We believe the Bible is God's Word for us, recorded centuries ago but just as relevant today. From Bible stories children learn every week in Sunday School to application of Biblical truths in classes for high school and adults, to hearing God's word in every church service, our spiritual life revolves around an active study of the Bible.
We have personal devotion booklets called "Portals of Prayer" available at our church to aid you in a daily devotion.
If you're not accustomed to reading the Bible everyday (and that's tough for all of us!), we have some useful information to share.
Our friends at The Navigators share these simple steps to increase your comfort reading the Bible by building up spiritual muscle.
(Did you know -- the Bible is a collection of books, not just one book? Actually 66 books; 39 in the Old Testament written before the time of Jesus' birth in human form, 27 in the New Testament that tell about Jesus' time on Earth. Written by various people over hundreds of years in different languages, all the books are divinely inspired words that God gave these writers. The words have been with us throughout the centuries since Jesus' death and resurrection and are as meaningful and relevant today as they were when first shared.)
Start with SEVEN MINUTES a day to deepen your relationship with God. While that can sound like a fantastic claim about a habit you need to form like brushing your teeth every morning or doing pushups before bed, it's not about the habit. In fact, you are encouraged not to "become devoted to the habit, but to the Savior." It's not a duty, it is a priceless gift from God, just waiting to be opened.
How to use your 7 minutes:
first 30 seconds - prepare your heart with a simple prayer like this one "Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures. Make my mind alert, my soul active, and my heart responsive. Surround me with your presence during this time."
4 minutes - Meet the author! Open the Bible and read. A great place to start is with the book of JOHN, found in the New Testament, the second part of the Bible, 4th book.
(Did you know -- the Bible wasn't written only to be read in order? While that works well, there are so many stories, so many words of wisdom that you can start almost anywhere and get something valuable. Once you get started, you'll find yourself referring back to other books in the Bible.)
2 minutes, 30 seconds - Talk to God through prayer! After He has spoken to you, speak to Him in prayer. There's even a song written about "what a privilege it is to carry everthing to God in prayer." Use the acronym ACTS to structure prayer time:
A - Adoration - start with praise and thanks to God. Tell Him you love Him.
C - Confession - God knows everything we've done but wants us to bring it to him and ask His forgiveness. This is truly between you and God - no justifying or making excuses for what we did or didn't do, just being honest with Him helps us be honest with ourselves. This creates a true intimacy that you won't find anywhere else. Nobody will listen to you like your Heavenly Father.
T - Thanksgiving - say THANK YOU for specific things - the good stuff - family, health, wealth and wisdom and even for the bad things. It's through hardship we are humbled, allowing us to draw closer to God and lean on Him. Thanking God for the difficulties brings a mental re-alignment, shows you who's really in charge and strengthens you to face the tough times, knowing God is in control.
S - Supplication - a big word that simply means to "ask for, earnestly and humbly."
Try it -- soon you'll find you want to spend more than 7 minutes, you'll find the time in your day to spend time reading and praying; soon you'll discover your whole perspective has changed.