May 13, 2016
In a world of bottomless to-do lists, why bother with a daily devotional? What tangible benefits do they offer? If you’ve ever asked questions like these, I encourage you to read on as I reflect on two important and interrelated answers.
A devotional helps get you into God’s Word every day.
We all want to read God’s Word every day, but we also know that our righteous “desire” does not always equal right action. For this reason, a daily devotional can serve as the simple nudge we need each day to get into God’s Word. The Bible is clear that without God’s Word, we are spiritually lost. As created beings, and fallen ones at that, we aren’t qualified to fully understand God, the world, life, or even ourselves by our own smarts. We desperately need what theologians call “special revelation,” or God’s explicit explanation of himself. The primary vehicle for this special revelation is the Bible—the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and communicated through the words of chosen prophets and apostles.
However, without structure, it can be easy to read Scripture haphazardly, flounder, and perhaps even give up altogether. This is where a daily devotional proves especially useful. Well-written devotionals provide structure and focus that will guide you through God’s Word. A daily devotional normally includes a Bible passage to read and a reflection from an author. The pre-selected passages are reasonable in length, cover a wide range of texts over time, and eliminate the potentially overwhelming decision about what to read next. The reflections of an experienced and mature Christian author give insight into the biblical text and often include practical application. If you are not already “feeding” on Scripture regularly, a daily devotional can help you form this crucial habit in an orderly, systematic way.
A devotional helps you grow in spiritual maturity.
Scripture is also clear that regular exposure to God’s Word is necessary for spiritual maturity. No matter where we are in our spiritual life, we are in constant need of the guidance and growth that God’s Word and Spirit can provide. The Bible both reveals the brokenness of our hearts, minds, and wills, but also graciously shows us the people we are to be as Jesus’ followers. The regularity of a daily devotional helps facilitate engagement with Scripture and creates a framework within which the Holy Spirit can individually nudge, convict, guide, and spur us on.
The author’s daily reflections can also supplement your spiritual growth by providing fellowship and perspective that encourage further meditation on your part. The author’s biblical knowledge, thoughtful analysis, and challenging questions can illuminate your own strengths and possible areas of growth, and amplify your ability to grapple with a given passage.
Still not sure? Try using a daily devotional today. The stakes are too high and the benefits too great to let the opportunity pass. Of course, we suggest trying the Today daily devotional, but there are a variety of devotionals available online and in print. Whatever devotional you choose, we pray that you are blessed by the practice of regularly and thoughtfully dwelling in God’s Word.
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