Category: Christian Growth

Is Doctrine Keeping Us Apart?

Is Doctrine Keeping Us Apart?

Are you aware that more and more people are concluding that doctrine is keeping us apart? Doctrine is destroying unity and separating family members. Thus, making it difficult for the follower of Christ to set aside differences and stand together for a common purpose.

Doctrine is also what distinguishes and divides Christians into thousands of denominations and subgroups.

Bible Verse: Galatians 1:6

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.”

This verse characterizes the Galatians’ response to the false teachers’ heretical doctrines. The Galatian believers were voluntarily deserting grace to pursue the legalism that the false teachers were propagating.

In effect, it caused division in the church.

Doctrinal Differences in the Church

Doctrine Divides, Love Unites

Although many are pointing out that doctrine divides, the fact also remains that love unites. This is because our Lord Jesus called us to love one another (John 13:34; 15:12).

The commandment to love was not new. Deuteronomy 6:5 commanded love for God, and Leviticus 19:18 commanded loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. The Greatest Commandment summarizes the Law into two:  Love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and secondly, love our neighbor as ourselves.

Also, Christ Himself said that love would be the distinguishing mark of His people (1 John 2:7-11; 3:10-12; 4:7-10, 20, 21). Love is from God because God is love. Christians love because God is the essence of love.

We cannot love God without first loving our fellow believers. Anyone who claims to love God but cannot love other Christians for any reason, even doctrinal differences, is delusional.

Doctrine Unites, Love Divides

However, we cannot afford to forget that doctrine also unites. All over the world, what allows true believers in Christ to find a family is acceptance of the doctrine of Christ.

In searching for a spiritual family to join, belief in the person and works of Christ is of utmost importance. This is exactly why the first thing we want to know about a particular church is its statement of faith.

What do they believe about Christ, God’s grace, the Bible, salvation, etc? Do they believe in the Triune God? What about Christ’s promise to come again for His church?

When Christians accept the doctrine of the grace of God, it enables them to recognize one another as brothers and sisters. It won’t matter anymore if they are of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. They just see each other as lowly sinners saved by grace through faith alone, in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

It is for the same reason that love divides. Once we know the truth about Christ and His sacrifice, we need to stop pretending we are in unity with those of different doctrines. We cannot sacrifice the truth for a false sense of unity, just so we could stand together in social consensus.

The Doctrine of Human Merit

When the apostle Paul wrote Galatians 1:6-8, love was working together with truth.

Forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and adoption into the family of God comes only by grace, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Any doctrine that says human merit would add to what Christ has already accomplished is unacceptable.

The Gospel of Christ makes it clear that one cannot mix faith and works when trusting God for forgiveness and salvation.

Does this mean we can do whatever we want and live the way we want to live after getting saved? That we can keep on sinning after receiving God’s forgiveness?

Paul answers this question in Romans 6:1-14 where he discusses the doctrine of sanctification. Sanctification is the act of God that produces actual righteousness in the believer.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Under the Doctrine of Christ

We can’t have Christ without embracing and submitting to the doctrine of Christ. We need doctrine to answer questions like: Who is God? What is He like? Does He care about what we believe about Him? And once we know Him, how are we to live?

Paul wrote this in 2 Timothy 4:2-4:

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers. And they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

Is our generation facing the danger Paul wrote about? Indeed! Many so-called preachers are encouraging people to accept Christ. Yet, they fail to bring them under the lordship of the doctrine of Christ. Thus, resulting in a growing lack of discernment making them vulnerable to the doctrines of demons.

Conclusion

On the one hand, we cannot afford to let doctrine come between us. As Paul said, “If we don’t have love, we are like a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Yet, on the other hand, we need to be grounded on the foundations of doctrine based not on tradition but on Scripture.


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Recommended Resource:

Bible Doctrine, Second Edition: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith by Wayne A. Grudem (Author) & Alexander Grudem (Editor)

How do we know the Bible is God’s Word? What is sin and where did it come from? How is Jesus fully God and fully man? What are spiritual gifts? When and how will Christ return?

If you’ve asked questions like these, then systematic theology is no abstract term. It’s an approach to finding answers every Christian needs to know. The second edition of Bible Doctrine takes a widely used upper-level textbook on systematic theology and makes it accessible. 

You don’t need to have had several years of Bible college or seminary training to reap the benefits of Bible Doctrine. It’s easy to understand and packed with biblical answers to your most pressing theological questions.

This new edition is 144 pages longer than the first edition.

Lessons from the Rebuilding of Jerusalem

Lessons from the Rebuilding of Jerusalem

We know the kinds of hardships and opposition that Nehemiah faced in rebuilding Jerusalem. It wasn’t easy but in the end, they succeeded. What lessons can we learn from Nehemiah’s experience that we can apply in our spiritual journey with God?

Who Was Nehemiah?

Nehemiah was a layman, a cup-bearer to the great Artaxerxes Longimanus, who ruled Persia from 464 to 423 BC. He is identified as the son of Hacaliah to distinguish him from other Jews of the same name (Nehemiah 1:1, 3:16; Ezra 2:2). The name Nehemiah means “The Lord has comforted.”

As a true leader, Nehemiah cared and he cared about the right things. He cared about the traditions of the past, the needs of the present, and the hopes for the future. Nehemiah cared about his heritage, his ancestral city, and the glory of his God.

Furthermore, Nehemiah cared enough to notice an opportunity where others would have likely only seen impossibility. And he cared enough to make himself available to task for a mighty task.

Nehemiah Weeps

Lessons from Nehemiah

There are several things we can learn from Nehemiah. These lessons, if we take to heart and apply them, will help us overcome any obstacle and opposition that come our way.

1. Responding to Bad News

Three words can summarize the bad news from Judah: remnant, ruin, and reproach. Instead of a land inhabited by a great nation, only a remnant of people lived there, and they were in great affliction. The Jewish remnants were struggling to survive (Nehemiah 1:3).

When Nehemiah heard of the plight of the Jewish remnants and the destruction of Jerusalem, he wept and mourned. Sometimes weeping is a sign of weakness; but with Nehemiah, it was a sign of strength.

