There’s Never A Bad Time To Pray (Jonah 2:1)

We struggle with the idea that God wouldn’t want to hear from us at the bottom of life, but he does. The religious part of us believes that God doesn’t hear prayers from the back of cop cars, or courtrooms, or rehab. Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish is a great reminder that there’s never a bad time to pray.

Watch the full sermon here:


Have You Ever Met A Strange Christian? (1 Peter 2:11)

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

1 Peter 2:11

Christianity hasn’t always been mainstream. If you’ve lived in Western Culture the last 1500 years, it’s a strange concept to think politicians wouldn’t try to appeal to “evangelicals” or schools wouldn’t pledge to be “under God.” The idea that Christianity is the status quo is a relatively new idea. In the earliest days of Christianity, there were a handful of eyewitnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, that grew into a few thousand people who would meet before sunrise to pray, worship, and eat a meal together. 

When you consider that Rome, at the time, was the largest empire in the known world, a small number of devoted followers with no political power, or social standing, didn’t stand a chance at influencing the world. But it did. What started as a prayer meeting began to grow. Christianity infiltrated cities, one relationship at a time, one apartment building at a time, one marketplace at a time as if releasing white blood cells into the bloodstream of the Roman Empire.1 As the movement grew, they didn’t trade their peculiarness to try and appeal to a larger audience, instead, they doubled down on it. To be a Christian meant to be a peculiar. Their example challenged how Rome defined status, and as you might expect the empire didn’t like that.

In AD 64 the emperor Nero used Christians as a scapegoat and blamed them for fires that burned down a large portion of the city. They were arrested, some were dressed in animal skins, and eaten alive by wild dogs. Others were tied to posts and set on fire as torches to provide light for the palace parties at night. The emperors who followed did likewise, attempting to kill the growing movement of peculiar people. The persecution was so severe that Roman citizens who despised Christians actually began to pity them.

In the face of such cruelty, Christianity grew from 5,000 to 5 million Christians between AD 40 to AD 300 because you cannot kill the church or the hope of the gospel message. Eyewitnesses watching Christians be burned alive claimed, “The fire of their savage executioners appeared cool to them because they fixed their eyes on their escape from the eternal unquenchable fire and the good things promised to those who endure.”2

If you live in the modern world, the chances of you being arrested and murdered for your faith today are almost certainly zero. Religious freedom should be celebrated, but in some ways could it be an indictment of the modern Christian? Could it be that the faith that once toppled the largest empire in the world from the inside, is no longer a threat to the power structure of this world? Is it possible that in an attempt to broaden our reach, we forfeited the very thing that made the Christian faith attractive to being with? Have we become simply—ordinary?

Peter’s words to the earliest Christians is a reminder to you and me that if our faith is in Jesus, we are temporary residents in a world waging war against our soul.” (1 Peter 2:11) Christ commanded us to blend in but never fit it. We are peculiar, strange people who stubbornly believe that a man came from heaven, died, rose from the dead, and will return again to get us. That’s crazy! We were never meant to feel at home here. Our allegiance is to another ruler in another world.

If, in the craziness of political elections, 24-hour news, the grind for success, and the pursuit for status, you feel like a fish out of water, be encouraged—you’re doing it right. My prayer for you and me, as peculiar strangers in this world, is that we will endure, not trading our strangeness for acceptance and that the fire of those who oppose us will cool us, “because we fixed their eyes on our escape from the eternal unquenchable fire and the good things promised to those who endure.”


  1.  Sittser, Gerald L.. Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian “Third Way” Changed the World. Pg. 113[]
  2. Quote is taken from Martyrdom of Polycarp, a letter from the early church fathers to the church in Smyrna and Asia Minor around the 2nd Century AD.[]
Book Club

Love Does by Bob Goff

This month we’re reading the book Love Does by Bob Goff. If you’ve never read Bob Goff before, I guarantee you will love him! I’m serious, that’s a guarantee.

Love Does is filled with stories of Bob’s lifelong commitment to love people right where they are. Bob has written other great books too: Everybody Always, and Dream Big, but Love Does was his first, and maybe his best book, because it’s the book only he could write.

Part of what makes reading Bob’s books special is imagining his voice when you read it. He is a really tall man with grey hair, usually wearing a Boston Redsox hat, and he is usually smiling and laughing in his high pitched voice. I’ve provided a video below, so you can know what I mean.


