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Basic Guidelines for Christian Quiet Times
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Basic Guidelines for Christian Quiet Times

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    • 1. A new Christian asks you,
    • 2. A new Christian asks you, “Why should I have a quiet time each day, and if I have one, what should I do in it?”
    • 3. A new Christian asks you, “Why should I have a quiet time each day, and if I have one, what should I do in it?” How would you answer?
    • 4. Having a Quiet Time
    • 5. In The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges first describes a good day. “You get up promptly when your alarm goes off and have a refreshing and profitable quiet time as you read your Bible and pray. Your plans for the day generally fall into place, and you somehow sense that presence of God with you. To top it off, you unexpectedly have an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who is truly searching. As you talk with the person, you silently pray for the Holy Spirit to help you and to also work in your friend’s heart.”
    • 6. The second goes like this: “You don’t arise at the first ring of your alarm. Instead, you shut it off and go back to sleep. When you awaken, it’s too late to have a quiet time. You hurriedly gulp down some breakfast and rush off to the day’s activities. You feel guilty about oversleeping and missing your quiet time, and things just generally go wrong all day. You become more and more irritable as the day wears on, and you certainly don’t sense God’s presence in your life. That evening, however, you unexpectedly have an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who is really interested in receiving Christ as Savior.”
    • 7. Would you enter into those two witnessing opportunities with a different degree of confidence?
    • 8. Would you enter into those two witnessing opportunities with a different degree of confidence? If you’re like most Christians, I suspect you would feel less confident about witnessing on a bad day then on a good day. You would feel less confidence that God would speak in and through you and that you would be able to share your faith forcefully and with conviction.
    • 9. According to Bridges, we’ve come to believe that God’s blessing on our lives is somehow conditional upon our spiritual performance. ..We may not consciously articulate this, but we prove that we believe it when we have a bad day and are certain that on this day we are absolutely unworthy of God’s blessings. This attitude “reveals an all-too-common misconception of the Christian life: the thinking that, although we are saved by grace, we earn or forfeit God’s blessings in our daily lives by our performance.”
    • 10. Too often we think that is we perform well for God, we enter our day filled with confidence that God will bless us, and that He will have to bless us. We feel that our performance has earned us the right to have a day filled with His presence, filled with blessings, and filled with confidence. And, of course, when we turn in a poor performance, we feel that God is in heaven booing us.
    • 11. Bridges provides a pearl of wisdom. “Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” Whether we are having a good day or a bad day, the basis of our relationship with God is not our performance, we are saved by grace and live by grace.
    • 12. Kevin DeYoung Usually I wake up between 6:30-6:45, a little later if it is my day off (Monday), or if I had a late meeting the night before. On average I spend about an hour in morning devotions. I start by reading 5-10 pages of some classic Christian book (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment at present).
    • 13. Then I sing a Psalm. Then I read 3-4 chapters from the Bible. I’ve used lots of different reading plans. Right now I’m using a plan that gets me through the whole Bible once a year and Psalms/Proverbs twice. After reading, I work on some Scripture memory, the second half of Romans 12 at the moment. Finally I spend about 25 minutes in prayer, often on a walk if it is not too cold outside.
    • 14. Why a Quiet Time? Regular fellowship or communion with God is necessary if we really want to get to know God and have a living relationship with Him. A regular quiet time is an expression of our love for and our commitment to God and His ways.
    • 15. During a quiet time we can receive direction and guidance from God especially for that day. We can be equipped for the day during our quiet times as we receive from God that which we need in order to do His will.
    • 16. Our spirits will be encouraged, renewed and strengthened by a regular quiet time and this will enable us to live as God wants, especially in the face of trials and temptations. An effective, fruitful quiet time will help us to grow in spiritual maturity because we will be receiving spiritual food or nourishment from God.
    • 17. Quiet times need two major elements: Prayer - We speak to Him and we must allow time for Him to speak to us. God speaks to us through our Bible reading (Psalm 119:105).
    • 18. Making a Quiet Time work Choose a place that is quiet Choose a definite time Find the time of day best suited to you God deserves our best time Remember that the quality of our time with God is more important than the quantity.
    • 19. Bible Reading Research in the USA, by Barna: 18% of born again people read the Bible every day 23% of “Christians” never read the Bible. A survey for Christianity Today magazine concluded that the most important influence in shaping a persons moral and social behaviour was regular Bible reading
    • 20. 1 Tim. 4:7, Matt. 4:4, 2 Tim. 3:16, Heb. 4:12 15 minutes per day = reading the Bible in 1 year Examples of Bible study: Ezra (7:10), Bereans (Acts 17:11, Paul (2 Tim 4:13)
    • 21. “We fail to study God’s word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.” RC Sproul
    • 22. Bible Reading Hints Ask the Holy Spirit to be your teacher Accept what God is saying to you Speak Scriptures out loud to God, self and Satan
    • 23. Meditate Respond in prayer and put it into practice Write down what God has impressed on you Memorise scripture Get a good Bible reading plan
    • 24. Memorisation Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life suggests a number of reasons for memorising Scripture. 1. It provides spiritual power Ps 119:11, Col 3:2 - the Holy Spirit uses these verses Eph 6:17
    • 25. 2. Strengthens your Faith Proverbs 22:17-19 3. For use in Witnessing and Counselling Peter used the OT extensively in his preaching on the day of Pentecost 4. As a Means of God’s Guidance Ps 119:24, Eph 4:29
    • 26. 5. As a Stimulus to Meditation Scripture is the fuel for meditation Ps 119:97
    • 27. Prayer Jesus expects us to pray: Matt 6:5, 6, 7, 9; Luke 11:9, 18:1 The Bible teaches us to pray: Col. 4:2, 1 Thess 5:17
    • 28. Prayer Hints Start with thanksgiving and praise. Confess any sin. Ask for the things you need personally Pray and intercede (stand in the gap) for others Remember to thank God for answered prayer. Leave time for God to speak to you personally.
    • 29. Remember Have a balanced quiet time Be alert for opportunities during the day to apply and share what you have learned from God Stay in prayerful contact with God during the whole day (Luke 18:1). Make time during the week to allow deeper study of the Word and more intensive prayer.

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