What’s the first thing you do when you hear any bad news about your country, family, or loved ones? What makes people laugh or weep is often an indication of character. People who laugh at others’ mistakes or misfortunes are lacking either in culture or character.

Nehemiah also fasted (Nehemiah 1:4). Fasting was required for the Jews only once a year, on the annual Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29). But Nehemiah spent several days fasting, weeping, and praying. He knew that somebody had to do something to rescue Jerusalem, and he was willing to do whatever it took.

Are you willing to make yourself available for the task God is preparing for you?

2. Wait on the Lord in Prayer

Four months passed since Nehemiah received the bad news about Jerusalem. As every believer should, Nehemiah patiently waited on God for directions.

Nehemiah had direct access to the king as his cupbearer. Thus, he could have asked for the king’s favor upon hearing the bad news. But instead of telling the king what he planned to do, he aroused his sympathy and interest (Nehemiah 2:4-6). This was a good strategy, and God used Nehemiah’s reply to get the king’s sympathetic attention.

Nehemiah had not only prayed for this opportunity; he had also planned it and had his answer ready. During those 4 months of waiting, he thought the matter through. And so he knew exactly how he would approach the project.

When we wait on the Lord in prayer, we are not wasting our time; we are investing it. God is preparing both us and our circumstances so that His purposes will be accomplished.

Let us learn to wait on God in prayer.

The Challenge of Waiting on God

3. You Can’t Do it All Alone

Nehemiah faced a great challenge and had great faith in God. But he would have accomplished very little if not for the great dedication on the part of those who helped him. Many people were willing to help Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And in humility, he gave all the credit to them (Nehemiah 4:6).

When God gives each of us a task, we don’t try to do all the work. We need other people to help us accomplish things. And just because we reach out to others does not mean we are incapable of doing things. Besides, God does not expect us to do the works He asked us to do all on our own.

Nehemiah named 38 individual workers and identified 42 different groups and others he left unnamed who were given specific tasks. Just as Paul compares the individual Christians to members of the human body (1 Corinthians chapters 12 & 14).

God uses all kinds of people, even people from the outside. Everyone has a place to work and a job to do. Each member is important, and each has a special function to perform.

4. Aim Towards One Goal

The people finished the difficult task of rebuilding the Jerusalem walls because they obeyed the same leader.

Not only that, they kept their eye on the same goal and worked together for God’s glory. Neither the enemy in the city nor the difficulties inside the city distracted them. They were all equally focused on their God-given task.

Like Paul, they said, “I focus on this one thing” (Philippians 3:13, NLT).

Yet they did not stop there. Nehemiah and the people made sure that it was difficult for anyone outside the walls to access the city.

You see, it’s not enough that we simply aim towards achieving the same goal and fulfilling the work of God. We must also make sure to protect whatever we do from the enemy.

Are you willing to work along with your leader and others to accomplish what God asked of you to do?

Conclusion

God put Nehemiah in Suza just as He had put Esther there a generation before. And just as He put Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon. When God wants to accomplish a work, He always prepares His workers and puts them in the right place at the right time.

God is still looking for people like Nehemiah. Are you available and willing? Do you care enough to ask for the facts, weep over the needs, pray for God’s help, and then volunteer to get the job done?

Can you say to God, “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8)? When was the last time you prayed that prayer? What would it take for you to pray it today?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: 

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os GuinnessThe Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life’s purpose.

Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God’s call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives.

Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fit God’s call with my own individuality? How should God’s calling affect my career, my plans for the future, and my concepts of success?

Guinness now helps the reader discover answers to these questions, and more, through a corresponding workbook – perfect for individual or group study.

According to Guinness, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.”

With tens of thousands of readers to date, The Call is for all who desire a purposeful, intentional life of faith.

Obey God Rather Than Authorities

Obey God Rather Than Authorities

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose if you should obey God rather than the authorities? On the one hand, the Word of God exhorts us to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1). But on the other hand, we are told to obey God rather than the governing authorities that God has put in place.

So, where do we draw the line? In what instances can we commit civil disobedience?

Bible Verse: Acts 5:29

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

The apostles obeyed God and trusted Him to take care of the consequences. They could not serve two masters and they had already declared whose side they were on. Had they been diplomats instead of ambassadors, they could have pleased everybody and escaped a beating. But they stood firmly for the Lord, and He honored their courage and faith.

We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men

Peter and John set a good example of boldness amidst intimidation and persecution. They did not stop preaching about the resurrection even after they were presented before the council of religious leaders, elders, and teachers. But they acted with respect and courtesy, even when they defied the law.

Doing What’s Right

Many times Christians imply that resisting authorities is always a sin and obedience at all costs. That is just not true. That is like saying Corrie Ten Boom should have let those Jews be killed by the Nazis or Rahab should not have hidden the two spies.

God does allow dictators to rule nations at different times in history. But that does not mean Christians must obey them. All of us need to follow Peter’s example and make our decisions based on “Is it right?” and not “Is it popular?” or “Is it safe?”

We must be sure, however, that we have the clear teaching of the Word on our side before we disobey the government. Peter knew what the Lord commanded the believers to do (Acts 1:8) and he was going to obey Him at any cost.

The situation of the apostles is not that different from what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to go through. We read in Daniel 3:1-30 how these three young Jewish men refused to bow down and worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar. As a result, the king’s men cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

But because they did what is right before the Lord, the God of Israel rescued them from the furnace that was heated seven times more.

Civil Disobedience

The governing authorities during Peter’s time were doing the same thing that is happening today. Those authorities were trying to silence Peter and the apostles from speaking. Isn’t this what the authorities in Canada, Australia, China, and America are doing today?

They were trying to remove Peter’s God-given right to proclaim the gospel and whatever Peter wanted to say. The government in many countries is arresting those who are speaking against their mandates. This is a violation of their God-given right to free will and free speech! Are we willing to stand up with courage to resist this tyranny?

Mandatory Wearing of Face Masks

Two years ago, it was just a mask, then closing the churches and small businesses (a.k.a the livelihood of many people). Then it was about a vaccine, a booster shot, and a mandate.

