Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? It’s over half way through the month of January, and most who made New Year’s Resolutions are either still going strong or have already forgotten about them. Out of any resolutions that are worth carrying out this year, spiritual resolutions are excellent ones to put at the top of the list. Want to hear the good news? It doesn’t have to be January 1 to begin something new. If you’ve never had an established daily devotional time, the idea may be overwhelming. I’m a youth minister’s wife, and I’ve heard about every excuse under the sun from teenagers regarding the reasoning behind a lack of personal time with God.
“I don’t know where to begin.”
“I don’t understand the Bible.”
“I can’t get up that early.”
“I am too tired at the end of the day.”
As adults, we often have similar excuses that are packaged in grown-up wrappings. Between work, family, kids, and household responsibilities, the addition of something else to the plate may seem impossible. But for anyone who has been on any kind of faith journey for any amount of time, I don’t have to reiterate how important that devotional time is. The key is to just get serious and get started. Mama always said. “People have time for what they make time for.”
There’s no time like the present to start, and today I’m sharing a few things to consider to make starting a devotional time seem less daunting.
1) Choose a daily time that fits best in your schedule. I know lots of people who believe in starting the day with devotional time. That sounds great, but if you’re morning is already crazy and you wake up at 5 am just to get yourself and the kids out the door in time, then the morning may not be the best time. Any time of the day is great, as long as it works for you.
2) Pick a quiet spot. No matter how great you may be at multi-tasking, devotional time isn’t the best for showcasing your mad multi-tasking skills. Try your best to steal away by yourself. But I’m a realist- I know that may not always be possible. There are some days that I don’t even get to go to the bathroom by myself. If you have small kids (like I do!), make the time a family quiet time where they can sit and look at books, as well.
3) Put the cell phone and tablet away. This doesn’t just fall into the category of no distractions, but I’m old school when it comes to using an actual, page turning Bible. As a youth minister’s wife, I see teens who have no idea where anything is at in the Bible anymore because they always use a Bible app. Use devotional time to reacquaint yourself with the Bible.
4) Try journaling your daily time. I have several friends who rave about the journaling Bibles. I have a journaling Bible on my wish list, but I haven’t tried one first hand. If you don’t want to splurge for a special Bible, a notebook should do. All you really need is a space to jot down your thoughts from your devotions.
5) Have more than one devotional on hand. If you’re familiar with devotional books, then you know that they are not all created equal. Some are short and sweet while other are in-depth. There are days where my brain is overwhelmingly full and I can’t handle anything heavy. Then there are other times when I’m ready to go deep and study for a bit. Minimize the chance of “I don’t feel like reading” excuses with at least a few options.
My absolutely favorite devotional of all time is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I’ve read the devotional from cover to cover multiple times over. Written as if Jesus is speaking to you, the devotional offers encouragement and peace for every day.
Each day, the passage is complete with Bible verses that correlate to the day’s reading. I’m amazed at how I get something different out of the devotionals every time that I read it. The wonderful thing about Jesus Calling is that what speaks to me from the devotionals is based on what I’m currently experiencing.
Jesus Calling is my go-to devotional to give out to friends who have never experienced a daily devotional. And now I want to share it with you! Family Christian is giving one lucky reader a copy of Jesus Calling.
The prize will be shipped from the awesome folks at Family Christian. The giveaway is open to US residents. The giveaway is open through 1/26/15. Use the below Rafflecopter form to enter to win!