A Personal Message From Pastor Jason About COVID19

I’m sure like me, what seems like every hour, you’re reading something or hearing something that is shocking. I can confidently say, I’m not afraid, I’m just in shock. This is certainly an unprecedented and historic time in our country.

As a church, this is also uncharted territory. We’ve had to cancel services for weather before, but we’ve never had so much uncertainty about being able to worship together.

We really appreciate your patience and understanding, as we prayerfully wrestle with what we should do. Pray for your government, medical, and spiritual leaders, and of course, everyone who has come in contact with COVID19.

Even if you disagree with the opinions and decisions of the government and medical professionals, and you’re angry about all the cancellations and inconveniences, please recognize that everyone is trying to do what could potentially help.

The truth is we will never know if our decision helped or not. If these cancellations help prevent the spread of the virus, we won’t know how bad it could’ve been. If they don’t help, we won’t know how bad it would’ve been. So we’re left doing the best we can do, making the best decisions we can make, and hoping they are the right ones.

Like you, I’ve spent the last several days chasing my thoughts down a myriad of rabbit trails. I don’t have time to type out all of them, but I do want to share a few of them.

1. You’re not less of a Christian because you’re concerned

It breaks my heart that some Christians are taking a “you shouldn’t be afraid/shouldn’t miss church/we’re not gonna let the devil win” mentality. That’s ridiculous. First of all, you are the church, so wherever you are is where the church is. More importantly, God is not bothered by your fear. Yes, the Bible says “do not fear” several hundred times, but not because God is chastising you. No, he is reminding you that you don’t have to be afraid. So if you’re feeling concerned or afraid or scared, you’re not any less faith-filled or any less of a Christian. You’re a human being. Abraham was afraid, Moses too. Joshua, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, the disciples, and on and on–they had fears too!. 

2. Limit the noise in your life

I love to consume information, I mean I REALLY love it, but last night, I turned my phone off, because I just kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Do you know what I didn’t feel? More confidence. No, instead I felt more fear and frustration. Social media has provided rocket fuel to sarcasm and snark, so it doesn’t take long for you to lose your joy or any amount of peace you’ve found. Whether it’s social media, the news, certain friends or relatives, work hard to limit the things that steal your peace. Maybe consider turning off the phone this weekend and putting in a kitchen drawer.

3. Find the blessing in the bad news

I have to admit I was really bummed about March Madness being canceled, not to mention all the other sports, my kid’s sports seasons and school plays. I’m sure you’ve felt some disappointment too. It’s not just cancellations, it’s lower paychecks and real concerns about the sustainability of our businesses. But in the middle of all of this chaos and disappointment is an opportunity to do something our generation is not great at…. Nothing. When was the last time you had a few weeks with no ball games, appointments, or extracurricular activities? When’s the last time you could eat a meal around the table as a family 3 nights in a row? When’s the last time you got the board games out of the closet? I know parents still have to work. Life is not completely shut down, but it is slowed down enough, that if you will fight for it, this time can be a blessing and strengthen your family. Let me encourage you to not just binge NetFlix or stare at your phone. Play in the backyard, bake a cake, build a craft, assemble a puzzle. Do something that you probably haven’t been able to do in a long time: be together. 

I honestly have no idea when we will be able to have corporate church services again. I hope it’s as soon as next week, but if not, our church we’ll be okay. The church is not a building; it’s people. Our staff is working really hard to figure out some short term solutions in the event our break is extended. We would love to be able to have a full worship service and get everyone together, but every government official is telling us that it’s the large gatherings that are potentially most dangerous for spreading the virus.

One last thing, if you’re reading this and you go to another church, let me share something with you about your pastor: they’ve got a thousand thoughts too. They’re thinking about people’s spiritual life, they’re contemplating people not coming back to church after this is all over. They’re worried about people with financial and medical needs, and they’re probably stressing a little bit about not having offerings, paying church bills, and a bunch of other stuff. Let me encourage you to do 3 things: (1) Pray for them. (2) Text them something encouraging. (3) Give online. They probably will be a little afraid to ask for that last one so I’ll do it for them. They love you.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing we can really do about any of this but try to stay prayerful and positive. We will keep communicating with you. I love you and I am praying for you. Keep your head up and on straight, everything is going to be okay.


What Does “The Bible Is Inspired” Mean?

According to Barna research in 2019, only 5% of adults said they interact with the Bible frequently, and that the Bible is transforming their relationships and shaping their choices.

