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Devotional Life as Fuel for Evangelism

Scott Ward



  • August 13, 2016
    3:30 PM


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This section is on devotional life as fuel for evangelism is that where you thought you were good. You have been successful in finding your spot. Congratulations on that. So let's begin with a word of prayer my voice is still standing about the same I think those of you who are here for the last hour that got worse or is about the same likely to be OK So a lot of people praying that it would function and work it has been out for a while. So let's bow our heads and get started. Do you have only father. I thank you for the opportunity to be here. I thank you for the Sabbath you have set aside for us to spend with you and spend time working on our relationship with you and spend time praising you and just enjoying you and I asked you to send your Holy Spirit right now to guide and direct us to teach us to listen got a supreme Jesus name Amen that reminded me I finished a couple years ago by my doctor ministry degree three hundred university and my emphasis was on biblical spirituality discipleship and biblical spirituality so it's about the devotional life now to follow Jesus those kind of things and after graduation. We had a little retreat at the address from two missions compound just outside of Marion Springs Af-Am and out of the parting words from our professor after this four year journey he quoted one of his friends a fellow professor at the seminary and he said at the end of the day when it's all over. He says the bottom line the point of being a Christian is to love God and enjoy him forever. Your thought about enjoying God enjoying his presence enjoying life in him. Yeah this is the best life that we can possibly live is to. To spend longer lives with Jesus. So as I was out working on my doctorate in this area. I mean there was a life has been a passion of mine something I've felt called to for many many years as a Christian growing up Adventists I never related to what George Knight calls the beastly preaching. I never really was that in thrall of with Revelation prophecies. I was I was more drawn to John into trying to have a personal connection with Jesus and so what I told myself in college was in the back of my mind says Oh if I don't know the exact day that Jesus is coming. If I know him personally I'll recognize him when he shows up so I thought I want to learn to recognise him and then I'll start trying to work out the details of things that are harder for me to understand. And so as I've gone through life I have I found out that I'm more of an I was get this wrong. Is Right. Bring the more creative side and left brain is the rational side Adventism is an incredibly left brain. It is very rational it is very reasonable and it's logical it makes complete sense but if you are right brained person. I think we lose most of them. You understand I'm saying we were so good. We're so specialized at the left brain that we don't know how to relate to people who think on the other side and so I I went for a while and see a math major to an art major my bachelor's in fine arts not I'm just kind of the artist side and so when I read the Bible. Some people are are really excited and the study of Revelation can be incredibly spiritual nurturing for a lot of people but not for everybody and I believe that God can speak to all of us in the way that we need to hear him throughout Scripture and we need to have a balance. We've studied all of it. I do know about Revelation I love reading Revelation but I get something completely different. Then timelines and all that kind of stuff out of it. I actually see a more fuel for a relationship with Jesus and so we all connect differently. I think we need to learn how to feed ourselves spiritually. And once we can learn to feed ourselves spiritually then evangelism will start to naturally flow out so that is kind of a little bit of my personal walk in in finding that devotional life is really what helped me to become on fire for Jesus. When I was just growing up in the do's and the don'ts the rules in the studies it all just kind of went over my head and my faith was very separate from my life but once I learned to talk to Jesus personally and have a relationship with him. That's when things took off for me and that's when I became a lot more evangelistic is when I start to have a personal connection. So I want to are going through as I as I was doing my research for my doctorate on the spiritual growth and the kids who were attending my campus clubs. I kept track of the things I was teaching and so I was teaching on the devotional life and so as I was teaching it I was writing up and kids were responding tremendously. And so I wrote it up in a book format and I review and Harold ended up publishing it. And so this is you know in my campus ministry the concept is to get out of the church go meet people in the middle of their world to try to help them live their faith their so my model is to get on campus and meet with kids. What I teach in that setting is all in here. So you need to have the concept of going out and meeting people. But you also need to I found it for kids in the middle of their day in school rather than another Bible study because they're studying all day they want to break they want do something different. So