For some, devotions are like a placebo. People go through the motions but since there are no active ingredients, the effect is minimal.
The concept of faith is woven through the pages of Scripture and is essential to a personal relationship with God. In fact, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not only is it necessary for salvation it is part of our daily walk and warfare as believers (Ephesians 6:16).
Contrary to popular Christian opinion, the Bible neither exhorts us to have childlike faith nor does it tell us to believe as children believe. The idea that we are to have childlike faith is an incorrect inference based on several passages of Scripture. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17 NIV).
These passages don’t tell us what receiving the kingdom of God like a little child means so it is wrongly assumed to be referring to the faith of a child. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus spells out what He means. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our goal as believers is not childlike faith. Instead it is to grow to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
Maybe the real reason I don’t like making resolutions is because it forces me to acknowledge how sinful I still am. It’s much easier to ignore the parts I need to work on and live in mediocrity.
There can be no more reliable authority on earth than God’s Word, the Bible. This timeless, trustworthy source of truth holds the key that unlocks life’s mysteries.
We are exhorted to practice persistent repetition of our requests, not a formulaic repetition of words, which Jesus condemned (Matthew 6:7–8).
As followers of Christ our history becomes His story. God has created and shaped each of us on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. For the Christian our life-message is rooted in declaring the glory and grace of God.
The dictionary says keeping a journal means recording daily events. I find this basic definition comforting because it means anyone can do it. In fact, you’re probably already journaling without realizing it.
The daily nourishment of grace to our souls overshadows loss. Glory illuminates darkness. All of this is good theology but it tends to stay in our heads. What practical difference does it make when I confront living changes?
And it was this intensity that caused prayer to degenerate from a flowing spontaneity to a rigid, packaged plan, dispensed routinely by the religious leaders. Prayer changed from privilege to an obligation.
Childlike faith, while a good place to start, must mature. How do we mature in our faith? Just as physical maturity requires certain things the same is true for spiritual maturity.