Being as I get to start over (see here for explanation) with this blog series, I am going to start with the TRULY first thing first. There is nothing more important than (1) accepting Christ as your personal savior, and (2) taking the time to pray and read the Bible: or another way to say that is working on Your Relationship with God
Your Relationship with God
I realize that I’m making an assumption here, but chances are pretty good that if you are reading this, you probably have parents that care for and encourage your faith and your relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Chances are also pretty good, then, that you may not have gotten the chance to make your relationship with God your own decisions. You probably attend church as a family and go to the youth group activities that your parents have driven you to. Perhaps it isn’t even a stretch for me to suggest that your relationship with God is more important to your parents than it is to you.
Well, now is the time to take charge. As you strike out on your own, you are going to need to be less and less dependent on mom and dad and make decisions and choices independently. This includes your walk with the Lord.
Do you want to be a ‘Sunday only’ type of Christian? Or do you want to have a genuine relationship? This has to come from you.
As in any relationship, time spent together is a crucial element in whether that relationship wilts or flourishes. You have to determine to set aside time to spend listening to what God has planned for you (reading and studying the Bible) as well as communicating your appreciation, expressing your frustrations, or verbalizing your needs (prayer). Let’s look a little deeper at these two exercises.
Before talking about the various options of Bible study, I would like to suggest that a very important aspect of devotional Bible study is consistency. Make it a habit to set aside a regular time and place for engaging in God’s word. Keep in mind that the point of studying the Bible would be to know God better through His Word.
Speaking from my own personal experience, I can tell you that my first introduction to God’s word was memorization. When I was in the third grade, I started attending a local church’s Awana program and I learned many verses that are still with me today (many, many years later). When it comes to devotional Bible study, one option to consider is to memorize key passages. Perhaps you would find it helpful to write your memory verses on index cards. Try to understand the context of the passage you are memorizing. It helps to read several passages before and after the verse you’ve chosen to memorize. You may even want to reference a concordance for more information.
If you find memorizing Scripture a challenge and a chore, don’t be discouraged. Remember, this is not about being legalistic regarding your Bible study time, but about helping you know God better and, as a result, growing in your faith.
What benefit to you reap from studying God’s word? There are a number of key benefits. In addition to being edified, spending time in the Word will enable you to face the challenges of your daily life, and to know and trust in God’s will for you. Additionally, devotional Bible study time will also prepare you to share the good news of Christ with others.
In Matthew 6:5-13 there is instruction given as to what prayer should and should not look like.
Most people find that it is best to start your day with devotion and prayer. This is wise as it is very easy to get busy and, although you had intentions to read and pray later on, you end up skipping it all together. However, I do have friends that find it easiest for them to have their quiet time at night before bed. Personally, I like to think of prayer as an on-going communication with my Heavenly Father. I pray numerous times throughout the day – because I realize that I matter to God. You matter to God too. Pray before the big exam, pray that God will make his will clear to you about an upcoming decision, pray that you will have the courage to do something hard. It doesn’t have to be just something you do when you wake up, before a meal, or before going to bed. God is always with you. . . so talk to Him.
If the whole idea of having a relationship with God is suggestion is strange to you, if you are unsure of your salvation, or if you know that you aren’t saved, but would like to know more, please read this helpful article. Also, feel free to email me at CleverColleen@gmail.com if you have questions. Knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the most important factor in your life, hands down.
The next post will have us looking into the importance of finding your place at a good Bible preaching church.
This is a post from the Life Essentials series. This series is written with the newly independent young adult in mind. It is my hope that these posts will guide him/her as they begin to learn how to live life well. Most posts, however, are also completely applicable to those that have been ‘on their own’ for years. For a list of the other posts in this series, click HERE