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Monday, January 26, 2015

Quiet Time: What Does Personal Bible Study Look Like?

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)  Collage Created in Picmonkey

Quiet Time: What Does Personal Bible Study Look Like?

Why should Christians spend quiet time every day in personal Bible Study?

As Christians, we value church attendance.  We are likely active in Bible Fellowship classes, the new name in many churches for what we always knew as Sunday School.  We attend Bible study classes on Wednesday nights perhaps, or maybe other times throughout the week.  We study our Bibles in worship services and small groups on a regular basis, but it is also important to spend time alone in God’s Word.

 God’s Word is Personal

We should spend time alone in God’s word every day because His Word is personal.  The Bible has been referred to as God’s love letter to His children.  God speaks to our hearts – personally – when we spend time alone in His Word, without the distractions of everyday life.   God tells us in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I set you apart.”  Our Father knew us before He formed us in our mother’s wombs and He has a special plan for our lives.  He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a future and a hope.”  God knows us personally and has a plan for us.  When we spend time alone with Him, He reveals Himself and His plan for us.  We can hear Him more clearly when we are free from distractions.

We Remember What We Were Taught

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. ~ 1 Timothy 3:14-17

We should spend time in Bible Study each day so we are constantly reminded through God’s Word the values we have been taught.

 That We Might Not Sin Against God

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.~ Psalm 119:11
When we spend quiet time in God’s Word and we allow Him to speak to our hearts, our relationship with Him grows more deeply, that we might not sin against Him.

 What Does a Quiet Time Look Like?

The best time to spend quiet time in God’s Word is in the morning, early, before we do anything else.  This sets the mood for the day.  When we begin our day in the Word, with God’s personal message to us on our hearts and minds, we start our day off in the best possible way.  Then, when life wakes up and our day transforms into our crazy normal, we can handle life’s challenges more gracefully.  However, the important thing is that we spend this valuable personal time with Him.  I know mornings are the best times, but my personal quiet times often look different from one day to the next.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
When I spend time in Bible Study in the mornings, it looks something like this.  Usually, my bed is unmade and I’m still bundled up under the covers but I spruced up the scene a bit for you.  Sometimes I simply open up the Bible and read it, randomly.  Sometimes, I use a devotional as a guide and go through a series on a particular Bible study topic.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
When the house is quiet and I am the only one home, I might choose to spend my quiet time alone in God’s Word in my living room.  On a nearby table are two very old Bibles.  One belongs to my great grandmother and one belongs to my husband’s grandmother.  The one in this photo belonged to my great grandmother.  She wrote notes all throughout the Bible and inside the cover is a message she wrote about my upcoming birth.  Occasionally, I use her old Bible to compare her old King James translation to my New American Standard translation.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
 Sometimes life gets crazy before my day even starts or maybe the craziness is left over from the day before.  Sometimes the house is a mess and the only quiet place I can find is on the floor, but God speaks to my heart during these times too.  When I must choose a spot on the floor because the furniture is piled up with laundry and toys, I prefer a spot by the fireplace.  I prefer a spot by the gas fireplace in another room, but our new electric fireplace works too.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
 When the weather is warmer, another place I like to go to spend time in Bible study is the back deck.  Back there, the view of the North Georgia mountains is beautiful.  As I read the Bible, I like to look up and reflect on God’s beautiful creation.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Just last week, I managed to capture this beautiful sunrise from my front porch.  In the summer time, this is another nice place for personal Bible study.  This is a particularly good outdoor spot for morning Bible study because the sunrises are almost always gorgeous.  This place provides the perfect atmosphere for starting the day with a personal quiet time.

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