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Reviving Your Devotional Life

Dee Casper

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Dee Casper

Director of the CORE Evangelism Training Program

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Conference

Recorded

  • April 6, 2019
    2:00 PM
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Sweet Jesus thank you for this privilege to be here thank you for blessing us with a time of spiritual nourishment the last few days and we just pray in this last day in the closing hours of this day that you would just bless us again pray for clarity and wisdom as we study and we asked this now in Jesus name and then Art So we're going to walk through the life of John the disciple whom Jesus loved and we're going to get some principles on devotions from his experience so 1st of all John had faults this guy was not perfect right he saw preferential treatment in Matthew and Mark 2 different accounts where they said you know let us they pull Jesus' side and say hey we have something we'd like to ask of you what's that we both want to be on your right and on your left in your glory and that sounds like a good idea to them but Jesus responses you don't know what you're asking what he means Jesus what they're basically asking is to be crucified with Jesus to be the person on the right and on the left when Jesus is in his full glory giving because we're told it is the glory of God to give and so in a way they did not know what they were asking that's true in Luke Chapter 9 people were not wanting Jesus to be in their city John had a great idea have got a great idea Jesus why don't we just call down fire from heaven and destroy these sinners and Jesus says you don't know what spirit you are of I didn't come to destroy men's lives but to save them he sought exclusivity in March every night in verse 38 speaking of John the Apostle John. They hear the other people are preaching Jesus and they said hey jesus these other guys were preaching about you we told him to stop it because they don't know the secret handshake they're not part of our group and Jesus didn't know if they're not against us their forests right and then lastly he stumbled and Jesus is the greatest time of need Matthew and met Jesus says a Matthew chapter 26 and verse 31 that all of you will be made to stumble because of mean which implies you know all that includes John even the John get his act together and into following Jesus after his stumble they still all fell so John had this amazingly enduring tendency though go to Matthew Chapter 4 and we're going to try to walk with with purpose you seem all walkers aren't there walking with or walking with purpose walk in kind of quickly get their exercise indoors puppet those hips back and forth we're going to kind of mall walk through the life of John so I needed to point out some principles at the end of this still Matthew Chapter 4 beginning of verse 21 going on from there Jesus saw 2 other brothers James a son a 70 and who John his brother in the boat with their father mending their nets he called them and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him now I find this interesting that Jesus Walks up a seeming stranger walks up and says follow me and they just leave their job they leave their dad and fall the guy I would have some questions Who are you where are you going is their food their right but there's something about Jesus that leaves this man to follow him wherever he's going I don't know what this looks like I don't know what it costs but there's something about you I want it that's what he does that we get to Luke Chapter 5 and this is one I really need to pay attention to because we're going to pick up on this theme later Luke Chapter 5 beginning in verse one Luke Chapter 5 beginning of verse one. So it was as the multitude pressed about Jesus to hear the Word of God that he stood by the lake again Asser it and he saw 2 boats standing by the lake but the fisherman had gone from them and they were washing their nets then he got into one of the boats which was Simons and he asked him to put a little from the land and as he sat down he taught the multitudes from the boat so if you've ever been in situations where you're on water sound carries very well across water and people are crowding in kind of stuff and Jesus and Jesus gets in the boat where there's distance coming for me to you where it kind of acts as a natural ampitheater the sound will travel over and he kind of get some space to talk freely that's been. For negative or sort when he had stopped speaking he said to Simon launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch that is imagine this is like who knows who this guy is and he's an Intel seasoned fisherman what to do in fishing. Verse 5 but Simon it entered and said to him Master we've toiled all night and caught nothing Nevertheless at your word I will let down the net and when they have done this they cut a great number of fish and their net was breaking so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both the boat so they began to sink Now one of the ways in which Bible study can come alive for you is by putting yourself in that situation so just imagine visually that you're watching a D.V.D. of this particular event even better that I imagine you're there right you're on a see there's when it smells like fish and just imagine the salad you're going to hear Hey come help we have too many L.A. people are probably rejoicing they never had this good a day of fishing in their lies and this is their job just imagine you land the biggest contract in the company's history right like a multi-million dollar contract would you be excited about that yet these guys are just caught so much fish they fill both boats and the boats are seeking people have to be hollering they're excited and look at what happens here with this amazing providential goodness of God in the life of Peter when Simon Peter saw this he fell down a Jesus is nice saying Depart from me for I am a sinful man oh lord Romans 2 forces it this way the goodness of God leads to repentance this undeserved goodness and blessing that he received led him to repentance for he had all who were with him were astonished at the catch a fish which they had taken so if you're a fisherman and you do this for a living and you're impressed it must have been