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Monday, March 2, 2009

The Hardest Thing in the World for a Christian

The hardest thing that Christians should do is having a devotional time each day. It doesn't take much time. It doesn't take any money other than the purchase of a Bible (many churches will give you one if you ask). So why not do that which will produce the greatest positive change in your life?

Part of the reason is that we do not prepare to spend the time. We stay up very late watching programs on tv which will not have a positive affect on our lives. We get up as late as possible. We rush to work or school without a moment to spare. The time to prepare to have a devotional is the night before. That doesn't occur to us.

We busy ourselves with lots of things that don't matter and often forget those things which do. Our whole day is so full that we can't give ourselves any time to stop and meditate. We generally keep this schedule until we get sick. Then, we can meditate but it is under the influence of drugs we are taking so we can get some rest and get back in the race.

Other things seem more important at the time we need to have a morning devotional. There is something over there I must put in its place. There is a call I must make. There is an email I must respond to. These things present themselves to us right at the time we want to have a devotional.

Most Christians don't know how to have a morning devotional. They can't see any productive action produced. My method is to being by prayer. I ask God to speak to me. I, then, read scripture (usually through a book in the Bible) and write what it has said and apply it to my own life. Some times it requires an action from me. I may have to forgive someone or make a commitment to call someone or even explore the possibility of a new ministry. I then close with prayer. I am not very methodical. Many great Christians have kept prayer lists and journal from their praying. This isn't me. I just pray as people and needs enter my mind. The whole process can take anywhere from ten minutes to thirty. I try not let it go over thirty minutes because I don't want to think I can't have a devotional if I don't spend more than thirty minutes. I let the rest of the day order itself around this devotional.

Eventually, I miss a day no matter how many days or months I have gone without missing one day of having a devotional. I can't let that become a habit. I have to make a greater effort the next day.

The benefits are that I give more grace to others since I have been shown grace in my devotional. I forgive because I know I am forgiven. I grow in understanding of the events in my life as ordered rather than random acts of fate. I hear my Lord speak to me. I am changed for the better.

The need will never end. I must keep at these devotionals. A consistent devotional is the hardest thing in the world for a Christian. The effort is way beyond worth it.

Have you had your devotional today?

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