". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Devotional Aids for Every Christian Teacher

When I worked at my previous teaching job, I had to get up at 5:40 at the latest in order to get ready in time for my morning commute. That included time for a shower, a bowl of cereal, twenty minutes or so reading my Bible, a quick routine with clothes, hair, and makeup, and a half-hour drive to work. On the drive, I would usually turn on the local Christian radio station of my preference (sermons, not songs) to put me in the right frame of mind for my day ahead. It was a hectic day no matter how early I got up, but setting the alarm any earlier would have cut into my mandatory sleep time.

Now, with my current teaching job, I live just four blocks from work. Needless to say, my alarm goes off later these days. Still, I try to spend time in the Word every morning. I'm not sure I ever thought technology would play such a big role in my devotional life! Right now I'm reading the book of Matthew on my phone. The way Jesus interacts with people--his disciples, his critics, his needy followers of all kinds--speaks volumes about how I should interact with people at my school.

I've also just begun reading Susan O'Carroll Drake's Morning Meetings With Jesus: 180 Devotions for Teachers, which focuses on the teaching approaches of Jesus and how they apply to our lives as Christian educators. There are many devotional books written with teachers in mind, but this one stood out from the crowd.

Over the years there have been many devotional aids that have helped me devote my days to God in the morning or evening. Here are a few that aren't specifically geared toward teachers:

1. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon (sign up here for free emails from BibleGateway.com or to read online). It's old-fashioned and eloquent for those quiet moments with God.

2. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (visit utmost.org, which states, "Oswald Chambers sometimes startled audiences with his vigorous thinking and his vivid expression").

3. Blueletterbible.org and Biblegateway.com; both offer the text of the Bible online in several versions with numerous study helps and devotionals. I'm currently using Blueletterbible on my phone with the NASB in one column and the KJV in the other. I love being able to compare the two versions as I read. I also use it to check commentaries on the verses I'm struggling to understand.

4. Deserts of the Heart: Finding God During the Dry Times by Pamela Reeve; full of beautiful desert photography paired with devotional text geared toward surrender, contentment, and growth during life's wilderness experiences. My pastor recommended it to me, and now I recommend it to you.

5. Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot; a staple for me as I have mused about God's calling for me now and in the future. Jim Elliot knew God wanted him to preach to those who had never heard the good news of Jesus and His death on the cross. As a young man, he was often impatient for God's timing to take him to the mission field. Reading his wife Elisabeth's book, which consists mainly of Jim's diary entries and letters, I am comforted in the knowledge that God will be faithful to complete His work in my life.

Whatever devotional aids you choose to try, I hope you will make it your primary focus to read the Word of God every day and to meet with God in prayer. Even Jesus got up "a great while before day" and prayed. Let's strive toward the same pattern in our lives, even as busy teachers.

3 comments:

  1. Good blog. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was an awesome experience you have in your teaching job for Christian community. That secular work you did was awesome because you were able to deliver good teaching about devotions that every individual needs to follow and learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. It's great to have you visit.

      Delete