When are all the Christians going to say, “We have had just enough of this tyranny being imposed upon us?” Where are the Peters of today who will stand up and say, “God has given us the right to refuse these vaccines?” Why are we not refusing these vaccine passports imposed by the ruling class and the government?

My Body, My Choice

We often hear people say, “My body, my choice,” when talking about abortion. But these same people who believe in “bodily autonomy” do not believe we have a choice as to what we inject into our bodies. If you are going to stand by this principle, at least try your best to be consistent!

Thank God for the first amendment that allows Americans to make their own choices. Our freedom is a gift from God and we should not allow anyone, even the government, to take it away from us.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says that we have the right to take care of our temple (our body) as we see fit. That is our choice. Since when did God give the government the right to dictate our choices to us? He didn’t. So, Christians, stand up for liberty.

Final Words

Yes, Christians should obey governmental authority (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). But when government decrees are clearly contrary to God’s Word, we must obey God rather than men. See also Exodus 1:15-17 and Daniel 6:4-10.

In other words, we can respect authority and at the same time disobey the authorities. Remember the example of Daniel who tried to avoid getting his guard into trouble (Daniel 1:5-16). Also, the apostles used their arrests as opportunities to witness to the lost (Acts 5:26-42).


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Recommended Resource: Radical Submission to God: The Awesome Life-Changing Secret to Peace, Power, & Permanent Victory by Philip A. Matthews

Radical Submission to God: The Awesome Life-Changing Secret to Peace, Power, & Permanent Victory by Philip A. Matthews True and pure Christianity is God downloading heaven to earth!

That is not happening very often or in very many places. This explains why the world, especially Western society, is getting sick of and cynical about Christianity.

In today’s world, when people “have a problem with religion,” it is simply because they are not seeing heaven downloaded to earth!

This book will change your life! It is a must-read for the deeply wounded, the depressed, the forsaken, the disillusioned, the abused, the marginalized, and, in fact, anyone who has existential suffering of any kind.

But the message is also great for anyone who wants to go through the crazy changes of life and stay on top with peace, power, and perpetual victory!

In other words, the “abundant life” that Jesus promised His disciples, but which so many Christians today fail to experience. This book contains the secret-radical submission to God!

The Danger of Carnality

The Danger of Carnality

Can Christians be carnal? Some say no; there’s no such thing as carnal Christians. So, if you are practicing carnality, you are not and cannot be a Christian.

But others say there are carnal Christians among us. They are those who have heard the Good News but are struggling to follow God and obey His commandments.

What carnal Christians do not realize is the danger they are in. Let us not forget what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness as Moses led them out of Egypt.

Bible Verse: Hebrews 4:11

“Let us, therefore, be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”

Moses and the Israelites in the Wilderness
Photo Credit: LinkedIn

The book of Hebrews was written to warn the NT believers of the consequences of disobedience. Hebrews 4:11 emphasizes the accountability which comes to those who have heard the Word of God.

It records the examples of those in the wilderness with Moses, and those who entered Canaan with Joshua They received the same opportunity but not all of them listened and obeyed.

Saying No to God

Some Christians say it is impossible to say no to God. But the above-mentioned verse says the opposite. I believe God inspired this verse as evidence that anyone can say no to God. After all, God has given all of us the free will to obey or disobey. The triune God did not create robots who cannot choose to be selfish and rebel against their Creator.

It started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God specifically commanded Adam to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam failed as he chose to listen to his wife who gave him the fruit (Genesis 3:6).

Obviously, there are consequences to rebellion. As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden (Genesis 3:24). Indeed, it is possible to say no to God and it’s a choice to do so.

Do not be deceived and believe the lie that we can never say no to God. The Bible warns us in many places that unbelief in our actions as Christians is still possible. 

Do You Really Believe?

The entire Bible is the Life Manual to Christians. This means the Book of Hebrews was written to Christians, not unbelievers, that could act according to unbelief. 

Just because people say they believe in something does not mean they live as they believe. People say they believe the Bible, but do they act like they base their actions upon it? Most people don’t. What’s worse is that they twist what the Word of God says to support their views and justify their actions.

Every circumstance we could ever face has principles in Scripture. That is the reason why Romans 1:17 says, “The just shall live by faith.” This expression emphasizes that true faith will demonstrate itself in actions. And true faith is not a single event, but a way of life – it endures.

Simply put, God does not just want our words, He wants our actions as well.  God wants obedience to His word as John 14:15 says. 

John 14:15, NKJV

Closing Words

We must believe and obey God’s Word, whether we find it convenient or not. Cherry-picking scriptures is not an option for Christians. Either the Bible is God’s inspired Word for our life, or not. In the end, it’s the Word that will judge the disobedient.

Carnality is a choice to not follow God’s Word. Christians find rest and peace in obeying God’s Word as a contrast to the unbelief that the children of Israel exhibited when they feared going into the promised land.

Do not be a carnal Christian. Instead, commit to living by faith, obey God and enjoy His rest.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Carnal Corinth: A Proof of the Existence of Carnal Christians by Marty A. Cauley

Carnal Corinth: A Proof of the Existence of Carnal Christians by Marty A. CauleyThe denial of the very existence of carnal Christians is common among those who deny eternal security.

A primary reason Carnal Corinth was written was to defend the doctrine of eternal security by biblically demonstrating that the category known as carnal Christians is an exegetical certainty.

Particular focus is given to the Corinthian epistles in this study. Even carnal Corinthian believers have unconditional security soteriologically. Fallacious arguments by pseudo Lordship Salvationists against so-called carnal security are discussed and refuted.

Along the way, certain misunderstandings about the nature of carnality are discussed. A frequently misunderstood passage, even among the author’s fellow Free Grace Salvationists, is found in 2 Corinthians 5:20.

The common assumption is that all believers are ambassadors of God’s grace and are involved in urging unbelievers to be reconciled to God.

The common assumption is challenged at length in Carnal Corinth. Even some Lordship Salvationists who deny eternal security acknowledge, correctly, that in the passage Paul is urging the carnal believers in Corinth to be reconciled to him and his apostolic associates.

