The word “Devotions” gets thrown around a lot in Christian circles.

It’s a vague term. People do them, they talk about doing them, but no one seems to explain what they are actually doing. So what defines devotions: what’s involved, and why do they even matter?

Put simply, devotions are spending private time with Jesus. That’s it. In that time, we communicate with Him. How do we communicate with someone we can’t actually see or hear? Well, that’s why we have the Bible, our greatest gift and resource as believers. It is inspired by God and it is how we get to know Him; it’s His tool for communicating, His way of creating relationship and understanding.

So when we take the time to read the words that He has given us, we hear His voice. We hear His heart for us and for the world around us. This is how Almighty God has chosen to “talk” to His people. The Bible is not just a book; it is alive. We may read the same passage over and over, but it speaks to us differently each time. Sometimes God speaks with power; other times with love, with peace, with joy and with wisdom – all the things God is in Himself. The Holy Spirit lives within all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, which means that He is at work in our hearts and minds as we read Scripture, bringing it to life and giving it meaning. And then there is prayer.

This is how we talk to God. He invites and welcomes us to bring all of our thanksgiving, praise, concerns, fears, and frustrations to Him in prayer. He wants us to pour out our hearts before Him. Why? Because He knows that we need it; we depend on Him because he sees what we do not. We communicate with God because, of course, He wants us to, but we also do so because we desperately need it; prayer gives us perspective and peace. It reminds us of who we are and who He is, which changes our attitudes and mindset.

So, Devotions means taking time daily to spend with the Lord, both in reading the Bible and praying. This is how we grow as Christians. It seems simple enough, but it’s not always easy to do. We get so busy; it is so hard for us to quiet our lives long enough to listen. But, like our families and friends, we choose to spend time with what we love the very most. So if we claim to love Him, we have to make him a priority. When we do, it changes us; it changes our hearts and transforms our minds.

How amazing to have a God that is so personal that He invites us to spend time with Him daily!