Tag Archives: jesus

The Life-Giving Season of Lent: Giving More of Ourselves to Christ

The season of Lent consists of the forty days (minus Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a time of examining our hearts toward God, and of fasting or abstaining from something in order to give more of ourselves to Christ. The days of Lent also remind us of the time in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil.

Examining Our Hearts

Giving God more of ourselves should always be part of our relationship with Him; however, Lent is an ideal time to examine our hearts regarding our pursuit of God. One way to do this is through the Examen Prayer, which can be used as a daily guide either as you begin or end your day.

We can also begin by asking ourselves a few of the questions below, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in answering them. These questions can include:

  • Am I putting God first in my life, or simply trying to fit Him in?
  • Is there anything in my life that is or has the potential to distract me from God and living for Him?
  • Is there anything in my life that has a hold on me other than or above God and His will?

As we face the truth of our hearts and repent where necessary, we experience greater life in God. In the next section, you’ll find some helpful thoughts related to the last two questions. Continue reading

Squashing Religious Hindrances: The Ragamuffin Gospel (Book Review)

Far too often the truth of God’s grace has been polluted with legalism, rules and religion, hindering the children of God from the fullness of a life-giving, intimate relationship with their Creator-Father, from receiving the acceptance and love purchased for them by Christ on Calvary.

I recently read a book that helps fight against this battle which so often hinders one’s relationship with Christ and Father God. This book, The Ragamuffin Gospel by the late Brennan Manning, is a must read book that brings us back to this central truth of the Gospel of grace. Continue reading

Facing Lack or Delay? Stay Faithful to the Lord

I was recently encouraged by several gems from Luke 1:5-17 as I meditated on God’s Word. There are great truths to be gleaned from this passage.

In this narrative, we find Zacharias and Elizabeth faithfully following the Lord and His ways. An area of lack remained in their lives despite this. Almost surprisingly, we discover that this lack was God-ordained! God had chosen this couple to bring forth John the Baptist–forerunner of Jesus–at just the right moment of time. Continue reading

Preparing to Pray: Organizing Your God Time

How we prepare for time with Jesus can affect the quality of that time. Our pre-prayer preparation matters, in both posturing our hearts and preparing a place and plan. In this article, I share about the practical side of organizing our daily devotional time.

These tips require us to plan ahead. Don’t wait until a few minutes before your quiet time, but ready everything beforehand. Continue reading

Living a Lifestyle of Prayer, Part 4: Connecting with God Throughout the Day

If you haven’t read Part 1-3, don’t miss out.

Living a lifestyle of prayer is cultivated through spending undistracted time alone with God each day. It also means continuing to fellowship with Him throughout our day. We can keep abiding in Christ throughout the day, abiding in His love.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NKJV)

How can we walk this out?

It’s as simply as turning your thoughts and heart to God for 3-5 seconds at various times throughout the day. This could be at the top of each hour, on daily breaks at work or school, or when switching between tasks. These seemingly tiny moments throughout each day can help us build our connection with God on even the busiest days.

The psalmist expressed, “Seven times a day and all day long do I praise You because of Your righteous decrees” (Psalm 119:164 AMPC).

Tip: Set daily reminders on your phone to “connect up with God” to get a jump start on this practice.

Every moment can become an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus if we use it. We can take short moments to give praise, thanks and prayer to the Lord throughout our days.

As we stay faithful to engage with God in this way, talking to Him daily will become our new normal. Read on for ideas for what to do when connecting with God in these short moments.

Practical Ideas for Quick Connection Moments with God

1. Express thanks or love to God.

Example: “Thank You for revealing Your kindness to me” or “I love Your ways of kindness in how You correct me.” You can say this to God in your mind/heart if other people are nearby.

2. Pray for yourself.

Example: “God, help me follow Your Spirit’s leadership today” or “Father, show me more about Your love for me.”

3. Pray for someone else.

Example: “Father, our manager seems to be having a stressful day. Release Your strength and peace to him. Reveal Your joy to him despite any challenges before him.”

4. Speak, pray and meditate on a Scripture verse.

Walk It Out: Make note of a Scripture in your quiet time, or from a song or sermon you’ve heard. Ponder (meditate) on the words or theme, talking to God about it. Paraphrase it into your own words and think of other related verses. Pray it over yourself. Pray it for someone else or share it with them as an encouragement via text, email or in person.

5. Make use of waiting and travel time.

Walk It Out: On your commute, sing or pray to the Lord (when you can do so without being distracted if you are the driver). If you are using public transportation, listen to teachings or other messages through headphones.

6. Pray for the people around you or connected to items near you. Pray for those who will purchase goods or services offered at your business.

Walk It Out: Pray silently for those around you as you wait in long lines. Pray for product manufacturers, farmers, transport drivers, those mentioned in the magazines (no need to read them, God knows who they are!)

You could pray something like this: Father, bless each person here–customer and employee alike–with a heart to know You. Let all who take part in this business know they matter to You. Release dreams, divine appointments and encounters with You to those who need relationship with Jesus, that they might come to know Your love and truth.

The Lord loves to fellowship with us in our daily quiet time and to be involved in our day. Enter more deeply into the journey of walking and talking with Him as much as you can. Keep turning your attention to Jesus, pressing through distractions and the mundane day-to-day. He loves to do life with you, beloved!