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6 Ways to Organize Your Devotional Space

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Luke 5:16

One of the top New Year’s resolutions on every Christian’s list is to spend more time with God. We want to improve the quantity or the quality of our devotional time—or both!

I know it’s one of my top resolutions every year… and it will be until I die. We can never spend too much time with God, or focus on Him too closely! But we can (and should) feel satisfied after our devotional time with Him. We should feel full of His peace and presence, and ready to tackle what’s next.

Of course, our enemy wants to pull us away from any close time with God. He throws anything he can in our way… especially those whirling negative thoughts that I call Spiritual Clutter. Unfortunately for him, we can use a little organization to clear out the mess in our heads and make room for God’s peace.

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I Will Love the Law.

Read it! Psalm 119

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

(vs. 93)

Think it through

It took me an embarrassingly long time to read every word of the Bible. I started in elementary school with Genesis 1:1, gung-ho and ready to go, only to lose it in Numbers. In middle school, I started again and was out by Judges; in High School, by II Chronicles. In college I started a “Read the Bible in One Year” plan and fell hopelessly behind by the end of March.

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Our Emmanuel is Already Here

Read it! John 21

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

(vs4)

Think it through

Many of Jesus’s followers had a hard time recognizing him after the resurrection. Isn’t that weird?

Mary thought he was a gardener. The two disciples walking to Emmaus were kept from recognizing him until after he broke the bread. The seven disciples on the fishing boat didn’t know it was Him, even with his familiar request to throw their nets to the other side of the boat.

They couldn’t see that their Savior, Jesus, was right there with them!

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Listening for the Voice in Your Head

Read it! John 12

The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

(vs29)

Think it through

In church, we’re often reminded about the words God spoke at Jesus’ baptism, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew and Mark both share their accounts of that holy moment with us.

But I’ve rarely, if ever, heard sermons on John’s account of another moment when God spoke aloud to the people in Jesus’ presence. How I would love to have been there, to have heard Jesus call out, “Father, glorify your name!” and to have heard the voice from heaven say, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Amen, Amen! my heart cries. Glorify your name!

But would I have heard the voice of an angel, or just thunder?

Would we have had the right perspective?

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I hate running (my apologies to the Apostle Paul)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?

Run in such a way as to get the prize.

I Corinthians 9:24

 

I can’t tell you much I hate running. Hence the reason this has never been my favorite Christian metaphor.

Back when I was Shannon Kelley the College Student, I had to take a gym class in order to get my math education degree. (Even after all these years, my heart cries, why?) I soon discovered that it was basically a running class led by a Drill Sergeant-type professor. During “class,” he ran and talked with the cool athletes up at the front of the pack, occasionally shouting mean things toward those of us at the back. I loathed every minute.

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Holy Urgency—It’s an Emergency!

Read it! Matthew 28

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

(vs 19)

Think it through

Jesus is the Key to Everything.

He is our happiness and our security. He is our day-to-day life and our future in Heaven. He is our sweet life.

One recent Sunday in church, we watched on the video screen as a new sister in Christ told her redemption story and was baptized into the faith. We all clapped, some of us wiping away a tear. Then our pastor started his sermon with something to this effect:

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Will Heaven be…Boring? (Hint: the answer is no!)

Read it! Revelation 22

And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.

And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—

for the Lord God will shine on them.

And they will reign forever and ever.

(vs 4&5)

Think it through

I’m excited about Heaven—like, really excited. Sometimes I can’t wait to be with Jesus and see what it’s like there.

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Are You Grown Up?

Read it! I Thessalonians 5

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you though and though.

May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless

at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(vs 23)

Think it through

I don’t want my kids to think I have it all figured out. I don’t.

I try my best to apologize when I’m wrong. I admit it when I don’t know all the answers. I fess up when I’m in a cranky mood and trying to turn it around.

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Wanting More and More and More…

Read it! Psalm 42

As the deer longs for streams of water,

So I long for You, O God.

(vs 1)

Think it through

The scrapbook I purchased had a “nature” theme (for those of you who are wondering, it’s a K&Company Smash I purchased at Michaels, my veeeeerrrrry favorite store). What sold me on that particular book was that one of the pages had a deer on it. Perfect for Psalm 42:1—and I’d already decided that I definitely wanted to include that verse!

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Why a Scripture Scrapbook Series (What’s in it for you)

Read it! Deuteronomy 6

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

Impress them on your children. Talk about them

when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,

when you lie down and when you get up.

(vs6&7)

Think it through

I’m a Pinterest lover.

Though I have some “Organizing” boards on Pinterest, only a few of my boards are ministry-specific. It’s a personal account and my boards reflect my heart. I try to pin only the things I think I’d actually do or things that bring me joy… things that inspire me, and that I hope will inspire others.

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