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We all need to spend time with God

 June 2009 

On June 12th Kathy went to hospital for a major pelvic repair operation, and it appears at this point in time to have very been successful. Nearly 24 years ago, she developed a prolapse and had a minor repair a year later. She had our third son, Matthew, 18 months after that. She then decided to have a major repair and subsequent Caesarian with the next child we planned. Unfortunately, the major repair failed after eight weeks, so with the next baby, Isaac, the specialist suggested an ordinary delivery with a future hysterectomy.

She had no further repairs after that, but she still believed the Lord wanted her to have one more child. When Kathy conceived 5 years later, at aged 43, the doctor (who was not an evangelical Christian) said it was quite miraculous. Well, Priscilla was born and she has been an incredible joy to us. Kathy decided to homeschool her and before she could even read or write, Kathy began having Quiet Times with her. Kathy would read a Bible story to her and ask her what happened in the story and Priscilla would relate back to her what happened.

A friend, Rose Tattersall, who also does this with her little children, said that it is a very educational thing to do-to get children to relate back what has happened in a story that is read to them. Priscilla learnt to read and write through doing QTs.

After Priscilla related back what happened in the story, Kathy would then ask her what she believed the Lord was saying to her. And Kathy would pray with her over what she believed the Lord was saying to her.

On March 19th, Priscilla turned 13, and we are delighted that she is still very keen to spend time with the Lord each day.

On April 5th, Kathy and Priscilla travelled to Rotorua (about 400kms from our place) to attend an ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) School Convention. Priscilla had planned to take part in a number of events, one of them being an oratory speech, in which she had to persuade the audience to agree with her thesis, which was outlined in her topic.

They arrived in Rotorua at 3pm on April 5th , but at 7pm that night Nana died and, deeply grieving over Nana's death, they returned home early the next day.

Kathy and I were so thrilled with the oratory that Priscilla had prepared, as it was all about the need to have a daily QT, and since she did not have the opportunity to give it at Convention, I decided to include it in this letter. Below is her unedited oratory:

You Must Spend Time With The Master!

To prove to you the importance of spending time with the Master I will cover these three points.

1. Why it is essential to spend time with God?

2. What stops us from accepting God's invitation to spend time with Him.?

3. We must spend time with God, but how can we?

Point number 1:

Why it is essential to spend time with God? One reason is that Jesus died to save us, He rescued us from sin, He gave us this gift, but don't you think God would be offended if you just accept His gift but don't actually bother to spend time with Him.

I'll give you an example. Say you had something wrong with your kidney and would have died if someone hadn't given you their kidney. Would you just say to that person, "Well, thank you. Bye bye. Never see you again." I would think you would want to keep in contact with that person and talk to them sometimes. But Jesus who didn't just give part of His life away, but gave it all, all of it, and we just take that for granted.

Another reason is this. You may have been a Christian for many years but are you still growing? For a baby to grow, it needs love, food and guidance, but God cannot give you love unless you listen to Him. When you do, you will feel His love. God cannot feed you unless you read His Word. And God cannot give you guidance unless you wait on Him. 1 Peter 2:2 says this: "As newborn babies desire the pure milk of the Word that you may grow thereby." So to grow, you need to listen to Him and feed on His Word.

Point number 2:

What stops us from accepting Gods invitation to spend time with Him? What were the Israelites continually doing which kept them away from their God? They kept serving idols. Judges 2:11 says this, "Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals." So the answer to the question is "Idols." Idols are the main causes that keep us from God. The Israelites were guilty and although most people don't recognise it, we today are also very guilty of idolatry.

You may be thinking, "Hey, no, that's not true. I don't bow down to stone images or carved idols." That is a simple black and white way of thinking. So now, you want to know what an idol is. An idol is anything that comes between you and God. That got you by surprise didn't it? So now you can see that it is much harder than you think to obey the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." "Here are some common idols we all struggle with:

TV, computers, sports, cars, houses, money, friends, family and careers. For example, if you stay up late watching TV or playing computer, it is keeping you from waking early and spending time with the Lord. Therefore, it is an idol.

Idolatry does not lead to happiness. It leads to discontent. When you put idols first, you will always want more and more. You will have an emptiness in your spirit.

Matthew 11:28-30 says: "Come to Me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." So when you put Jesus first, He will take away your burden and give rest to your soul.

So when Jesus does all that, why don't we spend time with Him? It is because we aren't willing to give up our idolatry. It's mad. I'll give you an example so you will understand the madness:

Suppose we got a letter from the queen inviting us to stay in her castle and spend time with her. What say I just said "No, I've got a soccer game on, or I'm working. I just can't go." You would think I was crazy but how much more crazy is it that people don't want to spend time with the King of Kings.

Point number three: We must spend time with God but how can we?

There are many ways of spending time with God, but one way I find helpful is what my family does. Each day we read a passage of Scripture and choose a verse we like. Then we ask the Lord what He is saying from it.

Now to summarize all I've told you, you need to be grateful to God and willing to listen to Him so you will grow. You need to lay aside your idolatry and let the Lord take away your burden and restore your soul. Make Jesus the King of Kings in your life. And remember, "You must spend time with God."

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