(What my morning looks like)
I shared Thursday about how God has been teaching me about how important it is to thank the Lord. Yesterday at a church we visited, the pastor reminded us of the significance of honoring the Lord for who He is and recognizing all of his many gifts. It is rare that I take the time to do just that, but it was pretty incredible to be in a bar in NYC where the church service is held and hear hundreds of people praising and thanking the Lord.
The other primary word that I have been learning throughout this past month is the importance of staying connected to the Lord. Last week, Elizabeth wrote about staying focused to complete a task, and she shared this verse from John 15:5,
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
It is the easiest for me to trust the Lord when I am completely at the end of my rope. That is when I realize my helplessness and know that there is absolutely nothing that I can do apart from the Lord. It is much more of a struggle for me to really spend time seeking the Lord when I feel confident and self-sufficient. The Lord usually has a way of taking care of that, but it really is important, no matter where we are in our lives and in our faiths, to spend time reading the Bible and praying. I know, these are the typical answers that I learned in my first grade Sunday school class, but I have yet to find a substitute.
My mom always woke up early in the morning to have a cup of coffee, an “S” cookie, and a time to read the Bible, which makes perfect sense, since 5am was the only time the house was quiet with five children running around. This was a wonderful example of how much she valued her time with the Lord, and she showed us the importance of spending time each day growing in your faith. As we got older, if Mom wasn’t her sweet self at breakfast time, we would ask, “Did you have your quiet time today?” (Mom and Elizabeth have explored the wonderful dynamics of mothers and daughters, but that is for another day!) Often, we would “catch” her, because the way Mom started her day made a visible impact on her actions.
That happens to be a better example than when I find myself grumpy and frustrated, but I can also notice a difference during the times in life when I commit to a daily Bible study, either with friends or alone, and when I just fill that part of my day with other things and ignore the importance of spending time reading the Bible. It is amazing to see how the Lord can teach you when you offer him a sliver of time.
There are so many verses that show the importance of reading the Bible, but here are two of my favorites:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
I would encourage you to spend a few minutes with the Lord each day this week. One way of doing that is to read Elizabeth’s blog and then read the context of one of the verses she shares. Another way would be to join or start a Bible study, even just with one friend, so that you will commit to yourself and others that you will spend regular time with the Lord. It can be five minutes or it can be an hour, but I would imagine that you (and others) will notice the time that you put in. Please share in the comments section if there has been a Bible Study that you have really loved. I would love to get some input on a study to start (and maybe we can do a study together on the blog)!