On Guides and Going it Alone

Monday, January 10, 2011

On January 1, I started a new devotional book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Many people have read this popular book and recommended it to me. I was excited to receive it as a Christmas gift, and I saved it until January 1st so that I could start at the beginning and dedicate an entire year to it. So far, it is everything I expected it to be, and more.

But what happens when you don't have a best-selling book as your daily devotional guide? I found myself in that situation last year. I was in between "official" Bible study groups, floating adrift. I wanted to read my Bible on a daily (or at least regular) basis, but I wasn't sure where to start. I tried one book, and then another, but nothing captivated me.

I searched online. I found incredible material, but to be completely honest, I feel distracted when I'm online. I'm not really quiet, really searching, or really listening. I get inspired, for sure, but because I start to feel that multi-tasking energy take over whenever my computer is open, online reading alone is not enough for me.

I kept looking, trying to find that perfect resource. Then I had a wild thought. Why not just read the best selling book of ALL time?! The Bible.

Can I really do that? Can I read the Bible without a guide? Can I just open it up and read and get something out of it? Uhm - hello! Yes! People have been doing it for centuries. Still, too intimidated to start with Genesis 1, I gave myself permission to jump around. I picked short books, and read a chapter a day, Ruth, Jonah, Ecclesiastes, 1 and 2 Timothy. As I read, I wrote down whatever came to mind. I often found my mind sparked in new ways, and I felt so refreshed just reading His Word, on my own.

In 2 Timothy, I read something which solidified all these thoughts for me.

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Tim 3:16-17.

I immediately thought of the verse which inspired me to start this blog, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10.

And then I wrote in my journal, So to be ready to do the good works, we need to study Scripture.

Maybe it is as simple as that.
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What do you think? Is Bible study important? How do you do it?


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9 Comments »

9 Responses to “On Guides and Going it Alone”

  1. Wow! I cannot believe you had this up this morning. I was JUST thinking this morning (after doing my Bible study) that I need to call Courtney and ask her if she uses a daily devotional guide for those "in-between" times. I too cannot read the computer for quiet time. It is distracting and my mind tends to race. You are right, just open the Bible and start reading. I need to do just that and maybe pick up a daily devotional for a supplement. Thanks! Happy cold, icy, Monday!

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  2. Courtney,
    I agree with what you said about the online stuff. I get way too distracted by everything!

    Bible study is really important to me, but if I'm not in a group or with a friend it can be difficult to stay on track. Last year I did the One Year Bible and loved it. I liked having a goal every day. This year I'm doing it again.

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  3. Funny how we try to expect others to lead us in studying the Bible, but forget the One who should be leading us. As one who is reading the Bible, thank you for this reminder.

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  4. My goal this year is to read through the entire Bible. I have a mommy friend from church and we are reading it together. We read the passage and then email each other at night with our thoughts. That is really keeping me accountable!

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  5. First, I do love Jesus Calling. I got it at the Relevant blogging conference. I find that each and every day the devotional has been exactly what I needed to read. Isn't that amazing?!

    Yes, I think that we need to get into our Bibles. When I haven't been using a devotional I would like to just ask God to direct my fingers to the page He wanted me to find. Also, I do Proverbs and Psalms that match with the day of the month. So today I'd read Psalm & Proverbs 11.

    Another devotional I love is Oswald Chambers "Utmost"...amazing reading.

    I hope that you're getting a lot out of Jesus Calling..

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  6. I'm doing the Bible in A Year. I'm also doing a Beth Moore study by myself. I lead a Bible study for 4 years and now I'm taking a break, but I'm sure I'll want to jump back in again (not leading) when the time is right.

    I love the verse from 2 Timothy!

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  7. I have always loved Kay Arthur's Precept studies...like Jen...I led for several years...some years ago:) Now - I am doing a Beth Moore study by myself..I have my quiet times in the morning with whatever devotional...streams in the desert right now...and fellowshipping with other women...like the women here:)

    Precept studies gave me a really good way to study the Bible for myself.
    Timothy verse that I love is that....HE prepared good works in advance for us! way to deep for me:)

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  8. I am doing a different Bible study/devotional this year called Solo which is based on the Message Bible and lectio divina. It is unique and different and I am loving taking the time to concentrate on just a few scriptures each day and really soaking His Word in.

    I did Jesus Calling two years ago and came away from that devotional so very encouraged and feeling oh so loved by Our Father!

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  9. Wow! I cannot believe you had this up this morning. I was JUST thinking this morning (after doing my Bible study) that I need to call Courtney and ask her if she uses a daily devotional guide for those "in-between" times. I too cannot read the computer for quiet time. It is distracting and my mind tends to race. You are right, just open the Bible and start reading. I need to do just that and maybe pick up a daily devotional for a supplement. Thanks! Happy cold, icy, Monday!

    ReplyDelete