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LOVED this (How To Read The Whole Bible In 2015) that i read from The Gospel Coalition last night on how to read the Bible in a year, and also how to dig deeper and more meditatively.

I personally read the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan—read through the OT once and the NT and Psalms twice, and have done so as a personal rhythm for the past 5-7 years.  Each year I switch it up by changing what version I read it in.  Currently I’m reading the AMP version.

The Gospel Coalition article has some fantastic links to Bible Plans and extended reading and a fabulous breakdown of the themes of the Bible.

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Do you want to read the whole Bible this year?

The average person reads 200 to 250 words per minute; there are about 775,000 words in the Bible; therefore it takes less than 10 minutes a day to read the whole Bible in a year.

(For those who like details, there’s a webpage devoted to how long it takes to read each book of the Bible. And if you want a simple handout that has every Bible book with a place to put a check next to every chapter, go here.)

Audio Bibles are usually about 75 hours long, so you can listen to it in just over 12 minutes a day.

But the point is not merely to read the whole thing to say you’ve done it or to check it off a list. The Bible itself never commands that we read the Bible through in a year. What it commends is knowing the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and meditating or storing or ruminating upon God’s self-disclosure to us in written form (Deut. 6:7; 32:46; Ps. 119:11, 15, 23, 93, 99; 143:5). Read the rest of this entry »

There is something you get in the secret place that you can get no where else. Do everything you can to establish a secret history with Jesus.  

~ Banning Liebscher

 

 

 

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At the very moment that Joshua needed God, God was there. Joshua was surveying the territory he was going to advance into. Having another look over the city he was going to lead an attack against. Imagine the doubts, the fears, the insecurities. The pressure.

At that moment, Joshua had a very real desperate need to hear from God.

And there God is. His personal presence was with Joshua as a mighty declaration and assurance of God’s power and provision.

Theophanies : A Theophany is a manifestation of the preincarnate Christ, who, as the Logos, is the one who reveals God. If only a man or an angel, he would certainly have repelled Joshua’s worshipful response (vs. 14). Other examples of Christology is in Daniel 3 and when Abraham had 3 visitors, one of them a preincarnate Jesus, in Genesis 18.

 

How do we overcome the Jericho in our life?

We lift our eyes and see that Jesus is with us. We fix our eyes upon the One who can help us. We encounter His presence. Read the rest of this entry »

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And again He entered Capernaum and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.  Mark 2:1-4

 

I want to break this passage down to see what we can learn about it in sustaining our own personal revival – revival starts in me.

Revival Begins When Jesus is in The House

 

 

Revival in our own lives is sustained when we have a daily awareness that Jesus is real and that Jesus is amazing and that Jesus is Lord – that Jesus is good and great – of who He is and what His purpose is – and that Jesus lives on the inside of me.

How do we get Jesus in the house? Firstly, you’re accepted now… Jesus died for you and now if you’re born again, He lives in you.

 

He is IN the house.

 

God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:19-22

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

But there is a different between Jesus being in the house and Jesus being IN the house!

 

When Jesus was in the house – when it was a tabernacle tent in the wilderness – the glory of God shone like a pillar of fire and a cloud of smoke and Moses would go and speak face to face with God and come out shinning like he was a giant spotlight.

When Jesus was in the house – in the temple Solomon built – the presence of God came so tangibly that the priests were laid out and could not stand or work.

When Jesus was in the house – there was sound of rushing wind, and people that had being holed up in fear took the gospel out into the streets and 3000 people got saved at the first altar call, Peter’s shadow healed people as he walked by, people got healed, set free, saved.

 

Jesus is the same today, in you, as He was yesterday in David, in Isaiah, in Daniel, in Peter, in John, in Paul, in Smith Wigglesworth, in Charles Finney, in Billy Graham.

