I have found that starting my day with “quiet time” is hugely beneficial for a worrier and wanderer like me.
My routine currently looks this: count the gifts (gratitude journal), scribble out my prayers, and then bible study. It’s a simple routine but one that works for me .
But honestly, I don’t do well without a structured study in front of me to help guide that whole bible reading time. When I don’t have something to lead the way, I just flip through the bible wondering what I should read. I think about my to-do list for the day. Then I am tempted to grab my phone to start looking at emails or Facebook. And before you know it, it feels unfruitful and I cut it short.
And yet, that should be the most valuable piece of my quiet time – reading and studying God’s word and listening for that still small voice to breathe some truth into my life and my day.
During my recent online bible study, one day each week was devoted to learning different study methods/tools to help us dig further into God’s word. One method was to read the same chapter or book of the bible repeatedly over several days and see what key words are brought to light as you read the same passage each day.
As I grabbed my bible, unsure of what to read, I thought about this method and decided to pick a really short book of the bible to try it. I picked Jude. Why Jude? No rhyme or reason, I just wanted a short book of the bible and Jude fit the bill. 😉 (I am no theologian or bible teacher, just a practical woman who wants to be God’s girl!)
And this is what stood out to me today:
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” Jude 1:3 (NIV)
According to Biblehub, in the Greek it means “epagónizomai” (don’t ask me to pronounce it)- it means to contend earnestly for; to struggle for.
Contend does not mean that it comes easy or without a fight. It is something we are going to actively struggle with. It reminds me that faith and belief in Jesus Christ does not come easy. It may seem to – the simple act of grace to believe in Christ, ask for his forgiveness, and live a life in relationship with him.
But day to day, life is not easy. Things come our way that we don’t understand. The world seems chaotic. Faith gets lost or buried under the demands of family and society. And before you know it, our foundation is being shaken.
And while I believe Jude’s letter is a greater message to the church that we must not get lost in the sea of false teaching or mediocrity the world serves up, and we must contend for the true gospel that is Jesus, I also believe we can apply it personally.
Faith isn’t a talent that some people have and others don’t. I believe there will come times in our lives where we all struggle with faith.
And in the midst of those trials, if we truly believe, we must contend for it.
Read the Word. Spend time with other believers. Attend church. Pray. Give. Serve. Love.
And when you are tempted to doubt and question all the struggles, pour your heart out the Father who catches every tear, and remember that the faith is worth fighting for.