A few years ago, I wrote a short, little book called “364 Days of Thanksgiving.”
If I’m honest, it was more of a journal than a book. The point of the book was to encourage the reader to write down one thing each day for which they were thankful to God. The only catch was that they could never repeat. They had to think of something new or different every day.
After a few brief chapters explaining the concept, the rest of the book was simply a journal – empty lines on which you could write down each day what you were thankful for.
A friend quipped at the time, “If I knew I could write a book with a bunch of lines in it and it would become a best-seller, I would have done it.”
In my defense, the book also did include 26 short devotions interspersed throughout the journal which were meant to help the reader to recognize all the good things God had given them. At the time, a number of people asked why I didn’t write a devotion for each day of the journal.
I thought to myself, “It would take forever to write 364 devotions.”
It turns out it only took me eight years. So now I am about to release my second book “364 Days of Devotion,” which, like my first book, is a daily thanksgiving journal. This one, however, also includes a devotion for every day of the year. Suffice it to say, my friend can no longer complain that I wrote a book full of empty lines.
But as I compiled the 364 devotions for the book, it got me thinking about that word “devotion.”
Devotion can mean many different things. According to Webster, devotion can be “an act of prayer or private worship,” “religious fervor,” “a religious exercise,” or simply “being ardently dedicated and loyal” to someone or something.
What would 364 days of devotion look like?
What would it mean to live a life of devotion? Well, first of all, a life of devotion is a life in which “prayer and private worship” are a daily routine. Devotion to God means devotion to his Word and prayer. Taking time every day to read and meditate on a part of God’s Word – taking time to talk to God every day in prayer – is actually what my book is all about.
But, devotion is more than simply taking a few minutes each day to read and pray. Devotion is also “religious fervor” or “religious exercise.” In other words, devotion is the desire to live what you learn from God – to stretch and exercise your faith throughout the day and throughout the week.
Devotion is “being ardently dedicated and loyal” to our Savior God. It means appreciating how devoted our God has been to us. Jesus was so ardently dedicated and loyal to us that he gave up everything to live a humble life and die a terrible death in your place. Jesus was so ardently dedicated and loyal to us that he suffered the punishment we deserve for our half-hearted devotion to him.
In the end, devotion means living every day of our lives for him who lived and died for us.