Welcome to Mommies with Hope

Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Your Questions...His Word (post 5) AND a Giveaway!

Moving on to a lighter note in our series, Your Questions...His Word, we will tackle another question/topic that was brought to light at last month's hope meeting. Someone asked:

How do I do devotions? Where can I find them?

This is a great question! I will give a few ideas and provide some links to some online devotions, but I would encourage others of you who regularly do devotions to chime in in the comments section and provide your insight! The more resources and ideas we have, the better!

To start, I'd like to share a quote with you from a small, daily calendar I keep in my bathroom. Each night, I flip the page over to the next day, which has the date and word of encouragement, or a bible verse, etc. Interestingly, as I flipped the page tonight and peeked ahead at tomorrow's piece of encouragement (I like to do it the night before so I don't forget!) and here is what it said...

"Begin every day spending time alone with God. Keep Him as your premier business partner. Cultivate a life of prayer and consistent spiritual devotion."
August 19

How very fitting for the topic of our discussion today!

Now, let's consider what devotions are and the importance of doing them. From my perspective, devotions is a pretty general word that basically encompasses our quiet time with the Lord, in His Word. This is a time that we should set aside each day to draw near to Him. Think about the word itself: devotion. What meaning does that convey in your own heart and mind? Never mind how we are using this word, but just think of at it's very core. Devotion.

According to dictionary.com, the word devotion can be defined in the following ways:

1. profound dedication; consecration
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. an assignment or appropriation to any cause, person, etc.
4. often, devotions. Ecclesiastical. religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use.

The devotions that we are referring to in this post would fall under definition number four. We are talking about our quiet time with the Lord, that may include prayer and worship as we seek to learn more about Him and His Word. While doing devotions require action, we must make a conscious choice to do them with devotion (definition number one)! Admittedly, it takes discipline to be in the Word daily, but I promise you that it is time well spent. I was so encouraged (and convicted) by the quote I shared above, as it succinctly stated "Begin every day spending time alone with God." Begin. Every. Day. That's a challenge we should all rise up to meet and I will be the first to admit that this can sometimes be a struggle, particularly to begin every day spending time alone with God.

If devotions are a new concept for you, this may seem overwhelming and you may wonder where to start. Don't fret, friend! Let's not worry about every day right now. Rather, let's look at this day. Today. And when tomorrow comes, keep that same perspective. This notion brings to mind Matthew 6:34 which states, "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

So, here are some very practical ways you can get started and/or continue with your devotions, today. I encourage you to start your quiet time in prayer. Ask God to reveal to you those things He would have you glean from His Word and that He meet you during this time that you have set aside for Him.

Below, is just a short list of websites/books/tips you can apply in your own lives as you seek to draw near to God in light of your loss.

Recommended Devotional Books:
Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenburg
(30-day devotional for women who've experienced loss)
One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie
(One Year Devotional written by a woman who's experienced loss)

Read a Psalm a Day!
Book of John ~ one chapter or small passage a day; start at the beginning and work your way through at your own pace
Look in the back of your bible or a concordance for Scriptures pertaining to topic of your interest (example: comfort, encouragement, grief, etc.)
If you don't have a bible, you can access it online! A couple of favorite websites of mine include Bible Gateway and Blue Letter Bible.

Here are just a few questions you might ask yourself in your Bible reading:
1) What message does this passage of Scripture convey to me?
2) How can I apply these verses to my current situation?
3) What truths are present through these verses?
4) What do these verses convey about God's character?

However you are led with regard to your devotion time, it is my prayer that you be blessed abundantly through your quiet time with the Lord, as I trust you will. It is such a gift to have His Word and to be able to read it and apply it to our lives. So ladies..be blessed and be devoted; today, and then the next day, and then the day after that!

I would love to hear from some of you...what tips do you have to pass along pertaining to this topic? Feel free to share any additional resources. Also, does anyone have a particular blessing or testimony to share with us, based on your devotions? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!


Anonymous said...

reading this selection really made me think about the way i talk to God but i am some what confussed about the difference between a prayer and a devotion?

Teske said...

Great question...from my perspective, I would say prayer is talking to God, pouring out our hearts to Him, expressing our thankfulness to Him, and petitioning Him with specific requests for ourselves and others. Prayer can and is definitely a part of doing devotions, which is the act spending quiet time with God (often in prayer), but also reading the Bible for oneself and seeking to learn and apply the truths of Scripture to our lives. Hope this helps and/or gives you more to think about. More to come on this topic in the next blog post, so stay tuned. :)

Shayla said...

I came to a point in life where I just wanted to read God's word, without anything else. I started with Matthew and am going through the New Testament. It is has been really fun and a good "refresher" course on all the traditional Bible Stories! Just add it to your "to do" list each day, so you don't forget to do it!:)