Experience His Presence – Study #8

Christ Community Church   -  

PRESENCE TREASURED: The Heart-Habit of God the Son
Sunday’s Teaching:  When the presence of God is your daily life-line, time with God is relentlessly prioritized.  Secondary excuses for missing fall aside.  Long days and multiplying challenges motivate more connection, not less, with the Lord. 
Key Question:  Why did Jesus – God the Son – prioritize time with His Father?
Mark 1:35-37 (ESV)   35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
Let’s get STARTED –
Think about your “typical” morning.  Share around the group the usual start of your days:

What does it include (go ahead, be specific!)
WHY do you include those things…and which things are “necessary”? Which things are “extra”?
Is this the time you meet with God? If not, when?
How easy is it, or how difficult is it, to make this a regular habit?

Let’s EXPLORE in the WORD  
The example we encountered Sunday morning from our Lord’s life is that “God made his day” in the mornings, though there were other times during the day he might slip away quietly.  Clearly, Scripture strongly urges both (1) a daily dedicated time with the Lord as well as (2) a moment-by-moment ongoing conversation (e.g., “pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Yet the Bible stops short of a specific command about where and when one must meet with the Lord.
Let’s explore the Scriptures’ encouragements regarding the components of establishing a habit of personal communion with Him. 
TIME OF DAY:                    What might Psalm 5:3, 59:16, 88:13, 92:2, 143:8 suggest? 
SETTING:                            Jesus’ example, Mark 1:35, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:5-6
INTERACTION:                   Psalm 1, 119:9-16, Proverbs 2:1-8, Matthew 6:7-14, 6:16-18, 2 Cor 3:17-18, James 1:22-25
OUTCOME:                         Psalm 31:3, 73:24, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 5:15-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Let’s Prioritize APPLICATION
Someone once, wisely, offered David Staff, CCC’s Lead Pastor, this perspective-shaping counsel.  He said, “Your preaching ministry will not be measured by what may or may not result from any one sermon on any given Sunday.  It is the cumulative impact, the line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept, over-time impact of consistent Scripture teaching and application that will shape the lives of Jesus’ disciples in the Body you serve.”
So it is with God making our day day-after-day-after day.  We discover that what God Himself gives us – his forgiveness, his life, his counsel, his presence, his empowerment – day after day that has a remarkable, growing impact in our lives. 
Conversely, neglecting time with the Lord has the same yet opposite effect.  We diminish in spiritual perspective, wisdom, empowerment.  Our lives more easily are driven by the winds of culture and the half-truths of godless commonspeak.
Finish by IDENTIFYING some fresh steps you are willing to take in order to make meeting with God a MUST-PRIORITY in the rhythm of your days.
 Step #1 _________________________    Step #2 ________________________ 
Step #3 ________________________
Let’s live the mission!     Pastor David (Staff)