Author | Ruth Walya Munene
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Every Christian needs to spend quiet time with God to enrich their relationship with Him. A quiet time is a regular individual session spent with God. Different words have been used by people to represent quiet time. These include devotional time, Bible study time, prayer time, heart-to-heart time, or one-on-one time with the Creator. During devotion time, one will pray, read the Bible, read a daily devotional or Bible study guide. One will also reflect on their relationship with God, sing songs of praise and worship and meditate. You can also write in a journal or engage in any other activity that focuses on building intimacy with God.
Examples from the Bible of those who had devotion times
Jesus constantly withdrew to a quiet, isolated place to meet with His Father (Mark 1:35; Matthew 14:13; John 6:15). Daniel habitually set aside time three times a day to talk to God and listen to Him (Daniel 6:10). King David continually said in the book of Psalms that he spent time alone with God in the morning and evening. The Apostle Paul also highlights several occasions where he spent time speaking to God. These examples (among others) in the Bible emphasize the need for every Christian to have a quiet time with God. When we set time aside to truly connect with our God and Creator, it allows us to work with Him to see transformation and spiritual growth in our lives.
Devotionals are available in bookstores today
Many devotional books usually referred to as devotionals are available in shops today. These books contain directed Bible studies, often incorporating stories or personal experiences that convey biblical principles. They borrow the aspect of parables as utilized by Jesus in His ministry. Depending on the author, some devotionals have themes based on specific aspects of the Christian journey. Examples include prayer, worship, spiritual growth of new believers, specific Bible characters, and specific biblical virtues, among others. Most Christian bookstores have a complete section for these books. You can also find them in secular bookstores, often put in the “inspirational” section.
A devotional should not replace the Bible in our quiet time with God
As an author of a daily devotional titled Precious Jewels of Inspiration Volume 1, I would like to emphasize that a devotional should not replace the Bible in our quiet time with God. It should enrich our time with Him. As you choose your devotional from the many available in the market, ensure that you use discernment. The Bible says that false gospels and unhelpful teachings exist that do not take us deeper into the Bible. Instead, they cause us to wander away from the truth (Galatians 1:6-10).
Get to know more about the author. Is the author a true believer? Is their Christian walk exemplary? Establish that it is built on the Word of God. Is the content biblically sound? It should speak about the one and only true God and not religion. Ensure it daily points you to Jesus and His saving power, the mission of God, and addresses your spiritual needs.
With this in mind, let me share a few ways we can benefit from adding a devotional into our daily quiet time and walk with God.
Devotionals help us approach the Bible in an exceedingly fresh way
It is possible that once in a while, our zeal for reading the Bible will wane. We constantly fight distractions, laziness, selfishness, and a lack of time as far as reading the Bible is concerned. These struggles mean that we will have days when reading the Bible seems more of a chore than a delight. During such times, a compelling, truth-filled devotional can lift us out of those negative aspects. Thanks to the way devotionals are written, they provide enthusiasm for studying the Word of God and encourage us to stay on track with our daily quiet time.
Devotionals deepen our understanding of biblical truths
Devotionals clarify our understanding of what certain passages, books, or accounts from the Bible mean. God will use the teaching gift that He has endowed bible-based authors to light up and clarify biblical truths, and ultimately point us back to the Bible. It is important to keep in mind that devotionals are Bible companions and not Bible replacements. They help us receive fresh insights concerning the Word of God.
Devotionals help us to apply biblical truths in a personal way
The Holy Spirit can use devotionals to guide our hearts as we apply God’s Word in a very personal way. Sometimes it is difficult to fully grasp what the Spirit is teaching through the bible-based authors and we may struggle to understand how to apply God’s truth in our lives. A devotional deeply rooted in the Word of God can help unpack the Word through illustrations and meditative questions that compel us to think more deeply about what we are reading.
God can use devotionals to reveal our Rhema word
A Rhema word is a specific and personalized word to us from God revealed through the Holy Spirit. There are moments in the Christian walk that we will receive such a word from our heavenly Father. The author of the devotional may have his or her interpretation of the Word of God, but God can give you a totally different one to suit your specific need. This has always been my desire, that every time I use a devotional the Lord will reveal a specific word to me.
Devotionals are a priceless gift to family and friends
I cannot overemphasize this! If you are looking for a special gift for a loved one, a devotional will be a perfect and priceless gift.
Devotionals allow us to remain in fellowship with our Father all-day
You can carry around a devotional all day with ease, and you can read it from anywhere at any time. I enjoy carrying one to continually keep in fellowship with my heavenly Father and meditate on His Word all day in practical ways.
What inspired me to write a daily devotional?
My God-given S.H.A.P.E inspires my inspirational writing. The term S.H.A.P.E was developed by Rick Warren in his bestselling book, Purpose Driven Life. This acronym stands for; Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Aptitude/Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. It describes the five specific characteristics of who each one of us is.
My desperation for a word of encouragement during the peak of COVID–19 in 2020 pushed me into writing my first devotional book titled Precious Jewels of Inspiration Volume 1. I was sick for several days, and on one particular day, I earnestly yearned for a word of encouragement from someone, but it was not forthcoming. Reading the Bible was quite difficult, and my immediate need was to receive practical words of encouragement. As I lay in bed crying out to God and telling Him how I only wanted to hear someone tell me I will live and not die, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, “I have given you the gift of encouragement; arise and share words of encouragement from the Lord to the world. As I direct your writing, I will be speaking to you too, and your heart will be healed.”
I always had the gift of encouragement
I had always known that I have the gift of encouragement, and before the COVID–19 pandemic, I had begun writing an inspirational book, though sluggishly because I saw many obstacles ahead of me. But when the Lord spoke to me, I knew I had to act.
I realized God had already paved the way for the writing of the devotional book. This is because earlier in March, when I was looking for an opportunity to encourage others in the difficult COVID-19 pandemic season, hebrews12mininstries.com allowed me to voluntarily write devotionals for them. This built my confidence in writing and sharpened my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit on what the Lord wanted me to share every time I wrote a devotional. I had to continually ask the Lord to help me write each devotional in a way that will speak not only to me but to the readers of the daily devotions.
As an encourager, I write messages of hope, comfort, encouragement, rebuking in love, and a call to holiness with practical application of the Word of God. I have a lot to learn from this writing journey and I am grateful to God for leading me to Josephine of WordPower Publishing Kenya who eased my fears on publishing and continues to walk with me in my writing journey. This is a journey I have just begun and I know by God’s grace I will keep sharing His words of hope and encouragement to the world.