a good day right if I kept a small fish for the Snoopy fishing pole I would be impressed but these guys do this for a living it's a big deal so we're James and John the sons as ever he who are partners with Simon and Jesus said to Simon Do not be afraid from now on you will catch men but listen to verse 11 so when they had brought their boats to land the 1st book all and followed him. Now just imagine you have a profession and in this profession it involves gathering things and the more things you gather the more money you have made they have had the greatest day of their lives because fish equals money for them they cut more fish in one hall than ever and they literally pull the boat up to the sides of the sea and they walk that's like going to the slot machines and not that you should do this because I go to the slot machine and you pull the lever and you get 777 and like the Little Dixie cup they give you your realize is it going to be enough to catch all these blessings that are coming a direction you don't know what to do and you going to do it or you can hold your shirt under right going to fill your shoes like you're going to do whatever you can to get all these blessings and when these guys encounter this they leave it all they leave all of it they would be filthy stinking rich and they kept this and they for sick all and they follow Jesus why because there's something about Jesus it's more important than money it's more important than my job there's something about this man I'm going to follow him wherever he I don't care what it costs I don't care where this leaves I want to go John has this tendency that we Demar chapter 5 Mar chapter 5. Jesus has been approached by somebody that you would assume that Jews want no dealings with March after 5 beginning of verse 35 AD not being there will give us some background so Jesus is approached by a censuring and says hey I would like for you to come and heal my servant I believe. Those gyrus it's a synagogue really confused with the other thing gyrus his daughter sick she's not doing well she's dying as please come and heal my daughter and but just imagine being gyrus to synagogue rulers have warm fuzzy feelings in their tummies for Jesus now they hate this guy but yet this guy has some since the he needs to speak to Jesus he's heard that Jesus has healed people I want to find this guy so he's got to muster the guts 1st of all in the humility to go and approach Jesus publicly and say hey I need you to heal my daughter just put yourself in the headspace and this is important Bible study you are not just reading stories guys these are real human beings actual stories right this isn't you know Uncle Arthur's bedtime stories or Brenda's new or bedtime stories whatever like this is legit history and imagine how these people feel or if you want your Bible so you like to come alive when you're reading the Gospels read that story as one of the characters read it as gyrus then read it again as Jesus then read it again as the woman who comes in touch is Jesus close put yourself in the headspace of all these people it'll blow you away because 1st of all you start to see the deep miss of the compassion of Jesus and you fall in love with him so imagine your gyrus you muster the guts that you're going to go talk to Jesus and you actually find the guy and not only do you find Jesus Jesus actually agrees to come to your house now if you're gyrus How would you be feeling right now about the probability of your daughter being healed very likely right I found the guy he's actually willing to come it's over she's going to be healed and just imagine the relief you would have as a father and then this lady comes in a mess everything up this lady comes in and slows Jesus down she touches the him of his garment she says if I just touch him I can be healed she believes it. She is healed Jesus stops and says Who touched me and then samples are thinking are you out of your mind everybody click all these people are pushing into what you mean Who touched you has no power has gone from me who did it and the woman has to come and confess it was me I've been suffering and I just I just I gave it one last chance and she says one of this woman to know is not touching some random strangers close that heals you it's faith in Christ he had to confirm this woman's faith publicly for her sake and for other sakes it's an amazing amazing situations because imagine the relief that this woman feels she's just been violated by doctors who say that like they did nothing the only hurt her as far as the doctor she gave her money away and now she's in a situation where she finally finds relief for something that would never go away for 12 years to imagine that the dignity that she's restored because remember you're unclean if you're bleeding like this she can be restored to community restored her home those changes are life so in a way this happens I'm sure the guys thinking I mean this is all good but you know my daughter's dying man like we have to go and they start going to the house and then messengers come in verse 30 was it 35 now while he was still speaking some came from the ruler of the synagogue House who said Your daughter is dead why trouble the teacher any further imagine being Simon known gyrus I thought it was over like I thought my daughter would be healed and now he's devastated and these people have seemingly no sins of appreciation for what he's going through Look she's dead leave me alone man this is my daughter could you please give me some respect. And Jesus goes in immediately because listen to this look at what Jesus does as soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken he said to the rule of the synagogue do not be afraid only believe don't listen to them gyrus lead the way. I'm going to your house today don't listen to him and I love Jesus so much for this because if you track where this man's emotional experiences you realize that this guy has had some ups and downs but Jesus is just there for him ministers to him and he blesses them and they razor and the miracle is someone is raised from the dead and you know who's got a front row seat to this John they need to Matthew Chapter 16 of the Mediterranean figuration we're not going to read this one for time's sake but in Matthew Chapter 16 Jesus says at the end of Chapter 15. Maybe the Indus notes in the 16 going to 17 