By BARBARA LOWNSBURY
I love online Bible studies, including the ones here! They’re short, convenient, and an easy way to connect and study with others. BUT. Yes, there’s a “but,” and I’m guessing I’m not alone in the experience I’m about to share. If I’m not making personal time to meaningfully connect with God, that next Bible study I’ve clicked on can easily slip from a time of connection to a God-orientated task that carries me through the moment and not through my day. It devolves into another to-do item or check on a check list. Here’s what I’m learning to do:
Pick 1 thing – what is the one most salient scripture or point that I connected with that I can think about through my day? When I get a break or a quick moment to catch my breath, put aside the social media or that phone call for a moment and reflect back on the learning.
Make space to talk about what I’m learning – the way we learn best is by teaching someone else what we’ve learned. I make a point to share the lesson so I retain it.
Pray – Pulling God in more fully by praying before I start and abet I’ve read has been hugely helpful. This invites in the Holy Spirit to lead and teach me in my reading. The latter makes time for conversations with the One who I should be processing with most.
When time permits, do extra – Write out the scriptures. Read them in a few different Bible versions. Take physical notes about what I’m connecting with. Find a practical way each day to apply what I’m learning. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. But do something.
Tools, including this devotional, are great, but only if I’m personalizing them with my Father so they become tangible and real in my life. How about you?
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT In our DF devotionals, this section is always the application piece of what is being shared, and (hopefully) will help you and me to personalize and learn from what we’ve read together. You will notice that they all require some, well … application on your part. In other words you’ve gotta make a small space of time to allow God to drive the lesson home.
How do you do with personalizing what you’re learning? For making space to reflect, respond and apply? Consider giving yourself just 5 minutes more to allow God to really move. Have a great idea you use to personalize your online studies? I’d love to hear it so please post below!
PRAYER Lord, I don’t ever want my time with You to slip into just another ritual or routine. You are the most important relationship I have. Just as I make space for the most important people I have in my life, help me to protect my time with You. Help me to remember I spend time with you not out of fear or guilt, but out of a deep, abiding love for all that You are. Thank You for loving me so richly, Papa, and for teaching me to do so in return. I love You and my time, my mind, my heart and my strength are all Yours. Amen.
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