Just an exerpt from the devotion I prepared for bible study tonight. In the end I didn’t use most of the words I typed. But I’m happy to keep this as a record.
Was thinking recently about how busy i’ve been and how hard it is to maintain my personal quiet time.
Is it really so hard to do ?
What are the things that are holding us back from doing so?
Being busy and preoccupied with things that take up our time:
1. watching TV
2. Surfing the net
3. chores (cooking, cleaning, errands etc)
5. time spent with others (friends + family)
6. personal interests
worst still is that it sometimes causes me to neglect my time spent with other christians. God does not just encourage us to do so but almost commands us to keep meeting up with other christians.
(NIV) Hebrews 10:19-39
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.  But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
This is something i’ve been tempted to do before and have done quite often with regards to OCF
Is it a good enough excuse to skip church or bible study just because we are too busy or tired or have other things to do?
That’s a tough question to answer.
The problem is all about priorities. What do we consider more important to us?
do we consider God the most important? Or do we consider the things that we have here on earth more important than spending time with Him?
Some questions we might want to think about.
Do we consider our relationships with friends, family, colleagues more important than our relationship with God?
Do we place more value on our time spent in recreation than our time spent in prayer and reading of the bible?
Do we put a lot of importance in the fulfillment of our needs above the fulfillment of what God wants from us?
I can think of 3 reasons why meeting up with fellow christians is important
1. it encourages and strengthens our faith and keeps us holy
– as we live in the world we are tempted to be more and more like it
– we can discuss with our brothers and sisters who have been through the same struggles as us.
– we can overcome our discouragement together.
2. it keeps us focused on God and His word
– we sharpen each other’s understanding’s of God through His word.
– often we forget.
– so that there is no allowance of the yeast of the pharisees to penetrate us and for us to enjoy false teaching.
3. it gives us an opportunity to practice God’s love
– when we meet up we can practice being Godly in a real way as opposed to just using head knowledge.
– this helps us to build up good habits.
What then is a good example of Christian Fellowship?
it doesn’t mean just going to church.
afterall, we are the church!
and in the olden days there was no church other than the gathering of people.
(NIV) Acts 2:42-47
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is a wonderful picture of christian fellowship conducted in order to build up the people of God.