Monday, December 19, 2011

The Beginning of Wisdom

Wanted to share this devotional with you that I received earlier this week.

God Bless,

rlk

The Beginning of Wisdom



"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:10)

This age has rightly been called the "age of information." With multitudes of books and periodicals in every field of study and practice, with billions of dollars devoted to all kinds of research, and now even the "information superhighway" of the Internet. It seems everyone and every organization is posting information of some sort on its own website and email. The world is almost drowning in information.

"But where shall wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding?" (Job 28:12). Job's urgent question can never be answered "online," but only in an ancient book. "Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding" (Job 28:28).

This spiritual truism is found often in that Book. King Solomon, to whom God had granted special wisdom (1 Kings 3:11-12), penned divinely inspired words when he wrote: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge," and then "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).

If anything is missing in our information age, it is surely the fear of God, at least among most people--even most religious people. But, as our text says: "A good understanding have all they that do his commandments."

From our New Testament perspective, we now know that "in |Christ| are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment" (1 John 3:23). Herein is true knowledge and understanding and wisdom. HMM

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Keeping Christmas


Wanted to share a link to a great post that will help you keep Christmas and have a very, very, practical perspective on Christmas. 

Check out the following link.

http://gunnarspeaks.com/2008/12/25/keeping-christmas/

Blessings in Christ,

rlk

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 24

 
Thanksgiving: Day 24 - I'm thankful for the heritage we have here in the USA and it's because of the heritage of the first Thanksgiving that we have the holiday each year! Our country has come so far since that first Thanksgiving but yet we still have far to go in remembering to be thankful and grateful for everything we have been given and for everything we so easily take for granted including our health, our family, our friends, our jobs, our homes, anything and everything! I'm also thankful again as I remember all of my family and friends (here and abroad) for your love, encouragement and for being a part of my life! Life would be dull for sure without you! For my family abroad, I love and will miss not being able to celebrate thanksgiving with you in person! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Don't forget to be thankful for each day you are given as it's truly a gift from God!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to encourage others!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 23


Thanksgiving: Day 23 - I'm thankful again to have a roof over my head especially when it's stormy (windy and rainy) outside! I'm mindful of the fact that others aren't as fortunate to have a home and my heart and prayers goes out to them this Thanksgiving. I pray that the opportunity to permanently find a path off the streets will come to them soon!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to encourage others!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 22

Thanksgiving: Day 22 - I'm thankful today for the opportunity to serve this week while I'm off on PTO with the Koch Entourage at the Sonrise Church Food Pantry! I'm thankful for the entire crew there that tirelessly serves each week to feed so many in our community!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment on this blog to encourage others!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 21


Day 21: I am thankful for having this Thanksgiving week off to enjoy some relaxation, hopefully help at the food pantry at Sonrise Church, get a few things done around the house, and most of all to enjoy spending time with my family and maybe a few friends as well!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 20

 
Day 20: Today I'm thankful for my two kids who took a step of faith to be baptized and for the love and support shown for them today with a great group of family and friends who came to witness this special time!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 19

Day 19: I'm thankful on days like today when I'm feeling cruddy due to a cold that I can still be thankful that I have my health as I know this will pass and I know I really have no room to complain. In place of complaining I'm moved to pray for others who I do or don't know that are truly suffering and in some cases hanging on to life. It all comes down to perspective.

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment here to share with and encourage others!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 18

Day 18: I’m thankful for the past 13 years employment in Global Logistics and thankful for the adventures that lay ahead with the North America Supply Chain team. Trusting God for great things ahead and thankful for the skills I'll bring with me and the many new ones I'll learn along the way!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 17


DAY 17: I’m thankful for the trials of life because- as hard as they are - they bring about perseverance, character and hope! (Romans 5:3-5)

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment here to share with and encourage others!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 16

Day 16: I'm thankful for the simple pleasures of life like a cup of hot coffee on a cold day and the laughter and humor of family & friends!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment here to share with others!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 15

Day 15:  I am thankful that each day is a new day full of hope, new opportunities and potential to try and make a difference in this world and that each “yesterday” is behind me!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share this with others!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 14

Day 14: I'm thankful for the people in my life who care enough to see past "1st impressions" or "perceptions" to discover who I really am!

