Friday, October 02, 2015


Using the 5 by 5 by 5 list of Bible readings, I changed up the format for my Quiet Time today. I spent my time with God using something that a Navigators coach recently taught several of us: STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, RESPOND.

First, you stop to focus on the God we know in Christ. I spend time remembering God's majesty, power, rectitude, goodness, and grace and I praise Him for Who He is. I also confess the ways in which I violate His majesty and His will, seeking forgiveness through Christ.

Then you look into a passage of Scripture. It could be a chapter, a verse, or a phrase.

Then you listen to what God is telling you, a message that seems especially geared to to you. You ask God to show you what particular thing He wants to tell or show you in His Word that day.

Then, you respond. Your response might simply be to thank God. Or confess a sin. Or offering a word of praise. Or lifting up a prayer for somebody. Or it might be an action step.

Today, a few words of Jesus smacked me hard.

Here's what I wrote in my journal:
LOOK: In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus, You say: “Give to everyone who begs from you…” (Luke 6:30)

LISTEN: Everyone. There’s no escape hatch in that word. Last Friday evening, I walked passed three men who asked me for money. My usual defenses went up. Yesterday, we drove on North High in the campus area. Sitting at a red light, there was a hopeless looking man holding a cardboard sign that said, “Homeless” on it. A can for donations was in front of him. His head was on his chest, his eyes closed, except for a few moments, when he looked up and around. The light changed. We drove on.
Give to everyone who begs from you. Nothing there about doing a background check or acting skeptical. No worrying about them spending what’s given on alcohol. Everyone. Forgive me, Lord.
RESPOND: I need to get restaurant gift cards, for places that don’t sell alcohol, to hand to people like these. This is one way I can respond to what You command in Luke 6:30. I want Your words to be more than just words.
I've read Jesus' command in Luke 6:30, probably hundreds of times. But somehow, after I'd asked God to show me what I needed to hear today, it was Jesus' insistence that I "give to everyone who begs from you" that I finally noticed.

Now that I have noticed, I pray that God will help me to always be ready to respond.

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