The discussion of this apostolic “we” in this passage and throughout the Corinthian epistles leads to a discussion of the apostolic “us” in the infamous 1 John 2:19, a passage frequently used in the conditional security camp to claim that all true believers will (and must) persevere in the faith.

Carnal Corinth counters and expands upon the Free Grace counter to demonstrate a plausible pervasive use of the apostolic circle citations in the NT epistles.

Collateral studies include the nature of blamelessness in 1 Corinthians 1:8 and the nature of the Gospel.

Empathy Towards Other Christians

Empathy Towards Other Christians

Most, if not all Christians are generally loving, kind, and compassionate. But when it comes to showing empathy toward others, many self-acclaimed believers fail. Oftentimes, we fail to comfort other Christians, especially those who are hurting.

Empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, does not come easy for many.

In Job’s experience with his 3 friends, there are several things we should consider when helping the hurting.

Jobs’ Three Friends

All of Job’s three friends were old, older than Job (Job 15:9-10), but we assume that Eliphaz was the oldest. He is named first (Job 2:11) and spoke first. Also, it seemed that God accepted him as the elder member of the trio (Job 42:7).

Eliphaz was associated with Teman, a place known for its wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7). He put great faith in tradition (Job 15:18-19) and the God he worshiped was an inflexible Lawgiver (Job 4:7).

Bildad must have been the second oldest since he is named second and spoke after Eliphaz. In a word, Bildad was a legalist. We can read his life text in Job 8:20. He could quote ancient proverbs and like Eliphaz, he had great respect for tradition.

Job and His Three Friends
Photo Credit: Bible.Org Blogs

For some reason, Bildad was certain that Job’s children had died because they also were sinners (Job 8:4). The man seemed to have no feeling for his hurting friend, Job.

Zophar was the youngest of the three and surely the most dogmatic. He spoke like a schoolmaster addressing a group of ignorant freshmen (Job 11:6). The key text to understanding Zophar is Job 20:4-5.

Interestingly enough, Zophar spoke to Job only twice. Either he decided he was unable to answer Job’s arguments, or he felt that trying to help Job was a waste of time.

Helping the Hurting

In our walk with God, there will be times when we will undergo trials and difficulties. As Max Lucado said, “God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.”

Today, it’s our friends, neighbors, workmates, etc. who might need our empathy. Tomorrow, it could be us on the receiving end. Thus, when we see others who are hurting, we must always be ready and willing to help them out.

Here are some things we can do to ease their pain and heaviness.

1. Your Presence Means Everything

When Job’s three friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they immediately came to comfort and console him (Job 2:11). They wept, tore their robes, and sat down with him on the ground. For seven days and seven nights, no one said a word to Job because his suffering was too great.

The best way to help people who are hurting is just to be with them. You do not have to say a word for your presence is more than enough. Don’t even try to lecture them about God’s purpose and explain why this is happening.

Explanations never heal a broken heart!

2. Listen with Your Heart

At the end of their 7 days of silence, Job’s three friends started to deliver their speeches. And Job later confessed he wished they stayed silent (Job 13:5).

Eliphaz who spoke first did not address the pain in Job’s heart. Instead, he replied to the words from Job’s lips and this was a big mistake (Job 4:1-2). A wise counselor and comforter must listen with the heart and responds to feelings as well as to words.

A broken heart is not healed with logic, but with love. Yes, you must speak the truth but you should do it in love (Ephesians 4:15).

James 1:19, NLT

3. Choose Your Words

Instead of encouraging Job, Eliphaz accused him of not practicing what he preached (Job 4:3-6). He went further to tell Job that he must humble himself and confess his sins. According to Eliphaz, Job’s trials are God’s means of disciplining him (Job 5:8-17).

The last thing Job wanted to hear from his friends was accusation and condemnation. What the hurting person needs are assurance, encouragement, and illumination from the Word of God.

Never underestimate the power of words to encourage people in the battles of life. Speaking the right words at the right time, and with the right motive can make a tremendous difference.

Your words can nourish those who are weak and encourage those who are defeated. But your words can also hurt those who are broken and only add to their burdens. So, be careful what you say and how you say it.

4. Never Argue with the Hurting

When comforting the hurting, try as hard as you can to hold back from arguing with them. You will not accomplish anything with countless arguments and discussions.

Eliphaz argued that Job had nothing to fear because God always blesses the righteous and judges the wicked. This is the basic premise of Job’s three friends. Do what is right and life will go well for you; do what is wrong and God will send pain and punishment.

Eliphaz’s argument is, in reality, Satan’s philosophy in different words (Job 1:9. 2:4). In effect, Eliphaz was saying, “Confess your sins and God will restore all that you have lost.”

Most people will agree that ultimately God blesses the righteous and judges the wicked. But this is not what’s in question here. The immediate, not the ultimate judgment, was Job and his friends’ concern.

Had Job’s friends listened to him, accepted his feelings, and not argued with him, they would have helped him greatly. But they chose to be prosecuting attorneys instead of witnesses. In the end, the Lord rebuked them; and they had to ask Job’s forgiveness (Job 42:7-10).

5. Put Yourself in Their Situation

 Job responded to his friends and voiced some eloquent observations. These are the things that we ought to keep in mind when spending time with people who are hurting.

a. Job’s friends did not feel the heaviness of his suffering (Job 6:1-3).

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar were not helpful to Job at all because their views were too narrow. It’s no wonder that Job had spoken impetuously. His friends would have done the same if they carried the load he carried.

What did Job do? He appealed to God that He would consider his plight and lighten his suffering before he died.

Without empathy and compassion, we will never know how badly a person is hurting. We cannot truly comfort others without feeling the pain and difficulty that they are going through. 

b. Job’s friends did not understand the bitterness of his suffering (Job 6:4-7).

In his response to Eliphaz, Job passionately appealed to his friends that they might have more understanding and sympathy. Yet, his three friends insisted that he must have done something bad.

The feeling of being a target at which God was shooting poisoned arrows made Job’s spirit bitter. God in His army in array, shooting at one weak man; and Job’s friends were adding to the poison.

This is what’s often missing in us – an understanding and sympathetic heart. We are very quick to tell those who are hurting that their suffering is God’s punishment for their sins. 

c. Job’s friends did not feel his hopeless situation (Job 6:8-13).

