As we start a new year many of us have made a fresh commitment to read more of our Bible, pray more, and in general, have a more effective quiet time. While there is no right way or wrong way to do that, there are some things we might consider to make our time with God more spiritually profitable and enjoyable.
28 Ways to Improve Your Quiet Time
What Is a Quiet Time?
Sometimes as believers we speak a kind of Christianise. We throw around terms that we don’t fully explain. So let’s talk a little about what a quiet time is and is not.
First, what it is not.
It’s not a way to get right with God.
It’s not a way to earn His favor.
We can only be right with God by coming to Him by faith through Jesus Christ. If you’re not sure you’ve done this, you can read more about it here. In fact, this is so important, I would urge you to do that now before you finish reading this post if you’re not sure. Continue reading →
How do you view the Word of God? As the commands and revelation of the Creator of heaven and earth or is it merely “interesting” to you … one more opinion in a list of options for making decisions and solving life’s problems? Is it full of commands and principles to live by or merely divine suggestions? Is it a standard or the standard by which you weigh everything?
Before you answer … you might ask yourself if, when talking about some Biblical command or principle, you’ve ever said:
Are you getting the most benefit from your hearing, reading, and study of God’s Word? What does Matthew Henry mean when he talks about “profiting from the Bible”? And what might prevent us from doing so?
Also, what did Peter have to say to suffering Christians in the first century that flies in the face of our “don’t-step-on-my-toes-I-have-rights” generation? Continue reading →
Many today want to throw the Bible out completely. They try to discredit God’s people by saying we’re intolerant and mean-spirited when we call for a biblical standard. Attempting to destroy God’s Word is nothing new, but God will preserve it and one day judge those who try to destroy it just as He did in Jeremiah’s time.
While we can rejoice that God will deal with evil men who reject His Word, we may need to examine our attitudes toward Scripture, as well.
How do we view the Bible? Do we see it as a cafeteria line where we can pick and choose what we like? Do we cut and paste it at will? Do we view it as merely a book of nice suggestions for living? Or do we view it as God’s Word and allow it to direct every area of our lives? Continue reading →
I mentioned recently that the Bible is the #1 best seller of all time. That is true for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that God is always going to watch over and protect His Word. It’s, also, true because it offers the only true and lasting answers to man’s problems.
Communist and other governments have tried to destroy it. False religious leaders have burned it, outlawed it and punished those who held on to it. And today many in the scientific world and in our institutions of higher education have tried to declare it irrelevant, at best, and foolish or dangerous, at worst. Yet people continue to suffer persecution and even death to keep it and hold to its principles.
The Bible is, also, a literary masterpiece. (Go figure it was written by the most creative being ever! Just sayin’!)
It has intrigue, deception, sex, love, war, devotion, bitterness, redemption, and so much more. It’s a book of songs and poetry, story-telling, history and wisdom. It portrays human experience, even its underside, but also provides the wisdom to understand and overcome it.
The Bible tells the fascinating story of creation, the fall of man, and redemption through the lives and lessons of real people. It’s stories are without parallel.
The Christmas story alone is one of perceived betrayal and rejection (Mary and Joseph). It’s one of embarrassment (just think about what their friends and neighbors must have thought), harsh and unfair treatment (imagine riding a donkey 70 or so miles while 9 months pregnant), and murder (when Herod failed to find the baby Jesus, he ordered the mass murder of all the boys age 2 and under).
But it’s also one of wonder (the virgin birth, the journey of the wise men, angels appearing to lowly shepherds, and God’s protection of His Son).
As we finish out this year and begin rereading the incredible book we call the Bible, get ready for more shocking human behavior, more intrigue, more twists and turns, and more of God’s amazing patience, mercy, grace and love. And no matter how many times (or how few) you’ve read through the Bible, get ready to be blessed as you grow to know our amazing God better.
If you’re new here, I blog through the Bible each year sharing, as God faithfully shows me, insights about how the Bible applies to our daily lives. The journey started as a challenge to the ladies in our women’s ministry about 8 years ago. I told them if they would commit to read through the Bible with me, I would commit to send out an email every day sharing some things I gleaned from my reading. It quickly grew to 100, then 200, then 300+ men and women.
As that first year was coming to an end, God made it clear that I was to do it again … then again … then again. After several years, I decided to turn that annual journey into a blog.
I also write about others subjects. Right now I’m sharing a series on homosexuality: how we got here, the many voices telling us what to believe about the subject, how to respond biblically, how to minster to families who have a family member living or struggling with a same-sex attraction, etc.
After the first of the year I’ll pick up with another series called “Bite-Sized Theology” that I started earlier this year.
This week we’re going to take a little bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology.
The Greek word for Bible is Biblos, but when the early Christians wrote the name on a scroll containing God’s Word, they wrote Ho Biblos: Biblos meaning Book and Ho meaning The.
The Bible is no ordinary book. It is The Book.
2 Timothy 3.16-17 says:
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It was inspired by God. The literal translations says God breathed it out.
The Bible is not a book about God, it is the very Word of God.
Didn’t Men Write the Bible
But wait a minute, didn’t men write the Bible? What about Moses, Peter, Paul, John and other biblical authors?
Men penned the Bible. They were His instruments transcribing what was in the mind of God.
I’m a note taker. I take lots of notes … during church services, in classes, and when I’m counseling. I even have a preferred writing instrument, a special pen I like to use when writing. Yet, it would be silly to say that my pen took notes. It was merely the instrument.
2 Peter 1.21 says:
21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The same Greek word was used in Acts 27.15 talking about a ship caught in a powerful storm. It says:
15 and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along (NASB).
The storm was so fierce that the sailors couldn’t sail into it without great danger. They had to allowed the ship to be “driven along” by the wind. Continue reading →