If you have been tracking with the 75 Day Journey we are on as a church, you should have also by now noticed that we don’t post something ever day.
This is because we don’t just want you to be reading your Bible through the lens of our thoughts and perspectives. We want you, as the reader, to dig in for yourself.
There is an old saying that goes: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
A similar concept applies when it comes to reading the Bible. The truth is that we don’t want to be the only voice informing you about who Jesus is, and about the beautiful relationship that we are invited into with him. We want you to hear the voice of the holy spirit, drawing you into himself, and into relationship with Jesus.
So we want to get out of the way, and let the Bible speak for it’s self. Our prayer is that on the days where nothing is written from our end, that you would have moments while reading, where the Word of God jumps off the page. We hope you have tome where you are in awe of who God is and are overwhelmed by his love for you as your read about Jesus and the faith we have in him.
Of course we also hope that on days where we do post, you have those same moments throughout your reading, and that when you do read our thoughts, they are simply complimenting what God is already speaking to you.
If doing devotions and reading the Bible is new to you, or you’re sitting there going, “How do I even do that”. We want to equip you to do so.
This seems straight forward. However, if you’re anything like me, you have had moments in your reading of the bible (or almost any book), where you simply skim. The goal of this devotional is not simply to check off a required reading list, but rather, it’s to draw near to Jesus. When we read, we should be ingesting the scripture. We should be taking time to reflect on it, and understand it. We should be reading it as if we are standing there watching these events unfold. When we do this, I promise you that 1 chapter will give you more value, and have more of an impact on you, than skimming 20 chapters would. So I encourage you: Really read.
I know what you’re thinking, “Journaling really? Is that necessary?” In a similar vein to actually reading, journaling is a phenomenal way to really focus on what you’re reading. It is a great way to come to a place of comprehension on the content where you are able to re-communicate it through writing it down . If you can write down what the scripture is saying, then it shows that you have reached a place of understanding it for yourself. Not only that, but it means you are ready and able to explain it to others. Plus, there is the added benefit that you remember more content when you write it down [which is why you are encouraged to take notes in class – and church ]
If journaling is not something you enjoy, or if it’s something you struggle to do; then this is about to change your journaling life. …. S . O . A . P .
Scripture. Observation. Application. Prayer.
S – Write down the scripture that speaks to you, or jumps out at you the most. It can be one verse, or a largerpassage. Really whatever you. as you are READING, look at and go… “dang! That’s cool!” Or “challenging!” Or “speaks to me.”
O – Write down what you think is cool about it, – what you observe. For example: Yesterday for John chapter 9, It struck me that the greatest prize is a relationship with Jesus, and ultimately God being given glory. Even to the point where a man was born blind to accomplish it. My observation and thought was; that it is better to be blind your whole life ,and come to know Jesus – than have sight like the Pharisee’s, and miss him. THAT’S HOW VALUABLE A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS IS! Not to be taken lightly. Dang.
A – How does it apply to your life – what is the application? How does it affect the way you are to live? How do you put it into practice in your life?
If we aren’t walking away from our scripture reading with something that challenges us and changes the way we live, we need to ask ourselves “Am I just skimming to check a box?”. For example: In Yesterdays reading – we see that this man who has his sight restored, immediately begins defending Jesus and living for him. What a challenge when it comes to my faith! Since Jesus has opened my eyes to see, and brought me into relationship with him; now I am to testify about who he is and what he has done. Everywhere, and in every occasion.
P – Pretty simply, what is the prayer you pray? Write it down. It’s crazy to look back on prayers I have written down over the years, and see how God has moved to answer them. To be honest; my application for yesterday is a hard thing to have the courage to do. Sometimes it’s more convenient to be a closet Christian who believes in Jesus and follows him, but isn’t exactly sharing what amazing things he has done in my life. So I pray something like this “Father, thank you that you have given me sight. That I was blind and now I see. I pray that I would respond accordingly. Thank you for saving me, and giving me purpose for my life. Please bring into my life opportunity and occasion to share what you have done, with others. I pray that when those opportunities come, that I would have the courage and conviction to share who you are and what you have done. In Jesus name. Amen”
With all of this in mind, go ahead and put it into practice.
Be Blessed Church