No doubt as you have entered this new year, you have laid out some plans for what you would like to accomplish for God. Those plans may be exactly what God wants you to do. On the other hand, you may experience some divine redirection as the year unfolds.
How should you respond to God's redirection?
HOW TO RESPOND TO GOD'S REDIRECTION
I will be leading a Footsteps of John and Paul Study Tour to Asia Minor (Turkey) and Greece later this year. In the course of our travels, we will mimic the track (as much as possible) of Paul’s second missionary journey that took him from Troas to Corinth.
Thinking about Paul’s travels that took him for the first time into modern-day Europe reminds me of one of my favorite passages on divine redirection: Acts 16:6-10.
Twice in these verses Paul is stopped by the Holy Spirit from continuing on a course of action he had chosen.
Why? Is Paul fighting against the Lord’s leading?
In my opinion, that’s the least likely explanation. More likely is that Paul simply did not know exactly where God wanted him to go. He knew his calling was as the Apostle to the Gentiles. He knew his burden to preach the Gospel in places where the name of Christ was not yet known. The two places he was forbidden to go (Asia and Bithynia) both qualify. Both would end up receiving a gospel witness. But neither place was God’s will for Paul at the time.
To me, this is a great example of how a believer may not always know exactly what God wants him (or her) to do. If the church’s greatest missionary (Paul) did not know exactly where God wanted him to go, how much more you and I?
What should we do in times like that?
What I gather from our passage is that we should work the plans that we have made (the plans that fit God’s call and our ministry burden), knowing that God will direct or re-direct us as necessary. God has works which He has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10); He will not allow His surrendered servants to get off track.
Furthermore, what our passage suggests to me is that God may close one door of ministry in order to open a better one. Paul was thinking locally—Asia and Bithynia. God was thinking more globally—cross the Aegean Sea into modern-day Europe. Divine redirection demands that we trust divine omniscience: we would have made the same choice if we knew what God knew. Through God’s providential redirection, Paul was able to plant churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth. What a great open door!
No doubt as you have entered this new year, you have laid out some plans for what you would like to accomplish for God. Those plans may be exactly what God wants you to do. On the other hand, you may experience some divine redirection as the year unfolds.
If God closes certain “doors” before you, do not doubt Him or complain. Worse, do not rebel or resist. Realize that His closed doors are leading you to His open doors. In the end, His ways are always better than ours. Take comfort from the fact that the true and living God is sovereignly redirecting your path to accomplish His ends: A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps (Prov. 16:9).
You and I exist for the glory of God.
Here are twelve Scriptural ways for us to bring God glory this year.
12 Resolutions for Glorifying God this Year
Recognizing that I exist for the glory of God, I resolve to glorify God by. . .
1. Confessing Jesus Christ as Lord.
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2. Bearing much fruit (as I abide in Christ).
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
3. Attracting the lost to my God by my actions.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
4. Living conscientiously before a watching world.
I Peter 2:12
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
5. Keeping my body morally pure.
I Corinthians 6:18-20
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
6. Living in unity with other believers.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
7. Advancing God's reputation at the expense of my rights.
I Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
8. Giving beyond the expected.
II Corinthians 8:19; 9:11-13
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.
9. Loving things that really matter.
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
10. Allowing God to prove--and improve--my faith through trials.
I Peter 1:7
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
11. Turning insult for Christ into an opportunity for praise.
I Peter 4:16
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
12. Using my spiritual gift to benefit others.
I Peter 4:11
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Here are six resources for helping your children with their devotional life and Bible reading.
Tools for Helping Your Children Read the Bible
1. Use a family Bible-reading calendar.
Make your own or personalize this calendar with your family photo and encourage your children to follow along. We try to make Sunday afternoons a catch-up day for those who may be lagging behind schedule.
2. Give your children a checklist.
Children love to check things off! You can give them a dated checklist with a favorite Bible reading schedule or a simple checklist of chapters in the Bible. It is a delight to watch their progress through the Word of God!
