February 10, 2012

How Do I Spend My Quiet Time With the Lord?

I have a friend who constantly encourages me by her desire to grow in her walk with the Lord.  I get so frustrated by people who have become apathetic in their relationship with the Savior and their responsibilities as a Christian.  The fact is, we are to strive to be like Christ.  Another fact is He is perfect.  Here's another one that might be a shocker, we are not.  Not one of us.  And so we will never be like Him while we are on this earth.  And so we must always be striving to be better and we must always strive to be closer to Him.  And if we think we have arrived then we are growing farther from Him, not closer.  So to have someone who makes such a constant effort is a breath of fresh air.  And in doing so she encourages me to strive for a closer walk.

This morning she sent a text and asked how I spend my quiet time with the Lord each morning.  Just what is it that I write in that journal I keep?

Such deep thoughts before I'd had my first latte.  I tried to give a short answer via text... It read like this.

"Well... it depends on the day.  Some days when I study I just feel like chatting with the Lord and I write him a note.  And some days a word might pop out at me and I study the word and write down the definition and other occurrences of the word... sometimes I might write what that particular passage says to me... sometimes I end up with a bunch of questions so I write them all down.. sometimes I get a list of action items and I write those down and how I can accomplish them.  " 

After all that vague answering I realized it wasn't very helpful.  So I promised to write a post or email with a more specific answer.  

There are many ways I like to study the Bible.  Sometimes it may stem from a book of devotions.  And then there is always my FBI homework.  Sometimes I read something that strikes my interest and I dig into it. Sometimes it might be digging further into a sermon topic.

Looking at a few of the methods I have used recently, here are a few recent examples from my journal.

Just chatting with the Lord one day I wrote:

( And just try to tell me the Lord has not got a sense of humor.  On my 40th birthday this was the verse I was studying)  "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."  2 Peter 3:8

And this is what I wrote in my journal

Lord, as I reflect on forty years, I can't help but think how fast it has gone and yet it seems like forever.  In my limited time forty years is all my limited brain can comprehend.  But you, Lord, you know no such constraints as petty as time.  How have I used these years?  Lord, have I honoured you?  Have I done your work?  Show me, Lord, in what ways I have squandered your time and shamed your name.  I beg your forgiveness for those occasions.  Thank you for these 40 years.  Let me use the next 40 in bigger and better ways for your kingdom.  Show me how to best use every minute you have laid before me.  Thank you for entrusting me with the gift of days on this earth.  

And a word study...

1 Corinthians 16:13-14  "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  Let all your things be done with charity."

watch:  to keep guard; to act as sentinel;  to look for danger. 
Paul exhorts the Corinthians to be alert for danger (and perhaps also to watch for the rapture?) while remaining firm and unmovable in their faith in the Lord and the truths they know.  He tells them not to wimp out but to finish strong.  I think the contrast in the language of these two verses is neat.  After this bold and firm, almost forceful like a drill Sargent, exhortation... watch ye!  Stand fast!  Quit ye like Men!  Be strong!  He shifts to a gentle, mother-like tone, and exhorts them to charity... for men... for our savior... so that they may recall we must be bold as a demonstration of our love for both and also that a well-rounded Christian must show both in his life.   
Lord Jesus, there are so many times I let my guard down and forget to watch for attacks that will make me weak.  Then I quickly become weary.  I think it is interesting that our names means "Watchman"  Help me be a good watchman, looking to my savior and looking for the blessed hope of the rapture.  Watching and remaining steady in the faith you give let me be strong to finish this race like a true contender.  Keep me from waning for even a moment.  Let my love grow for you and my fellow man, the saints and the lost, each day.  May I never forget it was your love which made it feasible for me to finish at all.

And focusing on my interpretation of a verse...

Psalm 84:4  "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:  they will be still praising thee, Selah."

Those that live in the presence of the Lord are blessed.  Those who are in the Lord's house are blessed.  Those in the Lord's house will praise Him continually because they are blessed and will also be blessed as they praise Him continually.  They will also be still (have peace) as they dwell in His presence and worship in his house. 
Lord, thank you for the honor of dwelling in your presence and in your house. Lord, indeed, I am blessed as I walk with you daily in praise and worship and each time I come to your house for worship.  Jesus, thank you for the peace and stillness that only comes from knowing you, walking with you and making it a point to dwell in your house.  Please keep me ever mindful of this, that I may never miss or waste a single blessing.  
 
And an entry full of questions...

Proverbs 14:31  "He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his maker:  but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor."

Jesus, when I was the poor you met my need by dying on the cross.  When I was the poor you provided for my needs... a home, clothing, food, transportation.  When I was the poor, you gave me a friend and you were my friend.  When I was the poor lacking knowledge and wisdom you sent both to me by way of angels.   
Lord, now it is my turn.  How have I oppressed the poor?  How can I honour you through their needs?  Who is the soul that needs the Gospel?  Who is the Mama who needs a dress or food for her children?  Who is the friendless who needs encouragement?  Who is one I can share the knowledge and wisdom of God with?  Who are the sisters who have needs to be met?  Lord Jesus, help me to meet those needs with your power and Grace...  Because of Jesus, Amen!

And a study that ended with some action items...

1 Peter 4:11 "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth;  that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen."

Lord, I wish to know your heart so well that when I speak the world will hear your voice and desire to grow closer to you.  Thank you for the gifts you have given each of us to enable us to do your work here on earth... to give the message to the world and show your love to all people.  Above all, may my every word, step and deed bring glory and praise to Jesus Christ.   Amen! 
Ways I can focus using my gifts to bring glory to the Lord
~Writing-ministering through letter writing and blogging
~Speaking-counseling, discipleship, witnessing
~hospitality-outreach, ministering to the lost and to the brethren
~singing-worship and praise
Well, my friend.  I hope this is helpful to you.  Thank you for the ways you constantly encourage me.

Love,
Kat

4 comments :

  1. This is lovely, Mrs. Wachter! It was so encouraging to read your journal entries. :)

    hugs,
    ~bree

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  2. Very encouraging, just what I needed this fine morning. Once again your blog speaks to me and provides the exact message I needed to hear.

    Your friend from Ohio,
    Jenny

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    Replies
    1. My dear friend, Jenny.

      I can not tell you how excited I was to see you here commenting at my blog! Thank you for your lovely thoughts.

      Hugs,

      Kat

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  3. Great post.
    I love my morning time with the Lord. Right now I'm working on a weekly Bible study that I hold here at my house. I'm loving it.. working on the Psalms of Assent.
    Blessings my friend.

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