Prolonged and intense suffering can make a person feel powerless to handle life, and this can lead to hopelessness. If you can’t control some of the elements that make up life, how can you plan for the future?

Job exclaimed, “What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life” (Job 6:11)?

Yet, Job never gave up his faith in God and his integrity. Even if God had permitted evil to come into his life, Job did not rebel against God. He did not take matters into his own hands which is what most hopeless people today would resort to.

Thank God for the hope that we have in Christ. It’s because of the finished work of Christ that we can look forward to a promising future.

Billy Graham Quote on the Resurrection

d. The ministry of Job’s friends was ineffective (Job 6:14-30).

Job’s three friends didn’t show compassion for him or try to meet his needs. They were like a dirty brook in the desert that disappoints thirsty travelers.

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar were Job’s friends as long as he was prosperous. But when trouble came, they turned against him. Physically, the three men were sitting with Job on the ash heap. But emotionally, they were like the priest and Levite passing by “on the other side” (Luke 10:30-37).

Are you always willing to empathize with those in need? Do you effectively support anyone who is in the midst of trial and suffering? How effective are you in the ministry that God entrusted to you?

Conclusion

Job’s friends had not been an encouragement to him. They had taken a superior attitude as judges, assuming that they knew God better than Job did. These three men did not identify with Job in his grief and pain.

Job said, “But you forgers of lies, you are all worthless physicians” (Job 13:4). They smeared the whitewash of their lies (Psalm 119:69) over the discussion. This was to avoid dealing with difficult problems while maintaining their traditional ideas. They stayed on the surface of things and never went deep into God’s truth or Job’s feelings.

Counseling that stays on the surface accomplishes very little. If we are going to help people, we must go much deeper. But this demands love, courage, patience, and compassion.

To show empathy towards others, we need much more than platitudes (Job 13:12). We need the wisdom to know how to apply the truth to the needs of hurting people.

Are you up to the challenge and be an empathizer?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Suffering Is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot

Suffering Is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot ing by Elisabeth Elliot Hard times come for all in life, with no real explanation. When we walk through suffering, it has the potential to devastate and destroy, or to be the gateway to gratitude and joy.

Elisabeth Elliot was no stranger to suffering. Her first husband, Jim, was murdered by the Waoroni people in Ecuador moments after he arrived in hopes of sharing the gospel. Her second husband was lost to cancer.

Yet, it was in her deepest suffering that she learned the deepest lessons about God.

Why doesn’t God do something about suffering? He has, He did, He is, and He will.

Suffering and love are inexplicably linked, as God’s love for His people is evidenced in His sending Jesus to carry our sins, griefs, and sufferings on the cross, sacrificially taking what was not His on Himself so that we would not be required to carry it. He has walked the ultimate path of suffering, and He has won the victory on our behalf.

This truth led Elisabeth to say, “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.”

Because suffering is never for nothing.

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

Everybody has a story to tell and can make some people hopeful. But not every story gives everyone hope; only His story does. If there is one story that made great history, it’s none other than what God has done.

The Bible tells us that God sent His only begotten Son as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). Man was in a state of condemnation as a result of Adam’s rebellion. But God loved us so much that He did not want us to perish.

So, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross on our behalf (John 3:16). And the Son humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

Indeed, His story is nothing like anybody else’s.

Bible Verse: Romans 15:4, NKJV

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Here, the apostle Paul was referring to the divinely revealed Old Testament as that which was written for our instruction.

It’s true; Christians live under the New Covenant and are not under the authority of the Old Covenant. But God’s moral law has not changed and all Scripture is of spiritual benefit. See 1 Corinthians 10:6, 10, 11, and 2 Peter 20-21.

Paul’s description of the benefits of Scripture certainly includes the NT but speaks primarily about the OT sacred writings. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, believers have no basis for hope.

A World of Hopelessness

Hopelessness is at an all-time high. Between depression, anxiety, drug abuse, pain, sex abuse, etc, there is no doubt that many souls are looking for hope. The problem is hope cannot be found in this world.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1 says that hope can only be found in the unseen. Nothing that can be seen or touched or tasted is worth trusting in. Everything in this world will be burnt up and destroyed. They don’t have any eternal value.

So many people place their value and identity in things of this world. It’s because they do not realize that those things cannot give them what they are looking for. They are looking in all the wrong places.

Hope is Found in His Story

Romans 15:4 says that hope is found in His story. God’s story is written down in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. He wrote down the literal history of how He is giving hope to humanity. God did this knowing that only some will receive it.

Even though we cannot see God, that does not mean He isn’t there. He is good at working behind the scene. Yet we can see the evidence of God working as John 3:8 says.

Although John 3:8 is referring to evidence of salvation, God also works in our everyday lives. The problem is with us because too many people doubt God is there and thus cannot work. We should trust God even if we do not see the works of His hands. God gives evidence after we believe, trust and hope in Him.

Closing Words

In this world full of chaos, everybody longs to have even the smallest glitter of hope. Hope keeps us going in life despite all the trials and difficulties. Without hope, we would all give up and let the enemy win without putting up a fight.

We all want to live a life full of hope and encouragement. But how do we achieve this?

Believing the Bible as God’s Word is the first step to a Hope-filled life, rather than a miserable existence. Life is hard for everyone, but that does not mean everyone is hopeless.

Life is difficult but God gives joy to those that learn from the past. This is the history found in the Bible so that we all can enjoy HOPE no matter the circumstances.

Do you have that kind of hope? Are you striving to share that HOPE with hopeless people?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

HOPE In Numbers – Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God’s Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert

HOPE In Numbers - Holding OnHOPE In Numbers - Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert erywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert In a world where hope seems lost and Christians seem to lose grip on their faith, there are numbers that tell a different story.

With Hope in Numbers, we can transform every number we see into a well-timed Bible verse and promise from God. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s Word.

In fact, the world has done all the work for us by placing numbers on every street corner, license plate, price tag, sports jersey, and time of day. Anywhere there is a number, that is where hope can be found.

