Take 10

A 4-week devotional book to help you take time for God every day

(This is a pre-publication version)

Week 1: Why Spend Time Every Day with God

Day 1

Prepare to Really Live

“But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness;

and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Do you want to be happy? Everyone does. Did you know that if you follow and obey God that you will be the happiest that you can ever be, and you will have the best life that you could have. Is that hard to believe? Some people think God wants to ruin all their fun, but just the opposite is true. God wants us to have a good life. He wants to protect us from the mistakes, wounds, and scars that come from doing things our own way.

He created us to be happy. We don't honestly know how to make ourselves happy, and yet, we often think we know better than God. A child might think it's fun to eat candy all the time, but his mother knows that he must eat good food in order to be healthy. Is she trying to ruin his fun? No. She is trying to help him be happy and healthy. God has commandments for us to follow, but they are all for our good, our benefit, our happiness.

The Take 10 Plan will help you spend more time with God, which is absolutely necessary for a good relationship with Him. Through short daily readings, I hope to show you that spending a little time every day with God will super-enrich your life. In just 4 weeks you will learn things that will make drastic improvements in your life and the way you think. The Scriptures tell us that we are to renew our minds and change our way of thinking into the way God wants us to think (Romans 12:2)1. This takes a little effort on our part, but I believe it can be started in three 10-minute segments per day.

In the next 4 weeks you will learn why spending daily time with God is not only beneficial and life-changing, but essential for growing as a believer. You will also learn how to implement this simple plan. As busy people we must take time for God every day so that He can pour His Spirit into us and remake us into His image. You will find that taking time for God produces in you a joyful, orderly, and discipled life. I’m excited that you have started this journey!

Preparation is Important

When I was in college, I was in a PR (public relations) music group that traveled around the whole country performing and recruiting kids to come to our small, private Christian college. It was an immense amount of work rehearsing, traveling, performing, and also keeping up our studies, but it was for a full scholarship, and was also a whole lot of fun. I remember the long hours of rehearsal. Our director was a perfectionist about every detail, so we dreaded the intense rehearsals. However, because the rehearsals were so painstaking and exacting, the shows were actually easy. We prepared so thoroughly, the performances were second nature.

In order to do well in life you must prepare well. For some reason, our Christian culture (in America) has come to the silly idea that we say a little prayer of asking Jesus into our hearts, and then we don’t have to do much else, except maybe go to church (if nothing else gets in the way, that is). That’s totally NOT what the Bible teaches. Jesus said again and again that we are to be His disciples, who learn how to shape our lives around His teachings, and obey Him. I could list numerous verses that teach this, but Romans 8:14 says, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Think about that. We are not children of God unless we are led by Him. What does that mean? After we make a commitment to follow Him, we must learn how to listen to God and be led by His Spirit. Going to church is definitely a part of this learning process, but we also must “feed” ourselves by learning on our own.

Paul encouraged us to “study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). It takes preparation to live the Christian life the way God intended it to be lived.

The Take 10 plan will show how taking just 10 minutes three times a day will bring a new richness to your inner life. Jesus said that those who come to Him, out of their belly (or heart) will flow living water (John 7:38)2 and they will never thirst again (John 4:14)3. He also said He is the vine and we are the branches and we must stay connected to Him to live (John 15:5)4.

We can never get better at anything without taking some time to learn. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get up 1-2 hours earlier every morning and spend that time with God before we start our day? Many of us wish we could, but for one reason or another, it just doesn’t seem possible. However, we must, absolutely must, find some time to spend with God every day in order to learn to be His disciple and allow Him to transform us into His image. As with anything that we want to add to our life, we will have to re-order some things. If we were to decide to take violin lessons, we’d have to change some things in our schedule. And it’s the same with being a disciple of Jesus.

The Take 10 plan takes 10 minutes in 3 segments throughout the day. That’s not a lot of time in each segment, but it is enough to re-focus your mind on God and begin to learn—10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes around noon, and a 10 more in the evening. Most of us can re-arrange a bit to squeeze in 10 minutes here and there.

These 10-minute segments help you focus your mind on God and begin to train your mind to think about Him all day. If you are reading your Bible about 10-15 minutes a day, you can read all the way through in one year. A little every day adds up. If you read a good Christian book just 10 minutes a day, before too long, you will have read a whole book. Both kinds of reading will add to the “warehouse” in your brain that the Holy Spirit can draw on to help you in your life. If you spend just 10 minutes praying consistently, you can cover a small prayer list and begin to see God answer some prayers. (More on all these later.)

My hope is that over the next 4 weeks you will develop a habit and a desire to spend time with God. As you start to spend time with God you will find it richly rewarding and desire it more and more. Rather than jump into everything at once, let’s start by reading this book for 10 minutes every day (or one reading per day), then we’ll gradually add the other parts as we discuss them.

This is the Take 10 plan:

  1. 1.Take 10 minutes in the morning to read your Bible.

  2. 2.Take 10 minutes around noon or break-time to read a good Christian book.

  3. 3.Take 10 minutes in the evening to pray, sometime before you go to bed.

Do these 3 different segments in whatever order is good for you, but I recommend the above order.

That’s it. Over the next 4 weeks I will show you how all of these 10-minute periods work, and why we need to take time for them.

“Without daily time with Jesus, not only will we stop growing,

but we will also begin drying up spiritually.”

(Jennifer Yates, from her book, Seek Him First)

1 Romans 12:2 - Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

2 John 7:37-38 - Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! 38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”

3 John 4:13-14 - Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

4 John 15:4-5 -  Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Week 1: 

Day 1 -- Prepare to Really Live

Day 2 -- Take Time for God

Day 3 -- Become a Disciple

Day 4 -- Take Up Your Cross

Day 5 -- Get to Know God

Day 6 -- God Transforms Us

Day 7 -- God Gives Us Wisdom

Week 2:  Day 8 -- Day 9 -- Day 10  --  Day 11 -- Day 12 -- Day 13 -- Day 14

Week 3:  Day 15 -- Day 16 -- Day 17 -- Day 18 -- Day 19 -- Day 20  --  Day 21

Week 4:  Day 22 -- Day 23 -- Day 24 -- Day 25 -- Day 26 -- Day 27 -- Day 28