If you struggle with your Personal Quiet Time (Devotions, Daily Bible Reading and Prayer Time), this should help.
"To begin the day with God is the great secret of walking through the day with God"
"What a privilege this the moment that 'slumber's chain' is broken, and we wake to duty and toil (perhaps to temptation and trial), to raise the soul to God, and seek to fill your soul at this Infinite Fountain of life, love and bliss --- with such thoughts and feelings and purposes as will give us a hallowing, soothing, and controlling influence upon the day!
Before the secular commences, to begin with the Spiritual.
Before care insinuates, to preoccupy the mind with peace.
Before temptation assails, to fortify the heart with prayer.
Before sorrow beclouds, to irradiate the soul with Divine sunshine.
What a precious privilege this is!"
"A morning without God is the precursor of an uneasy, cloudy and dark day."
"It is like a morning around whose eastern horizon thick vapors gather, veiling the ascending sun, and foreshadowing a day of storm.
'The first thing I do when I awake in the morning,' remarks an aged saint of God, 'is to ask the Holy Spirit to take possession of my mind, my imagination, my heart, directing, sanctifying, and controlling my every thought, feeling, and word'."
(This comes from, Morning Thoughts, or Daily Walking with God by Octavius Winslow, Preface -- Kindle Edition: http://amzn.to/PbrEUx)
I have loved the doctrines of the gospel; they have been to my soul like green pastures. The gospel has seemed to me the richest treasure; the treasure that I have most desired, and longed that it might dwell richly in me. The way of salvation by Christ has appeared, in a general way, glorious and excellent, most pleasant and most beautiful. It has often seemed to me, that it would in a great measure spoil heaven, to receive it in any other way. That text has often been affecting and delightful to me, Isa. 32:2, A man shall be an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, etc.
This man knew the joys of meditating on Scripture with a regenerate heart.
This was a blessing to me today:
We are constantly tempted to look within ourselves to seek to find some reason why God should love us. Such searching is, of course, usually discouraging. We usually find within ourselves reasons why we think God should not love us. Such searching is also unbiblical.
The Bible is quite clear that God does not look within us for a reason to love us. He loves us because we are in Christ Jesus. When He looks at us, He does not look at us as “stand alone” Christians, resplendent in our own good works, even good works as Christians. Rather, as He looks at us, He sees us united to His beloved Son, clothed in His righteousness. He loves us, not because we are lovely in ourselves, but because we are in Christ.
Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, pp. 151-152
Last night at our elders meeting we hovered over
Luke 10:1-3. That’s the passage where Jesus says that the fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few. We all prayed over this text, and most of our prayers were prayers of confession – “forgive us for not praying and not going”. Lord willing, He will move us to pray and go with courage and love.
This morning I read something from J.C. Ryle that helped me linger over this some more. Ryle says:
The wickedness of being ashamed of Christ is very great.
It is a proof of unbelief.
It shows that we care more for the praise of men whom we can see, than that of God whom we cannot see.
It is a proof of ingratitude.
It shows that we fear confessing Him before man who was not ashamed to die for us upon the cross.
Let us resolve never to be ashamed of Christ. Of sin and worldliness we may well be ashamed. Of Christ and His cause we have no right to be ashamed at all. Boldness in Christ’s service always brings its own reward.
The boldest Christian is always the happiest person.
I am not what I ought to be. Ah, how imperfect and deficient!
I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good!
I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection.
Yet, though I am not what I ought to be,
nor what I wish to be,
nor what I hope to be,
I can truly say, I am not what I once was;
a slave to sin and Satan;
and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge,
‘By the grace of God I am what I am.’
This is a wonderfully helpful quote for any who are sick of their sins and the residual guilt that comes along with them.
I know not what you may have been in your past life – it matters nothing. You may have broken every commandment under heaven; you may have sinned with a high hand against light and knowledge; you may have despised a father’s warnings and a mother’s tears; you may have run greedily into every excess of riot, and plunged into every kind of abominable behavior – you may have turned your back entirely on God, His day, His house, His ministers, His word. I say again it matters nothing. Do you feel your sins? Are you sick of them? Are you ashamed of them? Are you weary of them? Then come to Christ just as you are, and Christ’s blood shall make you clean. (J. C. Ryle, Old Paths)
Isn’t that glorious!! COME TO CHRIST JUST AS YOU ARE, AND CHRIST’S BLOOD SHALL MAKE YOU CLEAN!
This reminds me of the second and third verses of one of my favorite hymns, “It Is Well With My Soul”:
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
With that solid truth, my heart can sing, “It IS well with my soul!”
I cannot live well without God’s ongoing ministry to me.
Jesus said, “…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It’s true, but I don’t always act like it.
Good words from J.I. Packer:
The Christian’s life in all its aspects — intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness — is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from Him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all. (emphasis mine) — as quoted in Forgotten God by Francis Chan, p. 83
Today my heart yearns for more of Him. And, the good news of Jesus to me is: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (emphasis mine) (Luke 11:13)
Here is a great, short prayer that I have slowly worked through this morning.
It comes from Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love.
I need to give myself up.
I am not strong enough to love You and walk with you on my own. I can’t do it, and I need You.
I need You deeply and desperately.
I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next.
I want You.
And when I don’t, I want to want You.
Be all in me.
Take all of me.
Have Your way with me.