The busyness of a new school year is upon us and time seems to pass more quickly each day. As fall approaches and the sun begins to set earlier, it feels more difficult to fit into our schedules the things that are actually most important. Between family schedules and work deadlines, we can very quickly let time in the Word of God fall by the wayside. We wake up with the best intentions, but by lunchtime we are on the treadmill of life and there is simply no stopping for a quiet 10 minutes to spend focused on the Words that actually bring us the most life.
We are blessed to live in an age where technology can help us manage our time more effectively and where we have incredible resources literally at our fingertips. As leaders, we can very easily become so busy “doing” good work that we forget to refuel and serve out of the overflow of what we receive when we spend time with the Lord.
None of us are truly so busy that we can’t be in the Word. There are a few simple, but effective ways we can add reading and meditating on the Word of God back into our daily schedules.
- YouVersion – Download the YouVersion app on your phone. This is an incredible resource. On it not only will you find just about any version of the Bible that you can imagine but also Bible reading plans, literally hundreds of devotionals by authors, pastors and teachers, as well as commentaries and videos. This way you can pull up the Bible in your preferred translation wherever you are, whenever you have a few free moments.
- Start your day with the Word – Ideally, we would all love to have a good, long, leisurely time with the Lord each morning but many times that is just not possible. However, there are many other practical ways you can start your day with the Lord and focus on His words. Before your feet hit the floor open YouVersion on your phone and read the Bible. Follow one of the reading plans or let YouVersion read it out loud for you as you get ready for your day. It can take 5-10 minutes but will start your day in the right direction.
- Listen to the Bible – This is a great way to play Scripture in the house, but also in your car as you start your morning commute. You may drive 10 minutes to work or 30, but what better way to focus our hearts and minds, than by listening to the Word of God written directly to us?
- Focus on one verse or passage – Pick one verse that you want to focus on for that day or even the week and go old school and write it on a note card. You can carry the note card around or tape it somewhere strategic where you will see it often, maybe on the dashboard of your car, on your computer screen or on the bathroom sink. Something else YouVersion offers is the Bible verse of the day. They automatically send you a new Bible verse each day. YouVersion has fun ways to take that verse and design your own wallpaper for your phone, to help you meditate on that verse all day long.
Life is not going to slow down on its own. We have to choose to live deliberately and decide where we will spend our time and attention and what will get our focus. When we overlook time in the Word, we are setting ourselves up for exhaustion and difficulty. The Word of God brings life and is given to us for our own benefit. As Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” And 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Certainly we want all of these rich benefits offered from the Word of God! We would be foolish to not take advantage of this gift, yet so many days we do just that. We miss out on the riches God has for us, substituting it for distractions that offer so much less.
Which of these tips can you incorporate into your schedule this week to start spending more time in God’s Word?