Wednesday, December 27, 2006

THE NECESSITY OF TIME SPENT WITH GOD



Matt. 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

The one great need in the life of every Christian is time alone with God. We see here in Matthew’s gospel that Jesus did not allow the demands of ministry to interfere with His fellowship with the Father. A short while ago I was preparing a sermon for the Lord’s Day and came upon a portion of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2 that made a similar impression on me. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; (verses 1,2a). What struck me about Paul’s exhortation to pray for all men, but especially those in authority is the vital purpose of such prayer which is stated at the end of verse 2,” that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." Here is the mark that we as believers should aim for. A peaceable life that is marked by godliness and honesty! Matthew Henry, was of the conviction that the Christian’s duty is summed up in those two words, godliness and honesty. Godliness encompasses our worship of God that is evidenced by our sacrificial love for the Lord, and honesty (gravity) our duty toward men who behold our testimony. As I understand it, godliness is spiritual shorthand for “a holy manner of life” (2 Peter 3:11). Honesty before men is the sincerity of our convictions that bear witness to the truth we profess. These two spiritual fruits do not come accidentally in our life. The Holy Spirit produces them in us as He directs our thoughts heavenward in our quiet times before the God. As we have already seen, the Lord Jesus set the example for us. He retreated from the crowds to be alone with His Heavenly Father. Can we afford to do less? When I fail to spend time with the Lord I begin to falter in my spiritual walk and I fail the very ones who are the objects of my ministry. How foolish of me to ever think that I am a spiritual giant who can take on the worldly Goliath without the blessing of the Lord upon me. A blessing that can only time from time in His presence. Brethren, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Let us encourage one another to maintain a quiet time with God each day. Only in such an hour will we be able to follow in spirit the word of Eli to Samuel, “Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9). As we approach a new year I can think of no better resolution than to be resolved that no one or nothing will come between us and the blessing of sweet fellowship with our Savior.

God bless you all,

Pastor Tom

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