Yesterday I was just plumb tuckered out. After 4 weeks of slamming through life, one thing after another, my body said enough. So I did the essentials and then did something I have not done in quite a while. I sat on the porch and read. It was great. And even better was reading without a purpose. In the chaos of a young family, reading for pleasure has become non-existent; pleasure books were replaced with how-to books on parenting and personal growth. What a treat!
I came across a word perspective that sparked me and I want to remember and share it.
It means, by definition:
- Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle. A synonym is love.
- An act of religious observance or prayer, especially when private.
Interestingly, the time spent with God is called devotions- the same word that can be used to describe selfless affection and dedication.
So we have devotion as a discipline and as an attitude. I was challenged to shift focus from fulfilling a duty (doing devotions as a discipline) to building a relationship (spending time with God through devotions).
To me that perspective felt like fresh breath through my life.
Jesus spent intimate time with the disciples and others he came in contact with. If we just look at His life through the gospels, it becomes clear that it is more about attitude than discipline. The people surrounding Jesus sought him out and wanted to be near him and learn about Him. The crowds did not behave the way they did out of discipline or duty.
And when Jesus did interact with the people, it was always out of true care and concern for them as a person.He was devoted to the people he was ministering to, and they felt that devotion. That is exactly why they wanted to be with him. What he gave was real and people felt that.
Devotion (the attitude) comes from time spent together building relationship and He will always meet us when we go to him. He is devoted to us and delights in our reciprocated devotion.
I really don’t care that time spent with God is called devotions. Like the crowds who couldn’t get enough, I want my time spent with Him to be because of my devotion to Him.