Presentation on theme: "Are We Devoted? 2 Corinthians 11:3. What is Devotion? Devotion to Christ is that love, commitment, loyalty and enthusiasm towards Jesus, which evidences."— Presentation transcript:
What is Devotion? Devotion to Christ is that love, commitment, loyalty and enthusiasm towards Jesus, which evidences that we are in fact Christian. Devotion is when we communicate to God through prayer and He communicates to us by His Spirit and through the Word. Devotion is our sanctuary that place of solitude which God has made for His people, where He gives us greater insight into His love, goodness and wisdom.
Why Devote? We devote ourselves to God for the simple reason that He devoted Himself to us. He loved us so much that He laid His life down for us, and we are called to lay our lives down for Him. We devote ourselves to God for our own benefit. We devote ourselves to God for others benefit. We devote ourselves to walk as the early Christians walked: Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
How to Devote? Our daily devotions is a time which we put aside to worship, pray and read His Word. This time should be considered most sacred and honored above all other times in the day. There are many ways we can do this time. And mostly we should do it in such a way that you know in your heart that God is stimulating the time. The amazing thing I have found about my time of devotion is the way God has motivated it to evolve each time I feel it has gone stale.
When to Devote In Scripture we find that many men of God did their devotions three times a day. I believe we should consider morning and night as a bare minimum. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” A. W. Tozer said, “Our religious activities should be ordered in such a way as to have plenty of time for the cultivation of the fruits of solitude and silence.”
Devotional Distractions One of the best methods the evil one uses to cause believers to lose their power and effectiveness for Christ, is to keep them busy. Busyness is the biggest killer of the Christian faith. Busyness destroys a pure devotion to Christ. Busyness is usually caused out of an obsession for wealth and possessions, and as usaul the Bible foresaw this and the Lord Himself spoke in relation to it two thousand years ago.
Devotion to God or Money Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” KJV Mammon does not just mean money, but also wealth and possessions. The Word of God tells us that we will either worship God or we worship Mammon. This is a check point Scripture to determine if we are in fact devoted to God, because we can’t be devoted to both God and Mammon.
Draw Away from Distractions Katherine Walden said, “When I find myself racing around, trying to fill a day with mindless tasks or petty entertainment, this is usually the time that God whispers to my heart to draw away with Him and to silence my heart as He wishes to speak.” Arthur Tappan said, “Closet communion needs time for the revelation of God's presence. It is vain to say, "I have too much work to do to find time." You must find time or forfeit blessing. God knows how to save for you the time you sacredly keep for communion with Him.”
His Will Be Done Sidney Lear wisely states, “Let the first act on waking be to place yourself, your heart, mind, faculties, your whole being, in God's hands. Ask Him to take entire possession of you, to be the Guide of your soul, your Life, your Wisdom, your Strength. He wills that we seek him in all our needs, that we may both know Him truly, and draw closer and closer to Him; and in prayer we gain an invisible force which will triumph over seemingly hopeless difficulties.”
Let the Beloved Speak J. Oswald Sanders said, “Paul did not regard prayer as supplemental, but fundamental-not something to be added to his work, but the very matrix out of which his work was born. He was a man of action because he was a man of prayer.” Henri J. M. Nouwen said, “Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It's important because it's the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you "my beloved daughter," "my beloved son," "my beloved child." To pray is to let that voice speak to the centre of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being.”
Lean, Cold and Hard William Wilberforce said, “This perpetual hurry of business and company ruins me in soul if not in body. More solitude and earlier hours! I suspect I have been allotting habitually too little time to religious exercises, as private devotion and religious meditation, Scripture-reading, etc. Hence I am lean and cold and hard. I had better allot two hours or an hour and a half daily. I have been keeping too late hours, and hence have had but a hurried half hour in a morning to myself. Surely the experience of all good men confirms the proposition that without a due measure of private devotions the soul will grow lean. But all may be done through prayer... almighty prayer.”
See God First Robert Murray M'Cheyne observed, “I ought to pray before seeing any one. Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, it is eleven or twelve o'clock before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system. It is unscriptural. Christ arose before day and went into a solitary place. David says: "Early will I seek thee", "thou shalt early hear my voice." Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness, and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me. The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. Then when in secret prayer the soul is often out of tune. I feel it is far better to begin with God-to see His face first, to get my soul near Him before it is near another.”
Alone With God Basil Hume reveals, “In recent times it has become fashionable in Christian spirituality to put great emphasis on service to our neighbour and to equate service with prayer. There is much truth in this idea, but it is a half-truth. There can be no substitute in the spiritual life for being alone with God. There must be that part of spirituality which is private and individual - secret between me and my God. It is that daily attempt to become increasingly aware of the presence and the action of God in our lives and to know the growing desire within us for some kind of closeness to him.”
Closet Prayer Gordon Cove tells us that, “There is absolutely no substitute for this secret communion with God. The public Church services, or even the family altar, cannot take the place of the 'closet' prayer. We must deliberately seek to meet with God absolutely alone, and to secure such aloneness with God. We are bidden to enter into thy closet.' God absolutely insists on this 'closet'- communion with Himself. One reason, no doubt, that He demands it, is to test our sincerity. There is no test for the soul like solitude.”
Noisy Inner Voices Thomas Aquinas tells us that, “Without prayer we become deaf to the voice of divine love and become confused by the many competing voices asking for our attention. When we try to become very still, we often find ourselves so overwhelmed by our noisy inner voices that we can hardly wait to get busy and distracted again. Our inner life often looks like a banana tree full of jumping monkeys! But when we decide not to run away and stay focused, the monkeys may gradually go away because of lack of attention, and the soft gentle voice calling us may gradually make itself heard.”
Conclusion Our Text 2Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” John Bunyan said, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find him the rest of the day.” Have you been running from God, running from spending time alone with Him in the secret place? Have you been neglecting your devotional hour, thinking you don’t really need to read His Word daily? I want to challenge you this week to get back into a serious relationship with your Lord and to rededicate yourself to Him and to meeting with Him daily and to reading His Word.