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Monday, April 2, 2012

Quiet Time: Jogging With Jesus (How to have a quiet time)

Jogging With Jesus
(How to have a quiet time)

Read: Luke 21:37-38


And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him (Jesus) in the temple to listen to Him. – Luke 21:38

I like to jog. Honestly, I’m not very fast, but I do keep my heart rate up in the 150s for at least thirty minutes; that’s what the experts say to do in order to receive maximum benefit from the run. But, you know what? I didn’t like to jog before I got a heart rate monitor. That’s something else I learned from the “experts”. They suggested novice runners purchase a monitor to help them establish a sustainable speed. (Sustainable being a speed that they could maintain for at least 30 minutes) You see, most new runners push themselves too hard and soon stop trying before they’ve established a sustainable routine. I think that’s kind of what happens to us when we first feel the need to establish a daily quiet time. We dig in with vim and vigor, but no plan. So, we overdo it, only to find ourselves discouraged and our bibles back on the book shelf.

A daily quiet time is more than a good routine or a box to check on a list of things to do. I like to think of it as simply a moment to sit down and have a cup of coffee with Christ. Now, I know that doesn’t sound very “spiritual” but that’s really how I look at it. Every morning I try to start my day by sitting quietly at the kitchen table with the Word to see what God has to say to me. It’s really not that hard. Sometimes I get a lot out of it and sometimes I can barely keep my eyes open, but I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become a very meaningful part of my daily routine; kind of like jogging with Jesus.

There’s been a lot written on how to have daily devotions so I doubt that I’ve got much to add, but, here’s some stuff I’ve learned from Christ followers who’ve enjoyed a long walk with Christ:

1. Establish a place for your quiet time. (I like the kitchen table)
2. Establish a time. (I like early mornings before anyone else in the house is up)
3. Establish a method. (“Our Daily Bread Devotional” is what I use when I’m not studying for a specific reason like my church’s small group get together)
4. Make it personal. (tell God what’s on your heart, ask Him to open your eyes to what He has to say that day, and listen…really listen – this takes time)
5. Write it down. (Capture what God’s speaking to you. Keep a journal. You’ll be amazed how God has worked in your life when you go back and read what you’ve written several years later)

Here are some websites that may help:

Our Daily Bread: http://odb.org/
Bible Gateway, online bible: http://www.biblegateway.com/
One Year Bible; I like to use the “Living Standard Version Bible” for a read through the bible experience to kind of get an overview of what it’s all about and how it all ties together from Old Testament to New Testament. I often use it as a good read before going to bed at night. It usually takes from 15-20 minutes to read the selected sections. http://oneyearbibleonline.com/index.html

When I first started out, the longest I could run without slowing down to a walk was about 10 minutes. It took a while, but after several weeks of pounding pavement I finally reached the coveted 30 minute mark and have been able to maintain a sustainable and “enjoyable” routine ever since.

So, don’t get discouraged. To coin a phrase, “Just Do It”.

In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty (Proverbs 14:23).


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