Spending Time With Jesus
September 10, 2023
SPENDING TIME WITH JESUS
In relation to the topic of spending time with Jesus, we have narrowed the topic down to 3 specific areas:
- The Bible
I want us to keep in mind that the purpose of today’s conversations is how to successfully spend time WITH Jesus. This is not an attempt at a formulaic ritual, where if you follow it, God gives you 3 wishes. Instead, the goal is to help us understand that we have been gifted the chance of an intimate relationship with our Creator, by way of a Savior. The only way that you and I will ever even begin to scratch the surface of the depth of grace and mercy that has been afforded to us and the people that we love most, is by actively engaging our relationship with Jesus by the Truth of the Word, passionate prayer, and a worshipful heart.
“The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.”
Prior to September 21, 1522, the bible that you and I know today did not exist as we know it. In fact, it was only translated into Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; and mostly only resided inside the walls of the church building. September 21,1522 was the opening of the annual book fair in Leipzig, Germany. he previous April, Martin Luther refused to recant his writings before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at an assembly convened to examine his works known as the Diet of Worms. From there he was secreted to the Wartburg Castle for his own protection. In eleven weeks, he completed a translation of the New Testament from Greek into German. From there, his colleague at Wittenberg University, Philip Melanchthon, edited the translation. Two businessmen in Wittenberg, Lucas Cranach the Elder and his partner Christian Doering, then employed the printer Melchior Lotter the Younger to rush to completion of this New Testament in German in time for the book fair—even setting up temporary presses on their property to ensure completion. Between 3,000 and 5,000 copies were made, bundled up, and rushed to Leipzig for the book fair.
Why is this significant? Martin Luther felt a conviction while studying the scriptures himself. “Luther wanted a New Testament through which individuals could hear the Word of God directly, without the mediation of the church or a priest. Said another way: Luther’s goal was that individuals hear “God’s message about Christ.”
Here is the ugly truth: if we sat down with a licensed counselor that was evaluating our relationship with Jesus, we would be guilty of neglect and manipulation. Neglecting to spend quality time with Him and manipulating His love for us for personal advancement.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1–2.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17.
It is impossible to have a deep relationship with Jesus Chirst if you do not spend time in His Word. To study the Bible is to study Jesus. Loving Jesus means loving His Word.
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing” — Martin Luther
Most Christians see prayer kind of like Amazon. We place our order when we have time to make it, then we get upset when the answer doesn’t come with same day delivery. I am right there with you, but I have to remind myself that by praying, I am doing so much more than shopping for convenience. Prayer is an open line of communication between the created to the Creator, where we come into the presence of a Holy God.
If we look back to the Old Testament, we see that there was only one day, Yom Kapor (the day of atonement), that anyone could come into the presence of God. The High Priest would go through a cleansing ceremony first. Then, he would be dressed to enter the Holy of Holies, putting on a tunic, sash, Ephod - which was a special breastplate only the high priest could wear, then finally, a veil was placed over his face (which symbolized the separation between mankind and God). Then, the high priest would be anointed and consecrated by oil as a representative of God’s people. Finally, a rope would be tied around his waist as he walked into the presence of God to give offerings and ask for the forgiveness of God’s children.
Prior to Jesus, we had to rely on a normal man as the source of our forgiveness from God. Because of Jesus, the Son of God, who was both the High Priest AND Sacrificial Lamb, going to the cross for the sin of mankind, we are afforded the forgiveness of sins through faith. But not only that, we become the dwelling place of our Holy God, so that in order to have communion with Him, all we have to do is bow our heads and have a conversation.
God’s Word not only tells us that we can approach Jesus, but we can do so with confidence:
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14
There isn’t necessarily a “secret sauce” to praying, but there is a direction:
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
10 Types of Prayers:
- Prayer of Adoration
- “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens” Psalm 148:13
- Prayer of Thanksgiving
- “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, ‘Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise’” 1 Chronicles 16:34-35.
- Prayer of Confession
- “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” Psalm 32:5.
- Prayer for Healing
- “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise" Jeremiah 17:14.
- Prayer for Deliverance and Help
- “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress” Psalm 107:6.
- Prayer of Intercession
- “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:9-12).
- Prayer of Blessing
- “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” Philippians 1:9-11.
What is worship?
In worship, God imparts himself to us. — C.S. Lewis
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness Psalm 29:2.
Worship is adoration. Adoring God means you’re ascribing worthiness to God for who he is and for what he has done. The purpose of true worship is to serve and adore God for who He is. Worship also goes far beyond lifting our hands, shouting praise, or even tears rolling down our face. Those things are good and have a place, but worship must completely consume our entire being (heart, mind, and soul).
Worship is every saint’s replenishment station. When we worship, we are in a conversation that is bound in communion with our Lord and Savior which results in joy. While we give God our shouts, songs, and grateful hearts, he gives back to us living water, the bread of life, the breath of his spirit, healing, and deliverance.
I am not sure if you have ever had one of those mornings where you wake up and it’s ALREADY a bad day. You know what I am talking about, the coffee machine breaks, the car won’t start, your bank account is overdrafted, the rent is due, your kids are on one, and the devil is whispering, “just lay there, you aren’t worth anything today anyway”. One of THOSE days.
“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” — C.S. Lewis
Here is the main take-a-way when it comes to worship: Worship has absolutely nothing to do with me or you, it EVERYTHING to do with God and ONLY God. The second our worship is affected by our circumstances or our sin, we have lost sight of the Holiness of God.
- Listening to worship music
- Reading the Bible as worship (Psalms)
- Sitting in creation and reflecting on God's character
- Serving (Being a living sacrifice)
- Creative Expression (Art, music, etc)
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29
When it comes to being discipled in this area or discipling someone in this area, the most profound piece of advice I can give you is, just start!
It is going to be different for everybody, and that is okay!
Start it early and revist it throughout the day. (Even if you aren't a morning person.)
If it is too hard or too stale, mix it up!
More resources at: Livingfaithindy.com/discipleship
- I will take time this week to reflect on the quality of my personal time with God in the areas scripture, prayer, and worship.
- I would like to talk to someone about resources in the area of scripture, prayer, or worship.
- I would like to be discipled or disciple someone, but I don’t know where to start.