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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spending time with God

1 March 2017

Opening Prayer/Worship

Hymn: Abide with me

Theme: Walk with God

Topic: Spending time with God

Reading: Exodus 24:12-18
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’ 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, ‘Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.’ 15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

Most people live a very busy life, and spending time alone with God can be a challenge if we do not make a conscious effort to achieve it.  We spend most of our time at work, with friends, family, on social media and several other things; and the trend is that more and more things will be discovered that will put more demand on our time.  In the hustle and bustle of everyday living we need to stay connected with our Lord and Maker.  This is very important if we are to be vigilant against the tests and wiles of the enemy.  Most times we fall into temptation because we lost connection with our Lord and God.  Note that staying connected with God does not simply mean going to Church, but rather through prayers and meditating on the word of God, and through acts of kindness to others.  As we commence the season of Lent, let us evaluate how much time we spend with God, and make a conscious effort to stay connected with Him everyday of our lives.

1) How do we stay connected to God?
Psalm 2:1-12
1 Why do the nations conspire,
   and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
   and the rulers take counsel together,
   against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3 ‘Let us burst their bonds asunder,
   and cast their cords from us.’ 
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
   the Lord has them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
   and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 ‘I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.’ 
7 I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, ‘You are my son;
   today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
   and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron,
   and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ 
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
   be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
   with trembling 
12kiss his feet,
or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;
   for his wrath is quickly kindled. 
Happy are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 119:11-16
11 I treasure your word in my heart,
   so that I may not sin against you. 
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
   teach me your statutes. 
13 With my lips I declare
   all the ordinances of your mouth. 
14 I delight in the way of your decrees
   as much as in all riches. 
15 I will meditate on your precepts,
   and fix my eyes on your ways. 
16 I will delight in your statutes;
   I will not forget your word. 

John 15:1-8
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

2) What are the lessons for us in Matthew 17:1-9 regarding spending time with God?  
Matthew 17:1-9
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

3) What are some of the challenges to praying and meditating on the word of God?
        How do we overcome them? 
Psalm 99:1-9
1 The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
   He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2 The Lord is great in Zion;
   he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
   Holy is he!
4 Mighty King, lover of justice,
   you have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Extol the Lord our God;
   worship at his footstool.
   Holy is he! 
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
   Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
   They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
   they kept his decrees,
   and the statutes that he gave them. 
8 O Lord our God, you answered them;
   you were a forgiving God to them,
   but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9 Extol the Lord our God,
   and worship at his holy mountain;
   for the Lord our God is holy.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing,18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 25 Beloved, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27I solemnly command you by the Lord that this letter be read to all of them. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

2 Peter 1:16-21
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.


Staying connected with the Lord involves spending time in prayers to God, meditating on His word, and through acts of kindness to others.

Closing Prayer (Collect for Last Sunday after the Epiphany)

Almighty God, on the holy mount you revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured: mercifully deliver us from the darkness of this world, and change us into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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