‘Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.’ Colossians 4:20 (NIV)
Communication with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one of the greatest experiences a person can have. To be in contact, to be intimate, is to establish the relationship with God, and will bring us closer and give us glimpses into who He really is. It will give us a deeper understanding of His ways, and of what He expects from us as His children. Reading devotionals is a very good way to achieve this closeness, this intimacy, in that we learn lessons, and we come to know God Himself through study and prayer.
Devotionals are writings that are birthed from deep faith. The writers are those who have set out to purposely seek God, and to learn more about Him. They write the devotionals to not only help others to do the same, but to also strengthen their own faith and knowledge. Life is difficult in the best of times, but a thoughtfully written devotional can make our problems and issues seem small and insignificant in light of God and His glory, His power, and the hope that only God can offer. And those things are just what a devotional writer hopes to convey to readers.
A devotional, however, never replaces the Bible, the true Word of God. It is intended to enhance the Bible reading experience. Taken together, we receive the truth and promises in God’s Word, with the human insight of how to apply that Word to our daily lives. Not everyone reads devotionals. And truly the Bible is all we really need. But a well written devotional based on God’s written Word may help to clarify, to demonstrate, to literally enhance the Word the Lord has given. It breaks down the meanings, the language, the things that are sometimes difficult to understand when we are reading.
Prayer goes right along with a devotional. Without prayer, we are not truly communicating with Him. We may be reading, and thinking, and sometimes even writing our thoughts and ideas in a journal, but we are not speaking to Him. He desires a relationship with us. He wants to hear us talk to Him, and He wants us to hear Him speak to us. Yes, He speaks to us. The more we learn about Him, the more we read His Word, and the more we pray and talk to Him, the more likely we are to know His voice. It is His voice we want and need to hear. We want to be sure we are in His will, and following His direction and guidance. If we are in prayer regularly, He will make sure we know who He is. He will reveal Himself to us, and hence we will indeed know His voice.
Merriam-Webster defines devotion as such: A feeling of strong love or loyalty; the quality of being devoted. Also, they define devotions as: Prayer, worship, or other religious activities that are done in private, rather than in a religious service.
Worship…this should be included when in prayer, and when reading or writing a devotional. Worship is giving to God what He is due…our true devotion, sharing our hearts with Him, spending time in His presence. It brings us in close personal contact with Him, and it blesses His own mighty and loving heart.
Set aside time to spend with God, just you and Him, every day. Mornings are better, we are fresher, and we can prepare for our day by arming ourselves with God’s promises, and His protection. But any time is better than no time at all. Just take some time when you can be alone with Him, with your Bible, and show Him your devotion, your worship, and your prayer. If you have difficulty with this, ask Him to help you. He will. He is always ready to spend time with you. Be ready to do the same for Him. For He is more devoted to you than anyone else is. He is your heavenly Father, and He only wants to show you His love, and His devotion.
If you have questions, or if you have comments, I am more than happy to receive them. It is our mission here at The Bottom Line to be a resource that can answer your questions and address your concerns. This devotional, Our Hope, is just that. It is the Hope that is found only in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He wants to bestow this Hope on you. If you already know Him, you already have received that Hope. And we celebrate with you! If you don’t, but you’d like to know more, please either leave a comment or question, or go to our forum section and you will find an answer there.
‘Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)