“Personal Devotions” Part 1 BTPP002

ABI Drama Weekend:

Ryan beard photo
Ryan and his great beard for ABI drama

0:29 Here is the picture of Ryan’s epic beard made by Tim. No, it isn’t real.
Beard making was Tim’s favorite part about ABI drama, and this was his crowning achievement of all the beards he made.

Our Families:

5:22 Lucas (Tim’s Family)  Wife: Amede; Offspring: Judah, Charlotte (on the way);

7:21 Ali (Nigel’s Family) Wife: Tamra; Offspring: Nahum, Nathaniel, Ethan;

10:01 Goff (Ryan’s Family) Wife: Zsanine; Offspring: Silas, Asher;

Main Topic: Personal Devotions

12:55 NIGEL: I don’t think you could possibly overemphasize the importance of personal devotions for anyone desiring to be used in ministry.

Mark 8:36 says what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul. We often apply this to the sinner, but I remember reading a book by brother Billy Cole in which he applied this to the minister. What will it profit him if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul.

If we aren’t careful we will get so busy with the work of God that we will forget the God of the work.

In my own life I remember when I went into full time ministry and for awhile I kept a very strong devotional life, but somewhere along the way I let it slip away. Even though I was still seeing signs and miracles I could feel my life being drained away. It took a man of God coming to me, for me to realize the more important thing.

17:35 TIM: When we look in Acts 3, and 4 we read about he first big outside of church miracle. The man that had been healed went into the temple and started worshiping and when the religious leaders called them all in the Bible says they took note that they had been with Jesus.

That’s what ministry really is; An extension of our time with Jesus.

Especially the book of Luke highlights the devotional life of Jesus. You could almost call it “what happened when Jesus was interrupted from praying.”

Even in prayer I think we need to be careful to not let prayer become another work. So often I think our prayer time is not as much about seeking the face of God and becomes a time to do intercession and accomplish something.

And yet it is out of our prayer time that we see revival come. All the great preachers from Brainerd and Whitefield, to Jonathan Edwards they all prayed. Leonard Ravenhill has several books, of which the most famous is his book “Why Revival Tarries”. All of his books are basically the same message. We don’t have revival because we aren’t praying like we should.

21:50 NIGEL: Every time Jesus ministered you see Jesus then pulling away and going into a desert place and praying. Every single person who is mightly used by God has had a life of prayer and reading the word. You are right Tim if we will learn to pray we will see revival.

23:06 RYAN: My thing is I have a very difficult time getting up in the morning. I go to bed with such high aspirations but when I wake up I turn into this sleeping monster. The problem with trying to pray at night is that when I get home my priority is spending time with the kids and my wife. So I’ve come to the realization I’m just going to have to be tired for right now.

27:00 NIGEL: Ministry is so different from any other profession. Our work as a minister is dependent on our character. That is completely different from all other professions. Our sermons are dependent on our actions outside of the pulpit.

28:10 TIM: As young minister’s most of us will probably spend a significant time ministering in a small church. One of the things that is key in small churches is personal relationships. People know you and so if you can easily ruin your sermons by interactions outside of the pulpit.

29:20 NIGEL: A Minister can not separate his message from himself. You can’t live one way and preach something completely different.

sombreroPeakHike2229:57 TIM: Nigel you earlier mentioned Jesus going out to the desert. I live in Southern California which is basically desert. Well I have a place I love to go. It’s an absolutely stunning place called Anza Borrego.

My Camp Shelter
My Camp Shelter and my dog Batman.

 

The place I camp is about a mile down a very rough dirt road off of the highway (pictured). This one time in particular when I went to go camping I arrived after dark and so I didn’t want to take the chance of getting stuck so I just slept there by the highway. And I was amazed by the incredible silence. Once the sun goes down the desert goes silent. Other than the occasional coyote howl it was completely silent. It didn’t take long for me to realize how easy it was to hear God’s voice. It made me realize that the number one problem to us hearing God’s voice is the noise in our life.

indianValley3
half way up sombrero peak looking down on Indian Valley

Unfortunately we can’t all go live in the desert. God has called us to ministry and ministry means people. So I think it becomes so important to find places of silence in our everyday lives.

34:00 NIGEL: The scripture says be still and know that I am God. In the day and age we live in the is no stillness. You have to find that time to be still and focus on God.

I recently heard bro Terry Shock talking about the importance of the devotional life of a minister. He said he has recently started asking young guys “where do you prayer?” and “when do you pray?” And if you can’t answer those questions you don’t have a regular prayer time.

I think it is so important to have that time with God before you start letting in the voices of facebook, twitter, and the other things that can so easily drown out God’s voice.

It is interesting reading in the scripture how so often when the disciples woke up they had to go find Jesus. And it is so important for us to first thing in the morning go find Jesus.

37:36 TIM: I recently heard someone say be careful about the first thing you do in the morning because it will color the rest of the day. For instance if you check facebook first your entire day will be filtered through the lens of “what do people think about me”.

38:15 NIGEL: Another thing Bro Shock mentioned was that first thing in the morning he has started making “faith declarations” like God you are mighty, God you are great, etc.

*This episode ended up being a lot longer than we intended so we split it into two parts. Here is episode 3 “personal devotions part 2”

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