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Talk Notes: Quality Time (1st Oct ’17)

(click here to listen to the talk)

Love Languages of God

Quality Time

We are spending 6 Sundays giving space to the idea that God passionately, irrationally, unrelentingly and freely loves us.  Since it’s easier said than understood or grasped, we’re using Gary Chapman’s concept of the 5 Love Languages to help us think about God’s love.

Today, in our fifth week, Ben is thinking about Quality Time.  Throughout the Bible we see God making time to spend with people – from walking in the Garden of Eden, to Jesus having dinner and hanging out with his followers, right up to the very end of Revelations – a feast in the new heaven and new earth!

This is all because we’re made for an intimate relationship with God – an authentic relationship of knowing God and inviting him to know us.

Ben spoke about how we often want to build or maintain a sense of intimacy with God, perhaps after a conference, by striving to force a routine of spending time with him.

Often we don’t manage to keep this up and we fall into feeling guilty or a failure – so our attempts at intimate time with God starts with apologies and feelings of shame.  As soon as we find ourselves doing this we’re out of having an intimate relationship and into some sort of transaction, where we have to perform to earn the right to approach God.

Ben showed how the Bible makes it clear we do not have to earn the right to be intimate with God. Jesus has done that for us and God’s invitation to relationship is open.

Practically, we move into this not through what we do, although of course our actions and habits can be really helpful and useful, but by the attitude and approach we take.

We need to open up our whole lives to God and invite him to meet us there – trusting, in faith, that he accepts us just as we are and wherever we are.

 

Some Bible passages to consider:

  • Luke 10:38-42 – Martha gets distracted away from being with Jesus by her striving to do things for Jesus
  • Matthew 11:28-30 – The invitation away from striving and effort into intimacy and closeness
  • Hebrews 10:19-22 – God loves us so much he went to extravagant lengths to invite us in – v. 22 makes our response clear
  • Romans 8:38-39 – God has made the way to intimacy open and nothing can get in the way
  • Jeremiah 17:7-8 – What a life lived in intimacy with God looks like

 

Some things consider:

  • What does intimacy look like for you? Where else in your life do you have it and how might this speak into your relationship with God?
  • What could you do, that fits with your day and personality, to start spending time with God?  It may be taking a slot of time out to read the Bible or listen to worship music or take a walk. It might be reading a book or Christian biography. It may be silence. It might be something very different (Dave said once when he drove he wouldn’t put his bag on the passenger seat as a reminder that Jesus was with him – this led to concern he might be mad). Some people pray with an empty seat to imagine Jesus is there, right then, with them.  You can put something on your phone or bathroom mirror to jog your attention back to God whenever you interact with them.
    • Try it this week – and include God joyfully, without feeling your inadequacies mean he isn’t so pleased to have time with you

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Posted on 2nd October 2017
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