In our spiritual lives, God is the refuge from the storm - the storms of our lives. He rescues us and stills the storms. Luke 8:24 mentions the time when the disciples were in the boat with Christ and they were so afraid. But Christ rebuked the storm "and the storm subsided and all was calm."
A fellow blogger said this past week "since I have started reading the Bible, there is a sense of calm. I love it."
Many people feel that they just don't have time to read the Bible. Our pastor had an excellent sermon on time management yesterday that you can listen to here! (and if you say you are too busy to listen, you really ought to take the time to do so - ha!)
Two people this past week asked me what I do for my Bible reading time. Do I have a method, certain tools to help me? Over the years, during the various seasons of my life, I have done different things.
First, though, I have a place. This is my "holy of holies" so to speak. The place I read the Word and pray. Meet with my Saviour. I like to do this first thing in the morning.
"You will fill me with joy in Your presence." Psalm 16:11
Job 23:12 says "I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. "
I love reading God's very Word to me!Where do I read? I've done various things.
One time I read a chapter of Proverbs each day (31 chapters, one for each day of the month) along with a chapter from Psalms.
The Navigators have an on-line study and also other resources that are excellent! There are many devotional guides out there.
Some years I have done the "Read through the Bible in a year". It helps to ask 2 questions when doing that and recording the answers. From the passage:
1. Who are You, Lord?
2. What would You have me do?
For the past few years, this is what I have done:
"Today in the Word" that is put out by Moody Bible Institute (click on Today in the Word at the top of the page). You read a portion of Scripture and then it has a little devotional with it. You can read this on-line or have a copy sent to your home each month. It is free! I like to have the printed word because I don't much care to sit with the computer on my lap or sit at my desk to read. I like my chair! And a cup of coffee!
A few years ago, going through a "storm"in my life, a friend gave me a copy of "Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman. So, along with "Today", I read "Streams" every day. There is a short devotional for every day of the year. This book has been like a bandaid on a wounded soul. Not that I feel wounded all the time; usually not, but it speaks to me all the same. And it has brought much healing during suffering.
I have a prayer journal. I write down thoughts from my devotions, and also I printed out a prayer request/answers to prayer page that I punched holes in to fit into my binder. It has been absolutely breathtaking at times to see how God answers prayer!
"In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice;
In the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation!"
When time permits, as some mornings allow, I also will read a portion from another book. I love books by DL Moody, Anne Graham Lotz, Stowell and many others. These men and women of the faith have strengthened my own walk with the Lord. I have my song book that I often go to and sing also. Sometimes I will sit at the piano and play it. I have a terrible voice but He created it so He will just have to "enjoy" it! And I stink at the piano but no one hears it but God. I close the windows so the neighbors can't hear it either.
Last Christmas, my Aunt Millie gave me a copy of the devotional "Bedside Blessings" by Charles Swindoll. That is how I close out my night before falling asleep.
So anyway, that answers your question, to those who asked. I would love to hear what you do! What I do to "feed" on God's Word may not at all fit you. Just like one person might love brocolli and another hate it, although we all need to feed on the Word of God, how we go about it, what else we read, how He speaks to each person will vary.
As believers, we all need to feed on the Word. A loss of appetite is a sign of disease isn't it. The sick have little appetite. It is the same I believe spiritually. If spending time reading the Bible sounds boring to you and you have little desire to do so, ask God to give you that desire.
I have read some comments on Jess' blog where people have said "I wish I had faith like that". They can! In 1 Thess. 3:10 Paul prayed that God would supply "what is lacking in your faith", and we see the answer in 2 Thess.1:3 "your faith is growing more and more". Christ desires relationship with us and He desires our faith to grow.
Physically speaking, when we are hungry and we eat, we get full. But spiritually, the more we eat of it, the more we hunger for it and the more we desire it. The sheep follow their Good Shepherd to green pastures. He will give you the desire to "eat".
"The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer." Psalm 18:2
(ok. that's corny. but I wanted to post this picture!)