Since the end of last year, I have been thinking of ways to incorporate more of a focus on God throughout my day. I enjoy the days that I am able to get up early, pour a cup of coffee with french vanilla creamer and read my Bible or a devotional. However, I realize that not everyone is a morning person (and falling asleep while reading your Bible is not going to help you retain much), some people would need to get up at 4:00 a.m. to get this time in (I hear you friends with little kids and those who already have to be at work crazy early), and sometimes, the day just gets away from you before you even have a chance to do any reading. Maybe you were up half the night with a baby and just cannot face an early morning now that they have finally fallen asleep. Even if you do manage your early morning Bible reading, there are always those days where you need a lot more Jesus throughout the day, amiright? One dose of morning Jesus is not going to do it for the day.
In several books I have read recently, two themes keep popping up. One is a set time for prayer called the Daily Office and the other is a practice of reading scripture, meditating and praying on this scripture called Lectio Divina. Both of these practices are very ancient but have stuck around because they really work to help increase your communion with and awareness of God. When we pay attention, we will see that God is working through and around us all day. We will see those things that we currently miss because we were too busy to notice them. To help keep our focus on God throughout the day, I have combined several aspects from both the Daily Office and Lectio Divina into one plan that helps you to set aside specific times each day to do different things that will help you to keep your eyes on Jesus.
These activities can be done anywhere, so whether you are working or staying at home (or working from home), you can do this! I have written down suggested verses for the rest of January with a theme of hope. Since January is the beginning of a new year, I know that many of us are hopeful for how our year will go. I plan to have a different theme for each month with Bible verses to match. I know that for me, the more organized things are, the better I am able to stick with something.
1. The first step in this process is to read your verse. I recommend doing this in the morning so that you have the entire day to think about your verse. The 2 min. that you take to do this will start your day off well. You have the flexibility to read in silence as part of your regular Bible time or read on the fly while you are getting your kid’s breakfast and starting the day. You can use your regular Bible or download one of the many Bible apps out there and read directly from your phone. The app that I use is You Version and I love the way I can read out of several different translations with the click of a button. Did I mention that the app is free?! Get it if you haven’t already and you will never be without a Bible.
After you read your verse think about what it means. What did it mean when it was written? If you have the time, it would be great to go back and read a few verses before and after the given verse for the day to see the context the verse was written in. What does this verse mean for us now? Is there a particular word that stands out in this verse that you feel is important to you today? Don’t just read this verse and forget about it, think about it during your day and see if you can see any examples of it playing out.
2. The second step is to write your verse out or draw a picture that fits with your verse. Writing Scripture really slows us down long enough to think about each word and helps us to retain the information more easily. I know a lot of people who really enjoy Bible journaling and drawing pictures that match with a verse either in a journaling Bible or separate notebook. This would be a great thing to work on during your lunch break. Everyone needs a break, and this gives you a focused opportunity to meet with God in the middle of the day.
3. The third step is to discuss your verse with others. This would be a great thing to do during dinner, a car ride to or from taking your kids to practice, etc. Ask your friends and/or family what God is saying to them through the verse and if they have seen anything during the day that relates to the verse. When we get opinions from others, it really helps us to see another perspective or think about things that we might have missed when reading the verse on our own.
4. The last step is to pray about your verse. When you are ending the day and talking with God before you go to sleep, ask him if there is anything he is nudging you to do that is related to the verse you read. Sometimes there will be something that needs to be acted on right away, sometimes, you will see something related to the verse come up at a later time and sometimes, the verse was meant to just draw you closer to God for that day. I guarantee you that when you practice these steps, you will feel the presence of God during your day and will begin to see your verses play out in powerful ways.
Click here to download your free printables of January suggested verses and the daily verse template: