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God’s Love Letter to You

 


 

“How to Spend Time with God in His Word”

By Donna Jones

Have you ever decided to read the Bible but quit because it didn’t make sense or seem applicable to your life? Have you ever wanted to ask your “God questions” but hesitated because you didn’t want to appear ignorant? Have your kids ever stumped you with a question about God?

Welcome to the club.

An odd thing happened to me when I became a mom…

 

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I became simultaneously aware of how much I needed God (largely because I felt a whole new level of inadequacy) and how little time seemed available to pursue Him. My soul felt needy but my schedule felt overwhelming.

Out of sheer desperation I muddled my way through the Bible, clinging to any nugget I found along the way. I began to grow spiritually, personally, emotionally. In fact, it’s safe to say that somewhere in those early years of motherhood I grew up.

Then I was asked to lead a Bible study for women new to the Bible or who wanted to revisit the basics. Frankly, I wondered if anyone would show up to this unique concept of Bible study. 75 women showed up the first year; 150 women the second. By year three, 300 women came to ask their questions, and more important—get answers—about faith. Many of these women had never opened a Bible, much less studied it.

Each week I looked into the faces of hundreds of women just like me—wives, moms, sisters and daughters—who wanted to learn about God in a judgment free, easy to understand setting. Essentially, they were asking “where do I start?” For many women, this is the tricky part.

Maybe you’ve wondered where to start, too. Or maybe you wonder how to carve out time to start in the midst of laundry, carpools and spit up.

If so, you are not alone! Here are a few easy steps to read God’s Word, the Bible, and have it make sense:

1. Pick a book of the Bible and work your way through it.

If you are anything like me, if you don’t have a Bible reading plan you’ll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. Instead, pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps. If you are new to the Bible, start with the book of John, which is the story of Jesus and was written to help us believe. Then move on to the other gospels – Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement for living the Christian life. Work your way through one book at a time and you’ll never find yourself fumbling for where to read again.

2. Commit to reading a few minutes each day.

Getting God’s word into your life doesn’t have to take long. Start small—five or ten minutes is better than none. Sometimes less is more, especially when reading less means you’ll actually remember more.

Get creative. Keep your Bible in your car to read while waiting to pick up kids; Take your Bible to the park or indoor playland to read while your kids are occupied; Read for a few minutes while your kids watch a DVD. Refresh your soul whenever and wherever works for you.

3. Pray this before you begin….

What’s the “this”, I’m referring to? It’s a simple prayer I pray before I read the Bible each day, and it’s revolutionized my time with God: Lord, if you were here with me right now (and You are, because You are everywhere), what would You say to me today? When I pray this prayer, I open my heart to allow God’s word to be personal to me; to my life, my circumstances, my relationships, my questions, my concerns, my heartaches, my needs.

4. Read until a verse resonates with you, then stop.

Reading the Bible is more than an intellectual exercise to learn about God. The Bible is God’s personal love letter to you, meant to change your life. When you read the Bible, allow God’s word to penetrate your thoughts and perspectives. How? When a verse resonates with you—when a verse relates to something you are going through, something you’ve been grappling with or something you need—God is speaking to you. Pause. Let it sink in. To help remember and think about what God is saying to you, write the verse down, word for word. This practice has cemented God’s word into my thoughts in countless ways. Sometimes I keep the verse with me throughout the day. Sometimes I ask God to help me remember it when I need it. Sometimes I memorize it. Be intentional about getting God’s word into your thoughts and you’ll soon see your relationship with God thrive!

5. Ask Questions

Because reading the Bible is about growing in my love relationship with God, I want to understand fully what God wants to say to me each day. To help me, I take the passage of scripture I’ve read and ask these simple questions:

1. God, what do You want me to know?

2. God, what do You want me to feel?

3. God, what do You want me to do?

 Not every Bible verse will have something for you to know, feel and do, but many will. The Bible is filled with examples to learn from, promises to claim and commands to follow. These were written to give you the hope and the help you need to follow God in your real, everyday life.

God loves you and wants an intimate, personal friendship with you. Now that you know how to start growing in your relationship with God, open a Bible and dive in!

 

 

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For A Chance To Win This Book From Donna Jones

 
donna's head shotDonna Jones is a national and international speaker who’s traveled from coast to coast and to four continents helping women find and follow God in their real, everyday lives. The author of four books, including Seek: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God and Raising Kids with Good Manners, Donna has been featured in magazines such as Parents and Better Homes and Gardens as well as numerous radio and television shows. Donna makes her home in southern California where she lives with her pastor/ hubby, JP. They have three wildly funny, passionate teenage/young adult kids who they love to pieces. You can connect with Donna and find encouragement to follow God in your real, everyday life at www.donnajones.org. You can also sign up for her FREE online Bible study at www.seekmeetinggod.com.  


 

Twitter: @donnajonesspeak

Facebook: Donna Jones, Speaker & Author

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