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Archive for the ‘Spiritual Disciplines’ Category

1436465_83009221“As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so is with the inner man. What is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God-not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe. No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.”

~ George Muller

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From Jon Bloom:

Private devotions aren’t magic. We know that (for the most part).

But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula — the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer — we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.

The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give up or whip through them to alleviate guilt because devotions don’t seem to work for us.

Our longing for intimate communion with God is God-given. It’s a good thing to desire, ask for, and pursue. The Spirit does give us wonderful occasional tastes. And this longing will be satisfied to overflowing some day (Psalm 16:11).

But God has other purposes for us in the discipline of daily Bible meditation and prayer. Here are a few:

1.  Soul Exercise (1 Corinthians 9:24, Romans 15:4)…
2.  Soul Shaping (Romans 12:2)…
3.  Bible Copiousness (Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:97, Proverbs 23:12)…
4.  Fight Training(Ephesians 6:10–17)…
5.  Sight Training (2 Corinthians 5:7, 2 Corinthians 4:18)…
6.  Delight Cultivation (Psalm 37:3–4, James 4:8, Psalm 130:5)…

There are many more benefits. You could certainly add to this list. But the bottom line is this: don’t give up on daily devotions. Don’t whip through them. Don’t let them get crowded out by other demands.…

Read the entire post: Six Benefits of Ordinary Daily Devotions.

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David Murray shares 18 Obstacles to A Devotional Life in the Digital Age and then shares 20 Tips For Personal Devotions in the Digital Age.   You will find a lot of help here but especially read #1 over and over again in the 20 Tips post.

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You perhaps have heard of the ACTS model for pray (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication).

Bob shares another acrostic that might aid you in your daily communion with God:  Jesus’ SCARS.  I think you might find this helpful. Check it out.

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From Jon Bloom:

Private devotions aren’t magic. We know that (for the most part).

But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula — the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer — we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.

The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give up or whip through them to alleviate guilt because devotions don’t seem to work for us.

Our longing for intimate communion with God is God-given. It’s a good thing to desire, ask for, and pursue. The Spirit does give us wonderful occasional tastes. And this longing will be satisfied to overflowing some day (Psalm 16:11).

But God has other purposes for us in the discipline of daily Bible meditation and prayer. Here are a few:

1.  Soul Exercise (1 Corinthians 9:24, Romans 15:4)…
2.  Soul Shaping (Romans 12:2)…
3.  Bible Copiousness (Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:97, Proverbs 23:12)…
4.  Fight Training(Ephesians 6:10–17)…
5.  Sight Training (2 Corinthians 5:7, 2 Corinthians 4:18)…
6.  Delight Cultivation (Psalm 37:3–4, James 4:8, Psalm 130:5)…

There are many more benefits. You could certainly add to this list. But the bottom line is this: don’t give up on daily devotions. Don’t whip through them. Don’t let them get crowded out by other demands.…

Read the entire post: Six Benefits of Ordinary Daily Devotions.

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IWillHelpYouWeb

 

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“When we seek to enjoy communion with the Lord — and not to be led astray by the ambiguities of religious experience — we read the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God’s words and God’s deeds reveal God himself for our knowledge and our enjoyment. Of course, it is possible to read the Bible without enjoying communion with God. We must seek to understand the Bible’s meaning, and we must pause to contemplate what we understand and, by the Spirit, to feel and express the appropriate response of the heart.

God communicates with us in many ways through the Bible and seeks the response of our communion with him.

  • If God indicts us (2 Cor. 7:8–10), we respond to him with sorrow and repentance.
  • If he commends us (Ps. 18:19–20), we respond to him with humble gratitude and joy.
  • If he commands us to do something (Matt. 28:19–20), we look to him for strength and resolve to obey with his help.
  • If he makes a promise (Heb. 13:5–6), we marvel at his grace and trust him to do what he says.
  • If he warns us of some danger (Luke 21:34), we take him seriously and watch with a thankful sense of his presence and protection.
  • If he describes something about himself (Isa. 46:9–11), his Son (Mark 1:11), or his Holy Spirit (John 16:13–14), we affirm it and admire it and pray for clearer eyes to see and enjoy his greatness and beauty.

John Piper, “Reading the Bible in Prayer and Communion with God,” in The ESV Study Bible (Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2570–2572. Bullet points added.

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The new year is only two weeks old and some of you are already sensing defeat and deflation when you look at your  daily Bible reading plan which you were aspiring to accomplish.  Here’s a great post by Matt Smethurst who shares five practices you want to avoid as you get going or keep going in the new year.  Maybe one or two of them will help explain where you need to re-tool a bit.  It’s not too late to start your Bible reading plan for the new year! Here’s a summary of what he wrote.

1.  Don’t overextend (don’t shoot for the moon and hope to land on a star.  If you do you will simply be lost in space):  It’s better to read one chapter a day than to read four chapters a few times a week.  Furthermore meditation is critical.  I love his memorable definition of meditation:  riveted reflection on revelation!  Love this quote by Thomas Watson also:   “It is better to hear one sermon only and meditate on that, than to hear two sermons and meditate on neither.”

2.  Don’t do it alone (enlist others to help keep you going in your Bible reading).

3. Don’t just do it whenever:  “If your basic game plan is to read your Bible whenever, chances are you’ll read it never. And if you don’t control your schedule, your schedule will control you.”

4.  Don’t live as if Paul lied (read the article to see what he means by that)

5.  Don’t turn a means of grace into a means of merit: “Your Father’s love for you doesn’t rise and fall with your quiet times.”

Click here for some great encouragement.

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Nope, this article isn’t about one of those financial ponzi scams.  In fact, it’s not about money at all. But George Lawson does share a way that you can get rich by devoting yourself to doing something every day.

A sample from “Get rich in just a few hours every day.”

Do you appreciate the rich treasure you possess?  And to think, in just a few hours day, you can become unbelievably wealthy, with no money down and all from the comfort of your own home!  Millions have tried it and have testified to the results. This is not a scam!

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Joe Thorn (whom I slightly revised) who summarized them from Thomas Watson’s, The Godly Man’s Picture.

  1. Use the spiritual disciplines including those including those related to Scripture intake, prayer, corporate worship, and more.
  2. Love the world
  3. Set your mind on things above
  4. Guard your heart
  5. Use your time well for all things
  6. Consider that your life is a vapor
  7. Make this your maxim:  godliness is your purpose
  8. Surround yourself with godly people

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