 

 

There is something you get in the secret place that you can get no where else. Do everything you can to establish a secret history with Jesus.   ~ Banning Liebscher

 

 

I loved how Caleb put it this morning:

Your times of prayer matter
Your times in The Word matter
Your times of worship matter
Speaking in tongues matters
Submitting to leadership matters
Listening to teaching matters

 

Sow into the spirit, sow into your spiritual life, be intentional…

 

 

How do you get Jesus in the house – you invite Him in and you make room, you make time.

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The Power of Focusing On the Peanut by Pastors.com

“When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well, George, that’s more nearly your size.’” George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born into slavery in the mid 19th Century in Missouri. He went on to become a world famous scientist. Because he was frail and sickly as a child he worked as a gardner. As a result he had plenty of time to investigate, wander the woods and fan into flame his natural curiosity for all things scientific. Although his ambition was much bigger God gave him one thing to focus on…the peanut. As a result of his relentless experiments on that shell covered protein bullet he discovered over 300 uses for the peanut, including peanut butter (Praise the Lord!)

 

 

 

 

A ministry momentum killer by Steven Furtick : Make sure your private devotion keeps pace with your ministry momentum.  Your relationship with God is only as strong as your most recent encounter with Him.

 

 

 

Why Shame isn’t your Story… and the hungry caterpillar by Tindell Baldwin

Shame isn’t your story. Guilt isn’t your story and working really hard to make yourself look better won’t do anything but exhaust you. The only one that can clear our rebellion and wipe our slate clean is the one who was clean. We all have a past. We all were messed up and some of us you could tell by looking at their life (me) but some hid it better. Either way we had a heart condition that needed fixing. Jesus came, we either accept that he saves us or we don’t, and we move forward.

 

 

 

How to Become a Mentor and Why It’s Important By Justin Lathrop on PASTORS.COM

Many of us understand the importance of having a mentor, but sometimes we forget about the important of being a mentor.

Maybe you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to becoming a mentor. Here are three thoughts I have.

1. Find someone who reminds you of yourself five years ago.
2. You don’t have to be an expert
3. Just be available

 

 

 

Finding a Rhythm and Raising the Energy Level in Your Leaders By Rick Warren At PASTORS.COM

The quickest way to destroy a team is to burn them out. And you don’t have to look around the field of ministry very long to realize that the ministry is filled with burned out leaders. But it’s possible to find a healthy working rhythm and ultimately increase the effective energy with which your leaders serve without causing them to burn out.

Every minute of every day we are using up energy, and every person has a limited amount of energy. If we keep the pace high all the time, we use up the energy people have to give like the way a car with its lights left on will wind up with a dead battery.

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*repost from november 2011

 

why does having a “quiet time” seem so hard?  have we forgotten the art of meeting with God and praying?

at housegroup the other night we talked about RELATING to God (continuing in our series RELATE – we’ve done relationships and difficult people as well) and one of our awesome chicks said something challenging – as christians “we underestimate the bible.”  we know its God’s Word but we don’t treat it like that, we don’t follow its guidelines or invest time into reading it.  we don’t value it because we underestimate it.  what she then continued to say reinspired us all to reconstruct our times with God and to reprioritize reading our Bibles.

it reminded me of notes i had from a preach preach/teach our pastor did a while ago on Success In The Secret Place – How To Do Personal Devotions.

here are a couple of keys that might help refresh this vital time we have – the opportunity to read God’s Words, His letter to us, His revelation of WHO He is and how He loves us…

first. get yourself a bible plan. like one year bible or something. YOUVERSION is amazing.  you can get different plans and devotionals at the click of a button.  find one that works for you and inspires you.  now with your bible plan make sure it is one that you can “have off days” in – we all have days when we don’t get time or make time to read the bible because of life and things. so make sure it is one that the whole plan doesn’t collapse if you miss a day or a month or something. the one year bible plan is good because you just pick up on the date you are. eventually throughout your 80 year or so life you’ll get to read those other bits… don’t sweat it right now.  it takes 21 days to make a habit – so begin and continue.  once the habit is formed it will flow a bit more naturally.  when we have a regular time reading our Bible we are creating opportunities for God to speak.

