DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR DEVOTIONAL LIFE WITH THE LORD?
One way to improve your devotional life with the Lord is consistent devotional time with Him. Developing consistency requires tools. Today, I am going to share with you a tool that has greatly improved my devotional life with the Lord.
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As a farmer, wife, and busy mom of five children, I have lacked consistent devotions for several years. I have been a Christian for a long time. . . about fifteen years. I have read the Bible through and I have used many devotional throughout the years. But like most Christians, I want to be more consistent in my devotional time. For one reason or another, life gets in the way: a fussy baby, a sick animal, exhaustion, the list goes on and on. I used to go weeks, sadly, even months without consistent time with the Lord.
I found that rising early in the morning was one of the only ways I could have consistent devotional time with the Lord. The Bible says:
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.Psalm 143:8
I have written about how to become an early riser here. This is a great way to start to improve your devotional life.
About six months ago, I came across a book called “It’s Personal Daily Journal” by Steven B. Curington. This journal changed my devotional life. It even changed my relationship with the Lord.
As far as I know, the journal is only available through The Reformers Unanimous (RU) website. I could NOT find it on Amazon. The retail price is $15 and the journal will last 90 days. It is worth every penny. I love Amazon as much as the next person, but buying this journal through the RU website, you are supporting an awesome ministry.
What is RU?
According to their website: RU is a Biblical based, Christian Addiction Recovery Program, designed to rescue, recover, and restore those in addictive behaviors with the power of the hidden life found only in Jesus Christ. You may be saying to yourself, I don’t do drugs. I don’t have an alcohol problem. However, addiction comes in many forms other than drugs and alcohol.
How about food? Do you eat comfort food when you are stressed?
How about shopping? Do you feel better about “treating yourself to a new “fill in the blank” when perhaps you can’t afford it?
How about the internet? Do you run to social media to vent your frustrations about your spouse, co-workers? Do you mindlessly scroll through hundreds of posts to forget about your own problems?
We often fill our lives with “things” when we are trying to fill a need that can only be filled by God. Even when we do try to fill our need with God, it is often disorganized and we don’t know how to spend time with the Lord. The “It’s Personal” Journal helped me organize my devotional time with the Lord and it can help you too.
how to use the “It’s Personal” Journal.
There are five main sections of the journal.
- Daily Bible Time
- Time with God’s Teachers
- Personal Prayer Time
- Time In Wise Counsel
- Leading and Convictions of the Spirit
At the beginning of the journal, there are instructions about how to use each section. There is also a sermon on Youtube by Steve Curington explaining the journal. I will briefly describe how I use each section.
1. Daily Bible Time
The first section is the Daily Bible Time. This section is divided into two parts: Daily Proverb and Daily Bible Reading.
According to the date, read the corresponding Proverb. For example, if today is the 16th of the month, you would read Proverbs 16. There is an area to write down your thoughts on the Proverb. I usually copy a verse and explain what it means to me and how I can apply it to my life.
When I first started this journal, I thought I would not enjoy reading the same book of the Bible month after month, but I am pleasantly surprised how much I enjoy reading through the Proverbs over and over. Proverbs is the book of wisdom and each one of us can always use more wisdom. I also go back to the month before and see which verse spoke to me and how I have applied it to my life.
Daily Bible Reading
The second part of this section is a place to write your insight/convictions/application about your daily Bible reading. I am currently reading through the Psalms and I write down verses that speak to me and thoughts about those verses.
There is a small third section called Daily Meds. In the back of the journal, there is a place to write down a verse from your Bible reading to meditate on throughout the day. On the opposite side, you write down a memory verse you are working on. The paper is perforated so you can carry it around in your pocket and read it throughout the day. This exercise will Improve your devotional life by hiding God’s Word in your heart. I often send these verses to a friend or family member to encourage them because I hate to throw them away when the day is over.
2. Time with God’s Teachers
This section is used to take notes about what you learn from God’s teachers: such as a pastor, Christian author, etc. Since I use a separate notebook to take sermon notes at church, I personally use this section to take notes about a daily prayer challenge email I receive from VCY America. You can learn more about the prayer challenge and sign up for the email here.
3. Personal Prayer Time
The third section of the journal is a place to document your daily communication with God. On the left, I write down the praises and things that I am thankful for. This exercise has helped me develop an attitude of gratitude. On the right-hand side, I write down things I am asking God for. There is also a blank to write down sins and ask the Lord for forgiveness and a place to request protection. It is a blessing to go back and look at previous prayer requests and see how the Lord has answered the requests.
4. Time with Wise Counsel
The fourth area is to write down questions for which you are seeking wisdom. You can ask a Christian friend or your pastor for their counsel for these questions. I don’t fill out this section every day nor do I often ask someone for advice about these questions. I do pray about these questions or ask my husband his counsel on questions I have.
5. Leading and Convictions of the Spirit
The last section of the daily journal entry is for leading and conviction of the Spirit. This section is broken down into two sections. The first section is about encouragement. I think this is one of my favorite exercises. Sadly, I don’t do it every day, but when I do send a note of encouragement I am the one who is blessed. It really helps me to appreciate the people in my life and what a blessing to be able to tell someone how much you appreciate them.
Before I knew how sick my father was, I was able to send him a note about how much I loved him and how thankful I was for him. Little did I know, he would die less than two months later. What a blessing it was to tell him these things.
The second section is to document ways in which the Holy Spirit convicted or led me yesterday. I don’t always complete this section either, but when I clearly am convicted of something I will write it down and search for a Bible verse reference.
At the bottom of the page, there is a place to record how much time you spent communicating with God and how many forms of communication you used today.
This journal has changed my life. It has greatly improved my devotional life and helped me develop discipline and consistency. If you would like to improve your devotional life, I highly recommend “It’s Personal” Daily Journal.
What about you? How do you develop consistent time with the Lord? What tools do you use? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.