Note: Posted by Pastor Dan on behalf of Pastor Pat
Question: What are some good resources or guidelines for personal devotions? Is there a particular method I should follow to get the most out of my devotions? I just feel like my devotions could be more vibrant.
A) Is there a particular method I should follow to get the most out of my devotions?
There is no secret formula to a devotional time. The most important point is to actually do them. Often times it may simply be a “one foot in front of the other” type experience; nonetheless, it’s imperative that we make the time to fill our minds and hearts with God’s Truth. Eventually, with the Word of God dwelling richly in you and His beauty becoming more and more apparent, your devotional time will become more vibrant.
There are two key components to a devotional time. First and foremost, it must involve God’s Word. You must have a plan as to what it is you will read, study, and meditate on. A plan is critical- wether it is following a yearly reading plan, reading a particular book repeatedly each day (for shorter ones) or each week (for longer ones), etc. It is very unwise and foolish to simply “open” up the Bible and start reading there. That isn’t done when reading novels or even comic strips so it should not be done when reading God’s Word either. Read the Bible in an attempt to understand whom it was written to and why, trying to glean what the passage teaches about God and His characteristics and what it is teaching about man.
The other key component to a devotional time is prayer. It is wise to have a plan here as well. Each time you should ask the Spirit to illuminate God’s Word to you, to fill your heart with a passion for God and His beauty, and for understanding. Then, on certain days of the week pray for different groups of people and for their requests. Don’t think that you have to pray for each person that has asked for prayer each and every day. Have an urgent list for those requests that reach that threshold and then a daily/weekly/ alternating plan for the balance of the items you wish to pray for.
B) What are some good resources or guidelines for personal devotions?
–Yearly Bible Reading Plan -many different options
–For the Love of God, Volume 1 – Yearly reading plan with commentary from DA Carson
–A Shelter in the Time of Storm Meditations on Psalm 27 – by Paul David Tripp
–Table Talk – The monthly devotional magazine of Ligionier Ministries