that's right he says are some of you here who will not taste death to see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom All right. Follow up question then is Jesus back yet no. Those guys alive right now no please explain within the says now after how many days it's 6 days I think that or 6 days. What is it taking place is the man and transfiguration a few days after this statement is made there's a situation where Jesus the disciples fall asleep Jesus was transfigured before them all James John and Peter the top of the mountain and he's speaking with 2 men who are these men Moses and Elijah encouraging him for his sufferings that are to come and it will be worth it and then Peter doesn't really know what to do always gives the wrong answer in situations like this is hey let's build Tabernacles one for you one for them he's going to miss the point but here's the thing what's really happening here is a snapshot of the 2nd coming. Jesus is in a glorified body you hear the voice of the father he's surrounded by clouds and then you have Moses who represents those who will taste death and be resurrected of the 2nd Coming and then you have allied you who represents those who will not taste death but will be translated without seeing death so when he says some of you will not taste death and to see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom he's talking about the Mount transfiguration is a snapshot of what the 2nd Coming will look like he's giving in that picture there but again front row seat John good John Chapter 13 John Chapter 13 being verse 23 the Lord's Supper judgeship 13 beginning verse $23.00 there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples This is when the sitting around the table at the Lord's Supper and it was leaning on his bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus loved who is the disciple whom Jesus loved John now if the lesser if if you were having the seating arrangement you have right now and someone's head is resting in your bosom 1st of all that's weird. Second of all that's incredibly uncomfortable that's a 90 degree angle from your shoulder over to their bosom just because like it's just it's just strange that's not the way their senior arrangement works at this stage there are tables like 18 inches and they would have couches like little little cushions all around the table and what people would do is they would lay down on their side like this and rest on a cushion and they would eat with their hand from the table now if you're leaning like this and someone is next to you behind you it's much easier to lean your head in their bosom and not be as awkward it's still awkward to do. But not as awkward but this is a small intimate gathering Jesus is like a mentor father figure to John John as the youngest of the disciples so it makes little more sense of this but as I have this intimate fellowship one with another this last meal with Jesus John is right there head in Jesus bosom this guy cannot stop following Jesus he just can't he wants to be right in the thick of it next to Jesus then we go to Matthew Chapter 26 Jesus after they had the Lord's Supper get to the garden to 70 and he takes 3 people with him to the further recesses of the garden and leaves the other 8 at the gate because Judas has already left at this stage who are those 3 to go with Jesus into the guard against him and Peter James and John and Jesus asked specifically for their prayers and for their support now like 3 B.N. right. So Texas over there there's like thank you for praying for me and for supporting me like manna said like 3 being right now. But anyway he's not asking for that he's asking for them to go with them to help him and to pray for him because what Jesus is going through is hard guys you can even imagine is the weight of the sin of the world and if there's anybody that Jesus feels that he can trust in His greatest home in need it's Peter James and John they'll get to John Chapter 18 they go to the High Priest house you want to see this yourself go to John 18 because when you start paying attention to details as you're reading and studying scripture you start to see things that you don't see when you're just kind of doing a cursory overview right we're not going to walk for this one let's stop and take a look at John Chapter 18 beginning of verse 13 so Jesus is brought into the high priest tell us and this is Simon Peter followed Jesus so did another disciple This is John now that disciple was known to the High Priest and went to the with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest but Peter stands where. Outside of the door OK So John is inside of this area Jesus is inside of this area John is not sorry Peter is not Peter is outside of the door just in his or the door but says the other disciple who is known to the High Priest went out and spoke to her who kept the door and brought Peter in right so Peter is standing right here outside the door of the door going open right now OK So John is out here and the servant girls out here and Peter standing and John opens the door and tells the girl to let Peter in John is right there right to the narrative steps what question does the girl ask Peter right in front of John she says you are not also one of this man's disciples are you now what does that imply that John is a disciple and that John is unashamedly still claiming to be a disciple of Jesus Yeah but what does Peter say right in front of John No John literally is face to face with Peter in Peter's 1st denial right there and isn't in there he continues to deny 2 more times it's heartbreaking but here's the point John keeps following Jesus even into hostile territory John himself could have been arrested and thrown into prison and yet he follows him Peter denies a 3rd time and he runs to Peter and John of the last 2 to go this far with Jesus but Peter runs and now is just John then we get to John Chapter 19 at the cross who do you think's going to be there John Chapter 19 beginning of verse 25. