What I do when I meet with God has changed over the years, depending on life.
Whether I was waking up every two hours to nurse a tiny, helpless, utterly adorable baby. Whether I had entire mornings to myself with nobody bothering me (we’re talking the years B.C.—Before Children). Whether I was rushing around to a million appointments and classes a day. Whether I was suffering from “pregnant brain” and could not focus on anything I tried to read.
What has not changed is, in fact, the Unchangeable. God Almighty—Who was, and is, and is to come.
When I choose to make my morning appointment with Him, He always shows up. That has always been true.
Your routine and methods may be different than mine. This post is not meant to prescribe what you should try, but to describe what I am currently doing… and loving. If you walk away with a couple of great ideas, so be it.
4 Simple Actions That Take My Bible Reading Deeper
There are several great reasons for owning a hymnal, but I will get into that elsewhere. One is to use it personally. I am currently doing my own personal skipping-around, sing-through of the hymnal I basically grew up with. And yes, I own my own copy. (Music nerd here.)
When I sit down at my desk, the first thing I open is (sorry!) not my Bible. My goal here is to prepare my mind and heart, for that moment when I open my Bible and begin studying.
“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2
So I come. And I sing. Very quietly because the rest of the household is usually still sleeping.
Many hymns focus on the character of God, the doctrines of the gospel, and our need for a Savior. My heart is directed to praise God and get focused on Him. I am made ready through the action of praise.
I love hymns. But you could sing anything. Songs you know by heart, or just singing along with your Pandora worship station. Sometimes, there is a particular song on my heart, and I look it up on YouTube.
However you do it, the personal discipline of singing to the Lord may just transform your morning routine.
Ever open your Bible, because you know you should read it… but have no idea what you should read today?
Those days are less for me, especially since I have a few study routines at my mental fingertips. Here is what I’m currently doing, and I will share a couple other ideas with you.
I have opted for what I’m calling a “topical Bible read-through.” This does involve reading through the whole Bible. (At my own pace. None of this guilt from daily assigned readings that I missed or didn’t complete.) As I read, I am focused on looking for verses or passages on a particular topic.
“Worship” is my topic right now. I began in the minor prophets. (Yes, I did not start reading the Bible through at Genesis. It’s fine.) I am keeping my eyes peeled for ways people worshiped, commands about worship, and more. It’s like being a detective. Honestly, I find it fun. (Yup. I told you I’m a nerd.)
And you do not have to do this with the whole Bible. You could just pick a book or a section.
I keep track of what I find as a part of the next action.
Here are two other less-intense options I use for study methods (I choose what fits my brain capacity at the time). I need to keep it simple, or I won’t do it, so these fit that need.
- Choose a book of the Bible. Read a chapter a day, and simply copy down a verse or two from that chapter.
- Choose a book of the Bible. As you read your daily chapter (or an even shorter passage with this more in-depth method), write down answers to these questions, as they apply:
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does this teach about God?
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there an example to follow?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a principle to follow?
I have created lovely printable Bible Study Questions bookmarks to use with these questions over in my store—use them to mark your place and to help you remember the questions. The image below will send you to the bookmarks.
Here is my other favorite part! (Did I mention I really enjoy my morning routine with God these days?) As a writer, I unapologetically love writing. And pens. And journals.
But even if you don’t, this can be a hands-on, focused way to respond to God and His Word. Here are things I often include, in no particular order, and not always every one, every day:
- Notes on what I studied (like my topic of “worship” or those 7 Bible Study Questions)
- Simply copying a verse or passage from my reading
- Writing out a verse from the song I sang today
- My own thoughts after worshiping through singing and studying
- A drawing or graphic presentation of a verse or song
- The name of somebody God put on my heart this morning (I always pray for them, and often contact them later)
- A prayer to God (especially when I can’t focus my thoughts in my head—the pen helps)
As with singing and studying, there are days even I don’t “feel” like writing and responding. Those are the days I discipline myself to simply copy a verse of God’s Word. This causes me to meditate on it further.
Journaling has been a key part of deepening my personal study of God’s Word and keeping me focused in the discipline of meeting with God daily.
I always follow singing, studying, and writing with prayer.
God has spoken to me through His Word. I have praised, studied, meditated, journaled.
My life is full, my days are busy, and my heart often wakes up dragging worry behind it. Beyond praising God for Who He is, the most important aspect of prayer in the morning is to lay down that worry.
Some days I can get specific and detailed in my requests.
Some days I thank Him for anything and everything.
There are days that “Be Lord over my household today” is my simple offering. “Take my worries, and give me Your peace.”
My Lord has met me, and I have offered my sacrifice of praise. All of this routine is meant to turn my eyes off of my own desires and circumstances… and turn them on Him. He calls me to go deeper than checking Bible reading off my list.
How will you go deeper with Him?
Some of my favorite basics for my daily appointment with God and His Word:
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