DEVOTIONS BACK HOME

 You are back home, out of the camp bubble, and where your relationship with Jesus is meant to be lived out. It can be challenging to find time with Jesus in regular, everyday life. Plus, reading Scripture without a guide can be difficult. Hopefully one or more (or some combination) of the following methods can encourage you to have a regular time away with God.  Below are different methods of thinking through a passage of Scripture. Pick one and try it.  See if it works for you.  If it does, great!  If it doesn't, try another one.  The right answer is the one which helps you grow deeper in your relationship with Christ.

Method #1

Basic Interpretation

This method is a really flexible one which can be applied to just about any passage of Scripture.

Carefully read the passage, then reference the passage again as you answer these questions.

  1. What is the main storyline?

  2. Who are the main characters?

  3. What does this passage tell me about who God is? (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

  4. What insights does this give me into my own life?

  5. What can I do as a result of that insight?

Method #2

Contemplation

This method work especially well with passage from Psalms, Proverbs, Jesus' teachings in the Gospels, and most of the letters in the New Testament (books other than the Gospels, Acts, adn Revelations). 

  1. Read the entire passage.

  2. Pick a section (maybe 3-4 verses, maybe just one verse) that stands out to you. Read it very slowly 3 times.

    • Be still and quiet. Close your eyes if you want. Think about what you just read.

  3. Pick one phrase (or even just a word) from the section you just read. Read it quietly over and over to yourself for more than a minute.

    • Be still and quiet. Close your eyes if you want. Think about what you just read.

    • What is God saying to you through this passage?

Method #3

Perspective Reading

This method works especially well when a story has multiple characters as well as when reading the Psalms and you take the perspective of the author. 

To begin, read through the passage once.

Choose a character in this passage. Read the story from that character’s perspective.  

  1. As you read, what sights, sounds and smells stand out to you?

  2. What are you feeling? How do those feelings change throughout the story?

  3. What changes in you from the beginning of the story to the end? Why?

Now be yourself again: 

  1. What drew you to choosing this character?

  2. How are you like this character? How are you different from this character?

  3. What do you better understand about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) after reading this?

  4. What do you understand about yourself better after reading this passage?

  5. What is the passage inviting you to do to better follow God with your life?

Other Thoughts

What Should I Read?

The short answer?  What you feel God is calling you to read.  I know, a bit overwhelming and confusing, right?

The long answer?

 - Start in the Gospels.  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  While each was written for a different audience, the first three have a lot of the same stories from different perspectives and are therefore known as the Synoptic Gospels.  John's is a bit different but still great.  All of them tell about Jesus time on earth and will help you understand who Jesus is better.

 - Acts is a great book to read about the early church.  It is starts just as Jesus is taken up into heaven and His followers, empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit, began spreading the Good News, that Jesus was indeed the long awaited Messiah!

 - Genesis is the account of where it all began.  The created world.  Humanity.  God's chosen people.  

 - Exodus tells the famous story of how God rescues his people from slavery in Egypt and gives the Ten Commandments.  It can get bogged down a bit with some of the details but tells an important story of deliverance and redemption.

Beyond that, dive in.  If it gets confusing, get a good study Bible which will help you understand the context of what you are reading.  Send us a message and we will consider it as a possible blog topic.  Talk to a local pastor.

Also, many people have found that a reading plan helps them stay on track.  

What about Prayer?

Another important part of your relationship with God is prayer. When you pray, think “ACTS” to remember the four types of prayer. As you talk to God, make room for each of these types of prayer.

Adoration – Expressing worship and praise for who God is.
“God, you are strong, powerful, full of grace and incredible!”

Confession – Seeking forgiveness for sin that separates us from God.
“God, here’s how I messed up, and I need your grace and forgiveness.”

Thanksgiving – Giving gratitude for what God has done.
“Thank you for what you’ve done in the world and in my life.”

Supplication – Asking God for what you need and for what others need.
“God please help me in this area, and be with those who need help in these areas."