This is what was in the booklet that Sarah gave out to the girls group in our Life’s Application story this month. What do you need to become more self-disciplined in? Pick something (or more than one somethings) and be diligent to do it!
Daily Bible reading
This is important for a believer seeking to grow in their knowledge of God and relationship with Him. The more often you spend time in God’s word, the easier it will be for you to not sin when you are tempted to do things contrary to what God wants or says in the Bible. Besides, how can you please God if you don’t know what he wants you to do? Or how can you teach others about God if you don’t know him or know about him? Check out these verses for more:
Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3, 2nd Timothy 3:15-17
Ideas for Daily time in God’s word:
•Choose a specific time and try your best to stick to it ( don’t get too worried if you have to miss it, you can always do it at a later time on the same day).
•Find a quiet and private place where you can be alone with God.
It is important to recognize the difference between reading and study. When you study, you might take notes and write down things you learn. Then you can look back over the things you wrote and think about them. You can ask yourself questions about what you are reading. When you are studying, you might pick one or two verses to meditate on and memorize. You might also pray scripture back to the Lord. You can also pray and ask the Lord to help you understand what he wants you to learn. It has been said: “The difference between reading and study is a pencil”. Most importantly, when you study something, use it! Obey it! Apply it that very day and continue to every day of your life! An idea to help prepare you to fight against evil thoughts is to write down Bible verses that ‘stick out’ to you. I like to write them on an index card and write the topic on the top. Keep all the cards together. Then, when you are struggling with a specific thing, you can pull out your card with the topic on it such as self-control, or fear, or love. Look at 2 Timothy 2:15, & Acts 18:24-25, Romans 15:4
Bible Verse Memorization
Memorizing scripture useful for better understanding God’s word and for battling against Satan. One of the main reasons you need to memorize scripture is for perseverance and discipline. It may seem hard but it really isn’t and it’s worth it for sure!! When you have God’s word hidden in your heart and mind, it helps remind you to do the right things when you are tempted to sin. It also comforts you when you are afraid, worried or angry. A lot of people don’t memorize scripture because they don’t think they can. That is not true! Memorization is like a muscle, the more you use it the easier it gets. Did you know that God gave us the ability to memorize the whole Bible? Use the gift he has given you for his glory! Look up: Psalm 119:11, Matthew 22:29, Acts 17:2, 2 Timothy 13:15-16.
Tips to help with memorization:
•Do it with a friend, it helps to have someone to keep you accountable.
•When memorizing a verse read the context around it to help you understand what you are memorizing… you can even memorize the context too!
•Write the verse you are memorizing on a card you can keep in your pocket and read it and/or test yourself with it when you are in the car, waiting in a line, and any time you can! For an idea about this, keep reading in Crafty Corner.
•Repetition! Do it over and over and over and over again!
•Pray and ask God to help you understand what you are memorizing and for help in the actual memorizing that you may remember it when you need it.
•Put music to verses.
This may seem easy to some of you, but is it really? Distractions are something many people struggle with. Especially me. I seem to think of everything else but can’t stay focused on God. To have a relationship with someone, you need to talk to them and not just learn about them and what they want you to do. You really need to have a personal relationship with God. He loves you and wants to hear from you. He wants a personal, real, meaningful relationship with you. Prayer is the only way to talk to God. Prayer is also a strong weapon against evil forces. Remember to pray not only when there is trouble or when you are struggling with certain things (though that is a great time to pray and God knows what is best and helps you through difficult times) but pray also to praise and thank God. He has made you and given you all things(look up James 1:17). We must learn to be still and know that he is God, that he is the King of Kings (Psalm 46:10). Also look up: Philippians 4:6 and context, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Hebrews 5:7, James 5:16, Ephesians 6:12, Proverbs 15:8. I challenge you to try and pray for one hour, just one, to your Father in heaven. Pray for all those you know, and authorities, praise and thank God…. the list could go on. For more ideas email us, and ask you friends and family for praises and requests.
Suggestions for Prayer:
Find a private place to pray
Set aside a specific time each morning for personal prayer
Begin a prayer journal
Show humility by praying on your knees or face (Psalm 95:6,Numbers 2o:6, Joshua 5:14, 2 Chronicles 20:18, Matthew 26:39)
Do not ever stop praying, spend all day every day with your savior. Invite him into your heart and maintain constant fellowship with the Lord all day long.
Have you ever prayed for one whole hour? Try it!! Maybe you will have to get up early one day to have this time interrupted, but it is worth it! Try and make this a once a week thing; or even more often!
The Bible doesn’t actually command us to rise early. God made us all differently and maybe it works better for some of us to do these disciplines in the morning before we start our days and get distracted by everything else in life. Many business men and women arise early to go to work, is not God’s work more important them that? Mark 1:35 NIV says, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Also, Look at Psalm 57:8-9, and Psalm 63:1.
Benefits of Rising early:
- Enables us to make better use of our time and get more accomplished, You will never regret any time you spent with God, you will only wish you spent more with him.
- Rising early gives us more time to spend in God’s word and doing other Godly disciplines
- Helps us conquer slothfulness and learn diligence
- Rising early demonstrates our thirst and desire to earnestly seek after the Lord, our King.
Jesus freely gave us his life, are we not willing to give him ours? Are we willing to not only give to God and his purposes our earthly possessions but also our time, energy, and ‘rights’? Obey God when he asks you to give something, in this way you may be blessed. Also, this way you will also not have idols or things that get in between you and your relationship with God. Do not have a ‘not that’. Be willing to give everything freely to the Lord. Don’t say, “You can have everything but not that…”. Even after Abraham finally got a child after so long he was willing to give up Isaac to God. He knew God would provide. What about that woman in the temple that Jesus pointed out who gave all her money to God. Everything! Be willing to give even when it isn’t easy. Give cheerfully, not with the motive of receiving back 1 Corinthians 13:3, and 2 Corinthians 9:7. Give secretly and God will reward you openly Matthew 6:1-4. Also, look up Proverbs 3:9-10.
Meditating on scripture is also an important discipline for every believer. What do you find yourself thinking about most often? It should be God. It is so easy for us humans to become so distracted and caught up in things of this world that we sometimes forget the real thing we are living for: God. The more you turn your thoughts towards God and his word, the more you will learn to think as he thinks and love as he loves. You will become more like him. You will slowly turn into the Son or Daughter he wants you to be. He will help you. Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Keep your thoughts focused on God, his word, and his will in all things, at all times! Read Proverbs 3:6
Suggestions for Meditation:
Personalize scripture by adding your own name.
Pray scripture back to the Lord, and mean it with your whole heart.
Quote scripture, emphasizing different key word each time.
Picture each word in your mind, you can even draw pictures to go along with verses you study, and meditate on.
Meditate at night as you go to sleep, you may wake up in the morning still thinking about these things. Sometimes I will wake up with a worship song in my mind. Look up Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2-3, and 1 Timothy 4:15.
I really want to encourage you to really look up these verses. A quick and easy place to go is http://www.biblegateway.com it is importent to really look up what God says. Just copy and paste the verses we mentioned above in the Biblegateway search bar.