second: when you are reading the bible you are not reading to absorb and learn the whole thing. you are looking for THE ONE THING. the one thing is the thing that jumps out at you. it is the thing that God is ILLUMINATING to you. you might not think – oh that is just my mind i am just drawn to that – well that is fine, that is how the Holy Spirit speaks! that is good. God speaks through His Word. so when you are reading you are looking for the one thing. and that one thing is the thing to focus on, think about, meditate upon etc.  write it down.  record it.  mull it over.  write notes about it.  listen for the life God breathes into it.  listen to what God is saying.

 

that is what i do. i read my passages and write down the bits that jump out. i write the verses and write what i think about them. sometimes it is deep and cross references with what i know about God throughout the bible, other times is is a simple “wow i like that” etc .  i like to have special pens when i do my bible reading.  i think that’s a girl thing.

the other night the first part of John 10 jumped out at me.  now i have read this many a time, but there was something new in it.  and a tangible reminder that planted in my heart that God speaks, and i will hear because i am His.  I was also profoundly moved by the personal words in psalm 18:16-17 – God reached down to ME, rescued ME.  it refreshed my heart with responding love to His great mercy and love.

sometimes the one thing that jumps out is a challenge for us to clean our lives up. sometimes it makes questions. sometimes it encourages. sometimes it makes you smile all the way through as it is a revelation of God’s love to us, personally.

sometimes that one thing is the thing that you will need to hold onto and find peace in during a storm or hard time in your life.  God speaks at just the right moment.

and it makes it exciting to realize that God is speaking to us through His Word. and to learn His Word. and to read His Word. this is how we connect with God.

His Word transforms us and washes us and shows us the way to walk and reveals to us Who God is. it helps us to know God. His Word pierces our heart and convicts us and encourages us.

its the nike principal again – just do it. just read it. just search for the One Thing. God. His voice. His Word

 

 

* more great posts on developing a personal, regular quiet time with God:

Tim Keller on Reading the Bible

How To Use Scripture in Prayer

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It is time to refreshen our own spirit in the secret place that we may be prepared to serve and demonstrate the power and love and grace of God where we go. It is a time for no reservations and relentless pursuit of the presence of God. ONE THING! ONE THING! ONE THING do I desire. One thing does God desire that we rise up and be people who know our God. That we may know him and be strong and do exploits!

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BIBLE READING:

1. Take a passage or paragraph and read it 3-4 times.

2. Then make a list of every thing it says about God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)

3. List anything that it tells you about yourself

4. List example to be followed, commands to obey or things that need to be avoided.

 

MEDITATION:

Then choose one or two thing that you think were most important or the best thing that you learned from the reading. Keller says that mediation is talking to yourself about God, in the presence of God (Psalm 103).

 

Keller recommends 2 ways to meditate upon the passage:

  • The Shorter Way

Ask yourself how you would be different if this truth was explosively alive in my inner being? Secondly, ask why is God showing me this passage today? What is going on in my life that i need to learn this truth?

 

  • The Deeper Way

ACTS= Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving & Supplication

Adoration: What can I praise God for in this truth?

Confession: What false attitudes, behaviour emotions or idols come alive in me whenever I forget it?

Thanksgiving: How is Jesus Christ or the grace that I have in Jesus Christ the key to help me overcome the sin that I have just confessed?

Supplication: What do I need to do or become in light of this?

 

"Read a text and begin to mediate on it until the Holy Spirit starts to preach to you" Tim Keller

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"Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God."

~ Oswald Chambers

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It is time to refreshen our own spirit in the secret place that we may be prepared to serve and demonstrate the power and love and grace of God where we go. It is a time for no reservations and relentless pursuit of the presence of God. ONE THING! ONE THING! ONE THING do I desire. One thing does God desire that we rise up and be people who know our God. That we may know him and be strong and do exploits!

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