Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Simple by Rob Morgan - Devotions

In our Simple lesson, D=Devotions. I think this may have been the most enjoyable chapter so far. Some call this daily devotions, others the morning watch or some call it quiet time. Whatever you call it, we all need to spend regular time with our Lord.

Rob starts by sharing about his own father's practice of reading the scriptures and shares his testimony about how quiet times became of utmost important in his own life. He was speaking with Dr. Stephen Olford and asked him for advice. Dr. Olford replied, "Never, never, never miss your quiet time." Ruth Bell Graham encouraged him to start journaling or the "notebook habit" as she called it. The third big influence on Morgan's devotional life was through his study of Christian biographies. It seems the more he learned of great Christian men and women, the more he learned they had a steady devotional life.

Rob shares a lot of the biographies with the reader, but I'll just give you one to wet the appetite.
This is what a biographer wrote about evangelist D.L. Moody: "He was an early riser. He generally rose about daybreak in summer, devoting the early hours to Bible study and communion with God. He used to say that one who followed this plan could not get more than twenty-four hours away from God."

Rob then moves on to what the scriptures say about "quite time." He speaks of Daniel's habit of praying and even the public knowledge of this habit. Jesus also took regular time to pray. (Mark 1:35) Jesus encouraged us to "get into our closets" in Matthew 6.

Rob does give a couple of warnings: First, quiet time isn't the "totality" of our relationship with God. Secondly, quiet time can become a ritual, but it should be a relationship.

One of the really helpful parts of this chapter is the section on How Do I Do It?

Rob gives the following helpful instructions...

1. Have a procedure for your quiet time. (Have a plan)
2. Use a pen. (Take notes - or even blog about it. :) )
3. Have a prayer list. (Possibly pray for different people on different days of the week)
4. Find a regular place and a regular time. (Be consistent)
5. Exercise perserverance. (Don't quit!)

I thought the Scripture Memory Verse was very appropriate:
"I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word" (Psalm 119:147-148)

I want to say that I have really enjoyed reading through the ESV bible this year thanks to RSS feeds. You can check out the many options of their reading plan here.

6 comments:

Tim Lewis said...

Thanks for the great post. I've been meaning to order a copy of Rob's book. By the way, I stole your thoughts for our weekly newsletter!

Travis Penn said...

Glad to be of help. I do some occasional "stealing" myself.

Hope everyone is doing well out West. I really hope we can come and visit you guys sometime.

stacihood said...

Trav--

Just found your blog and have been reading and reading...Love it. Tell Wendy I said Hi, and would love to hear from her.

Staci

Travis Penn said...

Staci,

Send me an email and I'll pass it along to Wendy.

My email address is pastor(at)calvaryfreewill(dot)com.

It's really good to hear from you. Look forward to catching up.

Jon said...

Great post. I have agree with how my devotion time has become the most important part of my day! I just could not get through a day without spending time with the Lord. But I do have a question for you (you can check out some of my thoughts on my blog concerning this at www.joncannon.org). Anyhow, what are your primary tools you take to that time with you? The conventional way: bible, notebook, pen/pencil or your laptop?

Travis Penn said...

Jon,

I have a prayer list that I have used to help me remember certain people. Also, this year I been reading the ESV through RSV feed on my laptop, and if I have something that strikes me I'll post it under "Devotions" on the blog. I don't post for every passage, but usually a couple times a week I'll write down what I've learned. It has really helped me remember more of what I've read.