Basic Training for the New Year - Part 2

Spiritual Basic Training for the New Year – Part 2
Many thoughts expressed here are from Elizabeth George’s book,
A Woman After God’s Own Heart
 
  1. PRAYER
Ps. 55:17    Morning, noon, and night you hear my concerns and my complaints (cev)   
 
1 The. 5:17   Pray constantly (cev)
 
    • CONFESSION should be a part of prayer
Ps. 139:23 – 24     Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way (hcsb)
 
    • RESULT - Deut. 4:29    …you will search for the Lord your God, and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul (hcsb)
 
  1. BIBLE STUDY
Ps. 1:1-3   Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the LORD and reflects on his teachings day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams-- a tree that produces fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. He succeeds in everything he does.

The time we spend in quiet with God - out of public view will:
    • Help us draw all we need to live the abundant life
    • Show in public, strength that can only be explained by what goes on in private
 
We often get it backwards: we spend so much time with people that we leave out God.
 
The truth is: the greater portion of your day spent in quiet reflection, prayer & Bible study, the more impact your life will have on others.
 
Prov. 15:14   The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
 
We must purposefully seek knowledge.
    • That’s what we do when we spend time with God
    • We are nutured and fed
    • We gain strength
    • We exchange our weakness for His strength
      • Our problems for His solutions
      • Our burdens for His freedom
      • Our frustrations for His calm
      • Our hopes for His promises
 
What are you purposefully seeking? What are we feeding our mind?
 
HOW can we be grounded in God’s Word?
  1. Choose to spend time with God daily – AND IT IS A CHOICE
    1. Don’t use the excuse “If I wait until tomorrow, I’ll have more time to do more.
    2. Don’t say: I’ll have my quiet time with God after I…shower, go to class, have supper, work, watch the news, etc.
The next thing you know the day is over and you still haven’t talked with God or read His Word. Good intentions don’t go very far.
 
If spending time with God is important to us, we will do it.
 
  1. Design a personal time for drawing near to God
    1. Don’t wait until you have a better time, MAKE TIME
    2. Remember “Something is better than nothing”
    3. If you have to have it at a different time each day due to schedules, fine!
                                                              i.      Just be sure to schedule it daily or you know it probably won’t happen and a few minutes with God is better than nothing.
 
Hudson Taylor – missionary to China said, “the sun has never risen upon China without finding me at prayer”
 
  1. Think about the person you want to be in a year from now!
    1. What kind of Christian do you want to be?
    2. What kind of goals or victories do you want to have accomplished in a year?
                                                              i.      Read the Bible through
                                                            ii.      Memorize ???? number of Scriptures
                                                          iii.      Become stronger in a certain area of weakness
 
  1. What about 10 years from now?
    1. Think about the events that could take place during this time
                                                              i.      Graduate college?
                                                            ii.      Get a full-time job?
                                                          iii.      Get married?
                                                          iv.      Start a family?
                                                            v.      May have lost a parent
    1. Do you think you will need God’s help in any of these areas?
    2. Don’t wait until there is a crisis and then cry out to God? Have that relationship all along.
 
 
You determine what you will or will not do. You determine whether you will grow or not.
 
Jim Elliot says “God will take you as far as you want to go”
How far & how fast do you want to move toward becoming the person God wants you to be?
 
What is your Bible reading like? Is it like:
§         Measles – a sudden rash here and there
§         5 Minutes a day
§         30 Minutes a day
§         Mushroom – appears for a night, then shrivels away at the first hint of wind or heat
§         Oak tree – lasts and becomes stronger & mightier each year
 
We are in a tug of war – torn between God’s call to holy living and the world’s call to take care of number one.
 

WE NEED GOD’S WORD

 
Deut. 32:46-47 - he said to them, "Take to heart all these words I am giving as a warning to you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law. For they are not meaningless words to you but THEY ARE YOUR LIFE, and by them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."
 
Ps. 63:1 - You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
 
Do you thirst for God’s Word?
 
Albert M Wells says there are 3 stages of Bible reading:
1.      The cod liver oil stage
a.      When you take it like medicine
2.      The shredded wheat stage
a.      When it’s nourishing but dry
3.      The peaches and cream stage
a.      When it’s consumed with passion and pleasure
 
Ps. 119:97 -  How I love Your teaching! It is my meditation all day long.
 
Ps. 119:105 - Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
 
 
Why is God’s Word so important?
 
2 Tim. 3:16-17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.