What are the things that we spend the most time on? The things that we love. From sports to arts to horticulture even, the list goes on. What then should it be for Christians? As followers of Christ, our priority is always to deepen our intimacy with God. Just like how it takes time to better understand someone, it also takes time for us to know our God. We can come to know our God in many ways; sermons, Bible studies, and fellowship with fellow believers. However, personal daily devotionals are when our one-to-one conversation with God makes a big difference.
What is a devotional? It’s the time that Christians spend seeking fellowship with God through reading His Word, and through prayer. Some people use this term in a more specific sense to refer to a guided study of the Bible. Regardless of which way you use the word, though, a “devotional” is something that every Christian would benefit from doing daily.
What Do Christians Gain From Daily Devotionals? Content
It Helps Make You More Committed as a Disciple of Christ.
We’ve all heard of those self-help courses that have people adopting healthier habits, learning self-discipline, and so on. In many of these cases, the improvements come through simply adopting a new schedule and sticking with it.
Now imagine what would happen if you applied that same concept to studying God’s Word. Most people would admit that they could be better at certain disciplines or skills, but a Christian who’s truly dedicated to the Lord won’t say something like “I could be working every day to be a better Christian, I just don’t do it”.
This is what devotionals are all about – immersing yourself in the scriptures every day so that you’re constantly growing closer to God. Just imagine what would happen if entire churches were this committed to daily devotionals! It would completely revolutionize them, and probably even have a cascading effect on their communities. Devotionals are also key to fighting spiritual attacks.
Being a Christian is easy. After all, the Bible did say that all we have to do is come hear, believe, and proclaim it in our hearts and with our mouths (Romans 10:9-10). But to be a true Christian, a devout disciple of Christ requires us to deny secular desires daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
It Gives You Actionable Information From God’s Word.
Christianity isn’t just a hypothetical belief system; the Bible contains all kinds of promises, commands, and prophecies that have real-life implications for believers. As you spend time in the scripture, look for errors that you should avoid, role models to follow, commands to do or not do something, sins that you may need to confess, and promises to claim. No matter what section of the Bible you’re reading that day, pray that God will reveal the lesson that He wants you to learn. After all, what good is a daily devotional if you can’t apply it to your life?
It Nelps You be An Encouragement to Other Christians.
Have you ever met someone who seemingly started every conversation by asking what the Lord had shown you that week? While we usually expect fairly trivial conversations in most social contexts, this is an easy way to get below the surface. You never know when someone has been struggling to feel connected with God, and if you can share some lesson that He recently taught you, they could feel encouraged to renew their efforts. There are also plenty of bible verses about encouragement to go around. So, pick one that speaks to you the most, and share it with the world.
It Keeps You From Getting Discouraged.
As Christians, we’re constantly bombarded with what the world wants us to hear. We’re told that we don’t have to listen to God, but that we can make it on our own. We’re encouraged to believe in the myth that following our own hearts will make us happy. Even if we don’t actually act on these false worldviews, we can still feel overwhelmed because everyone else seems to be.
That’s why we should always be seeking out God’s view of the world, not someone else’s. By committing to daily devotionals, we can become so steeped in the Word that it drowns out all other voices. Here are 123 bible verses to love yourself.
It Lets You Track Your Progress.
A devotional doesn’t have to be structured, but many people find this type of format to be helpful. For example, some people commit to reading through the entire Bible in one year; there are recommended reading schedules available online where you cross off each day’s readings. It’s also great to keep a journal or some other record of your thoughts, convictions, or realizations. Studies have shown that if you write something down, you’re much more likely to remember it. This applies to grocery lists, driving instructions, and – that’s right – daily devotionals. When you’re intentional about specifically writing down what the Spirit reveals to you during each daily devotional, it’ll be on your mind throughout the day.
It Helps You Ignore Secular Distractions.
There are all kinds of things clamoring for our attention, but many of these things represent a distraction from what God wants us to hear. And what could that be? Maybe He wants to teach you a lesson about life, convict you of hidden sin, or direct you to do His work in someone else’s life. The question is, how can you do any of those things if you’re constantly getting distracted?
A daily devotional will help you stay focused on what’s important – not only while you’re in the middle of one, but (hopefully) for the rest of the day as well.
It Allows You to Elevate Ordinary Moments.
One question that gets asked a lot about devotionals is “when will I find the time?”. That’s an understandable concern; after all, modern life keeps most of us extremely busy. However, 99% of people will have some part of their day that could be used for daily devotionals. It could be while you’re taking the train to work, on your lunch break, or any other period when you find yourself some spare time. It works best if you stick to the same schedule, but it’s always better to complete your devotionals at the “wrong” time rather than not doing them at all.
A devotional should be part of every Christian’s routine. It can take just about any format, as long as it’s based on the study of God’s Word and the seeking of His wisdom.