how do i start having devotions

How do I get more from my time with God?

It's amazing how quickly my week flies by. I have a tendency to get busy and before I know it, the week is gone. When I'm super busy, though, I always find time for what's  important and necessary: eating, sleeping, spending time with people that matter to me. If I'm going to have a relationship with God that challenges and changes me, I've got to make Him a priority. When my best friend reaches out and wants to get together to talk I find a way to make that happen. I want them to know they matter to me. It's obviously a priority.

Here are some ways we can make God a priority in our lives:

-Speak to Him daily. 

Set aside some time, maybe on your way to work or the gym. Talk to God. He's listening. We speak daily to those we love: spouse, kids, closest friends. We have a great opportunity every day to speak to the creator of the universe. Use it. 

-Set a meeting with God that has top priority

More than just daily interaction, set aside an appointment with God. Pastor Marc likes to grab coffee by himself on Thursday mornings. It's his time to spend just alone with God. Build a space in your week to meet with God. 

-Have a plan.

Don't just wing it. Select a book of the Bible to work your way through. Use a reading plan on the Bible app. Use the reading plan on the Restore Church app. There are numerous ways to get more out of God's Word: commentaries, devotionals, podcasts, etc. 

I hope these quick tips help you have a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Where do I start reading the Bible?

You've determined to start reading the Scriptures. Great! ...but where to start? There are dozens of books and over 1,000 chapters you could begin reading. Each of them has much to offer, but which are the easiest to read for someone new to the Scriptures? 

Here are a few recommended starting points:

John- one of the easiest gospels to read (21 chapters)

I, II & III John- three short letters to new believers with deep truths (7 chapters)

Mark- another easy to understand gospel that focuses on the story of Jesus (16 chapters)

Acts- the story of the early church (28 chapters)

James- a practical letter discussing the Christian life that faith brings about (5 chapters)

Galatians- a short book focusing on grace (6 chapters)

Philippians- a letter focusing on joy and humility in the midst of trials and struggles (4 chapters)

If I were to recommend a pattern, I'd start here:

John- Start here because it's the basic story of Jesus and the gospel.

Acts- Move right into the next book in your Bible and discover the early church.

Romans- Take a giant leap into the teachings of the gospel. Paul details how sin, grace and faith play a role in the gospel story.

From there I'd head to the Old Testament and begin reading the book of Psalms, as well as Proverbs. Once you've tackled these books, you'll be well on your way to a healthy devotional life.

A final recommendation relates to how much you read at a time. Too many people get discouraged because they attempt to begin reading 3, 4, 5 or more chapters every day. That’s a worthy endeavor, but focus on quality not quantity your first few weeks reading Scripture. I’d rather read one chapter and understand it than rush through 3 or 4 chapters to say I read them. Our goal is to be changed by what we read, not impressed by how much we’ve read.
— Pastor Marc