Devotions

There is a group of people who started meeting on Sunday to talk about how to teach SLC how to be better about doing personal devotions. We are a very healthy church, but in the Natural Church Development survey of healthy congregations, where we score the lowest is on how many of us have a personal devotion life.
As the group met on Sunday, we went around the circle and shared what our personal devotion lives are like. There was great variety. One person started by reading just one verse a day—that was all she could do. But now, she has a devotion life which includes reading the bible, prayer, devotion books, and she finds she does her devotions morning and evening.
Another person has found that having a group with which to share Bible study is crucial. Another person does art in response to God’s word.
And many of us in the group struggle. We start something and find it gets overwhelming and we quit. While we try to practice the Faith 5 with our kids—which includes sharing our highs and lows and praying for them, I have found that since I went back to being a pastor, my personal devotion life has suffered.
The group has been meeting because we want people to know that wherever you are, you can start something. After the New Year, we will be sharing talks and information about what devotions are and the wide varieties of ways to do them–with the hope that you might find a place to start. Maybe it will be getting an app. Maybe it will be reading the daily verse in the bulletin. Maybe you already read a devotion book, so you might decide to add reading the bible.
The thing is, God wants us to get to know him better—and God wants to get to know us better. And that is really what I believe devotions are about.
When you first fall in love, you want to know all about that person—you are devoted. You spend time with him. You ask questions so you can learn what he is like. You study up on each other. I think that is at root what devotions are about–getting to know God better, because you love God, and because God loves you.
In many ways the season of Advent is about addition. Each week we light one more candle. We hear from one more Prophet or one more part of the story. We do this to prepare to celebrate the day that God became flesh so that he could walk with us and be with us. God is so devoted to us that took on the frailty of our flesh so that he could save us to be with him forever. That is devotion. That is where it starts.
Is there a devotion practice you can add to your Advent? How about thinking about John 1 today: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And we have beheld his glory; the glory as of a Father’s only Son.
I hope you know how devoted God is to you. I pray that for all of us, the feeling would be mutual.
Advent blessings!

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2 responses to “Devotions

  1. I started my daily devotions on my personal throne. Yep! you got it. I keep the daily devotion book between two towels in my antique pickle crock! My brother’s now read them & request new books when they are published. I know, huh, God is humorous. Now I read and watch Pastor Bills u-tube discussions. I discuss my topics with my daughter whenever possible. I try to speak with Alex when I am able to see him. (work schedule crazy) I also have several wonderful Christian based websites that relate to motherhood & Christ living today. Even though my daughter is 29, I am learning so much about how Christ is in my life and how we will raise our grandchildren. I enjoy my Lutheran study bible. Because of my brother’s both being homeless. I am learning how deprived the system really is as far as Christ driven outreach. Not sure where it will lead me. I pray for the courage to continue the journey.

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