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother his mother sister Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalen when Jesus therefore saw his mother and the disciple who he loved which is John standing by he said to his mother warm and behold your son then he said to the disciple behold your mother and from that hour that disciple took her to his own home now 1st of all Jesus in the midst of his suffering in agony will dying for the sins of the world and bearing the sins of the world not just hurting physically he's not thinking about himself because love seeks not its own but in this moment he and trust the care of his mother to John here's the thing with this she says Brothers Jude and James will be converted they did not believe in Jesus and John Chapter 7 but they do get converted they're in the Upper Room $120.00 are there James eventually ends up being the leader of the church and accepted 15 that's not the brother of John he's dead by then it's James the brother of Jesus who's the leader of the church then he's also the author of The Book of James his brother Jude is the person who wrote the book of Jude his brothers are going to be converted and yet he doesn't give us care to his brothers of his mother he gives it to John now the care of your mother is a really big deal in this culture and so certainly Jesus must have a lot of faith in John to say such a thing are you with me and he is there at the cross again he could be crucified right next to him but John cannot stop following Jesus All right John Chapter 20 beginning verses 123 and 4 when word gets to Peter James and others that Jesus is not in his tomb Peter and John run to the tomb in the text says that John got there 1st to who wrote that text John Granted he's younger and can run faster but that's not really the point the point is of the 12 disciples John's the 1st one to the tomb OK now go with me to John 21. There are others sure Jesus is restoring Peter for denying him 3 times and as he is restoring John Peter says Do You Love Me Do You Love Me Do you love me then he says here's what it's going to cost you Pete and it's a high cost so much is going to stretch out your arms and someone is going to clothe you who you do not where he's going to be imprisoned and he's going to be crucified that's a high cost isn't it and Peter when he hears the high cost but Jesus says but follow me when he hears this high cost Peter looks behind him because this is a private conversation right the God messed up pretty bad Jesus is restoring the guy personally walking on the shore and then whenever Peter looks behind him what does he see according the text on Chapter 2115 and 24 what does Peter see right behind him John is following this guy cannot stop following Jesus this conversation has nothing to do with him but he can't stop following Jesus and so he's following along here and then Peter does what Peter does best messed up right it is evil what about this guy right I hear it's going to be a high cost for me but what about this guy and you and Jesus answer is that's none of your business you follow me and many of our own brother in need to learn that lesson maybe some of us need to learn that lesson Jesus gives a call to you and to me and maybe that call is doing something in my local church that nobody else wants to do and it's going to be hard to say yes what about these people Jesus you know his answer is the same thing that's none of your business you follow me just go where I've asked you to go I'm not asking you worry about them all worry about them look at their life until I come who cares my point is you follow me but again John cannot stop following Jesus but here's the whole point here's where the love I used to say here is where the Boeing airplane lands in your living room but that's not really politically correct if you look is going to have some serious safety issues right now go to John Chapter 21. John Chapter 21 and verse one listen to this after these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples of the sea of type eeriest And in this way he showed himself so I'm going to wait Peter says he let's go fishing guys is a sure no problem and then a voice comes of them in verse 5 Hey have you do you have any food now just imagine you're macho min you're good fisherman you know how to get it done you're professionals and then someone calls out from the shore and says hey guys catch any fish no crates we've got nothing the whole night because 0 fish is professional fisherman they haven't caught anything and then he says cast your net on the other side on the right side of the boat and you will find some now this should remind you of something which of this reminds you of Luke Chapter 5 right whenever Jesus was out on the boat with Peter uses boat as like a seat for the ampitheater to preach and he says cast your net right this guy is not a fisherman but OK So they cast a net of the right side of the boat but now they were not even able to draw it in because there were so many fish and Luke Chapter 5 it was breaking they got it in they filled both in both boats now the nets not aren't breaking but they can even living in there but in the morning a story then he says verse 7 Therefore or this is very similar Luke 5 therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter it is the lord no one Simon Peter saw that it was the Lord he put on his outer garment and plunged into the seas out to Texas was a say it's actually on the board it's in red right here when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord was Peter there in Luke Chapter 5 when this 1st miraculous catch a fish happened yes or no it was his boat he was right there and you would assume that at the same situation is happening again Peter would be inclined to recognize that this is the handiwork of Jesus Jesus is at work in my life because I've seen this before Peter doesn't get. Only one person gets it James is there too and Andrew most likely is there and no one gets it but one person John here wondered why I believe it's because John spent the most time with Jesus he was the only one to recognize because he spent the most quality time with Jesus and so in turn he's able to recognize when Jesus is at work with his life and his life and here's The Point guys many Christians today struggle with recognizing the hand of God in their lives they don't see it wasn't real God doesn't answer my prayers goes on doing anything in my life and many times the reason why they can't recognize what Jesus is doing in their life is because they are spending time with them so how could they write the pert these guys were next to Jesus for 3 and a half years and they didn't get it and John Chapter 21 but John did because he kept