By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
Every morning I spend time in God‘s word for my personal devotions. My desire for these times is that the Lord would speak truth to me, truth that will be spiritual food for the day. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found and I ate them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16).
As I read I take note of the verses that stand out to me. I’ll journal a few comments in response to the verses. Often it is a prayer in response to the verse, or comments as to how God has spoken to me through that scripture.
When I am finished, I will take a verse and a summary of my response to the Lord and text it to 14 different individuals. These are friends and family members who are interested in being encouraged and held accountable for their own time in the Word. Recently as I received insights from others, I was so encouraged I thought I would share some with you. (Every one of these is from a previous summer camp staff or 4.12 student at Joy El.)
One person shared:
“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter ).”
John 1:41-42 Father, help me to be like Jesus. Help me to see people as you see them because, I know that out there is another Simon, waiting to be named Peter, meaning rock. Jesus saw who Peter would become, and guide him, I pray that you will do the same with me. Help me to see people the way you see them.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26 Lord show me how to better worship you during the hard times.
And then I received another:
“to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:4-5 Lord thank you for the knowledge and blessing of heaven. Help us to remember this and live missionaly for it.
This is also poignant:
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.” Zechariah 3:7 Lord, help me to walk in obedience to you.
“Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 ESV Lord help me to bear fruit for you. Help me to help bring about your kingdom.
Bible Based is one of the core values at Joy El. I am thankful that in the Bible adventure Program as well as at summer camp and our Christian Retreat Center, children regularly learn how to have a daily time connecting with God in His word.
If you would like to strengthen your daily time with the Lord check out these resources:
Seven Minutes with God each day.
Make a habit of spending daily time with God:
Five tips to spending time with God:
Joy El Camps and Retreat is a Christian retreat center in south central PA. Check out our upcoming programmed retreats.