An Exhaustively Cross Referenced Bible, Book 27 Psalms 1 to Psalms 30
Through the Scriptures we can get to know God better, understand His desires for our lives and discover new truths about living for Him. God desires us to let His Word dwell richly in us. True Bible study is not just a matter of acquiring information and knowledge; it should affect not only the mind, but also the heart and will, and should lead to obedience and worship of God.
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Besides learning about the Bible, we should also expect to see our day to day living changed by the Bible. A good definition of a quiet time might be: the prayerful study and application of the Word of God enabling me to develop a greater understanding of what the Bible teaches, in order to obey it, and be transformed more into the image of Christ. So a quiet time is an unhurried time of Bible reading and prayer. It helps us in that it helps our Spiritual growth and nourishment, and it will also help us in developing our personal relationship with God.
Students like Hooper and Thornton found their days packed with studies, lectures, games and discussions. Enthusiasm and activity were the order of the day. These dedicated men soon discovered a flaw in their spiritual armour — a small crack which if not soon closed would bring disaster. The morning watch sealed the crack. It enriched a truth so often obscured by the pressure of ceaseless activity that it needs daily rediscovery.
To know God is necessary to spend consistent time with Him. The idea caught fire. They gave up everything to go out to China for Christ. But these men found out that getting out of bed in time for the morning watch was as difficult as it was vital. Thornton was determined to turn indolence into discipline. He invented an automatic foolproof cure for laziness. The intimacy of communion with Christ must be recaptured in the morning quiet time.
Call it what you want- the quiet time, personal devotions, the morning watch or individual worship — these holy minutes at the start of each day explain the inner secret of Christianity. Every man who ever became somebody for God has this at the core of his priorities; time alone with God! A fixed and established heart produces stability in life.
Few men in the Christian community have this heart and life. One of the missing links has been a workable plan on how to begin and maintain a morning watch. Are you willing to take seven minutes every morning? Not five morning out of seven, not six days out of seven- but seven days out of seven!.
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Tomorrow when the alarm clock goes off at 6. How do you spend these seven minutes? After getting out of bed and taking care of your personal needs, you will want to find a quiet place and there with your Bible enjoy the solitude of seven minutes with God. Invest the first 30 seconds preparing your heart.
Thank Him for the good night of sleep and the opportunities of this new day. Open my heart. Fill my heart.
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Make my mind alert, my soul active and my heart responsive, Lord. Surround me with Your presence during this time. Now take four minutes to read the Bible. Your greatest need is to hear some word from God. Allow the Word to strike fire into your heart. Meet the author! One of the gospels is a good place to begin reading. Start with the book of Mark. Read consecutively — verse after verse, chapter after chapter. Read for the pure joy of reading and allowing God to speak — perhaps just 20 verse or maybe a complete chapter.
When you have finished Mark, start the Gospel of John.
After God has spoken through His book, then speak to Him — in prayer. You now have two and a half minutes left for fellowship with Him in four areas of prayer that you can remember by the word ACTS. You begin with the proper salutation. So worship Him. Tell the Lord that you love Him. Reflect on His greatness, His power, His majesty and sovereignty. Having seen Him you now want to be sure every sin is cleansed and forsaken.
Apply this to prayer. It means to agree with God. Something happened yesterday that you called a slight exaggeration — God calls it a lie! You call it strong language — God calls it swearing. You call it telling the truth about somebody in the church — God calls it gossip. Express your gratitude to God. Think of several specific things to thank Him for: your family, your business, your church and ministry responsibilities — even thank Him for hardships. This is the part of your prayer life where you make your petitions known to Him. Ask for others and then for yourself. Why not include other people around the world, such as missionaries, student studying abroad, friends in distant places, above all the people of many lands who have yet to hear about Jesus Christ?
This is simply a guide. Very soon you will discover that it is impossible to spend only seven minutes with the Lord. Do not become devoted to the habit, but to the Saviour.
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Do it not because other men are doing it — not as a spiritless duty every morning, nor merely as an end in itself, but because God has granted the priceless privilege of fellowship with Himself. Covenant with Him now to guard, nourish and maintain your morning watch of seven minutes. Spending time with God is our privilege as Christians. We have just looked at how to spend a few minutes with God. You will probably want to do more than that. But what we have just looked at will help us get started.
So let us start by spending quality time with Him because we will gain tremendous benefits from keeping close to Him. So, select a specific time and a place where you can be undisturbed if possible. Follow a simple plan, possibly like the one just looked at. Or, you can follow one of the Bible study methods we have been looking at.
Remember the main purpose is to get to know the Lord better. Let us remember we are here to get to know Jesus Christ better. It is not an intellectual exercise, but a living relationship. Be disciplined. Remember to get enough sleep as tiredness, TV etc are time robbers and prevent us from spending time with the Lord.
We always spend time on that which is important to us.