I realized this week that in my excitement about promoting Christian fiction, I kind of made it sound like THAT is my top priority books when it comes to reading. I neglected to mention The Book that is my priority for reading.
I think I’ve come a long way in this. But, I really do still have a LONG way to go! 😦 Over the years, I’ve realized that the more I fill my mind with “junk food” books, the less I desire to read the Bible. I am also discovering that the more time I spend reading the Bible, the more enjoyable it becomes!
I am in a stage of life now that is much, much easier for me to sit down and have a daily quiet time. In earlier years, I found it difficult. I had to get up early (and no, my brain does not function well to process deep thoughts early in the morning) if I wanted to have any peace and quiet. Or I had to do it late at night (which worked–but I really didn’t want to leave it until the last thing every day). Then I heard someone say that if you are a mom in a stage of life with young children, you need to give yourself grace. That was good to hear. Not that it gave me an excuse to neglect reading the Bible. But rather that I didn’t have to feel guilty if I only had a few minutes here and there.
Now, I like to wait until the girls have left the house, and then I sit down with my Bible and my breakfast and enjoy them both together.
This year, I started a new Bible reading plan that I found on my Bible app. So far I like it, it gets me through the entire Bible this year: through the OT once, through the NT four times, Psalms twice, and Proverbs 4 times. It gives me a few chapters from each of these every day, a nice variety.
I also like to use the “Our Daily Bread” devotional booklet. I’ve been looking for something else to use, something that might feel a bit more relevant to me, but have yet to find anything I like…any suggestions?!
Something I started last year is jotting down at least one verse each day, in a journal. Something that jumps out at me, thoughts I don’t want to forget, things I need to bring to God, to grow in. This helps me remember it better than just reading over it. Helps me to ponder over it throughout the day.
I keep thinking about doing an in-depth book study, but there again, haven’t yet found anything that really appeals to me.
I’d love to hear from you–what have you found that works good for you? What has really challenged you and brought growth in your spiritual life?
I’m also considering the possibilities of doing an online (Facebook group, etc.) Bible study group, please let me know if you’d be interested, or if you have any suggestions for how to make something like this work!
And now, a few thoughts from my reading this morning. I found my challenge for today in the Our Daily Bread, the verses are from Malachi 3:16-18
Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
These are from the ESV version. (I have found this version to be so helpful when studying the Bible. In our church, and for memorization, we mostly use the KJV, because we feel that this is a good, sound version to use. I do like to supplement it with other versions, for clarification and understanding. )
About the verses. I love how it says “the Lord paid attention, and heard them”. He made a book of remembrance. He made them His treasured possession!! I also noticed how it says the followers of God spoke with one another. I think that is key–talking about the things of God with others that love Him.
And He WILL make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. So much emphasis is put on “fitting in” with the culture around us. I don’t think that’s what God wants us to do. He wants an obvious distinction between His people and the ones who don’t follow Him. How am I living, what am I doing, does my life show that I am following Jesus?! What a huge challenge!
What thoughts are you pondering on today?