Are Daily Devotions in the Bible?
- Kristi Walker Author
- 2020 5 Mar
Does the Bible tell us to do “daily devotions”? You may or may not even know what that means. When Christians refer to doing their “daily devotions” or “devos” or “quiet time,” they are referencing their daily time allotted for reading the Bible and praying. Some also include in their daily devotional time: journaling, meditating, and or listening to, playing, or singing worship music.
The answer is no, the Bible does not tell us to have a daily devotional time. What it does tell us to do is:
1. Listen to God
The very first record of God dealing with humankind is found in Genesis chapter one. We see God talking and Adam and Eve listening.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:27-28).
Romans 10:13-17 talks about the importance of hearing the message (the gospel) about Christ proclaimed, but for those of us who can read and have a Bible in our language, there is nothing like hearing straight from God Himself. We do that by reading the Bible, God’s written Word.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
2. Talk to God
Prayer is the means by which our human spirits commune or communicate with God’s Spirit. Prayer is as vital to our relationships with God as reading God’s Word. No relationship can survive without communication. The Bible tells us to pray constantly, about everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray continually.”
Continuous prayer means we are not only praying daily, but we are also praying hourly, every day throughout the day. It’s to be a never-ending conversation with God: praising Him, thanking Him, asking for His help, sharing with Him our hopes, dreams, needs, desires, etc.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).
3. Worship God
Worship is not something only reserved for church. We need to respond to the glory, splendor, holiness, and goodness of God in personal worship as well — at home, at work, at play. How we live our lives is in direct correlation to the God we worship.
If you grew up in church and Sunday School, you might have heard this song:
“O be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see,
For the Father up above is looking down with love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”
The song continues with these verses:
- O be careful little ears what you hear
- O be careful little mouth what you say
- O be careful little hands what you do
- O be careful little feet where you go
Even though it’s a children’s song, its lesson is applicable for all of us. Worship involves our entire bodies, which belong to the Lord and not to us.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Our eyes: God deserves our focus. “I keep my eyes always on the Lord” (Psalm 16:8).
- Our ears: Worship of God involves loving and caring for people in need. “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13).
- Our mouth: The greatness of our God should be on our lips. We naturally talk about the things we love whether it’s sports, gardening, movies, or our kids. Worship involves sharing God with others. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
- Our hands: We can use our hands for good or for evil. Choosing to do good and serve is worship to God. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do…” (Ephesians 6:7-8).
- Our feet: As Christians, we claim to be followers of Christ. This means we literally follow in the ways of our Savior. We live like He did. As we go about our lives, we share the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us. “My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside” (Job 23:11).
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Romans 10:15).
Worship is all of me responding to all of Him. Not only are we to engage in both private and corporate worship of God, but we are to worship only God.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness (Psalm 29:2).
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth (Psalm 96:9).
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs (Psalm 100:2).
For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only (Matthew 4:10).
The first and second of the 10 Commandments “command” that our worship of God be exclusive.
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:3-4).
4. Love His Word
To love God is to love His Word, the Bible. The first chapter of Psalms tells us that the wicked will come to ruin, but those who love God’s Word and delight in it will be blessed, or happy. Even though the Bible never specifically tells us to spend a portion of every day reading the Bible, we cannot love it or delight in it if it is not a priority.
Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:1-3).
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word (Psalm 119:16).
5. Live by His Word
Simply reading the Bible is not enough. Scripture is very clear about that. We must live it; be doers of the Word and not hearers only. It is useless for someone to make a habit out of daily Bible reading but then fail to apply it.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:22-25).
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:9-11).
What Does This Mean?
So, no, God does not tell us to set aside time each day for “daily devotions.” The Bible does not include a list of spiritual disciplines. This may sound shocking, but the disciplined are not more spiritual than the undisciplined. Spirituality is about love! What the Bible strongly encourages is a real love relationship with God which involves listening to Him, talking to Him, worshipping Him, delighting in His Word and living by it!
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Kristi Walker has been a missionary in Berlin, Germany for over 15 years working with an international church as the Director of Student Ministries. She is the author of two books - Disappointment: A Subtle Path Away from Christ and Convinced. Applying Biblical Principles to Life’s Choices.