I found a devotional life was the key thing there because when things are happening around them on a public school campus learning how to respond to that how to help friends devotional life is where that comes in it's knowing how to be connected to Jesus in a tough situation and having something from your heart to share with the people around you. So the structure of the book is on. And the Gospel Commission who can tell me if the gospel commission is OK I heard Matthew twenty eight Go ye there or to all the world teaching all nations. That's what I was told when I was young as well what else is the gospel Commission about where else can you find it in the Bible Revelation. OK but specifically just the Gospel commission Jesus parting words to His disciples and seven everyone in the Gospels and so as I was studying as I was researching a course my favorite book of the Bible is John. Now it's getting in competition of evasions. If you can is really going to be as readily as how many of you have any Pathfinders here. OK Any of you do the Pathfinder Bible Experience. OK a few years ago I was since my ministry is living it. How to live your faith the real world. I was asked a few years ago to start writing some Bible studies for the Pathfinder Bible experience because I found that kids were memorizing the books of the Bible for Bible trivia competition but they weren't necessarily getting anything out of it personally and so I started writing a sort of study guides application guides and so I used my personal method of study and I started writing those for the books of the Bible. The kids are memorizing and so this year I'm just finished writing infusions a few days ago it's due Monday got a few more to go but anyway it's like Heaton's man this is such a cool stuff. So anyway we'll get into that more later but so anyway that the Gospel commission it's in all four of the Gospels and it's a different in every single one of them. OK so the place I like to start because I was raised that the Gospel commission was go and teach all nations and so we had evangelist come to our church and they would preach and they would teach we would pay them to do that we paid a male out flyers. And so we'd have this great thing people would. Understand the Bible and the evangelist would leave in a short time later the people would leave so that is a very unbalanced view of evangelism it's more than teaching in Matthew itself it says Go ye therefore and make this side balls. OK what is what is making a disciple is mate can you stand up and preach at someone and is that making a disciple. No that's teaching making it a cycle means instead of just mailing out flyers only we should be inviting people personally. We should be in our neighborhoods getting to know people people from work people from school. We should be personally invited as that is the disciple making process is to actually make friends of people invite them into your life and then you have a lot more authority to teach and so we don't even have the full gospel commission from Matthew but the place I like to start is in John. As Who knows what the Gospel commission is according to John this is one you might have to search for just a little bit but it's right for Jesus goes back to heaven and you know you can find the Gospel commission in the last chapter of each of the Gospels if you want to take out your Bibles and look at the last chapter of John there's a conversation between Jesus and who Peter and Jesus says Peter do you love me and what does Peter say Yes Lord you know that I love you then go into all the world and feed my sheep right back three times do you love me and he says yes I love you. Jesus says then go and feed my sheep. So that the Gospel commission and what is the gospel commission founded on a personal loving relationship with Jesus. It took Peter three and a half years to try and sort through that to figure out what it was but the. The only way that we will be successful in evangelism. Is when we have a personal relationship with Jesus a man and so Peter he struggled with Jesus. He ran ahead sometimes he shot his mouth off. He had all these struggles and we get to see his relationship with Jesus throughout their journey and it was on that foundation that Peter laid down His life for his master would anyone lay down their life percent of doctrines for a set of teachings. Nobody is going to die over some sterile set of you know what I mean but it's when you know Jesus just like they all knew him walked with him personally. So evangelism has to be founded on a personal relationship with Jesus. So that's the first part they will get more into that. So that's the gospel commission according to John what is the gospel commission According to Luke it's more similar to Matthew. He says go and teach all nations you give them the Gospel commission but then he says but wait. One other book to look right. X. and X. also starts out with the same scenario with the same commission and so he says go into all the world before you go wait for what you think of actually get it quickly. Wait for the Holy Spirit He says it Luke two before you go wait for the Holy Spirit and so when our evangelism is fueled by illegal istic rigid following of rules you need the Holy Spirit to do that now you can beat people up on your own. But if we're connected to Jesus in a personal relationship and filled with the Holy Spirit the