A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how to jumpstart your devotional life. Then on Friday, Kristin wrote about how to study scripture. I am frequently asked about the resources that I use during my “quiet time” each day. Today I thought I would share a few of them with you. While I do not necessarily use all of these tools at once, here are a few of my favorites:
- NIV Bible (1984)
In my family, it was tradition that every kid got a new “grown-up” Bible when we turned 13. My parents gave me a new black leather bound Bible with my name printed in pretty gold ink. They gave me the NIV version, because it has the most common vernacular and is easiest to for average readers to understand. This is also the version that my husband preaches out of each week, so I’ve stuck with it. While this version works well for me, I recommend several others as well such as ESV (English Standard Version), NASB (New American Standard Bible) and NKJV (New King James Version). Many women are currently enjoying the ESV journaling Bible, which provides space for notes.
Let me clarify – a pretty journal (Hello, Target). I like to switch the style up. Sometimes I go with the botanical floral, sometimes I go with the chic black and gold foil. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s just something about having a pretty journal to write in that makes my devotional time even more inviting. I actually have two journals at once usually – one for notes from the sermon on Sunday morning and one for my personal notes and prayers. What can I say? I’m a paper-and-pen girl through-and-through.
3. Bible Highlighter
A regular highlighter bleeds through the pages. Bible highlighters are the answer! If you don’t have one – get one (or two or three). You can even get multiple colors. They are cheap…and the color will make your pages pretty. I usually pick mine up from Lifeway.
- Pens and Page Markers
I’ll be honest with you – I just like a good old-fashion cheap pen…and I like to switch it up every day (using the same pen every day is just plain boring in my opinion). I can usually find some pretty pens in the dollar bins at Target (am I the only one that gets suckered into the dollar section?) But for those of you who are looking for pens that are particularly good with writing in your Bible, I’ve heard great things about ZIG pens.
I also love color-coded (or pattern-coded) page markers. Target has great options in the dollar section!
- Scripture Calendar or a Reading Plan
I am not currently using a reading plan, but I have used them in the past and it was helpful for self-accountability purposes. Good reading plans can be found in different forms such as: The YouVersion Bible app, Biblica.com has a great plan for those of you who would like to read the entire Bible in one year, She Reads Truth app, IF: Gathering, etc. There have also been times that I simply print off a monthly calendar, stick it on my fridge or bulletin board, and mark off each day after I spend time with the Lord. It’s not a chore to be marked off a to-do list, but for me, visually seeing my progress is helpful, especially if I have been in a slump or dry season with getting to my quiet time each day. Sometimes a devotional book can be helpful for daily planning as well – but I have to remind myself to be sure and focus on the Scripture more than getting caught up in the questions and answers. If you are looking for a good book, I enjoyed Seamless by Angie Smith.
- Bible Verse Cards
A couple years ago I took a seminary class that required me to memorize 55 evangelistic Bible verses in three months. I’ll admit – it was hard! Memorizing Scripture is a spiritual discipline we so often ignore and fail to make time for. One thing that helps me with memorizing Scripture is my verse pack. Verse packs can be found at Christian book stores, or you can also go the cute route and order a homemade pack off of Etsy. They hold a handful of verses (some are already typed out on the cards and it also includes blanks for you to write your own) and you place the verse you want to learn in the clear pouch in the front. It fits perfectly in my purse and when I find myself waiting at the dentist office or at lunch by myself, I often take out my pack and cite the verse for that week.
Someone once told me that the most important thing about your quiet time is that you have a quiet time. Whether you squeeze in time before you get out of bed, at lunch, or while you are waiting in the carpool line, a few minutes each day with God should be the focus. These resources can come and go but the time you spend with the Lord is invaluable. Like David, we should treasure God’s Word and seek His wisdom with all our heart.
“With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:10-11 (NIV)
That being said, what girl doesn’t like a little extra cuteness as we go about our day? You can’t go wrong with tools that make your devotion even more inviting!