Doing a better daily devotional

By: George Bannister
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Are you spending time with God every day consistently (i.e daily devotional time)? How long do you normally spend your time with God? Though it is not the matter of quantity itself, it still shows how serious you are in spending time with Him. For example, if you only spend 2-3 minutes everyday for your daily devotions, then it is at an alarming stage (especially if you have already been a Christian for years).

If you are longing to have a better daily devotional time with God (i.e consistent, longer, and deeper), these tips may help you out. They are not the “must-do steps”, of course, because each person may have different methods or preferences in a sense. So, feel free to share yours as well in the comments section below.

First of all, let’s do a bit of practice with a real daily devotion. For example, use this daily devotion at Insight.org as your daily devotional for today: How do I know God’s will, using the same “methods” that you normally do during your devotions.

Rather than just skimming it through and closing it with prayers (you do remember to pray before you start too, right?), you can also ponder and ask these kind of questions:

Q) What sort of reflection questions that I can ask myself today from this daily devotional?
Example: How often do I seek for God’s will in my day-to-day life? Am I sexually immoral? (my eyes, mouth, thoughts?).

(write your own other reflection questions here)

Q) Which verses or sentences from the author struck me the most while I was reading this daily devotional? (God speaks differently to each of us)

Q) How often have God pointed this particular sin to me so far? Have I confessed it to God and made an effort to change?

Q) What can I pray about from today’s daily devotional and what commitment do I want to take?

These are some of the basic questions that you should ask yourselves every time you do your daily devotions with God.

(Make sure you finish your daily devotion before reading the rest of my post)

Now, let me ask you these questions to point whether you were rushing things out, or having a proper daily devotion:

– Did you open your Bible and actually read the main passage of this daily devotional (Philippians 2:12-13)?

– Did you use more than 1 translation while reading the passage? They often give a better insight and deeper meaning.

– Did you open the Bible and read the other passages mentioned in the daily devotional? If you didn’t, then you were rushing. Don’t you want to find out what God’s Words are exactly (rather than relying on the author’s explanation – which can be wrong or out of context)?

– Did you read 1Corithians 7? If you tried, said “Whoa, that’s a long verse!”, and changed your mind, then you were rushing (obviously).

– Did you read the whole devotional slowly? Did you re-read it? How many times did you read the main passage?

We are told to ruminate on God’s Words. So, reading a passage once doesn’t sound like a rumination at all. What if I ask you to share what your daily devotional a day ago was all about. Will you be able to remember it? If you ruminate the Words of God slowly, you should be able to.

– Did you pause and take some moments to ponder about today’s daily devotional? Or did you run through the whole thing and close it with a prayer as soon as you reach the final sentence? It’s good to be still and let God speak to you, before you run off.

Sometimes you may feel that you don’t get anything out of today’s devotion. For example, a devotional may talk about handling a suicidal feeling that doesn’t really affect you. When this happens, do you normally just close it for the day and put a “tick” to your “must-do-daily-devotion-today box”?. My advice is to pick another daily devotional from somewhere else for the day. Or, you can try reading the whole chapter of the main passage and do a Bible study of your own. After all, our source should always be the Bible itself, not someone else’s, right?

– Did you find that God spoke to you differently and not necessarily about the main topic of today’s daily devotional? That is okay too.

I hope this article helps you out somewhat. It’s important not to rush your devotions so you can grow better in Him. It is also important to have a commitment and dedication to never skip your daily devotional with God.

Spending time with God is the most basic, yet one of the hardest commitments to do as a Christian. It is a shame if you are serving Him right now or worse, being pointed as a leader in the church, yet you don’t spend enough time with God. I’m pointing the finger at myself as well here.

Let’s have a commitment today, right here, right now. Have a better quality time with God. And have it consistently. You’ll be more in-tune with God. You’ll be closer to Him.

PS: Other suggestions to improve the quality of daily devotional involve singing songs, memorising verses of the day, or writing notes to improve your daily devotion quality. There are surely other tips too but you can start slowly by not skipping your daily devotion and not rushing through! The rest will naturally follow once you move from the mentality of “I have to do my daily devotion today” into “I’m looking forward to my daily devotion today”!

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Michael Aulia is a Christian blogger who lives in Australia. He is the owner of WriteForGod.com and also CravingTech.com

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