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Seeing Devotional Time as Essential

 
Alistair Begg | November 2nd 2021

This article is adapted from the introduction of Truth For Life: 365 Daily Devotions by Alistair Begg. Each day includes prompts to apply what you’ve read, a related Bible text to enjoy, and a plan for reading through the whole of the Scriptures in a year. The hardback cover and ribbon marker make this a wonderful gift.

God’s word is a glorious gift. Our Father has given it to us in order that we might know His Son and that we might live in the power of His Spirit, in obedience to His truth.

It is worth pausing to consider this reality: when we read the Bible, we’re dealing with the words of the Creator of the universe, spoken to His creation. It is impossible for us to understand ourselves, our world, or anything else without His word.

It is impossible for us to understand ourselves, our world, or anything else without His word.

As we read a newspaper, as we try to make sense of our society, and as we look to our history and to our future, it is the Bible we need if we are to get a handle on it all. God’s word is the truth that you and I need to navigate every day of this life, and to point us to the one in whom we find the life that really is life.

The Devotional You Choose Matters

By far the most important words on each page are the ones from God’s word. Those are the words of the living, reigning, eternal God. In Truth For Life: 365 Daily Devotions, my aim is simply to explain God’s divinely inspired words, to encourage you from them, and to reflect on how they inspire and equip us to enjoy living for Christ in every area of our lives.

God’s word says of itself that it is able to “make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” and that these God-breathed words are “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

TIme In God’s Word Is Essential

Devotions are important to have daily because man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). That is, God’s word sustains us each day and is as necessary to our spiritual health as food is to our physical health.

On some days you may find reading God’s word a delight, and on other days it may be done more out of duty, but every day it is essential. Think of it like exercise. If you’re a runner, there are times when you’re running around the track and it feels amazing; and there are others when it feels like an effort and you need to push on and push through.

On some days you may find reading God’s word a delight, and on other days it may be done more out of duty, but every day it is essential.

Most of us will not tumble out of our beds each morning thinking how fantastic our time in God’s word is going to be. If we approach the Scriptures thinking that we need to be stirred as we read them, or that we ought to “get a blessing” whenever we open them, then we will either be intermittent or disappointed Bible readers.

There will be times of delight and excitement and feeling something as you read and meditate on God’s word—but do not worry if those times do not come every day, or even most days. Make a commitment to turn to the Bible every day (and if you realize you have fallen out of the habit of doing so, simply jump back in), for God’s word is living and active, and it will be going to work in you in ways far deeper and more profound than your feelings can intuit.

Your Devotions Should Affect Your Life

The Scriptures will—or they should—make a difference to our minds, to our hearts, and to our lives. At the bottom of each devotion in Truth For Life: 365 Daily Devotions, you see three icons to help with application, for example. These are a prompt to say to yourself, “now that I have read and considered these verses…

• How is God calling me to think differently?

• How is God reordering my heart’s affections—what I love?

• What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?”

It may be that God’s word does not speak to all three of those areas each day; but learning to ask yourself these questions will ensure that you are open to what God’s Spirit may be saying about your mind, heart, and life. And they will be helpful prompts to pray in response to what you have read, too.

Let Devotions Be a Launching Point

Beside the icons in Truth For Life: 365 Daily Devotions, you will see a passage that is linked in some way to what we have been considering; if you have time, turn up that passage and enjoy going deeper into God’s word.

I have also found it very profitable to read through the whole of the Scriptures from start to finish in a year, and so, at the very foot of each page, you’ll see a Bible-reading plan that enables you to do just that.

God’s words are the words that we need. And so I am praying for you: that going to God’s word daily through your devotions would be life-changing for you, God’s beloved child, as His Spirit works through His word to show you His Son. Why not make that your prayer too?

Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher at Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world. He graduated from theological college in London and served two churches in Scotland before moving to Ohio. He is married to Susan and together they have three grown children.

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