Two Sundays ago I gave you guys the homework of sitting still for 5-minutes a day, 5-minutes where you unplugged and did NOTHING. For most of us that was the hardest homework I have ever given from the stage! This past Sunday the homework was to give God your first minutes. To stop long enough each day and show Him you are making Him your priority. AND, we were supposed to double the time to 10-minutes a day (at least 5 days this week). In "Christian circles" this is commonly called a quiet time. So, today here is a recap of how you get started:
> Get an easy to read Bible like the New Living Translation (NLT).
You can get them at any Christian book store, online, or even at Wal-Mart. I like having online tools like www.YouVersion.com BUT to me there is nothing like my old red Bible full of my notes and highlights over the years. So get an easy to read Bible like the NLT.
> Read a chapter a day from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
You can even read less than that, but a chapter a day is a good idea of what to read. Have a pen or some different highlighters with you and mark whatever jumps out at you. YES YOU CAN WRITE IN YOUR BIBLE! I have no idea if my family will leave me any inheritance but what I most want is their Bibles. For years they have marked and made notes in them from before I was even born. Do the same thing. As you read just mark what seems to speak to you. Some days you will get a lot, some days you won't mark anything. But, mark it so you can come back to it and see how God has moved in your life.
> Journal your prayers and thoughts.
I don't claim to be great at this, but I have a couple journals filled up over the last 11 or 12 years of what God showed me as I read the Bible, what I was praying for and how He answered some of those prayers. Writing it out just helps you stay focused. So, write out your prayers, write them like you are writing a letter to God. Write down what you read about today. And, be still long enough to see if God doesn't impress upon you a thought or reminder of His love or peace.
That is how you have a basic quiet time. This is the number one secret to gaining margin in your schedule. Can't tell you why, but it does. Give God your first minutes and see how He blesses the rest.
I would love to hear what God is showing you as you do this! Leave a comment to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org