As we move from the practice of opening prayer to that of studying God’s Word, we can rest assured that the “… words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, [will] be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” KJV, Psalm 19:14.
Reading, Studying God’s Word–In the Morning When I Rise
What you may choose to read or study for your devotion is really up to you. But, I will advise that you make your choice carefully as you seek to manage your time. There are only 24 hours in the day. So, how much are you going to spend in your devotional time of worship? Well, that will depend how great your sense of need truly is.
Psalm 88:1, 2 gives indication that we ought to consider a minimum of twice a day worship. Psalm 55:17 indicates worship occurring three times a day. This was Daniel’s habitual practice, even in the face of the death penalty (Daniel 6:10). For now, let me simply share what I do.
In the morning, I want to spend as much quality time as I can with God. So, I take note of the date–today is the 3rd day of the calendar month–and I read aloud Psalms 3, 33, 63, 93, 123, as well as Proverbs 3. In this way, I read the whole of Psalms and Proverbs in a month.
On those months with 31 days, I will read Proverbs 31 and those five chapters in Psalms that have had very special meaning to me throughout the month. Recently, I have been impressed to memorize one or two verses that are being brought to my attention in a special way. These I will want to bring to mind for review throughout the day, as well as the occasional bursting into the opening or closing hymn to fix that in my memory.
We must also take care how we read the Scriptures in our devotions. “Beware lest you read the word of God in the light of erroneous teaching. It was on this very ground that the Jews made their fatal mistake. They declared that there must be no different interpretation placed upon the Scriptures than that which had been given by the rabbis in former years; and as they had multiplied their traditions and maxims, and had clothed them with sacredness, the word of God was made of no effect through their traditions; and if Jesus Christ, the Word of God, had not come into the world, men would have lost all knowledge of the true God. Christ was the light of the world. All the communications of the Old Testament were from Jesus Christ; but the rabbis, the scribes, and the Pharisees had perverted the meaning of the Scriptures, and while pretending to be worshipers of God, they held to their own tradition.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, March 25, 1902.)