Have you ever struggled with feeling lazy and lonely with daily Bible reading and dealing with constant guilt? Or gotten so serious about Bible reading, only to end up turning it into a mechanical routine of religion?
It’s a trap either way, but the point of spending time with God is not to avoid guilt or to religiously maintain to-do lists. God wants our hearts. He wants our love and devotion. He wants you to WANT to spend time with Him; not out of habit and not out of obligation.
Relationship with God, through Jesus, contrary to popular belief, is not accomplished through a one time prayer or acceptance of Him. Like any other relationship, it must be cultivated with intentionality, interest and love.
As I look at my life and my relationship with the Lord, I realize how easy it is for me to find myself living in between guilt and habit when it comes to my quiet time. Maybe you are the same. But I am comforted by the truth and knowledge that God always gives us new mercies to start again with the right perspective and the right motives to spend time with Him.
Here are some ways to put authenticity and genuine sincerity back into our daily devotion time:
Read His Word as Daughters
Think of the Bible as a gift from your Heavenly Father just for you! Little girls love to receive packages with bows and sparkles. Maybe your Bible is just plain and simple on the outside, but it’s the content and truth on the inside that is such a precious gift!
God doesn’t use His word as a lecture, and He isn’t just sending swift text messages to His buddies. He’s written letters of love to His precious children.
In 1 John 3:1, we are called children of God. Being a child of God is an identity changer. Once we recognize our rightful place, title and position in God’s point of view, reading our Bibles becomes so much more engaging. So, when we believe our Father God when He says that we are His precious children and daughters, we experience His scripture as a holy gift, one He’s gladly extending for our spiritual and practical use.
Dig Into His Word as Friends
Not only are we called God’s children, we are also called His friends (John 15:15). We are told in this scripture that we are not servants, but friends, and what is a friend? According to Proverbs 17:17, a friend loves at all times. We are God’s friends because He chose us and loves us. To show our mutual agreement to enter into this friendship with Him, He declares that, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14).
In Scripture, we are commanded to read diligently (2 Timothy 2:15), hide the word in our heart (Psalm 119:11), be doers of the word and not just hearers (James 1:22) and to meditate on God’s word day and night (Psalm 1:2). Being God’s friend requires that we do what He commands. So, when people question why they should read the Bible, the simple answer is because obedience reflects our love.
Speak His Word as Mothers
As we begin to approach our time with the Lord as daughter and friends, it prompts us to share His word as Mothers. Now, I understand that not all of us may have children, but we all have influence. Even if you are young and unmarried, you are a mentor to someone who needs to hear the Word that you’ve been reading, digging into and chewing on.
The call that God has given all of us is to run on mission daily, carrying the baton of truth and sharing the torch of Salvation with those around us.
Colossians puts it very plainly, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16). Mothers, mentors, ambassadors, influencers … all these roles entail teaching and guidance.
As we spend time in God’s word, His Holy Spirit begins to change us, restore us, re-create us and fill us with His wisdom. In turn, we will naturally begin to share this with others. Our speech begins to change. Our intentions begin to change. Our outlook, advice, interests and motives all begin to change, and those around you will take notice.
“Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope” (1 Peter 3:15).
God gives us opportunities to share His love and truth with others for the benefit of their lives, their relationships and their souls. He desires to use you to point others to Him. Just as mothers direct those entrusted to her, so we, as Christians, are called to do the same.
God’s Word Brings Joy When We Know Who We Are
My friends, the Bible is more than just a book. It’s more than just inspirational words or stories or suggestions. It’s God’s actual breath (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It’s His heart to us so that we can know His heart and do His will in all things. Please don’t miss the joy of spending time with Him with the right motives. Daily reading is not a superstitious act to ensure our day runs smoothly. Neither is it a burden that should weigh us down with guilt. Remember who you are: you are God’s child, you are God’s friend and you are God’s ambassador. Keep your relationship with your Lord into perspective as you read His word. It will change your outlook and your life!