by: Alex Freeney, Summer Staff
My Bible has a very specific spot in my room. It sits on the top shelf of my bookcase, and I pass it multiple times a day. I sometimes walk by and flip it open to Jeremiah 29:11 or throw it onto my bed in the morning to read while I drink coffee, but I can’t say that I have always loved mornings of reading Proverbs instead of scrolling through Instagram. For a while, I didn’t feel like the Bible was captivating at all, and my prayers for God to “show me the perfect verse for my life on whatever page I flipped to” only worked every blue moon.
It’s something that really bothered me-- my lack of interest in reading the Bible. I’ve been a believer for 10 years, so I should be able to recite Deuteronomy by now, right? Well, that’s not the case quite yet. This year, I decided that my quiet time needed to involve more than flipping to a page and trying to fit the confusing language into my own circumstances. The Lord gives us His perfect word as a way of communicating with Him, and I want to learn more each day about the abundant life that Jesus offers.
In the past few months, I’ve been trying a few different tactics out, and these are a few tips that have helped me lean on the Lord more than ever before in my morning devotion. Now, I wake up (most mornings) ready to hear from the Lord, and I’m starting to notice patterns and connections in the Bible that are changing my approach to faith.
1) Utilize Your Learning Strategy
This is probably my biggest tip in revamping a morning devotion. I’m a Georgia Tech nerd, so I know a lot about how I learn information best. For me, when I study for classes, I have to write equations and vocabulary down on paper in order to remember it later on. By applying my learning strategies to my morning devotion, I have created a better platform for me to carry my time with the Lord into the rest of the day. Each morning, I record 7-10 verses in my journal, and by writing it down, I am able to process it and see more clearly how it applies to me. For others, this may involve speaking verses out loud, following the words on the page with your hand or listening to a passage on the Bible app. Each person learns in a unique way that can also uniquely impact their time with the Lord.
2) Have a Consistent Routine
By creating a habit out of morning devotions, it’s easier to fall into the routine of spending time with the Lord. Most mornings when I wake up, I make a cup of coffee, grab a banana, and take my Bible to a seat at the dining room table (or my bed if it’s cold). I drink my coffee and read that day’s passage. When I’m done reading and journalling, I get ready for the day. It’s a natural rhythm that I’m in love with. I’m not a morning person, so having 20 minutes of consistency and no talking in the morning is fantastic.
3) Use a study Bible
Recently, I’ve been reading through the book of Psalm. Each chapter is beautifully written and has great proclamations of faith, but more often than not, I don’t understand why they were written or what I should be taking away from them. I started using a study Bible, and it’s helped me tie chapters back to certain events while gaining understanding on what type of writing each section includes. I highly recommend an investment in a study Bible-- it’ll change the way you interpret your reading!
4) Create a template
Similar to having a consistent routine, create a template of how you journal or record your devotion each day. I’ve formed a personal journal template with verses written on the left page, and events/rants/prayers written on the right page. It’s become a way to keep from stalling on journalling or letting my sleepiness dictate what I end up recording.
5) Have Something to Look Forward To
Just like waiting on the next episode of your favorite show, you can create a sense of anticipation when it comes to reading the Bible. This can be done by only allowing yourself to read “part” of the Bible each morning. This is definitely more of a mental strategy than a regulation, but it’s helped me get excited to read the Bible each day. For example, I only allow myself to read one Psalm a day along with New Testament verses, so I end my quiet time fulfilled, yet also wondering what will be in the next Psalm. This small level of anticipation keeps me yearning for God’s word, because it’s a way of discovering something new about the Lord each day. Try this and see how it works out!
If you are experiencing a rut in your morning devotion, hopefully some of these tips can help. Even one change to your routine can create a more meaningful and captivating time with the Lord. Let’s move from a place of expectation to a place of seeking in our morning devotion. God’s word has so much to offer, we just have to utilize the gift!
About the Author:
Alex is a Georgia Tech student who loves reading, designing, & exploring brunch spots in Atlanta. This summer she is working as a CKM production intern, and this will be her ninth summer at Crossroads Summer Camp and second year on staff.
Say hey to Alex at #CRSC15!