Daily devotionals are Christian books written by Christian leaders to help us channel our thoughts on a certain Christian topic each day with daily bible reading passages from the Old and New Testaments. Included are also Bible verses of the day for daily meditation.
In the early years of my Christian walk with God, I ran through a number of these devotional books. One that I liked a lot was Streams in the Desert by Mrs Charles Cowman.
Spending daily devotional time with God is very important to our spiritual growth. Having devotional books can be very helpful especially in the beginning of our Christian walk. But there will come a time when all you need is your Bible, a journal or note book and a reading plan.
Since the day I accepted the Lord as my Lord and Saviour, I have been taught to dedicate the early hour of the day with God; spending time reading the Bible and waiting on God. I called this my Quiet Time with Jesus. I still remember those early morning devotional time kneeing in the cold hard floor in the kitchen when everyone was still in slumberland and the sun has yet to rise. Everywhere was so quiet except for the occasional sound made by the crickets and frogs outside. It wasn't easy to make those early morning appointments with God. But I desired the Lord so much that it was worth waking up for.
But time changed and so did I and my daily quiet time with the Lord were gradually neglected. First, I skipped a day or two and then a whole week and then I decided to change the time to just before going to bed. Most of the time, I was too tired and just speed-read the Bible verses of the day and finished off with a quick prayer before crawling under the blanket.
As time went on, there again was a longing for those sweet quiet moments with the Lord. A deep thirst to come drink from His ever overflowing streams again.
During one of my irregular Christian devotion times, the Lord spoke to me through Revelation 2: 2-4.
"I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love."
That was a wake up call from the Lord! I immediately knew that that was the problem. I have left my first love. The fervent love I had for the Lord in the beginning of my Christian life immediately after salvation was no longer there. I had left my first love. And I need to get back to the place where I first started.
In Jeremiah 2:2, I read:
"Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem that this is what the LORD says: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown."
Jesus, the Bridegroom is calling us , His Bride, to return to Him - to know Him and love Him once again. He's calling me to sit at His feet again and spend time with Him.
But how to get back that zeal once again for the things of God? I tried many things but it's only for a while and I'm back to trying and trying again. Have you been there?
Until I realised that it's not by striving but resting in Jesus' love for me. It's not how much I love Jesus. The fact is we love Him because He first loved us.
It's all about His love for me. Not my love for Him. If I depend on my love for Jesus, it's a yo-yo kind of love. But Jesus' love for us is constant and deep and sacrificial and life-transforming. It's definitely not I trying to love Jesus more but knowing how much Jesus loves me will bring me back to that first love.
When I first heard about Jesus, it was about His love for me and His finished work on the cross to redeem me. It was this love that drew me to Him and caused me to love Him and want Him in my life.
So it's knowing, focusing and meditating on Jesus, His love for us and His finished work on the cross - His sacrificial love which led Him to give up His life for me - this is what led me back to that first love for Him once again.
My prayer is, "Lord, help me never to stray away again - never ever to leave my first love. Keep me aflame for you, Oh Lord. Thank you, Abba, for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Thank you, Jesus for coming. Thank you for first loving me."
I pray that your devotion time with Jesus is based on Him and His love for you. If any daily devotionals help you to see Jesus and meditate on His finished work, then those Christian daily devotionals are useful aids to help you maintain your first love.
You can also visit my list of reading materials for some good Daily Devotionals.
Do you have a favourite daily devotional book that is helpful in your devotion time with God? Please share the title and why is it good below at the Comment section. I'm sure it will be of great benefit to us who are always looking out for a good book to use during our Quiet Time.
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