More Than a Song is a weekly podcast dedicated to helping you discover the truth of Scripture hidden in today's popular Christian music. Each episode teaches you to connect portions of God's Word with the songs you are singing along with on the radio; to help you meditate on Truths that will transform your way of thinking and ultimately your life.
#399: "Woman At The Well" by Olivia Lane
26:35God calls us into His story through Christ. But before we place ourselves in the middle of His story, we need to remember the Bible is God's grand story of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. Olivia Lane's new song "Woman At The Well" inspires us to explore a story in John 4 afresh. Join me as we study this story in context and learn more about Jesus. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Read and keep on reading Remember the people described in Scripture were real Repetition Start with God Compare and contrast Consult an outside resource The 30 Day Music Challenge Exploring Scripture in the "right" order Reading the accounts leading up to our feature account and after - John 3-5 Recognizing that all Scripture is beneficial for our application - 2 Timothy 3:14-17 Recognizing that FIRST Scripture is about Jesus - John 5:37-40 The timing of Christ - John 4:1-3; Proverbs 15:23 Jesus preparing His disciples - John 4:2; Matthew 28:18-20 The divine appointment between Jesus and the woman at the well - John 4:4-6 The humanity of Christ - John 4:6 The deity of Christ - John 4:16-18 The woman moving from sarcasm to intrigue to proclamation Comparing and contrasting Christ's encounter with Nicodemus in John 3 to His encounter with the woman at the well in John 4 Recognizing that regardless of who we are, the thing of most significant concern to Jesus is eternal life in Him The joy of experiencing Jesus for yourself - John 4:42 More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - Ultimate-Guitar.com Story Behind the Song "Woman At The Well" by Olivia Lane - BellesandGals.com Article CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible - Amazon Paid Link This Week's Challenge Don't settle for a skimmed-over recap of this encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. Start in John 3 and read through John 5 and then focus on John 4:1-42. Start with what you can learn about Jesus through uncovering His character, conduct, and concerns -- what He is like, what He says, what He does, and what He seems to value most. After you've started with Jesus, then you can compare yourself to the woman (or even Nicodemus from the previous chapter) and see how Jesus responds to you, too.
#398: "I Stand In Awe" by Chris Tomlin and Nicole Serrano
21:20I miss the wonders of God all the time. I tend to be so self-involved that I fail to look up and behold the majesty of the One who loves me so much He redeemed me. "I Stand In Awe" by Christ Tomlin and Nicole Serrano inspires me to consider God in all his glory and discover more about Him in Scripture. We're back in Psalm 33 this week to examine our response to the character and conduct of God. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Start with God Define words Consider the opposite Repetition Observe interesting phrases/words Study in various translations The 30 Day Music Challenge Today's partner episode - listen to Episode 397 first Our inspiration verse for this week - Psalm 33:8 What it is to fear the Lord G.K. Chesterton's quote, "The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder." - "Tremendous Trifles" by G.K. Chesterton Defining wonder and considering the opposite J.I. Packer's quote, "You don't get awe until you've begun to cultivate the sense that God is very great and you are very small." - YouTube Interview Exploring the action words in Psalm 33 that reflect our appropriate response to God Observing the interesting word "fitting" in Psalm 33:1 The opposite of praise Waiting for the Lord - Psalm 33:20 Changing the attitude of our heart to look up in wonder More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com "Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do" by Paul David Tripp - Amazon Paid Link This Week's Challenge Keep reading Psalm 33. Read it repetitively and in different translations. With a list of God's characteristics and conduct at your fingertips from last week, consider your appropriate response. Cultivate a sense that God is very great and you are very small. Stand in awe of our great God.