What are you thankful for? Share a comment on this blog to encourage others!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 13

Day 13: Thankful for God's provision. Very blessed today in more ways than one!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 12

Day 12: I'm thankful for the encouragement and faithful prayers of my friends and extended family who continually bless my family and I!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Challenge: DAY 11

Day 11: I’m thankful for the tremendous sacrifice, integrity, and service of the men and women of the armed forces! Thank you for protecting our freedom!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 10

Day 10: I’m thankful that each day, (whether bad or good) is truly a gift from God – a gift that I'm striving to use wisely!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 8

 
DAY 8: I am thankful that when I am broke - I'm still richer than most of the world's population!


Monday, November 07, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 7

DAY 7: I am thankful that when I sometimes (or is it often?) feel like a loser, an idiot, unworthy, unloved, unimportant and more that I know those feelings are all a pack of lies because I know who I really am to my family, my friends, and most of all who I am from God’s perspective!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 6

DAY 6: I am thankful for our church home and church family. It's a blessing to be somewhere we can worship, serve, grow, be encouraged, challenged and build new friendships!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 5

DAY 5: I'm thankful for the love of God and the Love of my family!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 4

DAY 4: I'm thankful to still have a job in an economy where many unfortunately do not!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Reference Books for Sale: Hillsboro/Portland Metro Area


Hate to part with these but really need sell these great references as I look to better support my family budget. 
Please let me know if you're interested in purchasing any of these resources. 
I will add more to this listing as I purge my current resources.

John MacArthur Study Bible (NASB) - SOLD!

C.H. Spurgeon's Complete Sermon - 10 Volume Set - Mint Condition: $100 (Retails for $190-$200)

 Matthew Henry Commentary - 7 Volume Set - Mint Condition: $75 (Retails for over $100)

Exhaustive Concordance for the New American Standard Bible - Mint Condition: $50 (Retails for $80+)

Thanksgiving: DAY 3


DAY 3: I am thankful for my wife who does so many things for our family and I including but not limited to getting up earlier to drive me no matter the weather to the MAX Station so I can get to work each day!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 2

DAY 2: I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a furnace to keep us warm!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Thanksgiving Challenge: DAY 1

It’s November 1st and there are 23 days until Thanksgiving and I wanted to put out a challenge to you.

I’d like to challenge you from today until at least Thanksgiving to think about, write down, and share with others what you’re thankful for! 


These could be things about God, your family and other relationships, or whatever you’re thankful for!

We all need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving and this challenge isn’t just an exercise but it’s truly an opportunity to get your minds on things above and around you.

It’s an opportunity to be encouraged and encourage others as you share what you’re thankful for and hear what they’re thankful for! It's an opportunity to focus on the positive and get away from dwelling on the negative!


Just think about how many things you'll have listed and be able to look back on as you've written down what you're thankful for!

Are you up for the challenge?

I sure hope so and hope to hear some great things from you if you share them with me!

To kick it off - Here’s what I’m thankful for:

Day One: I’m thankful for my family and friends whom I’m blessed to know!

Check back here in the days ahead as I’m going to start posting what I’m thankful for here and hope to hear from you here as well regarding what you're thankful for!


Blessings,

rlk

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clergy Appreciation Month: Pastor, God has chosen you!

It's Clergy Appreciation Month and Here's a little something I put together for all my pastor friends as a thank you for all you do!
Let's not wait to thank our pastors one month out of the year! Let's thank them and show our appreciation all year long!
You'll want to turn off the music that plays on this site by scrolling down to the right and pausing the player under the Tunes section so you can hear the audio that goes with this simple video.  
Blessings in Christ,
rlk


(Duration: Less than 3 Minutes long.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Well


Scripture:
Read: John 4:7-14


The Well  
by Randolph Koch
 

Each day we draw from one well or another and just like the woman at the well we seek to quench our physical, intellectual, and spiritual thirst from one source or another - whether the right or wrong wells.
 
Jesus reminds us through His conversation with the Samaritan woman that our thirst cannot ultimately be quenched or satisfied apart from Him. 


