We have been created to grow in intimacy with God and one another by reading and practicing scripture together. But learning how to cultivate this in real life can be difficult. Here are some suggestions that might be helpful to you and others as you embed the scriptures into your life and relationships. Feel free to tweak these ideas to fit you and your context.
Adapted from The Ways of the Alongsider by Bill Mowry
We need to renew and refocus our hearts and minds towards God as we journey together. Here are a few helpful hints that can prepare you to be fully present in His presence.
- Admit your anxieties and concerns you are facing today.
- Review the past 24 hours and thank Him for His goodness towards you.
- Confess the ways in which you have tried to do life on your own.
- Ask God to renew your heart when you feel tired, bored or unmotivated.
Decide on a passage to read before you begin. You may want to use a reading plan to help you integrate the scriptures into what you are doing or go verse by verse through a particular book of the Bible. Perhaps you can read a Psalm each time you are together or go through one of the Gospels. Or you may wish to share a scripture passage that God has been using to speak to you recently. There’s no wrong answer here! The word of God is powerful and will help you grow as you read and practice it together!
- In order for our roots to grow deep down into Christ, we need to plan time to pause and reflect and think about what we’ve read. Meditation helps us get below the surface of the text. Here are some questions you can ask to help you and those you are with, begin meditating on what you’ve read in the Bible.
- What did I discover about God?
- What did I discover about myself?
- What did I discover about God’s picture of a healthy life?
- Is there a command I need to obey or an attitude or behavior to avoid?
- What “takeaway” thought from this passage can I continue to think about?
We respond in obedience to God through a practical application. Putting the word into action is critical! Here are some concrete ways to think about application so it becomes a reality.
- Start with a question. How could my life change if I applied what I discovered?
- Make it personal. How does it apply to me?
- Keep it practical. Are there measurable action steps?
- Decide your next step and put it into practice.
Some people like to journal and record their insights as God through the Holy Spirit is personally mentoring them. Writing down what you’re discovering and how you plan to apply it is one more step in the process of remembering and changing. Purchase an inexpensive journal or spiral notebook to record your discoveries and insights as you journey daily with Him. Plan time each week, month and year to review all that God has revealed to you and the ways in which He has transformed your life. Cultivate spiritual friendships where you have a safe space to share with others and have accountability. Celebrate all He has done!!!
NEED TO RECHARGE YOUR DAILY JOURNEY?
Try reading from a different translation of the Bible, pray a Psalm, play a song, or read from a devotional book before jumping into the Scriptures. Imagine yourself in the passage. What would you see, taste, smell, hear, or touch? Allow for a change of scenery if possible. If it’s a nice day, consider reading outside or in a new place. It is amazing how being in a different space can help you be attentive to God and each other!
As you read and practice scripture together you will grow closer to God and one another!