Are you a rooster or an owl?

April 23, 2021

Are you a rooster or an owl; an early-riser or a late-stayer-upper?

It was Mark Twain who said, There are only two kinds of people in the world, night-people and day-people. The only problem is they are usually married to each other. When are you most productive, morning or evening?

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1.35

If one follows the pattern our Lord demonstrated, I guess we'd all be roosters! That's not to say that if you prefer being a night owl that you are any less a follower of Jesus than a rooster. Time management, however, can play a large role in our relationship with Christ.

Early in my walk with the Lord, I found the sources below which helped orient my daily walk.

I feel it is far better to begin with God,
to see His face first, to get my soul near Him
before it is near another.
E. M. Bounds

It should be our rule never to see the face of men before first seeing
the face of God. The morning watch anchors the soul so that it will
not very readily drift far away from God during the day...He who
rushes from his bed to his business without first spending time with
God is as foolish as though he had not washed or dressed, and as
one dashing to battle without arms or armor.
Charles Spurgeon

The Secret – Ralph Cushman

"I met God in the morning, when the day was at its best;
And His Presence came like sunrise, like a glory in my breast.

All day long the Presence lingered, all day long he stayed with me;
And we sailed in perfect calmness, O’er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered, other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them, brought to me a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings, with a keen remorse of mind,
When I, too, had loosed the moorings, with the Presence left behind.

So I think I know the secret, learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning, if you want Him through the day!"

Country singer, Redd Harper, wasn’t as concerned about the time of day when he wrote

"I have a Quiet Time to wait upon the Lord, A time that I can call my very own.
He gives my spirit wings to overcome all things, I never bear my burdens all alone.

How I love to read the Bible, and ask a thing or two, I always find the answer,
He can solve your problems, too.

Just find a time each day, to meditate and pray,
a Quiet Time to wait upon the Lord.

Although I prefer the mornings, I’ll rest with Harper's latitude. Morning or evening, night-time or day-time, rooster or owl, a daily quiet time is indispensable for the believer who seeks to deepen the intimacy of his or her relationship with Christ.

A Period of Exponential Growth

December 24, 2020

The Cambridge Dictionary defines exponential as an exponential rate of increase becomes quicker and quicker as the thing that increases becomes larger. I'm confident the writer of the definition didn't have discipleship in mind when he or she wrote it. However, the definition is applicable. Growth in the life of a believer can be referred to as exponential if the rate of growth becomes quicker and quicker as the believer increases in Christian maturity.

When used in a sentence, the dictionary suggested, "We are looking for exponential growth in our investment." Perhaps, that's what Paul had in mind when he wrote to young Timothy, ..."discipline yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (I Tim. 4.7b-8) Time invested in the Word of God not only pays high dividends, but can also cause growth in Christ to be exponential.

I just recently celebrated 80 years on this planet. I received more birthday greetings than on any other birthday. Several of the greetings come from members of my last pastorate and included statements, such as:

Your discipleship program was transformational in our lives. It changed my life. I am eternally grateful.

My husband and I are so grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the levels of discipleship training our hunger for the Word developed. (Phil. 1.6)

Discipleship training was especially effective in my spiritual growth. It taught me volumes of how to behave in the Spirit of God.

I know that I am not alone when I say that I grew the most spiritually in my adult life by going through the different levels of discipleship training.

Last year, I became the assistant pastor of our little country church. Discipleship training had a great deal to do with that.

I would call those comments as exemplifying exponential growth in Christ.

You May Be a Christian But Not a Disciple

November 3, 2020

A recent survey revealed that among professing evangelical believers only 11% go beyond their confession of of faith to be a true disciple. The word disciple means a learner, one who becomes a student of the Word and daily seeks to grow in grace and become better acquainted with Jesus. II Peter 3.18

Further surveys indicate that a significant number of professing Christians fail to develop a biblical worldview. For example, in a recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that 37% of white evangelical protestants support gay and lesbian marriages.

Discipline is often a missing word in the Christian's vocabulary. One can see the evidence of that fact in the increasing rate of obesity in our society. Paul made it clear to young Timothy that godliness comes through discipline (I Tim. 4.7) The Message paraphrases it well,

Exercise daily in God, no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart.

Find a program that works for you. Ask the Lord for a brother or sister in Christ to journey with you. Hold one another accountable. Accountability and discipline go together. Take it to heart. It's time to get started.