3. Purchase a One-Year Bible.
Some children prefer this method of reading. It gives them a balanced menu of OT, NT, Psalms, and Proverbs. The reading selections are dated, so it is easy to keep track of what day they are on.
4. Provide a Study Bible.
For older children, a study Bible with extra information about the text may be just what they need to answer the questions they have as they read.
5. Use an audio Bible.
For younger children who either don't read yet or who struggle with reading the more challenging words in the Bible, try an audio edition. Older children can listen to the Bible while following along in the text. Younger children could listen while playing (but you need to provide toys without noise).
6. Schedule a time in their day for their devotions.
The older your children get, the better they will become at managing their time. But for most children, it will help them if they have a slot of time specifically dedicated to their personal devotional time. Do your children have a morning routine or bedtime routine that sets aside time for the very important activity of reading their Bible and praying? For some children, time might be the most helpful resource of all.
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BJMBC is hosting a 2018 Footsteps of John and Paul Bible Study Tour.
Here are 5 reasons you may want to consider joining it.
5 Reasons to Join the BJMBC Study Tour
It's expensive. You have to travel. The Middle East is a battlezone. So why would you want to join a study tour that will take you there? Here are five good reasons. . .
1. Tired of the typical holiday?
Spend your vacation bonding with family, fellowshipping with other likeminded Christians, and updating your biblical knowledge. It's even relaxing--someone else will drive you around, provide for your lodging, and choose your cuisine (okay, we'll allow you at least a little input on this one).
2. Did you perform poorly in world geography in school?
Now's your chance to redeem yourself. Put places like Smyrna on the map of your mind. Smyrna and its sister churches will come into greater focus when you see where they were located and the unique challenges each faced. These churches were as much a product of their place and time as yours is today.
3. What if you were the Apostle Paul?
Picture and experience Paul's second missionary journey for yourself--from the Macedonian vision at Troas (through Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens) until he reaches Corinth. We will not follow his track exactly, but we will get pretty close! By the time we are done, you will be thankful you are riding a bus and not walking in his sandals.
4. Are you still reading your Bible in black and white?
The collision of two proud ancient civilizations--Greece and Rome--provided the cultural cradle in which God chose to send forth His Son. See the Bible in 3-D color as you step back in time and become acquainted with the Greco-Roman backdrop of the New Testament world. You'll never read your New Testament in the same way.
5. What if there is someone you should reach out to?
Savor local Turkish and Greek culture and carry home with you a burden to pray for these countries and the spiritual needs that they have. Remember, it is not all about you. The same God who led John and Paul to their life's work may have a mission for you and--a lesson Jonah learned the hard way--He has the right to decide where.
Still not sure? Watch a 37 second trailer.
SITES YOU WILL VISIT ON THIS TOUR
Are you a man of courage, determined to obey God's commands? You need a battle plan.
He was the man who, above any other individual in Scripture, is admonished to “act like a man.” Joshua 1:1-9 is a direct charge to him to “be strong and of good courage.” God orders him to act this way in light of his gargantuan task of bringing Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. His beloved mentor Moses is dead. The weight of responsibility now lies on his shoulders. He is to take courage in God’s command—"Have not I commanded you?"—and face his task.
How does Joshua respond?
He immediately swings into action (Joshua 1:10).
He begins by commanding the leaders, “Prepare because within three days you will cross over the Jordan River.” What we must not miss is that Joshua is passing along the very command he received. God told Joshua to take courage and “go over” Jordan. Joshua has so taken courage that he now turns God’s command into a future tense verb for the people he leads: "You will cross over Jordan."
Joshua then turns to the Transjordan tribes, the two-and-a-half tribes that would receive their inheritance east of the Jordan River, and reminds them that all the mighty men of valor are to cross over Jordan and assist the other tribes in wrestling their inheritance from the Canaanites (v. 14).
