In order to grow in a relationship, each person must grow in communicating continually. The same is true in doing our devotions. It is not just another routine or another part of our checklist, but it is a relationship with God that we can enjoy and grow in. We communicate with God through reading the Bible—His word—and prayer.

I remember the time when the person discipling me was teaching me to read the Bible and pray. She basically allowed the Scripture to minister to me. When we went through ONE 2 ONE, she made me read every Scripture in each chapter until I craved for it daily. She constantly taught me to pray through leading me to prayer and connecting me to God, then eventually asking me to close the prayer after the topic “Devotion” in our ONE 2 ONE meet up.

When I first heard about doing devotions, it somehow looked so hard. Before I became a Christian, I thought devotion was about memorizing a chunk of prayers and verses and allotting hours in prayer to get what I want. But Christianity is beyond duties. Doing devotions is about growing continually in a personal relationship with someone you dearly love—God. It’s about communicating with and hearing from Him, so you will know and love Him more. Because the more you know Him, the more you will fall in love with Him.

Here are some things I learned in my journey of growing in my relationship with God and helping others do so:

  1. Point to a relationship.

Doing devotions is part of our growing relationship with God.

He communicates to us primarily through His word and we communicate to Him through prayer. Part of a growing relationship is loving and serving each other. When we love someone, we will do everything not to hurt that person. In His word, God has written all of His promises and assurances for us that stand through the test of time. And whenever we read the word, it will keep us away from sin (the ultimate thing that hurts God), help us live a pure and holy life (this honors God), and allow us to know Him better as the wonderful God, Father, Lover, Provider, Protector, and Friend that He is to us.

  1. Do it with them.

We can teach others how to do devotions by showing them.

After your ONE 2 ONE meeting, ask the other person to bring a Bible, a pen, and a notebook. They can also download a Bible app if they haven’t bought one yet. 

One method they can easily apply is the SOAP method which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Read at least one chapter of the Bible with them and ask them to write what they observed in the Scripture. Then ask them to write down if there is a truth about God

that we should believe and remember, an attitude we should change, a sin to turn away from, a promise to claim, an example to follow, or a command to obey. Finally, ask them to pray the Scripture over their lives or to respond to the Scripture in prayer. 

You can do it with the people you are leading for two to three times, and then challenge them to do it every day.

  1. Spur one another.

Continue to spur one another in reading the word and praying to God through sharing your personal revelations and challenges in doing devotions. Knowing that each one of us has to fight for our commitment to grow in our relationship with God every single day can encourage them to keep fighting.

You can also share some tips that helped you grow even in busy seasons, like listening to podcasts or an audio-Bible, starting with worship songs, or journalling so that there is no one way to show our devotion to God or to grow in our relationship with Him. 

Doing devotions is not just a routine task we have to fulfill, but is about a relationship that we need to grow, even in different seasons.

As we continue to grow in our devotion to and love for God, we will find that it is best shared with  others, continually.

“Maniwala sa Kanyang pagmamahal at kapangyarihan.”

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Acts 16:31

Isa ito sa mga pinapangarap natin para sa ating pamilya noong una nating nakilala si Jesus.

Isa ito sa mga pinapangarap nating makitang mangyari habang tayo ay nabubuhay.

Isa din ito sa mga pangarap na ikinagagalak nating natupad sa buhay ni JM, isang estudyante mula sa Technological University of the Philippines – Manila.

JM is a second year student studying Information Technology. He began his walk with God three years ago, but it was a rocky start.  For three years, he struggled with getting his parents approval to continue to go to church. He was the first person in his family who came to know the Lord through a friend. 

The struggle didn’t end there. It came to a point where his scholarship was challenged because of the persecution. The person financing his education threatened to stop supporting him if he continued to pursue a different belief. This was a real dilemma for JM, since he dreamed of helping his family financially as soon as he graduated and found a job.

But he stood his ground and miraculously, in the midst of persecution, his relationship with God was strengthened, as well as with the church community in his campus. What Paul said in Philippians 3:8 became so real to him, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”

JM became fruitful in serving the campus and discipling other students, but during the pandemic, he was separated from church family and was the only Christian in his home. One thing was clear: God was calling him to see his family as his primary mission field. 

Over online campus gatherings, JM found himself being challenged to be salt and light to his family in the midst of a rare opportunity of spending time with his family longer than he imagined. 

JM began praying and asking God for the salvation of his family, believing that God is more powerful than any other persecution he can experience. 

. . . but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you . . . 

1 Peter 3:15 

One day, he stepped out in faith to share the good news of salvation to his family. And miraculously, they all received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! They even started to have daily devotions together as a family. What’s more, JM is going through ONE 2 ONE with his dad, which is greatly helping their relationship to grow!

They had been waiting for JM to preach the gospel all along! Their hearts were ready and open for it. What was left was for JM to step out in faith and obey God!

JM exhorts each one of us with this: “Don’t lose hope. God has a perfect plan and timing for everything. Always trust Him, because nothing is impossible for Him.”

May ipinangako ang Diyos para kay JM.

May pangako din Siya para sa ’yo at sa pamilya mo.

Kaso baka naghihintay lang din sila. 

Ang tanong, handa ka na ba?