“Ten minutes spent in the presence of Christ every day, aye, two minutes, will make the whole day different.” – Henry Drummond
If you have read only a few posts here on Every Day with the King, you surely know there are no subjects mentioned more than starting your day with Jesus and Bible studies. Today I would like to suggest an option that is designed for when you have very little time and yet is very adaptable for when you have more time. So whether you have 5 minutes or 30, this is designed to fit your life.
If you are not familiar with First 5, please take the time to check it out. The app is free. Join and get started today. You will find the daily reading each morning on the app. If you want to order the Experience guide you will find lots of material to expand your study. The guide is completely optional.
The app includes many features to explore. Past studies are always accessible along with the current study. You can comment and be involved at what level is best for you. There are community groups. These are groups where you can meet to discuss the study right there on the app.
The First 5 studies are extremely well written and presented. My favorite thing about First 5 is that it is designed to make everything about starting your day with Jesus so simple!
I could keep adding to the list but I’m sure you get the idea of what I’m talking about. We seem to be drowning in too much everything! It is the cause of a huge amount of the stress people have come to accept as normal.
Recently this overload has been recognized as the cause of terrible stress, resulting in poor physical and mental health. One of the biggest problems is the overload of social media. Are smartphones really a smart idea?
Great that the problem has been identified. Next comes the challenge of what to do about it. It is pretty easy to find some help today. There are books, articles, videos, even entire websites devoted to returning to a simpler lifestyle. You will easily find much on the subject of living better with less, minimalism, and many practical tips to make much-needed changes.
However, I do not think we have exposed the problem of too much within the Christian community. Many of us are living with an overload in areas like Bible study, prayer, Church activities… There is a constant flood of information, too many choices, and excessive social media options available to the believer today! The availability of all things “Christian” sounds good, but is it all too much? I think so. What do you think? The explosion of instantly available materials, social media and more in the Christian world has contributed to our loss of focus. We begin to drift from the simple basics of our faith.
Here’s what I asked on Facebook ↓
What comes to mind when you think of the word SIMPLE?
I was writing this post and wondered if SIMPLE was the right word to use. After reading comments that people shared I feel encouraged. I think I’m starting to hear the rumbling of a move toward returning to the simple basics of the Christian life! 🙂
Looking at definitions causes me to wonder why simple has been so undervalued. It seems that it should be especially desirable for followers of Jesus.
Let’s take a look at a portion of scripture that might be helpful in understanding how we go off track.
Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”
The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.
Numbers 11:4-9 NLT
How could it be that God’s provision of daily bread from heaven was not satisfying to the people? Manna was not good enough? These verses seem to indicate an influence from other people and a looking back at the world they left behind. God set these people apart but instead of praising God for His care they craved something more… Simple manna didn’t seem like enough.
Today there is a call from the world to join in a quest for the latest new thing. The push is for constant updating. The result of this influence causes us to think we need to read the latest book, use the newest prayer model, follow the latest Christian social media, join multiple Bible studies… Meanwhile, maybe you never got around to just sitting down with Jesus and reading His word for you today.
Sometimes what we need is to let some things go and cling to what truly matters.
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warned against drifting from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God’s word is never outdated.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Holy Spirit has a training course that is perfectly designed for you!
We have the written word = Bible
Living Word = Jesus
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 J.B. Phillips New Testament
Let’s listen to someone who never seemed to forget the power of the simple basics.
It seems that often the shepherds are overlooked. Maybe because they don’t seem as interesting as the wise men who followed the star. We picture the wise men in royal robes surrounded by mystery.
The shepherds were uneducated men of low status. They would certainly not stand out in a crowd. These ordinary shepherds bring to mind a lowly shepherd boy by the name of David. He was not special in appearance but God selected him to become King. But more importantly, the shepherds remind us that Jesus is the Great Shepherd who will be returning as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Please open your Bible to the familiar passage in the Gospel of Luke or read below in one of my favorite versions.
There were some shepherds living in the same part of the country, keeping guard throughout the night over their flocks in the open fields. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by their side, the splendour of the Lord blazed around them, and they were terror-stricken. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen, I bring you glorious news of great joy which is for all the people. This very day, in David’s town, a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ, the Lord. Let this prove it to you: you will find a baby, wrapped up and lying in a manger.”And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!”