I think at least part of the reason for this statistic is because when we finally get the time or the courage to try and read it, we jump in with enthusiasm, but not much context. We don’t know the story of the Bible, so we hope to read something that is inspiring. We hope God will speak to us like a message in a fortune cookie, and he does… sometimes. But most times, we’re left scratching our heads wondering what it means and why it matters.

Let’s face it, the Bible can be intimidating.

  • It was written over a period of roughly 2,000 years, from three continents, and in three different languages. 
  • It is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 different authors, by farmers and fishermen, poets and prophets, kings and generals. It was written in caves and palaces and prisons.
  • It contains all kinds of different literature, from history to law to poetry to prophecy, and even an apocalyptic ending.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be inspired when you read the Bible, but the Bible is not just inspiring, it’s inspired. What does that mean?

It means that even though the Bible was written by men and assembled by men, and printed by men, it is not a manmade book. God put the words he wanted in the order he wanted to say what he wanted. He simply used people to do it.

The Bible is literally the “words of God,” which means that not only were the words inspired by God, they are still inspiring. Any reader at any time in history can receive a relevant message from God. It never expires.

According to Hebrews 4:12, the Bible doesn’t just speak to you it talks back too.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

In other words, when you read the Bible the Bible reads you. 

Sitting on your bookshelf, kitchen table, or an unopened app on your phone, is a living, breathing, active, Holy Spirit inspired message from God. All you have to do is open it.

Mark Twain said, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” I would suggest, “the Christian who doesn’t read the Bible has no advantage over a person who doesn’t believe it’s true.”

I’m not saying that every time you open the Bible you will be inspired, but you will get to read the inspired words of God, and if you let it, His words will guide, teach, correct, and empower you.

What are you waiting for?

The Myth of “Quiet Time With God”

Like any other discipline, reading the Bible requires effort, strategy, and consistency. 

It’s important you know that, because, in an attempt to convince more Christians to read it, pastors and preachers like me have oversold the magical experience of “quiet time with God.”

Unintentionally, we have painted the picture that if you will wake up a little bit earlier, find a quiet place to sit and open the Bible, a light from above will lift you into a heavenly realm. God will speak, your heart will be moved, and your life will be changed before you shower.

To be clear, I have personally experienced times reading the Bible, I would describe as “heavenly”. But most days, my time in the scriptures is just that: time.

Those “ordinary” days are not any less spiritual, they are the bridge that connects the significant spiritual moments in my life. 

I learned an important lesson a long time ago that has helped shape my devotional life: The more I read God’s word, the more I will learn God’s truth, and the more I will hear God’s voice.

A shorter way to say it is: information leads to inspiration.

I don’t get emotional when I think about my wife’s social security number, but I do know it. I also know her birthdate, the kind of hairspray she uses, her favorite restaurant, and all sorts of other random things because we’ve spent the last 18 years together. 

If your only measurement for the effectiveness of your time with God is how inspired you feel, most days will feel like a waste of time, but there’s no such thing as wasted time with God.

In Psalm 119, David described how he approached God’s word,

Psalm 119:10-16
10 I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.

This is just one description of David’s time with God. Other times were more emotional, or worshipful, but in this instance, he described how he “tries hard to find God.”

  • He recites the Bible aloud (v. 13)
  • He studies the commands of the Bible (v. 15)
  • He reflects on the truths of the Bible (v. 15)

This is a great reminder that your devotional time doesn’t have to be exciting to be spiritual. Of course, I don’t mean that a relationship with God should be lifeless or emotionless, I simply mean that inspiration is not a random occurrence. Information leads to Inspiration. After David recited, studied, and reflected on the Bible, two things happened:

  • He felt delight (v. 16)
  • He remembered what he read (v. 16)

This is what always happens. The more you learn the Bible, the more you will love it. So, what should you do if you don’t feel inspired to read the Bible or spend time with God today? Do it anyway. Learn a fact, or memorize scripture, or reflect on a truth. If you create a place to meet with God, God will meet you there.


Why The Old Testament Is Confusing?

For years I struggled to read the Old Testament. I didn’t have a problem with the famous stories like Noah or Moses. It was all the other books, details, numbers, and strange laws that lost my interest, not to mention my biggest frustration: it’s out of order!

I’m not suggesting God made a mistake, it’s in perfect order.  I just mean it’s out of historical, chronological order. Maybe you’ve noticed this: The book of Numbers repeats several stories from Exodus, and 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles repeat a lot of the same stories as well. Did you know that Job is one of the oldest books of the Bible even though it’s the 18th book of the Bible?

