What a treasured three weeks we have spent together. My heart is sad that we have reached the end of our journey. How I wish I could hug each and every one of you and spend time together sharing all that God has done face to face. You have been so faithful! This journey through the lives of Mary and Martha has challenged all of us, and you have been faithful to meet that challenge head on. You persevered even when it was hard. I’m so proud of you!! And you can be assured of this: God will richly bless your faithfulness.
I know there are many places you can invest your time on-line. Thank you for choosing to invest your precious time in this study and with me. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!
Before I jump into the closing message, I wanted to share some exciting news with my favorite On-Line Study girls! Thomas Nelson shared the release date for my very first Bible Study!
Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life will be released in March 2014!! Thomas Nelson sent me the cover a few days ago, and I want to share it with you!
Living So That will be part of Inscribed, a new collection of books offered by Thomas Nelson. The books will be written by a community of women authors who have a deep desire to get women into the Word in a way that makes it understandable and equips them to take that Word and apply it in everyday life. The logo at the top of the cover identifies the book as being part of The Inscribed Collection.
I would love your thoughts on the cover and this new collection by Thomas Nelson. Leave a comment, and I will choose two names to receive a free copy of Living So That when it arrives hot off the presses!
If you want to team up with me for pre-release activities, please sign up for Wendy’s Street Team by clicking here. It will be a fun group who will have the inside scoop on all things Inscribed and get extra special perks. Now that we have a publication date, we have some exciting plans that we will share with the Street Team in the next few months. The Team will get to read a chapter before Living So That is released, learn about the new studies being released in the Inscribed Collection before anyone else, get sneak peaks at the Inscribed Website before it’s officially launched, and participate in fun giveaways all along the way. I hope you will sign up and join us for this exciting time!!
Okay, back to our study. Below please find a closing message from my grateful heart.
Now that our study is over, it’s time to continue our journey of sitting at the feet of Jesus. We often start with the best of intentions but fail because we don’t have a plan. We start with so much enthusiasm and excitement and within a few days, life gets in the way. Good things push out our time with the Lord.
Here are three ideas to help you be successful in keeping quiet time with God a priority in your heart and life.
1. Set A Goal
Set a goal, one that you know you can keep. Maybe you do better moving through one book of the Bible at a time so choose one, work through it faithfully and when you’re finished, celebrate and choose another one. Maybe you do better with time. Choose a length of time you will sit with Jesus and His Word. For example, the first week, begin with five minutes and focus on a few verses at a time using the book of Psalms or the book of Proverbs. The next week or month, bump your time to 7-10 minutes. The next week or month 10-12 or whatever works for you. You get the idea.
2. Be Consistent
Find a time of day and a place that works for you. We talked about morning being best, but if you can’t, remember there are no rules. Maybe lunch is better for you or nap time if you have children or bedtime if you are a night owl. What matters is to find what works in your schedule so that you will do it. And find a place that you feel comfortable and won’t be disturbed. When I first started my quiet time, I sat on the floor in our walk-in-closet and loved how quiet and private it was. Maybe it’s curled in your bed or in a favorite chair on your porch or at your desk. But whenever and wherever it is, make it a place you love to go. Keep your Bible, journal, a favorite pen, a blanket, and whatever else you love.
3. Be Organized
By this I mean, decide what quiet time is for you. It will be different for everyone. Maybe you want it to be a time of journaling prayers and listening for the Lord as you pray. Or maybe you want to use it more as a study time to work through a book of the Bible and seek to know God in deeper and richer ways. Maybe you want to use it for a time of praise and worship. Sweet friends, that is what is so great about our God. Do whatever it is that God leads you to do and then be consistent in that. After a month, maybe you can vary what you do.
Next, I thought I would share an example of a 7-10 minute quiet time to get you started.
Invite the Lord to join you. (30 seconds)
A simple prayer from Psalm 119 is great: “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to see the wonderful things in your law.”
Read the Word. (4-5 minutes)
Spend a few minutes reading from the Word (Scriptures or devotional book). Maybe a chapter a day if you are reading the Bible. If you use a devotional, dig beyond the day’s reading. Usually they include Scripture references or ask questions that require a response. Look up the verses and look up cross-references. Answer the questions. Note them in your journal or notebook. And if you can’t finish what you commit to read, NO GUILT or CONDEMNATION. Just pick up and read the next day. Satan wants you to feel like a failure and unworthy. Don’t believe His lies.
Listen for God’s voice. (1-2 minutes)
Don’t be afraid to use a pen or highlighter, noting verses where God speaks to you, touches and/or convicts your heart, answers a prayer. Write what you learn and/or hear from God.
Pray. (1-2 minutes)
In step three , you listened for God so now you respond to what you heard. If you struggle with prayer, use this famous acronym:
A – Adoration
Praise God for His greatness, power, majesty, love, faithfulness, and holiness.
Specifically confess your sins before the Lord. This cleanses your heart and allows God to hear your prayers and work in and through them.
T – Thanksgiving
Thank your heavenly Father for all the things He is done…not just for you but in our world. And sometimes it means praising Him in the difficult times as well as the good times.
Pray for specific needs…yours, loved ones, community, nation, world, missionaries, churches, Israel…the list is endless.
And here is a friendly word of caution: please don’t become devoted to the habit of quiet time, but rather, become devoted to the One Who is the object of your quiet time….JESUS!!
I found a beautiful song about Mary’s heart by CeCe Winans, Alabaster Box. The words are perfect to close our time together. Click here to listen.
Continue to visit when time allows. You have a special place in my heart, and I look forward to our next study together.
And please stop by next week. I will post a some Scriptures on what God has to say about His Word and include a Prayer of Commitment you will be able to print off and keep in your Bible to remind you of the commitments and promises we have made here together.
And remember, as a member of our on-line studies, you will receive an invitation when our next on-line study is announced.