Until Christmas last year, my personal devotion time had been sporatic at best. Often, I would read a text that I was curious to read or that sparked my fancy, but I had no specific plan.
Then last year, I asked for a very specific Christmas present. Krista bought The Daily Message for me and I began reading it that very Christmas morning.
Unlike most daily Bibles, The Daily Message works its way through Scripture entire books at a time. On any given day, you would read three or four chapters from a main text, and either a Psalm, a Proverb, or a chapter from Isaiah. Often, the books of your main text would alternate between Old Testament and New Testament, but only as you finished the previous book.
All that said, I enjoy reading The Message paraphrase with my trust Holman Christian Standard Bible behind it to deepen my understanding of the text, but as daily devotional Bibles go, The Daily Message has my utmost appreciation and gratitude.
This year, I will be reading it again, but I will continue the journaling method I’ve used for the past 6 months. Like any other spiritual practice, I’ve learned that it is best to try something, evaluate it, and try it again with revisions.
Until last year, my devotional time was irregular and unplanned. As of last Christmas, my devotional time was planned and regular but something was still missing. In July, I began journaling alongside my reading and reflection and have seen great personal growth out of this process.
The amazing thing is what all has transpired in this past year – God does incredible things and creates unbelievable changes of heart and desire when we spend extended time in his word.
I never understood that until this year. Go figure.