Written by On Monday, 05 March 2018 08:15
Read your bible, pray everyday. We sang this song every week at Sunday school and that exhortation was not just for us little kids. Every new believer receives these instructions from day one of giving their hearts to the lord. Even if you have been in the faith many years, this still remains true in order to experience growth in our faith and knowledge God.
John 3:16 tells us that Jesus Christ gave up his life so that believers may attain eternal life. What is this eternal life though? For a long time I was looking forward to chilling in heaven in joy and happiness, drinking smoothies and hanging out with my friends, you know….typical eternity stuff :-). That was until I came across John 17:3 that defines eternal life.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Eternal life is the continuous knowledge of God and our savior Jesus Christ.
How about that? This is what we get guys, once we meet Jesus we have the privilege of continuing to know him and spending time with him; heaven is just a part of that process. We know him by reading our bibles because He is the word and He reveals himself through His word.Prayer is our straight through access to the Father through the son.
But, many believers will tell you that they struggle or have at some point struggled with their personal devotions or Quiet Time (that daily habit of meeting with our Father through the word and prayer). Whether you are a seasoned Christian or a new believer you may go through moments when your personal devotions take a back seat, you do not have a hunger or a desire to meet with God. How do we build up that hunger and that desire? What will keep us coming back? I believe that when we know for sure that every time we meet God He will speak to us then we will constantly be looking forward to it. The key is to hear from God. What we have with God is a relationship and just like other relationships it will be built through investing in it and spending time with Him. If you are in that place where you are struggling with your QT, try these three things to ensure that you get the most out of your time with God.
Ask for Help
Before you start reading your bible, ask the Holy Spirit to help you and give you understanding. When you get stuck, stop and ask Him for help again. Ask that he may open your eyes to see what the Lord is saying. In John 14 Jesus says that he is giving us the Holy Spirit who will teach all things. All things means ALL things guys…literally, so don’t pass up that opportunity for a dose of heavenly guidance. On the same breadth, when the Holy Spirt convicts you of something make a habit to pause and pray about it while it is still fresh in your mind.
Seek Communion
What we receive as believers is a relationship with God and relationships are grown through fellowship and communion. Make that your goal during your devotions, not just reading the scriptures and praying as a duty or obligation but looking to build and grow that relationship you have entered into.
One thing you can try is to use your senses during your devotions. What do I mean?
In the first three verses of his letter, the apostle John is inviting us to a fellowship that he and the other disciples had come to value while they walked with Jesus. He also gives us an important tip in personal devotions that I have used in the past. Let’s have a look at the verses.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
1John 1:1-4
Consider the number of times the apostle mentions using his senses i.e. seeing, hearing and touching. In addition to taking this as the  foundation of their testimony, I have learned to use my senses when doing my devotions i.e. See, Hear, Touch the word of God. It is pretty simple. When reading the scriptures, I have my physical bible open in front of me, I am looking at it, taking in the words, some of which may stand out. I read the scriptures out loud, sometimes more than once. This means that you probably want to be some place with privacy. I also touch the bible as I read it, I underline, I scribble, I highlight. I interact with it. There is no magic to it  but the physical interaction with the scriptures ensures that you are present in the process and your mind does not wander off. The disciples had the privilege of seeing, touching, hearing and speaking to Jesus Christ. We do not have that same privilege…but we have his word…he is the word. This is how we get to interact with him. Try it and see if it will not make your joy complete :-)
I love to write, so journaling during my devotions comes easy. However, many of my personal friends have testified to how this simple practice during devotions has changed their time with God for the better. What do you write when you’re journaling?

Scripture that speaks to your circumstance.

Conviction from the Holy Spirit.

Questions you have.

Answered prayers.

There is no formula to this but it does help to ensure that you are present for the fellowship between you and God. It does not have to be much either, a paragraph could be enough for starters. But, the more you spend time with God, the more you will have to write. Try it and tell me how that goes.
If you want to take this a notch higher you can try using a Journaling Bible specially designed for the more creative types. It is perfect if you love drawing, artwork, doodling and that kind of thing. This YouTube video can give you tips on how to use one. Look out for a post coming soon that will expound on the importance of journaling.
A key apect of the Christian walk is fellowship, the bible reminds us not to forget the coming together of believers. But, before we fellowship with other believers, we fellowship with God. The richness of our fellowship as believers lies in the richness of our individual fellowship with God. Have you tried any of these tips in your personal devotions? How have they worked for you? What new thing are you going to pick up to bring life in your fellowship with God?

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