When the Old Testament was being assembled it was organized by genre, like this:

The Pentateuch, or the Books of the Law (Torah): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

Historical Books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther

Wisdom Literature: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon

The Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi

But that’s not the historical order of events. Everything changed for me when I began to read the Old Testament in chronological order. Once I understood the order of events, the prophets and laws made more sense. 

You may already know this, but just in case you don’t, let me give you a quick overview of the story of the Old Testament.

  • God made man.
  • Man sinned, making every person born a sinner by birth.
  • God promised to use Abraham to create a nation of people, called Israel, to establish a way of life and display his love and great power. God would be known as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Abraham’s son and grandson.)
  • Egypt made God’s people (Israel) slaves for 400 years until Moses showed up and led Israel out of Egypt.
  • Israel was supposed to follow Moses to the Promised Land, but on their way, they sinned against God and ended up spending 40 years in the desert.
  • After Moses died, Joshua finally led Israel into the Promised Land, and they established a place to call home.
  • There were no kings because God wanted to be their king, so there were Judges established by God to make decisions and protect the people from their enemies, but God’s people were rebellious, turned their backs on God, and began to do wicked things.
  • God raised up a boy named Samuel to be a prophet and be a spiritual leader to Israel, but they wanted a king so God made Saul the first King of Israel.
  • Saul turned his back on God, so God made David king. David was the greatest king of Israel. 
  • His son Solomon became king after David died, and Solomon eventually turned his back on God.
  • After Solomon, Israel was split and both nations, their kings, and the people were rebellious and sinful, so God used Prophets to predict the coming of Jesus, and to warn the people that if they didn’t repent and turn from their sin, they were going to be captured and destroyed by their enemies, but they didn’t listen. 
  • Babylon attacked and destroyed Israel, and the people who weren’t killed were taken as captives and moved to Babylon.
  • While they lived in Baylon God spoke to and used certain Jewish people in miraculous ways (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Esther, etc.)
  • 70 years later, God used a man named Nehemiah to return to Israel’s home and rebuild the city.
  • Some of the Jewish people returned to their homeland, but not everyone, and they lived there for around 400 years until the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament is a story about how much God loves his people, but because humans are sinners, they keep turning their backs on God. God keeps patiently and lovingly blessing and disciplining them, trying to win their hearts, but humanity desperately needed a savior who was coming (Jesus).

If you read the Old Testament with this story in mind, it helps make sense of some of the sections that otherwise seem random or peculiar (I wrote this post to help make sense of some of the strange laws in the OT). Everything in the Old Testament is about God trying to lead a nation and point to the Savior (Jesus) who was coming.

I hope this helps.

For years I have used this Bible Reading Plan. You read some of the OT, NT, and a Psalm or Proverbs every day, but the Old Testament is in Chronological order.

Don’t get discouraged. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep listening for God’s voice. 

BTW, the New Testament is out of order too, but we’ll talk about that later 😉

Why Do Christians Only Follow Some Old Testament Rules?

Have you ever wondered why Christians dismiss certain Old Testament laws but cherish others?

Maybe you’ve tried to have a conversation with someone about their lifestyle or behavior only to have a defensive accusation returned to you because you “only follow the parts of the Bible that are convenient.” Maybe you’ve had that conversation with yourself.

I understand why people are so defensive and quick to point out Christian’s hypocrisy. The truth is, over the years Christians haven’t done the best job of practicing what we preach, even worse, the loud minority has given the impression Christians experience some sick enjoyment from declaring rule-breakers hell-bound. It’s one thing to tell someone “you’re going to hell” it’s another thing to say it like you’re happy about it.

When someone is cynical about a Christian’s morality message, it’s easy to jump to the accusation that Christians “pick and choose” which rules are important and which ones we let slide. You’ve probably had someone argue Old Testament scriptures about homosexual behavior by saying, “but the Bible also says not to eat shellfish.” It’s true, there are laws against seafood, cutting hair, tattoos, murder, and sexual immorality all in the same rule book. Does that mean Christians are supposed to obey all the laws given by God in the Old Testament? No. Let me explain.

The Old Testament has 613 laws (rules) God gave to the people (Israel), and while some of them make sense, some of them are just silly. What’s important to know is God was not giving you 613 laws, he was giving them 613 laws.