closely following and studying the life of Jesus and he realized in the know I've seen something like this before this is how Jesus works I know this is the work of Jesus it's him then there's a lesson here for us when it comes to our devotional Lives series of questions I have if we don't think it's important for us to seek His face daily in the word in prayer what makes us think we're going to want to see his face every day for eternity right if I'm living my life in a way that tells Jesus' time with you doesn't matter to me then why would I assume that what eternity is time with Jesus would matter to me right it's just common sense. And what makes heaven Heaven is not what the streets look like I hear this conversation in the Sabbath school I think really and I mean it's nice but like streets of gold great well my dogs be there I don't know will I be married why not be merry like there's all these questions I hear people ask about heaven but it reminds me of the story David Asher told we were to Rice weird arises given a class of Mormons Jehovah's Witnesses and he talked about the story of either he was studying with a young man or one of the graduates was studying with a young man who is a Mormon and they have a testimony service in the Mormon Church this and this is in Baguio Mormons this is a story that actually happen and their testimony service looks like this the whole church stands up and makes this big circle around and each person is to say their testimony from the pulpit and leave in the next person lined up and do their thing the whole church and this kid sitting waiting 1st person steps up and says I believe the Mormon church is God's church and Justice Smith is a prophet the person steps down next person comes up I believe the Mormon church is God's church and Joseph Smith is a prophet and they step down the 3rd person same thing 4th 5th 6th his kids just. What on earth and so this kid had enough he's heard it like 50 times and he gets up at the pulpit no joke and this kid gets out of the pulpit and says Paypal What about Jesus and the like you could hear a pin drop. And when I hear these conversations in our savvy schools or amongst our brethren I feel the same way people what about Jesus I don't care what they pave the roads with I don't care how big their house is I don't care what planet I'm going to the only thing that matters to me is that I can bow down and wrap my arms around the legs of Jesus and never have to let him go to never have to wonder if I'm going to be good enough to just rest in the presence of Jesus that's what makes heaven Heaven is not the stuff guys if that's not what resonates in my heart what am I doing. Right Jesus is what makes heaven heaven to me in fact there was a span of my experience where I literally was afraid of heaven as a baby Christian I'm ashamed to admit I was afraid of Heaven why because I literally thought to myself that such a long time and I just thought like I was scared guys total of us I was scared because I got to such a long time what am I going to do for this length of time because I did not understand the the thing that was available to me I can commune with the living Christ I can live with him I can love him I can receive His love and there's no barriers there's no separation guys that's what makes heaven heaven Jesus says in John Chapter 17 of verse 3 I believe he says that this is eternal life that they may know you are the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent you know that means that means you don't have to wait until heaven to start enjoying the benefits of eternal life you can start enjoying that in the here and now and that starts in your prayer closet that starts in your communion with God in your devotional life are you with me this one section and this is real guys you can commune with the living Christ right now you have access to the Word of God in your own language let's value that Charles Spurgeon said you cannot have Christ in eternity if you do not have him in time so if we are spending time speaking with him each morning then how on earth are we going to take him with us and sharing with others. What am I offering people if I'm not communing with Jesus and taking time with him each day what is it that I think I'm going to be giving to people later in the day what I had to offer them right we're seeking to be with Jesus how I spend my time shows the things that I value the most right you make time for the things that matter somehow you get out of bed at 2 am to get on that plane to go on vacation but we can't get out of bed to have time with Jesus on a work day we can do it. And cry strength like we can do it and freeze it this way it's a matter of mind over matter it's right that we just wrestle man this bed feels so good but I have I have a question and a bit of an assumption but I think it's true we use the verse and Malakai 3 way too much for offering appeals right just test me in this give the ties and offerings in the story house on the open a window in heaven import a blessing on you that you cannot retain Now we had the saying in America that time is money right and the word isn't equal sign time equals money what if do you think that if I were to give God time he would offer me that same blessing What do you think What if you were to give a portion of your day as a tithe back to God I'm asking for 10 percent of your day maybe can't do that would be a bad thing but maybe you can do that you get kids get other stuff but what if you to set aside a special portion the 1st fruits of your day to God Do you think you would open up a window in heaven and bless you I think you would and do you think it's within the realm of possibility that if you took 20 minutes away from your precious sleep cycle and gave that 20 minutes to Jesus do you think you would make it possible that he would have a way to make your 20 minutes less asleep more restful than if you slept for the full 20 minutes totally He's God tried me now in this he says I wonder what God would do if we pledged to give him time I thought she had less That's what I think. For the mind phrase it this way Jesus is going to take everyone to heaven who wants to be there and how we spend our time testifies whether that's actually true and the pleasure of eternal life again begins now in John 17 in verse 3 but a really big disclaimer here because I have by