Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spending the Time ~ by Teresa

         Dear sisters, I am grateful and humbled to have this opportunity to encourage you in your pursuit of spending time with Jesus. It is something close to my heart, yet I myself still have much to learn and grow in this area. I’m eager to take a closer look at the importance of spending quality time with Jesus and how to make it more meaningful.

“Spending the Time” – it is just that: spending: “to pay out; to use up; to give” – our time: the fleeting moments we have here on earth. It requires a purposeful effort to take some time in our busy day to spend with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word. We need to be motivated and encouraged to do this as it doesn’t “just happen.” If we desire to grow in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus, we will want to give of our time by spending it in His presence. It is a sacrifice and it will cost us something, but it will be worth it.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Why We Should Spend Time with Jesus Each Day

~Obedience to God - Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

        So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

~Following Christ’s example - And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed. Mark 1:35

~We can’t grow without it - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

~To receive wisdom for our life - The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

I am so grateful that my parents set the example of spending time each morning reading God’s Word and praying before the busy activities of the day started. I was impressed by their quiet example and have since made it a daily pattern in my own life by setting aside the first moments of the day to seek the Lord and learn from His ways. Yet, when something has become a habit, there is the danger of viewing it as just a routine or another item to check off of our to-do list. While forming good habits and disciplines are important, we want to be careful to always keep in mind the great privilege that we have in approaching the throne of God in prayer and in reading His holy, infallible Words that He has preserved through the ages.

Our time set aside with Jesus may not always be fun or full of “mountain-top” experiences. God wants us to continue to be faithful to seek Him even when we don’t “feel” like it. We especially need to be in the Word if we are feeling dry and distant.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

How to Cultivate a Quiet Time with Jesus

~Have a set aside time and place
          If we don’t plan to spend some time each day to seek the Lord, it most likely won’t happen. Figure out what is the best time of day, how much time you can spend, and where you’d be able to focus on Jesus uninterrupted. (I have found that mornings usually are best, as it helps to start the day guided by God’s Word.) If you discover that you are having a hard time sticking to your plan, find someone who will hold you accountable and pray for you.

~Minimize distractions

          The less distractions we have during our sacred meeting with the Almighty God, the better. Turn off your cell phone or put it in another room. Close your laptop. Play only peaceful, background music (if any) while you are reading God’s Word. One very helpful commitment that I’ve tried to make each day is to wait to check my e-mails or get on the Internet until after I’ve had my quiet time with the Lord. It really helps to keep my priorities straight.

~Focus on the Word

While devotional books are helpful, the most important book to read during your time with Jesus is the very words that He has spoken and inspired. The Bible is full of truth, encouragement, wisdom, and correction.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
          God’s Word contains all that we need for living this life in a Godly way. It is brimming with precious promises that we can claim.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3-4

~Cultivate Humility

Don’t announce your quiet time to the whole world - Keep it a secret between you and your Father.  Jesus Himself said: “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (Emphasis added)

~Draw near

          Since we are walking by faith on this earth, and cannot see God, sometimes it is easy to forget that He is always with us, waiting for us to draw near to Him. We have the wonderful promise that when we draw near to Him, He WILL draw near to us. 
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. James 4:8


Don’t underestimate prayer. If you want to have a vital quiet time with the Lord where you can glean truths from His word and draw nearer to Him, pray about it! Ask Him to help you remain faithful in your pursuit of Him each day. Then talk to Him about anything and everything.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8 If you are not sure how to pray, use The Lord’s Prayer as a guide (Luke 11:1-4). You can also think of ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (or requests).

~Walk with Jesus throughout your day

Remember, that while it is important to have a specific time and place to seek the Lord each day, our time with Him shouldn’t be limited to just one slot of time in our schedule. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us every moment of every day! We should turn our thoughts towards Him throughout the day, wherever we are, and in whatever we are doing.
And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

The Results of Spending Time with Jesus

~We will become more and more like Jesus

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (Emphasis added.)

~We will grow to love Jesus more

          The more we learn about who Jesus is, and all that He has done for us, we will grow in our love for Him. We will find Him to be our greatest treasure.

~Our lives will produce the fragrance of Christ

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14

~We will have more love for others

When we spend time focusing on the Lord, our eyes will get off of ourselves, and we’ll learn to love others more. We’ll be able to get our priorities right and so have real JOY (Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.)

~Our hearts will be filled with God’s peace

When we begin our day resting in the Lord’s presence, His peace will permeate our lives.

~We will become more discerning

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11

So, dear sisters, come to the Lord Jesus and don’t delay. Set aside some time in your busy schedule to seek His face, read His Word, and tell Him what’s on your mind. Come in faith knowing that He will reward those who earnestly seek Him. It will be eternally worth it!

          And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6


  1. Thank you so much for this encouragement, Teresa. Time with Jesus is so vitally important and this summer I am striving to really savor devotions each morning with Him. His Word is so powerful and rich. Thank you for the reminder. ♥

  2. The Lord bless you for your encouragement, Teresa! It was a blessing to hear of how He has worked through you in this, and I pray we all (especially me) will draw ever nearer to Jesus Christ through His Word. Your sweet testimony reflects Christ in you and is a blessing and inspiration to many, Teresa! <3 Thank you and God bless you! <3