally thought of Xerces.

Xerces I, also known as Xerces the Great, was a Persian king. He was the fifth king of the Achaemenid dynasty. He is speculated to be the king referred to in the book Esther by the name of Ahasuerus.

While the word “Xerces” doesn’t appear in the King James Version of the Bible, it does appear in the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible.

To learn more about Xerces in the Bible, go to this excellent resource: Who was Xerces in the Bible?

Blogging A to Z Challenge: X

W is for Worship

As Christians, we’re supposed to worship God. Contrary to popular belief, just going to church isn’t necessarily worship. We worship God when we engage with Him and adore him. Kneeling, bowing down and blessing God are ways to worship Him. Thanking him for what’s He’s already done and will do is another way. Singing praises and music unto him is yet another.

The Bible frequently instructs us to worship God, and we can do so both vocally and silently.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: W

V is for Verily

“Verily” is a term used frequently throughout the King James version of the Bible. It’s not one that most of us use in everyday speech, so not everyone knows what it means. It really has a very simple definition: it’s just another word for “truly” or “certainly.”

Perhaps the most famous quotes containing the term “verily” were voiced by Jesus.

Can you think of other verses that use the word “verily?”

Blogging A to Z Challenge: V

U is for Understanding

One of the most common reasons why many people give up on reading the Bible is because they say that it’s too difficult to understand. Indeed, the Bible is a complicated text, and even the most learned scholars admit that they can’t fully understand the depths of it. You could study the Bible your whole life and still only scratch the surface of the wisdom contained within its pages.

What’s the point in reading it if we can’t understand it then? Well, the Bible is unlike any other book. As strange as it may sound, with the reading of it comes understanding. No, it won’t happen suddenly, but the more you read the Bible and pray for understanding, the more it will gradually begin to make sense to you.

Part of what’s so cool about the Bible is the way God uses it to communicate with us. We might read a passage one day and get a certain message out of it and then read it again months down the line and get a different message from it – something that we didn’t see before.

Ask for God to guide your reading. Express your desire to know Him better and to glean understanding from the Bible’s pages.

Everything in the Bible might not make sense to you now. But someday it all will. We have such a privilege that we can freely read the Bible. Study it to learn more. Its pages can provide you with beauty and comfort if nothing else, but when you couple you thirst for understanding with prayer, you’ll be surprised just how much more you’ll start to understand.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: U

T is for Temptation

Temptation goes back to the Garden of Eden when Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. We are all tempted whether we give in to those temptations or not.

“The Temptation of Eve” by Pierre Van der Ouderra

Just because we are tempted doesn’t mean that we have to succumb to temptation. God said that he never tempts us more than we can bear and that he ALWAYS provides a way of escape for us should we choose it. Granted, that way is not always easy, but it is there if we only call upon Him for help.

While we can ask forgiveness when we sin, it is best to resist when temptations arise. The Bible states there are rewards for those who manage to resist.

What is the best way to resist? When you’re tempted, turn to God in prayer immediately. Open your Bible. Pray until the desire to fulfill whatever lust was tempting you passes.

S is for Saved

Jesus saves. You might have seen green signs with this message emblazoned on them. Many people put them up in their yards. What do they mean?

Exactly what they say: Jesus saves every person who accepts Him from eternal damnation.

How Do You Get Saved?

There’s oftentimes a lot of controversy over what you have to do to be saved. It’s more a matter of what you have to accept, I believe. You cannot save yourself. Jesus must save you, and He wants to save everyone.

However, when God convicts your heart, you must truly and honestly repent (feel sorry for) of your sins and believe with all your heart and soul that Jesus was really the Son of God, God incarnate, and that He died on the cross to be the ultimate blood sacrifice to save all of us from sin. That’s it.

While it sounds simple (and it is), it can be a difficult thing to truly accept and believe. Simply knowing the story of Jesus and saying, “I believe,” is different from truly believing it in your heart.

The Salvation Experience

I think it’s also important to point out that the nature of how salvation comes about is different for different people. For some, it’s a very emotional experience. For others, it might not be quite so outwardly emotive, but there is an inner shift, a quiet acceptance.

Seeking God

Only you and God know the true state of your soul, but if you yearn to know God, all you have to do is call upon Jesus. Believe in Him, and ask Him to come into your life and save you, bringing you the peace that only He can bring.

Blogging A to Z Challenge: S

Q is for Questions

It’s human nature for us to have questions, and the Bible is full of questions and answers (although to some questions, there are no clear answers in the Bible).

Some of the most famous and life-altering questions for all mankind are found in the Bible. The first one is when Satan asked Eve what God said concerning the Tree of Knowledge. Another is when God asks Adam and Eve where they are because they were hiding from Him (which was fruitless because you can’t hide from God).

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” is probably the most well-known and most quoted saying from the Bible.

To see a list of some of the other most notable questions in the Bible, see this link: What are the most famous/important questions in the Bible?

Blogging A to Z Challenge: Q

P is for Prayer

Prayer is important. It’s how we talk to God. If you want to get closer to God, simply start praying more. God cares about every part of our lives, so we can pray to Him about anything. Pray to God about your worries as well as with praises and thanksgiving for answered prayers.

God Answers Prayers

God does answer prayers. It’s important to note, however, that he answers prayers that are aligned with His will, and he answers them in His time. While we might easily become discouraged when we don’t see immediate results, it doesn’t mean that God hasn’t answered our prayers. It might simply be that it’s not time for delivery of our request, or He might have something better in mind.

Praying for a Promotion

When I become discouraged, I always think of two instances. The first was when I prayed for a better job. Sure, I loved my freelance writing, but I wanted to be an editor. I prayed that if it be God’s will, for Him to please bless me with a promotion to an editing job. This prayer was first sent up nearly 9 years ago when I lived in Florida. I didn’t become an editor until a couple of years ago. While it might have taken six or seven years for God to answer my prayer, He did so – when He knew the timing was right.

Praying for Healing

The other instance is when my grandmother was sick in the hospital. I prayed for God to heal her. Unfortunately, she passed away, and for a time, I was so discouraged, thinking God doesn’t answer prayer. However, a week or two after she died, God revealed to me through a very good friend that He did indeed answer my prayer. He did heal my grandmother – maybe not physically here on this earth, but she received the ultimate healing by passing from this life to the next. She has a brand new perfect body and perfect health, and best of all, she is joyful forevermore in the presence of our Lord.

Praying in God’s Will

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go to God like He’s a genie in a bottle and expect Him to grant wishes eventually. I believe your prayers have to be aligned with His will in order for your requests to be granted. For instance, just because you ask for a promotion doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get one if that’s not what God has intended for you. I always find it best to add the caveat “if it be Your will” to my prayers. I believe that is how we are supposed to pray because as Christians we should yearn to do God’s will.

For a list of excellent Bible verses about prayer, I recommend this link: 60 Bible Verses About Prayer.

For more Bible verses about the will of God, go here: Will of God.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: P