Dodging Daily Devotions
something that some of us groan at,
something that some of us feel like a failure at,
something that some of us don’t want to think about, because it’s another thing to-do in our day,
something that some of us are a little lost at or maybe don’t know where to start,
something that some of us thrive at.
As praying is our only way to come to Him, our devotions is our only way to learn more about Him. This makes daily devotions a necessity. Each person alive is called into a relationship with Jesus. For those that accept the call: the only way to be in a relationship and draw closer – is daily devotions. We cannot keep making excuses and shoving devotional time into the proverbial “tomorrow.” Now is our time to start!
What kind of devotions do you do? How consistent are you with your devotional time?
The kind of devotions I’m doing and my consistency has been a huge challenge for me! I love to read amazing devotional books: like “Out of the Spin Cycle” by: Jen Hatmaker I can keep going and going and going reading these amazing books written by great authors. Problems being = that the ONLY time I’ve been reading my Bible is = Sunday morning sermon service.
Noticing this pattern in my life and fixing this problem is still a work in progress but now that I am aware that this is happening to me, it’s my goal to do more Bible reading and less devotional reading. It’s so hard to change a habit though! Right?!
4 Things to do to Stop Dodging Daily Bible Reading:
- 1) Put down the devotional and pick up the Bible.
- I know easier said then done. But shelf the devotional book for a while if you find you are NEVER reading any scripture. Or do you have a good devotional book that has scripture written right into it? Keep going! Find or buy a Bible that is just yours, just for this purpose. Do you need a pen and journal to write down your thoughts as you read? Make sure you are supplied and ready to go!
- 2) Make it a goal to open the Bible.
- Sometimes the action of starting is the hardest, but START! Commit to reading just 1 verse of the Bible each day. Start in one of your favorite Books of the Bible (Psalms?! Romans?!) grab a bookmark and read 1 verse. You CAN do that. Slowly increase your time to add more and more verses each day or week. Having a hard day? Having a rushed morning – finding it difficult to fit in devotions? DON’T panic just slide back to 1 verse for that hard day. Just don’t give up the practice of cracking the Bible cover open.
- 3) Mental shift.
- As you go about your day to day work; the bible passages that you read are in the mind reel of your brain. Examples of: love your enemies, pray for those that persecute you, don`t love only the easy people. Etc. These ideas about persecution and loving your enemies is not for some far off country, but applicable to our lives today. How do I love my child at this moment when they are so hard to love? When daily Bible reading, there are these words of biblical truth in your and mind; as your answer. There are examples after examples of Jesus’s love for people in the Bible. As we change a little bit of our thinking, it will change our choices, and reactions. By opening our Bibles, we are, in effect, – changing our lives by making this “small” mental shift.
- 4) Diving into daily Bible reading.
- Do you have to do read the Bible every single day? Take a deep breath. NO! You don’t have to do it every single day. You have to determine what is best and works for you. BUT the reality is that we all live our days in a pattern and routine that becomes a habit for us. Will periodic weekly devotions slip into periodic monthly devotions for you? I know that if I don’t do most things in a repetitive daily motion then I just forget about it and it slips down the priority list. Maybe you decide to do a devotional reading and Bible reading on alternating days. Maybe you pick every-other day. Maybe you pick daily. Main point is DON”T FORGET YOUR BIBLE READING!
For myself, I would start my day, hitting the ground running. Not until the day was done did I remember I had forgotten to do my Bible reading. Then I would feel guilty, but the next busy day this cycle would start again. I’m not anymore busy than anyone else, but I was caught in this cycle of no Bible reading!
I knew I had to start reading the Bible again. Starting something can be so hard and feel like such a chore. Yes! Including Bible reading. I’m thinking of my to-do list, or “How does this passage even apply to my life?” At first I was very disgruntled to do my daily Bible reading but ask any seasoned devotionaler and they would tell you to stick with it and soon you’ll be dreading the days that you don’t get a chance to do your daily Bible reading. I do skip Sunday morning devotions, going to church worship instead, and giving the personal daily Bible readings a day off.
What time of the day should you do daily Bible reading? What works for you?
You will succeed in your daily Bible reading if you choose a consistent time of day carefully. If you are careful in picking a time of the day that your mind and heart are quieter and more ready to receive and being open to the words that you read. All the better for you, because you will enjoy, and understand the Bible so much more than a rushed 5 mins at the end of the day.(for example)
Pre-kids I used to do Bible reading before bed finding it a wonderful way to finish off the day with thoughts, and truths of Bible rolling around my heart and head. I could let the cares of the day fall off my shoulders. Now that I’ve 4 little ones, I barely have a coherent thought before I fall asleep. So for this season of my life I need to do my Bible reading first thing in the morning (well actually second, because coffee comes 1st!!!) Most of the time the house is still quiet. I can read for 5 to 10 mins without being interrupted (and if I am interrupted I say “I can’t right this minute I’m finishing up my devotions. Hold on please.”
What season are you in?
I love morning Bible reading because you are fresh. Your mind feels (mostly) like a clean slate. When I was younger I would start my day watching a movie and that movie’s story line would be with me for the rest of my day. I would remember times that I would randomly have a piece of the story pop into my head making me think more about the movie. Now translate that into Bible reading, and biblical truths popping up randomly in the middle of my day!!!!! Excellent!
Middle of the Day:
Maybe you have a moment that is quiet and perfect during your lunch break. Maybe you have an audio version of the Bible to listen to on your drive to work. What time of day are you quiet and by yourself? Bathroom breaks count too, Busy Mom! Whatever it takes!
This can be the perfect book end for your day. If evening Bible readings are for you, what a great way to fall asleep, (sometime literally) on scripture. With thoughts of Jesus caring about your life in detail – in your mind as you sleep. You will probably wake up with biblical truth still in your mind. (If not then leave your bible open on your night stand and reread your passage from the night before as a quick refresher)
Disclaimers About Daily Bible Readings;
You will not receive MORE grace from God if you do MORE daily Bible reading.
You will not receive MORE forgiveness of sins from God if you do MORE daily Bible reading.
You will not be crowned prefect Christian of the year if you do MORE daily Bible reading. That is not WHY we do daily Bible reading.
Daily Bible reading is NOT a checklist for Christians. Gold star for you! You finished for the day!
If we don’t do our devotions it is NOT marked down as a failure in God’s big book somewhere either.
Daily Bible reading is an ACTION for YOU and I so that we can literally take pieces of the Bible and apply it to our lives, minds and hearts. Ultimately changing what we do, say, and think to the truths within God’s Word. By doing so, we are in-effect, drawing ourselves deeper and closer into a relationship with Jesus, as we learn more and more about him. Which is what he is ultimately calling us to do. This is WHY we do daily devotions! We cannot do TRUE daily Bible reading, and NOT be changed. It’s not possible…but…
… So many times I fall into the trap of failure thinking, when I forget to do my daily Bible reading.
Or responsiblity thinking, when I want to check daily Bible reading off my do-to list.
Or I imagine this disappointed father-firgure that will find it a little harder to love me now because TODAY I didn’t do my daily Bible reading.
It’s not outright negative thinking … but there are these subconscious almost secret lies that sit in this tiny protected corner of my heart, that I believe.
But they are lies.
The ONLY purpose of daily Bible reading is for our benefit to draw us more closer to Him! Hold onto that truth today and be encouraged that daily Bible reading is: a beautiful gift… not a to-do list!
Did you get a chance to do your daily Bible reading today?
By: Sharon Schuler
Busy Mom Song for you: that JUST about sums up this blog post “When the Crazy Kicks In” by: Francesca Battistelli