adjective | /dɪˈvəʊʃənl/
a short to passage read each day, alongside Scripture, with the aim to inspire and encourage the reader for the day ahead.
I love to start each morning with a coffee and a daily devotional. This time of year, I open our back door and settle down on the sofa to feel the warm (hopefully) morning breeze drift in, and maybe even see some sunshine poking in through the clouds (doubtful). Setting aside even ten minutes before work to spend some quiet time reading the Bible, alongside a short devotional, is the best way for me to get my head in the right mindset to face the day.
At the minute, I am making my way through ‘Bringing us to Glory’ by David Gooding. The passage for yesterday (16th June) talks about dealing with doubt as Christians, concluding with the incredible encouraging paragraph:
And you will observe on every occasion where people have doubts that our blessed Lord, instead of rejecting them, encourages them. He might chide them for having unnecessary doubts, but He always solves those doubts for them by giving them that kind of evidence that is necessary to resolve the doubt.
There are many other such excerpts (365 in fact!) that deal with personal issues whilst always bringing us back to focus on the work of Christ.
A particular favourite devotional writer of mine is Paul David Tripp. As Christians, we should be reliving the joy of our Salvation each day, and that is what ’40 Days of Faith’ aims to do – helping the reader to experience daily the life-giving message of the gospel. What an incredible way to start each day! The first excerpt says this:
Faith is a deep-seated belief in the existence of God that radically alters the way you live your life. Now, here’s the rub. Faith isn’t natural for us. Biblical faith is counterintuitive and countercultural. So we even need God’s grace to have faith to believe in the existence of the one whose grace we so desperately need. And the grace is yours for the asking again today.
If your mornings are hectic, and you only get five minutes to yourself before the day is in full swing, then I would recommend picking up ‘Soul Fuel’ by one of the world’s best-known adventurers, Bear Grylls. Using personal and honest stories of his most daring expeditions, Bear shows us how we can face each day with peace, purpose and power. Consider this:
The words of Jesus remain the most powerful words ever uttered. In fact, whatever your faith, the teaching of Jesus is widely acknowledged to be the greatest teaching of all time. For all our advances in science and technology, no one in the last two thousand years has ever improved on the love-centred teaching of Christ.
As a bonus for those busy morning, each day's nourishment is packed into approximately half a page!
Think of the incredible pioneers of the Christian faith that have gone before us. Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, Catherine Parr, Martin Luther… I’m sure you recognise at least one of those names. Have you ever wondered what they have to say about the faith, and the person, that they dedicated their lives to? ‘An Ocean of Grace’ by Tim Chester is a treasure trove of time-tested words that still have the power to inspire and encourage. These words will truly stick with you as you meet whatever is in store for you each day. Martin Luther, the man who had the courage to spark the Protestant Revolution, and change Christianity forever, said these words:When your heart is established in Christ in this way, and you are an enemy of sin (out of love rather than out of fear of punishment), only then should Christ’s sufferings also be an example for your life. Then you should meditate on his sufferings in a different way. So far we have considered Christ’s Passion as a work of Christ that we receive; now we may consider it as a work that we should imitate. For example, if a day of sickness weighs you down, Think how trifling that is compared with the nails of Christ. If you must do something that is distasteful to you, think how Christ suffered for your sake.
I hope that one of these books will be helpful to you and encourage you in your Christian walk each day.
‘Any strength I have tends to come from the quiet moments at the start of my day, when I am on my own, taking time to be still before God.’ – Bear Grylls