Success by God's Word

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

6 Ways Reading Can Improve Your Life

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)

Reading

Reading the Bible

I love reading the Bible. If there is one book I can read over and over and constantly learn from it, it is the Bible. It’s the compass of my life. I can always look to the Word to help me make sound decisions. It’s always a comfort to me. The Bible is total true about our humanness – it doesn’t hide anything. It expresses the human heart and as well as God’s heart. Reading the Bible as well as other good books has helped me grow in my Christian walk.

I would certainly encourage you to develop the habit of reading every day. It would help you progress through life as well as bring other benefits. Reading good books can:

1.     Ignite your imagination.

A novel or a book that includes storytelling helps you to create a vivid picture in your mind. This makes the process of reading more real to you. The material becomes more enjoyable and easier to remember when you put your imagination into action.

2.     Help you develop ideas.

Whether you are reading a fiction or non-fiction book ideas can quickly surface to your mind. Ideas related to personal improvement, career or business development, building your family life, growing in your Christian walk or other area of your life. Reading can help you develop ideas that effect positive change in your life or other people lives.

3.     Increase your knowledge base.

The beauty of a book is that it is a quick study on a specific subject area. You can learn from the experiences of others and from the hours of research the author invested into his/her work of writing. What may have taken you hours, days or months of effort to research is compiled for you. With a book in hand you it will take you less time to gain the knowledge and understanding on any topic of importance to you.

4.     Develop your communication skills.

One thing is sure, the more you read, the better a command of the language you gain. Reading makes you a better communicator. If you’re not confident in writing or speaking, regular reading will sharpen these skills.

5.     Be a form of relaxation or therapy.

That may seem weird to some because we often associate reading with studying. But personally, reading is a pleasure for me and most of (if not all) my free time is reading time. I don’t read the comics or the novels that would be considered light material but once I read within my scope of interests I enjoy it. That’s why I often end my days with a cup of tea and a good book or the Bible before going to sleep.

6.     Bring success and God’s approval.

When you read and make careful and discipline study of God’s word, you are approved by God (2 Timothy 2:15). God is pleased when we make a strong effort to learn of Him and draw close to Him. Not only that, one of the essentials to a successful and prosperous life is to read the Word of God day and night, to meditate on it and to do what God says in His Word (Joshua 1:7-8). Every successful person reads. Reading is an important element of personal growth and success.

It is often said that when you stop reading, you stop learning and growing. Since you and I don’t want to live a stagnated life, we must develop or keep up the habit of reading.

Here are some of the ways you can keep the reading habit alive:

  1. Set aside time every day to read – early in the morning, at lunch, or before bedtime.
  2. Maximize your time while you are on the go – read on the train or bus, on the airplane, or wherever you know you’ll have at least half hour of reading time. Plan ahead for these opportunities to read.
  3. Consider other alternatives to reading – listen to an audio book, view an infographic or watch the video of a book (I liked The Ultimate Gift).
  4. Take advantage of technology. Apart from the printed books you can now read books on e-readers, mobile phone, tablets. Take your pick.
  5. Have a copy of a book wherever you go. Again it’s easy to carry books around thanks to technology but I often have a hard copy book with me if technology fails me or I just prefer to have the feel of a book in my hands.
  6. Challenge yourself. Set a goal to read at least one book a month or two books a month if you like. Even if you fall behind in keeping up, a few hours of dedicated reading time can bring you back in line.

My challenge to you this week:

Choose a book that you’ve wanted to read for a long time and assign a time to read it every day. Share what you’re reading along the way with family or friends.

I am sure there are other ways reading can improve your life that I haven’t mentioned. Please share how the habit of reading has benefited you. I’d love to hear from you.

Simplify Your Life: Focus on God

In July, I started an 8-part series called Simplify Your Life, if you miss any part of the series you can catch up here. Last week I offered a general introduction of the areas we will cover in this series.  At the end of it, I hope that we can all make headway in leading uncomplicated, uncluttered, productive and successful lives.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Joshua 1:8, AMP)

Sometimes if we take a close look at ourselves, we’d realize that our schedules become so overloaded that we don’t spend time with the Lord as we should. For example, I generally read the Bible at least twice a day – in the morning and at night before bed. Recently, I realized I was dropping that night habit and furthermore I was not meditating on the Word as much. I have recommitted myself to do that night reading however little. It keeps me focused on the God’s plan for my life. I am refreshed as I meditate on the promises and commands in the Word and apply them to my life daily.

