“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
John 6:63 (NIV)
The terms devotion and devotional are linked with the verb “to devote.” Webster’s dictionary defines this verb as “a solemn act of dedication involving the giving of oneself wholly, as the focus of one’s attention is centered completely on the other.” When we have our devotional time with the Lord, we should be focusing our attention completely on God and giving ourselves wholly to Him and to the time we’ve dedicated to Him.
I’d like to look at why it’s important to spend time with God and study His Word. The first reason is because we are in covenant with Him and His Word is the primary way He has revealed Himself to us and therefore the primary way in which we get to know Him.
The Bible describes the church as the bride of Christ. Unfortunately, in today’s society, many see marriages simply as a legal contract. A contract is when two people enter into a legal agreement whereby if one person does not live up to what they agreed to in the contract, legal actions can be taken against them. Fortunately for us, God has not entered into a contract with His people, but a covenant. A covenant is an unconditional promise based on steadfast love. When we are unfaithful to God, He does not take legal action against us. The blood of His Son has already atoned for our unfaithfulness. Being in covenant with God is an honor and privilege we have received due to the sacrifice of His Son. Honor it by spending time with God and His Word.
We also need to spend time in God’s Word because it is to our souls what breathing, eating and drinking are to our physical bodies. Jesus tells us that man should not live by bread alone, but on every word that has been spoken by God (Matthew 4:4). Just as we need multiple meals throughout the day to nourish our physical bodies, so too we need multiple meals of God’s Word throughout the day to nourish our souls.
Next time we’ll look at a couple more reasons why it’s important to spend time with God and in His Word.
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“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Ephesians 3:12 NIV
When I was younger, one of my best friends had connections to the music group Hansen (one of the heart throb boy bands of the 90’s).
One summer when I was visiting my friend for a week, her aunt surprised us with tickets to one of Hansen’s concerts. We were ecstatic! With squeals of girlish excitement we went to the concert, bought T-shirts and sang along to the music. About half-way through the concert my friend looked over at me and exclaimed, “Noree, I am such a fool! If had let them (Hansen) know we were coming beforehand, we could have gotten back stage passes.” (Believe it or not, this was before most people owned cell phones to let them know we were at the concert.) Needless to say, that put a bit of a damper on the rest of the concert: thinking of what might have been… but my friend and I still enjoyed it.
How many of us know in our heads we have full access to the throne of God, but forget to live it out? We have access to the King of kings and Lord of lords! The Israelites lived with a veil over their hearts, but through the blood of Jesus we who believe have had that veil torn away and now live reflecting the glory of God with His Spirit living inside us (2 Corinthians 3:13-18).
In Hebrews 10:19-22 Paul encourages believers to draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. We need to live each day taking full advantage of our access to the King of kings! His power knows no equal; His might no limit. And we have His incomparably great power living in us to live each day victoriously and for the glory of our God (Ephesians 1:18-20).
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“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2-4 NLT
In Arizona, under a three acre glass dome, scientists tried to re-construct Earth’s ecosystem. Windless, scientists were quite surprised when trees suddenly started falling over, collapsing under their own weight. These scientists discovered wind actually plays a vital role in a plant’s life. The stress of the wind causes trees to grow what is known as “stress wood,” which helps the tree to complete maturity to live a long, healthy life. (Anupum Pant, “A Role of Wind in a Tree’s Life,” Awesci Science Everyday, accessed February 21, 2017, http://www.awesci.com/the-role-of-wind-in-a-trees-life/)
James commands us to rejoice in trails because they make our faith mature and complete. The disciples witnessed one of Jesus’ coolest miracles when they were in the midst of gale force winds on the Sea of Galilee. Mark 4:35-41 tells us that Jesus rebuked the wind and waves commanding them to “Be still!”. The disciples were witnesses to the wind and waves obeying Jesus! Just as Jesus has power over the wind and waves, so too He has power over any storm in your life.
Living life in a protective bubble might sound ideal, but I submit to you we would miss some of God’s mightiest works in our lives if we did live in a bubble. With this in mind, I encourage you to trust and praise Him in your storms of life. He is faithful.
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