[An old post I decided to post to this blog]
Being a christian, we are expected to read the Bible to do what we call “devotions”. But I came to realize something after contemplating what I was told. What does it mean to have devotion? What does it mean to be devoted to something? This is what I discovered when I looked up several dictionary definitions of the word:
– profound dedication; consecration.
– earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
– an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc.:
– Often, devotions. Ecclesiastical. religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use.
– Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle
So what does it mean to have a “devotion-less life”? Well as explained by Dr. Mark Rutland [for those of you who do not know- he is the President of Southeastern University], devotions are something that every Christian should practice, however daily. Devotions are not meant to be something that we feel guilted into. They shouldn’t be read in a rush or simply to get it done. If those are the reasons for doing your “devotions”, do you really have devotion at all based off the above definitions? This is a challenge to myself. I read the Bible. Currently I am doing a planned study where by Dec 31, 2008, I will have read the Bible through twice and psalms and proverbs a few more times as well. Its quite a challenge really…honestly I am actually a week behind! Talk about lacking devotion.
What Dr. Rutland brought up today was the matter of the heart in devotion. I agree to what he said, in all things. Reading the Bible would be better if read 5 minutes a day to at least be consistent, rather than an hour a month, where you cram it in and don’t really think about what you read. Devotions seem to be a challenge for a lot of people, myself included. But looking back on those definitions, to love God fully, we must be devoted, ardent, striving to get closer to him. Not only do devotions [and prayer] affect your life, but your relationships with others. How you treat your friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, parents, authority figures, etc. is a reflection of your devotion to God.
So in relevance to actual “devotions” its meaningless unless we have the right attitude and heart behind it. When you lack the zeal and dedication of getting closer to God; when you are lazy and choose something else in your time over learning the word; when you read it but don’t “read it” [meaning reading out of obligation and not letting the material sink in]; all of these things are crucial to devotions. By doing each of these things you hinder what God COULD be doing in your life because of your lack of loving, passionate, dedication to Him and His word. Its what Dr. Rutland called “the damages of a devotion-less life”. Don’t allow a slump to become of you spiritually because you lack the discipline to read the word, even if only for 5 minutes a day. Discipline takes training, but it is possible. Start small and continue to read. Have a journal to write down thoughts [I have a prayer journal it is incredible to write to God!]. Quiet your life down while giving time to God; shut off music, computers, etc. Find somewhere quiet where you can focus. Do these things and see God move in your life by your devotions.