Lisa Hughes spoke this week in sem wives. She is the wife of Jack Hughes, who pastors Calvary Bible Church in Burbank. He is a TMS graduate, so it was nice to hear from a wife who was once in my shoes. She addressed the discipline of studing Scriptures. This sounds simple and basic, right? But if having a devotional time is so important for every Christian to maintain, then why do so many struggle with consistency? I know I have my ups and downs.
So here are some practical things to consider. Nothing new, nothing hard...just helpful, hopefully.
To help with consistency:
*Seek an accountability partner. Maybe it's a spouse or a friend.
*Commit to studying and learning something new before talking to someone you talk to on a daily or regular basis (best friend, mom).
*Above all, pray that God would give you the grace to develop the discipline of consistency in your devotions!
How/what to study:
*Read through a specific book of the Bible every day for a month. Get familiar with the text. Maybe at the end of the month you'll want to study a particular theology further.
*Read through a Proverb each day of the month. As you read, keep a journal and write down the things that you learn about a few topics of your choice (such as the tongue, the slothful person vs. the industrious person, money, etc.)
*Study a particular theme or theology. Search the Scriptures to see what God says about Himself, prayer, covenants, marriage, etc.
*Choose a passage/chapter/book to memorize.
*Go from big to small. Get the context of the writing by reading the entire book first. Then break it up into smaller sections or by chapter. Then go verse by verse.
*Make your observations before you make your applications. Don't read into the text what you want it to say, but consider what the original writer intended to convey to the original recipients.
Redeeming the time:
*If you are a mom like I am, take advantage of the kiddos' nap time by making study a priority. Housework will still be there when you're done.
*Do you commute? What are you listening to in the car? Consider using the time to pray, or stick a hymn or sermon in the CD player. Download podcasts from good preachers.
Scripture study is a discipline that must be developed, and there are no shortcuts. But for the faithful, the rewards are plentiful and eternal. So if we are to be consistent, we must remember this: we will never be what we are not already now becoming. What are you doing today to ensure that your walk with the Lord is vibrant?