way we evangelize be radically different. And it will be guided by the spirit and. Go to people's hearts is making sense. Amen is heresy. OK. You almost know we don't want heresy. So personal relationship with Jesus. Filled by the Holy Spirit and then we pull in Matthew to teach and disciple. So just the way it is if we have a nurturing loving relationship with Jesus. It will be more natural to have a disciple in relationship with other people. Amen. But if we have this fearful legal istic relationship with Jesus then that's where we get into this people bashing and have you ever been attacked by really goes to a person. Because people who are caught up in that mentality that understanding it is a very little better struggle for life and so they share that naturally with other people right. It's from that anger inside. Whereas if we have a loving connection to Jesus that will come out very naturally and flows well make sense. And so from there we go to the last gospel that we're going to look at is the Gospel of Mark and what is the gospel commission say there and now this one I believe is written it out talents and so they say it's not in some manuscripts not in the others but it's in my Bible. So I use it. So what does it say about the Gospel commission in Mark and he goes on with some other things and if you pick up a serpent and it bites you you will not die and it lists all kinds of miracles the law company the Gospel commission correct. And so is saying that when you go out of a heart full of love for Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. There will be miracles there will be evidence that God is with you. And so there will be fruit to your labor and you will be safe and you will be OK OK So it's going to say that there will be fruit. To your labor there will be evidence that God is with you. Amen. And so that is the structure of the Gospel commission to be successful in evangelism. But it all starts with that personal relationship with Jesus. So I would like to get a little implicit what through you do currently that helps you in your devotional life to be connected to Jesus. What are some some ways that you've found to be successful or maybe some frustrations Yes. What's that prayer journaling How does that help you. OK And for me I usually journal in the more difficult times of my life and so what I have found is that journaling writing things down tends to help me to think through my thoughts better and you get a different perspective and a better perspective so that can help so journaling so journaling prayers or if you're going through a passage of Scripture journal your thoughts on that. What are some other successful ways if good so and that's and you heard that in the panel discussion this morning for devotional I finding a relationship with Jesus. Setting aside certain time is very very important. So I've got far more material than I can cover so just I'll get back to his much as I can but in my book I wrote up all the things I did and go through the Gospel commission like I was talking about but on the last section starting on page one hundred twenty three a few years ago Pacific Ian college gave copies of these to all their freshman and the chaplain told me start on page one twenty three. And so this is where I lay out some concepts on the structure of your devotional life which is morning noon and night. Mark morning noon and night. Just like Daniel right in the Bible. He got in trouble for having that regular prayer time and it shows you how to find out which kind of passages of Scripture you connect with the most and so the big devotional times in the morning a check in at lunch time that night. To review your day to see how things went if there are times when you wish you had done something differently. And so anyway just gives you how to set up your own personal devotional times choosing passage of scripture and how to go through it. So we get to that if we have time. But the basic concept is you need to have that time every day and then what I really want to focus on is how to understand scripture devotionally OK because I grew up with the method of Bible study there was kind of the slicing and dicing the proof texting. That is good for study but you know that study is not necessarily devotional that makes sense a Bible study is a different activity than devotional time in the Bible devotional time is to nurture your relationship with Jesus. Bible study it is to understand teachings and doctrines and how to understand God better. So you understand God through Bible study you connect with him through devotional time that makes sense. So let me give you an example of my favorite passage in Scripture when we're talking about a passage not just a verse is the twenty third Psalm how many of you know the twenty third Psalm have it memorized so Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. OK I believe there were in Jesus talk of disciples to pray in Matthew when he talked about a vain repetition. I think there are many passages of scripture like that that have become of mean repetition for a lot of people because I think we need to slow down their reading. And we need to sit with Scripture and we need to pray through Scripture when you try and understand it. So things like reading through the Bible in a year where you race through and try and get a lot of chapters in every day that doesn't work for me because it's