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Q. My youth pastor is always talking about quiet times, but what exactly is a "quiet time?" A. A "quiet time" is simply being intentional about having a conversation.
Table of contents
- Quiet Time
- How To Spend Quiet Time With God
- Why You Should Have Daily Devotions
- 4 Reasons to Have a Quiet Time
- Posts navigation
We go from enemy of God to friend of God, from darkness into light, from sinners into saints, etc. So we see that deliverance out of bondage is a quick process that is done by God. But after that, we see the growing pains of sanctification—the process of being transformed into the likeness of Christ. This is not an easy process, and it will last the rest of our life until we stand face to face before God.
What is important to notice in this passage is that there is an active task of putting off our old self and putting on our new self.
The language Paul uses reminds us of taking off our old clothes and putting on new clothes. One commentator explained it this way: Imagine you are a prisoner and have been released from prison. You are no longer in prison, yet you continue to wear your prison clothes. How ridiculous would it be if you decided to wear prison clothes for the rest of your life? We have stepped into our new identity as co-heirs with Christ. But we need to actively shed our old self and actively adopt our new self. Perhaps you are someone who struggles to put off the old self and put on the new self, and you are discouraged that old habits seem to die hard.
Let me encourage you by telling you that sanctification and transformation is a process. Who you are in 10 years is not who you are now, and as long as you are actively putting on the new self, you will see that transformation in years to come.
Lord, thank You for doing all of the work on the Cross. You saved me when I could not save myself. Thank You for adopting me into this family of God. I know that I am no longer bound to my old self, but You have given me the right to put on the new self. Have you ever watched a basketball team play so beautifully together that they make it seem too easy?
While many teams had superstars that could dominate in stretches, the Spurs had talented yet unselfish players to complement one another so that they could play the game to perfection. The result was a sustained excellence on the court that lasted two decades. A leadership podcast Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast that I recently heard stated that the most important element of an organization is. Yes, we can often be fooled into thinking that things such as the right location, abundant resources and cutting-edge technology are the most important elements, but in the end, people are indeed the most important factor to the success of an organization.
How To Spend Quiet Time With God
And it boils to what kind of people we have: When each member of the body of Christ works unselfishly, the body grows. Remember, the church was never meant to be a place for people to become spectators, but for them to become participants in the glorious task of building up the church. Your church needs you to be an active participant! Of course, you need to go about it through the right channels and with unselfish attitude, but may this be a reminder that God has given this important task of building up the church to you and me.
Father God, what a privilege it is that You call us to be part of the body that works together to build itself up in love. I want to be a part of that process. May You use me in whatever way You see fit; may I experience the joy of seeing Your body come into full maturity. Read 1 Corinthians For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
Have you ever thought about spiritual gifts God has given you for the building up of the body of Christ? How are you using these gifts? Think of ways you would be able to steward these gifts for the building up of the body. I would suggest talking with the leadership in your church to see what would be appropriate for you to participate in. Normally, this phrase has a negative connotation, but I think it can also be seen as an encouragement.
Paul has spent quite some time laying down the groundwork for the believers to understand their identity in Christ, their relationship with God, and their relationship with one another. They are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God; they are no longer divided, but they are one body, Jews and Gentiles alike; and they are all heirs in the kingdom of God—they are royalty!
I want to highlight what Paul says here, because I believe that there is a need for the church to wake up and start walking in a manner worthy of our calling. Where do you think he got this idea?
Why You Should Have Daily Devotions
Right before Jesus was about to be arrested, He prayed for His disciples and those that would come to believe Him—this is referred to as the high priestly prayer. He prays that the church would be one just as the Father and He are one. We know how elusive unity within the body can be. Scripture commands us to be eager to maintain this unity and to bear with one another in love. What practical way can we do this? We can start by deliberately choosing not to be offended. We can choose to take a loss for the sake of unity.
We can even choose to humble ourselves to serve others, even when they are undeserving of it. This is the high calling that the Body of Christ is called to. Remind us of our identity as sons and daughters of You, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Fill us and fill our churches so that we may be one as You are one.
