I have conversations with many of you about where to start in your Christian faith. Maybe you’re a new believer or God has given you a renewed hunger for more of Him. Guys, you people are my favorite!!
So, today, I’m reflecting on my beginning. Let’s journey back to the baby steps of my faith. As Paul would say, back to the days when I was only drinking milk.
I have had to feed you with milk and not with solid food because you couldn’t digest anything stronger. And even now you still have to be fed on milk. (I Corinthians 3:2 - TLB)
I became a Christian at seven years old. I know that seems too young for many of you, but I believe God moved right in and started making life changes in my heart. My spiritual ears were opened and I started understanding the words of the sermons on Sundays. I remember times of counsel I received from the Holy Spirit. I’ve never doubted that my conversion experience at that young age started my life-long sanctification.
That being said, I didn’t start out by grabbing a Bible and my favorite commentary to dissect passages from Revelation. I certainly couldn’t comprehend Song of Solomon. Passages here still make me blush.
I relied heavily on daily devotionals as an early believer. Actually, it’s a practice I still benefit from today. Each day, I spend a few moments reading Scripture from God’s Word, reflecting on its truths and discovering what application God has for me.
Therein lies the ingredients of a proper devotional.
Growing up, I attended a small church in the country. They ordered copies of Guideposts Magazine and other materials from this organization. They were some of my first tastes of a quiet time of devotion with my Savior.
I attended Youth For Christ events as a teenager. They offered a monthly devotional booklet. For the first time, I combined my writing skills with my love for devotions and got a few of my own thoughts published in their monthly guide. I still have them somewhere I think.
As I grew in my faith, devotionals remained precious to me. I loved finding I had brothers and sisters out there who shared my joys and struggles. I moved around a lot after high school. It would be years before God would settle me here. These devotionals kept me grounded in my faith even when I attended churches where I didn’t know a single person.
It was as if God kept an empty chair with my name on it every single day.
Now, I have a seven-year old daughter. That tender age when I first accepted Jesus as my very own. I see she’s developing her own relationship with Him as well. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I bought her some devotional material. Every morning before school, while she’s eating her breakfast, we read a page out of her own book. It gives her a taste of what the Lord would have for her that day. Of course, I’m still gleaning lessons from the reflective thoughts as well. At night, our bedtime stories are of a devotional nature too.
A few weeks ago, a friend shared that her tween is really starting to develop a mouth. In our house, we’re not there quite yet, but I offered up this advice. I encouraged my friend to get a devotional they could do together. It rights our focus. It guides our conversations into matters of the heart. It gives us a hunger for God’s Word. I could go on and on.
Of all the things I hold dear in the development of my faith, a daily devotional would definitely sit near the top of the list.
If you’re new to this Spiritual discipline stuff, might I encourage you to start with a few minutes in God’s Word through a daily devotional? Maybe you’d even feel comfortable starting with something from the folks at Guideposts, like I did all those years ago.
Here’s Daily Guideposts 2016: “A Spirit-Lifting Devotional. Each day, you’ll start out with a Bible verse. Then a simple application story, somewhere around five paragraphs in length. A written prayer from various writers. Finally, on the days you have a few extra moments, it includes passages of Scripture you could use to dig deeper.
Keeping with the tradition of giving for the holidays, I’m giving away two copies of this book here! You can enter below.
Do you feel like your days start in a flurry hurry? At the end of the day, does your spirit need some words of truth to settle your mind for a good night’s sleep. Would it help you get through the work day if you fed your soul with God’s Word over your lunch hour?
I encourage you to create some space for a daily devotional. Know that every time you do, millions of other believers all around the world are joining you.
I'm pleased to be partnering with Family Christian on this post and giveaway.