Question: I am looking for a short and basic daily devotional for new international believers. I want to encourage them to begin establishing a daily habit of meeting with God but use something that is not too time-consuming because they have such heavy study schedules. It would be helpful to include short Bible passages, a devotional explanation and an example of application and prayer. Books like “Streams in the Desert” or “My Utmost for His Highest” I find don’t really connect to them. It would be great if I could find some very contemporary and modern resources, that speak to a techno age….any suggestions?
Answer #1: I love Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.Jenny
Answer #2: "Our Daily Bread" has been a good resource for me. It's updated regularly and is available online and in multiple languages: http://odb.org/. There's also a mobile app, and you can subscribe to the English print addition, which they mail out for free every three months.
· Chinese (Traditional)
· Chinese (Simplified)
· Khmer (Cambodian)
Answer #3: I was thinking of Our Daily Bread, also. I don't think Jesus Calling would be too appropriate for men. Sandra
Answer #4: http://thirsty.ifesworld.org/about/
They'll email you (or send to your phone) a brief study each day. Good for people who are on the go and need a reminder.
Answer #5: If someone has time and interest, they can look through this list of options:
http://www.netministries.org/devlst.htmls Please note that the list on the left of the page is different from the list on the bottom of the page.
Answer #6: Looking back in my walk, quick devos actually only nurtured laziness, and turned me into one that could not digest the word on my own... Spoon fed, and spiritually anorexic... It wasn't until way later that I learned to make the "quick devo" work for me by adding journalling, verve memorization, word studies, back ground research, full passage reads, etc that these resources help me grow. With all the work that we are putting in teaching the students to dive into scripture head on and to find a truth to obey for the week... We need not to hand them something that would have them push all that training to the side. During this time they are learning that being in the word is valuable time and the first foundational years are so important.
This brings me to say that i think we are talking here about coming up with what PTO (Passing Truth On) is suppose to do. I did not get to go to any of the M28 sessions at Nationals and they may have addressed the answer there but seems like there are still some questions about this area. What do we do once they are saved?
As a young believer we want to still nurture discipline. Yes they need milk, but I don't think a quick one or two verse devotion that gives them all the answers will help them. I think it will actually hurt them in the long run. Most of them do not realize the life work behind developing that resource.
I have questions too but I have an idea that I will try my best to type out clearly in the 10 minutes I have remaining. To continue to nurture the discipline and value time spent in the word... we should encourage those dreaded three column study ... yes... aaahhh it sound painful... but in my PE training it is so true that... "no pain, no gain" =(. So we are given this nice list of verses for PTO... Or even the sermon their pastor preached on Sunday... If the student would find one day of the week were they can get down and dirty and devote an hour and a half or two and do a 3CS... they can launch their week with a focused God experience that they would get from applying the chosen passage in there spiritual disciplines that they should be learning to exercise. this is what will grow them into a stronger steak eater later in their walk. I'm just thinking on the fly here but if they had one day that was more free where they would put an hour or two into their time with God and do a three column study on that day, and the other 5-6 days they would stay in that same passage but take each day to have a different focus like:
BASIC - Basic Application of Scripture Into the Core
Day 1- 3CS (1.5 to 2 hours)
Day 2- verse memorization (30 minutes)
Day 3- word study (30 minutes)
Day 4- just be still... Silent (30 minutes)
Day 5- prayer through the verses (30 minutes)
Day 6- journaling (30 minutes)
Day 7- ?
Day 1-Return back to day one with new passage.
Day one could be Thursday for one student and another student Monday could be their 3CS day. Not sure if the order of the days matter. I did have some quick thoughts as to why I arranged them this way but that is definitely open for discussion.
Answer #7: I was just about to suggest the 3 Column Bible Study. Thanks Lisa!
One modification I would make would be to insert some sort of community based "check and reflect" on the study somewhere in the middle of the week (maybe on day 4, shifting the rest down by a day). Have the student meet with other believers, go through the columns, and discuss their findings. After all, as we are reminded in M:28, heresies do not arise from groups, but from individuals. Besides, as Christians, we need to strive for growth in community. That is the blessing of the Church, and one that we pass over if we just promote personal devotion without community accountability and discussion. The early church met daily and devoted itself to the apostles' teaching, as a community. While that is descriptive rather than prescriptive, perhaps we should be encouraging students to do likewise.