The world would have us believe otherwise like the commercials that say "stay thirsty my friend" as they use that to try to get you to purchase more of their beverage - a beverage that wouldn't even quench ones physical thirst really! :-)  All other sources or a cheap substitute to the real "Source" The Well that truly satisfies.

We all need reminders of where we draw our strength from and we need to assess each day - "what well or wells am I drawing from today? 

 
I heard this great song appropriately named "The Well" by Casting Crowns and you can hear it via this Spotify link or another online source. I encourage you listen to this song, read John 4:7-14 and then assess where you are. 

 
Song Link: http://open.spotify.com/track/17vJ8PfHJ0hcqqO4nJ9ES3 

 
You're either going to stay "thirsty" or you're going to find the right well and have your thirst quenched and we need to daily draw from the right well, the well that Jesus offers you and I!

 
Questions to Get Started with:

1. Are you thirsty? Is your day-to-day life seemingly dry?
2. Whose well are you drawing from each day? 
3. Who or Whose well should you be drawing from each day?
4. Do you think you can do life on your own without help from God and others?
5. What changes do you need to make today to drink from the right well? 

 
Blessings,
rlk

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Still Here...

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I can't believe it's been over two months since I last posted! 

So, don't know who regularly follows-my little blog but I wanted to make a brief entry to let you know that #1 I'm still here and #2 I'm making some efforts behind the scenes to begin regularly posting again.

I'll be posting some devotions, some articles by myself and others, possibly a quick update from a short vacation my family and I took last month, and sharing videos of music that has been really inspiring me lately. 

Hope all is well for you and that you're resting in God's grace and love for you. 

Keep your eyes peeled, hope to post something new very soon. 

Blessings,

rlk


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Today I Will Make a Difference


So often we can get our minds “stuck in a rut” by unhealthy thought patterns that lead us down “Self-Doubt BLVD. or Depression Lane”.  This in turn give the evil one opportunity to attack us right where we’re feeling the weakest. We need to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, put His armor on and set our minds on eternity.

Be encouraged knowing that you are making a difference for Him and that you are so important to your loved ones, friends, and Christian Family as well! We’re in this together! Let’s lift each other up!

I wanted to share a brief bit o’ inspiration from Max Lucado that I think really simply speaks about changing our perspective and purposing to make a difference each day!  
 
I hope you find some encouragement from this brief article. Check it out below!

Be encouraged in Him today!
In Him,

rlk


Today I Will Make a Difference
By Max Lucado

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. 

Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening.

Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking!

Here's a new creation I made to encourage you with this important scripture:

What are you doing daily to continue to seek Him? Are you continually knocking on His door through studying His Word and through prayer?

Leave a comment here to encourage others.

All the best,

rlk

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Choosing to Change

In a day where there are so many people with a lack of taking ownership for their own actions and a lot of "blame storming" going on - the Bible provides lasting solutions for standing on your own two feet, owning up to your actions, then avoiding the same mistakes and sins in the future. 

Sin no longer needs to rule your life!

Check out this entry from Pastor MacDonald.
 

In His Steps,

Randy

Choosing to Change
via Vertical Church by James MacDonald on 7/12/11

Look at Romans 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all. But the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Some Bible teachers argue that change is all about God and not about us at all. All we really need to do in order to experience the transforming power of the Gospel, they say, is lean back in our recliners, put our feet up, and let God do it all. Now hear this: That is not what the Bible teaches! Of course we need God’s help, but we cannot be changed without making the choice to change ourselves. Notice Paul’s command in Romans 6:12: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” What’s that if it’s not a choice?! Do not let sin reign in you! Make a choice.

“Well, sin has been ruling my life,” you say. Listen; it doesn’t have to. Don’t let it; make a choice. The power of sin is unplugged—don’t plug it in. Don’t let it rule you.

The next time temptation steps up to you and says, “Do it! Go ahead, do it! Go ahead,” just answer: “Get off me! You are not in charge! Shut up! Stop bossing me around. Don’t tell me what to do! I’m not that person anymore! I’m a new creation in Christ!” That’s what Paul meant when he said, “Don’t let sin reign.”

Get involved! Choose to change! With your commitment and God’s help, you can.