the end of this month I will have been to 30 of our academies and out of 3 or 4 colleges and there are young people in our ranks particularly from those who are probably more of our philosophical circle right those people who are you know deep in a Bible study and maybe homeschooling and really serious about Tridge occasional stuff like that some parents well intended are really getting on to their kids and you have time with Jesus today do you have time to Jesus and so it's felt as if it's a chore as if it's something I have to do and if we pressure our kids to have time with God It causes a really big dissonance I've counseled multiple young people this way I had a friend fact my best friend went through a span in which he had to stop having time with Jesus to them growing appetite to want to have time with Cheesus because he felt that Jesus deserved better than me just doing something that I ought to do when my heart's not in it so which is a bigger disservice to Jesus no time on being honest or doing it because I have to but I don't want to be here and it causes all this confusion for these kids communing with Jesus is a privilege not penance and not punishment Amen and we need to couch it that way with our children and not make them feel that you better just like you to take out the trash got to do the dishes go to mow the lawn this is totally different guys this is Jesus this isn't a chore this is a privilege and how we communicate literally caused a psychological damage I've got friends who are adults they're in their twenty's one of the they're in the thirty's now and they still wrestle with having a devotional because of this tension. I know I should have time with Jesus but it's because I should have Tom and Jesus that I wrestle with even doing it it causes isn't this you know this analysis paralysis because I'm not giving him a true offering a hard to like an offering of Cain because I have to but I know that I should and it just causes confusion and so time in scripture literally is a place of psychological and emotional damage for these kids I did other former student who they dropped out of studying theology because it ruined their spiritual life I'm missing study theology I'll do this but for them it was hard because they could not I need to watch my words here but they they could not disassociate the. Super intense and difficult treatment they got studying theology it's rigorous it's hard and how hard that was on them and stressful they could not separate that from the Bible so in a try to have a devotional life it reminded them of what they were going through in class studying theology so for this kid they just had to drop out of the ology and went into some other field so do we treat Scripture is something that sacred and as a privilege or do we treat it like it's a chore or a textbook because there's a motional freight that comes of this of we're not careful and it bears fruit these young people's lives so having Tom of God is logical really right you live on a battlefield there's a real adversary called The Devil this ain't no joke this is real guys and. If he says Chapter 6 says that there's only one offensive to a given when you win you lose the whole armor of God of all those tools is only one tool is actually an office of tool and that's the sort of the Spirit Well this imagine if our people are being trained to know how to study and make the Word of God real for themselves they don't know how to use a sort of a spear in their battles you know their experience is going to look like they're going to spin their lives running from the enemy just trying to survive. Instead of standing as Paul commands in the text OK they got armor they're not going to die but their experience will be miserable they'll be running and just seeking to avoid death instead of standing and fighting for themselves and Paul says Stand 3 times if you 6 they won't be able to they don't know what they're doing so it's important for us to have a good command of the Word of God and have to study for ourselves and again communing with current crisis is a privilege not penance and not a punishment it's a means of protection it's our source of joy strength peace and sanity and guidance and L.-Y. says that the enemy and shrubs with darkness those who neglect to pray and some people asked what was that look like like mornings are hard for me I read in the evenings this is not a judgment for me but it's just a statement of logic that I wrestle with with that position do you write I'm not a mom I don't have kids that no matter what your schedule is between you and Jesus they always wake up at that time and make your life difficult right and I think people realize what is that mothers go through and I I've seen some things that I have friends with families and I see decisions being made and it concerns me that I don't think my brother and my brothers understand how difficult it is wrestling children by yourself when there's no husband home and you're in a situation in which you need to do certain things and I'm just realize like when I get married like I'm going to need to set aside time for my wife to have devotions not just for me to have devotions because when I leave it's just her and the kids are always in me doing stuff whenever she does wants time to herself like one of my responsibilities to provide for her is to give her that time so anyway I'm not gonna say that about your schedule but just think logically with me here how many people who are in the military walk off the base in flip flops a tank top and board shorts on the battlefield all day and then come home at the end of the day and put on their armor and go to bed. Logically it doesn't make much sense they know better they bring everything they need for that day's battles even stuff they may not need because they never know that they're not just walking out there with a gun they're bringing ammo they're bring in tents whatever I can bring all kinds of stuff maybe not tents I'm not the military but you my point like they're bringing more than one would assume they would need because they never know with the encounter and yet some of us are giving God the bare minimum if anything and they will suit up with all kinds of armor when we get home at the end of the day but we've been fighting battles all day we've been in hand to hand combat combat with the devil himself