Dwell: Devotion as a Way of Life

Dwell Spring 2015

 

Maintaining a regular devotional life is crucial to spiritual growth. Spiritual practices (or “disciplines”) position us to be shaped by God’s Spirit and God’s Word. Intentionally meeting with God in the morning (for example) for prayer and Bible study can increase our awareness of His presence with us throughout the day.

However, it’s easy to become so focused on completing our specifically “religious” practices that we miss the point of it all—to know and love God, and to walk with Him. Simply knowing what to do isn’t enough. (After all, it will vary from person to person.) We need to know why we’re engaging in spiritual practices. And we need to know where the power for spiritual growth comes from—God’s grace in Christ.

Read PDF version of the issue.

Beyond the Quiet TimeJared C. Wilson

I firmly believe every Christian should set apart a special time each day in which to spend with God in prayer and Bible reading. But when I do my due diligence in the quiet time, I end up reading things like “Pray constantly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and “I have treasured Your word in my heart” (Psalm 119:11). These don’t sound like quiet time. If anything, they sound like a quiet life.

Regaining Your Spiritual MomentumThom Rainer

Spiritual transformation occurs in every believer. But there are seasons when transformation stalls. Many things can contribute to a stalled spiritual life, but here are five barriers to spiritual growth common among church leaders.

A Path to Spiritual GrowthEd Stetzer

Throughout, we’ve looked at ways spiritual growth takes place. I want to stay on that subject, breaking it down into its constituent parts, and thinking a little more about the way it occurs. After all, Christianity is about change and newness of life, and growth is certainly part of God’s plan for every believer.

Walking With God Between SundaysMark Dance

So how do busy church leaders maintain a love for Jesus that’s stronger than our love for anyone else, including His bride? I believe ministers benefit from having a healthy degree of separation between our lives and our ministries.

Can We Talk? Hearing God Through ScripturePriscilla Shirer

When Jesus paid for our sin, He stripped away our barriers to God. Suddenly the Holy Spirit could actually occupy a human spirit because the holiness of God had wiped away the sin of His child. God can now fellowship with each believer intimately and immediately wherever that believer may be. This intimacy is the deepest friendship and relationship possible, and the Spirit speaks primarily through the written Word—living, active, and personalized.

The Power of Prayer: Q&A with H.B. CharlesMatt Erickson

God hears and answers prayer. There are things we need God to do for us that will not happen until we pray. Sure, there are a lot of things we can do to help the situation after we pray. But there is nothing we can do to help the situation until we pray. When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works.

The Word in CommunityMatt Capps

God designed us for community and fellowship. And God gave us His Word as the foundation for our community life. Like jagged rocks thrown into the rock tumbler of community, as we study God’s Word together, we will work out the rough edges of our life, and end up as beautiful, smooth stones reflecting the image of His Son.

Additional Resources

Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ Matt Papa

Real Christian: Bearing the Marks of Authentic FaithTodd Wilson

A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting WorldPaul Miller

Abide: Practicing Kingdom Rhythms in a Consumer CultureJared C. Wilson

God-Life: Discovering How to Live a Christ-like Life — Ernest J. Kelley

Devotional Magazines: Open Windows, Stand Firm (for men), Journey (for women)

The Pursuit of God — AW Tozer

Simple Life — Thom S. Rainer and Art Rainer

Blog posts

7 Ways to Stick With Your Daily Bible ReadingKen Braddy

5 More Ways to Focus and Invigorate Your Prayer LifeMark Altrogge

3 Reasons Reading the Bible Feels Like a ChoreAaron Armstrong

It’s Prayer. That’s the Thing.Beth Moore