Maybe you’re saying “Well, how do I choose? Teach me how to choose. I want to choose.” Here’s a neat little story my mom gave to me, called “Choosing to Change in Five Days.” I don’t know the source, but it’s helped me out of a few “holes” in my life.

Day 1: I went for a walk down a street. I fell into a hole. I didn’t see it. It took me a long time to get out. It’s not my fault.
Day 2: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. It took me a long time to get out. Why did I do that?
Day 3: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. I got out quickly. It is my fault.
Day 4: I went for a walk down the same street. I saw the hole. I walked around it.
Day 5: I went for a walk down a different street. I can’t handle it when I go down that street. Every time I go down that street, I feel something sucking me down that hole! I’m not going down that street anymore! I don’t like what happens on that street. And when I get there, I can’t handle it. I don’t want sin to reign in my body so I’m not going down that street anymore.

Living for God is day by day. Choose it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!
















Happy Father's Day! 

To all Dads: We’re being watched. Whether we realize it or not! Make your example something worthy to emulate...something to live up to for your kids! Happy Father's Day!

Check out this short video. Good food for thought!



Happy Father's Day!

rlk

Monday, June 13, 2011

Encouragement for Today



Here's some encouragement for today that I saw recently via an e-Mail and wanted to share it with you.

Be encouraged today by these words from The Word:

I believe...
I believe today will be a good day because God made it.
{Psalm 118:24}
I believe I have all I need to accomplish His purpose in my life.
{2 Peter 1:3}
I believe nothing is too difficult for me because nothing is impossible for the God who lives in me.
{Philippians 4:13}
I believe even the biggest challenges in my life can be redeemed for my good and His glory.
{Romans 8:28}
I believe I am loved just as I am and called to become even more like Jesus every day.
{Hebrews 10:14}
I believe that He isn't finished with me yet and is able to complete the good work begun in me.
{Philippians 1:6}
I believe I am an overcomer, more than a conqueror, and nothing will keep God from carrying out His plans!
{Romans 8:32-39}

Congregational Government

Hello,

Here's a good post on church government: Elder-led Vs. Congregational-Led. 

One is a Biblical Model as it's outlined in the Word (Elder-led) and the other is not but many churches have adopted this form of Government (Congregational-led). I wonder what our churches would look like, would they be healthier specifically in the US if Christian churches chose the Biblical Model?

It's not that the congregational input isn't important but there's God's way of doing things and then there's man's way of doing things. Elder-led governments still hear what the congregation is saying but God appointed elders to lead the church and we should pray for and trust our elders to do what God has called them to do which is to lead the church.

Read this below linked article and then come back here and share your thoughts on the topic.


Link: Congregational Government

In Him,

rlk

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Simple Steps to Solid Scripture Study

It’s important to recognize that God gave us His Word and wants us to read it for ourselves. We don’t need to rely on others to read, study, or interpret it for us rather we need to dig in and learn it verse by verse and yes, we can also learn and should from others as well including our pastors.

When I write devotions or prepare a sermon I always start with prayer, then read and study The Word myself outlining the main structure, themes, background, etc. Then and only after doing so do I consult “outside helps” to drill into things like the meaning of key Hebrew and Greek words, or to simply get a another perspective on a section that I’m wrestling with. There are also times where I consult not just my resource library but other people or online sources to seek the answers or insight needed.

The goal of our study should be to show ourselves approved workmen for Him as we grow in the wisdom of knowledge of Him so it will enrich our own lives and the lives of others as we accurately divide or handle His Word. (see 2 Timothy 2:15)

As we continue with our focus on reading and studying the Word of God, I wanted to share another helpful article on simple steps that will help you grow in studying the scriptures. This article is from one of the currently best known expositors of The Word of God. This is one of the many methods that you may find useful as you seek to grow and mature in your relationship with Christ.

Have a wonderful day in Him! Please see the below.


Walk in His Steps,

rlk
________________________________________________
Simple Steps to Solid Scripture Study

John MacArthur, Grace to You 

From the moment I sensed the call of God into full-time ministry, the driving passion of my life has been simply to understand God's Word and then make it understandable to others. I have never aspired to be known as either an academic theologian or a distinguished clergyman. I simply want to know what the Word of God means and to make it known to others. All my pastoral energies-my preaching, shepherding, teaching, writing, and even visitation-are focused on that one goal.



