Posts tagged ‘Bible Study’

3 REASONS I Have a Regular Quiet Time (aka Devotions)

Sometimes I journal during my devotions. I write down insights, responses, and prayers.

Sometimes I journal during my devotions. I write down insights, questions, responses, and prayers.

What does it mean to have devotions or a quiet time with God? It simply means putting aside time to engage in prayer and reading (the Bible or other spiritual literature).

The prayer time is more than talking to God.  It is also listening to Him. I find that I “hear” most of His responses when I read the Bible.

Go here to read about how to hear God’s voice.

 My reading is usually purposeful. I.e. I spend time (daily) reading the verses, chapter, or book of the Bible that my Wednesday night study group is studying. I read to understand. And I read to see what application can be made to my life. In other words, I don’t read just to read.

Having devotions in the mornings has become a habit again. I prefer morning devotions because then I know it will happen before the rest of the day’s agenda interferes. And at this time of day I can give my undivided attention to praying and reading. But like all habits (with me any way) I know that it can be easily broken if I don’t watch my environment and my motives.

Go here to read how I prepare my environment for maximum adherence to this habit.

I need to periodically go over my motives for having a regular quiet time. Knowing these reasons helps increase my stick-to-it-ness. In fact this step is helpful for maintaining any habit. And there are definite reasons I want to spend some extended time with God each morning. Here are 3 reasons.

Reason 1: Transformed Mind. It is easy for me to think mainly of myself and to think badly of people, situations, God, and even myself. The media and culture I live in support this kind of narcissistic, distorted thinking.

However, when I spend purposeful time in the the Bible, the WORD of Truth, my thinking becomes transformed. It goes from thinking according to the world and my natural reasoning to thinking thoughts aligned with God’s Word.

  • Selfishness versus Servanthood
  • Unforgiveness versus Forgiveness
  • Enttlement versus Love
  • Me-centered versus God-centered

Read and ponder Romans 12:1-2.

Reason 2: Transformed Actions. How and what I think upon radically affects what I do. How I behave shows what I think/believe in. I want my actions to reflect well on God. I want my behaviour to be consistent with Biblical mandates because being in alignment will bring me peace and wisdom. And mainly I want to be transformed to show that Christ indeed lives within me.

Read and ponder Matthew 5:16  . . . . Psalm 119:165 . . . . Proverbs 22:17-21 . . . . Galatians 2:20.

Reason 3: Transformed Relationship. In order to go from strangers to intimate friends, steps need to be taken in order to transform the relationship. To deepen any relationship there needs to be time and energy spent on that relationship. This is also true of a relationship with God. Engaging in spiritual disciplines like praying and reading the Bible help us know God better and thus deepen our relationship with Him.

As my relationship with God grows, I’ve noticed the following . . . 

  • I grow to love Him more.
  • I become more in awe of who He is and what He does.
  • My desire to obey increases because of the thinking transformation that is taking place.

I don’t always understand God’s ways and thoughts. But I have increasingly more trust in how He governs. I think this is true because I am knowing Him better and better (mainly through my devotions) as the years advance.

Read and ponder John 15:13-15 . . . . Isaiah 55: 8-9.

These are only 3 reasons for having regular quiet times. These are my top 3 for this stage in my life.

Your Turn . . . What are some reasons you have devotions?

Related Posts . . . 

NOTE: This post is written for the Blogging From A to Z ChallengeThere are 22 categories and my category is MI = Miscellaneous.
During the month of April I will post 26 times finishing up posts that have been in my draft fie for at least a year. For a list of all the posts go to the A-Z button on my header.
Today’s letter is R. The topic is REASONS to have a quiet time.

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Short Class Yields High Impact: How to Study the Bible

In these 3 classes you will learn tools that will enhance your personal Bible study.

Ken Cooley will lead this 3 week group. This class will focus on reading the Bible for the encouragement, challenge and life it holds.

The Bible is the portrait of Jesus Christ. It’s where we can meet Jesus Christ and allow Him to speak to us.

King David said “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

Benefits from Studying the Bible
These “paths of life,”and the joy in His presence which can ensue from them, are to be found in the study of His Word.
 

