Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

devotions Archive

Monday

7

September 2020

Devotions require devotion

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4 | Read devotions require devotion on hopereflected.com

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Devotions are the name that we give to our daily time with God, usually spent reading the Bible and possibly a Bible study guide or book, and praying. They are not something we do just once, they’re not a habit we develop overnight, and they’re not a practice that comes to us naturally. Devotions require commitment, dedication, loyalty – our devotions requires devotion.

The Bible isn’t merely a history book

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,” Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (15:4) The Bible, with its 66 books, 31,102 verses, and countless topics that are just as relevant today as they were when they were written, is given to us for our learning and for our comfort. The Bible isn’t merely a history book; it is our tool book, and the greatest weapon in our arsenal, after all, “the word of God is quick, and powerful, sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Devotions convict us of our sin

This is one of the reasons that some Christians neglect to spend time in devotion with God’s Word. Because the Bible discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart, and it’s quick to convict us of our sin, it makes for some uncomfortable self-reflection. As Tozer once said, “An honest man with an open Bible and a pad and pencil is sure to find out what is wrong with him very quickly.” This is another reason we ought to devote more time to God. “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading,” wrote C.S. Lewis. God’s Word has the power to transform, and the more time we spend in the Bible the more we will grow.

Our devotional time will bring us closer to our Lord

There is a misconception that our devotional time will always be filled with some spiritual enlightenment, with “aha” moments, and feelings of closeness with our Lord. This is not always the case – and that’s not a bad thing. We may at times experience enlightenment, and there will be truths revealed to us that we’ve not seen or understood before. Our devotional time will bring us closer to our Lord even when we don’t feel it. Our daily soak in God’s Word is meant to develop, reprove, correct, and instruct us over time. Devotions take time. Just as going to the gym doesn’t give you overnight results, so devotional time in God’s Word won’t transform you in a day.

“I will run the way of thy commandments… Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.” (Psalm 119:32-33). Our devotions require devotion.

You may also be interested in: 3 reasons to start doing devotions daily

Originally published as “Devotions require devotion.” Independent Plus. May 7, 2020: 5. Print. Web.

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Friday

24

June 2016

Hope Reflected: 3 Reasons to Start Doing Devotions – Devotions in the Christian Faith

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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devotions

Charles Stanley once said that “a lack of joy in a Christian’s life often can be traced to a lack of concentrated devotional time in God’s Word.”

You’ve heard the adage, “six pack abs start in the kitchen,” and that’s true. So much of our overall physical health depends just as much (or more!) on what we eat than it does on how much physical exercise we get. The same can be said of our spiritual health. The condition of our spiritual life depends just as much or more on the time we spend in God’s Word, – the Bible, – and how much time we spend meditating on Him, than it does on how much time we spend trying to encourage others and think positive.

Devotional time. What are devotions in the Christian faith? By definition, devotion is “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.” Having a time of devotion or doing devotions is, in its simplest form, when you set aside time each day to get into the Bible to learn about God, and focus on Him. Devotions usually involve a reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, as well as the Psalms and Proverbs. Devotions typically focus on improving and growing our knowledge of the Lord and our relationship with Him, and most include a time of prayer.

Devotions are important to the Christian faith for several reasons, and here are three areas that devotions have especially impacted my life:

  1. Devotions help get my heart in the right place. As the Psalmist David said in Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV), “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” A successful relationship is not a one-way street. A relationship with God isn’t just me trusting in Him so nothing bad will ever happen or because I think it will benefit me. As a Christian, I have to pursue Him; I have to approach Him in reflection and with an open heart so that I can hear what God’s trying to teach me through His Word.
  2. Devotions help me slow down. Psalm 46:10 (KJV) says, “Be still, and know that I am God;” I can’t be still unless I take the time to slow down. Being still is a big part of a successful devotional time. Too often I find that if I’m in a rush or thinking ahead about everything that I have to accomplish today, my devotional time won’t be as meaningful and I won’t get as much out of it. Take time to really slow down; take time to “lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2).
  3. Devotions help me grow by highlighting areas in my life that need correction. Psalm 26:2 (KJV) says, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” Only God truly knows the intention of each heart, and asking Him to examine my heart helps me to keep things real and reveals that I am in desperate need of His help in every area of life. Proverbs 21:2 (KJV) says that “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.

If you’re looking to start a devotional time each day, a great place to begin is in the Psalms or Proverbs. There’s so much wisdom even just in these two books. There are 31 Proverbs, which is fitting to each day of the month, so you could choose to start today and read one Proverb each day throughout the month. A similar practice can be done with the Psalms. However you decide to do your devotions, the important part is getting started – God will speak to your heart if you’re open to hearing Him and what He has to say through His Word!

 

Originally published as “3 Reasons to Start Doing Devotions – Devotions in the Christian Life.” Minto Express. June 15, 2016: 5. Print.

 

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