April Motl is a pastor’s wife who loves to laugh, loves her man, loves to talk on the phone entirely too long and most of all, loves her Lord. Collaborating with the efforts of her husband Eric, the two of them share a ministry dedicated to bringing God’s Word into the everyday lives of married couples, men and women. April has been privileged through her own church and ministry outside her local body to share God's Word with women ranging in ages and stages, across denominations, and walks of life. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring's (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Women's Ministry Tools. For more information, visit Motl Ministries at: www.MotlMinistries.com
If your doctor prescribed medication to you, you wouldn’t expect to get better unless you actually took the prescription. Reading the Bible is kind of like a heavenly prescription! God’s Word changes our life, directs our paths, gives us wisdom for hard times, encourages our hearts when we are down, satisfies the weary places within us and much more. But we have to swallow it if we want it to work!
Getting into a habit of reading Scripture is one of the most foundational aspects to living in the fullness Christ called us to. And yet, being in a habit of just “doing your time” really isn’t much better than not reading the Word. We have to genuinely open our hearts, expectations and lives to let God change us, direct us, encourage us and take away the old to give us the new.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing some practical tools to grow your devotional life in Scripture reading, prayer, fasting and worship. Hopefully we will all be encouraged to dig deeper, live more faithfully and grow in our devotion to our Lord!
How to read Scripture as a daily practice:
1. Before you begin always ask the Lord to teach you, open your heart, convict you and lead you.
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26 NAS
2. Remember that you don’t need to be legalistic about the time you implement your Scripture reading. Jesus was up really early some days and other days He was up late seeking the Lord. A heart of devotion seeks God’s face every hour of the day, so don’t switch off your “seeking” heart when you are done with your devotions and don’t feel like you have to get up at five every morning to read Scripture. Read it when you need it, when you are at your best, whenever you can make the time!
3. On the legalism thought... for those of you who are new parents and barely getting sleep or in a phase of life where you are just simply hanging on for dear life - don’t beat yourself over the head for not being able to maintain a schedule or lengthy prayer and reading time. While I truly believe we have been wired to seek relationship with God and that relationship requires time, effort, focus and our undivided love, God can see your heart! So if you are seeking Him as best as you can, that is all He wants! Try posting Scripture through the house, placing a small Bible in places where you might be able to steal a few minutes during the day... we’ll have more on devotions during stressful seasons in a post later down the road!
4. Now for a few ideas! Try doing any of these simple things to develop a daily practice of Scripture reading:
Looking for more encouragement in your walk with God? Check out Walking with Jesus 101: One Hundred and One Days of Devotionals to Strengthen your Walk with God Most of us have wished for a Cinderella moment when we could step into a new pair of shoes and in the blink of an eye have our lives transformed. Or, perhaps like Dorothy, we wish we could close our eyes, click our heels and find ourselves instantly transported away from the adventure we accidentally got dropped into. While it might not come from new shoes or heel clicking, God knows our need for a changed life and fresh start! Discover the life transformation that happens when you say "Yes" to God and step into His fullness. Walking with Jesus 101 is a collection of devotionals journeying through the Scriptures that point our feet to God's pathway for living. What walk of obedience, leap of faith or stand of endurance might God be calling you to? He has good things stored up for His children who eagerly seek His highway for living!