Saturday, August 22, 2009

Start a Daily Habit--7 Minutes with God

For many years now, I have used The One Year Bible (Tyndale) as a helpful Bible reading guide because it assigns passages of Scripture by calendar date. It is a "no-brainer" for regular Bible readers. Just ask yourself “what is today's date?” then find those pages in the One Year Bible and there’s your reading for today (365 daily readings).

Once you get started, this is a great way to read the whole Bible through in a year, then repeat year after year after year--the Word of God never grows stale!
For those who have not yet established a daily personal quiet time, the One Year Bible is an excellent resource. If you already practice this spiritual discipline, you may want to share the following tips on getting started with a friend who wants to start spending personal time getting to know God better.

Robert D. Foster
, in his classic booklet: Seven Minutes With God (NavPress), provides very practical guidance for anyone who wants to begin a daily “morning watch” or “quiet time” alone with God. Bob writes that it was "in 1882 at Cambridge University” in England that “the world was first given the slogan: 'Remember the morning watch.'" He adds: "One of the missing links has been a workable plan on how to begin and maintain a morning watch." Foster's simple prescription for getting started spending daily time alone with God follows:

"I want to suggest that in order to get under way, you start with seven minutes . . . 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. 'Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures. Open my heart. Fill my heart. Make my mind alert, my soul active, and my heart responsive. Lord, surround me with Your presence during this time. Amen.’

Now take four minutes to read the Bible. Your greatest need is to hear some word from God. Allow the Word to strike fire in your heart. Meet the Author!

"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. Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication."

Foster sums up the seven minutes as follows:

• 0.5 minutes Prayer for guidance (Psalm 143:8);
• 4 minutes Reading the Bible (Psalm 119:18);
• 2.5 minutes Prayer—Adoration (1 Chronicles 29:11); Confession(1 John 1:9); Thanksgiving(Ephesians 5:20); Supplication (Matthew 7:7).

He then concludes: "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 Savior.

"Do not do it 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."

1 comment:

melody said...

Great info. dad. I think your blog, and mom's recent blog compliment each other nicely!