From “Wednesday’s Word: A Lifestyle of Devotion” – July 9, 2014 posting by Paul Tripp
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22, ESV
I’m very concerned with the way modern Christianity tends to think about our “devotional life.” It seems as if we have reduced these devotions down to five minutes of reading a Psalm and saying a quick prayer for the day, or, reading an e-mail devotional sent out by a pastor.
The Bible paints a much different picture of a devotional life. The author here uses the word “heart” twice in verse 22. For the Christian, a lifestyle of devotion should not be reduced to an activity or daily routine; a lifestyle of devotion is characterized by a heart that’s owned by Christ.
Your “devotional life” should not be slotted into your daily schedule after your morning workout and before you start your work for the day. No, your devotional life is meant to shape the way you think about your body, your job, your family, your social circle, your calendar, and your budget.
No one would admit this, but we try to cram Jesus into a heart already filled with selfish idols and personal hobbies. Even after 40 years in ministry, it’s tempting for me reduce my individual faith down to a daily routine instead of a heart captured by grace.
What’s the solution? It’s not to restructure your schedule and free up 20 more minutes for Bible study, although that might be helpful. Rather, every morning, make a heartfelt confession that much of your devotion is still for the things of this world and not for the Lord.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FOR PERSONAL DEVOTION:
• Through the Bible, Through the Year: Daily Reflections from Genesis to Revelation, John Stott
• The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms, Timothy Keller
• New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, Paul David Tripp
• A Shelter in the Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble, Paul David Tripp
• Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy, Paul David Tripp
• Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith, Scotty Smith
• Explore, Good Book Company (devotional app or subscribed mailing)
• Table Talk, Ligioner Ministries (devotional app or subscribed mailing)
• For the Love of God, D.A Carson (devotional app or book): a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s word
• You Version Bible App: an assortment of read the Bible in year plans as well as various monthly reading plans
RESOURCES FOR FAMILY DEVOTION:
• Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Starr Meade: This book enables families with school-age children to participate in satisfying devotions together by taking them through The Heidelberg Catechism explaining its answers in short devotional readings accompanied by relevant Bible passages.
• Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism, Starr Meade: Supplies two needs: (1) profitable, usable material for family devotions and (2) a practical guide for parents helping their children learn the catechism.
• The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, Sally Lloyd-Jones
• Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, Sally Lloyd Jones