If we continue to follow Joshua's actions, we see that right around the same time as his actions in chapter 1, he sends two spies to scope out the situation at Jericho (2:1). Why? Crossing the Jordan River will put the city of Jericho in their cross-hairs. Joshua is strategizing and thinking ahead.
Joshua also moves from the Shittim camp—where they had been for the last several months—by transitioning to the Jordan itself (3:1). He then readies the people (3:5) and instructs the priests (3:6). Joshua moves fast: he takes all of these steps within a few days’ timeframe (regardless of how you interpret the various “three days” of the passage, 1:11; 2:22; 3:2).
Joshua’s actions exemplify what a man does when he faces his responsibilities with courage.
The command had gone out. He had been summoned to courage. His spirit within him rose up to obey. He then proceeded to work through the steps necessary to obey the command—ready the leaders, remind the Transjordan tribes, plan ahead for the battle at Jericho, move the camp to the Jordan, prepare the people, and instruct the priests.
Once a man has determined to show courage and obey, he thinks through the logical steps necessary to accomplish his God-given task and formulates a battle plan.
Perhaps you, too, have made the decision to take courage and obey the Lord's commands to you. What is the very first thing you must do? If you are going to move forward with decisive action, you--like Joshua--must think through the steps needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This can take various forms, but it almost inevitably involves writing something down.
Each day I grab my planner or a sheet of paper and make a list of the things that come to mind that I need to accomplish that day. Sometimes something that needs to be done by tomorrow creeps onto my list, but that is okay too. There is nothing wrong with planning ahead or building a runway for the future. What I find is that making such a list gives me an objective target to shoot at for the day. It's my battle plan for obedience.
When is the best time to do this?
Some people do this at night so they can wake to a battle plan already formed. For me it works best to do it first thing in the morning, right after my personal devotional time with the Lord. Sometimes, to be honest, part of the list forms while I am still having my personal devotional time. While I am reading or praying, various things I need to do that day flit across my mind. I write those things down so that I don’t have to keep wondering whether I will remember them after my devotions. I jot them down immediately and then turn my focus back to what I am doing.
A benefit of making my list at this time is that I can take some additional time to pray through the list or even talk my list over with the Lord while I am making it. Nothing is so helpful as talking over your battle plan with your Commander-in-Chief! It is only in the power of His might that you will carry it out anyway.
This to-do list governs the actions I take throughout the day. What if you have too many things? What if it is impossible to do everything? I have found that having this list actually enables me to accomplish far more than I thought I could because I have a target to shoot at. It also keeps me from frittering away my time until I finally decide to launch into my day. It encourages me to attack my work and accomplish the most difficult things first by adhering to a strategic battle plan.
In addition to my daily to-do list, my wife and I take a twenty-four hour Annual Goal Planning Retreat each year where we strategize and make goals for the year. This long-term planning time enables us to break our large projects or goals down into their smaller moving parts, which we can then complete one by one throughout the year. This helps us to keep our focus on our greatest responsibilities and how God wants us to fulfill them.
Are you a man of courage?
Have you made out your battle plan for today?
What does it mean to act like a man?
Men are in short supply and high demand.
I don't mean males. There are plenty of those around.
But real men -- men who take responsibility, do their duty, sacrifice for a cause, and live by their convictions -- are a rarity. Unfortunately, men who do not act like men pass it down to their sons. It is dreadfully contagious.
What does it mean to act like a man?
Too many men think it means that you must have muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Having an accent like his doesn't hurt either.) But does racking up hours in Gold’s Gym or winning Mr. Olympia seven times qualify one automatically for manhood? Or is there more to it?
In the final lines of I Corinthians, Paul urges the church there to "Be on the alert, stay firmly committed to the faith, act like men, be strong" (16:13, my translation). The verb act like men is literally the verb form of the Greek word for man (not humankind, but man). It occurs only once in the New Testament, but is found about twenty-two times in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (called the Septuagint). Essentially, to act like a man is to muster up one’s courage or to be brave. It assumes that an essential part of manhood is courage or bravery.
