In Worship more fully

Three simple ways to nourish your soul

Two weeks ago I wrote about how we can make decision-making easier.  One of the things I mentioned that helps me make decisions is to ensure that my soul is nourished.  During this past week I had somebody ask me about practical steps he could take to ensure that his soul is nourished.

I know that there are as many thoughts on this as there are people on the planet.   There certainly is not a definitive list nor is there a formula.  For what it’s worth, here is what works for me.

On a daily basis I do these three simple things:

  1. I read only 2 -3 verses of either the Old or the New Testament as well as 2-3 verses of a Proverbs or Psalms.
  2. I spend time thinking about what I have read.  I roll it around in my head, putting emphasis on different words.  I try to find ways in which the scriptures apply to my life personally.  Sometimes I will commit it to memory.
  3. I pray the Lord’s Prayer every day.  I use it as a guideline and I expand on each sentence in ways that are applicable and relevant to my life.

These are the steps I take that nourish my soul.  I find my time with God is fresh and meaningful.  There is no pressure to do anything other than enjoy the scripture and enjoy God.

I know some people like to read through the entire bible every year.  I certainly do recommend this kind of systematic reading on occasion, but for me, this is more informative and contextual than nourishing.  It’s also too easy to rush through the chapters for the day and then check it off the list as a chore done.

I think in-depth bible studies are great and I love to do this in a group setting.  Exploring the bible and understanding the theology behind the words is exhilarating.  But again, for me, this kind of study is not what daily nourishes me.

Without personal application of scripture and without sincere and relevant prayer, I believe we will be malnourished, skinny and susceptible to disease. For me, the three simple ways above are like fruit and vegetables – healthy and good and very necessary for nourishment of the soul.

Question:  What is one thing you do on a daily basis that nourishes your soul?  

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Deborah
    at

    Gosh I do not think I have ever felt that reading through the bible every year is a check list of something I needed to do for any reason other than filling my mind with the knowing about God and continued learning. Each day I learn something new and understand the bible more thoroughly. It seems to be alive and something always jumps out at me applicable for the day especially just to fill my mind with the things of God. I figure if I do not have time for that then I am missing out on the most important part of my life. That seems like reading only hunks of a novel while not connecting the most important parts to the meaning of the whole. Psalms 119 reminds me of that and Jesus saying that He is the Word and I yearn to know that Word. The bible illiteracy among believers today is at an all time low and continues to decrease. It used to be the book families read everyday when there was not all this media and how do we really know if what we are being taught is really truth if we are not filled with the Word? How does the Lord convict my heart and give the correct path to follow? I have never read it because I had to but always because the Lord has put that desire in my heart since I started my relationship with Him. The most important part is that is how I know with all my heart that Jesus loves me.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      As I mentioned in my post, Deborah – there are as many different ways to nourish our souls as there are people on earth. God deals with us as individuals, not in formulas or rules. I’m pleased that reading through the bible in a year works for you. That’s what is important.

      • Reply
        Deborah
        at

        God deals with us in grace but he did give formulas and rules that we are called to be obedient to. Not to look around what others are doing but to give myself a check list of what I do effects my relationship with God and others. If I do not know what God’s will is revealed through His Word then I do not know if I am on the right course. Am I showing mercy, seeking justice and walking humbly with the Lord or am I seeking only what satisfies my flesh. How do I know the difference unless I know the instruction book.  Psalms 119:9 says “How can a person stay pure? By reading your Words and following its rules.” also verse 11 ‘I have thought much about your words, and stored them in my heart so that they would hold me back from sin.” It has not only worked for me but several Kings when they brought out the book of law and read it to the nation of Israel they turned from how they were behaving, independent of God, it brought healing to their land and brought them back to God who is the source of our spiritual nourishment.

        You are right that is something that works for me but I am concerned for others that as you said need nourishment rather than just giving them appetizers or dessert they will partake of the main course.

  • Reply
    Suzie1041
    at

    I like your daily nourishment routine … I’m going to try it.  I read “today’s” date in My Daily Bread.  It will take you to a particular scripture reading and then tell an applicable story.  I then write in my journal what is happening in my life while thinking about what I’ve read for the day.  However, I have to remind myself that I don’t have time NOT to read and pray!  Why do we get ourselves so very busy???  I believe that our Father would rather we be more like Mary rather than Martha.  

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      I like what you are doing too Suzie. As long as we are personally applying scripture and we are drawing closer in our walk with the Lord, we are on the right track. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Deborah
      at

      Suzie, I agree that our Father would have us to be sitting at his feet like Mary rather than the business of Martha because He has tried to explain to us that our nourishment comes from Him alone. In Hosea 6:3 “Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him, and He will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.” Also in verse 6 “I do not want your sacrifices—I want your love; I do not want your offerings–I want you to know me.”  I feel like you do about not having time to not spend time reading and praying not for brownie points but just to learn all I can about the Lord.

  • Reply
    Mary
    at

    I love your routine. I have read the bible through in a year on a few occasions and there have been times it was meaningful and insightful etc but like you said there have also been times where it was a chore that I needed to be disciplined to complete. My husband hates to read, he is slow at it and loses concentration easily so reading chapter after chapter is difficult for him. But when we read just a few versus and talk about it together we get more out of those moments than we would of hours of reading. What I love about your routine is it takes the pressure off to be some “super” christian not that is a bad thing but sometimes we just need to know that our walk is so much more. God is such a great God and a loving God and He is so willing to meet us where and when we are. Like you said there is a place for the deeper reading and discussion of the word and that is important too but we can be nourished personally with what you described and not everything is always one size fits all. I work several 16 hour shifts in the week and when I am home I take care of my mother who is in early onset Alzheimer’s and I work with my 2 nieces(who also live with me) on their schooling, take care of my home and husband, 6 cats, 12 chickens, 3 dogs and few more animals etc etc etc my point is most days I honestly do not have time to read chapter after chapter so I appreciate that you can put something out there that feels doable and not overwhelming. I seemed to have run off a bit! Thank you for your blog. Refreshing as always.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Thanks for the feedback Mary. Our spiritual growth is as individual as our physical growth. Whatever works and nourishes you and your husband is what you should pursue. And by the way, I get exhausted just thinking of how much you have on your plate!

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