“But wait a minute,” you’re thinking. “I thought the whole Bible was inspired by God. Does that mean we get to throw out every law that is culturally irrelevant?” That’s a great question, and the answer is again, no. All laws were not created equal. When God gave Israel His commands He gave them in 3 categories:

Civil Laws

These are the laws we would describe as legal in nature. Keep in mind, not only was God teaching people how to have a relationship with Him, but he was also teaching them how to be a nation/country. In the same way, our forefathers created a constitution; God gave Moses rules to govern the land. Here’s an example:

Deuteronomy 23:19
“Do not charge interest on the loans you make to a fellow Israelite, whether you loan money, or food, or anything else.

Ceremonial Laws

These are laws that mattered because it was how a person was considered clean (forgiven) before Jesus came and died on the cross for everyone. In other words, God gave Israel instructions to follow so that it was clear they belonged to Him. Laws like: when to wash your hands, cut your hair, sleep outside of town, etc. Here’s an example of a ceremonial law from the Old Testament

Leviticus 11:3-4
You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. ‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them.

Moral Laws

These are laws that stand the test of time because to break them is to go against the very nature of God. The 10 commandments, for example, are moral laws that are not dependent on society or context. It’s always against the law to steal because theft is a symptom of discontentment and greed, and discontentment and greed aren’t God’s plan for people who serve a limitless God. We don’t murder because God gives life. We honor our father and mother because God establishes authority. It has been and will always be morally wrong to break moral laws.

Here is where it gets a little confusing, (I’m assuming you’re not confused yet.)

Technically when you committed your life to Jesus Christ and asked him to be your savior, you were freed from the law. That’s what Paul said in Romans 7:

Romans 7:6
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

What that means is no one who has committed their life to Jesus Christ is obligated to abide by any laws. You read that right. There is no obligation for a Christian to abide by a list of rules. The reason we have no rules is because following Jesus is about belief, not behavior.

If reading that last statement excited you because you received permission to do things you thought were against the rules, that’s probably confirmation you have not fully committed your life to Jesus Christ. I don’t say that to make you feel guilty; we’re all a work in progress, I just think it’s important to know that God wants you to live a Holy life because you want to not because you have to.

So back to the original question, are we supposed to obey Old Testament laws? No. Not because they are irrelevant to modern culture, but because Jesus freed us from all civil and ceremonial laws when he died on the cross, and while on the earth, He raised the standard for all moral laws. He showed up making statements like

Matthew 5:2
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!

Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery. But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

In other words, Jesus showed up and said, “The problem is not what you do, the problem is what you want to do.” Jesus doesn’t want you to follow the letter of the law, He wants you to fall in love with the guy who wrote the rulebook.

Where there are teachings and commands in the New Testament made by Jesus or the Apostles, we obey them because we want to be obedient to the God we love. Not because we have to but because we want to, and if you find yourself wanting to obey less and less you don’t have a rule problem you have a relationship problem. (and just to be clear we all battle that temptation.)

Instead of asking the question, “What rules do I have to keep?” or “what things am I allowed to do?” start asking this question, “Am I willing to do anything God would ask me to do?” or “Am I willing to give up anything God would ask me to give up?” Be careful what you ask for though, I think you’ll find obeying the Old Testament laws is less challenging than total surrender.

6 Questions To Ask Every Time You Read The Bible

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re determined to spend more time with God praying and reading your Bible, so you wake up early in the morning, brew a cup of coffee, get your Bible, and your journal (maybe a few highlighters or a pen) and start reading, determined to hear from God. 

You are ready for a euphoric experience, the way your pastor describes hearing God’s voice, but you soon become discouraged because this experience feels eerily similar to all the other experiences you’ve had before. You’re trying, you really are, but it’s boring, or confusing, or feels irrelevant, or you are too distracted to pay attention for longer than 5 minutes. 

I’ve had countless people describe this exact scenario to me. I’ve even experienced it myself more times than I care to admit, but what’s the alternative? Is there anything you can do to guarantee that your time with God feels beneficial, rewarding, or helpful?


Daily Faith + Life uses a simple 3-step approach to help people learn and love the Bible: Read God’s word, Learn God’s Truth, and Listen for God’s Voice. Using this process helps you to be inspired by the Bible but not depend solely on inspiration to gauge effectiveness, because let’s be honest, some days don’t feel inspiring.

So what can you do on days when your time with God doesn’t feel inspired? How can you hear God’s voice, even when it doesn’t feel like he is speaking to you?

German Minister George Mueller, known for his prayer life, had a set of questions he asked after reading the Bible to help him begin praying. These questions are a great way to assess and apply what you read each time.

