27 Dec “Get a Plan” by Melissa Mitchell
The New Year is upon us! There is something nice about a fresh start. There is the hope of things being different, being better. Leaving the mistakes and struggles behind in the old year. However, if you are like me – good intentions can quickly fade into old habits and ways of doing things.
One of priority for most of us is spending regular time with God. You may call it devotions, quiet time etc. It typically involves reading your bible and time in prayer. Most Christians would say that it is a vital part of the Christian life and many would also say that it can be difficult to maintain. The important thing about this time is to try to connect with God. Talk to Him and to listen to Him. When it happens is up to you and what works best for you and your schedule.
Pick a time of day that works well on a regular basis. Having it a part of your daily routine is a big help. Have it triggered by something else, so it is a reminder to have it. As in: do your devotions right after breakfast. Or get to work early and have it the parking lot. (I used to do this when I worked in Providence. I had to get in early to get a parking space!) In bed before you go to sleep at night. I find if I don’t have a set time to have my devotions, I most often don’t end up having them.
Have a plan of what to read. Without a plan, I find it difficult to get going. While opening up to a random spot in the Bible to read isn’t wrong, it might not be very motivating.
Have you read the through the entire Bible? This can seem like a daunting task. However, I have done this a few times and it is very satisfying! This is God’s word to us and there is something gratifying knowing that you have read all of it. There are many “read the Bible in a year” plans out there. These are very helpful in keeping you on track if you are a box checker like me. There are some drawbacks to this, it is a large volume of reading and can get overwhelming if you get behind. However, there is no rule that says you have to complete the plan in one year! Do what’s best for you.
You can choose to do something simpler – read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) or the New Testament. Read through the Psalms and Proverbs. Pick the Minor Prophets and read all of those.
There are lots of devotional and Bible study books that you can purchase as well. I usually do the CCF Women’s summer Bible study to add some variety to my devotional time. At Christmas I usually do an advent study. Lately at CCF the Bible app has been mentioned quite a bit. This is a very useful tool to make reading your Bible quite simple. I’ve been using it more and more this past fall.
There is nothing magical about any of these strategies. The key to them is just having a plan. I know what I’m going to do each day and that helps me to stay focused. (I also realize that might not be true for everyone.)
The most important part is to seek God and to try to hear from Him. Even just reading a couple of verses can be rich and rewarding!
Psalm 119: 1- 3
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
but follow his ways.