#397: "I Will Trust My Saviour Jesus" by City Alight
19:53Trust is not always an easy thing to do. Sometimes we wrongly assign character to someone because of the actions of another. It would be a shame to assign character to God based on our interactions with people. In their song, "I Will Trust My Saviour Jesus," City Alight reminds us of many reasons we can and should trust Him. The psalms teach us much about the trustworthy nature of our God as well. Join me as we explore Psalm 33 together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Consult an outside resource Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge The live conversation I had with Joel Arcieri and Vince Wright - YouTube Recording Exploring a new topic in an area of Scripture you have been sitting in How Scripture is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) AND we are constantly growing in maturity and perspective Being willing to dig for insight like treasure - Proverbs 2:3-4 Psalm 33 beginning and ending with trusting God - Psalm 33:4, Psalm 33:21 How we can trust everything God does - Psalm 33:1-5 Exploring the activities of God recorded by the psalmist in Psalm 33 How we can trust what God does because He is our creator and designer and His creation is good Consulting an outside resource - Reformation Study Bible The joy and inheritance for the people of God God as all-knowing How we often trust external things that don't have the power to save completely like God does Trusting in the name (and thus the character) of God as revealed in Scripture Enjoy the official live performance below. More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - CityAlight.com This Week's Challenge Spend some time in Psalm 33 this week. Maybe listen to an audio version of it every morning and then choose a day to interact with the text. Consider what the psalm teaches us about the actions of God and the character of God. Ponder why His actions and character should cause you to place your trust in Him. And in the words of Apostle Paul in Romans 15:3, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
#396: "He Is Yahweh" by Blake Reynolds
22:34The names of God teach us about His character. When we get to know His names, we get to know Him. Using "He Is Yahweh," as sung by Blake Reynolds to inspire us to explore Scripture, we uncover wonderful truths. Join me as we explore the first mention of Yahweh in Scripture and much more. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Consult an outside resource Complete a word study Start with God Mark up the text Consider the opposite The 30 Day Music Challenge "The Names of God: His Character Revealed" by Melissa Spoelstra - Amazon Link The first mention of the name Yahweh - Genesis 2:4 The difference between the names Elohim and Yahweh Discovering our God is a personal God How Yahweh is God and there is no other - Deuteronomy 4:32-35 Yahweh is God's eternal name - Exodus 3:13-15 Noticing that the serpent only uses one name for God when the text uses two - Genesis 3:1-19 How Yahweh is three in one What the Trinity is NOT Verses that reflect the trinity Deuteronomy 6:4 John 1:1-3 John 10:30 Matthew 28:16-20 Enjoy the official audio below. https://youtu.be/CaHtwF38VBQ More Than a Song Playlist Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Chords - WorshipChords.com "The Upbeat Podcast" hosted by Blake Reynolds - Spotify Link "The Names of God: His Character Revealed" by Melissa Spoelstra - Amazon Link This Week's Challenge Read Genesis 1-3, keeping an eye on the names of God (Elohim and Yahweh) as they are revealed in time in the text. Consider how you may have elevated one name or characteristic of God over another in a way that has actually diminished Who He really is. Recognize that though you may never have really questioned the doctrine of the Trinity before, it is a foundational belief that cannot be overlooked.
#395: "Thank You Lord" by Chris Tomlin feat. Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line
24:35It is a good habit to keep your "thankful antenna" up. Who are you thankful for? What are you grateful for? Chris Tomlin's song "Thank You Lord" reminds us to be thankful for the simple things and the special people in our lives. Many of Paul's letters begin with a heart of gratitude for his readers. Let's explore them together. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Explore a topic Mark up the text Start with God Make a list Complete a word study Compare and contrast The 30 Day Music Challenge New Testament letters that have a "thankful" introduction Romans 1:8-15 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 Philippians 1:3-11 Colossians 1:3-14 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 2 Timothy 1:3-18 Philemon verses 4-7 An example of my highlights, lists, and notes - PDF Example Starting with God Recognizing that Paul's concerns should be ours as well Making a list of God's attributes, what Paul is thankful for, and Paul's concerns Completing a word study on "obligation" from Romans 1:14 - BibleHub.com How Paul's concerns become his prayers for the people he's thankful for Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com The story behind writing the song "Thank You Lord" - EverythingNash.com Article ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: New Testament- Amazon Link This Week's Challenge Choose one, or all, of the letters from Paul to meditate on who and what he was thankful for. Start with God as your habit for engaging Scripture. Identify what Paul was grateful for. Look closely at his prayers and concerns. If you engage in several letters, use the Bible Interaction Tool Exercise (BITE) of "compare and contrast" to see if you can see themes or identify specifics for that audience. qUSh1qnAeWf34W5GE3tF
#394: "When You Speak" by Jeremy Camp
