Saturday, January 5, 2013

a devotional life

Devotion is a word I rarely come across these days. In my early years as a Christian I heard it used frequently in reference to a certain activity during a certain time of day: our Bible reading and prayer time in the morning was called “devotions”.

It may be good that we rarely use the word in that way anymore because too often the Christian will spend time cloistered from the world in reading and prayer then rise from that time only to treat others like dirt. Such activity is far from “devotional”, in the true sense of the word.

For example, if I am “devoted” to my wife that means I will not only treat her with kindness and respect but I will be willing, active and prompt to do so. I will dream of ways to make her smile, to lift her spirits, to delight her with love. I will have no hesitation whatsoever to carry out what’s imagined and I will be faithful to see it through when faced with obstacles. I will do all this with a glad spirit—even those chores I would otherwise deem mundane or bothersome.

If this is true of our relating to one another, how much more should this characterize our relationship with God! If our devotional life with Christ is regarded as a mere duty and contained to a designated time-slot, it is neither devotional nor living. Whole-hearted devotion and soft-hearted responsiveness go hand-in-hand.

Let us be eager to speak with the Lover of our soul any time of day. Let us be willing to carry out with gladness whatever he would ask of us. Let the joy of God find a home in our hearts; let us delight in Christ and his creation; let our faces and lives radiate his life-giving goodness.  Let us lead lives that are truly devoted to God and one another.

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