1. Is There Any Example For Me To Follow?

The stories in the Bible were written to teach us and give us an example to follow. (Romans 15:4). As you read, does anyone do something worth emulating? You probably won’t need to build an ark, but do you need to obey God in the face of peer pressure or criticism? You probably will never slay a giant, but is there an obstacle in your life you have been hiding from? You may feel the need to defend yourself from lies, but should you instead stay silent like Christ when he faced his accusers?

2. Is There A Command For Me To Obey?

It’s easy to feel like you’re supposed to read between the lines of the Bible to find hidden meanings and codes that need to be cracked. In the search for deeper meaning, we can miss the power of the words on the page. The reality is, most of the New Testament can be literally applied to your life right now. As you read, do you see any instructions or commands that you need to act on? Do you need to forgive or love someone who hurt you? Do you need to be more generous towards God with your money? Do you need to confess to a friend? 

3. Is There Any Error For Me To Avoid?

There are certain verses and stories in scripture that are loud sirens warning us to avoid danger. As you read, do you notice any cautionary tales or warnings? For example, Samson assumed he could always control his sin until it was too late. Do you assume the same thing? The Apostle Paul warned Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because of his young age? Have you been discounting yourself because of your age?

4. Is There Any Sin For Me To Forsake?

The Bible “exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (2 Timothy 4:12), which means that while you read the Bible, the Bible is reading you, convicting you of the things in your life that pull you away from God. As you read, does any sin come to mind that you need to repent and turn from?

5. Is There Any Promise For Me To Claim?

The Bible is filled with as many as 7487 promises. While you can’t copy and paste every promise for your life, so many of the promises in the Bible are available to anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus. As you read, are there any promises that you can stop and pray about? I have a habit of circling certain promises I come across, Like “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” (Psalm 84:11) Then I will stop and pray, “God, help me to do what is right, so I can experience all the good things you have for me.” 

6. Is There Any New Thought About God?

The Bible is not like other books you read. It is “living, breathing, and active” which explains why you can read something you’ve read 100 times before but notice something different this time and wonder, “How have I never seen that?” As you read, is there something you never knew before? Is it something you could stop and thank God for?

Yes, occasionally a Bible will fall off a bookshelf to a particular verse. And yes, some days your time with God will feel incredibly supernatural, and you will be certain that you heard from God. Most days, though, it’s the routine of time with God, and the practical application of the verses you read that will allow you to experience his presence and guidance.

The Secret To Enjoying Your Quiet Time With God

I’ve never met a Christian who was completely satisfied with the quality and quantity of their time with God. We all feel the need to pray more and pray more powerfully. But how?


It’s much more exciting to have a Bible fall off a bookshelf or have an angel visit in a dream, but the best way to connect with God is to create a consistent time and place. If you create a place to meet with God, God will meet you there.

In his book The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson tells the remarkable story of a woman named Elizabeth Dabney. Mother Dabney and her husband moved to Philadelphia in 1925 to pastor a church in downtown. The neighborhood was rough, and the church wasn’t having much success, so Mother Dabney prayed and asked God to give her husband some type of spiritual victory or success to help give the church some momentum. She felt like God wanted her to go to the Schuylkill River at 7:30am the next morning, so she woke up and went the next day. When she arrived she felt like God said to her, “this is the place” Mother Dabney responded to God that day by praying this prayer,

“Lord if you will bless my husband in the place You sent him to establish your name if you will break the bonds and destroy the wall of partition, if you will give him a church and congregation I will walk with you for 3 years in prayer both day and night. I will meet you every morning at 9am sharp; you will never have to wait for me. I will stay there all day and devote my time to you. Furthermore, if you will listen to my prayers and breakthrough in the wicked neighborhood, I will fast 72 hours each week for 2 years. On the days I am fasting, I will not go home, I will sleep in the church.”

Mother Dabney followed through on her promise to God, and God followed through on His promise to her. God did miraculous, incredible things all because one person decided, “I want to get really close to God.”

What is your plan to hear from God? Do you have a place? Do you have time? Do you have a plan? Every day won’t feel magical, but if you create a place to meet with God, God will meet you there.

Listen to a sermon I preached recently on creating a time to meet with God.

P.S. My new book Daily Faith: 101 Devotions and Stories To Help You Connect With God releases tomorrow. I can’t wait for you to read it.

You’re reading an email that was sent to the Daily Faith + Life email list. We send out emails to help people learn and love the Bible. Sign up below to receive emails like this one. It’s free!