"Pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body." Proverbs 4:20b-22 (NIV)
Do you ever get overwhelmed when you sit down to read your Bible? There are so many books, deep thoughts, spiritual insights and life-altering truths … where do we begin for today? My sticky farm table and I have a long history of early mornings together. I gather up my Bible and my computer. I push past the sleepy feelings begging me to go back to my bed. And I look at the well-worn book as my love letter from God. I don’t say that in a syrupy, flowery way. Truly, His words are a lifeline to me. A whisper from my God. A personal note. A treasure.
But right now I’m in a season where I don’t consume chapters at a time. Some days it’s just one or two verses that I tuck into my heart so I can live out our key verses (Proverbs 4:20-22) and pay attention to what God says. I want to really pay attention. I need to listen well to what God is saying. I look for one verse that I can savor word by word, letting it sink in deeply … interrupting me, rearranging me, redirecting me.
And I pray …
- "God, what plans have I made for today that this verse needs to interrupt?
- "God, what thoughts did I bring in from yesterday that this verse needs to rearrange?
- "And God, what heart attitudes have I been carrying that this verse needs to redirect?"
His Word is the protective covering over my plans, my mind and my heart. To let me run free without it, will surely find me tripping over my own selfishness, insecurities and weaknesses. So, with His love letter, He reminds me to pause, pause, pause.
- Pause and let the Holy Spirit intervene in my natural flesh response.
- Pause so I don’t make the conversations all about me.
- Pause and remember I’m not always right.
- Pause to see the blessings, so many blessings, and say "thank you" at least once an hour.
- Pause to serve, pause to give, pause to encourage when everyone else rushes by.
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding … then you will understand what is right and just and fair — every good path," (Proverbs 2:1-3, 9, NIV).
Don’t get overwhelmed with the enormity and depth of the Bible. It’s okay if we read just a verse or two today. But more importantly than reading His words, we must choose to receive them. And even more importantly, we must live them.
Dear Lord, help me to see You today in a single word or in a single verse. You are all powerful and anything is possible through You. May Your words and Your truth seep into the plans I make and every thought I think today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Proverbs 4:6-8, "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you." (NIV)
Luke 11:28, "[Jesus] replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’" (NIV)
RELATED RESOURCES: This month, Proverbs 31 Ministries is launching First 5, a mobile app to help you devote the first few moments of your day to the Lord no matter what you’re going through. Sign up today for our interest list and be entered to win one of our weekly giveaways, here!
REFLECT AND RESPOND: The next time you open your Bible, pray that God would reveal the specific verses He wants you to read that day. Then, look for ways throughout your week to live out the truth found in those Scriptures!