Daily Devotions! How can I make time in my day for that? I’m already so busy I can’t get to everything I need to do! Sound familiar? As Christians, we’ve probably all made these comments. But to build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we need to make time for our daily devotions. Like any habit, we must make the effort and build devotions into our day until it becomes just that, a habit, something we do routinely. But that doesn’t mean without thought. I would like the reader to think about how to make time to get to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, His Father, and the Holy Spirit.
As a new Christian, it might be easier to develop a daily devotional time, since before we became Christians our days were filled with activities that did not bring honor to the Father. Once we turn our lives over to Christ, however, we need to put those activities behind us and fill our time with things that please Him. When we enter into any relationship, how do we get to know the other person? By talking with them, sharing information and experiences! We develop our relationship with Christ in the same way, by talking with Him through prayer and by sharing His experiences via reading them in the Scriptures.
The equipment you need to start your devotions can be very simple. I recommend a Bible translation you are comfortable with, (I like the NIV) and a journal, which can be as simple as a composition book or one of the prayer journals you can purchase at your local Christian bookstore. A daily devotional booklet is a good tool as well. There are many out there, and I would start with something like The Daily Bread, The Upper Room, or even a calendar with a devotional thought for the day. You might want to add Christian music, but do not allow it to distract you from your primary purpose, which is getting to know Christ. Your purpose here is to be actively involved in relationship building, not entertainment. You should allow enough quality time to get involved in the process, which is probably not at the end of the day when you are exhausted! I have known of people who get up an hour earlier than usual to do their devotions. I also know people who use their lunch hour. You have to decide when the best time is, but make sure you can be consistent.
Each person is going to start their devotions in a different way. Some will begin with prayer and praise. Some will read their devotional booklet first. Others will listen to praise music to settle the heart. You must develop your own routine. I like to read the devotional first, then the Scriptures, followed by contemplating what those Scriptures mean to me. I use my prayer journal to write down questions I might have about the reading, the needs of those I love, and specific prayer requests. I also like to write down things I am thankful for, things that bring me joy! As the weeks and months go by, it is very rewarding to go back and see how my prayers have been answered and how my priorities have changed!
As your devotions become more routine, you may find you want to read more and pray less, particularly if you are involved in a Bible study that involves preparation. Don’t neglect your prayer time; that is your most valuable tool in building your relationship with Christ! Prayer is your opportunity to really get to know Christ, to ask Him questions and reveal your heart’s desires. And remember to have some quiet time; once you have asked all those questions and made all those requests, God wants time to answer!
My relationship with Christ is nearly 48 years old! He has been my father, my brother, and my friend! The Holy Spirit has comforted me, instructed and guided me through life! Always remember, Jesus loves each of us and wants only the best for us. Make time to know Him better. God is good!
In Christ’s love,
Linda D. Birch
Woodland United Methodist Church