I love spending time in the WORD. Here recently I have seen a theme building up around me in conversations that I have had with various people in my sphere of influence regarding “quiet time” or devotional time. So I thought I would take a little time to share with you something that I have been doing lately to change up my devotional time.
Normally, my personal devotional time is filled by reading through the Bible. I have gone through the whole of Scripture on many occasions. This year, I got a new Bible from my Pastor that was reminiscent of my old Bible which has been all but destroyed through wear and tear from use over the years. So what I have been doing is underlining the passages of Scripture as I read them. I plan to go through the whole Bible and when I get to the end, I will have underlined the whole Bible. I will probably go back through and color code it or something like that…who knows?
But to add to my devotional time I have a new project that I have been pouring myself into here lately. It is something that I have always wanted to do because of a story I heard a long time ago about the way the Bible was reproduced before the advent of the printing press. I was fascinated by the care and dedication that the scribes took in copying the manuscripts. Now I am no where as meticulous about it as they are, but I have decided that to attempt to make a handwritten copy of the Bible for myself that I will, LORD willing, be able to pass down to the generations that follow me. If I am to be known by my children, their children and their childrens’ children, I want the legacy to be one worthy of the high calling of Jesus Christ. If I am to be remembered for anything at all, I pray that I will be remembered as a servant of God. Perhaps my willingness to hand copy the Bible will spark a curiosity in my offspring and inspire them to learn about what some eccentric old man from the 20th century cared for so much that he was willing to spend months or even years reproducing by hand.
I started this project many years ago as a gift to my mother. I thought, I will get it started for her, and she can pick up where I left off and we could take turns writing in it together. I found a really nice carved leather journal and cracked it open and began writing. On Christmas day that year, I presented the beginning of the Old Testament to my loving mother. Unfortunately, despite my intentions for the gift, it made it to a bookshelf and stayed there…the project indefinately on hold.
Many years later, my dear mother went to be with the LORD and I found the book that I had started so many years before. I had made it all the way to Genesis chapter 5 (some feat right?). But then, onÂ the 7th day of November, 2014, I picked back up on the project and again began to write. I am pleased to say that I have made it Genesis chapter 19 so far. LORD willing I will at least finish the Pentatuch before I run out of pages. Perhaps another visit to the Renaissance Festival (where I purchased the original journal) will be in order when I get to the end of this journal. Who can really say how far I will get.
Hopefully the LORD will return before I am finished, but I have to say, I have been so satisfied with this addition to my regularly scheduled devotional time (now that was funny if you know me…there is nothing scheduled or regular about me really). I find that by writing and reading I give more attention to the details that we commonly overlook in a casual reading of the Bible. The LORD has used this time to show me some pretty fascinating things that I may have missed otherwise.
My devotional time is a wonderful time where I get to commune with the LORD one on One. I truly live for these times alone with the LORD in the peace and quiet of my home with my children fast asleep. I have been challenged to wake up early and do my devotions, and I do truly see the value in it, but quite frankly, it is in theÂ still of the night I enjoy time with the God who never slumbers. As I write this I am looking at the clock on my computer and it is displaying 3:14 AM. So technically, I am up doing devotionals early in the morning…so there! I am laughing out loud as I read this (hope I don’t wake anyone), as the LORD just showed me a bit of irony. I am looking at this hand copied Bible and the cover has a carved picture of the sun on it, as if the LORD is saying, “see you big dummy…you are supposed to do your devo’s during the day!” I love You LORD!
But I want to impress upon you, it is not the time or how you spend it that matters as much as the One with whom you spend it. I would encourage you to mix up your devotional time if you feel so lead to do so. Some will say dogmatically that you have to do your devotional time in the morning, because it is the first fruits of your day. I see the validity of that point. Even Jesus rose up early in the morning to pray. For me personally, I find that my best hours are at the end of my day, when the commotion and distractions have all been laid to rest. If I may speak candidly (and since it is my blog devotional here I suppose I can do what I want to), I would like to say that every waking hour of our day should be our devotional time. It is, after all, the day that the LORD has made for us to rejoice and be glad in. But if you are set on early morning devotional time…good for you. Far be it from me to impose my weird habits on you. My name is Nick…not Nicolaitan. It is not my intent to lord over you or to persuade you to conform to my pattern, but rather to encourage you and inspire you to conform to the image of Christ! So whenever you spend your devotional time, and whatever you do in it, just press in to the LORD and enjoy the sweet rest you find in Him. I know I do.
Anyways, here are a few quick shots of what I have been working on. Enjoy!