Summer is finally here and I'm spending a little time each day tending my herb garden. I love seeing the new growth...chives, oregano, thyme and parsley. My potted flowers are flourishing too. Butterflies and hummingbirds make daily visits and I love watching them.

The summer brings a break from our crazy schedules. Even the church calendar slows down. But, with that comes less opportunities to gather around the Word. So we need a growth plan.

I began this year with the word intentional. Though I am looking forward to the slower pace, I want to plan ways to grow spiritually. Will you join me?

Here are a few ideas to get into the Word of God during the summer months. I would love to hear from you as you discover ways to grow in your knowledge of him.

Summer Growth Ideas

Choose One of the Gospels

  • Read one chapter a week (reread it each day) taking note of things like people, conflicts, lists, words of Jesus, or common themes.
     
  • Circle or underline the words: If, Then, Therefore, So That, All, and take note of Promises, Warnings, Good news, Bad news, etc.
     
  • Take note of things that stand out to you (words, phrases, repeated thoughts)

What is God saying to you through his Living Word?

How does what you discover impact you today?

Choose a Theme/Topic
(love, peace, forgiveness, holiness, etc.)

  • Use a concordance to compile a list of verses for your word study.
     
  • Memorize verses that especially speak to you (hide the word in your heart).
     
  • Keep a journal.

How does your word study transform your thinking about your chosen topic.

Choose a Biblical Character

  • Read everything about them in Scripture, using cross references. You may find references to Old Testament people in the New Testament, so do a comprehensive search.
     
  • Take note of their strengths, weaknesses, sins, fears, attitudes, accomplishments, etc.
     
  • Note contrasts in their personalities
     
  • Before and after – how are they transformed?
     
  • What did they learn from their encounters?
     
  • Make connections to your life. How are you like or unlike this character?

There are many other topics and study resources available. You may want to consider delving into the parables of Jesus, customs of Bible times, Biblical Geography, Old Testament feasts and their New Testament connections and more.

Like a garden, tend a little area this summer and watch your spiritual growth increase.

What plans do you have for growth this summer?

Article originally posted at The Stream's Edge. Used with permission.

Jeanne Doyon loves encouraging others to draw nearer to the Lover of their souls. She connects the Truths in Scripture to the ordinary events of life and shares her reflections on her blog at www.streams-edge.blogspot.com. Jeanne enjoys photography, tea with friends, creating with beads and looks forward to being a grandma. She and her husband, John enjoy their empty nest but wish their children weren’t so far away. Email Jeanne at jeanne.doyon@gmail.com and find out more about her speaking topics at www.jeannedoyon.blogspot.com

Publication date: June 19, 2014