Tag Archives: bible study

00. How to Establish a Daily Quiet Time – Introduction

The simple habit of spending quiet time alone with God daily takes only minutes, yet we resist it. This investment pays rich dividends when we dare to accept the challenge.

Have you spent time with God today?

The best Bible teacher

I learned the value of spending time alone with God when I was in high school. A beloved pastor, who was like a father to me, encouraged us to look up and read the Scripture references for the Daily Bible Readings listed in our Sunday School Quarterly each week. The only Bible we had back then was the King James Version, but I enjoyed the challenge of understanding it. While we were left to ourselves to comprehend the meaning, we really were not alone. I soon learned that the Holy Spirit is the best Bible teacher. I loved using my concordance to research and compare Scriptures. I fell in love with God’s Word during this time.

Flyleaves are for promises

I began finding answers for my daily needs in the Scriptures, and looked forward to reading my Bible before I went to sleep each night. I was amazed to find that this book, written so many years ago, is relevant to the difficulties I experience each day. I began writing promises from my Bible study into the flyleaves of the Bible I received for Christmas in 1960, the year I entered high school. I knew that some day God would answer those promises for me but, even then, I understood that the answers might not come immediately. My daily time with God in his Word sustained me as I waited for the fulfillment of promise.

The leather is crumbling on my old high school Bible now, and I have it encased in plastic. But I love to look through its pages, especially the flyleaves where I penciled promises from that dear Book so many years ago. Every promise I wrote in those flyleaves has been fulfilled many times over.

I knew I had found a special treasure Book when I began my daily time with God. But the bounty I continue to find in God’s Word each day has proven to be more valuable than I ever imagined back then. I’ve found answers to why, and how, and when, and all the questions we ask about life. I’ve learned that God has it all figured out, always does it best, and that I can depend upon the the truths he shows me each day in his Word.

Why I wrote these Quiet Time lessons

In the late 1990’s, I sometimes talked with women in chat room ministry about the importance of spending personal time in God’s Word. I set up my first website to provide a reference I could refer other women to and, In 1998, I wrote the How to Establish a Daily Quiet Time lessons to place on that site. In 1999, we became Hope in a House Divided, and I have updated these lessons as I moved them to this, our newest Hope in a House Divided site, in April of 2009.

Many blessings await you as you establish a daily “Quiet Time.” Have you spent time with God today? If not, there’s no better time to get started!

God bless you,
Lois

How to Establish a Daily Quiet Time

Contents
00. How to establish a daily quiet time – Introduction
01. What is a quiet time, and why do I need it?
02. Finding time for daily devotions and Bible study
03. Selecting a Bible translation for daily study.
04. Ideas for daily devotions and Bible reading
05. Online resources for your daily Bible study

02. Finding time for daily devotions and Bible study

Set a definite time for daily devotions and Bible study. Whether morning, noon, or night, make a commitment to put God first by keeping this appointment you’ve scheduled with the Lord.

What part of your day would be best to spend with God?

Finding the right time for you

To establish your Quiet Time, determine what part of your day is best to set aside for spending time with Him?

  • Many people find that the best time is early in the morning, before the household is stirring. This starts the day with Him, and gives Him an opportunity to provide reinforcements for the day.
  • Others find the best time to be at night right before bed. This allows opportunity to review the day with God and plan for tomorrow with Him.
  • Some people spend a portion of their lunch hour alone with God.
  • Young mothers often snatch the time while their children are napping.
  • People who commute for long distances to work often use this time to pray and listen to a Scripture CD. The disadvantages of this method are the inability to take notes while driving, and the fact that most people don’t work seven days a week.

The time you choose to spend with Him will be based upon whatever your schedule allows. Ask God to help you find the time that is best for you. The most important thing is that you set aside a definite time. It is too easy for our good intentions to get lost in the shuffle of life is we don’t make a definite commitment here.

Plan to spend some time listening to Him through Bible reading. Plan to spend another portion of this time talking with him through prayer.

If you miss a day, you will find that things seem more complicated, stressful. Don’t despair, just ask Him to forgive you if you missed your time with Him through neglect. Ask Him to help you get back on target the next day.

How to Establish a Daily Quiet Time

Contents
00. How to establish a daily quiet time – Introduction
01. What is a quiet time, and why do I need it?
02. Finding time for daily devotions and Bible study
03. Selecting a Bible translation to use for daily study
04. Ideas for daily devotions and Bible reading
05. Online resources for your daily Bible study

Scripture taken from King James Version unless otherwise noted

04. A promise for every problem: God’s substance of faith

God’s promises are the substance of faith. Rather than trust God to meet needs our resources are insufficient to manage, we blame God for not providing more resources.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for….” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).

“Just trust God?” How easy is that?

“Just trust God and it will be alright!” Has anyone ever given you this empty advice?

Empty? Yes, that statement is empty. It gives you no reason to trust God. There is nothing in that statement to base trust upon. For Christians who have learned faith by walking hand in hand with God through many trials, that gentle reminder may be appropriate. But for the Christian whose faith has not yet been developed, the encouragement to “just trust God” is unreasonable.

God never requires blind faith. God went out of his way in the Scriptures to prove himself. He provided miracle after miracle throughout the Old and New Testaments, and he recorded them as evidence of his trustworthiness. For those who are willing to take the time to learn to trust him, God will develop a foundation of faith that will outlast any storm. Trust is something we learn.

