6 Things To Help You Study God's Word

Five years is a long time to work on a goal. And I won't lie and tell you that it's been easy for me to stay focused on becoming debt free and living a life of Christ-centered financial wellness. Part of the reason was that I didn't know I needed to be financially well and I thought I was already Christ-centered. 

What I've learned however is that being Christ-centered is an on-going process that needs to be constantly monitored. And financial wellness is a muscle which has to be constantly exercised.

Once I figured those things out, it was easier to work on our debt snowball, sacrifice my wants and embrace the words of a former mentor..."I do not have to do this for the rest of my life, but I do need to do it today."

Along the way, I discovered that my quiet time with the Lord was crucial to me getting to a place of contentment relating to money and life in general. I sought out God's Word as it related to my current frustration and would meditate on it until I found a sense of peace about the situation.

I would find scriptures that were relevant to my situation and read through them several times a day. Some I committed to memory and others I simply posted around my home and office. Keith keeps his on index cards and carries them with him. They were the reminders we needed to keep moving towards our goal of Christ-centered financial wellness.

I also used devotionals to help me go deeper and find better understanding. I often found a different perspective on God's Word and began to internalize it even more. The application of the devotionals in my life made it easier to talk about my faith and our financial mess.

Over time, my faith grew and our financial mess began to clear. I slowly became more content with what we had and was less anxious about our future.

I began to trust Him.

As I reflected on these last five years right before Christmas, I began to see a pattern emerge from my quiet time. Over and over I had used this pattern to help me through the rough spots in my life. I had just never seen it before. I discovered that having a format when approaching the Lord was useful to me.

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Pray for the Lord to open your mind as you study His word.

Examine the scriptures you have chosen...either from a devotional or from a chapter in the Bible.

Talk about what you discover. Talk to yourself through a journal or talk to a friend. Either way, verbalize what you've gained from the experience.

Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify what you've read.

Look for a new perspective. Have any of your previous assumptions been challenged?

Summarize what you learned.

I have used P.E.T.A.L.S. for years, but had never given it a name before now. It's a process that helps to keep me focused more on God and less on me. This process has become invaluable to me. I pray it brings value to your time with God also.

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) says to "study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This is what P.E.T.A.L.S. has helped me to do many times over the years. Hopefully it will do the same for you.

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Until next week...be well...be encouraged.