Everyone agrees that daily devotionals are a good thing.  Yet the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians almost never open their Bibles.  And then, when people do begin to have devotions, the pressures of the fast-paced life, the ugly desires of the sinful flesh, and the brokenness of a fallen world, all conspire to end those quiet times.

So how do we go about having our quiet times with Jesus in a way that will mitigate the forces working against us?  Here are 5 tips to encourage you.

1) Opening Prayer – “Lord, Let me see Jesus in your Word today.” If you love someone, you will have a desire to be with them.  Therefore, if we wish our quiet times to be enjoyable, we must focus on being with the Christ whom we love.

2) Don’t be legalistic –  False guilt can quench good intentions quickly.  If you miss a day, it is not the end of the world.  The key is to be graciously habitual.  Start again.  Persistence is a necessary thing.  Jesus rewards those who diligently seek him!

3) Pick good material – Good material is that which focuses on addressing God’s Word to the issues of your heart.  This means that Scripture is an absolute necessity.  If the Bible is not being planted in your heart, then you are actually being drawn away from Jesus, regardless of how much christianese is being used.  Is the character of God being displayed?  Is your sin being exposed?  Is Jesus being lifted up?  If the answer is not ‘yes’ to all three of these questions, you should probably find other material.

Here are three highly recommended resources for beginning your daily devotions:  Voices from the Past, Tabletalk Magazine, Morning and Evening by Spurgeon.

4) Talk about your quiet times – Find a partner to whom you can explain your delight in Jesus to.  Expressing your daily encounters with the Jesus of the Bible will encourage.  For this purpose, I have started a near-daily texting to the readers of Voices from the Past, where I make comments about the day’s reading and encourage others to respond to the reading themselves.

5) Keep a record – By keeping a daily record, you will be able to see your successes and failures.  You will be able to evaluate patterns to either build upon, or work against.  For instance, if Saturday is the one day of the week you sleep in and therefore you find yourself forgetting your devotions, make special plans to get up on Saturday to study.

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