December 17, 2012

Joyful Mom Monday - Helpful Devotionals or Bible Studies

Counting God's Little Blessings
Happy Monday, Everybody!  It's a Monday here for sure!!!  We had a crazy busy weekend and are still feeling the effects of it.  I am thankful that we can just rest up a little this morning and put the house back together! 

Today's Joyful Mom Monday is sharing devotionals or Bible studies that you have found helpful to you in your walk with the Lord.  One of the first books I read that helped me begin to seriously focus on my relationship with God was Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.  I also have his daily devotional book Experiencing God Day by Day.  I have read through this several times and still keep it in my bathroom for those crazy days when I have not had a chance to begin with a quiet time.  Every day offers wonderful bits of thought to think on the entire day.  

Another devotional book I have enjoyed is A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus by Elizabeth George.  It is an easy read and does not go into great depths but is a great daily reminder of how a Christian woman should reflect Jesus in everything she does.  

I have also completed several of Kay Arthur's bible studies and have always thoroughly enjoy them.  Kay Arthur has books for all levels of study - whether you are a beginner or ready to dig deep.  The deeper Bible studies take more time each day, but I sometimes break the days up into more days if I do not have much time.  Two of my favorite Bible studies by her have been Lord, I Want to Know You: A Devotional Study on the Names of God and Lord, Is It Warfare?  Teach Me to Stand.

For moms specifically, I have enjoyed reading Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood and Ministry of Motherhood.  These are not necessarily Bible studies, but they are written in a short chapter form, and I did incorporate them into my quiet times.  Sally always uses God's Word to encourage moms to capture their children's hearts for God and to challenge us to think Biblically as we fulfill our duties as wives and moms.
My favorite way to study the Bible on a regular basis is by studying an entire book at a time with a Bible concordance and my John MacArthur Study Bible.  As I read each verse, I try to paraphrase it in my own words and also find an application for my life.  I will look up words and their definitions and also jot down questions that I need help in answering.  I love to underline verses in my Bible and will write small sayings or quotes in the margins of my Bible that I have found that go along with the verse.  When I study the Bible in this way, I am always amazed by how many verses I have read countless times yet never truly understood the depth of their meaning.  I enjoy studying entire books at a time so that I can see verses in their context.  I am studying the book of Matthew in this way now and am focusing on the character of Jesus and how to pattern my own life after His wonderful example. 

These are just a few of the many wonderful helps we have available to us in this modern world.  I would put a few cautions out there concerning Bible studies.  1.  Make sure they are doctrinally sound and Biblically accurate.  2.  Make sure they are challenging you to be a better Christian than what you are now. Do not choose only the feel-good, watered down studies. 3.  Make sure you spend time in God's Word.  Do not always rely on other resources.  God's Word is all we really need.  Do not spend all your time reading ABOUT the Bible. READ the Bible!  

I would love to hear what devotionals or Bible studies you have used that have helped you become a more Joyful Christian!  Aren't we blessed to have a God who has given us one Book that can inspire and encourage and guide like no other book?   I pray you have a wonderful week and are able to spend some time challenging yourself in God's Word as we prepare to celebrate His birth!

Wishing you a day full of blessings,
There will be no link-up next week because it will be Christmas Eve!!!

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