The nights are getting cooler, the days shorter, and the kids are all back to school.  That means early mornings, school activities, and tired nights for parents everywhere.  Throw in fall sports and schedules quickly fill up with “life” events.   This also means, for parents, that we get back into a sort of routine.  This is the perfect time to change it up and be intentional about putting your spiritual life into the forefront of your daily life.  Be intentional, schedule time with God.  Don’t have kids in school?  No problem, you can be just as intentional about changing your routine.

 

So what does this change look like?  What can I do to put my relationship with Christ as my number one priority?  The simple answer, spend time with Him!  Start a quiet time, make your existing quiet time more regular, or expand upon what you already do.  Set aside a time DAILY to get into the Word.  I love starting my day with scripture.  My mind meditates on key passages and verses that I read all day long.  Problem is, I’m not a morning person.  Unfortunately for me, some of my kids are.  It is a rare day when I’m up before my kids.  Any of you with young kids know, a quiet time when kids are awake is near impossible.  So, I change my quiet time to the evening after my kids are in bed.  Not ideal, but for this season of my life, it is what works and I make it an intentional part of every day.  Approach your quiet time with a plan.  A real plan, not just open the bible to a random page and say, “God, speak to me”!  Yes, he certainly can speak to you in that way, but it is much easier to keep that routine if you have a reading plan.  There are many printed, online, and mobile app reading plans.  Here are a few to get you started.  YouVersion Bible App has lots of plans in about any Bible translation you could want to read.  Most of these are short term plans meant to be for just a few days.  This is a good way to explore different topics or to “kickstart” a routine.  Another good resource is www.shereadstruth.com and www.hereadstruth.com  There is also an app version of both She Reads Truth and He Reads Truth.  I personally use He Reads Truth and love it. Elegant and modern design paired with excellent curated reading plans.  These plans tend to be more long term than most on YouVersion.  You can choose to read through certain books, different life topics, seasonal, or even a read through the Bible in a year plan.  Some of these plans are free and some are more personally tailored for a charge.  You can even order any reading plan in a printed book should you like.  The read through the bible plan is free.  The plans are only offered in the ESV translation, but feel free to use the plan as a road map and read in your own personal bible translation.  Let me also encourage you to jump in to a read through the Bible in a year plan.  This is a great way to ensure your routine has some longevity planned in right from the get go.  Don’t hesitate to jump in right now.  No need to wait till January 1st.  Most of these plans have daily readings from both Old and New Testaments.

 

Reading and learning is a big part to your spiritual development, but equally important is prayer time.  Talking with God directly.  A lot of people pair some prayer time along with their quiet time.  This is a great idea.  I often start in prayer before I even get to my reading.  My prayer consists mainly of praying for God to give me wisdom and discernment of what I’m about to read.  I encourage you to pair prayer with reading scripture.  Honestly, I encourage you to read scripture with an attitude of prayer, but don’t let it stop there.  Paul tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  This doesn’t mean that you run around all day with your eyes closed, but rather be in an attitude of prayer continuously.  Give thanks to God for the little blessing during your day as they happen.  Take a quick second to pray as bigger things come up about your day.  Close your day out again talking to your creator and Savior.

 

The last thing I want to speak on is service.  You want to strengthen your relationship with Christ and grow in your faith?  Serve somebody!  John 13:14 says this….. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet”.  Those are the words of Jesus himself.  Bridgeway offers many ways to serve others.  Serve in the children’s ministry, the greeter ministry, the worship team, the A/V team, serve at A Child’s Hope, volunteer at the Christian Help Center, or spend some time writing letters to the kids at Merciful Hearts Orphanage.  Don’t stop there.  Serving can be contagious.  Get your family involved and even take it to your work.  Get them involved with packing food.  Head to Mathew 25 ministries together.  I know this can be a busy time of year.  Believe me, my calendar looks like a pen exploded it is so full!  If we are honest and look forward, it only gets more busy from here as we head closer the holidays.  So start your routine now.  Make a plan, schedule it in, and involve others to keep you and each other accountable.  We at Bridgeway are here to equip and serve you.  If we can help you with any resources or planning an outreach for your family or co-workers, let us know.  If you know somebody who could use this post in their life, click the little Facebook icon below and share it with them, or just share it on your wall.  Follow up and let us know via social media how you are being intentional as we start this school year off. 

 

Pastor Brandon