Time With God by Jonathan Oldacre
October 23, 2006, 3:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ahhhh, snuggly blanket, your Bible, early morning dew, a butterfly on the window sill, and a steamy peppermint-soy-half-caf-extra-skinny-mocha-with-organic-whipped-cream, and that ‘quiet time’ feeling…

Is that what you think a devotion is? Do devotions look different for men than they do for women?

If you are a man and you do identify with that description, please never tell me who you are or I’ll be forced to send Maples to your house or dorm room. He’ll be equipped with a wiffle ball bat, a roll of duct tape, and a hankerin’ to break you down. Please don’t make me do that. Anyway, since I’ll be posting on Manly Devotions, I thought this would be a great time to lay some groundwork for a healthy, biblically masculine, devotional life. What is the foundation of a quiet time, and do devotions look different for men than they do for women?

1. Rooted in grace, a quiet time is…
“Time with God.” I love that description. It’s simple, intentional, and releasing at the same time. That’s the phrase Jerry Bridges uses for his “quiet time” or “devotion.” If you’re not familiar with Jerry Bridges, think about him like this: If there were an ultimate fighting championship where all the giants of the faith came together to slug it out, Jerry Bridges would be the number one contender in the ‘Grace’ category. This man knows how to receive the grace of God! See, your time with God in the morning is about receiving grace, not earning grace. It’s time spent receiving from God. It’s fellowship with Jesus Christ. You come needy to a God who is not needy. He is completely satisfied and He loves to give lavishly, richly, and overflowingly! The focus of your time with God should have at its center the God who at great cost to Himself sent His only Son to bear the wrath you so richly deserve. If He gave His son for you, won’t He provide you with grace today (Rom. 8:32)?

Make no mistake. We do spend time reading God’s Word, praying, and meditating on Scripture, but Jesus sacrifice on the cross is complete and sufficient. God doesn’t need you to add anything to it for Him to bless you. No Bible-reading, praying, or thinking over God’s Word “makes” God bless you. As John Piper says, “…you can’t get His arm behind His back to get Him to bless you.”Christ already did the work so that you could get riches of grace each and every morning! Why is this foundation of grace so important? It’s important because we can be tempted to try to add to Christ’s finished work by our Bible reading, prayers, journaling, etc. In effect, we think we can coerce God into blessing us by what we do, but the Bible says that Christ’s work is finished (John 19:30). Hebrews 12:2 says that Christ is “seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” What do we do when we’ve finished our work? We take a seat. He’s done, He was faithful to the end, He paid our penalty in full, and it’s over! There’s nothing for you to contribute this morning!

But Jonathan, what if I don’t feel like having some “Time with God” in the morning?
I don’t know about you, but I usually feel like junk in the morning. I usually feel like staying in bed. I typically feel like being left alone. I generally feel like God’s not too happy with me. Melanie asks me what I’d like for lunch, and I feel like having a PB and J. Do you see the pattern? My sinful heart loves to begin the day focused on my feelings rather than truth about God. In short, don’t trust your feelings, trust God and believe Him for grace today!

2. Christian men and women meet with God…
Christian men and women both have the privilege of reading God’s Word, praying, crying out to God for grace, enjoying God’s grace, and singing praise to Him. However, I do think men should be leading and setting the pace for spending time with God. Period. Men, ask yourself, “Do I observe more passion for the Savior in the women I know than I do in myself?” “Do the girls initiate more conversations about God than I do?”

3. Be encouraged, grace awaits…
In light of the wrath we deserve every single morning, isn’t it amazing that God wants to meet with us? Think about that. You and I wake up every single morning as sinners, and God is holy. Really holy. He’s three times holy the book of Isaiah tells us, and yet the God of the universe loves to be with those who trust in His Son. No wrath awaits you, Christian! You and I have an open invitation every single day to be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ. There is no reluctance in God’s heart to meet with us because we’re in Jesus Christ; what great news (Ephesians 1-2)!

FYI- Over the next few weeks we’ll be unpacking different aspects of our “Time With God.” Thanks for reading!

Note– If even the thought of getting up before 10:00am makes you sleepy, allow me to introduce my friends at Starbucks. They keep gallons and gallons of this hot, caffeinated substance called coffee on hand just for you! But please keep it within the realm of the masculine? No soy, no organic, nothing fruity…just coffee, ok!


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