Game On! Announcing the SCGTC

On Sunday, I challenged my congregation to join me for a competition of spending time in the word of God. I called it The Southside Church God-Time Competition, and here are the simple rules:

  • At least 10 minutes a day with God, every day.
  • Time with God means something is read (from the Bible), something is written, and something is prayed.
  • There will be some kind of award given for the person who lasts the longest.
  • There will be some kind of award given for the person who accumulates the most individual “God-Times.”

I haven’t figured out the prizes yet, but I’m willing to take donations! If you want to sweeten the pot, let me know!

I’m also working on setting up some kind of online tool to track our progress and see how we are all doing. For me personally, I’m going to use my blog to record my progress.

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20 thoughts on “Game On! Announcing the SCGTC

  1. The competition started for me on Sunday, January 6, 2008, and my passage for the day was Psalm 122.

    The big idea of the passage is that the Psalmist values Jerusalem because he values his brethren and God’s house.

    It reminded me that locations are made important by the people who live there and by the activities that take place there. It also reminded me that God does care about property in some fashion, so from that I took the promise from God that Southside Church will not always be transient but that God will some day lead us to a place of our own.

  2. Yesterday, I studied Psalm 124, because I accidentally skipped Psalm 123, but God really encouraged me as the Psalmist gave God the credit for helping the people of Israel to escape calamity.

    The thing I picked up on from the Psalm is that there may be hundreds of moments in our lives when we have escaped calamity because of God’s help even though we haven’t recognized his provision.

  3. Today, I studied Psalm 123 to make up for yesterday’s oversight.

    BIG IDEA: Because God is your master, look to him for mercy.

    The Psalm talks about how the people of God have endured a lot of ridicule and contempt from others, but because they are the servants of the God who sits on the throne of heaven, they look to him for mercy. There aren’t any other specifics in the Psalm, but it basically boils down to teaching us that if we need someone to care for us, we are already servants of the king, so we need to look to him and petition him for justice.

  4. Yesterday, I studied Psalm 125.

    In one sentence, the psalm teaches that God gives enduring strength to those who trust in him and do good. One of the profound lines in the Psalm says this…

    As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. — Psalm 125:2

  5. Today, I studied Psalm 126.

    This psalm was much harder for me to understand, because there are some translation issues in the Psalm, and since I’m in California, I don’t have access to all my study materials. Nonetheless, the summary of the Psalm goes something like this:

    God had begun a work of restoration and the psalmist asks him to continue it to completion.

    However, there is a profound section at the bottom of the psalm that makes me scratch my head. I can’t tell if God is making a promise to us through the psalmist or if the psalmist is making a promise to us about God or if the psalmist is merely talking about what the future kingdom of God could hold for us, but it ends with these words:

    Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. — Psalm 126:5-6

    It is a wonderful promise.

  6. This is literally the best I have ever done at maintaining a regular quiet time. Launching the competition has helped me greatly!

    On January 11 (my birthday), I read Psalm 127. Two themes came out of that Psalm.

    1. Children are a blessing from God to those who have them.
    2. In any project or endeavor, unless God is at work in it, it won’t succeed.

    “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”

  7. On Jan 12, I studied Psalm 128. It teaches that a man who fears the LORD will be blessed with prosperity and a strong family. Therefore, a long life would be that much more desirable!

  8. On Jan 13, I read Psalm 129:

    Because God has freed Israel from oppressors, the Psalmist asks God to also shame Zion’s opponents.

    On Jan 14, Psalm 130:

    We should be eager to meet God because forgiveness, love, and redemption from sin are with him.

    Jan 15, Psalm 131:

    A heart at peace comes when we remove pride and prideful ambition and instead put our hope in the LORD.


    We can put our hope in God when our soul is at peace without prideful ambition.

    Jan 16, Psalm 132:

    God’s chosen king is a son of David and his chosen place is Zion.

    Jan 17, Psalm 133:

    When people live in unity, God’s richest blessings are realized.

    Jan 18, Psalm 134:

    We praise; God blesses.

  9. On Jan 19, I was working on my sermon late into the night and hadn’t done any quiet time yet for the day, so I decided to pray for a few minutes and then read my Bible before I went to bed. I ended up reading James 1 and was encouraged again by James’ teaching that we should ask God for wisdom with a fully confident faith.

  10. Jan 20, Psalm 135:

    God does whatever he wants and he chose to act on our behalf! (Praise him!)

    Jan 21, Psalm 136:

    Everything God has done reveals his love for us and deserves our thanks.

    Jan 22, Psalm 137:

    So long as they live in Babylon, the singers will weep because Jerusalem is their joy and those who disregard Jerusalem should be punished.

    Jan 23, Psalm 138:

    David is seeking God’s continued faithfulness in the establishment of a temple for His name to be exalted on the earth.

    Jan 24, Psalm 139:

    God is (and always will be) intimately involved in every aspect of our lives.

  11. Tonight I read James 2, and I realized once again the apparent conflict between James and Paul. James is pretty intent on making sure people don’t take salvation lightly. He wants people to realize that the only real faith is the kind that makes a difference in a person’s life even going so far as to say that we are justified not just by faith but by faith with works.

    I need to remember that God’s idea of faith always is accompanied by a changed life and good works. See Eph. 2:8-10!

  12. Today I read James 3. In it, James is addressing the issues of the power of the tongue. First, he talks about the extra judgment that teachers will have to face. That leads him to talk about the power of the tongue. It seems pretty clear that he is addressing the tongue because that is the part of the body most used by teachers. Great good can be done with the tongue, but it can also be used to do great evil. As a teacher by calling choice and profession, I need to be very careful about how I speak regardless of the situation!

  13. I read James 4 last night and chose to read it again today. James really is an interesting book. The passage begins by talking about the reasons people do violence to each other—it stems from the desires people have going unfulfilled because they don’t ask God for them or they ask with wrong motives. There is a lot more there too. In fact, this chapter might become my toto “ponder passage.” I’ll keep you posted.

  14. well it’s really late and I just realized that I am all out of my study sheets, so it’s back to James for another night. I’m really glad that I’m still so motivated to get some kind of Bible intake every day, and I have been keeping it up even without posting all my results here. Oh but I have a lot of good stuff to be posting here in the next day or so!

  15. I still didn’t have any note sheets this morning and I didn’t take the time after our group tonight to do my God time, so I’m writing now about reading 1 Peter 1.

    I’m always intrigued by the linguistic differences between Paul and Peter, but what impacted me tonight was the sentence where Peter says to prepare your minds for action. It just hit me funny to think Peter did not say to prepare our bodies for action but our minds!

    Much of the inaction of our lives is a result of our unprepared minds!

  16. Sunday night reading is 1 Peter 3.

    It’s really interesting to see Peter’s statement about submissive wives actually come true. In just the last two weeks, I have seen two different husbands make new commitments to Christ months after their wives did. God’s word is once again proven to be true!

  17. I think it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I missed a day earlier this week. I woke up Wednesday morning to realize that I hadn’t done my quiet time for Tues. I was so bugged by that. And I still feel like a bit of a loser. Anyway, I’ve reacted against that by spending the past few days reading 1 Peter 5 repeatedly. It’s becoming more interesting each time!

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