Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Student of the Word and A Daughter of the King

Today I had the opportunity to sit in my favorite coffee shop with a sweet friend of mine.  We shared the events of our week, along with our hearts and the struggles we faced.  We even spoke of how hard it is to be like 'Mary', sitting at Jesus' feet, and how much easier it is to be like 'Martha', filled with many distractions.  I said to my dear friend, I believe it is much harder to be like 'Mary' because you have to be disciplined and discipline requires you to be diligent and consistent.  It takes a lot of effort and it is hard work!
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."  Luke 10:38-42 
Our conversation continued to our devotional lives and the time when we study our Bibles.  I shared with my dear sister in Christ that I use two different Bibles because to me, my devotional time is different than when I study my Bible and therefore I use two different tools.

A Student of the Word
"A student is not greater than the teacher. But the student who works hard will become like the teacher."  Luke 6:40

When I am studying God's Word, I put on my 'Student' hat and use my Study Bible with a big concordance, commentary, word study, highlighter, etc.  Right now I want you to picture someone sitting in a library studying....that's what a student looks like.  They are intent on finding answers and they are serious about what they are least if they are a good student!  Now, a Student of the Word should look similar to the image you have in your mind, only you, as a Student of the Word, are digging for Truth and you are learning how to apply those Truths to your life from the One True Book of Wisdom!   We are the students and Jesus is the Teacher.  He embodies TRUTH AND WISDOM. 
"But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption."  1 Corinthians 1:30
So, why study the Word of God?  "Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  2 Timothy 2:15

Practical Tips:
Some women do well to study God's Word by being a part of a Bible Study with other women; it certainly helps for the accountability!  Other women can study God's Word on their own.  Do what works best for you so you will dig deeper into God's Word and become a student of it.

A Daughter of the King
“O GOD, You are my God; Early I will seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You…” Psalm 63:1When I was a young Believer in Christ, I heard that the Word of God was a love letter written to His children. Hmmm, love letter? That got my attention. I wanted to read what the King of Kings had to say to His daughter. I wanted to experience His love, yet, when I read my Bible, it was more like I was checking off a box on my to-do-list.  I knew that was not the type of devotional life that I wanted to have with my King so I was determined to make some much needed changes....shortly after I added a prayer journal to my routine.  In my journal I would write out the A-C-T-S acronym. "A" for Adoration, "C" for Confession, "T" for Thanksgiving and "S" for Supplication unto the Lord. The prayer journal also helped me to focus on my prayer time and utilizing it has also kept me from falling asleep! I lazy and disrespectful can I be!  As my walk with the Lord continued and I went through varying seasons and storms of my life, my devotional life became somewhat 'dry' again.  During one particular time in my life I was reading in the book of Job and my husband was too.  One morning he shared with me what he had read and I thought,  "What chapter are you reading because I certainly did not get that out of my Bible?"  (We were, in fact, in the same chapter, however, my husband and I were reading out of two different versions of the Bible.)  His version seemed so much more understandable to me.  I picked up his book and I read chapter after chapter after chapter that day and I did not want to put it down...and remember, I was reading in the book of Job so it wasn't like I was in the most action-packed book of the Bible either!  I just loved the translation that my husband had!  I finally felt like I was truly experiencing a love letter from my King the reason why, it was written in a language I could understand.  It was simple and easy reading.  Soon after, I headed to the bookstore to purchase a Bible for myself with the same version that my husband had.  What I found was the most beautiful and appealing Bible I had ever seen.  Not only was it pretty, but it felt soft and had differing textures and the pages made a delightful sound as well.  I was quite surprised to see how I reacted to this Book.  While I knew written within the pages of this Love Letter I would find beauty, love, grace and comfort, what I did not expect was to become so excited by its outer appearance.  I realized in that moment that the Book appealed to many of my senses that God had blessed me and deep in my heart I thanked my King for bestowing upon me such a beautiful gift.  Many years later I am still drawn to the Love Letter by My King.    

Practical Tips:  
Find a version of the Bible that is easy for you to understand.  The whole point of you reading your Love Letter is for you to be able to comprehend it and apply it to your life.
If it is beauty that you are drawn to, find a beautiful Bible, journal, pen, etc.  Work on your environment as well.  If it is quiet that you need, find a quiet place.  If you like soft music in the background, put on music.   Light a candle if you prefer.  Here's the bottom line:  Read your LOVE LETTER where you could most hear your King speak to you.

Of course there will be times during your devotions that you will come across a section of the Word that you may end up studying and likewise, there may be times in your studying that you may come across sections where it will touch your heart as a Daughter of the King.  These are just tips that I have given you, not rules to follow.  I just wanted to write some practical ways to help strengthen your time with the Lord so you could become more like 'Mary' as well.
Now please don't think for one minute that my devotional life and study life is perfect, BECAUSE IT IS NOT!  I fail daily and I am a work in progress, but that is the beauty of unconditional LOVE!


Brook said...

I am truly touched by the words our Father has given to you. My whole perspective on my daily bible reading changes when I think of myself as the daughter of the King and not just checking off another box on my to-do list! Thank you for your obedience to the Lord in writing these words of encouragement. They definately encouraged me! "As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend". Proverbs 27:17 Love Brook

Jolene Engle said...

@BrookThanks for your kind words friend!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blogs inspiring to say the least love Denise

Jolene Engle said...

Denise, your words so blessed me! Thanks friend.