It is my conviction that the Bible is not difficult for the believing heart to understand. And the more I understand, the more unshakable is my conviction that the Bible is the living, authoritative, inerrant Word of God. It has this remarkable effect on me: the more I study it, the more I hunger to know. So God's Word not only satisfies my appetite, but also arouses an even deeper hunger for more.


I want you to experience that hunger too. I want you to live in the joy of a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ that comes only through knowing the meaning of Scripture. Here's a simple process to get you started.


Step 1 - Reading
Begin by developing a plan on how you will approach reading through the Bible. Just by reading the Bible you become familiar with its themes, history, and contexts. There is simply no replacement for Bible reading.


Unlike most books, you will probably not read it straight through from cover to cover. There are many good Bible reading plans available (like The MacArthur Daily Bible). 

Here is what I recommend:

Read through the Old Testament at least once a year. As you read, note in the margins any truths you particularly want to remember, and write down separately anything you do not immediately understand. Often as you read you will find that many questions are answered by the text itself. The questions to which you cannot find answers become the starting points for more in-depth study using commentaries or other reference tools.

Follow a different plan for reading the New Testament. Read one book at a time repetitiously for a month or more. That will help you retain the New Testament so you will not always have to depend on a concordance to find things.


If you want to try that, begin with a short book, such as 1 John, and read it through in one sitting every day for thirty days. At the end of that time, you will know the book. Write on index cards the major theme of each chapter. By referring to the cards as you do your daily reading, you will begin to remember the content of each chapter. In fact, you will develop a perception of the book with your mind's eye.


When you come to longer books, divide them into short sections and read each section daily for thirty days. For example, the gospel of John contains twenty-one chapters. Divide it into three sections of seven chapters. At the end of ninety days, you will finish John. For variety, alternate short and long books, and in less than three years you will have finished the entire New Testament-and you will really know it!


Step 2 - Interpreting
In Acts 8:30, Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch, “Do you understand what you are reading?” Or put another way, “What does the Bible mean by what it says?” It is not enough to read the text and jump directly to the application-you must first determine what it means, otherwise the application may be incorrect.


As you read Scripture, always keep one simple question in mind: “What does this mean?” To answer that question requires the use of the most basic principle of interpretation called the analogy of faith-interpret the Bible with the Bible.


Letting the Holy Spirit be your teacher (1 John 2:27), search the Scripture He has authored, using cross references, comparative passages, concordances, indexes, and other helps. For passages that remain unclear, consult your pastor or godly men who have written on the issues involved.


Step 3 - Evaluating
You have been reading and asking the question, “What does the Bible say?” Then you have been interpreting, asking the question, “What does the Bible mean?” Now it's time to consult others to ensure that you have the proper interpretation. Remember, the Bible will never contradict itself.


Read Bible introductions, commentaries, and background books that will enrich your thinking. As you evaluate, be a true seeker. Be one who accepts the truth of God's Word even though it may cause you to change what you have always believed, or alter your life pattern.


Step 4 - Applying
Jesus made this promise to those who carry their personal Bible study through to this point: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17).


Having read and interpreted the Bible, you should have a basic understanding of what the Bible says, and what it means by what it says. But studying the Bible does not stop there. The ultimate goal should be to let it speak to you and enable you to grow spiritually. That requires personal application.


You must let God's truth penetrate and change your life. Studying Scripture without allowing it to penetrate to the depths of your soul would be like preparing a banquet without eating it. The bottom-line question to ask is, “How do the divine truths and principles contained in any passage apply to me in terms of my attitude and actions?”


If there is a command to be obeyed, obey it. If there is a promise to be embraced, claim it. If there is a warning to be followed, heed it. This is the ultimate step: submit to Scripture and let it transform your life.


Step 5 - Correlating
This last stage connects the doctrine you have learned in a particular passage or book with divine truths and principles taught elsewhere in the Bible to form the big picture. Always keep in mind that the Bible is one book in sixty-six parts, so its truths and principles are taught over and over again in a variety of ways and circumstances. By correlating and cross-referencing, you will begin to build a sound doctrinal foundation on which to live.


