"Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonicha; they received the Word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so."-Acts 17:11
It's the beginning of the school year. Your days are beginning to fill up with extra-curricular activities, homework, friends, and school. I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "How can I possibly get this all done without going insane in the process?" Well, today I am going to give you a 3-step guide to making sure you don't go a single day without making progress in your physical and more importantly, spiritual life.
Step #1: Prioritize
When you are doing anything, you have to prioritize. Of course, before you do so, you have to have an understanding of where your priorities lie. Are they in school? Are they in extra-curricular activities such as sports, band, etc? Or is your first priority God? Is your first priority studying God's word and searching through the scriptures as we see we should do in Acts 17:11?
Before we do anything in life, we have to always put God first, and settle everything else after that. I'm not saying that you should quit school, shut yourself in your room and study 24/7. However, it is far more important to study your Bible and increase your faith than anything else. Not only should God be first in your life, but He should be everything in your life. Don't just spend a bunch of time studying just to forget it once you go to school. It is important to make sure you have a proper foundation. After that, everything will kind of fall into place on its own.
Step #2: Make a Plan
I am a planner. In fact, I have two daily-planners and a calendar and a note pad specifically for to-do lists (not to mention the calendars, count-downs, timers, and to-do lists I have on my phone). I like to make sure everything has a plan, and everything gets done. In fact, writing this article is one of the things on my list! In my experience, if you want to get something done you have to make a plan. Since we're talking about Bible study here, this would be a good time to discuss some the different kinds of plans that you can use to further your faith.
There are many different kinds of plans. You can have a weekly plan, a monthly plan, yearly, and basically any time-range you can find. Choose a time schedule, and try to get something done by then. Say you want to work on memory verses. You can have a monthly goal of 20 a month (or 5 a week). Or if that's too much and you have a difficulty doing memory work, you can make it 1 verse per week. You can also do Bible study plans, Bible reading plans, plans in bettering your prayer life, anything. So my advice to you is to make a plan that will help make it easier for you to do these things because the easier it is, the less difficult it is to stick with it. Just don't try to make it so convenient that you're not doing anything.
Step #3: Do It
Now that you have your priorities and your plan, go ahead and do it! Give yourself small rewards for completing tasks. Say you're doing a memory work plan, go get ice-cream once you've memorized 50 verses. Get motivated, get active. Today I would like to encourage you all to first make sure your priorities are straight, and if not, fix them. If it's something as simple as just trying to pray more often, do it! If you are trying to read more often, do it! Whatever you want to do, I would like to encourage you all to pick up a pen and paper, write out a plan, and stick with it. It's easy, and I promise you won't regret it.