A Christian who enjoys a positive relationship with the Lord will likely say that their private time of worship is what nourishes and sustains them. Since a little directly from God is better than a lot from people, Christians have to know how to feed themselves from the Bible. One’s personal time of worship is more important than their pastor’s messages, or an excellent radio expositor, good though they are. The maturing Christian has devotional times that are steady, consistent, and nourishing.
The primary factor that determines fulfillment, enjoyment of God, and refreshment is attitude. The second most important factor is attitude. And the third critical factor that governs the value of private worship is attitude.
1. Faith Attitude — God will Meet with Me Approach your daily appointment with the Master believing that He will meet with you. He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligent seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Focus on Him, not primarily on your problems or needs (Being blessed is a by-product.). Cease your busy activity, be still and think of God’s character–His faithfulness, love, power, creativity and holiness (Exodus 14:13; Psalm 46:10).
- You do bring honor to the Creatorby seeking Him (Psalm 50:23).
- He delights in the humble and contrite (Psalm 18:27; 34:18; 103:17).
- He is listening (Psalm 40:1; 50:15; 55:16,17).
- Rest in Him (Psalm 37:1, 7). Call upon Him.
- His eye is upon the believer (Psalm 33:18 and 34:15).
- Know that you are secure (Isaiah 41:10, John 5:24; I John 5:13).
God created us for Himself. He wants us to seek Him in the pages of the Bible and talk (pray) to Him. He will respond (Hebrews 6:10; Psalms 28:7; 124:8).
2. Love Attitude – God Loves Me Matthew 11:27 says that no one knows the Father except those to whom the Son has revealed Him. If you are a Christian, it is because the Lord Jesus Christ personally and specifically invaded your mind, values, and attitudes to open your darkened understanding to the ultimate Reality – God. He wanted you. You are loved!
3. Investment Attitude – I am Going to Invest the Necessary Time, Energy, and Diligence to Experience God If we are watching a clock, it is hard to relax. Hard to lose ourselves in who and what God is (which is my definition of worship).
The “Are You running with me Jesus?” attitude or the Five-Minute-Devotionals-for-Busy-People approach doesn’t normally provide adequate nourishment. We need (1) a regular appointment with the Lord that (2) allows enough time to genuinely enter into His worth-ship.
Whether you are nourished in 10 minutes or an hour is not the issue. The issue is the attitude of making time with God as a priority.
4. A Get-the-Mechanics-Right Attitude The same time of day, the same location (your easy chair), good lighting, alone normally, quiet – make for nourishing times with the Master.
As you read, look for an example to follow, a blessing to rejoice in, a truth to be cherished, a command to obey, or a sin to avoid. Determine to act on that truth that day, and your devotions – by the grace of God – will come alive.
Talk to some people at church you respect. Drill them with the tough questions. They can give you perspective.
5. Have an I-Will-Try-Something, Then-Try-Something-New Attitude Be a faithful Bible reader as we move into 2023. Just keep march-ing ahead, keeping a daily appointment with the Almighty.
Try different ways of reading the Bible.
Here are some ideas:
- Reading the Bible aloud makes you slow down and increases compre-hension. By reading aloud, the stimuli goes into your eye, up to your brain, and is spoken by the mouth, allowing the ear to recycle the content back to your mind. Reading aloud forces a believer to slow down.
- My Dad read chapter one, two and three of a given book. The second day, he would read chapter two, three and four. The third day, chapters three, four and five. So in three days, he read chapter three 3 times.
- Other Christians read one chapter in Proverbs corresponding with the day of the month and something in the New Testament.
- Start with a short book in the N.T. (Philippians, James). Read it every day for a month (or longer). Then enjoy the Gospels. Graduate to strong theology (Romans, Ephesians).
- I can read the whole book of Romans on my treadmill in two exercise sessions.
- December, 2023, I read Hebrews 11:1-3 twenty times, and thought about it for four days.
- John MacArthur, pastor of the huge Grace Community Church in the Los Angeles area, said he read I Peter 90 times as he was preparing to preach on it. I have never done such a spiritual marathon. The point is, do different things
- Reading straight through the Bible in one year requires some steady, diligent keeping at it. By the time you get to Revelation, you will have gotten far from Genesis and need to read it again. If doing it in one year seems too much, set a goal of doing it in two years.