Pastors Pen from Mark Schneider of Lifepoint Church for Feb. 13
If we are being totally honest, we all can attest to times in our spiritual walks when we have struggled with the discipline required to read God’s Word, even though we know it’s the key to maintaining our relationship and intimacy with Him. I’d like to offer you a few simple, practical tips that I use to help me when I am struggling to find the motivation or consistency to get in the Word.
Let’s be honest. Nothing tends to happen in our lives without putting it onto our schedule. If we don’t purposely carve out a period of time to quietly reflect on God’s word and talk with Him, it simply won’t happen. I encourage everyone to start small when developing a new habit, and don’t expect results right away. If you can commit just 15 minutes to reading and prayer on a daily basis for 30 days, you are well on your way to developing a habit and a routine. I feel there is no better time for this than first thing in the morning, but as long as you are consistent, find a time that works for you and stick with it. As you develop this consistency, don’t be surprised to find yourself carving out bigger blocks of time.
I would encourage anyone who is just establishing a quiet time routine to focus their time in three areas: Bible reading, prayer and a choice of devotional, scripture memorization, or journaling. If you spend a brief time developing each of these areas, you will be amazed at how your joy in hearing from God grows. I tend to focus on the ACTS method of praying which stands for “Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.”
Again this is not a one size fits all approach, and it’s important to start where you are. Beginning any new activity or habit can be overwhelming if we try to take on too much right away, so keep your goals manageable and don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged. I once heard it said, “I like my way of meeting with God better than your way of not meeting with him.” The key to developing a passion for the Word and connecting with Jesus begins in establishing a discipline. All good things take time, but if you can build a foundation through discipline, your duty will turn into delight before you know it.
Mark Schneider is the pastor at Lifepoint Church.