Hold tightly to these truths found in God’s Word and see your life blessed in every situation. This is a rebellion to get God’s Word back into our schools, workplaces, and in the hearts of those in our communities.

HOPE stands for Hold Onto Promises Everywhere and in this book I will show you how you can be reminded of God’s Word everywhere you go. You will never see numbers the same way again!

How Christians Act Matters

How Christians Act Matters

Everybody is familiar with the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” even non-Christians. But little do many people know that our Lord Jesus Himself said this to His followers.

Bible Verse: Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”

Do you know that versions of the Golden Rule existed before Christ? It was not invented by Jesus. The truth of the matter is, that it is found in rabbinic writings and even in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Interestingly, all of them cast the rule as a negative command, such as Rabbi Hillel’s version. “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to someone else.”

In contrast, Jesus made it a positive command, enriching its meaning. The Lord also put it in a way that summarizes the whole gist of the ethical principles contained in the Law and the Prophets.

Golden Rule for Christians

Applying Jesus’ Command

The command to, “… do to them likewise” especially applies to Christian fellowship. Having experienced love from people who reached out to us, we must also love and reach out to others.

Are you, as a Christian applying what Jesus taught? Do you act differently than the world or there is no visible evidence that you’re a follower of Christ?

We must understand that the way Christians conduct themselves especially in public and among unbelievers makes all the difference. Simply put, how Christians act matters! When people in darkness see the light of Christ in us, we don’t even have to preach to them. This is where the saying, “Action speaks louder than words” applies.

Knowing the Needs of Others

Now that I am a parent, I am slowly learning the needs of my children. Everyone has needs. Sometimes people say what their needs are, other times they don’t. Many times children don’t even know what their needs are. Thus, it is the responsibility of the parents to know and provide what their kids need.

The same is true with our fellowmen. Let us be sensitive to their needs because this is one way of showing that we care for them. It doesn’t matter how many Bible verses have we memorized if we treat others like trash. Oftentimes, people just want to know that we care about them. As another saying goes, “People don’t care what you know (about God and the Bible) until they know you care.”

Christians should care about people enough to learn and know the needs of others. Jesus knew we had a sin problem 2,000 years before we ever knew we had a sin problem. Are we perceptive enough to know the needs of others around us?

In addition to perceiving needs, we need to care about everyone, including our enemies. The context of verse 31 is loving our enemies. It is contrary to our human nature to love our enemies.

Matthew 5:44

The Christian Response

Everyone has been the recipient of sin or misdeeds. We have no control over what other people do to us, but we do have control over how we respond. This is especially true of parents of children. Children naturally disobey their parents.

But how does God want us to respond? Of course, there should be a correction for disobedience as Proverbs 3:12 says. But with the heart of love and the goal of reconciliation rather than just retribution or superiority.

This is another reason why abortion is wrong. That baby did not wrong you. If we apply this principle of love toward everyone, how could we ever murder an innocent person? It is a shame that average Americans have murdered 60 million babies over the last 50 years because of excuses and they could.

This is another reason why I believe that all people are sinners.

Final Thoughts

It is true that loving everyone is very difficult and sometimes very uncomfortable but God blesses that humility toward others. The perfect example of that is Jesus. He laid His life down for everyone and yet He is called King of kings in the book of Revelation.

Do we love others as we should? Or do we need God to sanctify us some more?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

What is Biblical Marriage?

What is Biblical Marriage?

Marriage as God instituted it is falling apart. The state has abandoned biblical marriage and redefined it to mean almost anything. Divorce and adultery are rampant.

Men objectify women by using women for sex. Women objectify themselves. Human trafficking and pornography are ruining relationships and the heart attitude of pride is just in the way.

So few people believe they have personal problems that are affecting their marriages.

Now, more than ever, we need to go back to the biblical definition of marriage.

What Constitutes a Biblical Marriage?

Bible Passage: Ephesians 5:25-33 (NKJV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

The Husband Must Love His Wife

Although the husband is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23), it is his responsibility to love his wife. He must love her with the same unreserved, selfless, and sacrificial love that Christ has for His church.

Christ gave everything He had, including His own life, for the sake of His bride, the church. This is the standard of sacrifice for a husband’s love for His wife (Colossians 3:19).

Also, the husband must love his wife as his own body. This is one of the most poignant and compelling descriptions of the oneness that should characterize Christian marriage.

The believing husband is to care for his wife with the same devotion that he naturally manifests as he cares for himself. And even more so, since his self-sacrificing love causes him to put her first.

In the end, a husband who loves his wife in these ways brings great blessing to himself from her and the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25, NKJV

A Perfect Marriage?

Since all people are sinners, nobody can have a perfect marriage. That does not mean we should not try. God instituted marriage at the beginning of time because man should not be alone (Genesis 2:18).

In the process of making women from men, God made an institution as a picture of the relationship He wants to have with His children.

God is willing to take the responsibility to save, sanctify and glorify anyone, but only if God’s children desire intimacy with Jesus Christ.

This picture of marriage is only a blurry illustration of the relationship God wants to have with humanity. It is about communion with God through Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can bring us to God as Jesus said in John 14:6.

He was also implying that communion and intimacy with God were only possible through Him as well.

Oneness in Marriage

In Ephesians 5:31, Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24 to reinforce God’s divine plan for marriage that He instituted at creation. By doing so, the apostle emphasized its permanence and unity.

The union of marriage is intimate and unbreakable. The word “joined” is used to express having been glued or cemented together. It emphasizes the permanence of the union (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:5-9).

Thus, in marriage, the husband’s life is so intimately joined to the wife’s that they are one.

Notice that Ephesians 5:32 uses the word “mystery” to describe the union between the married couple. When used in the NT, mystery identifies some reality hidden in the past and revealed in the NT Scripture.

Marriage is a sacred reflection of the magnificent and beautiful mystery of the union between the Messiah and His church. This was completely unknown until the New Testament (Matthew 13:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7).

Here’s a beautiful Christian wedding song.

Intimacy in Marriage

Sex is the highest form of intimacy by two becoming one (Ephesians 5:31), which results in reproduction/fruit. The same is true during intimacy with Jesus.