and then we don't do anything until later in the day I would recommend both right I need a place to rejuvenate myself had to get beat up all day but I also had a way to defend myself all day so I would recommend time in the morning and in the evening and I made a commitment 10 years ago that time with God was not optional and something happened when I made that covenant with God something supernatural happened I'm a sinner guys I need Jesus I got stuff in my life you know you've got stuff I got stuff and when I said yes to Jesus some things left immediately and other things have been a process and I don't understand that fully to some degree I do when we have to see or need to Jesus we don't fully understand how deep these roots structures are we're trying to pluck a fruit we don't realize is a root underneath that and the reason why the fruit remains issue is with the root is there stuff right but something supernatural happened when I Covenant with God 10 years ago nearly 11 years ago that time with God was not an option and there's not been a single day now one and the only reason why I believe I'm experiencing character growth and things in my life and not who I was 11 years ago the only explanation I have for this is that Jesus said distinct if I then by your truth your word is truth John Chapter 17 over 17 Jesus prayed on my behalf that God would use the word of God to sing to fly and transform my life I have a question Jesus prayers get answered yes or no. Jesus prayers get answered and Jesus prays that the father would use the word of God to sing to fly your life what's the variable. I mean not having time with the Word of God but if I enter in a covenantal fellowship with God in His Word Jesus has already prayed that that time would be fruitful Jesus has already prayed that God would use that to change my life and the only explanation I have for the fact that I'm not who I was in August of 2008 is because Jesus kept a promise and so I made a covenant that day and my flesh is weak guys I wish that that covenant was easy with everything else in my life and about it with but in that when the Lord has been merciful and it doesn't matter what time I fly this time with Jesus is not optional I'm not leaving my home without time in Jesus and I don't care whole long my day has been I'm not going to in my day with the time of Jesus and it's changed my life I can stand before you as a man testifying to the Lord Jesus Christ has transformed my life through the Word of God I'm not who I was before I'm not who I want to be either but I'm not who I was then are you with me. And I believe that if we were interest to a covenant with Jesus and tell him Lord I need you I don't spin this time with God because I'm awesome I spend this time with God because I need Jesus it's not because I have it all figured out it's because I recognize I don't have it figured out I need a savior I need someone to do for me what I can't do for myself are you with me and this is why I entered into this in this change my life so I'm slightly passionate about this so how do I strengthen it be like John keep following Jesus our primary objective in our devotional light is to connect with Jesus not become a scholar and you may argue with me on this and that's fine but my main objective is to see Jesus in Scripture to commune with Jesus in Scripture and so my process may look different than yours and that's totally fine you don't have to do what I do I read cover to cover 3 times a year you don't have to do that but whatever you do take it seriously do it regularly and seek to connect with Jesus it to change your life. And so what this is done for me is I dig deeper when I want to dig deeper but my main objective right now is I want an experience with the living Christ in the Word of God and it's forced me to try to find Jesus and techs remain I think that you would find Jesus it's forced me to dig deeper in this sense but when I want to study and dig deep I do that right I hit the brakes and I go down deep I do that but in my devotional life my permit objective is not to get smarter is to connect with Jesus be with me and the thing is you can't connect with Jesus and not grow and not learn you know Stan so now I'm not opposed to Bible study but this is the way I've been it's been a huge blessing to me it's God's telling you do something else than do something else right this is one person's opinion Bible 1st don't read stuff other than the Bible and to read the Bible and please I beg of you in the name of the Lord Jesus stop reading devotionals instead of reading the Bible do not deprive yourself of the privilege of having a connection with the living Christ in the living word to learn from what somebody else has learned now I'm not saying you should read devotion in the morning do that but don't do that before the Bible or instead of the Bible read the Bible 1st then read it devotional no problem only the Word of God can impart life and the white never claim to have the ability and her writings to impart life the words of L. Why did not bring the universe into existence the words of Max located in that bring the universe into existence the words of whoever else was writing devotionals in the 7 am a church rest of us have that of his church even if their great they cannot impart life guys and if they're worth their weight insults are going to tell you the same thing if they tell you something different you probably should be reading their books so read the Word of God 1st then you can read devotionals I read the Word of God then I read the Spirit of Prophecy but in that order. You can sing this as I will get into that read out loud sometimes never we're reading and it's early it's difficult for us to focus so we've got loud now you don't have to read like super loud audibly you can just be reading under your breath but you're enunciating your to cue waiting and using more than one of your senses as you're reading it makes it easier to focus K. that's one way to do it start in the Gospels and observe Jesus and in turn the father because he says in John 149 He who has seen Me has seen the Father so if you if you've not had a devotional life of devotion life has gone barren and dry start in the Gospels Matthew Mark Luke John repeat and just focus on seeing how Jesus does life because that's exactly how the father does life and many of us wrestle