Today’s guest author is Debbie Scales of The Happy Geranium. You might recognize her from a previous guest post Why Dusting is Overrated – From Dust to Dust. (I still laugh every time I read that piece, and I’ve read it a dozen times!) Debbie is just kind of amazing. She and I met online two years ago in the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and have been online friends since. She’s encouraging, a woman of prayer, real, and fun! Debbie’s experience, perspective, and unique blend of humor and forthrightness refresh me. I trust you’ll love her as much as I do as you read a piece she granted me permission to publish in this Nourish series, originally titled Daily. Enjoy!
I try every day to spend some time in the Word.
Typing that sentence makes me feel like a lame believer, a lazy Christian. Why would one of God’s elect have to “try to spend some time in the Word” everyday? Why isn’t that priority number one?
Because we are busy. We are pulled in many different directions at once by people and situations. We are distracted. Books, newspapers, television shows, newsfeeds, etc. are all vying for our attention. We have legitimate obligations like going to work and taking care of our kids. We are caught up in the trivial. Today I absolutely must do A, B, and C. Tomorrow I will read my Bible.
We follow the course of least resistance. It is easier to do a thousand other things than it is to sit down with a Bible. Studying the Word requires our minds to engage. It is intentional. We won’t stumble into reading Scripture the way we stumble into a casual phone conversation. ~Debbie Scales Click To Tweet
What Does NOT Work for Me
A few months ago, I set out to establish the habit of spending time in the Word daily.
I know myself well and have been at this Bible study thing long enough to know what doesn’t work for me.
Dutifully reading one chapter of the Bible per day does not work for me (Acts, chapter one today; Acts, chapter two tomorrow, etc.). There is little continuity of thought from one day to the next. I read that chapter mostly because I feel that as a Christian, it is my duty to read the Scriptures.
“Read through the Bible in one year” programs do not work for me. Like determining to read one chapter of the Bible each night before going to bed, reading the assigned passages each day becomes just one more thing on my to-do list.
Attacking a portion of Scripture as if I am writing a doctoral thesis on it also does not work. I have begun Bible studies equipped with several different versions of the Word, a concordance, a Bible dictionary, several commentaries, and a determination to complete a world-class study worthy of the topic at hand. But I soon wear out and wish I had not been quite so ambitious.
What Does Work for Me
Currently, I read each day from a book of devotions. Each devotion includes a passage of Scripture. It focuses upon that scripture and is one-page long. Every devotion is well written and encouraging. This is what I call my “light” reading.
I read one selection from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. If you are familiar with this scholar, you already know his writings are anything but light. Chambers’ pieces are Scripture-based and challenging.
Then, in a notebook I write down one or two thoughts from my day’s reading. Somehow, I don’t feel I’ve really studied if I don’t write anything down.
Doable Diets Work Long Term
Is this the best way to spend time in the Word each day? Probably not. Could I do more? Yes. But this study is doable, and doable diets stand a chance at working long term. ~Debbie Scales Click To Tweet It helps me in my daily walk. The pieces I read stick in my brain and sometimes lead me to do a more thorough study of a topic.
This habit enables me to emulate the Bereans, who received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day (Acts 17:11).
After devoting years to working and childrearing, Debbie Scales now spends her time indulging not only her grandchildren but also her passion for writing. Her articles, poems, and devotionals have appeared in various Christian publications (Christian Woman and Power for Today). Debbie is a member of Heartland Christian Writers. She lives with her husband Dan in Central Indiana. You can visit her website at www.thehappygeranium.com.