Please remember that intimacy in marriage and communion with God is wonderful for everyone involved.

Communion with Jesus results in the fruits of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Jesus reproduces His character by the work of the Holy Spirit unto sanctification and holiness as Ephesians 5:26-27 says.

Once again, the problem is that too many people and Christians enjoy their sin and don’t want to live like Christ in their life. For many Christians, the Christ-like lifestyle is too difficult. What they don’t realize is that God enables us to live the sanctified, holy life (Philippians 4:13).

Only God can enable holy living. Unlike the many women that make excuses to not be intimate with their husbands, are we willing to sacrifice our will and be intimate and commune with Jesus, so that we may become more and more Christ-like in every area of our lives????

What a Biblical Marriage is Not

There are a bunch of common occurrences that should never occur in a God-ordained marriage.

Popular counselors say that men need to shut up so they can stay married. Women control their husbands by withholding sex and dictating when the dad can see his children. That is narcissistic!

In some families, the husband is a narcissistic dictator and the wife and daughters are doormats. Men are opting out of marriage because there is too much risk and cost associated with it. Quite often, men are illiterate and have no idea how to spiritually lead a home.

Because many women are not interested in sex, they will use any number of excuses to say no. All of these different cases are extremely unbiblical as the above verses say.

Ephesians 5:22, NKJV

Growing to be Christ-Like

As we become more and more Christ-like, we are growing in oneness with Jesus. Are we growing in Christlikeness or growing stagnant? Are the Fruit of the Spirit growing in our lives?

If Jesus was willing to die and rise again, to save, sanctify and glorify us, why are we not willing to sacrifice our will for His? If your husband is willing to unconditionally love your sinful heart, why are you not willing to sacrifice your pride and excuses?


Recommended Resource: Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship by Scott LaPierre

Celebrate the Marriage God Made for You

Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship by Scott LaPierre Your most important earthly connection is with your spouse, and when you honor the person you married, you’re also honoring God. He created marriage to be one of life’s greatest gifts, and the instruction manual you need for a joyful, lasting union is found in His Word.

In Your Marriage God’s Way, author and pastor, Scott LaPierre, takes a close look at the principles for building a biblical marriage—one in which your relationship with Christ brings guidance and blessing into your relationship with your spouse. You’ll gain the tools to…

  • understand the unique roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives
  • recognize and resolve the conflicts you face with a heart of hope and compassion
  • follow God’s worthy command to love and cherish your spouse unconditionally

Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or you’ve been on the road together for years, Your Marriage God’s Way will provide the helpful and encouraging insights you need to experience marriage as God intends it.

Words Are Not Cheap

Words Are Not Cheap

For years, I have thought that words are cheap because they rarely change anything or are just plain lies. We devalue our words when our words are not based on truth or are just hypocritical. It’s because they bring death to those that listen to them.

Bible Verse: Proverbs 18:21

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The Word of God is clear. The greatest good and the greatest harm are in the power of the tongue. It’s no wonder that James said, “the tongue is a fire” (James 3:6).

Like fire, the tongue’s sinful words can spread destruction rapidly. Or as its accompanying smoke, those words can permeate and ruin everything around it.

Words of Affirmation

Recently I have been thinking about how people have different love languages. One of which is words of affirmation.

Everyone needs words of affirmation to one degree or another. It is true that some need affirmation more than others, but everyone needs at least some affirmation.

I can’t think of a better illustration than a woman in a relationship. We all know that men are not “big on words.” Unlike most women who tend to be vocal about how they feel, men, in general, are reserved. They do not always tell their women how important they are to them.

Words Have Power

It’s true that “Actions speak louder than words.” But women want their men to verbalize their thoughts and emotions. This is what some men are finding hard to understand. When the wife asks her husband if he loves her, her husband might say, “I married you, didn’t I?”

This is not the answer women want to hear from their significant other. Men should realize that women are different. They want assurance that their partner loves and values them, not just with action but also with words.

Choose Your Words Carefully

How we use our tongue can either build up or tear down others. And we must never forget that once we say something hurtful, we can’t take it back. Oftentimes, we hurt someone more than we intended to. That’s why we need to take a deep breath and think before we speak.

Many relationships were ruined because of hurtful words that the two parties threw at each other. This is another reason why we need to choose our words carefully.

This does not mean we cannot criticize others. However, truth be told it is very easy to be critical of others for many different reasons.

Are we known for being critical or affirming others? Is there room for improvement in how we use our tongue?

Affirming Others

Some might ask how should we affirm others? That is a good question. Colossians 4:6 answers that question.

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

To speak with grace is to speak what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complimentary, gentle, thoughtful, loving, and truthful.

And just as salt not only flavors but prevents corruption, the believer’s speech should not only be a blessing to others. It should also be a purifying influence within the decaying society of the world.

The keyword in the verse is always. We should always be truthful while maintaining a gracious attitude toward others, so that we may speak with grace. How gracious are we?

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Closing Words

Jesus frequently used words to encourage and guide His disciples. We should learn how to use our speech to build up others rather than tear them down.

Let’s conclude with James 3:2.

“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

We all continually fail to do what is right; no one is exempt. James is saying that anyone who can perfectly control his tongue is a perfect man. But of course, no one is immune from sinning with his tongue.

More likely, “perfect” describes those who are spiritually mature and thus able to control their tongues.

Let us then allow the Lord to teach and mold us to be more like Him. As we mature in our spiritual lives, we will learn to control our tongues. And then we will know how to choose our words carefully.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Michael Heilman's Devotional Book

The Importance of a Quiet Time

The Importance of a Quiet Time

Spending daily quiet time with God is essential for every Christian who wants to grow in their spiritual life. Just like in every relationship, the more time we spend with God, the more intimate we become with Him.

Setting aside time to seek God at the beginning of each day is also important because we do not know what each day may bring. God, on the other hand, knows and sees everything that is bound to take place.

When we make it a daily habit to come to God, we are acknowledging that there is nothing we can accomplish without Him. Spending time with God shows our complete dependence on Him for guidance, protection, and the provision of all our needs.

Why We Should Observe Quiet Time

Can any Christian who fails to maintain a quiet time with God honestly say they can begin the day well, go on well, or end up well?

