Faith

He is Coming!

By the time you read this, December 25th will be in the rearview mirror. Yesterday’s news. Most likely, the gifts are opened; some forgotten, some you wish to forget!  Like that t-shirt, Aunt Hilda got you from her trip to the National Senior Citizen Convention in Oshkosh. You know, the one that shows a donkey kicking his hind legs and says “I may be old, but I still have kick!” Like, yeah, you’ll definitely wear that; to bed, but not in public!  

Frankly, my list this year was small; sunflower seeds (keeps me awake when traveling), another blank journal (for the writer in me). Not much else, except one thing: time with Jesus. There is nothing more appealing, more satisfying, more soul-enriching than to sit at the feet of Jesus and soak in His Word.  Just to be in His presence. 

Jonathan Ogden has a great song out “Slow Down” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4gK8TnCplA  Just to let the world go off-line long enough so that the voice of Jesus is clearly heard in my soul. That’s what I want for Christmas. 

Jesus Enters Your Life

In my book, Mentoring Warriors, (available at www.mentoring-warriors.com/shop), I mention that beyond all the busyness religion can force us into, it is the man who, by faith lets Christ live His life through him that experiences the presence of God. 

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2 vs 20 ESV

Lectio Divina

That’s Latin for Divine Reading.  It’s the spiritual discipline that helps you hear from God. For centuries, it’s been a practice of Christian meditation that helps you slow down and sit at the feet of Jesus. God’s Word, scripture, is supernatural. God, the Holy Spirit, speaks through His Word to the depths of our soul.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4 vs 12 ESV

The Bible is the only book on the planet, in the entire universe, that has the 100% endorsement of God Himself. When we sit before His Word, we open up the opportunity to meet with God; for Him to speak to us. 

Jesus Came This Christmas-Did You Meet Him?

Not that meeting with Jesus can be boiled down to six easy steps; God is not a formula. He is a person and longs for a relationship with us. Here are some steps in practicing Lectio Divina this Christmas

1. Find a quiet place; where the hustle and bustle are not pressing in on you. It could be a quiet bookstore/coffee shop. Your kitchen table. By a fireplace. Weather-permitting, outdoors in nature. I do NOT recommend your bedroom; at least not on your bed. I’ve tried that, and to my shame, I frequently found myself asleep, drooling on my Bible!

2. Open up the Scriptures. If you do not have a specific passage to read, I suggest choosing a Psalm. Many psalms were written by David. They are filled with every aspect of human emotions; very profound expressions of the human soul. One thing to keep in mind, God wrote the Bible in paragraphs. Long before chapters and verses were established, Scripture was read in paragraphs. If you are looking at other than the Psalms or Proverbs, for example, the New Testament, select a paragraph to read.

3. Ask God to meet you. Take a moment and in the quiet, ask God to speak to you. Tell Him you are ready to listen.

4. Read the scripture slowly. Out loud. Softly. Then, read it again, even more softly. Read it a third time in a whisper voice. 

5. Pause. Ponder. With pen in hand, either in a journal or in the margins of your Bible, write down what God is saying to you. Perhaps a sentence or a phrase popped out at you while you read that paragraph multiple times. Jot that down. Example:

In reading, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2 vs 20 ESV, the Lord spoke to me. The phrase who loved me and gave himself for me caught my heart. So much of me trying to live the Christian life has been this mechanical list of trying harder. That phrase about loving me and giving himself for me struck me in that His presence in me is rooted in His unfailing love. It’s a gift. I jotted down in my notes, “Free!-Stress is gone!”

6. Wrap up. Before you head off for the day, thank God for speaking to you; for meeting with you. Sometimes meeting with God is profound; soul-stirring. At other times, it may be a gentle touch to your spirit that He knew you needed most. Whatever is next on your agenda, go into it knowing that God is with you. 

Jesus shows up when we practice Lectio Divina.  

Merry Christmas!

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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