This is the final post of a series on personal devotional time. Before ending, I wanted to post a couple final thoughts on special challenges for personal bible reading, and one very rough sample schedule for how you might divide up your time.
Keeping your interest even in passages of scripture that seem more obscure or hard to understand.
- Don’t expect the same kind of “meaning” from every part of scripture. Different parts of the Bible speak differently to us. There’s history, poetry, wisdom literature, letters, and prophecy, and they all represent different ways God communicates His truth to us. Then there’s the differences between the Testaments. Getting to know your bible front to back is the best help in all of this.
- Whenever you’re reading, look first for what you learn about God in the passage, and then look for what you learn about your life. The bible is written to teach us about God and tell us the good news of His salvation. We’ll learn about ourselves in relation to Him and His message.
- See all of scripture as telling the story of God’s activity in creation, and use your reading to see what He’s done and where your life fits into that picture.
- Look for Jesus in all of scripture, and consider how Old Testament passages point to Him in prophecy, patterns, types, history leading up to Him, etc…
- See your reading time as a chance to spend time with God and hear from Him.
- Disconnect yourself from over-stimulating media. The less time you spend consuming modern media, with all it’s over-stimulating images and sounds, the more your mind will be able to handle sitting and looking at the pages of a book (which will never offer special effects to keep your interest). This is a life-style choice: how do you want your mind to work? Let’s allow God to give us focused, stilled minds when it comes to sitting with His word.
Praying and reading after failure in sin.
- Understand how you are righteous before God, by virtue of being in Christ.
- Let conviction drive you to God. As Pastor Joe says, don’t let condemnation drive you away.
- Understand that the longer you stay away from private communion with God the weaker you’ll become.
A Sample Quiet Time Schedule:
- Talk to the Lord. Ask Him to help you wake up spiritually and understand what you read
- Work on memorizing a portion of Scripture
- Read the scripture
- Write about what you’ve read, think it over.
- Write down a verse you liked from the passage and take it with you.
- Pray over passage of scripture
- Pray through prayer list