racing and it may not be what I needed for that particular day. And so what I've tried to do is learn how to feed myself. Actually So you wake up and you know whatever kind of mood you're in you know if you like want to read a story about Jesus or maybe you need some proverbs some wisdom and you start to learn to know different places in Scripture to go to feed yourself just like you have cravings for food and you kind of have a balanced diet you know what to take in you can learn to do that spiritual evolution. And so for me the foundation. Although it's always been the twenty third Psalm. I've been praying through that scripture for our for probably for years I prayed for at least five days a week and now it's still very regular So I've prayed through the twenty third Psalm thousands of times and it does not get old because it is not a passage that I memorize what it says but it's a tool that I use to guide me in my own devotional life. So how does the twenty third Psalm start out and says The Lord Is My Shepherd you stop right there. So you say The Lord is my shepherd. What do you get out of that. Yes OK how do you get that. OK So who wrote this. This is important when you going to get into a past of Scripture you have to find out who wrote it first right. So who wrote it. David wrote it. What kind of person was David he was known in all scriptures a man after God's own heart right. So he was known as someone very close to God We know that as a seventeen year old teenager he had already written many Psalms he went out and was the only person with courage and faith. To face the Giants and we know all of the conquests throughout his life so invades says The Lord Is My Shepherd is there evidence that that was true. Yes it was very true. So this is David statement of faith. So when David stands up and says The Lord Is My Shepherd We know that was true. So what do we do with fact. Every day and this is where we've always looked up with our Bible study time in Bible lot. So we have to get the application. So every day I go through that I say OK is the Lord my shepherd. Because we have a choice. Don't we. We are there are many stories in the Bible about the strange sheep the law sheep the found sheep we choose whether or not we follow the shepherd is our right and so when I do that we know that David was faithful we know he made mistakes we came back with that for me as a check in time and I thought to think through the last twenty four hours last weeks like why have I been following the shepherd is there any evidence there is evidence for David is there evidence for me. Did I lose my temper was I kind of someone and start thinking through do you have peace in your life. How's it going. And so you start to think through and say well you know what I've been frustrated a lot lately so I need a connection is that make sense. So it's a time to sit down and pause and think about your life and your connection to the Shepherd because we can choose to follow him or not. And so when we do choose to follow him. What is the promise that goes with that I shall not want. And so you'll find in the twenty third Psalm it's a lot of statements choices and promises that goes with it. So would we choose to follow Jesus when we invest in that relationship. We will not want that is a promise from scripture that doesn't mean we'll be rich or famous or anything else but it means that we will. We're going to make it will have peace in our lives. It doesn't mean there won't be any trouble but it means that we're going to make it through and we're going to be ready for heaven we'll get to be with Jesus for eternity. So when we choose the shepherd you're not going to go insane. You're not going to you know why people start getting into drinking drugs all those kind of things is because they're trying to mask the pain they're trying to deal with what's happening in life. Well that is the place for Jesus. And so when we have that nurturing relationship with him he takes care of that and we're not temp. By those things. So the Lord is my shepherd that's a daily choice that's why I like to try and pray through this every day because we need to think about that and the promise that goes with the choices we shall not want then what to say next. He makes me to lie down in green pastures leave me beside still waters. Now David obviously knew that because he was a shepherd right. What does that look like for us. Can we apply that to our lives. You know food. OK grass for the sheep there so there could be nourishment in that kind of way. How else. I like to think of that is my time in nature. Ellen White says Nature's God second look and so that's our invitation to unplug to turn off the phones turn off the T.V. go hiking get in your backyard we got planned so yeah but it's a time to disconnect from the world and to connect with God And so I have penciled into my calendar once a month a half a day of prayer in little Japanese garden in the park and so outside of town or I live as if I just try and just go and spend time talking to God I don't have anything you know that I've pencil and a half day so I don't have any other appointments assignments it's just a time to walk with God to listen to his voice. How many of you like the old time hymns. Are you familiar with one called in the garden. I when I was a kid in elementary school. Mrs member of our or elementary teacher at church school she