Monday, January 6, 2014

Treasuring and Pondering

Yes, it looks like an ordinary notebook.  But it's actually my Treasures Notebook.

While on Christmas break I spent a lot of time pondering the verse from Luke, chapter two, that I used as the focus for my Christmas Eve sermon: But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.  (verse 19)

The shepherds rushed to Mary and Joseph to tell them all the things they had seen and heard.  They told about the angel's announcement of the birth of the Christ-child and they shared how they heard the heavenly hosts praising God.  Mary took the message and treated it like a jeweler being presented a precious and valuable diamond.  She took the words and put them in the most important place - her heart.  And then she continued to think on all that the shepherds said.  Throughout the feedings and diaper changes and all the things a mother does with her newborn, Mary pondered the message that she heard.  It was confirmation of what she had been told earlier from the angel, Gabriel.  Mary was filled with such awe and amazement that she could not help but reflect upon God's Word to her.  She treasured that Word.

In 2014 I want to spend more time treasuring God's Word.  I don't want to race through my devotions and prayers.  I want to block out a specific amount of time each day to simply sit and read and reflect on what God is saying to me through His Word.  This will take discipline.  I will have to be intentional about this.  It's so easy to get caught up with whatever is happening each day that prayer time gets pushed to the sidelines.  Have you ever put off your morning appointment with God by saying, "I'll get to it at lunchtime!" Then the clock reads 1 pm so you think, "All right, I do my reading just before dinner."  You get home, get involved with something and the reading still doesn't get done.  How easy it is to skip the most important thing you can do - spend time with the Lord.

Do you have the same challenge.  We all know how busy life can be.  So many demands on our time.  So many tasks we need to accomplish.  But if we value our relationship with the Lord, it's worth making time for treasuring and pondering His Word.  Here's one approach.

Start by blocking off a period of time every day to read the Scriptures.  Put it on your calendar just as you would for an appointment.  Find a quiet place to read.  In know in busy homes with small children that can be a challenge.  Morning time, before you get into the heart of the day, seems to be the best time to make your date with the Lord.  Use a devotional that includes a daily Scripture reading.  I'll probably start out with our weekly Treasuring God's Word devotional.  Grab your coffee, your Bible and a notebook of some kind and get started.

Don't be in a rush.  Begin by praying and asking the Holy Spirit to be your teacher and helper.  Read slowly.  Catch those thoughts that really seem to speak to you at that moment.  Look for Law and Gospel.  Write down those things that make you go, "Aha!"  Remember, you're not writing a doctrinal treatise.  A sentence or two or just a short paragraph is sufficient.  Just note what it was in your daily reading that really got your attention.  Write it down.  Think and pray on it.  Treasure God's Word.

Want to join me? Need to slow down your life just a bit? Want to spend quality time hearing the Lord speak to you through His Word? Grab your Bible, find something you can use as a Treasures Notebook and let's get started.  And have a blessed 2014.