Remembering My Creator, Volume 1, Number 1, June 2010

Remembering My Creator

Volume 1, Number 1

Theme: Daily Bible Reading

In This Issue:

• Daily Appointments With God by Randy Sexton

• Try a Bible Study Buddy by Shannon Harden

• Daily Meditation upon the Word by Jordan Shouse

Daily Appointments With God

By Randy Sexton

Recently I bought for my Son, Ryan, who just became a Christian, a little book by Michael Kast titled My Faith: Getting To Know God, His Son and His Word, Appointments With God – 150 daily encounters with the Word. On the back cover it says,

“He knows you’re busy. Some days you’re just trying to survive. But what would happen if you took part of every day and met just with him? You know, sort of an ‘appointment with God.’ An encounter with his Word.

Meet with God each day and discover his incredible promises, his charac6ter and his love for you. He’s the One who created time. The One who manages the universe. The One who knows your doubts, your struggles and your heart.

Use this book in your time with God to take an honest look at your faith. You’ll get to know Jesus’ life and teachings. His power. His sacrifice for you. And, you’ll dig into some unbelievably cool stories in his Word. It’s all true.

HE’S WAITING

In each encounter, you’ll write about:

Things to remember

Things God is teaching you

Things to act on

Things to pray about

So, grab your Bible, a pen and this journal. Choose a time and place that work for you. You’ve got a divine appointment. He’s waiting.”

I don’t know anything about Mr. Kast’s religious background or his positions on theological issues. What he says here “resonates” with me and I appreciate what he has attempted to do in his two Appointments With God journals that I have seen. I have incorporated his approach in my Reflections on My Daily Bible Readings column.

As we launch this new Remembering My Creator page, we invite you to read along! This page is targeted to young people, especially those new in the faith. We have several young Christians who have committed to writing for this page. Writers will include Jordan Shouse, Ian Harmon, and Shannon Harden. We encourage you to launch your own daily appointment with God. Get in the habit of early morning bible reading/journaling and see if it does not improve your prayer life and strengthen your faith!

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them… (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Please continue to read with me young people and post your comments or send your private comments to me at randy.sexton@achristiansvoice.com. Have a blessed day!

Try a Bible Study Buddy

By Shannon Harden

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” – Matt 4:4

Reading God’s word is an important aspect of growing as a Christian. But in our day and time it can sometimes seem like something that gets forgotten about. So, the question is: How do you keep up with your daily bible schedule and grow from reading God’s word?

To be honest, keeping up with my reading is the greatest struggle that I have. Not only do I have to remind myself that I’m not too busy to do anything I set my mind to, but I don’t have the personality that can do a “normal” bible reading schedule. I think it’s important in our life to figure out what personalities God has given us. Some love to study independently; some can rise at dawn and do their studying before they start their day. I am not one of those people. Feeding ourselves daily with God’s word is so important that we must reflect on what we need to accomplish our goal. Often we can get into the mindset that we are “too busy” or we just become lazy.

So for me, the thing that helps me the most is finding a bible study “buddy.” I realized a long time ago that I need encouragement to do many things in my life. I just flat out don’t like doing things on my own. I no longer see this as a weakness, just reality. God made us as social people, which is why he created another being for Adam in the garden and I believe that’s why we have the church. We need encouragement and for people to help keep us be accountable. I personally need that encouragement and accountability in various aspects of my life. So in a lot of things that I do, I like to find a “buddy.” I find travel buddies and exercise buddies… why not a bible study buddy?

So if you struggle with having a consistent bible study maybe finding a friend who will just check in with you to keep you accountable or you can discuss what you’ve learned – will help you to get your spiritual nourishment. But be forewarned: you must find a good buddy. Finding someone who is not encouraging and doesn’t hold you accountable will not help you to improve your daily reading habits.

Daily Meditation upon the Word

by Jordan Shouse

What comes to mind when you think of the word strength? Some may be led to think of body builders who can lift immense weights with ease. Some think of powerful beasts like lions and bears, strong forceful animals. The Kentucky Derby passed by a few months ago. Noticing the horses as they pounded around the course, one could not help but notice the concept of strength. What about a tree? For many, trees are probably low on the list as that which characterizes the concept of strength. However, in the 1st Psalm, the tree is what the writer uses to talk about one who is strong. Notice the passage. Psalm 1:1-3.

While the beginning of this Psalm is a series of actions, built up with a stark contrast, what I want us to focus upon is the tree. Did you notice the detail the writer gave about the tree? It is firmly planted by the water. It yields its fruit. It does not wither. Whatever it does it prospers. Think about the truth behind this symbolism. A tree firmly planted is much like a wall; concrete, solid, and immovable. Cars have wrecked into trees going racing speeds which leaves the car in millions of pieces yet the tree unmoved. Strong winds blow houses to bits, yet the mighty tree with its large roots stands firm. The tree truly is a strong force. But in this passage, the writer is not focusing on trees. He attributes this concept of strength to one who “delights in the law of the Lord. And in His law he meditates day and night.”

I would venture to say that a common goal as Christians is to become strong. I don’t believe anyone has the desire to be weak or feeble. We want strong bodies, strong minds, strong houses; likewise wouldn’t we want strong faith? The Psalmist said that strength is the product of one who meditates in the Word daily. Do you know what that word meditate means? It doesn’t mean to sit cross legged and hum. Meditate is a lot like chewing. When we chew, we take our time with that which is in our mouths, enjoying the tastes and flavors we are receiving. To meditate upon the Word is to think about the passages I’ve read. Throughout my day, I’m thinking about those verses, allowing them to run through my mind and produce congruent thoughts and attitudes. When I read of the passage in Genesis 6, of God’s command to Noah for the construction of the ark, through my day I may be thinking thoughts like, “What would I have said, or how would I have reacted to such an enormous task and yet a strange command?”

Did you catch the other phrase from the Psalmist in our passage: “day and night.” The Word of God is my fuel for the soul just as food is for the body. Imagine going a day without food. The same is with the Word. The Bible is my source for encouragement, support and strength. The Bible is my firm reminder of my responsibility to the will of God. The Bible is the only source of faith. Stronger faith, deeper faith, grounded faith, just like the mighty roots of a large tree; it all comes from daily reading and meditation of the Bible. Have you read today?