would play that all the times my favorite songs. And you know the words of that song he walks with me and he talks with me tells me I am his own and it's this beautiful picture of someone walking in the garden with Jesus and you know as I was writing this and journaling on it. I sat there as like oh my goodness I have sung that song. And so many times but I've never done it. We have these idyllic passages and pictures in the twenty third Psalm Where is cited but we can live it guys. You can walk and talk in the garden with Jesus does not sound good. And I've become dependent on that I have to have that and what is the promise that goes with that time here East or my soul that is where you unplug that is where you D. junk. If you go out and spend time with Jesus and just what's upsetting me and giving him those things and I like to pray through other passages of Scripture so I go to the garden to do this I'll be praying through the twenty third Psalm love praying through the Ten Commandments. When you interpret them through the lens of love larger gotta follow your heart a neighbor as yourself. They suddenly instead of negative become positive pray through the ten commandments love Hebrews twelve one to three the goal the prize depress for so spending that time. Unplugging just praying silently praying out loud talking to Jesus praying through passages of Scripture and that can be so healing and so re storage of for you personally emotionally spiritually. It is an incredible thing to get out how many of you do anything like that got to take a prayer walk nature walk learn to make that intentional make it a part of your devotional life because that work for David right. So he spends time in the green pastures close to the cool waters and that's how to restore his soul. And then what did he say next. He leaves MANPADS of righteousness for his namesake. So when you choose Jesus as your shepherd when you are following him when you are spending quiet time with him in nature that fuels you and nurtures you for those paths of righteousness which are. The little errands that God sent you on that's going to doors that's helping people going on those errands the paths of righteousness is our outreach it's our witnessing so when we are connected. Just like David was we will naturally start to share with other people and God will be able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and He will be able to prompt us when the time is to speak to someone to help someone all those different things that make sense. So the twenty third Psalm is your devotional guy. And so if you I think in the panel discussion are saying well what do you do if you miss your devotions in the morning. OK When you put scripture in your mind you can have the motions anytime anywhere. It's memorized it's with you. No one can take it away from you. And so while you're driving in your car anything anytime anywhere you can pray because in the bible times. You know people were illiterate right people could not read or write in fact the scrolls were lost for years I forget which King it was that found them like the scrolls been lost for years to find a scribe who could read them. The average person could not read. So it was the time of the oral tradition things were passed down or at least of people had to memorize them to pass them to the next generation. Now how long does it take to forget something you have to repeat it very regularly to keep it memorized right. And so that means they had to be praying through Scripture on a regular basis to keep it memorized to pass it on to the next generation and so that's where we get that pronounced the Shema in Deuteronomy six teach them as you walk in the way when you lie down when you rise up when the Scripture is in your mind and it's memorized you can talk about it and you can apply it to every situation everywhere you go with your family with friends. Whatever situations come up at school at work. If you have the scripture in your mind it is a tool to use to nurture your relationship with Jesus. Anytime Anywhere in. The situation. I meant. And so from there the twenty third or so that's the paths of righteousness and then it goes on next. It says Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death does it say if I walk through the valley of shadow of death. No in this life. Trouble is promised. It will happen because there is a devil and he is very active but since David had chosen the Lord as his shepherd since he is spending quiet time nurturing his relationship with him in nature. Since he's used to being used by him in the path of righteousness to help other people he knows that when he goes in the times of trouble. Does it say in the plane of the valley or not in the plane of the shadow of death. No he says a valley because valleys do not last forever. It is not a plane. It is a valley that means it's going to be an end to it. That means you will come out of it. What comes after a valley a mountaintop. So when you are walking with Jesus and he isn't active in your life when you're going on those missions all those things when troubled times do come and be prepared for because they will come but when you are in them. You can remember because of this passage of Scripture that it will not last forever. It will end in God's name will be glorified at the end then. And so it says as we are in the middle of that that who is there with us. Is