– Luke 2:8-14 J.B. Phillips
As far as we know these shepherds were not looking for or expecting anything out of the ordinary on that night, as they were caring for their flocks. But, their lives were forever changed in a moment, when their eyes moved from watching sleeping sheep to seeing and hearing angels!
When the angels left them and went back into Heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Now let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they came as fast as they could and they found Mary and Joseph—and the baby lying in the manger. And when they had seen this sight, they told everybody what had been said to them about the little child. And those who heard them were amazed at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured all these things and turned them over in her mind. The shepherds went back to work, glorifying and praising God for everything that they had heard and seen, which had happened just as they had been told. Luke 2:15-20 J.B. Phillips
As soon as the angels leave, the shepherds go without delay to find Jesus. We don’t know what they said or how they reacted when they saw newborn baby Jesus lying in a manger. I am certain that they knelt in silent worship.
Next, they begin telling everyone. Then they go back to work. This amazing beyond description experience has just been theirs but yet they have to return to the same old life. What is different is inside of them. They return to work but they are glorifying and praising God!
The Shepherd’s Way
Glorify and praise God
Thinking about the response of the shepherds leads to some questions for us.
Are we eager to spend time with Jesus?
Are we telling others about Him?
Are we living praise-filled lives that bring glory to God?
Please click on the link below to watch a beautiful film ↓
One of my goals for this year is to improve my physical fitness. I’m guessing, that a number of readers are saying “yes, me too.”
What have you done to tackle the fitness goal?
No matter what your fitness level is right now, you can start walking. If you can only walk for 10 minutes, that’s fine, start at that point. Be realistic and accept that you must start where you are. It’s not so much about where you start from but where you are going.
See an earlier post- January Goals – tips for working on all goals.
You can walk with a friend, walk alone, pray, walk your dog or walk with a camera and catch some nature shots. I could go on and on with activities to add to the walking experience. But, you get the idea…
I already love to walk so choosing walking for fitness is easy for me. But I know it isn’t as appealing to everyone. I think if you take a look and think a little about the effects of walking you might find some interest in becoming a walker.
Walking is good for your
bones, joints, and muscles
And there are many more benefits you can expect to experience after adding walking to your daily schedule.
NATIONAL WALKING DAY
The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day. The American Heart Association sponsors this day to remind people about the health benefits of taking a walk.
Everything posted this month has been to encourage and help you to go for your goals.
Remember that the decision to set new goals can be made at any time. The important factor determining your success is not that you must begin on New Year’s Day, but that you prepare for success.
First, you need to take the 3 steps of
Then, you are ready to start planning on paper
Your notebook is the place to keep all notes, ideas, and anything that pertains to your goals.
So that is basically a brief review from the earlier post, but now let’s move on from here.
Tips for working on your goals
Are you trying to work on all your goals and feel like giving up because it’s just too much? Look at your list of goals and choose just one. For one month put your focus on taking specific action steps toward the one goal only. This doesn’t mean you forget about the other goals. Continue to work on collecting information and planning for all your goals. But don’t act on those other goals yet. Full focus on one at a time.
Please remember that any move in the direction of a goal is progress.
If things aren’t going as well as you expected, don’t get discouraged and give up. Keep going because each day is a fresh start. Be sure to take note of any and all steps you make in the right direction. At the end of the month make sure you reward yourself in some way for all progress you’ve made. Celebrate all success no matter the size ❄❄❄
A new month means moving on to the next goal on your list. Continue what you have been doing in the first month while starting action on your second goal. Also, be sure to continue writing ideas for any other goals in your notebook.
Keep adding to your notebook and be open to anything that applies to any of your goals. Think about books, magazines, websites and other places to find helpful information. If you are on Pinterest you should create a board for each goal. Then whenever you happen upon something pertaining to a particular goal, just pin and you’ve got it ready for later. You could also add a Pinterest board for the purpose of collecting ideas to celebrate your success.
Tip #1 Focus on 1 goal for 1 month
Tip #2 Celebrate your progress
Tip #3 Keep going
Tip #4 Collect for later
How about you and your goals?
Please share questions, comments or your tips about goals in the comments below.