Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Mark 1:35 "In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there."
Luke 6:12 "It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God."
What does it mean to have a private time with God? sometimes this concept will be called by other names: "daily devotions"; "quiet-time" and other such designations. Is spending personal time with God on a daily basis important for one's spiritual growth in the Christian life? As Jesus models for us in the above opening verses, having a daily time alone with God is crucial. Whether one takes times in prayer and the Word in the early morning or late at night - the point is getting with Him before getting to it. Since we are at the beginning of a new year, I thought I would share this key principle of Jesus' example in spending time with the Heavenly Father to encourage us all to make time with God a regular part of our life.
Why have daily-time with God? Because Jesus did it
As we already discovered in the above opening verses of today's post, Jesus modeled a crucial component of true progress in the Christian life - personal time with God. In Mark 1:35, we find Jesus making His personal time with the Heavenly Father the very first thing that He did. In Luke 6:12, we find the Lord Jesus taking the late-night hours to spend time with God in prayer. In both instances, we find Jesus exercising the practice of alone-time with God to draw closer to the Heavenly Father, make important decisions and set the tone for His life and ministry.
So why did Jesus do this? After all, Jesus is God in the flesh. He had already enjoyed perpetual fellowship with the Father from all eternity. Here is why. In passages such as 1 John 2:6 and 1 Peter 2:21-22; we are encouraged to follow in Jesus' steps. He modeled in His humanity the very life and principles he wanted His disciples to have. Of course, such principles were never to be isolated from dependence upon and the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit brings to bear in the Christian the living power of Jesus Christ.
Thus, when we rely upon Jesus by the Holy Spirit, beginning the practice of daily devotions goes from being a duty to delight. The chief reason for getting into the habit of having daily-quiet times with God is because Jesus did.