for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me. So when you are in those dark times Jesus is there now why does it talk about the rod in the staff. What is the rod for. The rod is in my understanding is the kind of the short stout one that's fur that's for our beating the wolves the Bears rights for protection. And the staff that's along with a hook on the end and that's for the strange sheep so. We're going through the hard times. Sometimes it's an attack from the devil and so Jesus was there to the friend us with the rod but sometimes we're going through hard times it's because we've been a naughty sheep and we made our own bad choices and we went off the path right. And so he can protect us from ourselves and he can protect us from the devil whatever it is and it doesn't matter if you caused it or not. Jesus is there with you bringing you back saving you. There's nothing you can do to be too far from it. He will always be there searching for you. That's why we have all those beautiful illustrations in Scripture about searching for lost sheep. He is always searching always there. And so if we get in the habit of playing through the twenty third psalm on a regular basis. It is a reminder when you're in there IS hard times that even if you know you've made some bad choices. You know that Jesus was searching for you. He's reaching out for you and is trying to pull you back and so that is a good reminder to have because it helps you to get through those difficult times. Amen and then where does the passage go from there he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies once again there's a promise of trouble in life we will have enemies right. The devil does not like it when we give our lives to Christ he does not like it when we are Christians. He does not like us going on the paths of righteousness and reaching out him and living for God of our lives but he says that one day when this whole mess is over. Once the valleys are gone. We've spent our time choosing Jesus being nurtured by His Spirit the day will come when he will celebrate that we have chosen him. And so that's a great brain quoting hall in heaven and he says he's going to prepare a feast in the presence of our enemies those people that discourage you that the devil uses the negative way. One day they will see that you are a child of God. And he anoints my head with oil that is annoying to have a print. A princess that you are his child that you are chosen and you know one thing the Holy Spirit is always symbolized with that oil and so know that the day will come when you will be celebrated in have been as God's child and he says I live all the days of my life house of Amen. And so can you see how praying through the twenty third psalm on a regular basis can remind you to be connected to him to remind you to look through your life to see if your following the shepherd can remind you to take quiet time with him. It can remind you the troubles only last for a little while and remind you of the goal that we have that is Heaven an eternity of peace and happiness of Jesus. This is a good tool and see that as a front we as a frustrating thing is we know the scriptures so well we memorize them but we're not using them as a tool to connect our selves of Jesus. So any any of your favorite passages of Scripture. We have to get beyond understanding what it meant for the person who wrote it. We need to understand the context when you know what it meant to them but we need to take that last step of applying it to our lives say I don't want to only be inspired that Abraham was a great man of God But I want to see how I can be just by not to aim to be like Abraham but to aim to be like Jesus and then maybe we'll end up like. So we want to be inspired not to say wow that was a great person but to say how can I do that. How can I become a person of God How can I be just like that be included in the hall of faith eventually any feedback on that. OK no feedback whatsoever. So this makes sense how devotional life is fuel for your evangelism. When you are connected to Jesus when you are filled with the Holy Spirit when you have carved out time to spend time with them on a regular basis you structured your devotional life you pray through Scripture and you can do it anytime anywhere you start to develop those favorite passages that remind you and draw you back because in my campus clubs when my kids are maybe even a regular member of the campus club. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they slip up go to a party do something that they didn't ever think they would. And so do we talk about that. So come to me and talk to me and what they always say how they got in trouble. You know what it is I wasn't thinking he had caught up in the moment right. I wasn't thinking. So the more that we can have scripture in our minds. The more that scripture guides our hands correct. And so the passage pray without ceasing it's not a conscious out loud prayer necessarily but it's Scripture in our minds and it's an attitude of prayer. We're so used to talking to God that it becomes the natural way our mind works and it becomes our conscience as people talk about being guided by their conscience or your conscience you're not just born with a good conscience you educate your conscience. If you watch nothing but horror movies and played an emirate of video games. What's your conscience going to be like