So, now that we have really dug into the idea of truth and what it looks to be firmly planted in it, let’s get practical.
The truth is (see what I did there…) a lot of times we walk away from posts like these with lots of great thoughts and ideas floating around in our heads and our hearts. We want to make changes, we want to put these things to work in our lives, but sometimes the thoughts and ideas can be so abstract and huge and quite frankly, overwhelming. Sometimes, so much so that we just let them float around until they fade away simply because we didn’t have the tools to help those little seeds take root.
Here at The Pearl Press, we want to make sure that is never the case. We never want to leave you with a bunch of great concepts. We always want to be sure that we are providing practical, everyday insight and tools in order to live out those big, overwhelming, abstract ideas.
For a very long time this was true in my life. I grew up in the church and a Christian home and so much of my childhood centered around Biblical principles and ideals. I don’t regret or despise that at all. What I do regret is how long it took for those ideals to take root in my heart and for me to start living them out with conviction. I don’t blame anyone for this, but looking back, what I really needed were the tools to start living it all out. See, simply knowing truth and believing truth is not enough. Of course it is the foundation of it all, but unless we are letting those truths settle into the depths of who we are and seeing them come out in every area of our lives, they are not living up to their full potential.
Here are a few ways that I have found through the years to ensure that the truth I encounter has a chance to take root in my heart and to grow in my life.
This one is going to sound really basic and maybe not so helpful, but hear me out. What I’ve found is that if I don’t have a plan and a vision in place with my Bible, I will often times avoid it. Let’s be honest, it’s a big, HUGE book. There’s a lot of material and it’s hard to even know where to start. And a lot of times that’s the problem. Getting started.
That being said, in order to let truth take root, you have to continually expose yourself to it. It has to be the thing that you know the most and that you can call to mind when everything else seems shaky. It has to be your foundation to stand on. The one thing that never moves.
In the beginning, I used reading plans that I followed from the back of my Bible or other devotional books. I liked them because they told me where to go and what to read and often times provided thoughts on the material. I also liked them because I am a big list lover and it was a good way for me to stay accountable because I had things to check off. This is where I started. A couple of good resources/starting places for these sorts of plans are:
The back of your Bible. Often times there are different sets of reading plans. They might focus on a particular character, sections of scripture, or even plan according to an amount of time.
Biblegateway.com is a great website with a lot of material. Not only can you find the Bible in many different languages and versions, they also have several commentaries and index material to help you study scripture on a deeper level and to answer questions that you might have while reading. They also have devotional plans that you can follow.
The YouVersion Bible App is a great app to keep on your smart phone or tablet. Again, you can download and access several different versions of the Bible, you can follow devotional/reading plans, and the best part is, they offer accountability. You are able to connect with other friends who share the app to see what they are reading and studying. You can also have notifications sent to your phone to remind you of your reading plans. They will also send a daily scripture and thought to your phone or e-mail.
The Pearl Press. But really! Our heart is to provide women with a place to share and grow and the resources to do so! Every Sunday we start our week with a spirit-focused post and with that we provide a scripture focus for the week. There is always a download so that you can save it to your phone, tablet, or computer screen and remind yourself of the truth we are focusing on together that week. And not to mention, The Pearl Press is a community of women growing together and we want to have a conversation! We welcome questions and comments on our blog so that we can interact with truth together!
She Reads Truth is another great blog/site that you can follow. They also provide weekly scripture and devotionals and our focused around the heart of women growing in God’s truth. Check them out on Twitter too!
This was scary for me at first. I was so used to a book or a plan telling me where to read. There’s nothing wrong with that, but of course it’s important to let God reveal to you the parts of His word He needs you to walk through sometimes. Now, I will ask Him while I am praying that He would put a book of the Bible on my heart to study. Sometimes He does and so I dive right in. I have fun now creating studies and bringing in commentaries and devotionals that follow along with that book. For me it’s a good combo of spirit led and structured study. Other times, I don’t feel led in a particular direction so I will just choose or go back to following a plan. A good staple for in between times are Psalms and Proverbs. You can read one or two Psalms and one Proverb for every day of the month. I have done this countless times and I walk away every time with new wisdom and insight and life that I didn’t have before.
This is a great way to keep track of what you have studied and what you have read and to reinforce truths that are being planted in your heart. My journal is filled with thoughts and scriptures that I have read and heard a thousand times but I just needed to write down so that I could let them take deeper root in my life. There is something to be said for being able to look back on your journey through scripture. To see how you have grown and to literally let the truth that you have just digested come out of you and onto the paper…to see it in front of you in your own writing with your own eyes.
It can be a rough, scribbled down thought or scripture from your study that week, a truth that has guided your life, or a pretty, artistic print that you printed from one of your favorite sites. At any rate, put truth where you can see it constantly. On your bathroom mirror, in your car, on your refrigerator…wherever you know you will see it often. Truth is something you have to breathe in order to live it. Find a place/way that works for you and then make it happen! Plan a fun evening to sit down with a cup of coffee and get some of them on paper to be placed within your everyday routine. This is a great thing to do as a family! Make a treasure hunt with your kids and build these into their environments as well. Put notecards in their backpacks or lunch boxes or inside their lockers. Teach them from the time they are young!
Challenge each other to memorize scripture. Quiz each other at the end of the week. Find fun, silly ways to make sure it’s getting done. Make a sticker chart or plan a way to celebrate when you have finished a study or memorized so many scriptures. If you have a family (husband and kids) do something like this as a family. Show your kids by example how important it is to be constantly exposed to the truth that you stand on. Let your kids hold you accountable also! In fact all of these ideas are more than applicable to family life and I would encourage you to build them into time spent with your kids. Don’t believe for a second that they aren’t old enough to encounter and digest and live out truth!