Today’s post will focus on the spiritual discipline of studying and meditating on Scripture. I don’t know what your experience has been with the Bible. Perhaps you grew up in the Catholic church and only the priests taught about the Bible and interpreted it for you. Or maybe you have completed in-depth Bible studies but they are more about information than transformation.

The past few weeks I have been participating in a group online Bible Study, Abiding Fruit. This study was created by Katie Orr & Lara Williams for the ladies involved in the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge (  

Abiding Fruit is a study on the fruit of the Spirit.  BUT it is so much more than that. I have done Bible studies before (and in one now) in which the author directs the topic, has you read some Scripture and then you answer questions. 

This study is unique in that it will teach you how to read, analyze and apply God’s Word for yourself.

Each week the authors have assigned a portion of Scripture to study “to help us understand how the fruit of the Spirit can become evident in our lives.” Then each day in that week we analyze the same piece of Scripture and look for something different. Here is the list of what we do each week, listed by day:

  • Day 1Initial Read/Context: Who is Writing? Why? Initial thoughts? 
  • Day 2-Truths: What does the passage teach…about God? Who I am in Christ?
  • Day 3-Promises: What is promised to me? Are they conditional or unconditional?
  • Day 4-Commands: What am I commanded to do? What can I learn from others?
  • Day 5-Apply: What is the Lord leading me to DO as a result of this passage?

It’s AWESOME! It’s amazing how spending a small amount of time in the same piece of Scripture each day for several days allows His Word to come alive. I find myself throughout the day thinking about what I read and dwelling on what God revealed to me that day.

If you are interested in joining me in this study, click here to download the study materials. It’s not too late…this week we are reading 1 Corinthians 13 {LOVE} and next week we are reading Psalm 16 {JOY}. For accountability (and if you have a twitter account) you can find other people’s thoughts on the passage by following the #abidingfruit topic on Twitter.

Have you made plans for trying the spiritual discipline of solitude that I introduced in yesterday’s post? I tried it yesterday morning and wouldn’t you know that in the 10 minutes I set aside I was interrupted by my husband (who happened to have an early breakfast) and my middle son (who usually hangs out with my husband in the morning). I also found that my first mental distractions were: the Relevant conference I’m attending in a few weeks, something I saw on Facebook & planning what I would tweet…very revealing of what I’m pre-occupied with besides God.

It was definitely challenging to sit in absolute silence. I had to keep repeating the short prayer to bring my mind back to God.

If you find it difficult to sit in absolute silence another technique you could try is Lectio Divina. It is “an approach to the Scriptures that sets us up to listen for the word of God spoken to us in the present moment…As we make ourselves available to God through this practice, the Scriptures will penetrate to our very depths.” (Ruth Haley Barton, “Sacred Rhythms”).

Lectio Divina: Read out loud 3-4 verses from the Bible before beginning your time of solitude. As you read listen for the word or phrase that stands out to you. Repeat that phrase to yourself. Reflect on that phrase and why it may have stood out. Identify your response to the passage.

Day Four Action Points:

1. What has been your experience with reading and studying the Bible? Do you feel comfortable picking up the Bible and applying it to your life?

2. If you are wanting to learn how to study the Bible, consider downloading the Abiding Fruit study and joining me in hearing from God through His word.

3. If you don’t want to do a study consider practicing Lectio Divina. Meditate on a few verses from the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through Scripture.

To summarize the “Replacing ‘me’ with ‘He'” mini-series to this point (may pick this series up with one post per week in the future):

  • Day One: View time with God as you would other relationships & create a rhythm
  • Day Two: Discover your unique personality and consider how you relate best with God
  • Day Three: Think about your weaknesses & sin patterns, what disciplines do you need to integrate. practice solitude.

(click on the “day” to read that particular post)