Courage is sorely needed because, frankly, life is full of risks, discouragements, and opportunities to fail. In light of the overwhelming possibility that an undertaking might fail, it is easier sometimes not to try. Why try if you will probably fail anyway?
What this world needs is men with the courage to try. And to fail. And then try again. And then fail again. But then try one more time—mustering all their courage for one last whack—and succeed.
Can you think of a man in the Old Testament who was repeatedly admonished to be strong and courageous?
If you guessed Joshua, you are correct (Deut. 3:28; 31:6-7, 23; Josh. 1:6-7, 9, 18).
Joshua had plenty of reasons to need courage. He was the successor to Moses, an unrivalled leader and prophet of God. He was tasked with bringing more than two million people into an inheritance that had been promised to them over four hundred years previously. The nation had already failed to enter their promised land forty years earlier and had instead wandered in the wilderness until a whole generation had been killed off. Now Moses was dead, and Joshua was the man chosen to make all this happen for the nation of Israel.
How could he possibly muster the inner courage to embrace his daunting task? How can you, when faced with your own daunting tasks?
For Joshua the key was a simple truth, phrased as a question: "Have I not commanded you (Josh. 1:9)?" Because God had commanded him to do the task, he could muster up the courage to do it.
This is also the key for you to act like a man every day. You must determine what God has commanded you to do. If God has commanded it, then God will be with you (Josh. 1:9), and you can be ensured of ultimate success. In other words, an important key to acting like a man is to live on the basis of commands, not feelings.
A platoon of soldiers does not rush into battle because they feel like it. They do so because they have been commanded to do so. Their assumption is that the command has been thought out carefully, the options have been weighed, the risks counted, and the ultimate necessity of the mission decided upon. Armed with this command, the soldiers press forward bolstered with courage.
Similarly, a man acts like a man when he gets a hold of what God has commanded him to do. He will not always feel like doing it. That’s beside the point. A man lives by commands, not by feelings. Too many men are drifting aimlessly down the river of life either because they don't know what God has commanded them to do or because what they know to do goes against what they feel like doing.
It may be easy for us to look at such men and point a finger at them.
Instead, ask yourself: Will I act like a man today? Will I summon the courage to obey today what I have been commanded to do today?
Go ahead, act like a man today!
Then do it again tomorrow. And the day after.
Before you know it, you will act like a man every day.
This blog post was written by Timothy W. Berrey, author of From Eden to Patmos and Planning Your Life God's Way.
Do you ever wake up in the morning with massive overwhelm, knowing that your To-Do List for the day is much longer than the amount of time you have to finish it? How do you respond to this kind of stress?
Here are four things to do when you have too much to do.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO
1. Give Thanks.
Give thanks for your long list of things to do? Yes. You can thank God that you have worthwhile responsibilities and relationships in your life. Imagine if you had nothing to do all day? It's not as fun as it sounds. There are people in this world who just stand by and wish for a job, for a spouse, for children, for worthwhile activity, or for a goal to pursue. For whatever reason, they don't have that. Maybe they don't have the skills to do a job like yours. Maybe they don't have the education. Perhaps they are aimless, with no goals and no purpose. Or maybe their ill-health prevents them from being able to work. The first thing to do on a very busy day is to thank God for the privilege of responsibility!
2. Spend time with the Lord.
George Mueller addressed this need for busy people when he said:
I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God. Friends often say, ‘I have so much to do, so many people to see, I cannot find time for Scripture study.’ Perhaps there are not many who have more to do than I. For more than half a century I have never known one day when I had not more business than I could get through. . . but I have always made it a rule never to begin work until I have had a good season with God and His Word. The blessing I have received has been wonderful.
Reading the Word of God and spending time with the One who made you and gives you work is the best way to start a busy day. It will prepare you for your work and give you the strength you need for the demands you will face.
What if you don't?