To keep focused on God you have to be intentional. You will need to develop simple habits that will keep your thoughts and heart toward God continually.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Prayer at all times. Although this sometimes seems like a daunting task it is possible. The key to having an open and continual conversation with God (prayer) lies in recognizing that God is with you at all times.
  • You will have a blooming relationship with your heavenly Father and be attuned to His will.
  • Read the Word at least twice a day. Technology has made it possible to have the word of God at our finger tips. To get the Word in use every possible format available – audio, video, e-readers, laptops, mobile phone applications. This will keep your spirit well-fed.
  • The Bible is our manual for successful living. When you learn God’s word you will know how to lead your life well.
  • Meditate on specific scriptures. Take a few scriptures that speak specifically to your life, your family, your dreams and on a daily basis mutter and repeated speak God’s word over your life.
  • Appropriating the promises of God will help you to become more like Christ and build your faith in Him. As you meditate on scripture you will also see God work in your life above and beyond what you speak and think.
  • Think about good things. Purposely banish negative thoughts from your mind. For example, the moment you begin to think that you’ll fail reflect on God’s word: “As a blessed child of God, whatever I do shall prosper”.
  • You will develop the ability to flush out negative self-talk. You will be able to handle life’s challenges with more confidence as you view from God’s perspective and not the world’s.
  • Praise continually. Remember that God is worthy of praise no matter what situation you are facing. God is always good and He is always doing good to you. Praise Him.
  • You will develop a heart of gratitude toward God and to the people around you. A more positive attitude will develop in you

Any one of these suggestions above will lead to a strong spiritual walk. Having a great relationship with the Father will give you more confidence and calmness. In this hurried and complicated world, life will be less complex and you’d be able to make sound decisions without doubt or fear.

What are some of the life habits you have developed to help you stay focused on God?

3 Ways to Keep God’s Word Close

We are very fortunate in this century to have the Word of God so near to us. The Word is near us in terms of accessibility. The Word can be in hard copy; in audio or video formats; on television; on the internet; on your cell phone, e-reader, or computer. There are also different translations available to study from. Compared to the biblical times when the Word of God was read at specified times when the people of God gathered, we have it available at all times. The nearness of the Word of God leaves us with no reason for not knowing it.

Unfortunately, sometimes we become distracted with life and don’t keep God’s word as close to us as we should. However, Deuteronomy 30:14 offers us some insight on how to keep the Word near to us.

1. READ THE WORD

At home, early in the morning, in the afternoon, late a night, anytime or anywhere we can read the word. I usually read in the early morning and prayer before breakfast. While driving to work, I may listen to a sermon or I pray the scriptures I read earlier that morning. Depending on the activity of the day, I may be able to slip in a short message or read. At night l enjoy having a cup of tea J and reading either a book or the Bible just before sleeping. Other times, while doing other tasks I would listen to the Bible on my Blackberry using You Version – it’s a great tool.

2. SPEAK THE WORD

If you know the Word you will speak it.  I would purposely make an effort to repeat certain scriptures I read as go through the day. During prayer, I would confess in faith specific scriptures I have written out. I have seen the Lord faithfully honor these promises that I have held to. If we take God’s instruction, the word of God should constantly be in our mouth. We should be talking about the Word morning, noon and night; when we lay down to rest and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19). As we do this we are not only edifying ourselves but we are teaching our children.

3. THINK THE WORD

If you are constantly speaking the word – whether in prayer, in daily conversation with friends of family, occasionally meditating on it throughout your day – then it becomes embedded in your mind and heart. You would be thinking on good, lovely, profitable, wonderful thoughts because the Word is of God and God is good. This for sure will help to erase negatively from your thinking. You will grow from grace to grace and see life from God’s perspective and not the world’s.

LIVE OUT LOUD THE WORD

Once you’ve got the Word in you – mouth, mind and heart – you will know God’s desire and you will act in a way that pleases Him. When you walk in obedience to His Word, then you will see God’s many blessings in your life (Deuteronomy 28: 1-14). When you keep His Word, your soul will prosper and so will all other areas of your life (3 John 1:2).

Therefore, keep the Word of God near to you always and treasure them more than your necessary food (Job 23:12).

What do you do to keep the Word of God close to you? Share and encourage someone.