“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Pastor Jim Lee for “The Domain for Truth” @ https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com
The JOY of family devotions!
August 18, 2017 by SLIMJIM
This is a guest review by brother Tom. He is a friend who reads this blog and his own blog can be found here. Check it out.
Sure, it’s a great blessing to be able to attend worship services with other believers at church, but what happens in your life between services? Are you desiring the Word as you desire your daily meals? Are you seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord through daily prayer? Husbands and fathers, are you leading the members of your families to a closer walk with the Lord?
When I was a young husband and father, I assumed my family was getting enough spiritual “stuff” at church. How wrong I was! If you’re not making Christ the center of your home, ungodly influences will certainly fill the vacuum.
Our family went through some hard struggles and I even walked away from the Lord for a long “season,” but after I returned to the Lord, I understood I needed to make Christ the center of our home. Pastors often encourage families to have “daily devotions” together, but what exactly does that look like?
Three years ago, I was reading an article about a musician I had admired who had accepted Christ and he described in some detail how he and his wife had a daily devotion time of Scripture reading and prayer. I went to my wife and suggested we also have a devotion time and she gladly agreed!
Our devotion time looks something like this: We sit together and one of us reads a Bible chapter aloud and afterwards the other one prays aloud on our behalf. We alternate the next time. Sounds pretty simple, right, but there’s some detail that goes into that. What book of the Bible should you start with? We began by reading the Psalms and Proverbs and then read Genesis in the Old Testament followed by Matthew in the New Testament and then alternating between the Old and the New thereafter. But there are no rules. Depending on your family, you will want to be discerning regarding what books to read and the length of the passage. A child or a new believer will certainly be overwhelmed by reading through Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The Gospels, Psalms, and Proverbs are generally excellent starting points.
I prepare for the next day’s devotion by doing a short study of the next chapter. I read the text and use a one-volume commentary, Bible dictionary, concordance, and paraphrase Bible to get a good understanding of all of the exegetical elements that I may not be familiar with. It’s up to you how deeply you want to study the text, but it’s a good idea for you to understand the passage and to be prepared for questions from your family members. Make it an interesting time; a time of “Wow!” discovery of the eternal truths of God’s Word, not a drudgery. Your devotion time shouldn’t drag on all night but should be short and sweet! Not that I’m keeping track but we probably average around fifteen to twenty minutes.
After my wife and I read a Bible passage, we’ll often discuss how it relates to our everyday lives. The whole point of reading Scripture is not to make it a perfunctory, legalistic exercise but to allow the Holy Spirit to let it seep into our hearts and be a light unto our everyday paths. Before you begin reading any passage of the Bible, ask the Lord to teach you all that He wants you to learn from His Word.
After reading the Bible chapter, my wife and I will pray. Some believers might refer to a list of intentions in their devotions and that’s okay. But our prayers to the Lord should be mainly from the heart. It’s always a blessing to connect a learning from the Bible passage with something like the prayer that follows: “Lord, You taught us about (such and such) in your Word tonight and I ask that you help me/us to (such and such).” There is no such thing as a “bad prayer” from a child, but set an example of praise and unselfish supplication. There will be times when you and your family will be able to look back in gratefulness to answered prayer.
You and your family should be intentional about your devotion time. Other things will compete for your time and attention but make devotion time with the Lord a priority. But If you miss a scheduled devotion time, it’s not the end of the world, either. Just pick up where you left off. I keep a little journal to keep things straight.
Husbands and fathers, what an awesome and humbling privilege it is to lead our families in following the Lord and communing with Him as part of everyday life! Husbands, when you and your wife are seeking the Lord’s will together daily, your marriage will be blessed beyond measure. I can attest to that! Fathers, train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov.22:6).
Wives and mothers, perhaps it’s you in your household who the Lord is leading to take the initiative in establishing a devotion time for your family.
I hope you’ll prayerfully consider setting up a daily devotion time in your home with your family.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
P.S. (from bruce) I know a few parents that use this “Bible in a year” app to share the love of Christ with their family with devotion time… Here is the link for reading (or daily listening to) the Bible in a year (available in Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, and Simplified Chinese)…with a 10 minute commentary by teacher preacher Nicky Gumbel… https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/
Here is a day’s writing on the importance of spending daily time in the Word… https://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/audio-bible-in-a-year-with-10-minute-audio-commentary-by-teacherpreacher-nicky-gumbel-12312016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/
picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+family+devotions+bible&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJ0qH2nujVAhVLTSYKHa94AKwQsAQIew&biw=1177&bih=876#imgrc=31GnoWtvjXef6M: