So you’d like to begin spending time with God daily? It’s a noble goal and one that every Christian should strive for. Perhaps you just made a personal resolution or you just had a spiritual mountaintop experience and you want to fan the flame of passion you feel for God and His Word. Whatever it is that has moved you to act, you’ll have a better chance of developing a daily habit of time with God if you follow these seven tips for nurturing a daily devotional time with God.
- Pick a time for your devotional reading.
Make it a priority by calendaring it as you would any other important meeting. We set appointments for much less important things like oil changes, haircuts, and lunches. How much more important is it to have a daily time with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? The Creator is available to meet with you…are you ready to meet with Him? Set a specific time to meet with Him daily and stick to it.
- Pick a place for your devotional reading.
I have a favorite loveseat in my home…it’s “mine.” I love to sitting in this particular place with my Bible near me, a pile of books and a soft drink. I find that sitting here in the same place is helpful and helps me to build memories of what God says during my daily devotional time with Him.
- Pick an accountability partner.
When you are trying to establish a new habit, it helps to have someone hold you accountable. I want one or two people to have permission to ask me how my daily devotional time is going, what God is saying to me, and whether or not I’m keeping my appointments with God.
- Tell others.
Let your Bible study group, spouse, close friend, or children know what you are about to attempt. It is amazing how much more devoted you will be to having a devotional time with God when you know others are watching you to see if you are really serious about it.
- Don’t skip a day.
This is not to be legalistic, but to make sure that you don’t give yourself an “out”. If you choose to have your daily devotional time early in the morning, say 6 a.m., you know that you can’t do it if you keep hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock. You may be tempted to skip a day and spend extra time with God the next day, but making up lost time rarely happens, and once time is lost, it’s lost. Don’t talk yourself out of meeting with God, and don’t give yourself permission to skip a day. Do a Google search on creating habits and you’ll find plenty of evidence that repeating a habit 21 to 28 days in a row is significant in forming an ongoing habit. Some people may need a little longer than that, but the point is, be consistent and don’t skip a day.
- Reward yourself.
While meeting with God is its own reward of course, consider giving yourself small incentives for consistently having your daily devotional time. For instance, at the end of your first seven days of consistently meeting with God, take yourself out for coffee or a special dessert. Do something like this at the end of each week, and perhaps build up to something big, like buying yourself a new Bible that will become a part of your daily devotional time, and a reminder of your commitment to meeting with God.
Let’s face it, our schedules are busy and we lead “time compressed” lives. If you do miss a daily devotional time, don’t give up and count yourself a failure. Recommit and begin again. Don’t stop having a daily devotional time. That’s exactly what the enemy would like you to do, so don’t.
Beginning a daily devotional time with God can truly be a life-changing experience. You have every possibility of growing closer to the Lord than ever before as you get to know Him through prayer and the reading of His Word. Your time with God will be motivated by your deep love for Him and the grace He has poured out on your life, not just keeping an appointment so that you can check a box. Allow yourself to experience the blessings of spending time with your Savior and allow Him to transform your heart so that you reflect the image of Christ to others in your family, neighborhood, and workplace.
Here’s eight more tips to help you develop a passion for reading the Bible for personal devotion:
- We can give God our devotion.
The first benefit of time spent quietly with the Lord each day, is that it allows us the opportunity to give to God, instead of getting from Him Psalm 29:2. Some Christians may overemphasize their work for God and neglect to spend time simply worshipping Him. God deserves and desires our devotion (John 4:23). How long has it been since you sat quietly with Jesus and simply told Him, “I love you?” When was the last time you sang a worship song to Him outside of a church service?
- We get direction from God.
Daily Devotions give us direction from Him for our daily lives (Psalm 25:4-5). When we sit quietly with the Lord it gives Him a great opportunity to speak to us and give us the wisdom we need to make the right choices. In our fast-paced world, we desperately need to slow down and hear from the One who knows the end from the beginning. Ask God to show you His will for the day and commit your schedule to Him.
- We gain strength.
Standing up to sin is no easy task. Just like athletes, our Christian Daily Devotions keep us training for any obstacle headed our way. We build strength every day so when we need it, we can run our race! (Hebrews 12:1-3) By keeping our minds focused on God through our Daily Devotions, we can overcome anything with Him.
- We stand still.
In a world that’s faster than ever, we may find it’s hard to sit still even for a moment. But the Bible lets us know how important that can be! (1 Samuel 12:16) Give yourself an excuse to stand still and reflect on God’s glory. It will help you find peace every day. And on days you “Don’t have time” to do so, consider taking twice as long on your devotion—you may need it!
- It brings our family together.
Your family may live on other sides of the world, speak multiple languages, or have multiple generations in one home. Carve out time to spend time not only with God, but with each other every day.
- We gain delight in God.
Spending personal time with the Lord means we will grow our love for Him and find time to bask in His presence. The secret of real joy comes from knowing God (Psalm 34:8, Philippians 3:10).
- We get to know Jesus personally.
Do you know Jesus Christ personally, or do you merely know about Him? When we know a person intimately, we:
- Spend quality time together.
- Enjoy meaningful communication.
- Know what each other’s likes and dislikes are.
When we expect to meet with Jesus during our daily devotion each morning we will never be disappointed. We will always find that He’s waiting to meet with us too.
- We grow more like God
How do we become more like Jesus? We are made holy through the Word (John 17:17; Romans 12:2). Our sanctification comes directly through the time we spend in the Scriptures, getting to know God intimately and allowing His Word to correct our hearts.