Your life is hectic! Juggling family time, work, and church equals jam-packed days. You want to spend time in God’s Word, but the busyness of life keeps getting in the way. What if, however, you could take five minutes to invest in making each day matter?
With her signature honesty, vulnerability, and humor, bestselling author Sheila Walsh helps you find perspective in the midst of your fast-paced life. Every entry features a powerful devotion, a guiding takeaway, and related Scripture that will nourish you, sustain you, and remind you that you are not alone.
These five minutes with Jesus just might become the most peaceful and meaningful moments of your day.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.90(d)|
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5 Minutes With Jesus
Making Today Matter
By Sheila Walsh
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Sheila Walsh
All rights reserved.
Stop for a moment and just listen. What do you hear? Maybe the neighbor's lawnmower ... the barking dog a few houses down ... a clock ticking ... the cars on the street.
Now stop for a moment and just listen to the noise inside. What is keeping your heart from being quiet and at peace? Most likely, it's many things, because although we long for peace, real life intrudes.
A call from the doctor
A note from the teacher about a child's behavior
A lost job and a pile of bills
Real life does not foster internal peace!
In the last major conversation Jesus had with His closest friends, He spoke about peace—but not as we might have expected Him to. When I read Jesus saying, "I've told you all this so that you may have peace" (John i6:33), my first question is All what? If I didn't look back to John 15 to see what Jesus had been saying, I'd guess that keys to peace would be something along these lines:
"You're going to live to a ripe old age."
"Your children will rise up and call you blessed—even when they hit fifteen."
"You will always have enough money for all you need and most of what you want."
"You will hear the Lord tell you 'Well done' after a lifetime of faithfulness."
Sounds good, right? But not one of these things was included in the strangest "peace speech" I've ever read. Turn to John 15 and you'll see that Jesus told His closest friends that they would be persecuted and no longer welcome in places they used to go. Go to John 16:2 and you'll find these devastating words: "You will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God."
Clearly the peace Jesus spoke about is not what we think of at all. He was saying to His disciples—and to you and me today—"It's going to get rough down here, but don't worry. I am with you. I will never leave you. And I am your peace."
No matter what is going on in your life, stop for a moment and speak His name out loud: "Jesus ... Jesus ... Jesus." Know that He is with you and that He is for you even when the storm is raging all around.
Peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the presence of Christ.
Five Minutes in the Word
"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid" John 14:27
Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. Psalm 119:165
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" John 16:33
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. Psalm 4:8
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. Isaiah 9:6–7CHAPTER 2
Being Honest with God
I am angry!" she said to me.
It was a strange way to start a conversation, but her emotions seemed to overwhelm her.
I had just finished teaching, and I was signing a book for someone when this woman stepped between us. Asking her to wait just a second, I finished signing the book and handed it back to the now very concerned recipient.
"Let's walk for a bit," I suggested to my unhappy new friend. When we were finally alone, I quietly asked her, "What happened to you?"
For half a second I thought she might slap me, but as I watched, the ice in her eyes melted from anger into intense pain. She fell into my arms, and rivers of tears streamed down her face.
"I've buried two sons," she said when she could speak. "Every time I hear you talk about your boy, it's like a knife in my heart."
We talked for a long time that night. At one point I asked her if she had let God see her rage, and she seemed horrified by the suggestion.
"I can't talk to God like that!" she said.
"Don't you think He already knows?" I asked, holding her tight. "He knows—and He loves you. He knows—and He wants you to trust Him enough to tell Him the whole truth about what you're feeling."
Have you ever done that? Have you ever simply gotten alone with God and let Him have it all, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly—whatever it is you're thinking and feeling? Doing so will change your life. Trust me; I speak from experience! But it took me years to open up to God. I'd lived much of my life filled with shame, with the profound sense that no matter what I did, I would never be good enough for God or for anyone else. Clinging to that falsehood, I kept a wall around my heart so that no one could hurt me. The wall kept me safe, but it also kept me lonely. One night when I was alone in a hospital, alone in the dark, I spoke out loud to God everything I felt. It wasn't pretty ... but I wasn't struck by lightning. Instead I actually felt closer to Him than ever before. Truth does that. Truth destroys walls.
Are you willing to take that risk today? Will you fall at the feet of Jesus, tell Him the whole truth about what you're thinking and feeling, and then let Him love you back to life?
God knows your whole story and He loves you.
Five Minutes in the Word
The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" John 8:32
Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. Psalm 43:3
Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Psalm 85:10–11
"The time is coming—indeed it's here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way." John 4:23CHAPTER 3
When is the last time you felt rested? I don't mean the time you managed to get to bed before midnight. I mean really rested.
We don't live in a culture conducive to rest. Even in the church we can end up being overcommitted because we say yes too often. After all, it's easier to say no to attending a neighborhood party than to signing up for a Bible study. If something sounds spiritual, we too easily think we should line up behind everyone else and take a ticket. But being busy for God and knowing God are two different things. And often they don't fit together well.
One day when Jesus addressed a crowd, He spoke right to their bone-deep weariness: "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). He wasn't speaking about the kind of tiredness you and I feel at the end of a good day's work, when we just want to sink into a chair and not move until Christmas. No, Jesus was speaking to those who were worn out trying to do the right thing to please God and earn their salvation. Remember, this was before the Crucifixion and the resurrection, so if you were a God-fearing Jew listening to Jesus that day, you still woke up every morning under the burden of 6i3 laws. We know the Big 10, the commandments God gave Moses on Mount Sinai, but there were 6o3 more for the Jewish people to follow. Add to that weight the reality that the religious leaders of the day did nothing to ease the people's burden. Jesus spoke directly to that fact:
The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. (Matthew 23:2–4)
Jesus loves you. That's the whole sentence. There's no if tacked on at the end. It stands alone. Jesus loves you and me just as we are right now. Despite the countless shades of light and dark that live inside us, we are loved completely by God. Hard to take in, isn't it?
