Monday, October 24, 2011

Spending {quality} Time with Jesus | Part Two

{written by Johanna Rose}
{perhaps you would enjoy reading part one first?}

While spending time with Jesus can often times come easy to us by way making it a routine, making each and every morning a time of quality learning and growth can be, at times, an extreme challenge. Why? As I discussed in part one, our world is full of distractions. In part one I talked of the importance of not foregoing our devotions and time with Jesus on the alter of worldly tasks. But today I am here to stress the importance of this in a different aspect. 

Have you ever risen, and dutifully performed your devotions, yet you feel as if the time you spent wasn't quality? It didn't fill you with the peace and joy that you were seeking after? The words seemed as bare and dry as a desert? I have. So many times I was there in the body, yet my spirit was elsewhere. My purpose in doing them was to merely say I had done my devotions that day, yet ... had I truly done them? Had I truly focused on them, and gleaned wisdom from the precious words? I am afraid that often times the answers is no. Not because I was foregoing my devotions in order to accomplish more in a day, but rather because my mind wandered aimlessly and was more focused on what I had to do that upcoming day, rather then focusing on the holy word. 

How can we, as daughter of Christ, set aside worldly distractions, in order to attain a sufficiency of joy and peace to bring us through the upcoming day? While it seems so hard for me to keep focused on the word at certain points of business in my life, I find that the days in which I failed to do so were some of the hardest and most joyless of my life. I have realized the truth in that; if I draw close to the Lord, he will not fail to draw close to me. | James 4:8 |

Over the past few months I have found it to be especially hard to take time out of my day, and rest it at the foot of the cross. So many worldly distractions come between my focusing on Jesus. There is always an abundance of tasks to be done. Yet, over the past few months I have realized that without the joy of Christ in my heart, each day is pointless monotony. 

So what makes morning devotions a time in which we can truly glean blessings from above? How can we attain setting all other thoughts aside, and completely focusing on The Love of our life? While my dearest friend Bethany, who is also my accountability partner in scripture reading, would tell you, I am certainly no expert; recently the Lord has tremendously blessed me with the key to amazingly blessed devotions. Today, I feel so unworthy, yet led to share with you a few ways to make your devotions full of His presence ::

Prayer | One of most amazing tools that a Christian will ever have, yet sadly is so loath to use. When I first embarked upon doing devotions daily, I found that prayers were a thing which I just rushed through, trying to move on to the seemingly more important occupations. However, I began to see how fruitless my devotions were becoming without it. Think of it this way girls: if we were going out on a one-on-one date with the Love of our lives, wouldn't we want to spend time talking with him? I certainly would! It is just so in that, if we truly want to know the heart of our Savior, we need to talk to Him ... and give Him time to talk to us. I have to say that prayer is the most important time during your devotions, certainly not the time we should cut! I exhort you ladies begin each of your devotions with at least 15 minutes of time spent talking with Jesus. It will truly have a huge impact on your devotions, and will give you a tremendous opportunity to share your heart with him, ask forgiveness, ask for guidance throughout the upcoming day, and to pray blessings upon your family and friends, as well as ask the Lord to share with you wisdom as you read through His holy word.  

Reading | Next to prayer, spending an extensive amount of time delving into the word of God is extremely important for growing in your relationship with your Savior. Each and ever word within the pages of the holy scriptures was inspired by God. Often times I have found myself rushing through it however, in order to either 'get more accomplished' or in order to catch up on my read-your-bible-in-a-year plan. However, once again, when we do this we will completely miss the point of why we are doing devotions. When you find yourself rushing through, ask your self why you are there. Pray for the Lord to give you a refreshed spirit of focus, and look for verses that you can apply to your own life at the time. I encourage you to spend nearly 30-45 minutes withing the precious word of God. During this time, always have a pen on hand so you may underline, or mark the verses which truly spoke to your heart that morning. Not only will this make you more alert and attentive to catch verses, but it will also provide strength and refreshment on those days in which you can review these specific verses. 

Memorizing | Girls, while it may not seem as an important use of our time now, know that it will be some of the most wisely spent moments, when looking back from future years. In the book of 1 Corinthians, in chapter one verse thirty-four, it talks of how an unmarried woman cares for things of the Lord; yet a married woman cares about pleasing her husband. At first, this verse made no sense to me, as it seemingly referred to how, if I was married, I wouldn't care about the things of the Lord any more. Yet, after studying it more, I began to realize the more in depth meaning. You see, when we are married, we will not have much time to spend on studying the word of God -- not nearly as much time as we do now, when we are young. This is why it is so very important to memorize these precious words now. For, when we are in the midst of trials in the years to come, we will have the comfort of Gods words hidden within our hearts to strengthen us, and give us joy. I try to spend 15 minutes nearing the end of my devotions to memorize scripture which spoke to me that morning. Currently, I have a little journal-type book in which I write all of the verses I have memorized. Won't it be wonderful to have an entire book of memorized verses to look back upon one day? I will be sharing more tips on how to memorize in an upcoming post. But today, I want to encourage you to not give up on doing it. It is very important.

More Prayer | Again, prayer is one of the best uses of our time. When closing out devotions, always remember to ask the Lord's blessing and guidance upon your day! It will truly make a difference.

May the Lord bless you, as we strive together to spend quality time with Him
each and every day of our lives!

| Johanna Rose |

1 Words of Grace:

Annie Joy said...

This article is such a blessing and encouragement! I love memorising God's Word and I can't wait for the next article. :)