By nature, we are all weak, ignorant, wayward, sinful, and fearful. Thus, we need strength, wisdom, guidance, restoration, and courage. We can only have all of these by spending time alone with God every day.

Christians who neglect to observe a quiet time often end up living careless lives as they are unable to resist temptations and sinful desires. There’s also the consequent disaster of them getting robbed of their joy in the Lord and usefulness in ministry.

Spending Time Alone with God

We must intentionally reserve and conscientiously keep this “quiet time” period to God. Nothing should get in the way; not the devil, the world, and the flesh. Sure, these three forces will work together to attempt to disrupt our daily program. They will convince us that “there’s no time.” Or that there are more important things we need to do other than seeking God.

But we must make an effort to maintain a daily quiet time with God. Let us defend this time alone with God from all attempts of the enemy to steal it from us.

How to Prepare for the Quiet Time

To prepare for the quiet time, first, we must select the best time for it.

Whether it be in the morning or evening, the same principles apply. The circumstances may vary but we must allocate enough time for breakfast and getting ready for work. Keep in mind that you are reserving the most important part of your day to God.

Second, we must get up on time. Use an alarm clock if you tend to oversleep.

If you have to wake up one or two hours earlier than you usually do, then by all means you should. This may not be as easy as it sounds as it does require determination and self-discipline. Who does not want to sleep in a little bit?

Rising on time is largely dependent on going to bed on time the night before. Instead of binge-watching movies, settle in early for bed so you can also get up early. As Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late.” When we cultivate the custom of waking up at a particular time, soon it becomes a habit that yields blessings.

Third, wash up and get dressed.

While some people prefer to be still in their pajamas, having a nice shower thoroughly awakens you. This is to make sure that you will not be half-asleep during the quiet time. Rather, you are at your best physically and mentally to talk with and listen to God.

Observance of the Quiet Time

Observance of the Quiet Time

How long should the quiet time be? It depends. Each Christian must determine for himself/herself how much time they are to devote to God. Suppose we determine that we will spend thirty minutes for our “quiet time,” how do we use this wisely?

These thirty minutes are divided into three: 1) praise and worship, 2) Bible-reading and meditation 3) prayer.

1. Praise and Worship

While many Christians put the reading of the Scriptures first, I prefer to approach God’s throne with songs of praise and worship. It is important to spend the first ten minutes expressing our gratitude and reverence to God through songs.

The Bible tells us that “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3, KJV). In other translations, we read, “The Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people.” This simply means that when we sing God’s praises, His presence is sure to come down and be with us.

What better way to come to God during the quiet time than with songs of praise, thanksgiving, and worship? When we offer praise, we are not only expressing our gratitude for all that God is doing in our lives. But we are also glorifying God.

There are so many things we need to praise God for. We praise God for giving us His Son and the Holy Spirit. God also continually pours out His blessings, thus, we must give Him the highest praise. Each believer must cultivate the habit of thanksgiving and praise.

Worship, on the other hand, is the heart’s occupation with God Himself. It is the highest occupation of the child of God in this life. And it shall be our service to God for eternity (Revelation 4:11; 5:12). My pastor used to say, “If you do not know how to worship God now, how can you worship God in heaven? The only thing left to do in heaven is worship.”

Thus, with reverence and awe, gratitude and amazement, let us worship God during quiet time.

Praise and Worship During Quiet Time

2. Scripture Reading & Meditation

We spend the next ten minutes reading God’s Word.

Did you know that the average chapter of the Bible can be read within five minutes? If you don’t know where to start, you can set a definite course of reading plan. A good plan includes a chapter each from the Old and New Testaments. Read the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament in the evening before bedtime.

Read each chapter reverently and prayerfully. Do not rush to finish it; take time to absorb every exhortation and encouragement from God. Reading it audibly will also help you focus and prevents your mind from wandering.

Use the remaining five minutes to meditate on what you just read. Meditation may not be easy at first but it can be developed by practice. As you hear God’s voice, do not hesitate to ask God for spiritual enlightenment.

Pray as David prayed in Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.”

You may ask questions such as:

  • What is God trying to tell me through this passage?
  • How do I apply the principles I learned from this passage in my life?

3. Prayer

Spend the remaining ten minutes in prayer. But what should we pray about?

First, there should be confession and denouncing of all known sins on our part. Then we must come to God in humility to ask Him for cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). No one is worthy to approach God’s holy throne all on their own. But because of what Christ has done, we can now come to Him with confidence (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12).

Second, there should be supplication for others. We should not only ask God for our personal needs; that’s selfishness on our part. Rather, we must also remember the needs of others and present them to God. 

Quote on Prayer

Christians are called to be intercessors (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). We should pray for those in authority over us, our family, relatives, and friends, particularly for the unsaved. Let us also remember in our prayers those who are seeking to preach the Gospel all around the world.

God’s Word tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV). Indeed, prayer is powerful. Prayer is a mighty force as it moves the hand of Him who moves the world.

Final Words

Maintaining a consistent daily quiet time is of absolute importance to anyone who professes to be a follower of Christ. Thirty minutes each day or a minimum of fifteen minutes is not that long to spend with God. We should not see this as a burden. Rather, let us enjoy every moment that we are face to face with God during our quiet time.

How much time do you set aside for your quiet time? What other activities do you do aside from those that are mentioned here? Was there ever a time that you slacked off and neglected your quiet time?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below this article. 

God bless you!


Recommended Resource: Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time: Discovering Radical Intimacy with God by Catherine Martin

Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time: Discovering Radical Intimacy with God  by Catherine MartinAre you enjoying the closeness with God you desire? Have your prayer times transformed your life from the inside out? Do you sense God speaking to you through your Bible reading?

Now you can join Catherine Martin on an exciting 30-day journey to discover how to really have a quiet time.

She provides effective, practical steps you can take to go deeper with God as you discover how to organize your quiet time, learn the revolutionary P.R.A.Y.E.R. Quiet Time Plan, experience interactive quiet times with God, practice journaling and studying God’s Word, and find other helpful resources for enriching your quiet time.

Listen to the longing of your heart.