Just as God has dealt with people who didn't tithe by allowing them to put their money into pockets with holes, He sometimes also deals with us regarding our time. Because we haven't spent our first and best part of our day with the Lord, we make foolish decisions that end up sucking even more of our time. Of course, God is gracious and He often helps us accomplish things even if we haven't given Him the first part of our day. But how wonderful it is to go into your day knowing that, although you may have a lot to do, the most important thing in your life has already been accomplished.
3. Ask yourself these Four Important Questions about your To-Do list:
Martin Luther is often quoted as having said, "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." In other words, prayer is the key to a truly productive day. Once you have asked yourself the four questions above and thoughtfully deleted, delegated, consolidated, and procrastinated, again take the remainder of your list to God and ask for His guidance in accomplishing the things He wants you to do.
Yes, life can often be stressful and our lists of things to do can be overwhelming. If you find yourself reacting blindly to this kind of pressure in your life, take a little bit of time to step back and look at the big picture. Give thanks. Spend time with the Lord. Ask yourself the four important questions. Then pray and ask God for supernatural help. Continue to pray as you move through your day. You are not omniscient and have no idea what your day holds. But He is, and He is very good at prompting you to do certain things at certain times.
When you take the time to do these things, even though you are very busy, your day will undoubtedly be more productive and less stressful.
Most parents would agree that it is good to read the Bible to--and with--their children. But when you do this, what are you doing to help them understand what they hear?
In II Timothy 3:15, Paul reminds Timothy of the years of Scripture knowledge he has been blessed with. "And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." Apparently Timothy not only heard the Word of God as a child, but he understood it to the point where he ultimately gained the wisdom that led to his salvation.
Here are six ways we can help our children understand the Word of God:
1. Ask questions to determine how much they understand.
My husband starts at the bottom and works his way up through the ranks of our children when asking questions, so that even the young ones get a chance to guess at the answer.
This reveals very funny misunderstandings sometimes, like when we read about the people of Israel putting off their "ornaments" and discovered that one of our children thought that it meant clothing, because they had gotten "ornaments" and "adornments" mixed up. Or when the Bible said that Moses "pitched the tent outside the camp," and someone thought that it meant that he tossed it out there.
2. Explain challenging words.
3. Pull in cross-references to help with your explanations.
The Bible explains itself. Sometimes all you need in order to clear up a misunderstanding about a verse is a different verse. Check the margin notes in your Bible for possible cross references.
4. Share a story that illustrates the truth you just read.
Or ask your children to share a story. God is real to your family. The same God who wrote the Words you just read is also working His very real providential care in your life.
5. When geography is involved, look at maps and pictures.
This makes it real to your children. My children clamor for the chance to see a map. You can use the ones in your Bible or you can have your spouse look these up on the internet while you are reading.
6. Explain important doctrines as they come up.
When children are young, doctrines like the Trinity can be a little confusing. "Jesus is God and God is Jesus," some of our children would say. We would gently correct them, "Jesus is God; but God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
Songs are very effective for teaching doctrines like this, so add some doctrine-rich songs to your family devotional time. Also, catechisms were created primarily for teaching doctrine, so when it comes to challenging words like "justification" or "propitiation" you could help your children memorize a definition from a theologically accurate catechism.
What have you done to help your children understand the Bible?
To Satan, every day is April first, and every sinner is a fool.
My husband and I are raising a brat.
I'm not referring to my kids. I've made it a point not to call them names, except for pumpkin, goober-pea, peanut, pickle, cupcake, munchkin, and the occasional but necessary sweetie-pie. Anyway, people rear kids and raise animals, as you remember from your ninth-grade English lesson.
No, I am referring to our white, pretty, noisy cat.
We got her to be a mouser (since we are also raising lots of rats, but not on purpose). Kitty disdains that job. She likes her food delivered to her, at regular times, and if we have failed in our seemingly one and only job here on earth--that of keeping her well-fed--she turns into the brat cat. She stalks us from outside, jumping up onto window sills and meowing something terrible. You can actually hear the reproach in her voice as she scolds us.
She has one other negative feature: she believes our house is hers and we have stolen it from her.
