And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God” Ephesians 6:17

In my own life, as I have come to know God better and to live more fully in the power and control of the Holy Spirit, my daily devotional Bible reading and study is not a duty or a chore, but a blessing; not an imposition on my time, but an invitation to fellowship in the closest of all ways with our holy, heavenly Father and our wonderful Savior and Lord.

Remember, God delights to have fellowship with us. The success of our studying God’s Word and of prayer is not to be determined by some emotional experience which we may have (though this frequently will be our experience), but by the realization that God is pleased that we want to know Him enough to spend time with Him in Bible study and prayer.

Here are some important, practical suggestions for your individual devotional reading and study of the Bible:

1. Begin with a prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you an understanding of God’s Word.

2. Keep a Bible study notebook.

3. Read the text slowly and carefully; then reread and take notes.

4. Find out the true meaning of the text. Ask yourself:

(a) Who or what is the main subject?

(b) Of whom or what is the writer speaking?

(c) What is the key verse?

(d) What does the passage teach you about Jesus Christ?

(e) Does it bring to light personal sin that you need to confess and forsake?

(f) Does it contain a command for you to obey?

(g) Does it give a promise you can claim?

5List practical applications, commands, promises.

6. Memorize the Scriptures – particularly key verses.

7. Obey the commands and follow the instructions you learn in God’s Word.

Bible Reading2 Timothy 3:14-17

Today’s Action Point: With His help, I will begin to make time in God’s Word – quality time – a priority in my life.

Question: Which verses/parts of the Bible do you find most confusing? Most troubling? Most inspiring?

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“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1 Corinthians 15:57

Here in the United States we have just finished an electric, all-consuming often distasteful election season. While we are grateful for the privilege of public debate and a system allowing free voting, many are dismayed at the lack of good taste displayed by people of all political persuasions. But there can certainly be no doubt at the passionate pursuit of individuals toward their goals. Millions of dollars were spent, even more energy expended, in seeking office and adoption of new or amended laws.

Author Joseph Stowell writes, “For followers (of Jesus), Christianity is a relationship, an adventure, a passionate pursuit of Christ.”

Is this true for me? Do I passionately pursue knowing more about Christ, listening intently for and eagerly following His gentle whispers throughout the day? Do I enter my quiet corner each morning with keen attention to discover yet another facet of His love, His story?

Those declared winners in the election process partied in their victories, gave thanks and set to work to fulfill their campaign promises. Is that lifestyle descriptive of the victory I experience through my Savior?

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