That kind of love doesn't exist apart from God.
That kind of love is hard to grasp when we're busy running from one activity to another.
That kind of love calls us to rest—really rest—in the presence of the One who made us, who knows us, who loves us.
Real rest comes with knowing the grace of our salvation in Jesus. We don't have to earn it.
Five Minutes in the Word
Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." Matthew 11:28–30
I said to myself, "Relax and rest. GOD has showered you with blessings. Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; and you, Foot, were kept from stumbling." Psalm 116:7–8 MSG
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Psalm 23:1–3
I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. Acts 2:25–26
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1CHAPTER 4
I vividly remember one Sunday afternoon when Christian was three. We'd been to church and had lunch, and it was time for him to nap. I tucked him in—and not five minutes later he reappeared. I settled him again. Three minutes later he did an encore. With his fourth appearance, I'd had enough.
"Christian, I want you to lie here and ask God to help you be quiet and still." A few minutes later he popped his head into the den where I was reading a book.
"Didn't you ask God to help you?" I asked him.
"I did," he replied. "But He said that's just not how He made me!"
Perhaps that's how you feel when you read the words Be still, and know that I am God. I know I sometimes do. Countless times I've sat down to try to be still and holy. It's never worked very well. Only recently when I was studying this passage did I realize my misunderstanding of the text: the original Hebrew root of Be still doesn't mean "be quiet"; it means "let go." That's very different, don't you think? Let go and know that I am God!
Let go of trying to control your spouse!
Let go of your worry about your finances!
Let go of your unforgiveness!
Let go of your past!
Let go of what you can't control—and rest in the knowledge that God is in control!
We worry so much about things that we can't impact. What if we decided to make a list of things we are holding onto and release all of them to God? What if we took one moment each day to be still and acknowledge God's perfect control? Let's give it a try.
"Let go and know that I am God."
Five Minutes in the Word
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 ESV
Do you know how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds? Do you understand how he moves the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill? When you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still, he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror. Can you do that? Job 37:15–18
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:11–12 ESV
Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. Isaiah 46:9–10CHAPTER 5
Your Unique Purpose
When I was sixteen, I had a summer job working at Houston's, the only department store in my Scottish hometown of Ayr. I was assigned the haberdashery—and I had no idea what that even was. My new boss told me that we specialized in "small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons, zips, and other notions," and I didn't dare ask what "notions" were!
My first task was sorting and rewinding ribbon spools. Then I reorganized the behind-the-counter drawers. All went well until I encountered it—and suddenly I was beyond confused. Why would that be here and not in the hardware department?
When I showed my boss the pristine drawers, she seemed suitably impressed. "But that thingy in the bottom drawer—should I leave it there or take it somewhere else?" I asked.
"Just leave it there," she said. "We had quite a rush on those with young girls this summer!"
"Girls bought those?" I said. "I don't think I'll ever be buying one."
"Every girl says that until she meets the right one," my boss said with a smile.
"Why would I ever need a plunger with a lacy handle?" Yes, I asked that question out loud—and I kept talking. "The first time you use it, you'd ruin the lace."
I discovered that day—much to the delight of the entire staff of eyewitnesses to my ignorance—that that strange object was actually a form for a bride's bouquet. They'd put flowers on it and carry it by the decorated handle. Who knew!
Not knowing the purpose of a lacy plunger is hardly as critical as not knowing our purpose on this planet. You and I are not randomly placed in just any home. You and I are chosen daughters of the Most High God, and each of us has a divine plan and purpose to fulfill. At times we lose that big-picture perspective. After all, we're busy with our families and our other tasks, but our busyness does not and cannot alter our sovereign God's plan for our lives. If you doubt that statement, read this:
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:15–16)
God has a unique purpose for you and you alone. Look to Him to guide you. Stay focused on Him and, as a result, mindful of that purpose. And remember that while you and I tend to look at externals and compare ourselves to others, God looks at the heart, and He also speaks to our hearts. So, if you're not sure, ask God to show you why He made you. Ask Him to reveal to you His specific purpose for you!
Who knows whether you have come to this particular place for such a time as this?
Five Minutes in the Word
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 ESV
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. Psalm 57:2 ESV
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:11–13 NIV
Excerpted from 5 Minutes With Jesus by Sheila Walsh. Copyright © 2015 Sheila Walsh. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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What People are Saying About This
If I want live out God's truths, I must get His truths into me. My thinking, my processing, and my feelings all need to be bossed around by God's Word! I can't think of a more valuable way to spend 5 minutes than to dive into truth with my brilliant friend, Sheila and this new devotional, '5 minutes with Jesus.' Perfect for morning devotions or for capturing moments with the Lord throughout the day. Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times Bestselling Author
Nothing transforms us like the Word of God. If you spend even 5 minutes with Him in His word, the entire trajectory of your life can alter. Christine Caine, Activist, Author, Evangelist, and International Speaker
As much as I love starting the day with a big, steaming cup of coffee, I love starting the day with Jesus more. Because while caffeine gives me a short supply of energy, time spent with our Creator-Redeemer gives me an abundant supply of joy, hope and peace. Plus, hanging out with Him helps tame the grumpy-while-in-traffic beast within me. Which means my dear friend Sheila’s newest book is a must-have in my morning routine and probably should be in yours too! Lisa Harper, Author, Acrobat, and Bible Teacher
God wants to speak to you even more than you want to hear from Him. Most people are afraid to draw near only to discover that God is silent. Listening and truly hearing is an art that it is well worth the time it takes to develop. Lisa Bevere, Author, Advocate, and Co-founder of Messenger International