with unhealthy pictures of the Father we can roll with Jesus but the father is just a mystery to us what you want to know what he's like say father teach me about yourself through the life of Jesus it to change your life guys to I know some talks about doing it this way and I even endorses this to a large degree in one of her statements but what he talked about he had this book in this sermon he did called a new way to pray and is this is a new age crazy stuff to chill out if you get a little worried here but Black's new way would not new age new way it all what he does is he just says read a story a day one story so maybe it's a story of his daughter being raised and read it multiple times to get the whole picture put yourself there audibly visually visually smell touch hear put just surround yourself in this story walk through different people's experiences in the story multiple times and just saturate yourself and what's going on then journal your response what does jesus tell you when you read that what would Jesus tell you if Jesus were to write you a letter about that passage and what he thinks about what he thinks of you in that passage what would you say what would you say Jesus Whiteman says in his name like. Lord when I read this I realize that I'm the rich young ruler. I say I'll do whatever you ask but I recognize I'm not giving you all of me and Jesus I'm sorry would you change that today maybe write a letter from Jesus to you Dwight you know whenever I see you he says this in his sermon but whenever I see the region Miller It reminds me of you I know that you love me but I also know that you're wrestling with going all in in this thing right saturates yourself in this journal what it is that you're seeing into the change your life because when you get to those moments and feel like nothing's happening God not really God doesn't care you can go back to what you have written about your story because we as a people have been so prone to forget we've been so prone to forget how good God has been to us this is a great way to do it. I did that eventually go through the whole viable looking for Jesus and all that you read this was talked about this morning I believe I've always talking about this the Holy Spirit cannot bring to your remembrance the text that you don't read every Christian should have a goal that they're going to read the entire Bible how else will you know what God says and what God thinks if you're not reading what God says and what God thinks right and so read the whole Bible through I would also recommend as you read the entire complex series through people asked a badger How do you know so much about scripture he said you know if you all is true this I read the complex series regularly there's beautiful insight in the spirit of prophecy regarding the Word of God David actually extend thing like a bunch of my sermons come from stuff I read the Spirit of Prophecy a bunch of them. But you want to learn more about scripture read scripture 1st of all you don't know until you read it and 2nd of all read the inspired writings that give us more insight but yeah have have an objective that you're going to read the whole Bible if you're new to this thing don't start there I would recommend that right you'll be on fire in Genesis you did OK in Exodus you get halfway through you think and man like eating stuff that's just like like so wholesome that you kind of like need 10 minutes to eat like steel cut oats it just it's harder work it's good food but it's hard to work maybe in situations where it's like 2nd Chronicles or 1st Chronicles and it can be difficult at times so don't start there find your bearings and here's a beautiful thing if you're spending time in Matthew Mark Luke John repeat multiple times what begins to happen is once you start to read other areas of scripture you recognize wait a minute Isaiah is talking about Jesus and Isaiah $53.00 wait a minute Psalm $22.00 is talking about Jesus wait a minute and you start connecting the dots here with me to great way to set your compass to true north this is well I says about this we're going to do I was saying it would be well for us it's been a thoughtful hour how frequently every day in contemplation of the life of Christ which is take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene is especially the closing ones and as we thus dwell upon his great sacrifice for us our confidence in him will be more constant Our love will be quickened and we should be more deeply imbued with his spirit if we would be saved at last we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross one of the ways you can do this is by putting yourself I said that already put yourself in the shoes of the people. Many times we missed the drama in the heart of God in the narrative by just reading superficially immerse yourself in the story you'll see what God is doing in his great compassion and when to close out because it's actually over by 6 minutes already hoops we started 6 minutes late though. I'm to say an art spent time singing Jesus was singing to God riches are of ages he would sing regularly to God after Scripture then read speed of prophecy other devotional books spin earnest time in prayer journal take time to memorize scripture the Spirit of Prophecy. That's it OK So those are the basic I'm not going to do the personal prayer side thing because it's more of a Bible study conference but there's other files as you get later but I just made sense yes or no just a basic principles practical stuff a why devotions are important again I'll give you my slides you have access to those in the audio you can go back through the middle and more and just you know do you believe here some resources to start with so let's pray to God I think you for the privilege to pray I think you that we have a great privilege in communing with the God of Heaven Lord forgive us for not valuing that and I asked now that you would come into this place to administer to us and just draws even closer to you with a time when I have orse Symon our time in United prayer with Julio or in this classroom Lord Jesus just draw us to yourselves and it would be more in love with you at the end of this day than we were when the day started we pray we ask this now in Jesus' name amen 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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