Updated: Feb 16
Those of you that have a Facebook account know that you see many ads on your home page, some relevant; some not. As I was scrolling down my home page I saw an ad for a popular devotional. (Out of respect I am opting not to disclose the company that produces these.) In the past I have read some of their daily devotionals and have found them simple and easy to read and understand. What caused me to stop short when I saw this ad was how it reads and what it says.
It is advertised as a “one minute devotional” that can “refresh and renew your heart and spirit.” They claim that by reading their devotional for just one minute each day you will receive joy, hope, and comfort.
Now I have no doubt one might find comfort from this. I would imagine that a one minute devotion each day would be quite comfortable (and convenient) for many Christians. I imagine it would be very convenient to only spend a minute a day on a devotion and then be about my business. The problem with that is though, we are told in 1 John 2:6 that we are to walk as Jesus walked. If we do that then we will do the things he did while he was here on earth. And one of those things that he did was to “be about the Father’s business.” It has been my personal experience that that requires more than one minute of my time.
Secondly, I don’t know about you, but if I am looking to “refresh and renew” my heart, I have to spend a lot more time with the Lord than a minute everyday. An hour praying, worshipping, and waiting on him, maybe. Or perhaps less, I don’t want to sound legalistic. And I don’t want to be legalistic either. Every one is different and everyone should have their own, personal hearing relationship with the Lord. He might require an hour one day and only a half hour the next. My point is, it is nearly impossible for me to be refreshed or renewed in just a short amount of time. And I will be bold and wager that it is probably impossible for anyone to really and truly be if they understand the full meaning of it and what it entails.
This ad claims to encourage you, bless you, and remind you of God’s presence in the world. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to be encouraged and blessed? However, if you are serious about your relationship with God, would you need to be reminded of his presence? In John 15, Jesus tells us repeatedly that we are to abide in Him. He is always in me, and I in him! Simply put, if someone is only spending a wee bit of time with God everyday, I question their ability to experience any real joy, hope, or blessings.
I see a problem with Christianity today. Generally speaking there are a lot of Christians who view God as more of a genie than their God, and more of a Savior than their Lord. They want to be saved, but they don’t want to be “lorded over.” They prefer to be their own lord! They want to be called a Christian, but not fully commit or sell out to the Lord. Isaiah 4:1 speaks of this very thing. Simply put, these are they that want to partake of whatever they choose and clothe themselves in their own righteousness, which by the way is as (filthy rags), instead of God’s righteousness. Doing so leaves them free to live as they want to live.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus told his disciples to “deny themselves and to ‘take up their cross’ and follow him.” Even his simple, basic, gospel tells us three things that we have to do, just to begin to walk with him. Some Christians believe that they don’t have to “do” anything, because after all, we are not saved by our works. True, we are not saved by our works. However, our works do show God where our heart and our desire is. We are known by our fruit. And Proverbs 20:11 says we are known by our doings.
In the natural world when we want to get to know someone we spend time together. Romantic couples are known to spend a huge amount of time together getting to know each other. They spend large amounts of time together for months, or even years, then marry (abide together under one roof) and still discover new things about each other that they did not know. Romans 1:20 tells us that we understand the things in the spirit by what we see in the natural. So then, Logic 101 should tell us that if we want to know God, I mean really know him and know his ways, then we have to spend a lot more time with him than just a few minutes a day.
If you identify with this description, even a little bit, I urge you to dedicate yourself, fully and completely, to the Lord. Ask him to make you willing to give him your all, to take up your cross, to pay the price to walk with him all the way. Matthew 7:7-8 says, knock and he will open to you. He is always willing to receive you if your heart is toward him. Don’t wait. Ask him now, because “now is the accepted time, now is the day of Salvation.”
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”