Devotional is Christian Lifestyle
By Rev Patrick Wong
January 1, 2023
The NPAC family designates the first or last Saturday and Sunday of each year as Devotional Sunday. This is to encourage brothers and sisters to attach importance to and practice devotional on a regular basis.
Our difficulties: We all know the importance of devotional. We probably have tried hard to establish and keep the habit of devotional. But as Jesus said: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). Fatigue surely affects our devotional. Busy work and responding to family needs are often the main reasons that wear us out. Keeping watch, praying and quiet time – these we all know, but they are not easy to carry out or to do so regularly. What can we do if we do not wish to give up so readily?
Jesus’ devotional life: Since we believe in and follow Jesus, let us look at His example. Jesus was really busy when he was preaching. As portrayed by Mark, His itinerary for one of the days in Capernaum included the following: The Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue to teach and drove away an impure spirit. As soon as He left the synagogue, He went to His disciples’ home and healed Simon’s mother-in-law. In the evening, “…the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed” (Mark 1:32). Jesus healed many and drove out many demons. A day passed. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35). And when the disciples found Jesus, He led them to other villages to preach.
On another occasion, after Jesus had finished discipling, He intended to send the disciples off to take some rest in a quiet place when He was caught up by thousands who were waiting for them. Not only did Jesus continue teaching but He also performed the miracle of five loaves and two fish. He then asked His disciples and the crowd to leave and He alone went up on a mountainside to pray (Mark 6:30-46).
Work (ministry), prayer and communication with the Father (devotional) – these formed the daily life of Jesus.
Lifestyle of choice: A spiritual mentor has shared: People will find time to do what they deem important. If we attach importance to physical health, we will squeeze time from our busy schedule to go jogging or go to the gym. If we want or need coffee, we will find time to go to a favorite coffee shop to grab a cup to go or even sit down and enjoy one. In the midst of the fatigue and tight schedule of life, we somehow have time to check the mobile phone, leave messages on the social media and watch YouTube. Do we also value greatly devotional, Bible reading and prayer as part of our daily life? Are these our Christian lifestyle?
Devotional is a life offering: Devotion or devotional means pious worship and dedication to the Lord. At the start of the new year, let us choose devotional as our lifestyle and continually offer ourselves “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).