SIGN UP TODAY on FB, this post, or the church office (635-5992).

The Group Meets: January 8th, 15th, 22nd

Day: Sundays

Time: 11am-12:10pm

Where: Room 11, Cordova Neighborhood Church

Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

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Rev Up Your Personal Bible Study:7 Ideas to Combat B-o-r-i-n-g

Bible study isn’t about how long you study each day. It doesn’t matter if you use world-renowned resources or read top-selling Biblical writers. It isn’t an item to check off on your to-do list. Also, it isn’t helpful if you study the original languages and you aren’t getting closer to God. It’s about cultivating a relationship…a relationship with God, the Creator of Everything.

In the coming weeks, I’ll share ideas that can jumpstart your Bible study. You won’t use each of the ideas. But making even one or two changes will affect the way you approach and feel about your quiet time. It will also help you enjoy the process of knowing God better.

Read on and let yourself be motivated by one of the below ideas.

Bored No More. When we do the same thing over and over and over, it can become b-o-r-i-n-g! This applies to activites as well as to  relationships. If your Bible study is boring you, stop! Change something now. There are many ways to learn. Find the way that best fits you. Go to a Bible bookstore and browse. Pick something from one of the following categories:

  1. CD – Auditory learners will thrive on this type of study. I listen to teaching CD’s when I am in the car or when my eyes are too tired from extended computer use. I’ve listened to books (5 Love Languages of Children) and sermons from current teacher/ preachers (Joyce Meyer and Charles Swindoll) , my pastor (Mike Mitchum) and those long dead (CH Spurgeon).
  2. Children’s curriculum – I often go this route when I am learning anything new. The study sticks to the main points, is short, and is visually pleasing. Your local Bible bookstore will have many options. I recently picked one up on Missions. Go the extra mile and then teach the study to a child (yours or a borrowed one).
  3. Books – Many Christian books have a study guide at the back of the book or at the end of each chapter. You can go through it on your own or with others. It’s nice that you don’t have to pay extra money for these questions. Some example of books that include questions . . . The Five Love Languages for Singles, Facing Your Giants, and Power of Prayer.
  4. DVD – If you are a visual learner this is a great choice. The topics are many and the study is usually well done. Get a DVD study and invite neighbors or friends to join you. Typically DVD studies are more costly. If cost is an issue check what’s available at your local library or church. Over the past year I’ve gone through Boundaries and The Power of a Praying Woman.
  5. Topical studies – The choices here are numerous. Some have few chapters and some many. Some are in-depth and some give an over view. I’ve gone through Lessons on Christian Living with several ladies and it always impacts them and me. I’ve gone through The Treasure Principle twice. Grieving God’s Way is one I hope to lead in the fall .  
  6. Magazines – Use a magazine as a jumping off point for study in the Bible.

Magazines cover a range of topics and purposes. These include . . .

Lastly, try incorporating devotionals into your Bible study time.

7.   Devotionals – These are typically a few pages long, expound on one passage (point or person),  clearly define the main point and end with an application. Though this type of study requires few minutes, the depth of the material is apparent and the impact it has is real.

I’ve read many types of devotionals.  Some . . .

  • Encourage me as a mom (The Official Soccer Mom Devotional)
  • Are free (My Daily Bread – I pick mine up from church every three months)
  • Are classics (My Utmost for His Highest)
  • Inject humor (anything by Pastsy Clairmont)
  • Give daily snippets about a topic I want to know more about (50 Days of Heaven: Reflections That Bring Eternity to Light).
  • Bring family members closer: Each Christmas a friend buys multiple copies of the same devotional. She keeps one and gives the others to her family members. Sometimes they share their thoughts in-person, through email and on the phone. They use the devotional as a springboard for praying for one another. Reading the devo increases their intimacy with God, and reading the same thing each day as a group increases the feeling of community.

Stay Tuned for Idea 2 on Revving Up Your Bible Study: Small Groups.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Have you even been bored with your Bible study time?
  2. What do you do when you are bored?
  3. What do you think it means if you are bored?
  4. What resources would you recommend from the above categories? What would you add?
  5. Please leave a comment if you try one of these ideas.

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