(ECHO Project devotion – January 13)

I have been thinking about the word “devotion” a lot this week. Every time I use the word, I think “Is it called a ‘devotion’ or a ‘devotional’? I’ve got to look that up.” Well, I looked it up. Best I can tell, a devotion refers to that daily time with God and also to a writing that encourages people during that daily time. A devotional is a collection of those writings, just like a hymnal is a collection of hymns.

I think that’s right. Anyway, that’s how I’m using those terms until somebody tells me something otherwise. I hope you enjoy these written devotions that are part of my devotional that you can use in your daily devotions. Um, yeah.

Seriously, though, I’ve really been thinking about the word “devotion” for the last couple of years. It first came up in my own personal devotions. I read from Richard Foster’s “Devotional Classics”. In that book he quotes at length from Francis de Sales about “one true devotion”. Foster has also written about his love for Thomas Kelly’s short classic “A Testament of Devotion”. I got so excited about this idea that I started writing and posting these devotions to encourage others. Actually, even before that, I wrote a song called “Devotion” for Third Day’s latest album Revival.

Devotion. What does that really mean in our lives? I believe it means that we love God so much that it goes beyond habit or obligation. Many writers have compared it to a romantic relationship and I think they’re on to something. When you’re in love, you want to spend as much time with that person as possible. You don’t spend time together because you have to. You spend time together because you want to. You can’t not be together.

That’s the kind of relationship God wants to have with us.

I have a little challenge for you. Press in to know God better. The Bible clearly says that if you draw near to God, he will draw in to you. It may feel a little forced and awkward at first, and that’s OK. You might not want to spend time with God, but you want to want to spend time with God. God will honor even that desire. Pray and ask God to give you a love for Him and his Word. That is a prayer that he will answer.

Remember. God is not some far-off, isolated being who created the earth and then left us to fend for ourselves. He is a person who can be known. Even more than that, He wants to be known.

I think that is a little glimpse of what “devotion” is all about. But like so many other aspects of faith, it’s not a word to be understood intellectually. It’s a word that’s meant to be understood with the heart. Commit today and make your life a devotion to God. And never look back.

It is the greatest thing you can ever do.

(Photo credit: Amy Velazquez/Unsplash)