Devotional – February 17, 2021

by: Shamelia Simpson-McKenzie


Practical Studies…


For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

The devotional series for The Case for Virtue continues . How is it going so far?  We have been treated by practical expressions of virtue by women who embrace virtue as the standard of their womanhood journey to be their best selves. So far, we have explored Practical Prayers, Practical Worship and today we will dive into Practical Studies.

We should bear in mind that our life and faith journeys involve discovering who God created us to be and preparing for eternity as revealed in Scripture. The mission of The Virtuous Woman Project is to encourage and support women on this very important journey. As women, we know all too well the value of knowledge, and the importance of hard work. Knowledge is attained by studying and from life experiences. The Bible teaches about the value of studying and learning:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

 Why do you believe that the Bible encourages us to study? Can you share some of your reasons? My perspective of the reasons to study are:

  1. What we know determines how we behave and how we live.
  2. God is a Spirit; He is not like man, so in order to know and understand Him, we need to invest time in learning about Him.
  3. Our mind is made to learn and absorb information so we can operate at our highest capacity.

Being created by God, He knows the reality of our existence; hence He takes and makes opportunities to aid us in our life journey. He is careful to reveal some important truths about Himself so that we know and understand how we are to relate to Him, and behave so that we can operate in accordance with our design and His will. Like the Virtuous Woman, we want to exude the essence of God, and to be able to achieve this, we need to STUDY.

One important truth about God is shared by Isaiah. From this Scripture, we know that truly knowing God is not something that happens by chance, but requires deliberate work and long term commitment. This is what Isaiah reveals:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

This truth is reason enough to study; as Scripture encourages. The more we study is the more we know. The more effort we make to know God, is the more He will reveal about Himself so we are equipped to live a righteous life by His. power
Here are some ways effective ways for Practical Studies:

  • Set weekly study goals; spiritual and otherwise. Write them down and hold yourself accountable to achieve them.
  • Invest in a version of the Bible that you understand; the Amplified version works for me.
  • Make a commitment to spend quality time reading God’s Word everyday; reading three times per day coincides with your meals.
  • Set a daily alarm at the time you want to read your Bible, and honour the times.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to bring clarity to the Word as you read.
  • Purchase a journal to write your thoughts, lessons learned, Biblical Truths and prayers to God.
  • Consider your immediate spiritual needs and purchase books on the topic; read them and make notes about what you learn.
  • Make each week count for your spiritual growth; on the Sabbath (Saturday) reflect on how your week went. Write a reflection in your journal. Give God thanks for the gift of the new knowledge you have gained; think of the ways you will work to change to reflect the image of God.
  • Go out and celebrate your accomplishments. Be kind to yourself, even if you fall short of the target.
  • Do it again for the coming week.

You can rest assured that when you are deliberate in this way, you will experience a level of growth that amazes you; you will begin to feel closer to God, more at peace and proud of who you are becoming; you will not want to stop. In making this invaluable investment in yourself you will be preparing for eternity; your efforts are counted as righteousness because you are putting faith in God who honours and gives rewards for all deeds. Here is evidence of this truth:

Let us all make worship an action that we do naturally.

The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.


Our God desires for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), and to be an image of His own eternity (Song of Solomon 2:23). When we turn from sin (repent), God is faithful and just to forgive us and receive us as His own. (Acts 3:19).

We have so much to gain when we make time to gain knowledge and understanding of God, of ourselves and of life itself. Knowledge is power. Let us turn on that power by studying to show ourselves approved unto God. On that day it will be said of us; “she studied well, was transformed by the knowledge she gained, and her God has approved of her; she bears His image.



My God and Father,

I adore You for Your awesome love and kindness towards me. You alone are wise and worthy of all praise, honour and glory.

I know that Your ways are not my ways, so I must read Your Word to know and understand You better. Your Word is life to me; I can study to show myself to be approved by You. I can read Your Word, receive revelation from Your Holy Spirit and experience transformation that makes me more like Your Son, Jesus.

Please help me to desire an insatiable appetite to know and understand You more so that I will commit to studying the Bible, and all other resources that help me to achieve my spiritual goals.

I want to live a holy life, and I know that I cannot do it without knowing what to do and how to do it. As I invest in studying, please help me to absorb the truths about You so that my everyday living will reflect the positive changes. Thank You for teaching me to be a great student of Your Word.

In Jesus’s Name I pray…Amen