I really do enjoy my morning time in the word. Over the past number of years it has gone from a “discipline” (nothing wrong with that) to a passion. I look forward to opening up the Bible and seeing what’s there for me.
And the key for getting my mind in gear in the morning, other than a cup of hot coffee, is the coloring plan I use when I’m reading. Observation is where it all starts . . . you need to start with “what does it say” before you can get to “what does it mean” and then “how do I apply it?” Said a little differently . . . you start with observation . . . then interpretation . . . then application.
And to help with “what does it say?” . . . to get me focused on observation, I’m on the prowl for a number of different topics . . . and when I find them, I either underline them or shade them with a colored pencil.
I start my reading plan each year with a new Bible and will color it as I come across something that gives insight into one of these topics. It’s a great way to keep me from “skimming” over the morning’s readings, and, in addition to giving me a set of observations from which to base a devotional thought, I also end up with a Bible at the end of the year that is color coded around these great themes!
For me, this has worked great . . . and keeps things fresh. It all starts with observation . . . then I look to the Teacher inside me, the Holy Spirit, to lead me into truth.