This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.
ENCOUNTER: Read Psalm 46:10; Luke 5:15,16; Mark 6:31
Psalm 46:10 “He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God...'"
Having a "quiet time" is a very common phrase among Jesus' people. Christians have been using that language in our culture for a very long time to describe the practice of getting alone with God each day in order to center one's life on the reality of the presence and truth of God.
In our sermon on Sunday, we talked about Jesus' example of staring down the temptation of constant busyness, activity, distraction, and even the needs of others, in order to make sure that he connected with the Heavenly Father alone, in prayer, quietly, and restfully. Apparently he knew something we are way too prone to forget: If we are going to KNOW God, then we have to be still, get away, and get quiet.
It makes sense doesn't it? I mean, how would we be able to reflect on his truth, or hear his voice, or be aware of what is happening both healthy and broken within us if we are constantly on the move? Or usually plugged into something? Or surrounded by noise and activity?
So I challenged MCC in church on Sunday, as our Lenten practice this week, to commit to having a Quiet Time each day. I hope you are trying it out. Here is the outline I introduced on Sunday:
- Invite God to meet you. (Acknowledge his presence, his love, and his desire to transform you. Give him permission to do so!)
- Reflect on his Truth. (Take in a bit of God's Word - The Bible - and reflect on what it teaches you about God, about you, and about your relationship with God.)
- Talk to God about that truth, and other things that are on your heart. (Prayer is simply creating a dialogue with God where you tell him all that is on your heart. And you can learn to recognize his voice as well.)
- Settle on an action item. (Don't leave your time without agreeing with God that there is one or more truths that you need to apply, or some action you need to take, or some sin you need to confess, etc.)
Friends, this is not a science. So have fun, get creative, and experiment. Nobody is going to give you a grade for how well you perform or what you accomplish in your time with God. It delights our Heavenly Father's heart when we stop, turn to him, and connect.
BE A BLESSING:
You may receive a "nudge" from the Holy Spirit during your quiet time to act in love toward someone in your world today. That's how it feels most often when God is leading me. Go ahead and be a blessing to the person God puts on your heart, trusting that he is leading you to be an agent of compassion, grace, mercy, and justice in our world... starting with "your" world today.
Ask your brothers and sisters in Christ what they do in their Quiet Times so you can become more and more creative in how you connect with God. You'll continue to add ideas and resources, patterns and rhythms that you enjoy and bring life to you. There are so many ways to spend time in prayer, and in the Scriptures, so network with others in the Body of Christ and inspire each other! What contexts are you in that will give you this opportunity?
As a pastoral staff, we are constantly praying for you what the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians: "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." We hope your quiet times with God produce in you this glorious outcome!