Bible Study, Spiritual Disciplines

Finding Time to Listen: A Lesson in Time Management

Like the big red “X” on a treasure map which indicates that “You Are Here,” the search for genuine satisfaction in the workplace (and everywhere else) begins with God’s written Word.  When we listen carefully and follow the path laid out within its pages, we find the treasure we seek.

Unfortunately, for many Christians, this is where the difficulty truly begins. While we deeply desire the fulfillment which accompanies a relationship with God, finding time to develop that relationship is a struggle. Between school, drama team, basketball, grocery shopping, and our job(s), we barely have time to breathe… let alone actually sit down and read the Bible! It’s not that we lack interest or dedication, but rather that we lack time.

Learning to balance this particularly limited resource can be a challenge for even the most mature of believers. Fortunately, there is nothing in the Scripture that says we have to read lengthy passages in a single sitting or immerse ourselves in an in-depth study of the book of Revelation. God is looking for our attention, not brilliant acts of scholarly prowess. The result is that a commitment of few minutes a day is all that is necessary to form a habit that will benefit you for a lifetime.

If you aren’t sure where to start with this habit, here are a few ideas:

  • Connect with an online reading program like YouVersion or Through the Word to help you remember to read the Bible daily. Select the devotion or reading plan which best fits your busy schedule and join with a community of believers who are also working to develop a more intimate relationship with God.
  • Set aside a specific time to read. To get the most from a regular devotional habit, you need to be able to pray about and carefully consider the text. Choose a time for your study when you won’t be distracted or will, at least, be less distracted than the rest of the time. (Keep in mind that this may not be the same from summer to winter, week to week, or even day to day. You may require a different program for different seasons, but keep in mind that the more varied that program becomes, the more difficult it will be to remember.)
  • Set aside a specific place to read. Pick a location that will allow you to focus on what you’re reading and use it as your “reading refuge”.
  • If you really don’t have time to read (or a good place to read), consider an alternative like audio Bible disks or a daily podcast that can be listened to through headphones. (You’ll find a few of my favorite programs at the following links: Daily Audio Bible, Our Daily Bread, and Early Light.)

Next week, we’ll take a look at a few more ideas to help you establish a habit of listening to God through His Word. For now, feel free to share your own time management tips and tricks in the comment box below.

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iPod Apps, Missions Monday, Resources, The iPod Evangelist

YouVersion

If you’re anything like me, finding time to study the Bible regularly can be a challenge.  Every day, my schedule changes.  With places to go and people to meet, simply placing my Bible and devotional in a place where I’ll see them regularly, doesn’t always work as well as it should.  That’s why, this week, we’re featuring YouVersion: a FREE, portable Bible app that does more than just put a Bible in your pocket.

Providing access to hundreds of translations in a variety of languages, YouVersion makes it easy to get the most from your devotional time.  Built in features allow you to track what you’re reading, highlight passages that impact your worldview, make notes on what you read, and then share your progress with other YouVersion users around the globe.

Not interested in self-guided study?  YouVersion readers automatically receive a verse of the day and a suggested reading on their home page.  Or, you can chose from one of hundreds of available devotions categorized by length, age of user, topic, or church season.  Set an alarm and you’ll receive a push notification or e-mail reminding you to read every day!

Want to encourage others in your circle?  YouVersion offers users the option of sharing either individually impactful passages or their daily progress with others within their social network.  Tweet your favorite verses or let your Facebook friends know what devotional plan you’re following all from within the app!

With so many features, this FREE app for your phone, tablet, or computer is likely to become one of your favorites!  Download it today and don’t forget to check back with us next week for another installment of the iPod Evangelist!

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