Yesterday we finished on this statement ‘Living like Jesus publically starts with living like Jesus privately’.
Something which is clear about Jesus’ private life is that He took time to connect with the Father regularly; Jesus set the example for us concerning quiet time, as the following Scriptures tell us:
- “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray'” (Matthew 26:36).
- “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).
- “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
Jesus’ quiet time was a source of His strength. Personal fellowship with His Father in Heaven was the top priority of Jesus` life on Earth (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 22:39-44). Even when His days were busy and filled with exciting ministry, He spent time in prayer (John 5:30). If a time of quiet prayer was a priority for Jesus, how much more do we need to make it a priority in our lives?
For Jesus, time alone with the Father was not an optional extra… The gospel of Luke tells us that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Lk. 5:16)… This is precisely where you and I so often miss out on all that God has for us. Unlike Jesus, we attempt to live life in our own energy. We think we can keep giving out without getting replenished. Then, wearied and weakened by the demands of life and ministry, we become impatient and annoyed with the very ones God has sent us to serve. Rather than exhibiting a gracious, calm, joyous spirit, we become uptight, stressed, and worried people, resenting, rather than welcoming, the people and opportunities God brings into our lives.
You do not “spend” time with God. You “invest” it. Time alone with Him can be one of the greatest time savers of your life. It is in your time alone with the Lord that you can surrender the burden and the anxiety of the load to Him (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7). You can also find the perspective to be delivered from the truly nonessential things that often seem important. You can find new energy and ideas as you “commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established (Proverbs 16:3).
C.H. Spurgeon said: ‘It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.’ Andrew Bonar, another great man of God, also had three similar rules that he lived by. Rule 1- Not to speak to any person before speaking to Jesus Christ. Rule 2- Not to do anything with his hands until he had been on his knees. Rule 3- Not to read the papers until he had read his Bible.
To often we speak about being “faithful” to have a quiet time with God each day, as if we were doing something to earn a reward. It would be better to talk about the privilege of spending time with God. We will continue here tomorrow.