Welcome to our Charity blog that will take you deeper than just the Sunday and Wednesday sermons. We have heard your requests that you want more information that you take home and study throughout the week - and are going to make that possible.
Wednesday at WOW we discussed the fact that God can use our daily habits to grow our faith. The scripture verse was Titus 2:7-8. Some daily habits that are important to establish are prayer, bible reading, bible studies, and devotions (both personal and family).
If we want to cultivate our friendships, we hang around with our friends. We spend time in conversation and eventually it will bring us to enjoy each other's presence. When we choose to allow prayer to become a part of our daily habit, our relationship with God begins to grow. As that relationship develops, you will find that you aren’t just going to God in the hard times - you go to him in the good times too. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is an excellent reminder that we should pray always.
Read Colossians 4:2-4, what does Paul tell the Colossians about prayer? How does this apply to you in your walk? Are you steadfast in prayer? If you aren't steadfast, it’s ok! What are some action steps that you could take to become steadfast?
It can be overwhelming to a new believer who chooses to start reading the Bible. Where do I start? What am I looking for? Why is this important? One thing that goes hand in hand with reading the Bible is to make the conscious decision to obey what the Bible says. Reading/Hearing the word but not doing or believing in the validity are contrary to each other. When you read, you will find that God uses our habit of reading to not only comfort us in our time of need but will convict us of truth’s that we need to obey. It can be gratifying and hard at the same time. If you are beginning to open God’s word, here are some things that can help you get on a plan that works for your day. There is no one size fits all strategy for everyone. With the internet at our fingertips, you can google anything and find some great ideas.
Devotions are a great thing to help you and your family to look at God’s word. If I were to answer the question of Bible reading or devotional? I will always say Bible reading. (Matthew 7:24) God’s word is sufficient, and the way he works through his word to reveal things to us is amazing. If you want to add something to your Bible reading, then I would say add a devotional. Devotionals can help us pull different parts of the Bible together, offer insight, or even apply the word in a way we hadn’t previously thought of before. I like to use a mix of personal and family devotions. As one of the kids is finishing up a devotional, I’ll pray over what is going on in their life and ask God to reveal qualities or characteristics that may need some focus. Then, I’ll go to the Rainbow Shop or start to look online for something that works. If you send your older kids to Crystal Springs Camp in the summer, they will get signed up for a free year of devotionals that the church sends. I believe one a quarter. They have been great.
One of my favorite resources to find great free devotionals is the YouVersion app on my phone. This free app has many resources at your fingertips. What it is - a Bible, a daily bible verse (delivered to your phone each day), devotions, and much more. You can find a devotional or bible study plan to meet you where you are. They range from topical, to gender, vary in the number of days, and age range.
Spend some time at the Rainbow shop; they have a great range of devotionals that vary as much as the YouVersion app. I have found a few great devotional books that my family is currently using. Here are a few of them:
Me (the mom): “Awaken” by Priscilla Shirer. This devotional is 90 days long. I love how much scripture Priscilla has for each day. She is a talented writer (you should check out her Bible Studies). Some days, when time is a bit tight, I just read the devotional and ponder her questions at the end. On other days, I look up all of the Bible verses and reflect on them, trying to discern what God is telling me.
Children (ages 9-12): Jim and Elizabeth George - “A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart,” and “A Boy After God’s Own Heart.” They also have others available. “Unseen” by Priscilla Shirer is a great devotional for tween boys who like action/adventure. “Between You and God: Devotions for Girls” by Tyndale has a good devotional for my 9-year-old daughter.
Children (age 4-6): “Bible Devotions for BedTime” by Daniel Partner is good for those smaller children. Sarah Young has a “Jesus Calling” for children that is very beneficial.
Blessings to you and your family! As we begin this new year, I encourage you to pray and ask God to reveal what he is asking you to start adding to your daily routine. As we talked about at WOW, we desire every single person at Charity to wake up every day proclaiming “GIVE ME JESUS.” We want you to have a personal relationship with Jesus so that when those storms come - the waters will rise, the winds will blow, and floods will flow - you will persevere because of your relationship with Christ. You won’t come through unscathed, but will come through as he walks with you! Our God is so good.
Jessica Toman - Charity Youth and Children’s Coordinator