Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
I wrote this devotional one Summer a while back and dedicated it to my friend, confidante and coffee partner, Lauree. It still resonates! I pray it encourages YOU who need it today…
Quiet time. We long for it. Crave it. Desire it. When we know the One who ushers quietness into our souls, we long for the peace that passes all understanding. So, why is it that somehow, some days, perhaps weeks, we find ourselves running on empty? Feeling edgy, parched, frustrated and a little less than grateful, in our day to day life we snap, curse and wonder where God is in all of this that we are going through.
But it is not God who has moved, friend. We are busy; distracted. Plugged in. Tuned out. The morning brings chores, early demands and seasonal adventures during the Summer days. It’s so easy to let that “quiet time” set apart for the Lord, dwindle.
Later, we think. In the afternoon I will sit with Him.But the afternoon comes, and unexpected opportunities. Our Bible sits, untouched. Tonight for sure, Lord, we silently promise. But night brings laughter, dinner and sweet family closeness. Fatigue becomes exhaustion after a blessed day. He has been faithful, again. It is His character.
But have we?
But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16
And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. Luke 6:1
*Journal Prompt & Possibilities:
1. In John 15, Jesus uses the word Abide to describe the relationship believers have in Him. Matthew Henry’s Commentary states, ” Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ.” Regardless of our feelings, we either belong to the Vine or don’t. Read John Chapter 15, prayerfully, and journal your thoughts, questions, reflections.
2. Mr. Henry further comments, “The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing.”
As you consider these words ask yourself if you have allowed an “interruption” in the exercise of your faith which has caused you to feel like a withered branch. Those who belong to the Lord, can rest assured knowing He will revive them. Ask and it shall be given. Salvation is secure if it has been received on God’s terms. Sanctification is an ongoing work of the Spirit, Christ in you, the hope of Glory for all who believe! When we sing “Jesus did it all, all to Him I owe, Sin had left a crimson stain… “this is what we mean- that which stands between man and God is cleansed only by the Blood of the Lamb. If your Sin is forgiven, Jesus will NEVER leave you or forsake you. We still sin but, God continues what He starts for we who believe as we continue to trust in Him. This is what is so hard for unbelievers to accept. But, YOU who belong to Jesus, receive the continuing forgiveness that allows you to walk by faith through grace in Him.
Don’t be discouraged when you stumble. We are NOT hypocrites because we don’t have all the answers or live perfectly…we are imperfect humans who happen to be forgiven by a perfect God! I write this for those who are discouraged from their own fumblings and those who are being attacked from the critical within and without the Body of Christ. Remember Jesus saves to the uttermost. I am not saved because I am good, I am saved because Jesus Christ died to make Salvation available to ALL. Accepted by SOME. Known about by MANY. Understood by those who take the time to humbly seek, recognize their own sin (not the sin and shortcomings of everyone else) and receive the Jesus of Scripture (the One who himself claimed He was the ONLY way to Heaven). Think about these things, read and seek Scripture for yourself- and be encouraged you who believe in THIS Jesus, because He is faithful.
Lord, You are Faithful. I praise you that there is no other God but You. Lord, teach us to be faithful, to seek out time alone with you, to pray, read your Word and listen for your voice. To not neglect or forsake the lonely places for they lead to intimacy with you. Lord, I do lift up all who read these words today, that they would know You, the One True Living God- the one who fulfilled the Scripture, never denying it. The One that was and is and is to come, who never changes. In Jesus name, Amen.
*This post is part of a series: Devotion Thoughts for Summer Days– a combination of faith based posts published between 2011-2013 revised with journaling prompts.
Thanks you for joining me on the journey!