22:25There is an account in the Bible of Jesus speaking to the wind and waves and calming them down. This idea often makes its way into our prayers and songs -- not unlike Jeremy Camp's song, "When You Speak." I think it deserves a deep look from us to see what we can learn from ALL of the words Jesus speaks in this scene. Join me in the Gospel of Mark, in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Meditating on Scripture Completing a word study Defining words Reading Scripture out loud Imagining the scene Reading in context The 30 Day Music Challenge The Father initiates the plan of salvation, the Son accomplishes the plan of redemption, and the Spirit applies what has been initiated and accomplished Seeking the face of God before we seek His hand Studying the actual Word of God to more easily identify its counterfeit - James 1:25, Joshua 1:7-9 Completing a word study on the word meditate as found in Joshua 1:8 - BibleHub.com Looking up words related to meditate such as soliloquize, muse, and ruminate Our focus verses found in Mark 4:35-41 Imagining the scene in the context of the whole Examining the words of Jesus vs. the words of the disciples The words of Douglas O'Donnell, "Jesus is...addressing...their "excessive fear"...Fear that doesn't acknowledge who's onboard the boat." - "Matthew: All Authority in Heaven and on Earth (Preaching the Word)" by Douglas O'Donnell Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleasseToday.com Story Behind the Song "When You Speak" - NewReleaseToday Article Fascinating articles on counterfeit detection and the spiritual parallels - Challies.com Article Part One and Part Two This Week's Challenge Read our focus passage in Mark 4 in the context of Mark 3-5. When you focus on Mark 4:35-41, be sure to make some observations and make time to meditate on the text. Let it roll around in your mind a bit. Ponder the text. Talk to yourself about it. Chew on it over and over again. There is much more to see here. I hope I've inspired you to spend some time here for yourself. And remember, when God speaks, the wind and the waves bow to His will.
#393: "Fear No More" by Building 429 [Encore]
21:01What kinds of choices do you make in the face of fear? Building 429's song "Fear No More" is an anthem born out of a personal time when fear led the songwriters to seek God. There's a king in Scripture who faced fear more than once. His story gives us two separate examples of choices and two distinct responses from God. Let's explore the life and choices of King Asa this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Pray Read in context Using section titles to get your bearings Remember that the people described in the Bible were REAL Meditating on Scripture The 30 Day Music Challenge Praying for God to give the desire to read Scripture Praying for God to help you understand what you're reading Praying for God to reveal truth to you as you read Reading the end of King Asa's story in 2 Chronicles 16 Seeing that "the end justified the means" in the mind of King Asa - 2 Chronicles 16:1-6 God's rebuke of King Asa's choice in the face of fear - 2 Chronicles 16:7-9 Giving yourself a chance to get familiar enough with Scripture that it begins to "all fall into place" Meditating on the details of the story Considering Asa's response - 2 Chronicles 16:10-14 How Asa started off right, but ended badly Examining our choices when we feel powerless Examining God's response to Asa the first time he felt powerless and overwhelmed by his circumstances - 2 Chronicles 15:1-8 Additional Resources Lyrics - Klove Story Behind The Song "Fear No More" - YouTube Video Story Behind the Song "Fear No More" - New Release Today Article This Week's Challenge I know I started in 2 Chronicles 16 this week, but I want you to read chapters 14-16 for yourself. There's so much more there that we didn't cover. I didn't start "at the beginning" because I wanted to show you how easy it is to jump in the middle and not get the big picture when you don't engage in the whole. It's not a waste, but it's so much richer (and more effective) to do the study work. And don't forget to PRAY. God wants to meet you in His Word!
#392: "Look What You've Done" by Tasha Layton
22:49Did you know God has a tone of voice? When He speaks to us, He comforts, encourages, or convicts with kindness. He offers the perfect balance of truth and grace. So if the voice inside your head has an accusing tone, then it's not from your heavenly Father. This is what Tasha Layton sings about in her song "Look What You've Done," and it's what we discover in Scripture as well. Let's compare and contrast the voice of evil and righteousness together this week. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Compare and contrast Make a list The 30 Day Music Challenge Accusations and agreements The Place We Find Ourselves Podcast - Episode 42: Accusation & Episode 43: Agreements How satan is an accuser and a deceiver - Revelation 12:9-10 How satan is the "father of lies" - John 8:43-44 How satan seeks to devour us - 1 Peter 5:8 How satan as a strategy and sets traps - 1 Timothy 3:7 One of satan's strategies -- to accuse you of sin and bring condemnation on you to the point that you make an agreement to walk in the accusation rather than the truth and freedom of Christ How satan is our accuser, but God is our judge and has canceled the record of debt that stood against us - Colossians 2:13-15 Paying attention to the tone - evil's accusations are unkind and harsh, but God's confrontations never lack kindness How the accuser wants to deceive you into forming agreements with his accusations How spending time in God's Word is part of His freedom plan Psalm 52 and how it relates to our discussion about agreeing with evil rather than trusting in the steadfast love of God Additional Resources Lyrics - NewReleaseToday.com Chords - Ultimate Guitar Tabs Behind the song "Look What You've Done" with Kevin Davis -New Release Today Article This Week's Challenge Read and meditate on Psalm 52 this week. Follow the cross-reference to 1 Samuel 21-22 to familiarize yourself with the story that inspired David's song in the first place. It's not a pretty story, but our very real enemy plays dirty, too. Check out this week's show notes above for links to the podcast episodes I talk about that highlight the accuser, the agreements we make with his accusations, and how to find freedom.
