January typically include New Year’s Resolutions and promises that this will be the year we actually follow through on them. Use this time to encourage women to follow through on their resolutions. Also remind them to be grace-giving to themselves when they stumble. Encourage them to keep striving rather than giving up.
Principles for a Devotional Life
1. Set aside time to be alone with God. Aletha Hinthorn in How to Read the Bible so It Changes Your Life suggests finding fifteen minutes. If can’t find a block of fifteen minutes, find few minutes here, few minutes there, and another segments of a few minutes throughout the day.
2. Remember the Bible is a collection of books. Often we approach reading Bible like would typical book—start at beginning and read to end. This may not work well for young readers, new Christians, or pre-Christians. Starting with Gospels is wise; John’s Gospel lays a good foundation.
3. Find a translation of the Bible that works for you. Morris Weigelt in The Upward Call says Bible becomes teacher for understanding nature of relationship with God. Bible is source of reproof, correction, and training.
4. Begin and end with prayer. John Wesley believed Holy Spirit is involved in guiding reading was in inspiring writers. Beginning with prayer acknowledges seriousness of text and formational power in lives. Ending with prayer moves reading from words on paper to truth becomes practice.
5. Set a Designated Time. Find comfortable place away from distraction. As important is, don’t become slave to specific time or structure so miss the joy of Bible reading.
6. Read with eyes of heart. Ephesians 1:17-19 is Paul’s prayer for his readers:
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
7. Pay attention to entire Bible.
8. Meditate on Word. Throughout day, recall passages read. How can the passage change my life? Where do I need to give more attention to my relationship with God? How can I share the good news of the Gospel with my neighbors and co-workers? What insights have I gained that may help my Christian brothers and sisters?
Talk about ways to develop accountability, as needed, for women as the work toward fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions and in their personal devotional life.Recommended reading
: (available through Nazarene Publishing House— www.nph.com
)How to Read the Bible So It Changes Your Life
by Aletha HinthornThe Upward Call
by Wesley D. Tracy, et all