Dedicating to Devotionals

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Savannah Garrison

Devotionals help to emphasize God’s Word and to express your creativity as well (Photo courtesy of Savannah Garrison).

Even though COVID-19 has put a pause on many people’s lives, it hasn’t on mine. I have taken this time to reconnect with the Lord and to better myself and learn from Him. Additionally, I have been able to talk to some people about devotionals and learn what they mean to them and how we can grow from participating in such devotionals.

“I do devos because it’s a great way to relieve anxiety and stress. Reading and talking to Jesus has always been a way for me to ‘escape reality’ because I can forget everything around me and focus on God and His works,” said Hillcrest High School sophomore Holly Tuggle. Devotionals contain a multitude of benefits, and in this case, they are commonly used as a way to give all your problems to God and feel more at ease.

Savannah Garrison
Some Bibles have a special space reserved specifically for you to write in, allowing you to even do devos inside! (Photo courtesy of Savannah Garrison)

But what exactly are devotionals, and what do they do? Well, devotionals are like a reading and writing session to reflect on God and you can create ‘lessons’ out of them. Now, of course, everyone has different opinions of what they are and what they do, but the most common is to take whatever problem you currently have, find a chapter in the Bible that relates to it, and read it and write down any thoughts you may have on it to help ease your mind. There doesn’t always have to be a problem; it can be about praises too! For example, if you wanted to lift yourself up and know that you are unbreakable, and lean into God in doing so, the book of Psalms chapter 46  verse 5 says “God is within her, she will not fall”(NIV translation). Anyone can take this verse and relate it specifically to themselves, but for me, it symbolizes that God is always there for me and that no matter what obstacle I may face, He is constantly there to encourage me to keep going and to never give up.

This is an example of a devotional; it has a verse, what it means to the writer, and how they can relate it into their life. Simple! (Photo courtesy of Holly Tuggle)

Devotionals create this sense of hope, trust, praise, and undying love for God and His ways. When you read the Bible, there are verses that may stick out to you and you just have to write them down and elaborate on what it means to you. Additionally, you can create images and doodles to make your point truly stand out. Devotionals help you draw closer to Jesus and help you strengthen your beliefs. They can teach you lessons in certain aspects of your life, and help you to even get a better understanding of yourself. 

“Doing devotionals has really helped me get into the word of God because sometimes just picking up and reading your Bible just seems so daunting,” said junior Taylor Knox. There are many Bible apps that have what are called ‘plans’, or pre-made devotionals, where they have a certain amount of days where you read about what topic you picked, highlight the verses that mean the most to you, and explain why they mean so much. One good app for this is called the YouVersion Bible App.

There is no set length of time you have to do a devotional for. You can do one for five minutes or for an hour; it’s all up to you. Another way of doing a devotional is just reading a chapter in the Bible and then just summarizing what it was talking about and how you can relate that to your everyday life and problems. God has a solution for everything, so there is no surprise that you will find an answer in nearly every chapter of the Bible. And, there’s no limit to how much you can write either! You may write down verses you like, or you can create your own lessons explaining the emotions it brings you, how it relates to today’s world, how we can use His word to better the world. The possibilities are endless! 

The after-effect of completing a devotional is very uplifting! “After doing a devotional I’m in a much better mood and I’m just happier. It also completely changes my attitude in a good way,” said Mauldin High School sophomore Karis Moore. They help you to vent your problems, and at the same time to find a solution. They help you to find your inner peace as well! 

I’ve just started fully immersing myself into God’s Word and I have never been happier. I’ve done a lot of devotionals already, on many different topics. At first, I just used them to write down my lessons from church, but then I realized I can take it a step further and learn what it means to truly devote my time to Jesus and grow our bond. What devotionals mean to me is that it is a time for reflection, but also a time to where I can just sit down and go ‘okay God, what do you want us to talk about today?’ Sometimes if I have no problem that needs to be addressed, I will flick to a random page of the Bible, point to a random verse and just start reading and taking notes on what it means to me.

I have a special prayer box to put my worries inside; I write on a piece of paper what’s going on and let God do His work! (Photo courtesy of Savannah Garrison)

One verse that I memorized is Matthew 7:26, and it says “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand”(NIV translation). And, I memorized this because I was baptized when I was a child, I went to Sunday school and the church services, but I did not take action on His words. I did not pay attention to God and His wonderful ways. I said I was religious, but I never did anything to truly display this. And now, He has spoken to me, and by doing these devotionals I feel as though I’m redeeming myself, and getting to finally learn all there is about Him. Devotionals help me to stay more positive and continue to grow in the best path possible with God right by my side.