Time with God each day is like fresh bread. It nourishes, it revives, it sustains. The Word helps us to remain faithful, continuously keeps our eyes toward heaven and keeps us steady. Digging into the God inspired and life giving Scripture is more than just reading – it’s engaging with God’s Spirit and allowing it to be at work in our lives in a unexplained, yet powerful way.
Think of daily devotions as taking time to “grow in your devotion” to the Lord. Of course you can pray in the car or shower, but don’t use these times as your devotion. Don’t allow “personal devotions” to become trite. Schedule time in your life to read the Scripture, to sit quietly and be mentored by the very words of Jesus himself. In addition to the words of Jesus, all Scripture is God breathed and can be useful for teaching us.
I’ve been reading Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Divine Mentor. In this book, he describes how each story in Scripture leads us to truths about God and his character through the regular lives of men and women just like us. When we make time each day to read Scripture, we are opening a vault of wisdom and knowledge. We can learn and grow in new ways.
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Daily devotions are guardrails in life – keeping us on track. God’s word continually sinks in deeper and deeper, reminding us afresh each day how we need to live and what will make the most impact. There are two ways to learn about life. One is through wisdom and and the other is consequence. Wisdom means you learn of pitfalls and perils before you experience them, thereby avoiding them. Consequence is what you suffer because you didn’t avoid the pitfall. Daily devotion to God and his Word will help us gain wisdom to learn first – then live with no regret.
Each day is full of decisions each stacking on the previous one. Out of these hundreds of decisions you make each day, some of them have life time, legacy level impact on us and on those around us. Without God’s guidance, we may miss the opportunity to make the right choice on a major life decision. We need to continually stay in the vine (John 15).
Cordeiro suggests this method for getting into God’s Word: 1) Get a Bible reading plan / app, 2) Take a journal, 3) Find a place to meet with God, 4) Use the SOAP method.
Scripture – write down a verse of scripture that speaks to you.
Observation – write out some thoughts about what you observe in this scripture.
Application – how can this apply to your life today?
Prayer – write out a prayer for God to use this word in your everyday life.
Why pastors & staff need daily devotions.
Pastors need this personal time of devotion each day because ministry is unbelievably hard. Not to discredit other professions, but, as someone once quipped, “Have you ever heard anyone say they were quitting business and going into ministry because their lives were too stressful?” It’s usually the other way around. Pastors are asked to give, know, do, be, go, serve, lead, teach, counsel, grow, teach, preach, develop, strategize, manage, equip, read, study, be relational, be at home, be at church, be available, be real, be at meetings, know the people, know the building, know the issues, know the community, and and the list literally goes on and on.
Where to pastors go to draw from a deeper well? They must be engaged in the process of getting fresh bread each morning from Scripture. Pastors must set aside time – even taking time from other church work – to be in Scripture and in devotion to God through reading, prayer and journaling.
If we are going to be wise in leading our people, we must be close to God’s Word so he can develop us in wisdom. You need it, your people need it and the church needs it. Don’t discount daily devotions.
Why church members need daily devotions.
Church members need daily devotions for the same reasons. If we aren’t carefully and intentionally growing in Christ and wisdom through daily Scripture and prayer, then we will become lethargic in faith. We will begin to atrophy. We will start putting ourselves first. We may begin to think church attendance is optional for a transformed and growing believer. We may begin to feel like the church is there to serve me and forget we are part of the church as a servant. Worse, we may feel God’s Word has no real power for our every day interactions with co-workers, kids, spouses, friends and neighbors. We begin rationalizing sins, trying to fill our own cups with material things and relegate God’s Word to the times we’re with the church or the preacher.
In our time and in our culture, Christians need to be who they say they are – Christlike Disciples – learning and growing in the name of Jesus. Without intentionally being daily devoted to Him through His word, you can’t really do this. It’s His living word that teaches, forms and shapes us.
Every single believer can get a Bible, a reading plan, a journal and a time on their calendar each day to meet with the Lord. It will not only transform you, it will transform the way you live and serve in your church. It’s freeing. Jump in today.
The Divine Mentor was a great book and I’d love for you to read it, but even more, I’d love for you to start the process of being in devotion each day.
What are your thoughts? When do you have regular daily devotions?