Now, get to work! As you dig in to God's Word using those five simple steps, you'll be amazed at the rich treasure your study yields. My prayer is that the Lord will use this plan to revitalize your Bible study, increase your appetite for knowing and understanding His Word, and further conform you to the image of His beloved Son.

Adapted from “How to Study the Bible” in The MacArthur Study Bible. Copyright 1997, Grace to You. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time













Do you ever stop to consider the importance of reading and studying the Word of God?

I wanted to share another great article about How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time.



This article provides some great pointers on how to do so.

Please read this article and consider implementing some of the pointers that are provided so you can grow deeper in the knowledge and wisdom of Him and grow to enjoy your quiet times all the more!

Blessings,

rlk

______________________________________

How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time
By Adrian Rogers



“Oh how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97


Christianity is not a legal relationship, it is a love relationship. Ten thousand “don'ts” will never make you one iota more like the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Himself Who makes you like Him. But you need to spend time with Him. I want to give you five factors for spending some quiet time with Him each day.


The Proper Period
You must find the right time. Your quiet time should last at least half an hour. But some time is better than no time, so if you can't start at thirty minutes, begin with ten. It should be your very best time. Don't give the Lord your leftovers. And don't try to find time - make time, and make it a priority. Also find time early in the day. Psalm 5:3 says, “… in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.” You don't take the trip and then read the map, do you? Spend time alone with God to begin your day.


The Proper Preparation
A quiet time is fellowship with a holy God. There are a few things you can do to be prepared for this time. First, be physically alert. Find a time when the cobwebs are out of your mind and you can think clearly. Second, be mentally aware. Be focused, and know He's there. Emotion doesn't really have all that much to do with it. And third, be morally pure and clean. Some people don't have a quiet time because they feel uncomfortable looking God in the face with sin in their lives. 


The Proper Place
Find a place where you can focus. Jesus said enter into your closet and pray (see Matthew 6:6). That simply means find a place of isolation where you can shut the door on the world and open the windows to heaven. Jesus sought out places where He could be alone, and so should you. 


The Proper Provisions
In order to have an effective quiet time, you need the right tools. Here are some tools I use:
  • a readable Bible - Invest in one with plenty of room to jot notes in the margins.
  • a prayer journal - Expect God to give you something and write it down. Also use it to record things you're praying about.
  • a notepad - Write down your daily assignments.
The Proper Procedure
Finally, may I recommend some procedures to follow in your quiet time?


Get still and quiet. The Bible says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Focus your mind on Him. Calm down, relax, and recognize His presence. Take a deep breath and focus your thoughts on the Lord. 


Get into the Word of God. It's better to start by reading the Bible than it is to start in prayer. It is more important for you to hear from God, even than for God to hear from you. God already knows all about you, but you need to know a lot more about Him. 


Read the Bible for quality and not quantity. It's good to have a goal to read the Bible through in a year, or a similar goal; but that's not the purpose of your quiet time. Also, devotional books are wonderful. But again, this is not the place for them. This is the time when you simply read the Bible with an open mind.
Meditate. As you focus on the Word of God and meditate, let it permeate you. Ask:
  • Is there a command to obey?
  • Is there a promise to claim?
  • Is there a sin to avoid?
  • Is there a lesson to learn?
  • Is there a new truth to carry with me?
Record what God has given you. Write down what God says to you and what He tells you to do. It doesn't have to be flowery. You're not writing it for publication or to impress other people. 


Now you're ready to pray. When you pray, pour out your soul. Be natural and honest with God. Tell Him how you feel. Pray out loud. It keeps your mind on track and enables you to stay focused.


Begin to share out of your quiet time. God did not make us to be reservoirs; He made us to be conduits. Tell others what is God is showing you.


Finally, obey what God tells you. Your spiritual train is running on two rails. One is revelation and the other is obedience. And if either rail stops, your train stops. Learn to obey the Word of God.


I pray these simple suggestions will help you have a daily quiet time in the presence of our loving, almighty, powerful God.