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Spending Time with the Timeless One

Every single person has 24 hours in their day, 7 days in their week. We've all been given the same time, but it's what we do with that time that makes our life. Oftentimes, people have so much going on that they aren't able to get going forward. They stay stuck in busyness instead of making progress toward their goals and dreams. 

The best way to get off of the treadmill, so to speak, and get moving forward again is to start the day by sowing a seed of time. When you sow a seed of time, when you invest that time by spending it with the Timeless One, you'll find order in your days and have what you need to accomplish whatever it is that you need to accomplish.

Spending time with God doesn't have to be boring and mundane. In fact, when you start experiencing His presence and sense Him speaking to your heart, it will become your favorite part of the day! We were created for fellowship and to fellowship with our heavenly Father. 

The first step is to just be consistent. Growing with God is a process. Learning to hear Him is a process. You can't speed the process up, but start by designating a place where you can be alone to pray and read your Bible every day. 

I have a special chair in my house. I keep my Bible and a notebook there, and I keep a picture of my children there to look at as I pray for them. Sometimes I start my quiet time with a devotional book. Sometimes I sing or pray to get started. I don't do it the same way every time. I'm more of a spontaneous person, and so my relationship with God reflects that. Now, Joel does the same thing, the same way every single day. (I fed him a tuna fish sandwich every day for the first 5 years of our marriage, and he was happy!) And that works for him. The point is to find what works for you! Just be yourself when you come to God. 

Remember, God knows you, He created you, and He loves you just the way you are! But, He also loves you enough to help you grow. He wants you to get to know Him more. He wants you to be established and secure in His love for you. Make time for Him. Invest time with the Timeless One because it's an investment that lasts throughout eternity!

 "Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong." (Ephesians 3:17, NLT)



Wait for His Best

For years my father tried to buy the property across the street from our first small church. It was a big open field, about 20 acres, with cows grazing on it. At that time Lakewood only owned two acres. That was barely enough room for the church and the people to park. My dad knew that one day he was going to build a larger sanctuary. They were going to expand it so that property was extremely valuable to him. He went and met with the owners and they were willing to sell it. They wanted $400,000 which was a fair price back then, $20,000 an acre. The owners were even willing to finance it. My dad was prepared to present the opportunity to the congregation and start raising the funds, but down inside something didn't feel right. He had unrest inside. He thought it was just his nerves. He tried to push it down, but week after week that feeling wouldn't go away. Every time he thought about it, he could hear the alarm inside going off. Finally, he told the owners that Lakewood wasn't going to purchase that property. Five years went by. My dad got all stirred up. "We need that property. We need a bigger sanctuary." He went back. The owner said, "Fine. We'll sell it to you for the same amount as we asked before." Just as he was about to announce it he could hear the alarm going off again. He felt that same uneasiness. In his mind, it didn't make sense. Now he had the money. They had the property but no peace. Five years later, ten years after the initial meeting, he went back to meet with the owners. This time the market had gone down. The economy was low. The owners were desperate to sell. My father walked in. The owner said, "We asked $20,000 an acre before. How about we sell it to you for $5,000 an acre now?" My dad said, "I think that would be okay." The property went from $400,000 to $100,000. 

Remember, when you feel an unrest, an uneasiness inside, that's not God trying to keep something from you. That's God trying to get something better to you. Now don't be hardheaded. Don't have to settle for second best. 

If you'll let God lead you, He will do more than you can ask or think. Job put it this way. "God speaks to us in different ways but we don't always hear His voice." God is constantly speaking to you. My question is, "Are you tuned in?" Pay attention to what you're feeling down inside: the promptings, the suggestions; the uneasiness. Remember, He speaks in a still small voice. You're not going to hear Him by accident. Listening to Him has to be a priority. 

Today, I encourage you, be sensitive to Him. Don't override the warnings. Don't ignore the alarms. Let peace act as the umpire in your heart. If you'll do this, God promises He will lead you, guide you, protect you. He'll show you His favor if you'll wait for His best! 

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me." (John 10:27, ESV).



Becoming Immovable

I have this plant in my yard called a Bougainvillea. When I first got it, I put it in a pot and set it in the flower bed so that it could be watered with the rest of the plants when the sprinklers came on. 

One day I looked out, and it was blooming beautifully! The Bougainvillea is a bushy type of plant with gorgeous pink flowers all over it. I decided to move the pot to our back porch so that I could see it better and enjoy the blooms. I walked outside and gave the pot a good tug, but it didn't budge. Now that surprised me because it wasn't that big. I tried harder to lift it, but I still couldn't move it. Then I realized what had happened. The roots had broken through the pot and grown down deeply into the flower bed. That pot wasn't going anywhere! 

That moment reminded me of a scripture. The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3, "I pray that you be rooted and grounded in love." God wants us to be like that pot. He wants our roots to go down so deep that nothing can move us! Not criticism nor trials nor fears. No matter what the storms of life bring, we can stand strong just like that pot when our roots are strong.

The thing is that oftentimes, we want to be everything all at once. We want to be strong and mature, and God wants that for us, too. But just like that flower pot had to sit in the sun and receive water day after day, we have to sit in God's presence every day, too. We have to remember that growth is a process. Our love has to grow over time. It takes time to become strong and secure in Him. We shouldn't become impatient when things don't happen as quickly as we'd like. Just trust that as you spend time in His presence, your roots will grow deep, and you'll be able to handle whatever comes your way! 

"Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong." (Ephesians 3:17, NLT)


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