#391: "Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)" by TobyMac
22:31Throughout the ages, people have scoffed at God and His ways. Some claim He isn't powerful enough, or close enough, or real enough. These scoffers think they have it all figured out and don't believe that Jesus is relevant, much less coming back. TobyMac's song "Help Is On The Way" inspired me to sit in a letter from Peter. I think you'll see a lot of similarities between scoffers in Peter's day and our own. Join me as we explore Scripture to gain perspective and marching orders as we continue to await God's perfect plan for the future. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Read in context Read repetitively Listen to an audio version of the text Follow the cross-references The 30 Day Music Challenge The Lord is not late and he stands by what He claims - 2 Peter 3:8 Using BITEs to create habits of consistency in your Bible time - download a free resource as a guide to help you this week How developing habits OVER TIME will produce spiritual health An overview of 2 Peter - Bible Project What the scoffers INSIDE THE CHURCH in Peter's day were claiming You made this up There won't be any consequences Jesus isn't coming back How the Old Testament is relevant for pointing to New Testament realities - 2 Peter 3:1-3 Following the cross-reference about Christ's return to a parable - 2 Peter 3:4 and Matthew 25:1-13 Recognizing the power of God's Word - 2 Peter 3:5-7 Following the cross-reference to a psalm of Moses - 2 Peter 3:8-9 and Psalm 90 How God isn't slow, He's patient - 2 Peter 3:9 How we should live in light of God's patient, but imminent return - 2 Peter 3:14-15 and 2 Peter 3:17-18 Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - EssentialWorship.com Story behind the song - KLove.com This Week's Challenge Spend some time 2 Peter this week. If you want a guide to walk you through this letter, go to michellenezat.com/391download, and I'll send you suggestions for 7 days of interacting with 2 Peter. Build consistency in your time in God's Word. And remember, don't lose your balance. The patience of the Lord should bring you peace and stability as you continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus.
#390: "Glory, Honor, Power" by Influence Music
22:56There is a magical and terrifying place described in Scripture. It is the throne room of heaven where fantastical creatures proclaim the holiness of God, and crowned elders fall at His feet in worship. Influence Music's song "Glory, Honor, Power" brings us through the door of heaven with Jesus and John. May we leave changed. Let's take an unforgettable trip to the throne room of God in Revelation 4. In this episode, I discuss: Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture - this week's Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include: Listen to epic music while reading/studying Scripture Meditate on Scripture Slow down Use your imagination Consult an outside resource Consider the opposite The 30 Day Music Challenge Another episode where we discuss Revelation 4 - Episode 369 Imagining each detail of the throne room What jasper and carnelian look like as mentioned in Revelation 4:3 A quick reference to the 5 heavenly crowns mentioned in the New Testament - GotQuestions.org Article What the "seven torches which are the seven spirits of God" might mean - GotQuestions.org Article How the only reason we exist is that it was God's will to create us Considering the opposite of glory, honor, and power Looking at the word picture of the potter and the clay in Jeremiah 18:1-12 Recognizing that we could never adore a God that isn't worthy of all glory, honor, and power Additional Resources Lyrics and chords - WorshipTogether.com Influence Music Artist Profile - NewReleaseToday.com This Week's Challenge Spend some time in Revelation chapter 4. Go slow. Imagine the scene. It is a dramatic scene, so I don't think you can "overdo it" in your conceptualization. Once you really have the throne room and what is going on there firmly in your mind, ask God to reveal how that should change the way you think.