The private and secret hours of Christians
As members of a local church we assemble regularly at Bethesda Chapel, 27 Lorong Melayu, in obedience to God (Heb 10:24-25). The early church of Acts 2:42 met steadfastly and regularly. When each of us is spiritually healthy and growing in Christlikeness, corporately we will have a spiritually healthy and growing church. A healthy church grows in maturity by feeding on sound doctrine of the Bible and by sowing the Gospel Seed among lost souls. God will add new believers to the church. Where are new believers to be found? Who will share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Besides gathering for worship and prayer services, we gather for admonishment, fellowship, building-up of faith and training for various ministries of the church. Yet the total time we spend on average ranges from 4-8 hours a week for most of us.
A major part of our lives is spent outside with our colleagues and members of the public. Jesus says, “ You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” We practise our faith in Christ and do good works by God’s grace so that men may know God exists and eventually believe in Him. Our purpose of working is also to provide for our families.
Total time in one week. Our work life can take up to 44-56 hours a week, including vocational upgrading and overtime. Another 56 hours a week is needed for sleep and restoration. The remaining 56 hours is for care-giving, eating, recreation, relationship building, visitation and personal time.
Personal time is private and secret. Personal time is most important time for real spiritual input and transformation. It is hidden from human eyes. Perhaps only our spouses may know. God sees our private lives and knows our thoughts (Psalm 139). As Christ’s disciples, we should set aside some time with Him. This is the time to listen to our Mentor, Coach, Counsellor and Helper. He is the indwelling Holy Spirit whom Christ has given to each of us. He is a Permanent Resident in our hearts. He is with you throughout the hours and days in the week. Spend time with Him in solitude. He wants to strengthen you. He wants to feed you with fresh living bread from heaven. How?
- Start with 15 minutes daily for prayers and devotional bible reading (DBR). OPEN your hearts and your minds to God the Father by your secret prayers, aided by the Spirit of God (Rom 8:26). Access the throne of grace of Christ Jesus for cleansing of your sins daily by His precious blood, and to receive forgiveness, grace, mercy and wisdom from Him. The Holy Spirit will check that you have put on the full armour of God for your public life and other areas of service for Bethesda Chapel.
- Set aside at least two or three one-hour sessions weekly for disciplined bible study (DBS). OPEN your bible, with Bible tools, a notebook and a pen so as to receive His instruction, His teaching, His reproof and His correction. He will equip you and strengthen you. He will give you skills to handle the Sword of the Spirit, the truth of God’s Word.
Daily and weekly times with God will help you be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. By doing so, you will be spiritually healthy and grow in Christlikeness. Consequently, you can keep doing the good works of faith in obedience and conformity to God’s will, in the difference areas of service that God has assigned you.
May the grace of the Almighty God grant you love, joy and peace in Jesus Christ!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo