Here’s my confession. For years, really for my whole Christian life, the daily “quiet time” has been a source of frustration and guilt. I’ve often thought: This shouldn’t be so hard. Why do I get so distracted and sleepy? Why am I so undisciplined? I love studying the Bible, I try to be constant in prayer, so what is the problem with this whole daily QT thing?
The confession is my backstory. Now fast–forward to the past six months or so. I have another confession: I’m a jealous wife. But it’s not what you think. I’m jealous in a good way.
I’ve been watching my husband in the comfy green chair in the living room with the Bible open on his lap and his colored pens in hand. Often he listens as a recorded voice reads to him. Sometimes he reads silently to himself. Sometimes he reads or talks out loud to himself. But always, he emerges from the living room saying, “You won’t believe what I saw in the scriptures today!” “Check this out!” “What do you think of this?” “I really met with the Lord today; look what he showed me!”
After months of this, I’m thinking, what is going on in there? And I’m jealous! How do I get what he has? So, I asked him. It turned out to be pretty simple. He is reading scripture and listening to it as the voice of God. (Which it is.) As he reads it, he says he isn’t trying to “get through it,” he is “letting it get into him.” He reads to understand, but he also stands in awe, pauses to ask questions and chase down answers. He prays about what he reads. He interacts with God as he reads. His “through the Bible in a year” has become “through the Bible in four years.”
Slow down! Ask the questions. Find the answers. Ponder and stand in awe.
And he underlines. A LOT. He has special Micron pens that don’t bleed through the pages and are skinny, so he can write down what he thinks and sees. He has a special Bible just for this purpose, and it is BY FAR the most marked up Bible I’ve ever seen.
So, I got myself a Bible with wide margins and no study notes, and a set of colored Micron pens. And, guess what? I am enjoying reading the Bible in a new way, too. I underline and use colors. I draw little, primitive pictures to illustrate what I read. I write out key phrases in the margins and I use different fonts to make the words come alive. I write uncensored comments like, “I don’t get this!” “Wow” “What?! ” “How many wives?” I fill in cross-references of other passages I’m reminded of. I note the name of someone I’m praying for in the moment.
I have fun, and I’m not frustrated. I don’t do it every day, but I don’t feel guilty when I don’t. I feel excited for the next time I will. I am excited for each new book I tackle. I just finished Isaiah and 1 and 2 Corinthians. Now on to Exodus.
Ladies, this has been a life-changer for me. I’m telling you this now because Women’s Ministry is offering three meetings this summer for a Bible Reading Club. I’m inviting you to read Titus for three weeks in June, Malachi for three weeks in July and 2 Peter for 3 weeks in August. If you sign up to join the group, you can download resources to help you actively read the scriptures and interact with God as you read. Then, we will meet together to talk about what God showed us as we met with him.
Simple as that.
Will you join me?
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Devoted is written by Chapel women. If you recognize a writer in the hallway, greet her!
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