By Jamie Tisler
My niece Rebekah, her husband Elliot, and their two-year-old daughter Darby had nightly devotionals. Darby knew before going to bed there was an appointed time for her parents and her to spend time with God. Elliot indicated this time to her with these words, “Darby get the Bible.” Elliot then read from it and he followed the reading with these words, “Remember, God talks to us through the Bible, and we talk to God in prayer. Let us pray.” Their daily devotional caused me to pause and reflect.
A daily devotional time with God takes commitment. Such commitment leads to spiritual growth, because I get to know God more through his Word and talking to him. This time with God propels me to love him even more and express it to him by being obedient to his word. One night, Darby was tired and when Elliot told her it was time to get the Bible she cried. She did not want to get it, but she did anyway. I am reminded by her example that though I may not want to have my devotional time; I need it and should just do it.
God has graciously spoken through the Scriptures. The psalmist understood this grace gift (Psalm 119), even though he had only a portion of the full counsel of God’s word. In writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul gave the purpose of this gift, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Why would I even consider not having a daily intake of the Scripture God has given me?
Elliot asked God to take care of the unborn baby in Rebekah’s womb, for Darby to come to faith in Jesus Christ at an early age, and other requests. Elliot knows God is in control of ever thing; therefore, he takes his requests to God in faith and trusts him for the outcome. Why would I not go to God? Self-sufficiency, misplaced faith and trust, or just a lack of discipline? I am commanded to pray, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). It is vital I have conversations with God daily and not just during my time of devotion.
In the English language, the word “remember” means “to bring to mind or think of again.” Each night when Elliot said to Darby, “Remember God talks to us through the Bible, and we talk to God in prayer,” he got my attention. Now Elliot’s words keep coming to my mind, reminding me to spend time with God, allowing him to speak to me through his word and I in turn speak to him in prayer.
I enjoyed this post so much because it reminded me of my childhood. My parents always had bedtime devotions with my brother and me as long as we lived at home as juveniles. When we turned 18, they left it to us to decide whether we carried on the tradition for ourselves. I have had my highs and my lows as an adult, but I can say that my life always feels stronger when I have regular prayer and Bible reading time with God. Thank you for the post that brought back such good memories and provides encouragement for my life now.