Answer #8: Lisa, great question! “what PTO (Passing Truth On) is suppose to do… What do we do once they are saved?”
Your start of an answer shows that we (ISI) still need to think through how to add scripture memorization and the 3 column study to the whole mix (among other things). I am no expert, but in the PTO Manual pages 14-15 there is the plan of encouraging students to do 5-5-5: 5 minutes of reading, 5 minutes of journaling and 5 minutes of praying. Maybe ISI can write our own version of “7 Minutes with God” (which I like a lot) using the 5-5-5 focus. Do we dare include another 5 for Scripture memorization? How do we balance “giving them the tools” with “showing them the scripture and letting them hear from God and obey”?
Answer #9: My thinking is that often daily devotionals are shallow or written from a strong American/western bias or both. I would add that Jesus Calling may look superficially like it's good for women only, but actually each one of us is to have that kind of relationship with Jesus, both male and female. My beloved seminary professor says that if a man has not learned to have a love relationship with Jesus he won't know how to love his wife! So lets get beyond the American macho stereotypes and help all our students to fall in love with Jesus.
I like the triangle or pyramid that I learned from Intervarsity - the base of the triangle is to ask what does the passage say? Note all the details: the people present, the speaker, the person addressed, all the little pronouns. Are there any problems or questions with the text? Then and only then, can you move to asking "What does the text mean?" And finally, "What does the text mean to me?" That's just the top tip of the triangle. But it's important to get there, in the right order. Usually we want to skip straight to the top, but in order to see accurately, we have to do the groundwork of study.
I also like to sing and to pray through whatever I'm reading. Sometimes, God just gives me a melody, and as I move into it He expands it.
Answer #10: Another resource for daily devotions that international students can use profitably is the Daily Light. This is a remarkable collection of brief devotions, 2 a day (morning and evening), consisting of a single phrase or brief Bible verse, followed only by related Bible passages. In other words, this is simply the Bible commenting on itself. At the bottom are the Bible references listed in order so that they can be looked up in context if desired.
This classic is the result of a British family’s practice: every morning the father selected a key phrase or passage for the family. Then during the day each family member sought out relevant passages that shed light on the key phrase/passage, and then in the evening the family re-gathered to share what the Holy Spirit had revealed. The best of these collections were recorded and saved, and voila! The Daily Light!
Daphne and I marvel at how the Holy Spirit uses each morning’s (or evening’s) set of passages to speak to us—no matter how many years we’ve been through the book. While it is true that at our advanced ages, our memories aren’t what they used to be—no wise cracks now!—, the real reason for the blessing/challenge/encouragement is because this is not a collection of mere human commentary on the Bible. This is the Bible commenting on the Bible.
The Daily Light is available at any Christian book store in the English Standard Version.
Answer #11: I've appreciated hearing from all of you regarding devotional books that you have found helpful. I have profited much from what writers of these devotional books have learned from the Lord.
I love the M28 type of Bible study - it helps people to understand the Word of God for themselves. But doing Bible study and developing a relationship with God are two different things. We need to help people do Bible study and we need to help the new believer learn to listen to God and to respond to what they hear God saying.
I would like to suggest 7 Minutes with God, a tool to help people meet with God in just 7 minutes. It is not a devotional book rather the "how to" of developing a devotional life. Of course we all know that 7 minutes will never be enough time to pray and read the Word but it is a good place to start with new believers. This is a pamphlet I have used for many years to help people develop their own devotional life. Journaling also has to be a part of the process. We easily forget what we read and what God has shown us in the Word. The key to helping a person develop their relationship with God is modeling it for them. They need to see us excited about what God is saying to us. We need to show them how to journal and we need to share thoughts from our own journal. Meet with them individually to tell them why, show them how, get them started, keep them going and help them to reproduce it! Every time you get together with them, have something fresh from the Word to share with them and ask them what God is teaching them from their time in the Word. Depending on the Word as our devotional book will keep them going for a lifetime!
I have added the link for 7 Minutes with God below. You can purchase the pamphlets in bulk from NavPress (pkg of 25 for $11.99).
7 Minutes With God, How To Plan a Daily Quiet Time - The Navigators
Answer #12: I have always grown from and loved any of the bible study books for women by Cynthia Heald. You can go at any pace and dwell in the Word with her guidance.Becky
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