I Struggle With it Too

coffee-and-bibleThis Sunday my pastor preached a sermon entitled “In His Word, God Reveals the Only Mediator” and I was personally challenged in an area of my faith life…having personal devotions.

If you follow my blog, you know how much importance I place on personal devotions.  But, even though I put so much emphasis on it, I still struggle with doing it consistently everyday.  Yes, I struggle with it too.  Just because I write about it, does not mean that I am good at it! I usually plan on having personal devotions first thing in the morning, but sometimes I sleep in, or the bed is just too warm to get up.

“It’s ok I will do it on my lunch break.”

But then work gets in the way.  Or the guys want to go out to the Buffet for lunch.  Or I simply…forget.

“I will do it when I get home.”

But there is a dinner to eat, family devotions to do, kids to play with, homework, cleaning, baths, to bed…

“I will do it when the kids are in bed.”

But there is a wife who wants to talk, a lawn to mow, a chair to fix, a hockey game to watch…

“I will do it before bed.”

But I am too tired, or my wife has other ideas …

“I will do it tomorrow morning…”

Some days I don’t even think about it, it completely slips my mind. How can I let that happen?

I am much better at having personal devotions now than when I was younger, I usually have devotions  5 days out of 7, but that is hardly enough.  And funnily enough, the day I usually forget is Sunday. I wonder if in my subconscious mind I think something like this,

“I listened to 2 sermons at church and had family devotions 3 times at breakfast, lunch and dinner _ I can skip personal devotions today.”

May that thought never enter my mind!

Personal time spent in reading the scriptures and in prayer is invaluable for us as Christians. Just as in any relationship, time spent together deepens love and commitment, so too with personal devotions. As we study God’s word we get to know Him better and our love and commitment to our Lord grows. The Holy Spirit works through the Word working faith in our hearts and a desire to serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  As a parent I should make doubly sure I am having personal devotions, not just for myself but for my wife and kids as well…I mean, how can I lead my family to the cross if I don’t know the way myself?

Here is a clip from my pastor’s sermon.

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  1. margaret byl says:

    I really appreciate you articles. You’re so open and honest and share what you struggle with. A number of years ago now, one of our daughters mentioned how she really liked her elder and could open up to him because he talked about what he struggled with. John Piper mentioned in one of his sermons one time how personal Bible reading starts with discipline, then leads to desire, and lastly delight. I know I definitely have to work at it.

    • Thanks Margaret, I appreciate your comment. I am in the discipline stage right now. Disciplining myself to have devotions, and I often do experience the desire to have devotions, at least more than in the past… the delight is not as common, but I have certainly experienced that delight. Having tasted the delight of the Lord, you would think that my desire would be to experience it more often, but alas what a wretched creature I am, I must rely on his promises rather than my experiences! Let us all pray that the Lord would increase our delight in Him!

  2. “John Piper mentioned in one of his sermons one time how personal Bible reading starts with discipline, then leads to desire, and lastly delight.” – I fully agree. The ESV Study Bible has a schedule to go through the Bible in one year. That’s too fast for us. Better yet is too read the notes, do a bit of cross-referencing, such as, for example, Hebrews interprets Isaac blessing Jacob and Esau in Genesis. We are also using Peter Feenstra’s devotional “Unseen Footprints” and Klaas Schilder’s newly English language meditation series “Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.” These are good “nutrition” but, I fear, many among us are on starvation diets, so your clip of Pol’s sermon is right on.

    • Hi Albert, Thankd for the comment. There are 1189 chapters in the bible, If I read 1 chapter per day which would take 3.25 years to read through. My guess is it would take me about 5 years to go through the entire bible if I want to actually learn from it in my deovtions. For family devotions we started in Genesis just after Easter and my plan was to read a chapter per day until we finish the entire bible. However we have found that reading a chapter is not fruitful with little kids. So we read a section of a chapter and discuss it. My guess is it will take about 7 years to get through the Bible this way !!!! BUT…I am not simply reading, we are discussing and working through things, it is a blessing to see your children grasp the things of God!