Wednesday, November 2, 2016

reading the Bible, studying it and digging in deeper

I've been reading the blog of Courtney from Women Living Well for years now.  She is one of the founders of an online group of women called Good Morning Girls, and they are reading through the Bible together.  Though I didn't start this with them, I am jumping in right now.  Well, a couple weeks ago, but you get the picture.

First, let me say this: you can read the Bible on your own.  You do not have to have a plan of any sort.  BUT.  It is so much easier when you have a guide you're using.  There is something about a guide that helps keep you accountable.  I've done this both ways, on my own and with a guide.  I'm less likely to miss a day if I use a guide.

Also, let me say that if you are a believer and you are not reading the word of God daily, then you might be in a real mess.  We are called to read His word, to delight in His word and to treasure it in our heart.  It's more than my instruction book for life.  It is how I communicate with God and how I hear from Him.  Just this morning, He gave me something out of the book of Judges.

Okay, now on to this post.

I've been in the book of Judges ever since the Monday Todd and I were in New York.  This guide that she provides for us is a weekday guide, skipping Saturday and Sunday.  I try not to skip those days by doing something on my own, but I confess to you that I sometimes do skip quiet time on those days.

This guide uses the SOAK method, going just one small chapter at a time.  SOAK stands for this below.

Kneel in Prayer

And here is a glimpse of what my pages in my plain Jane spiral notebook look like.

This morning, I got all fancy, though, and today's page looks like this.

Here is what I do every morning: I always start by praying.  I ask God to show me something from His word, and I commit the reading of His word to Him.  Then I read the chapter.  I try to pick one verse that jumps out (and sometimes, that is hard, depending on where you're reading) and I expand on what I think it means, or what it means to me at that time.  I try to then apply to that to my life, and God always shows me how to do that part, usually by revealing to me a weakness or sin of mine.  Then I pray again, asking Him to use that in my life, what I learned that day, thanking Him for His kindness.

Then I post the picture on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and I use hashtags.  #womenlivingwell #goodmorninggirls #bookofjudges

Then, anyone can click on those hashtags to see what everyone else got from that day.

It's so cool and simple, and I love studying this way.  It's new to me, because I've never used that method before, but I have to say that I really like it.  It's hard to pick just one verse sometimes, and other days it's hard to even find one verse, because the chapter is short or hard.  But God always helps me.

I post this because maybe you were like me, and for a while, you've been stagnant or kind of floundering around on your own.  I need accountability and I found this right before we left for New York.  I was prepared and took all my journaling supplies and a new spiral notebook.  May I encourage you to give this a try?  We are more than halfway through Judges.  It's slow and steady, and I also like that....God seems to help me remember it more when I take it slow.

Personally, I do not use any devotionals.  I am of the belief that God's word is all we need.  Many of my friends DO use devotionals, though, and that is great.  Any tool that we have to get us in the word is good, so do whatever it takes!  Also, my Bible study just ended, and I must keep going, even if on my own.  This way is good for all of that.  I don't know what the next book will be, but I'll keep you posted.

I mentioned my morning quiet time~I pray, I read the word of God, I write out my daily scripture passages and I pray all the day long.  That's how I function, and God is gracious to always hear me.  I desperately need Him.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

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