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Creating quality time for the Word of God helps us to grow spiritually. It requires reading it prayerfully, listening to it and paying apt attention as we do so . The Spirit of God will usually minister grace to us as we do so often, enabling us to make notable progressin our lives.

READ THE WORD PRAYERFULLY To hear and understand God's Word, we must read it prayerfully. This is because its not an intellectual exercise. Reading it prayerfully activates God's power and wisdom in your life. When we do so, we open our mind to the Holy Spirit, and then understand the Word acceptably and profitably. Reference: Nehemiah 8:18 Christian Standard Bible (CSB) 'Ezra read out of the book of the law of God every day, from the first day to the last.' The Word of God is given to us as our daily bread. To read and study it is not an option; it's a necessary requirement for a successful Christian life. So if you find reading the Scriptures unrewarding, then you have to pray before reading, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal you what you won't normally understand and also teach you what you don't know. Nehemiah 8:8 (NET Bible) says, 'They read from the book of God’s law, explaining it and imparting insight. Thus the people gained understanding from what was read.' Now this is the main purpose of reading the Word of God - to gain understanding from what is read. The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12 NASB). That means, its full of life and power and its characterized by action. However, it is the Holy Spirit that quickens it and makes it come alive, as He reveals it to us while reading it. No wonder Paul writes, 'Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God' (2 Corinthians 2:10 CSB). God's Word is God's thoughts, will, and expression. And Just like no one can know a person's thoughts except by that person's own spirit, no one can also know God's thoughts except by God's own Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) also reads, 'The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.' So we need the Spirit of God to help us understand the Scriptures when we read it. As you read the Bible prayerfully, it will become easier for your spirit to process and digest the Word until its nutrients become part of you. Then it will strengthen, energise and direct you properly. Also as you believe what you read and put it to work, it will yield its results because Isaiah 55:11 (NLT) assures us that God's Word will always produce and accomplish whatever desire is in line with it and achieve the purpose for which it was sent. The only thing that can short-circuit God's Word as we read it is unbelief. Hebrews 4:2 (CEV) reads, 'We have heard the message, just as they did. But they failed to believe what they heard, and the message did not do them any good.' Reading and receiving the Word gives it entrance to our spirit, but believing it establishes it in our hearts. The Bible is not like any other book. It is direct Word from God. The words from the Bible are God's breath and this means, we must approach it by consulting the Author, the precious Holy Spirit. When we do, He will open our spiritual eyes to understand what we read. Scripture Reading - 1 Timothy 4:13; Acts 8:30-35; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Revelation 1:3. Exuberant Declaration: All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and it's profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness, that I may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work. As I read the Bible, I'm instructed in righteousness and it nourishes my spirit, thereby giving me power and authority to overcome in the midst of trials and to excel in life. Glory to God! Pastor EJC SENSE OF GRACE

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