Appointments with God

Intro

Middle aged executive

Young mother of twins

Shaved head in the Marine corps

Overworked student

Busy pastor

 

Busy lives

Guilty conscience

Neglecting devotional time with God

 

Adam walked with God in the garden (Gen. 3:8)

God has a desire to walk with us

Do we have a desire to walk with God?

 

People in love always find time to be with one another

 

2 Corinthians 3:18

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

1 John 4:19

We love him, because He first loved us.

How to reconnect with God

 

I. A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

What makes a successful marriage?

Importance of adapting

Christ, the bridegroom, wants a lifelong relationship

Psalm 63:1, Nehemiah 8:3, Psalm 119:148, Psalm 1:2

The Bible: Freedom when to meet with God

What time is best for you?

Once decided, keep your appointments

 

A. Building A Relationship

1 Corinthians 9:25

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

Temperate: “the power of self-control; to abstain from

  1. Reserve a daily time to connect
  2. Determine how much time to spend
  3. Find a quiet space
  4. Set up realistic expectations

 

B. Exchange Human Strength for Divine Strength

Isaiah 40:31

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not Faint.”

Renew: to exchange, substitute, show newness, to sprout

 

C. Cultivating Two-Way Communication

The Bible is God’s letter to us

Do we talk to Him about it?

Ex: Wring letters

God speaks to us through His Word

2 Samuel 3:21

“And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.”

  1. what does the passage say?
  2. what does it mean?
  3. how does it apply?
  4. We respond to God in prayer

Daniel 6:10

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”

 

D. Taking the Time to Digest Your Meal

     Jeremiah 15:16

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. “

Eat: consume or devour food

 

E. Writing It Down

Thoughts and feelings

Application, application, application

 

F. Varying Your Methods

Different ways of studying:

  1. Topic
  2. Verse
  3. Book
  4. Person
  5. Word

 

II. JESUS’ PRIORITY OF PRAYER

Mark 1:35-39

“35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

36 And Simon and they that were with Him followed after Him.

37 And when they had found Him, they said unto him, All men seek for Thee.

38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

39 And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.”

Jesus went to a quiet place and prayed

Focusing on the mission

 

A. Seeking Isolation and Communion

Mark 1:35

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”

Why did Jesus need quiet time?

Why do we need quiet time?

“A time for cleansing and renewal”

“Rest”?

Solitary place: a desert, wasteland, uninhabited region

Jesus: need of communion with the Father

We: Need of God’s guidance

 

B. Listening to God’s Direction

We need to listen to God’s direction amid distraction

Mark 1:36-38

“And Simon and they that were with Him followedafter Him. And when they had found Him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, That I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.”

Found: hunted down

Once again, Peter thought he knew best

Jesus purpose: to seek and to save that which was lost

(Luke 19:10)

 

C. Carrying Out Application

Mark 1:39

“And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.”

Application, application, application

Jesus did what He said He would do

We are to bring out the gospel till the end of the world

(Acts 1:8)

We need to apply what we learn to our lives

 

III. CARRYING THE DIVINE DIALOGUE 

Luke 24:13-32

Insights about how to keep the divine dialogue with God throughout the day

 

A. Encountering Jesus in Real-Life Problems

Are you pouring spiritual attention into your quiettime?

Are you facing your problems in your own strength?

Jesus never intended for us to do it alone!

He wants to help us solve our problems!

Luke 24:13-16

“13 ¶ And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him.”

We don’t know much about these two travelers, but

  1. They were troubled
  2. They had an emotional struggle inside them
  3. They did not know that this was Jesus talking to them

“Jesus Himself drew near and went with them”

The risen Christ is drawing near us today, seeking a dialogue with us

Life is a journey, and Christ wants to be our companion

B. Trying to Make Sense of God’s Ways

We struggle to understand our problems and experiences in life

We don’t have the full picture

God knows it all!!!

Luke 24:17-24

“17 And He said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

19 And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him.

21 But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made Us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23 And when they found not His body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive.

24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but Him they saw not.”

As Jesus asked them, they answered in detail about what was troubling them

They had hope that Jesus would redeem the nation Israel

Instead, he had been put to death in the most cruel way

Their dreams were shattered

We can relate to that feeling

But we often don’t find the Bible gives the answer

This is simply because we are limited in our understanding

 Jesus wants us to tell Him our concerns

 

C. Letting Jesus Explain Himself

It must have been devastating for Jesus’ followers to have their hopes and dreams crushed like this

But then, Christ gave them a fresh outlook on their circumstances

Luke 24:25-27

“25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Jesus’ answer sounds abrupt, but we need to look at it more closely

O fools is a compound word that actually means without knowledge

The Emmaus Road travelers only had part of the information

Slow of heart to believe is a rebuke of their slowness in trusting God for what He had promised

Jesus provided the only remedy for spiritual ignorance

– more information

Jesus showed them OT passages telling them how the Messiah must suffer before being glorified

     We need to know that in our struggle with disappointment we don’t have all the facts

     Life on earth is a spiritual boot-camp

 

D. Learning to Keep the Conversation Going

     Meaningful connection with the risen Christ makes us want to linger in His presence

Luke 24:28-29

“28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though he would have gone further.

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And He went in to tarry with them.”

After hearing Jesus talk, they wanted to hear more

They wanted to show Him hospitality

They wanted to take Him into their home, life, heart

     How can we have Jesus in our lives if He’s not in our lives

 

E. Responding to Glimpses of Divine Activity

     Imagine having Jesus as your dinner-guest

Luke 24:30-32

“30 And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them,

He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to

them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him;

and He vanished out of their sight.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart

burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and

while He opened to us the scriptures?”

As Jesus broke the bread, their eyes were opened

Opened means to penetrate the mind

Suddenly, they understood who Jesus were

They didn’t focus on His supernatural disappearance,

but on the Scriptures

He penetrated their minds with understanding

What can we learn from this?

* Learn how to pray while “on the go”

* Let God into your daily problem-solving activities

* Acknowledge to others your need of divine help

* Expect God to act outside your own perspective

* Keep reflecting on a biblical theme for the day

* Be encouraged by the fact that Jesus has promised

to stay with us in all of life’s circumstances

 

IV. SPRINGBOARD TO PRAISE

How do we know if we’re making progress in our personal time with the Lord?

Paul taught about the dynamic relationship between God’s Word and a lifestyle of praise

Colossians 3:16

“ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

We need to personalize and internalize God’s Word

We need to make a place in our heart where He can feel at home

When this happens, we will “bubble over” with God

We should be filled with gratitude to the Lord

This should also provide us with the power to walk in obedience to Him

When you’re in love, you want to please the one you love

Are you jealous of Adam walking with God in the garden of Eden in the cool of the day?

You can have a good experience with God on a daily basis

 

V. HAVE YOU STARTED YOUR JOURNEY YET?

It is never too late to start.

But remember: to have an intimate relationship with God, you need to be born again as a Christian

 

Being baptized (or Christened) as an infant is not going to build that close relationship with Him

Living a good and kind life is not going to build that close relationship with Him

Remember Nicodemus in John 3:2-3

“2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus only thought physically

Jesus thought spiritually

 

In the garden of Eden, Adam fell into sin

When that happened, the close fellowship between Adam and God was damaged

Now, we are all born sinners

 

Isaiah 53:6

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

 

Romans Road

 

But, there is salvation available

2 Corinthians 5:21

“ For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

 

When you have received Jesus as Savior, you can know that you have eternal life

1 John 5:13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

 

This, however, can not be quoted unless there is a time in your life that you have decided to invite Jesus into your life and decided to follow Him instead of the world

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