time

3 simple steps to establish your devotional life

Do you ever ask yourself  How do I start reading my Bible, or How do I start praying to God?

Do you ever ask yourself How do I start reading my Bible, or How do I start praying to God?

What makes getting into a routine so difficult? We have busy schedules that consist of work, family, and activities that we enjoy. So, where can we fit in extra time for other things? That's easy,  most of us have at least 15-30 minutes every day that we can allot to spending our time with these other things.

Yet, getting into a routine can be so difficult because it asks not how much time we give in a particular day, but how often will we seek to spend time each day and the next on devoting our time to whatever thing we are giving our time to. With as difficult as starting a routine can seem to be, starting a routine is also equally simple. 

Choose a time

What time works best for you? As I said earlier, most of us can find a 15-30 minute window in our busy lives to spend time with our Creator. One of the most crucial aspects of starting a routine is gradually building your endurance up from an easy starting point. A lot of times we can get burnt out of our devotions simply because we try to do everything all at once. Pick a time of day and start small.

I tend to have a tendency to be more awake at night and I prefer to end my day in a way that I can thank God for the things He has done that day. I've also met plenty of people who love to start their day in God's presence so that their day and their decisions throughout their day reflect their time spent with God early in the morning. And there are also others who prefer to spend their time with God in the middle of the day or during their break at work. All of these are good, but remember to choose a time that works best for you.

Choose a place where you are comfortable

Do you have a view that sticks out in your head? How about a comfortable spot you love to sit? Learning to enjoy your routine is vastly important to continuing a healthy routine. Finding that place where you can sit and focus on God is important to enjoying the routine of having your devotion with God. If you don't have a place in mind, look for one.

Read/Pray/Meditate

There isn't a real set order in how you should do these three things, but it is good to do these three things in some order. 

Read. Reading our Bible is the way that we can see what God has spoken to those in the past and how he speaks to us today. Don't just read to read, read so that you can remember what you've read. No matter if you have read 5 verses or 5 chapters. If you are having trouble finding a book to start in you can look back at one of our recent posts about where to start reading your Bible: http://www.restoreportsmouth.com/blog/?offset=1474568064263

Pray. Praying is our way to speak with God. He wants for us to have a relationship with Him and to have an ongoing conversation with Him in our Bible reading and prayer. Praying for our needs is good as well, but remember to also pray for others.

Meditate. I'm not talking about sitting on the floor Indian-style and humming chants or doing yoga. I mean that after you read and pray to reflect on the things that you've learned. Reflect on the Word of God and reflect on what He is doing in your life.

-T.I. (the intern)

Three ways to live generously

generosity-blog-post_orig.jpg

give some of your treasure

Our first thought when it comes to generosity always goes to money.  Many in the church give a tithe of our income, but is that where giving stops? Giving to the church should only be the start. There are plenty of people in our city that are struggling. How can you give some of your treasure? Maybe it looks like supporting a local food bank. Maybe it looks like finding someone who hasn't eaten today and paying for them to have food. What if you paid for the groceries of a single mom next week? Jesus said where our treasure is, our heart will be. Let's have a heart for the church and our community.

Give some of your talent

We often assume that talent only relates to playing an instrument, juggling, or performing a back handspring. Those are great talents to have, but there are so many more things out there we can use. This week one of our guys was retelling the story how he met his neighbor. His neighbor is 20 years younger and really looks up to him because he's handy. The last few weeks they've been changing oil, simple home maintenance and more. This middle-aged gentleman is being generous with his talent. As a result he's mentoring a young man he just met. Maybe you can affect your neighborhood just by going out to love and encourage your neighbors. Maybe you're the kind of person who is good at orchestrating and gathering people of different talents to do a great thing in your community. When you know what you're capable of, you can begin to share that talent with others.

Give some of your time

This sounds so simple, but sometimes giving our time is the most difficult thing to give. You've probably had a busy week. Things have not gone the way you had hoped and you've been playing catch up since Monday morning. During those kinds of weeks we long to have some ME time, but it's during those times that we often turn off the issues that others around us are experiencing. Maybe you have people that are asking for some of your treasure, or some of your talent, but there are plenty of people out there that just want some of your time. Be willing to give someone your ear. Be willing to give someone your Saturday morning. You'd be amazed how many people are starving for relationship and community.

 

Sometimes we are guilty of telling ourselves we'd be more generous if we had more time, talent or treasure. We look at someone and tell ourselves if we were in their shoes things would be different. The hard truth is many of us do have more time, talent and treasure than those we come into contact with. Let's not wait until we've got everything worked out to be generous. Start today.