Habits of the Heart. Habits Part 1

It has been said, “Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”  If we don’t create healthy habits, our natural, selfish habits will take root.  We have all heard that it takes 21 consecutive days of doing something to create a habit.  Well let’s test that theory out!

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This month my Home EC girls are learning about Habits:

Habits of the HEART:  Having a personal quiet time with God

Habits in the HOME:  Being disciplined with schoolwork and chores

Habits of HEALTH:  Making wise choices in health and fitness

Habits of HOSPITALITY:  Being purposeful in matters of etiquette and hospitality

Part 1:  Habits of the HEART

What better place to start than with our personal relationship with Christ.  Our daily quiet time with God should be the first and foremost habit that we need to tackle with all of our heart!  Spending quality time with God doesn’t always come easy.  We get lazy, we put it off until later, or sometimes we just don’t know where to start.   This is why its important to start with a PLAN.

PLAN:  First of all decide WHAT you will begin reading, WHEN you will meet with God, and WHERE you will spend this time.  I suggest starting with Proverbs or Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.   If you are able, I recommend having your quiet time in the morning, but you have to decide what time of day will help you to be the most consistent.  Once you have decided the WHAT, WHEN and WHERE, gather your supplies.  Of course you will need your Bible, plus a journal, index cards, and a pen.  While I do love my Bible app on my Kindle, I recommend using your actual Bible for your quiet time.  I am convinced that the turning of the pages in my Bible is one of God’s favorite sounds. 😉  Go ahead and put your supplies in the location where you will meet with God tomorrow morning.

My home EC girls made a personal journal to use this month during their quiet time but any journal will do.

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What makes a good Quiet Time with God?  The condition of our heart.

There are 5 elements to help us grasp God’s Word:

Hear

Read

Study

Memorize

& Meditation

James 1:22 Says, “Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only”.  Don’t just stop with hearing God’s Word, but read it, study it, memorize it and meditate on it!

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How should I start my Quiet Time?

PRAY:  Always start your quiet time off in prayer.  Why?  Simply because as Christians we have the Holy Spirit inside us, and we should ask His spirit to teach us and give us understanding.  Ask Him to teach you from His Word. Here is an example of a beginning prayer:  “Dear God, give me understanding as I read your Word this morning.  Help me to not just read your word but to do what it says.  In Jesus name, Amen.”  For a more intense prayer time, don’t forget to focus on ACTS. (see picture above)

READ:  Begin reading a chapter a day until you are ready to dive in and add up to three chapters.  If you read 3 chapters a day, you can read through your entire Bible in a little over a year.  I suggest starting in the New Testament.

WRITE:  Be sure to write todays date and the Bible reference from where you are reading.  Don’t forget that you have prayed and asked God to teach you from His Word, so expect that something will stand out from your Bible reading.  Copy a verse that you read today that was important to you onto your journal.

PRAY:  End your time with God, thanking Him for your time together, and praying the verse that you wrote in your journal back to God in Prayer.  (See the example below)

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Psalm 119: 15-16 says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”  Write this verse down on one of your index cards and begin memorizing it.   Jesus has called us to think about things that are true and pure and lovely (Philippians 4:8).  Memorizing Bible verses is a great way to replace our thoughts with His words, which are always true, pure, and lovely.

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My prayer for you this week is that you will be faithful to meditate on your Bible reading and delight in His decrees, being careful not to neglect His Word.

Enjoy each day,

Leanne

 

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