I talk to friends who don’t feel like they hear God. I hear from women who don’t know how to really, really read the Bible. To be honest, I just want to put them in my pocket so they can go to class with me and learn what I’ve learned. So, here is my version of putting you in my pocket.
I’ve broken this blog into two parts: Quiet Time and How to Study.
Here is the rundown.
Quiet Time: This is the 15 minutes I spend with the Lord every morning. My goal here is to be in His presence and see what He has planned for me each day.
How to Study: This is a guide to studying and understanding different passages of the Bible. I usually spend an hour or more going over a passage with this guide. I study a passage more in-depth once a week, or so.
Disclaimer: I didn’t create these ideas or guides, I am just putting what I’ve learned into my own words. If you’d like to take the same class I took, you can take them as non-credit courses. Just ask me and I’ll give you the info.
Step 1- Find a plan. Here are some good ones.
Step 2- Say a quick prayer to start a conversation with God. Also, coffee? I need a journal and a pen, too.
Step 3- Read for a few minutes.
Step 4- Observe. I ask myself these 6 questions. I use the text surrounding the passage to answer these questions, too.
Who is the passage written by and written to? Who is the passage written about?
What is the passage talking about? One word summary.
When is the passage taking place? (Time of day, after Christ’s death, etc.)
Where does the passage take place? Does it list any places in the text?
Why was this written? Why is it important?
How does the passage/parable happen?
Step 5- Think about it. I use the SPACE questions I learned in class.
Is there a sin to forsake?
Is there a promise to claim?
Is there an attitude to change?
Is there a command to obey?
Is there an example to follow?
Step 6- Figure it out.
Summarize the text in one quick sentence. This should include who is writing/speaking in the passage, who they are speaking to, and what the passage is about.
Generalize the passage in another quick sentence. Pretty much, how it applies to everyone.
Now, the fun part: Apply. Write a journal entry (in-depth and as long as you want) on how your heart and life should change because of the passage you just read. I write very specific and attainable things.
To finish it out, I say another prayer, usually write a word from the passage on my arm or leg so I remember what I studied all day, then pour another cup of coffee.
I spend about 15 minutes each morning here and about 5-10 minutes before bed. I typically write in my journal, unloading the weight of my heart and asking Him to forgive me and help me in the areas I messed up. I also use that time to share my incredible joys and hopes from the day.
Step 1- Quick prayer:I ask God to speak to me through His Word. Also, coffee, journal, and a pen.
Step 2- Read a passage for about five minutes. Make sure you are reading scripture straight out of the Bible. I love devotionals, but they are tools, not a replacement for reading God’s word! (My night quiet time is usually when I read devotionals and blogs.) Here are some good Bible reading plans if you don’t know where to start.
Step 3- Highlight and underline any verses that stick out to you. That’s God speaking to you!
Jot down things like:
What you heard God saying to you.
Anything that makes you curious or you don’t understand so that you can dive into it during your more in-depth study time.
How that can change your day, heart, and life.
What specific prayers are brought to your heart. (Then pray about them!)
The Quiet Time Guide asks three questions: How it applied then, how it applies now, and how it applies to me.
How it Applied Then
When you read the passage, think back to what it looked like for the people in the passage or parable. Use your imagination to picture what was happening, and consider looking up some background info about that book of the Bible.
How it Applies Now
Now think about what that means for us today, in our culture and in our time. Are there similarities between what it meant then and what it means now?
What it Means To Me
Consider what this verse means for your life specifically. What is God saying to you?
Remember- 15 minutes every morning can bring you closer to Christ! That’s 15 minutes well spent.