If you've seen the Hope Planner, you know we're serious about reading our Bible everyday. That's because daily devotions – that quiet time your spend with the Lord studying and praying – provide an influx of heavenly wisdom into our everyday lives. The goal is to open our Bibles daily because reading the Word allows the Holy Spirit to lead our time with Him. But if you're new to this concept, like many people who stumble upon our planners are, you're probably asking yourself "How (and where) do I start to read my Bible?"
It's part planning and part leaning on the Lord.
Plan by picking how you're going to dive into the Bible and lean by letting the Lord lead you along the way. When it comes to reading your Bible you can certainly do-it-yourself or you can read a devotional book to guide you along the way.
HERE'S HOW TO DIY YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS
Building an ongoing study isn't tricky, and the process will help you increase your knowledge of scripture.
Select a Verse
Begin by selecting a verse or theme that speaks to you in this season. If you're struggling with direction amidst this challenging and unique year, a verse on wisdom might be inspiring. Take that verse as a starting point that can advise what you seek out of scripture for the coming month.
Add Some Context
You need a place to start but make sure to build your devotion around more than one verse. As you explore scripture, you'll find truths designed to elevate your life and faith, but it's easy to lose sight of context. The Bible is God-breathed and compiled through generations of unique people groups from a diverse land space. The historical accuracy of the Bible is evident in its creation alone, but abandoning the context can dilute and even disrupt the real message. The chapters and verses are there to organize scripture for convenience and were initially written as letters or documentation, not as a book. The verse you're reading is not meant to be an individual thought but correlates with the scripture surrounding it.
To unlock a deeper understanding and increase your faith, begin reading contextually. Once you choose a verse to inspire your daily devotion, read what comes before and after the scripture you are focusing on. Imagine you have all of the pieces of a French press spread out on the table. Looking at each of the details, you'd get an idea of the purpose, but it's not until you put each piece in its correct place that you receive the blessing that comes from it being used properly. Expand what you read to add context or even delve a little deeper to determine the author's original audience or purpose.
Here's some Inspiration to get started...
We compiled a list of inspirational verses that will enlighten and inspire your daily devotions in your Hope Planner. Each verse falls under a different theme that you can use to build an ongoing study for yourself.
On Spiritual Gifts
God not only chose us, but He has chosen to equip us with gifts of the Spirit. If you are wondering what God has provided for you in the realm of spiritual gifts, this is a great place to start. It's important to remember that God has provided these gifts for everyone but that the gifts He has given you are with purpose and will bless your life. Heavenly gifting is not something you earn, but instead, it is freely granted. It is ours to respect and foster what is given.
Ephesians 1:3-4 NLT
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world,God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”
On Purity & Peace
The connection between purity and peace is often out of focus but shouldn't be ignored. Guarding your heart means acknowledging the impact that negativity and evil have on the mind and spirit. Placing importance on goodness, positivity, and praise allows our hearts to feel the Father's resonated peace. Developing your devotion around purity and peace is the scriptural equivalent of a hot shower, a good cup of tea, and a deep breath.
Philippians 4:7-8 NIV
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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."
On Genuine Love
The way we love others is how we show the world our understanding of how God loves us. As we grow in the knowledge of our Heavenly Father's unfailing love for us, we learn about the depth of His love for everyone we meet. By accepting that love, we should be transformed by the vision He provided for us. Studying God's love will help develop a sense of acceptance for oneself and reduce our inclination of judgment towards others.
Romans 12:9-10 NLT
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
On Yes & Amen (Faithful Promises)
We are fighting battles that have already been won. The promises of God are resolute. When you study the Father's faithfulness, you'll find the inspiration to build a more vulnerable relationship with Him. When we allow ourselves to be reliant on Him, knowing of the promises in store for us, we acknowledge His greatness and are more full in our faith.
2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
On Heavenly Focus
The world we live in is full of uncertainties, struggles, and confusion, but a glance towards the Heavens can reset our direction. If you're looking to create a more fulfilling life, start by placing your focus point with God's messaging. Designing your life with Heavenly focus will bring a renewed perspective and forward movement.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
“So we don’t look at the trouble we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
The darkest of days cannot withstand the wisdom of the Spirit. If you feel aimless or are facing choices with no comforting outlook, then a study on wisdom will provide the right guidance. God doesn't keep His wisdom and truths to Himself; we were given direct access through prayer, the Holy Spirit, and scripture. Those tools are gifts from our Father, who wants to see us prosper and live a life full of goodness.
James 1:5-6 ESV
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”
On Unfailing Mercy
The mercy of our God erases all shame and doubt. It's the starting place of forgiveness and the roadmap for our relationships with everyone in our world. His mercy never fails because of His never-changing and always abundant love. Reminded of God's mercy, we gain strength to compassionately provide grace to those around us. If you have tough relationships in your life, a study on mercy will bring peace to your days.
Psalm 25:6-8 NLT
“Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray.”
Use one of these verses as a starting place to read or build a study for yourself that matches your life season. Most importantly, create a plan for cultivating your daily time in scripture. Just like you get ready for a special event, preparing yourself for your time in the Word and dedicating yourself to a daily devotional is the key to aligning your path with the blessings that God has for you.
Here are a few more resources we put together that you mind find helpful:
- Reading a Daily Devotional for Your Bible Study (Pros, Cons + Favorites)
- How a Prayer Planner Enriches Your Walk With God
- Finding Your 'Why' Before Beginning a Daily Bible Study Will Help You Find the Time
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