Growing up in the church as a pastor's kid, my everyday life had some form of the Word of God in it. I vividly remember waking up in the wee morning hours always to find my momma sitting on the blue recliner, reading her Bible with her coffee drink in hand. My daddy would be in the office reading his Bible and journaling. Every morning they faithfully went to their morning spots to spend time with Jesus before facing the day and leading the family. Without even speaking a word, they showed what it looks like to love and cherish Christ above all, including an extra twenty minutes of sleep. If I could count how many times I have attended church, been to a Bible study, or went to some youth group function, my guess is that the number would climb into the thousands. Sunday mornings we went to "big church" and Sunday school, then home for a quick nap and back at the church for choir practice and the evening church service. Monday evenings we were at church for outreach. Wednesday evenings was youth group and Bible study, and the weekends usually included some other form of Bible study or church function. If you grew up in the South, you probably had a similar looking week.
In the thousands of times I have attended church, I have also heard thousands of sermons and altar calls. I responded to the Holy Spirit's calling to follow Jesus when I was seven years old and sought to love Jesus with my whole heart in middle and high school. One of the most common messages I heard as a youth was the importance of a daily quiet time. Usually we were told to start with five minutes of reading Scripture a day. I remember struggling with this because I didn't know where to start, and I usually replaced my five minutes with watching TV or crafting. The call to spending "just five minutes" of quiet time with Jesus minimized His importance and value. In an effort to squeeze Jesus into my daily schedule, my life was saying He really isn't as important as friends, the internet and TV.
It wasn't until I was given a higher challenge (and some direction) from a Bible teacher in high school that I truly began to learn that spending time with Jesus is not only more important than my to-do lists, but it is the entire purpose of my existence on earth. We weren't created to watch TV, buy cute clothes or browse the internet. We were created with a mission and a purpose, and that mission is found in the Word of God. As teachers, youth group leaders and mentors called me to a higher level of commitment to Christ, my love for Jesus grew drastically. It was as if a tiny spark caught my heart on fire and it has been burning ever since!
The truth is, people will never know just how good God is and how alive His Word is until they read it for themselves. Spending just five minutes with Jesus makes no sense when I talk to my mom and sister on the phone each day for at least an hour. Giving Him only the last bits of my time makes no sense when I spend countless moments browsing social media. Our days on earth are limited. We only have so much time to spend making much of Jesus to impact eternity. I long to know Jesus more intimately than I know my husband, my family and my best friends. And the only way that can happen is by spending time with Him.
The purpose of the "Give Me Jesus Journal" is to provide a meeting place for you to come with your Bible, a pen and an open heart. Devotionals, Bible studies and books are incredible resources, but the words of man will never compare or give life to the heart like the words of God do. In high school I did my first Beth Moore study and it changed my life. I didn't realize how much treasure was in the Bible! Beth Moore inspired me to know Jesus like she did. If she could read Scripture and glean so much truth from it, then I knew with the Holy Spirit in me, I could as well. And you can, too!
Here are a few reasons I spend time alone with Jesus everyday:
- He commands us to know Him. (Deuteronomy 7:9, Deuteronomy 11:1, Psalm 119:9-11) When God commands His children to do something, it is not as a tyrant or a mean parent, but it is as a loving Father who knows what is best for His child. God knows that it is best of us to meet with Him first thing in the morning and that we have life no where else but in Him.
- Jesus woke up early to spend time with the Father, so should I. "And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed." (Mark 1:35)
- If I want to know Jesus, I must meet Him in His Word.John 1:1 tells us that Jesus is the Word of God. I read the Bible chronologically last year and was completely changed after! I saw Jesus throughout all of Scripture (including Leviticus) :). Sisters, the Word of God is the most valuable treasure chest you will ever find. Start digging. You will be amazed the jewels you unearth!
- It is my spiritual food I must eat to stay alive. Jesus told us that man doesn't just live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God. (Matthew 4:4) My Gramps had a note in the front of his Bible that said "No Bible, No Breakfast." The Word of God is our food that nourishes, strengthens and inspires us. No other word compares.
- What I value is what I will spend my time doing and thinking about. If I want Jesus as my Treasure, I must give Him my most valuable time and think about Him all the time. (Matthew 6:19)
- Without Jesus, I have no joy. When I don't spend time in the richness of the Word of God, I am not prepared for the daily battle of life. Psalm 16:11 tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy. This can be found no where else other than His presence.
- My purpose for living is to bring God glory. It brings Him glory that I spend time with Him everyday and become a woman like Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- I need the Gospel every day, not just when I became a Christian at age seven. The Gospel is just as true and real, alive and vibrant as the day that I gave my life to Christ. We need to be reminded of it every single moment.
Sisters, let's not give Jesus our leftover time, love and devotion. Let's give Him our first, our best and our greatest affection.
"Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." (C T Studd)
making much of Him,