A few days back I posted an article on How I would grow spiritually in 2018. I wanted to expand on one of the pieces of the plan…why I read devotionals as part of my daily strategy.
Encouragement. God often has a way of speaking to my heart through another writer’s words. Chambers, Blackaby, Johnny Hunt, Boyd Bailey, John Piper… they’ve all been used by God to scratch an itch…sometimes when I did not even know I had one.
Growth. I learn things about how to communicate truth by reading how others do it. I know that sometimes, when I speak, my “prophet” can come out and even a good and true and correct and even helpful word can be lost in the delivery.
Perspective. Community was always part of God’s plan to grow us. Someone once said that if you refuse to listen to others, soon you’ll not have anyone speak to you that has anything to say. (Insert Facebook counseling reference here).
Primer. I usually read my devotionals first. Before by Scripture time. It helps “prime the pump” of my mind…allowing me to ease into an encounter with God’s Word. Devotionals are written conversationally so they digest a little easier. At least they do for me.
My devotional “stash” shifts every year it seems, but I have some classics I come back to often. Here are a few. I recommend checking your App Store if you use a device during your devotional time. All of these except one are available online. Since I always have my tablet with me, they are readily available…taking away the excuse of inconvenience.
- Solid Joys by Desiring God. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/solid-joys-daily-bible-devotional/id553049864?mt=8
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, https://utmost.org/
- Wisdom Hunters by Boyd Bailey, https://www.wisdomhunters.com/
- Experiencing God Day-by-Day, by Blackaby, http://www.blackaby.net/
- A print devotional I picked up from Johnny Hunt, Grace, Hope, and Love: My Daily Devotional.
My devotional reading takes about 15 minutes a day.
What’s the financial investment? It is up to you. I purchased the print devotional at a conference I think…and the Chambers, while free, I purchased an App for .99 that gives me both classic and modern language and an easy share feature…but it is available in Facebook and online too. It was just convenient to spend the dollar. As always, I recommend a donation to the other ministries who have put together these tools. The time and technology are not free and I think $20 here and there is good stewardship and support.
No way pastor! I don’t have time for five devotionals. I have a real job! I get it, friend. Two things.
- First, this is all part of my personal discipline. I am not “on the clock” at my “job” when I get in my quiet time. So, it’s kinda like you and your real job scenario.
- Second, I didn’t start with five and I am not militant about it. Sometimes their daily writing is boring and I may skim one…or be pressed because I overslept and only get one or two and have to read the others online during the day (if I get to them at all). Maybe try one. CHAMBERS is my classic go to…and Hunt’s Devotional is my favorite…mostly because it is written by pastors and I hear their heart as I read it.
So, enjoy…and if you have something to add or are doing a better plan, share in the comments and I would love to hear and learn from you.
Grace and Peace,