Oh Lord, You are my God.
Earnestly I seek You.
Just stop there. Take a moment to drink up those words.
Oh Lord, You are my God.
Earnestly I seek You.
My soul thirsts for you.
My body longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
Lord, I want to be like that. I want to be a person who is consumed with a passionate longing for You. To crave Your presence every morning. To shut off everything else and just drink in the sweet love of Your company.
And Lord, I want to have a vision of You. To see You in the sanctuary to behold Your power and Your glory.
Lord that You may be more than a doctrine. More than words on a page, but give a me sweet fellowship with You. Lord I want to bask in Your love because it’s better than life. To have your praise naturally and spontaneously on my tongue. To lie awake at night recalling how good You are and how blessed I am to be in Your love.
Is that the sort of person You want to be? Do you long for an intimate day by day walk in rich fellowship with Jesus.
The good news is you can. And I’m going to show you how. There are some here today for whom this will be just what they’ve been longing for and it will mark the beginning of a whole new season in your Christian life.
I’m going to ask you for the next 7 days to pledge to spend time each day, on your own with God
The first thing is to pick a time. Pick your best time. Preferably in the morning. This is for God. Have a look at your daily schedule and pick a time and quarantine a time, just for You and God.
How long? It depends on you. You can actually do a lot in 10 minutes if you’re disciplined, but I think half an hour is good. Long ago when I was a student I realized that my time with God was all haphazard and usually got pushed into a corner. So I got brutal with myself. I said, Lord, this is the most important thing I do. If I can’t find a time in my routine, I’ll get up an hour earlier.
Do you know what the world looks like at 6 o’clock?! I am not a morning person I loved my sleep. But I loved my Lord far more. So for something like the next 40 years, my alarm went off and I’d get up and have my time with God. It was a bit like a fast. It was hard work, but it was good. I can’t say I was serenaded by angel choirs or I got amazing visions & revelations. It was just an ordinary time with my Jesus. But over the months, I knew I was growing.
It’s good to have a particular place that you go to each day. Somewhere you won’t be disturbed. I have a favourite arm chair. I find that when I sit in that chair, my brain seems to say “OK. This is God time”
So you’ve got a time & you’ve got a place. Now what are you going to do? In your bulletin, you have a tremendously valuable bookmark that gives you a suggested 4 step program for your daily time with God.
STEP 1 is Worship. Stop right there and take time to contemplate the beauty of God. The splendor of our King. Tell Him how much you love Him. the sort of things we said in Psalm 63. Don’t skip this bit. It could be the most significant part. You need to slow down and retune your heart. to get the world out of your system and connect with God.
STEP 2: Read some Bible. I haven’t suggested anything, though I could. You may have a part you want to go through. There are many study guides available. One I have used most of my life is Daily Bread. It gives you a passage to read each day and some question to ask yourself. In choosing what you will read, I suggest:
a)you read a decent chunk, about 10 verses, not a deep meditation on half a verse.
b)make it sequential. Rather than Proverbs one day and Colossians the next,
Spend a week working your way through all of Colossians.
STEP 3: Analyse. Keep your Bible open and start digging into what God might be saying to you through what you’ve just read. There are question you can ask like: What does this tell me about God? What does it tell me about how I am to live.
Early in my student days, I started to write my own commentary on the Bible. That was 50 year ago. I’ve almost finished the whole Bible. These days I keep a journal and write down what I think God is telling me.
Some study guides have a little comment on what you’ve just read. This can give you some good ideas that you hadn’t thought of. But beware. Don’t let it do your thinking for you. You want to be thinking, “Lord, what is your message for me today.” If you can’t think of anything, pick up a pen and start writing the little bit that you have. You’ll probably find other ideas start coming and you’ll be on a roll.
STEP 4: No time with God is complete with out talking to Him, Turn your Bible passage into a prayer. Pray for your day, your family, for TCPC, Scott Morrison.
So I’m setting you some homework to do the 7 day WRAP.
Maybe start the first one this afternoon. Then each day set aside some special time to be with Jesus, and see if you start to change. Take notes of what God does in you life. Come and share it next week.
A group of American researchers did a study on people’s Bible reading habits. They found that Christians who read the Bible less than 4 tines a week were really no different from non-Christians in their values and their morality. But they found that people who read the Bible more than 4 times a week were radically different to the world.
Dear people of TCPC, over the next 4 weeks we will be looking at 4 marks of an alive church. This is the first one.
“An alive church is people who hunger after God.”
Well, we’ve worshipped. We’ve read the Bible. We’ve thought about it. So now it’s time to pray.