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Getting to Know God

Someone recently asked for some practical advice as it pertains to how to conduct what we commonly call “devotions”. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is a personal or private time that is typically set aside on a daily basis (early morning as we start our day or late evening as our day comes to a close, or both) to talk to God in prayer and listen to God as we read His Word, the Bible. In regards to the reading of God’s Word in particular, keeping it simple, fairly short, and varied will enhance this time of coming to know God better, increasing our love for Him, and coming to know how to please our Lord more.

For starters, reading the Word of the God (the Bible) is of necessity. This is especially true for those times when you will use a devotional booklet, such as, “Our Daily Bread”, “Days of Praise”, “Morning and Evening”, etc. These devotionals can help us think through the meaning of a verse or passage with appropriate application, but their commentary should not replace the actual reading of the Scriptures (the Bible). Paul instructed Timothy to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” in 1 Timothy 4:13. The teachings of the Scriptures (the writings of God) are of the highest benefit (2 Timothy 3:16). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Next, our reading can consist of a verse, a chapter, or even chapters of the Bible. Whichever is the case on a given morning or evening, it is imperative that we stop long enough to consider what God is saying, what He means by what He has said, and how that applies to us for today (what are we going to do with what He has said?). This will allow us to grow in the Lord or change to take place in our lives (1 Peter 2:2).

In conclusion, we must mull over the words of God throughout the day for the purpose of squeezing out every ounce of understanding possible. That may mean memorizing a verse, or reviewing a passage that we have written down, or just going back and reading the same Bible portion throughout the day. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer . . .” (James 1:25).

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily . . .    Acts 17:11

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