Daily reading for Thursday, April 18th:
- 1 Samuel 20-21
- Psalm 34
- Matthew 5
We have developed a reading plan that will result in taking you through the Bible in a year and includes the New Testament twice. Each day includes chapters from both the Old and New Testaments. Psalms and Proverbs are woven in the reading throughout the year. Reading like this gives you a more balanced perspective of God’s Word and reveals many amazing links that you may otherwise miss.
Before you start reading, pray and say, ‘God speak to me out of your Word.’ The following is a journalling technique that we believe you will find very helpful.
If you do happen to miss a day or so, don’t punish yourself and try to catch up. You will just get discouraged. Just start with the current day. Do your best and do not become legalistic – it is not a spiritual checklist.
Download a PDF of the entire reading schedule.
How to Journal
We can gain the wisdom of the ages through God’s Word. The Lord would say to us today—that this word is precious: “the wisdom I gave to Moses I will give to you!”
You’ll have the insight of the ages. The Bible will spare you unnecessary pain. The Bible gives us the pathway to life the way God originally intended! It can act as a self-correcting mechanism in your life as you develop a daily mentoring time with the Holy Spirit.
When the Bible transfers to my heart and bleeds through my feet, that’s when the Bible becomes holy and alive. You have to apply it to your heart. The Holy Spirit will highlight something to you.
SOAP is an acronym for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer
S for Scripture
Open your Bible to the reading found under today’s date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. Highlight, underline or place a mark in the margin of your Bible, next to the scriptures that stand out. When you are done, reread the verses you marked, look for one that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
Helpful hint: If you are having difficulty understanding what you’ve read, you may find a study Bible useful. (New Living Translation)
O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.
A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to us. It’s also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on and review some of the ‘gems’ that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! And while journaling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with your small group or mentors. Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight and even encourage others.
If this seems overwhelming, take it slow and keep it simple. No matter how you decide to do your devotions, the important thing is to show up for your daily appointment, because God is always waiting for you!
5 Things to do:
- Develop a habit. Jesus prayed early in the morning – It takes 21 days to develop a habit – do this for 3 weeks – find one gem and write it down.
- Keep a journal – write it down and keep it in a safe place.
- Keep that bookmark – mark it off, challenge yourself to be consistent. Most of us eat three meals a day, make sure you come and feed yourself spiritually from the Word of God.
- Meet with others to do devotions. 20 minutes read, 20 minutes journal, 20 minutes to share what you wrote. If you only have 45 minutes, 15 minutes of reading, 15 min of writing, and 15 minutes of sharing.
- Make it your custom. 6 am, or 6:30 am
- Develop a custom, develop a habit and that will develop a culture.
Read the Pastor’s Daily Devotional to see how this is done by Pastor Dan Johnson. Reading his daily journal will help you to see that you can do the same thing in a very personal way.