The problem is, my husband is allergic to cats. (In the asthma-inducing way, not in the "I want to tie their tails together and throw them in the pond" kind of way). So we truly can't allow her to be indoors.
But she comes in anyway. The moment someone opens the screen door, if they are not watching carefully, Kitty whisks herself inside and hides under the stairs in the back corner behind fourteen boxes of homeschool books.
This especially happens around food time.
One morning I groggily stumbled downstairs to make my coffee just as my husband was taking off for his early morning evangelistic Bible study at a nearby city park. Wanting to be a helpful wife, I stepped outside to shut the gate for him. Kitty was out there caterwauling for her breakfast, so I pulled the screen door closed and shut the gate. Then I turned around and didn't see her. She had somehow wormed her way inside.
Ugh! There was no way I was crawling under the stairs after her when I hadn't even had my coffee yet. So I played a very nasty trick on her.
I grabbed her plastic bucket of cat food and rattled it. Sure enough, within just a few seconds, she slithered out from her cozy place behind the homeschool boxes and came streaking through the door, reprimanding me for being so late with her food.
I set the food bucket back on the shelf and went inside and pulled the door firmly shut. I didn't look out, but if I had, I know what I would have seen . . . A very befuddled white Kitty looking at her empty food plate.
I poured my coffee and went upstairs, thinking about how that was exactly like some of the tricks Satan plays on us.
There we are, cozy and warm, in our quiet place. Happy.
Satan doesn't want us there, so he rattles the pleasures of sin, beckoning us. "Here, sinner-sinner-sinner. I've got some yummy stuff for you!"
When we show up, the plate is empty and he is laughing maliciously. To Satan, every day is April first, and every sinner is the fool.
What makes it worse is that he knows exactly what chains to yank.
He has been around for millennia and he has known us since we were born. Our besetting sins aren't hidden from him any more than Kitty's obsession with food is hidden from me. I will use it against her every time. And I am a kind, merciful person who loves her. (Sort of.)
Satan is not kind or merciful. He hates us. His tricks are not well-meaning. He isn't trying to protect the person who has allergies. He is out to destroy us.
"To Satan, every day is April first, and every sinner is a fool."
Today, when you face his tricks, do it with wisdom. Pull out a verse, a specific word from God about that particular sin you seem to always give in to.
Here are two possible passages to meditate on:
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
PS: To all you cat lovers out there, please don't write me angry emails; we did feed Kitty. That is my sons' job and they do it faithfully. Just not as early as she would like.
Our devotional time is the most important part of our day.
What can we do to focus our mind and heart on the Word of God?
Some mornings I open my Bible and immediately both my mind and heart are fully engaged in the reading of God's Word. Other mornings I have to constantly wrestle my thoughts back to the Lord. Is there anything we can do to maintain our focus during our devotional time?
Five Ways to Maintain Focus During Your Devotional Time
1. Pray before you begin.
Ask God to help you focus on His Word and His still, small voice.
2. Remember, spending time at the feet of Jesus is the "one needful thing" in your day (Luke 10:42).
All those other distractions will simply crowd out the most important part of your day. Don't let them.
3. Remove as many distractions as possible before you start.
How? Analyze these areas:
4. As distracting thoughts come to your mind, write them down.
Then focus on your devotions again. Sometimes it is the fear of forgetting something important that is so distracting. Writing those things down leaves your mind free to focus once again.
5. If your thoughts continue to stray, try singing a hymn of worship to refocus your mind.
Music has a way of helping us to refocus.
Mark 1:35 tells us that Jesus went out alone into a deserted place early in the morning to pray. He planned to be focused.
What can you do tomorrow to maintain your focus during your devotional time?
Allow God to use His Word to give you wisdom for your life!
Five Ways to Shine the Light of Scripture on Your Pathway
Tim and Laura
Timothy and Laura Berrey are missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association. They share a passion for missions which has taken them to several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They currently minister in the Philippines.
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