One of the priorities we see in the life of Jesus is that He consistently practiced a private worship time with His Father. Sometimes we refer to this time as a quiet time or a daily devotional. What you call it isn’t important, but the fact that you practice it consistently is essential.
When Jesus met with His Father, He had a plan. His plan was prayer. Jesus would withdraw to a desolate place early in the morning to meet with God. If that was a priority for Jesus, meeting daily with God needs to be a priority for us as His disciples.
Over the years, I have been committed to practicing a private worship time. The two “constants” in my quiet time have been prayer and Bible meditation. Sometimes I add worship music, journaling, and reading. However, prayer and reading Scripture always make the cut.
Recently my quiet time has become even more focused and intentional. I want my time with God to be a place where I focus more on becoming a “fully trained” disciple. I want it to be a place where I am aligning my life with what God wants for me. In order to accomplish these goals, I often use The M-7 Journal in my private worship time.
The M-7 Journal is a resource that in part is designed to help keep myself accountable to developing Christ-like conduct in my life. The M-7 Journal walks me through the outward behaviors and lifestyle choices of Jesus that I want to develop in my own life. Here is how it works.
I start with a time to magnify God. In other words, I want to begin my time with God with a praise from yesterday. Before I ask for anything, I begin my private time focusing on who God is and what He has done in my life.
The second thing I do is ask God to make me a minister. I want to try and meet someone’s needs every day of my life. I ask God to put someone on my heart and show me how I can serve them. My goal is to seek to serve someone every day of my life. The M-7 Journal holds me accountable for being a minister.
The third step I take is to grow as a manager. I want to hold myself accountable every day for how I am managing my time, money, body, and relationships. Every day I ask God to show me one step or goal I can take to make progress in how I manage my life.
The fourth step is to become a better messenger. Every day I try to focus on where and how I can be used to share Christ with the lost world. I try to write down the name of someone far from God that I am praying for. I pray for outreach efforts in my church as well as missionaries I am connected with. I also write down places where I might connect with lost people I might interact with that day and pray for opportunities to share Christ.
The fifth step in The M-7 Journal is the step of maturity. I spend a few minutes memorizing and meditating on Scripture and then I pray. I like to use the Scripture meditation acrostic A.C.T.S. I usually read a chapter and then ask four questions. Is there an attitude to change? Is there a command to obey? Is there a truth to believe? Is there a sin to confess? For that time of prayer, I write out my prayers using the acrostic P.R.A.Y. In this method, I pray words of praise, then have a time for repentance. After repenting, I spend time asking God for specific requests and follow that with a prayer of yielding my will to God’s will. I typically take a few minutes to review a memory verse that comes from my discipleship group.
The M-7 Journal is one of many ways to spend meaningful and intentional time with God. I like it because it helps me align my life with what it means to be a fully trained disciple. As a friend of mine likes to say, “Success is a daily agenda.” I agree, and I try to focus a little bit every day on becoming a disciple that is demonstrating the conduct of Christ.
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