Why am I here:
I’m not sure how you spend your time with Jesus. Maybe you are the classical type who has a quiet time at the same time every day. You regularly meet with God for half an hour, read your Bible and speak to Jesus. If that is the case, congratulations. Quiet times seem to suit you. Great!
No doubt, however you belong to more than 50% of the Christians who don’t achieve this. Mornings are not your best time. After breakfast you rush to catch your bus to school or work and thus a quiet time is not conceivable. Your afternoons are full with programme. And after TV in the evenings, you fall exhausted into bed. You are frustrated with the idea of spending quiet time with God at the same time every day. It has never worked for you – and it’s not like you have never tried. Besides, what does one do during a “quiet time”?
If this is how you feel, then be encouraged – you are not alone: In a study for his Masters’ thesis, a theology student recently discovered that more than half of the youth and young adults fail to read their Bibles regularly. But how can I nurture my relationship to Jesus if not through regular quiet times?
As you have just read, it’s about a relationship to Jesus. And very few people nurture a relationship by meeting the person at a specific time and at a specific place on a regular basis. Imagine a couple that only spends time with each other at a specific time. And if this is the case, then only very seldom.
No, most people relate differently. And there are no rules governing this. Every person experiences relationship differently, based on his/her personality, what he/she has learnt, how his/her day is spent and how spontaneous or conscientious he/she is. It is best you apply this reality to your relationship to Jesus. Live it as it suits you best:
If you are very proactive, then stay spontaneous and respond to ideas that come to mind: if you think of speaking to Jesus, then do it – immediately! If you think of the Bible during a free moment, then open it. It’s probably best it is always at hand. Maybe on your smart phone!?
If you are a nature-loving person who often goes - perhaps jogging - in the forest, then take your Bible to read and spend time speaking to Jesus…
If you are chilling out and listening to relaxing worship music on your iPod, then use this opportunity to speak to Jesus and read the Bible.
If you struggle to spend time with Jesus alone, then meet a friend or two and pray together regularly. Meet for Bible study and read the Bible together.
If you sense God speaking to you in the midst of Christian activity, then use this time to speak to Jesus quietly or out loud (depending on whether you are alone or not). And perhaps you find some time to sit down with the Bible and read a verse for the day.
And if you are the classical “Bible reader” - then do so regularly at the same time in the same place…
Nurture your relationship with God as it best suits you – but nurture your relationship all the same. You will thus grow in your faith and life with Jesus. I wish you – especially during Mission-Net – many inspiring moments and conversations with Jesus.
„But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.“ Luke 5:16 (NIV)
About the author: Klaus Engelmohr grew up in Japan as a missionary kid. In 2008, Klaus started a new church in a pub with friends called “project_X” in Southern Germany, and together they are rethinking church in relation to their lifestyles and those of their friends. Klaus will be speaking at the Mission-Net Congress 2011/12 - don't miss him!