“God is the author of the Bible, and only the truth it contains will lead people to true happiness. A Christian should read this precious Book every day with earnest prayer and meditation. But like many believers, I preferred to read the works of uninspired men rather than the oracles of the living God. Consequently, I remained a spiritual baby both in knowledge and grace.”
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ not one of us would desire to remain a babe in the faith. We all desire to grow more in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual growth doesn't happen by osmosis – you have to be disciplined in putting God's truth in your mind. Spending time with the Lord in His Word will transform our hearts and compel us to obey God's Word.
As we grow in our understanding of God's Word we will develop convictions that will determine how we will live or how we hope to live. God's Word helps us to develop principles that we desire to live our lives by – this is the process of sanctification.
“Sanctification is a process – the process of becoming more like Christ, of growing in holiness. This process begins the instant you are converted and will not end until you meet Jesus face-to-face. Sanctification is about our own choices and behavior. It involves work. Empowered by God’s Spirit, we strive. We fight sin. We study Scripture and pray, even when we don’t feel like it. We flee temptation. We press on; we run hard in the pursuit of holiness. And as we become more and more sanctified, the power of the gospel conforms us more and more closely, with ever-increasing clarity, to the image of Jesus Christ.”
Growing spiritually is the most important step in our role as Christian wives and mothers. I do not have true wisdom to offer my family because true wisdom comes from the Lord and knowledge of Him. I cannot properly understand and be motivated to be a “keeper of my home” without God's Word and His Spirit working within me as my motivator. Our work as Christian wives and mothers is making an eternal difference. We are raising our children and keeping our homes “as unto the Lord”.
Before we get into the “how to's” of keeping a home we need to understand the “why” of keeping a home.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
It is to show our children that our relationship with the Lord is the most important relationship in our lives. It is to show others not just by our words what the Lord has done in our lives but to show them by our actions the impact He has had on our families and homes.
I know what you're going to say – I barely have time to breath how am I going to fit in time with the Lord. This is an area I am taking no excuses on (even Mama's with littles). It won't happen if you don't make it the number one priority of your day. You know best your schedule and your children from wake up times to bedtimes – if you don't make time for the Lord and His Word in your day as a priority other things will fill up your day pretty easily.
Having time in the Word is essential to your growth spiritually. You need the daily nourishment of God's Word and you need more depth than just reading it and forgetting what you've read. To truly apply the Word of God to your daily life you need to study it. Now, I've lost you. How can I study God's Word when I barely have time to read God's Word. It is doable and I am going to give you some options below that I hope will help to get you started.
I can tell you it will not happen if you don't do anything about it. You have to discipline yourself and make the time to study God's Word.
My Time in the Word:
I shared in the post – My Daily Time in the Word what it looks like to read and apply God's Word to my day but I want to share with you what my time of study looks like. I like to switch things around so I'm giving you several examples of my time in the Word.
The first step is to read the Bible. Pretty basic but many believers don't take the time to even read God's Word.
Several years ago we went through the study, The Fundamentals of the Faith, as a church and John MacArthur's study method of reading through one book of the New Testament every month has stuck with me. You really get to know the book and what the themes are of each chapter. As an example if you choose the book of 1 John to read first – then everyday for thirty days you read through the whole book. If you choose a longer book, like the book of John, you divide it into several readings. John has 21 chapters so take seven chapters the first month, seven the second month and seven the third month. As you continue this pattern of reading through the New Testament you will know more verses and where to find them in your Bible in a moment.
I appreciate John MacArthur's reminder when you study for a test you don't just pick up the book once read it and put it down. You read it over and over. Your study it deep. You work through the areas you don't understand until you get understanding. So pick a particular section in a book of the Bible you are reading and dig a little deeper. Use a good Bible dictionary or a commentary when you read. Ask yourself the, who, what, why, when and how questions. What is the literal meaning of the text? What is the historical setting? How does it fit in with the rest of scripture and how does it apply to me?
Take the time to meditate on His Word. Meditate while you're reading the Word, meditate on what you've read when you're doing the dishes or the laundry. Put scripture up all around your house and meditate on His Word throughout the day. God's Word should impact our whole day and everything we do.
Another method I have found beneficial is to study one book at a time. I'll choose a book to study and pick up a commentary to help aid me in my time in the book. I've gone through Titus and Philippians and am currently working through Ephesians (we are currently going through Ephesians together as a church).
I am not saying you have to use any of these methods but am just giving some examples that may give you some ideas as to what would work for you. I do want to encourage you that a good morning starts the night before. Set out what you are going to read in the morning (or for whenever your time may be to meet with the Lord) and have a plan as to what you are going to do. Avoid distractions (children are not distractions!) – I'm talking about your phone, TV, computer or other electronic device. You may want to or need to include your children sometimes in your reading and study time.
Helpful Links for Time in the Word:
John MacArthur Study Bible – my favorite Bible
Daily Bible Reading Challenge – Revive Our Hearts
A Place of Quiet Rest – Devotional book to help you daily get into the Word from Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Daily Devotions – Duty or Delight? – Radio series at Revive Our Hearts to listen to or read free online.
Spiritual Disciplines for Moms – Girltalk Blog
Fundamentals of the Faith – you can listen to all the audio messages free online.
Shopping for Time: How To Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed – this book helped me in managing my time and prioritizing a daily time with the Lord. Another great website is the 5 O'Clock Club.
How to Study the Bible – John MacArthur
Tabletalk Magazine – Ligonier Ministries. They have a three month trial membership that if you haven't tried it yet you should!!
Blue Letter Bible – Free study helps online
Take the time today to determine what and when your time with the Lord will be and look like. Set aside the materials you need. Set an alarm clock if you need to (see the 5 O'Clock Club website) and take the time today to sit at the feet of Jesus and draw deeply from the truth of His Word.
Leave a comment if you are going to daily commit to time with the Lord. Please let us know what your time with the Lord looks like so we can encourage one another and glean ideas from each other too! Leave a link in the comments if you have a post that talks about your time in the Word (please leave links that only pertain to this topic all others will be deleted so we can stay focused).
“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished . . . I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it.”
This post is part of the Homemaking 101 Series