I’ve been skimming through a devotional given to me by a lay leader from a currently closed church, thanks to its pastor whom I’ve never met. Since the church remains closed — more because of the age of congregants than anything else — she felt the devotional would be a way to keep the congregation engaged.

The devotional is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and is billed as a devotional for every day of the year. Segmented by days, the devotional reflects Young’s thoughts and experiences in the quiet times of her life.  She altered her quiet time from monologues to dialogues “with pen in hand,” She jotted down the thoughts she “heard” in her mind based on the Scripture she was reading. Her devotions are meany to be read slowly, preferably in a quiet place — with your Bible open.

Today, for example, she opened with “Every time something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with Me [God].” The Scripturde references for the day were Proverbs 19:21, Colossians 4:2, and Philippians 3:7-8.

It’s not my go to devotional, but I have been enjoying the short reads. My go to is Ron Hutchcraft’s “A Word with You.” I read his ministry’s words because they are down to earth and bring a specific Word passage into the real life. Today’s reflection was on “The Deepest Cry of the Human Heart.” The passage he focused on Romans 8:38-39. He connected it to our world by citing a a quote found in the diary of Madelyn Murray O’Hair {yeah, talk about a “spokesperson” for the faith!} “Somebody, somewhere, love me.” Her cry, Hutchcraft developed, is the cry of every human heart.  Jesus is the “Somebody, somewhere”that your heart’s been lonely for.

I usually share some of Ron’s words on my Facebook each morning. That was today’s post. Jesus is the “Somebody, somewhere”that your heart’s been lonely for.

All this got me to thinking, what is a devotional?

In a religious vein, it is an act of prayer or private worship beyond or in addition to the regular corporate worship of a congregation. It has become a writing genre with devotionals specific for men, women, boys, girls, families, just about any group out there.

Jerry Jenkins notes, people turn to devotionals to meet deep needs. Some have lost friendships, been divorced, suffered from criticism, betrayal, or the death of a loved one. They need the balm of God’s comfort.

Others seek intimacy with God. Their prayer lives are lax, their testimonies weak, and their church attendance sporadic. They need to find their way back to Jesus.

Some just want to grow spiritually or to discover a better way to share their faith. A devotional may be their only connection to the Bible all day. 

I often use devotionals on these pages, typically on Sundays. And, in a way, this blog serves as quasi-devotional. Employing the Hutchcraft formula, I try to use personal, every day experiences as a bridge to something bigger. Through these posts I try to be a conduit for a Higher message. In fact, my Wisdom From a Father … one dad’s thoughts on live, Vol. 1 and 2 books have winnowed the blog into more {hopefully} thoughtful messages that specifically act as that conduit. That became clear from a review, where the critic started out with the phrase, “I’m thankful for this ‘not quite devotional’ book that’s inspiring and helps you to keep in mind what’s most important in life — living one in which God is leading.” Even I didn’t look at the book in that light.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Whatever dominates our heart and mind transforms us into its image. — Ron Hutchcraft




About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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2 Responses to Devotionals

  1. TamrahJo says:

    My daily devotionals have ‘strayed’ from my daily reading to once more read the entire Bible in a year – something I started last June/July and am behind on ‘daily readings’ for about 3 weeks now – and yet…. through the Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael series, that I picked up once more to read….through my following of bloggers, friends I email with, etc., and daily ‘messages’ sent automatically via Biblical study sites/apps, I find the ‘communing’ to carry on, and gift with grace, the yearning of my heart, even while my stubborn will just couldn’t face another chapter in the fight for the Promise Land in the Old Testament that I reached some weeks ago…. Sigh – I never fail to be amazed that what is needed readily shows up when needed most – in so many ways and once more assured – yes, He Knows my Heart and even I, small sparrow or lily in a vast field of others, is ‘seen to and answered’ each day – and for now, my gratitude for such gifts once more is brought to the forefront when I fail in my chosen quest of ‘just how I shall walk with Thee’ – thus, I visit Ruth, Esther and Romans while taking a break from the verses that were more than my tattered heart could bear to read – just then – :). Thank you, for being ‘one of the graces through word’ that reach me at need unspoken! ❤


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