As we begin the new year, we have a clean slate. Most people make New Years Resolutions. However, those resolutions often go to the waste side around the third week of January. Tonight, as we begin our Back to the Basics series, I am going to challenge You to start the year off by doing some basic things in Your life that the church doesn’t often explain but most Christians expect You to know.
We are going to first start by defining what is a devotional?
I like how blogger Kaitlin Lubben puts it: “A daily devotional provides a reading for every day of the year. They have a format, purpose, and provide a time for daily prayer and meditation.”
There are many different formats to a daily devotional. The main thing I’d recommend when You are trying to find one that fits Your life is that it must have a scripture in it. Why is that? Because You must get the Word of God in Your mind and Spirit everyday.
Scripture should be the utmost importance in Your life.God has given us the greatest love letter of mankind. This letter is what I call the Bible. In its’ 66 books, You can find an overall theme – how much He loves each one of us!In every situation in Your life that You come up against – I guarantee You that God gives us the answer to it! For example: If You are dealing with temptation, You can hold on to 1 Corinthians 10:13.
The Bible states, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Even King Solomon said this in Ecclesiastes 1:9,
“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.”
Why should we have a daily devotional?
A daily devotion will bring You closer to God, renew Your mind and help You deal with the stresses that life often brings Your way.
Why should we incorporate scripture memorization in our daily devotions?
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote, “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization” (“Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person”)
Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life)
Romans 1:17. “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.
Sin is running rampant, everywhere You look. Billboards, Television Ads, Internet Sites, You name it, we are constantly being bombarded with temptations. Like I stated a few minutes ago, there is nothing new under the sun.
The Psalmist David wrote in Psalm 119:9-11: “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you — don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Not only does the Word of God help You personally, it will also help those whom God puts in Your path.