Competitors to faith: job security, financial stability, medical insurance…

We have the faith to believe that God can meet our needs. But do we have the faith to trust him to do it? There are many things that compete for our trust. Job security, financial stability, disaster preparedness, medical insurance, and retirement planning are some of the major competitors to our faith. Each of us could add other competitors as well, such as people we depend on, etc.

“Are you saying it is wrong to seek a secure job and stable finances, and to prepare for the future?” you ask. No, not at all. But it is wrong to trust in these things.

“Then he said, `This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”‘ But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:18-21 NIV)

When things go awry, what do you think of first? Most of us do a quick assessment of our resources. For the Christian, God sees to it that our resources are never enough, for he wants to be our loving supplier. But we forget that. When we see our failing resources, we panic. Instead of trusting God to meet the needs our resources are insufficient to meet, we blame God for not providing us more resources!

We proceed to tell God how to supply our needs: “Lord, send me a job that will provide enough money to pay the rent.” God doesn’t need jobs and he doesn’t need money, though he often uses both to meet our needs. But he can work through any means at any time to be there for us. Don’t limit him!

God’s promises make our faith tangible

How do we get beyond the empty admonition to “just trust God” and apply it into a dynamic living part of our life? We can only “get there” by taking the time to allow God to develop this faith in us.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).

The promises have always been my favorite part of the Word of God. I’ve learned that for every problem we encounter, there is a promise. If we will take the time to find the promise God wants to give us in his Word for the current problem we encounter, we will discover a faith for this current need that we can never attain by an empty “just trust God.”

“For the word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV). God’s Word is what makes our faith tangible.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). “Substance” is something I can reach out and touch. I can grab it and hold it in my hands and keep it for my own. The only part of the Word of God that we can touch and make our own are the promises.

Think of it. Every Bible story would be meaningless to us personally without the promises. They would ring with the empty, “Just trust God.” Even the most meaningful Bible story of all, the story of how Jesus came to earth to die for our sins and offer forgiveness, would be worthless if God didn’t promise me that when I depend upon what Jesus has done for me I can have eternal life too! Our very salvation is based upon a promise:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

Ask God to give you a promise for your present need. Don’t turn lose of it. God wants you to hold him to his Word. He delights when you come to him and say, “Lord, I will not accept anything less than what you have promised me here!”

Take time to find the promise God has for you in his Word today!

How to find your promise in the Bible

  1. Browse through our Bible Promises topic category.
  2. Look in the concordance of your Bible for a keyword of a need you have: marriage, fear, disease, children, mother, etc. Check out all the references. Not every word will be listed, and you may need to find alternative words.
  3. Look for a promise online. Bible Gateway’s searchable online Bible is my favorite. It is available in over 50 versions and 35 languages. Just type in your keyword, or use the Topical Index.
  4. Purchase an inexpensive Bible promise book and check the topical index to find promises for your needs. My favorite Bible promise book is God’s Promises for Your Every Need
  5. Ask God to lead you to the promise he has for you as you begin to read his Word. There are promises on every page, and he has often led me to a promise for my current need as I have picked up his Word searching for answers to my need.
  6. Find a Scripture reference you can remember that is related in some way to your need and check out the cross-references to other similar Scriptures.
  7. Large Print Thompson Chain Reference Bible-NIV is my favorite study Bible. It is available in several versions, including KJV and NIV, and smaller pint as well. I recently ordered the large print version linked here to accommodate my failing vision. (Some reviewers report poor quality in some Thompson’s versions available now. The one I’ve linked above appears to be of excellent quality. To see more regarding this, click here.)
  8. Sometimes God will give us a Scripture promise through a sermon, a poster, or just sharing among friends.
  9. Topical List of Bible Promises from InTouch Ministries is a wonderful link that provides Bible promises on many topics:

Look now for a promise in God’s Word for your present need!

Ever wonder about doubt? We’ll discuss that next.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

00. Called to be a mother: Introduction

Between the battlefield of prayer and God’s promise of hope, I found faith to know that God was working in my children’s lives in ways I couldn’t see just yet.

Don’t give up. God hears your cry!

Author’s Preface

These sessions were written in the mid 1990’s, between the battlefield of prayer and God’s promise of hope. My last child was a teenager then, and we were going through some rugged times. I went to God’s Word for help, and this Bible study is the result. From the beginning, I wrote it in a format to share, because the things God was showing me were too wonderful to keep to myself. As I’ve moved them to our new site in March of 2009, I’ve added sub-headings and made minor editorial changes for clarity.

Chapters 1-19 were written while my son was home. He moved out a few days before he turned 18, and chapters 20 and 21 were written about three years later as I continued to wait for God’s answers. It was not until my son was in his early-to-mid-twenties that I first saw God’s transformations in his life. But, all along, I knew he was working in a way that I couldn’t see just yet.

My son will be thirty this year. He is a committed Christian, a great father, and a productive citizen. He is married to a former missionary from Turkey, and they are serving the Lord together.

My oldest, a daughter, is also serving the Lord. Her work as a CNA gives her many opportunities to show God’s love to the patients she cares for. She is a mother, and we have done this “Called to Be a Mother” Bible study together with local friends several times.

Don’t give up. God hears your cry.
Lois

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