What are Devotions Anyway?
Rev. Alan Northam

Acts 17:23 "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." KJV

There are many Christian bookstores across our nation and throughout the world that offers devotional books for sale, and there is nothing wrong with them. I have read many of these devotional books and am currently involved in writing such a book. Devotional books offer messages that often inspire, encourage, and lift up its readers. To be sure, these devotional messages have no doubt changed the lives of many readers. However, let us not think for a minute that reading devotional books meets the biblical example for personal devotions as set forth by the many biblical characters throughout the Bible. Devotional books have a place in our devotional life but they do not fulfill the biblical example in our devotional time with God.

In our verse today and throughout the scriptures we find that devotions are a form of worship. The word "devotions" is translated from the Greek word "sebasma" pronounced "seb'-as-mah" and means something adored, or an object of worship. Webster's dictionary defines the word "devotion" as 1. State or quality of being devoted; ardent affection; zealous attachment, 2. An act evincing devotedness, 3. Prayer or supplications, especially as designed for private worship, and 4. Act of devoting; dedication. Daily devotions are to be an act of everyday private worship of God that gives evidence of our dedication, ardent affection and zealous attachment to God, and is to include our prayers and supplications (petitions) to God. Therefore, our daily devotional time with God is a private worship time with God and not just a moment spent reading a devotional book, email, or WebPages, although these media do have their proper place in our daily devotional life.

To help in your daily devotional time with God I offer the following guideline to follow during your private worship time with God. However, let me say that it is only a guide and is not the only way to privately worship God. I do believe though that it is a good guideline and will help you to experience a more complete private worship time with God.

Guideline for Personal Worship of God:

1. Start with prayer asking God to forgive you of your daily sins, to clear your mind to receive God's message, to give you a desire to learn from the word of God, and apply it to your daily life. Prayer is the secret to a close relationship with God. (Psalm 5:1-12)

2. Read the memory verse ten times and then practice reciting it from memory five times. Memorizing scripture helps us to gain victory over sin. (Psalms 119:11)

3. Read the Bible and follow a plan that will guide you to read through the Bible every year. Reading the Bible helps us to grow spiritually strong. (1 John 2:14)

4. Read our devotional message or a devotional message from a book, email, or website. A devotional message is similar to a one-point sermon. Apply this message to your life.

5. Close in prayer. Pray for your needs, the needs of others, praise God for answered prayer, ask God to help you apply today's devotional truth in your life, and thank God for what He has revealed to you in your worship time.

God Bless all of you as your grow in Christ through your personal private worship time with God.

Rev. Alan R. Northam

Daily-Devotions is a ministry of Northam Ministries.
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