Thanks for trusting us to come speak into your life. We are very excited about how devotional time impacts our life and have received much encouragement to share our teachings and devotionals with others. As we have shared our teachings and tips, many have benefitted greatly and have grown in their understanding of God, the Bible, and how to live as God desires us to live and be blessed by Him.
Why a “How To” Guide
As with any tool or piece of equipment that is meant to help us, using it the way it was designed to function is going to maximize its usefulness and impact. Many times I have tried to put something together for the girls on Christmas Eve(bicycles, outdoor basketball hoop, indoor arcade basketball, Nintendo, and Wii to name a few), it gets late(230 AM) and i have made mistakes and my wife asks the $64,000 question, “have you read the instructions yet?” So we are going to provide some instructions to maximize your use of this devotional.
As with any journey or activity, knowing the destination or goal helps us formulate the strategy and methods to best get to our goal. Jesus states the greatest commandment in MARK 12.30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself”. A short list but a tough list to accomplish. How do we follow these commandments? We aren’t talking about the feelings(warm and fuzzy) kind of love. Jesus is talking about the thinking world, the 2000-5000 decisions we make a day, and showing love in a healthy way based on what is in our heart and comes out as decisions.
Lighthouse Network’s desire and goal for you is for you to become a Lighthouse who fulfills these 2 commandments as much as possible! A Lighthouse:
- Shines God’s glory to the rest of the world – this means achieving your God-given potential in this life and the life after death by loving God in all you do
- Stands on rock solid foundation to withstand the storms of your own life – just like a real lighthouse is built on solid rock, so too our life needs rock solid foundation and we find this in Jesus, God, and the Bible, this would be the highest form of loving yourself, and
- Delivers guidance, refuge, and hope to those that are in the storms of life – we can reach out to others and be God’s tangible face, hands, and feet, and His audible voice of love and compassion that moves people closer to God.
The only one who fulfilled these two great commandments is Jesus Christ. God promises to conform us to the likeness of Christ. We are called to become more Christ-like. In order to be like Christ (think and respond to life like Jesus did), we must develop the mind of Christ.
Roman 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
As you see from our vision, we want to facilitate the renewing of your mind, so you can develop the mind of Christ, and transform your life. So we have developed our devotional with this vision in mind.
Our Goals for you:
- Grow a close and loving relationship with God. (Prayer)
- Become more Christ-like by developing the mind of Christ. (Transformational Tip)
- Realize the Bible is the place for truth to live life abundantly, today. (The Truth)
- Become a strong, bright lighthouse.
We are fine with this devotional being a feel good experience, but if that is all it is, then we have failed. This devotional will give you very practical tips and skills to change your life now to please God and be transformed to be someone you only imagined you could be. Sometimes it will convict you in areas you need work, but it should also bring you hope that with your talking to God and looking in His book, He will keep to His promise and bring you peace and joy in life.
How We Develop the Daily Devotional
Development starts with the Bible. We go to the Word of God, the Truth, the Bread of Life, where God reveals Himself. We choose a passage based on God’s prompting, a series or study we are involved in, or someone else’s prompting through a sermon, teaching or recommendation. While reading, we are looking for how God is using this passage to practically take us one stepping stone farther down the path of spiritual maturity and developing the mind of Christ. God always wants to grow us and the BIBLE is the Best Instruction Book for Living Everyday.
Based on the passage’s message and transformational tip or understanding for us, we pray(talk) to God and tell Him our thoughts, desires, and wishes that spring out of our digging into the word and wanting to apply it’s message.
Lighthouse’s Recommended Use of the Devotional
We understand that many different people will be reading our devotional from different perspectives, for varying needs, with differing levels of engagement, at various levels of maturity, and we know most have little extra time to engage with it. Using our devotional is pretty straightforward.
- You are a believer in Christ – this is the first step in Maximizing our devotional.
- You have confessed your sins so you are in clear communication with God and under maximum guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- You are clear headed, focused and can concentrate for a couple of minutes
- Read the Transformational Tip and think how it relates to your life. Think of how you can go just one stepping stone closer very practically to your Goal of fulfilling your God-given potential.
- Pray (talk to God directly). This is our actual prayer and you can use it directly or as an example of how you can talk to God about the tip and how you want and need His guidance, help, and power to get to the next stepping stone on your path to Christ-likeness. Ask God to open your eyes to His truth and strength to act according to His will.
- Read the Bible passages to see that the Bible does have answers for everyday life. If you have time at first reading, open the Bible and read before and after the verses and absorb as much as you can, but with particular focus on the transformational tip and it’s practical application to your life specifically.
- Journal(diary/log) your thoughts, tips and their applications, relational quality with God, self-awareness and understanding, peace, time in the Bible, comfort and depth of talking and listening to God. It takes practice like all skills, but if you practice and journal, the results you will see right in front of your eyes.
Go Take the Next Step
Now, we certainly aren’t saying that this is the only way to read the Bible, interact with God, pray, grow in your understanding of God, etc or even use this devotional, but this is one perspective of how to efficiently use your limited time to have focused attention with God, the Bible, and specific practical application.
We are thankful that you are allowing and trusting us to be part of your growth process and let us know how you are doing. Feel free to send us an email to: devotions@LighthouseNetwork.org
By HIS grace,
The Lighthouse Network Team