Before I wrote this article for the church newsletter, I had a time of personal devotions, using the little booklet Our Daily Bread as a guide. Even though there is snow on the ground and it is cold outside, I know Spring is around the corner, because the Spring quarter of Our Daily Bread begins in a couple of days. The phrase daily devotions refers to the spiritual discipline of Bible reading and prayer with which Christians start or end their day. Bible reading in daily devotions can take the form of a structured study using a devotional book or a simple reading of certain passages from the Bible. Some people like to read through the Bible in a year. Prayer in daily devotions can include any or all of the different types of prayer—praise, confession, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession for the needs of others. Some people use prayer lists for their daily devotions. Others prefer to pray as they read the Word in an interactive manner, listening for God to speak to them through the Bible passages and responding in prayer. Whatever the format of daily devotions, the important thing is that our daily devotions, as the phrase implies, be truly devoted to God and occur daily.
Why is it important to spend time with God in daily devotions? Psalm 36 tells us, I have a message from God in my heart....Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep....How priceless is your unfailing love, O God....For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. If we truly yearn to experience the light of our Lord, we need to be with God every day.
Someone once said, “The gospel brings us to God; devotions keep us close to him.” James wrote, Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8). When believers spend time in their daily devotions, they are seeking to draw close to God’s heart, to understand more about him, to live by his principles, and to hold on to his promises. That is why followers of Jesus will want to find time for daily devotions.
Want some help with devotions? Pick up your free copy of Our Daily Bread in the church entryway, or go to odb.org to have your devotional time digitally.