are you going to be OK with seeing someone get beat up. You can be pretty condition to that whereas if you feed your mind with scripture is your conscience going to be on a much higher plane and your mum. Your conscience will be filled with the Holy Spirit and that will guide you in your decisions in life. So having a consistent devotional life is a safeguard against getting into trouble. It will keep you from having regrets and we get when we slip into doing things we don't want to make sense so devotional life then also gives you a desire to do outreach and to reach out. To help others and to spread the word of God with other people. OK so thorough no more questions or comments on that. Let me go back to the last section that I mentioned on how to structure your own devotional life. Excuse me so I recommend planning. OK if you are going to be successful in high school or college. Do you have to study. Do you have a study schedule. Can you prepare for tasks and and you kind of map things out especially if you're in college you want to go to med school or something you have to be very structured and you have to develop study skills right and care so and if you want to be successful in business in life whatever you need to get a calendar together. So what I encourage people to do the first thing that I mentioned here is the annual events for the big recharge. OK So plan on whether it's Can't meeting men's retreat women's retreat campus each summer plan say this next year I'm going to go to camp meeting and I'm going to go to the teen Bible conference. You have to plan ahead say I want to make sure that nothing squeezes a stop because I need some of those big charges right just like I sure is this inspiring because you want to plan on going that right. And so you think of those things once you're out of school finish canvassing Maybe some day. What are the things you can do for that big spiritual recharge the connection and make sure that you plan those into your life. OK. Then the monthly weekly events for the shocked me are what can those kind of things because anybody any organization that's out there any hobby any passion people have their regular meetings or right. People are into racing cars they meet with other people or race cars and Corvettes and Corvette clubs. OK Anybody part of a knitting club or something like that. Pathfinders we meet regularly to do things that we all like to do together and to pursue things that we believe in and so the avi. Yes first one for Christians a weekly meeting would be what church. OK And so that is a time that is designed to be the weekly reminder this is how we were created. That's why God in the seventh day said we need rest and so we have that weekly sabbath meeting that we have scheduled and so it can be church. Some people go to status Well some people do not is Sabbath school important. That's the time to sit down and study and to really dig in deeper and that's really going to make a lot more friendships and connections. Now also we have small groups at my church that meet during the week different times. So think through your life what your options are and make sure you are a part of a least a couple of weekly meetings. Maybe it's a Christian club on campus. Obviously church but make sure you have those weekly appointments that help you in your spirituality make sense. OK so then there is your daily personal devotional time. So we've got big and you all stand my annual events we've got weekly events. So get your spiritual structure in place it is a safeguard and it helps you to nurture your life. OK So then on a daily basis. I like to go with the model of Daniel three times a day. Now when I was in college. Well after Calderon actually started getting to know Jesus personally. And I was still the Night Owl I'd stay up till one or two in the morning. Whatever So morning devotional time I was way too groggy. So my main devotional time was at night but anyway trying to figure out three times a day. Once we get older and more mature and some people are just wired to be mourning people but if you have your main devotional time in the morning then what I suggest is you have your on the weekend you choose up the passage of Scripture that you want to have your devotions in for the week maybe breaking up day by day. Then in the morning. You have your twenty thirty minutes of devotional time prayer time. And then a lunch time just a five minute check you think back what will. And I learned this morning in my devotion time what was your reading about how can I apply that that I find a place where I could have shared that with somebody and start to think back how you because if you're not applying to your life what you're learning spiritually it will stagnate. So you want to always be sharing and so then at the end of the day. So in the morning is your main spiritual meal at noon each check in see how it's going reconnect pray maybe pray for the people that you've seen all morning all day and then at night you want to reflect back and say well how did it go. Was I create he today was I happy today did I help somebody. And if you can see evidence that God is in your life in the you are helping people who are excited that you're praying a lot say yes great day. Thank you Jesus. But if you're frustrated you had some roadrage that's the time to sit down and say wait a minute why am I. Acting this way have I lost my