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What is a devotional?

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Loyal
I have a question to pose. What is a devotional? I mean, what qualifies on here as something that is regarded as a devotional? Biblically, what do you believe should be included in a devotional? What does the Bible have to say on this subject? What should be its purpose? Should there be a specific format for it? Or, should there be a limit as to how many words it can contain? I am just trying to understand what is fitting to post in this section and what is not.
 
Loyal
I'm going to bump this up to the top, because I am hoping to get a response. I don't see anything on here that describes what a devotional is or is not or what it should or should not contain, or what its purpose is. I would just like some opinions on what you think it is, if you don't mind. That would help me better to understand what or what not to post in this section. Thank you for any input you can give me.
 
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Staff Member
Greetings @Sue J Love

Well this certainly isnt a devotional.....so I should it to a more appropriate place :smile:


What Is a Devotional?


A devotional is a short piece of inspiration. Some writers refer to these pieces as “mediations” or even as “devos,” using the abbreviated term that’s so popular with students.



It is a unique form for two reasons.



1. It Is Short
By short, I mean devos are generally 150-500 words long. On average the total word count clocks in at 200-250 words.

There is a good reason for brevity. Devos are designed to inspire the reader to apply a biblical principle. A good devo uses one idea from the Bible and gives an example of how that idea is lived out.

2. It Inspires
A devo is a short piece of inspiration – not a short piece ofinstruction.

This is an important distinction. A good devo sheds light on a particular biblical principle and shows one way God has made it real. It connects the events of real life to scripture. It is that connection factor that makes devos so powerful. It shows how one facet of God has been experienced in another person’s life.

A devo does not tear apart the scripture (the way you might find in a sermon or Bible class) by looking for cross-references and seeking to uncover its theological, historical, and cultural context.

That is not to say that a reader won’t learn more scripture from reading devos. He will. But instruction is not the goal.

Why "Short and Inspiring"?
People like to read about and hear about other people. It’s encouraging when others share how God has used a particular situation to impart a deeper understanding of who He is. It’s authentic. It’s personal.

A well-written devo can help a struggling mom see how another mom had patience with her pre-teen and point her to a scripture to help her in the moment. A well-written devo can point a college student to a passage he’d never read and open the way for him to read the entire chapter. A well-written devo can move a busy executive to take a few moments of thanksgiving and praise just before a fast-paced day.

A devotional communicates scriptural truth – just one truth, since the devo is short – in a way that inspires the reader to a closer relationship with God.

It sticks.
 
Loyal
Greetings @Sue J Love

Well this certainly isnt a devotional.....so I should it to a more appropriate place :smile:


What Is a Devotional?


A devotional is a short piece of inspiration. Some writers refer to these pieces as “mediations” or even as “devos,” using the abbreviated term that’s so popular with students.



It is a unique form for two reasons.



1. It Is Short
By short, I mean devos are generally 150-500 words long. On average the total word count clocks in at 200-250 words.

There is a good reason for brevity. Devos are designed to inspire the reader to apply a biblical principle. A good devo uses one idea from the Bible and gives an example of how that idea is lived out.

2. It Inspires
A devo is a short piece of inspiration – not a short piece ofinstruction.

This is an important distinction. A good devo sheds light on a particular biblical principle and shows one way God has made it real. It connects the events of real life to scripture. It is that connection factor that makes devos so powerful. It shows how one facet of God has been experienced in another person’s life.

A devo does not tear apart the scripture (the way you might find in a sermon or Bible class) by looking for cross-references and seeking to uncover its theological, historical, and cultural context.

That is not to say that a reader won’t learn more scripture from reading devos. He will. But instruction is not the goal.

Why "Short and Inspiring"?
People like to read about and hear about other people. It’s encouraging when others share how God has used a particular situation to impart a deeper understanding of who He is. It’s authentic. It’s personal.

A well-written devo can help a struggling mom see how another mom had patience with her pre-teen and point her to a scripture to help her in the moment. A well-written devo can point a college student to a passage he’d never read and open the way for him to read the entire chapter. A well-written devo can move a busy executive to take a few moments of thanksgiving and praise just before a fast-paced day.

A devotional communicates scriptural truth – just one truth, since the devo is short – in a way that inspires the reader to a closer relationship with God.

It sticks.
Thank you! That helps a lot! I had never heard anyone explain it before. I knew they were shorter than sermons, but I didn't know this other stuff. Did you write that yourself? Or, did you get that from someplace?
 
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