Tag Archives: Spiritual growth

Summer Bible Reading

It’s that time of year again . . . Woo hoo – summertime! Summer is my absolute favorite season, for many reasons: my birthday, it’s warm, pedicures, family road trips, making jam, etc. . .

Usually, as a family, we make an intentional plan to get into God’s Word. This year, my husband and I decided to share our summer reading plan with our church family as well. I am looking forward to seeing growth in both my family and church family.

I thought it would be fun to share it here on the blog as well, in case any of you would like to join us. We’re reading through the book of James and the reading plan goes through the middle of September. The thing I love about this plan is that there are only 1-4 verses to read each day, which allows you to dig deep into what each verse is saying. We’ve also included some cross-reference verses that go along with the theme of certain verses.

The first day’s reading was June 7th, so it’s not too late to join us.

June July verses

Also, we are encouraging people to grow a little deeper in God’s Word by using a SOAP or TIME method to interact/study the Bible a little more than reading alone would allow.

SOAP TIME

To use the TIME method, you will need to use Blue Letter Bible, which you can find online at blueletterbible.org or you can down load the free app. To use the app do the following:

Find the verse you are looking for:

Bible Verse ESV

Then click (by touching your screen) the verse your important word is in. For example, my important word is “generously” in James 1:5. When you click on the verse, this screen pops up:

Interlinear

Click on Interlinear, which is the first option. It will take you to a screen with all the words of that verse. Scroll down to find your important word. When you find it, click on it to find its definition. The Greek definition of the word “generously” is simply, openly, frankly, sincerely.

Meaning of Word

Write down that definition under the “M” part of TIME.

I know this can sound rather complicated, but once you learn to navigate through the Blue Letter Bible app, it is really quite simple. If you get overwhelmed, find a person younger than age 27 and ask them to help you!

Below, I’ve included a few of my journal entries to show you how simple, yet effective, “TIME” in God’s Word can be.

James 1  4

1 Pet 1 6  7

James 1  5

If you don’t already have a plan for reading the Bible this summer, consider joining me. To encourage you, I may post some of my journal entries from time to time, but don’t let the word I’ve gotten from the Lord be left-overs for you. He wants to give you your own!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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Spiritual Challenge 2015, Part 4

Happy February friends! Can you believe that January has already come and gone? Me neither! At the start of the year, I encouraged you to do something to challenge yourself spiritually this year (see previous blog posts for suggestions).

I have one final suggestion listed below:

Attend or Begin a Bible Study, Small Group or Accountability Group  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

Meeting together with a small group of people is a sure-fire way to accelerate your spiritual growth!

  1. First of all, in a small group setting, you can ask questions and interact more personally than you can at a church service.
  2. Also, relationships develop where you can learn from each other.
  3. Another reason small groups are important is you have the opportunity to show Christ’s love to those in your group, whether they are easy to love or not. As a side note, studies show that you don’t like 10% of the people you meet. So . . . if you are in a small group with 10 people, chances are one of them will rub you the wrong way. That’s OK, it’s just an opportunity to show Christ’s love to those “Extra Grace Required” type people. You can learn more about truly being like Jesus with “EGR’s” than those that are easy for you to love.
  4. Finally, small groups help you to not just “listen to the Word” but to put it into practice.

Most likely, there is some type of small group or Bible study that you can find, either at your own church or at another church. However, if there isn’t, maybe the Holy Spirit is nudging your spirit to begin one.

So, there you have it, seven practical suggestions of ways you could spiritually challenge yourself this year. By its very definition, a challenge is something that is difficult to do. Are you up for a spiritual challenge this year? Would you like 2015 to be the year that you can look back on as one with marked growth in your spiritual life?? Prayerfully consider implementing one (or more) of these suggestions. Then get started and STICK WITH IT!! Find a friend who will join you and help hold you accountable. You can do it! Thankfully, God will help you. His Spirit will empower you to. As you take on a spiritual challenge, you will be changed from the inside out. Every bit of effort you put towards your spiritual growth reaps both earthly and eternal rewards.

I am cheering you on and praying for determination and discipline for each of us in 2015. As we take this “spiritual challenge” together, we will grow closer to Christ and become more like Him!

I believe the best in you and for you!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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