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I overheard someone say. . .

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I do a piece in the Disciplemaking Teachers Seminar related to having a quiet time. It seems to have helped a few folks get back on track.

I have noticed something in my life over the years. I have to reinvent the quiet time about every 9 months.

I noticed this a few years back. I was having my quiet time maybe every other day and was, honestly, a little bored with the whole thing.

Then, I came up with a plan. I started reading the Bible on my laptop. I am a bit geeky and find anything is more interesting if I can do it on my laptop. I read the Bible on my laptop and came up with a Microsoft Access database to track my progress.

I set it up where I created a new record each day and the database would automatically supply today's date. Cool. It also supplied a sequential number so I could track how many quiet times I had this week or month or since I started. Really cool.

This plan of reading the Bible on my laptop made Bible reading come alive for me. . . for about nine months.

Then, I got bored again. I spent some time in some Lifeway stores browsing for some kind of Bible study along the lines of Experiencing God. I stumbled onto the One Year Bible.

I love the One Year Bible. It divides the Bible into 365 daily reading that include an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a Psalm and a Proverb every day. You are nearly guaranteed to have some interesting stuff every day.

(Someone pointed out to me one time that all Scripture is inspired by God but it is not equally inspiring. If you disagree, consider this verse. I get a daily verse text from Verizon. I got this one the other day: Zechariah 9:17 (KJV) "corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids."  Part of the problem is the KJV translation, but that is another topic.)

Anyway, reading from the One Year Bible made Bible reading come alive for me. . . for about nine months.

I could continue this story through three or four more cycles, and I do in the Disciplemaking Teachers Seminar. Then, I have the group react to this this, talking about whether they can relate to this nine month cycle and where they are in that cycle.

  • Have the just started a new plan and are all fired up?

  • Are they rocking along in the middle of a good plan that is working well for them?

  • Are they getting bored with their plan and need to reinvent quiet time?

  • Have they given up on quiet time?

As groups were discussing, I overheard someone say, "It was so refreshing to hear a pastor (me) admit he struggles with motivation to stay with Bible reading."

What does this comment tell you about the human heart and how to motivate people to follow God?

People like to feel like they are not alone in their struggle. And, they are not. The Bible says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) People want to feel they are not the only one who struggles. Too often, we who teach act like we have it all together.

If you would motivate people to follow God, create an atmosphere where we can talk about what is not perfect about our lives. There is something about talking about what is not perfect that makes us a little better. We grow up in Him as we speak the truth in love.

After I do this exercise, I always ask, "How many processed this thought as you were talking, 'I want to do better.'?" Everyone always raises their hands.

There is something about creating an environment where people can confess their sins that makes them sin less. Sounds almost like James 5.16.

 

 

 

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