connection with Jesus. Why am I being frustrated why my allowing circumstances to dictate my attitude because circumstances do not have to dictate your attitude you know that. And so it's a time to think OK I need to like spend more time with God. And so every day just like you talk about those kids get into trouble sometimes because they weren't thinking. So be thinking reflecting through and so every day. Think about your connection with Jesus what you can do to nurture it. And so then I have some different things. Laid out kind of the weekly routine so on Sabbath that's the big spiritual recharge maybe Sabbath afternoon is when you're going to choose what you want to do for your devotional life for the week and you kind of lay it out a little bit that on Sunday. It's usually a free day for a lot of people are a lot less structured to maybe have a longer devotional time there and then just understand that Monday is known as having the blues right. So think about on Monday. I'm going to want to do this and for your devotional time mix it up not just scripture but what else can you have for devotional time so. Nature. OK there's a lot of things you can do in your devotional time. And so I go through here are suggesting different things and then how you want to mix it up some days you're going to want to you know once you kind of figure out yourself and how you connect spiritually. It helps you a lot in your devotional life there's I filmed a lot of videos for my website video testimonies and there was a youth pastor in Southern California. I was talking to she had brought a student who's going to share a testimony of standing up for his faith in his public school. And I thought she was such a vibrant incredible spiritual young woman as like would you be willing to film a testimony of what your devotional life is about several sure courses like what do you want me to say so I turned on the cameras and like Tell me about your devotional life. She's well and I was like Well tell me what what your favorite passage of Scripture and she was I don't know as like well what about your prayer life and it was just so why nothing there and then I asked her about singing because I knew she sang with the Heritage singers from time to time and as soon as I asked her about her music. She lit up. That's how she connects with Jesus. She has songs that have different messages singing scripture and for her singing was a single credible way to connect with God So for some people they can't sing like me I'll maybe play some Christian music that's meaningful that has some deep lyrics from some scripture or something to it. So there can be reading Scripture. There can be praying through memorized scripture. There can be worshipping in song and whites that spend a thoughtful hour every day contemplating the life of Christ from the Cross from the grave to the cross. So we can just sit there and think about scripture and about Jesus' sacrifice and be inspired by that. And so you start to learn all the different ways you can connect with God There's more than just one way if if you've only been. All that you pick up a devotional book can you read for five minutes and be on your way and you're good. It's not true. How many of you have heard of Morrison he's been gone for a while now but he was the great righteousness by faith preacher and he really turned our nomination in a better direction in a lot of ways and after he had retired and he was he was old he was a So-Cal camp meeting and he was the young adult and there was just a few of us gathered around for an afternoon meeting and that he said he said I pray that God will forgive me for ever having written devotional book because people can be tricked into thinking that's all it takes read five minutes and you're good you're gonna have done but it's so much more than that that can be a tool and it can be something can be a part of your devotional life but that's not it. That's not the whole thing so and there can be good Christian books you can read desire of ages all these things we have all these tools to read to nurture scripture Spirit of Prophecy praying singing we can worship in so many ways to find the way that you connect. So I've had more than one mother come to me and say well my son I He doesn't have a relationship with God I made him read this devotional book every day and he hates it. So I quote have to help him to nurture his spirituality help him to find the ways that he does connect because we're all little bit different. Some of us are right brain some of us are left brain but find out how you connect with Jesus. But it's going to involve scripture. It's going to involve praying. It's going to involve worship praying and it will lead to outreach. If you don't have a desire for outreach you need to look at your devotion life and see where God wants you to improve or he wants to lead you. He went and he questions. It is time past time for a break. Let's have a closer every father we thank you. At once again for your love for your guidance for your nurture. I pray that you saw the Holy Spirit through our dross close to you every. Very true. Help us to find the places the ways that we can best nurtured by your spirit or scripture or guide us and draw so close to you that we can't help but sure of those rooms in this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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