Our passage for the morning carries an admonishment for the church of Ephesus, because they were not behaving like a church that was loving one another and maintaining unity through peace. We also need to ask ourselves: Are we behaving like people of God? Are we walking in a manner worthy of the calling in which we have been called to? I recently decided to restudy Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby for my own personal realignment. One major theme that the author tries to get across is that after seeing where God is working, we need to join in with what He is doing.
Sure, we might be able to control a few factors in our lives, but the truth is that millions of variables are completely out of our control. All this to say: We may want to do many things, but ultimately, it is God who is able to do far more in and through our lives than we are able to imagine. Paul continues with this letter by letting the church know that it is our Father in heaven who strengthens and sustains us, and He is the one who actually shows us the fullness of the love of Christ.
Paul may be the one teaching and instructing, but ultimately, he prays on behalf of the Ephesian believers that God would help them to understand this glorious love. No doubt Paul is a great apostle, but, as a mere man, he can only take them so far; it is God who is going to reveal the fullness of His presence and His love to the church. Or are you quick to turn to others for advice? May this passage serve as a reminder that we have a God who is able to do far more than we can think or do, and may it cause us to draw near to Him, especially in times of struggle, so that we may remain in His perfect peace and love.
Father God, I want to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge. Though I am quick to take matters into my own hands, help me to be one that trusts that You are a God who is able to do far more than I could ever imagine. Give me the faith to live out my life with that understanding.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
4 Reasons to Have a Quiet Time
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. What is one thing you innately believe you can do by your own strength? Whatever it is, surrender it to the Lord and trust that He can do far better with it than you can by yourself. Recently, my infant daughter has been having a minor sleep regression: She wakes up in the middle of the night crying and not being able to soothe herself back to sleep.
It reminded me of when she was first born—for the first three months she was relentless in not being able to fall asleep without constant rocking and shushing. Sometimes, I am more like Moses, who complains to the Lord: What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin. Father God, I am once again reminded of the privilege to be considered worthy to be a minister of this precious gospel that You have entrusted to me.
Even if the situation and circumstances around me is tough, help me to choose joy. Help me to see the opportunities You have given me to minister powerfully in Your name. The term "Quiet Time" is used by 20th-century Protestants , mostly evangelical Christians. It is also called "personal Bible study" or "personal devotions". Rick Warren points out that it has also been called "morning watch" and "appointment with God".
Practices vary according to denominational tradition: Anglican devotions , for example, will occasionally include the use of prayer beads , while Catholics may use a rosary. Billy Graham suggested that Quiet Times consists of three main elements: He also mentioned that many Christians accompany these three elements with journaling. Proponents of the concept point out that Jesus often spent time alone in prayer: Leslie Hardin suggests that this was Jesus' Quiet Time: The first mention of the term quiet time was in the late nineteenth century. By the s, the quiet time had supplanted the Keswick concept of the morning watch as the most widely promoted pattern for private prayer among evangelical Protestants in England and North America.
The concept of the morning watch had viewed prayer primarily as petitionary prayer or prayer requests. The quiet time, in contrast, brought Bible study and meditation into the practice and placed the emphasis on listening to God. There was still time for requests, but they now were accompanied by Bible reading, prayers of praise, confession of sin, prayers of thanksgiving and listening to God.
The quiet time was therefore quieter; hence the name. First developed in Christian and Missionary Alliance circles, the quiet time also called the quiet hour was promoted by modernist Protestants like Harry Fosdick , as well as by the Oxford Group and Samuel Shoemaker , an instrumental figure in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. But the real rise of the quiet time began with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship 's publication of the booklet Quiet Time. Popularized by InterVarsity among evangelical university students, other neo-evangelical campus ministries also adopted the practice, including The Navigators and Campus Crusade for Christ.
Adopted by Billy Graham in the s, the quiet time became the most popularized evangelical Protestant devotional practice from the middle of the twentieth century to the present. Keith Newman suggests that as well as including conscious study and expressive prayer, a quiet time is a time of open-minded listening and waiting for guidance. Many devotional books, or "devotionals", are available in shops today. These books contain directed Bible studies, often incorporating stories or anecdotes that convey Biblical principles, similar to the parables used by Jesus in his ministry.
Many Christian stores dedicate an entire section to these types of books, but in some countries they are available at secular stores as well, often shelved in the "inspirational" section.
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