For the past three years I’ve tried to plant a garden.
I think that it would be really wonderful to have our own tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, so that whenever we need vegetables we can just go out and pick our own fresh, organic food.
I believe the soil around our house is great for planting, but it has a lot of rocks mixed in. It’s hard, clay-like soil. A few times I’ve thrown a few seeds out there and what grew was pretty measly.
I need time to plow and prepare the ground for planting so I get good, hearty plants.
In Mark 4, Jesus used soil as an example of our hearts and planting seeds to represent His Word.
He mentioned 4 kinds of soil: hard soil on which people walked, soil that was full of rocks, soil that was full of thorns and good soil prepared for planting.
The people that are like that first kind of soil aren’t ready at all to receive God’s Word. Their hearts are completely hard and the seed just sits on top until the birds come and eat it.
Those who are like the second kind of soil are shallow.
They receive God’s Word…as long as they don’t have any responsibility or feel an expectation to change their life. God’s Word can’t grow in them because there is no room for roots to grow around all the rocks.
Those who are like the third kind of soil are distracted.
They receive God’s Word and it starts to grow in them, but beside God they have a lot of other stuff, like the weeds in my garden that I’ve never really taken time to clean.
Weeds grow and spread really quickly and soon whatever it is that you planted disappears because there is no room for it to grow further.
Those who are like that fourth kind of soil are ready. Their hearts are soft and cleared of anything that will prevent seeds from growing, so that when the seed of God’s Word is planted in their hearts it grows into healthy, hearty fruit!
What kind of soil are you? Is your heart ready to receive God’s Word, or are you the kind of soil that is hard or choked with a bunch of distractions? I think that for most people the problem is that we are distracted.
4 Smart Bible Study Tips For the Easily Distracted
We have so much going on in our lives. We wake up and get ready for work, come home to more housework: laundry, dishes, dinner, kids, homework.
Beside that we have church obligations, parents who need our assistance, parent-teach conferences. And as if that isn’t enough already we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Pinterest, email, YouTube, television and the radio to distract us.
When do we have time for God’s Word? When do we have time to allow His Word to grow in our hearts? For His Word to grow in us, we need time to think on it and meditate on it so that it can bring fruit to our lives.
1. Choose a time.
I have a specific time in the morning when I get up. First I make a cup of tea and then I sit down and have my quiet time with God. I don’t turn on my computer or look at my cell phone until my quiet time is over.
I know that if I look at my cell phone or open my laptop I’ll get sucked in and my quiet time will be wasted because “just 5 minutes” easily turns into an hour.
2. Choose a place.
It’s best to choose where you don’t have a lot of things around you to distract you. I make sure that when the kids go to bed, the living room is picked up and neat because I have trouble concentrating when there are toys and dishes laying around.
So before the kids go to bed, we do a “pick up time”, so that when I wake up in the morning, I can come out to a neat and clean “prayer room”.
3. Prepare your materials.
I have a “quiet time box” where I have my Bible, war room journal, pens, colored pencils, index cards, and books on prayer.
Every morning I grab my box and everything is right there. I don’t have to go around hunting for what I need. I realized that I am better concentrated when I write, so I have begun writing my prayers and my observations on what I’ve read in the Bible.
I love this, because it keeps my mind from wandering to my to-do list or what we need to get at the store later that day.
Here is one of my favorite Bible study tools!
4. Create reminders.
You can use your cell phone or an egg timer; or maybe even ask a friend to send you a text message everyday; but create reminders for yourself to stop and take a moment to reflect on what you read and learned from God’s Word that morning.
I use index cards.
I write on them verses that I am memorizing and meditating on and then I put them in my pocket. Every time I put my hands in my pocket (which is often), I feel them and it reminds me to take them out and glance at them. Throughout the day I am reflecting on verses on prayer, joy, strength, and renewing my mind.
All for of these things have made a huge difference in my quiet time, and my spiritual life.
My quiet time isn’t just a time to read the Word, but a time to plant the Word deep into a heart that is prepared and clear of distractions so that it can bring fruit to my life that will in turn nourish those around me!
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