Why are Christians encouraged to have daily devotions or quiet times?
Daily devotions or quiet times are time spent each day dedicated to relating with God. When people speak of daily devotions, they are usually referring to a time of reading their Bible, doing a Bible study, or reading a devotional book, accompanied by a time of prayer. Some may simply pray. Some also include musical worship. No matter the format of a daily devotional time, it is important.
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God desires relationship with us. He created us and has redeemed us for this very purpose. Jesus, prior to His crucifixion, prayed, "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24). First John 4:8 tells us that God is love. The love of God is sometimes described as that of a father and child or of a married couple. These relationships are intimate. Intimacy takes time to build. We spend time – daily if possible – with those we love. This time is meant to further our knowledge of one another as well as give us enjoyment.
Scripture also describes God as our master. Servants (or employees) must spend time with their employers in order to know the employer's will. When we spend daily devotional time with God, we submit our will to His. It is in that time that we surrender our lives to God. We surrender not just the overall trajectory of our lives, but each day. God is in the details of our lives (Matthew 6:25-33). He cares about the details of each day with the love of a father or spouse and also with the interest of a master. We seek to further God's kingdom. Coming to Him each day is one way to know which direction to move.
Daily devotionals also teach us truth. When we spend time in God's Word, we gain wisdom and understanding. It has been said that the best way to recognize a counterfeit is to study the real thing. Satan is the "father of lies" (John 8:44). If we are not steeped in God's truth, we are more easily duped. When we know the truth, we experience freedom (John 8:32).
Daily spending time with God is a way to worship Him. Time is a limited resource. What we spend our time on is an indication of what we value. When we spend time with God, we demonstrate that we value Him. We claim that He is worthy of attention and of praise.
God is our refuge (Psalm 46). Life is often chaotic and confusing. When it is, we run to God. If we desire to truly find rest and safety in God, it is helpful to know Him well. Such deep knowledge comes from daily time spent with Him. Sometimes the best way to use a refuge is to go there before things get messy.
Daily devotions is a spiritual discipline that helps us get to know God, that ensures we stay connected to Him (John 15:1-8), that teaches us truth, that provides a place for worship, and that functions as a daily shelter in the midst of the storms of life.
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