growth group week fifteen:
Growing through morning devotions

Week 15
Day 1: 2nd Corinthians 5-6
Day 2: 2nd Corinthians 7-8
Day 3: 2nd Corinthians 9-10
Day 4: 2nd Corinthians 11-12
Day 5: 2nd Corinthians 13

Memory verse:
Psalm 119:147

I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.

Focal passages:  Psalm 63:1; Psalm 119:147; Mark 6:31; Mark 1:35; Luke 22:39

As we saw last week, the word of God is one of the main tools to produce spiritual growth in our lives. This week we want to focus on our devotional life. Some of us might have a strong devotional life already. Some of us might struggle in our devotional life and still others might not even know what a devotional life is. Let’s examine this very important topic together.

Our devotional life is the time that we spend each day with the Lord. It’s vitally important for us to begin our day spending time in prayer, worship and the word. This is such an important time as we begin our day by putting our eyes on Jesus. The key to a strong devotional life is simply, consistency. For us to be consistent in our devotional life we have to make it a priority. We could say that priority leads us to consistency. How many of us feel like we are very inconsistent in our devotional life? If this describes you, ask yourself the question, “What priority do I place on my devotional life?” We plan everything in our lives. We make a schedule so that we might be able to do the things that are important to us throughout our day. How much more important is it to schedule our time with the Lord each and every day. Of course, spending time with the Lord is something that we will continue to do throughout our day but it is very important to have that consecrated time with Him each and every morning.

Let’s look at our focal passages together. In Psalm 63:1 David declares “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” The word early here literally means “first,” that’s why it’s translated “early” because it refers to the first part of the day. We must put God first!!! The best way to do that, is to start our day by seeking His face. Psalm 119 is a Psalm that is all about the word of God. In fact, if you read this Psalm closely, you’ll notice that it is actually a prayer. In verse 147, we have a beautiful and simple outline for morning devotions.

The Psalmist simply says that in the early morning, he rises to seek the Lord. The first thing he does is he “cries for help.” Here is a great example and model of how we should begin our devotions with the Lord in the morning. We should begin them with prayer. Not just a general prayer, but crying out to God to strengthen us and help us to live for Him and fulfill His calling on our lives as disciples of Christ each and every morning. Prayer is such an important part of our devotional life. I find that many Christians skip this part and just read some verses from scripture and go on their way. This is often why people don’t get a lot out of their devotional life. Prayer is essential because without God and His help, we can’t even understand His word (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). We see this in the life of Jesus. Mark 1:35 records it for us… “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” If Jesus thought He needed to rise early and to pray then

obviously we need it in such a greater way. Also if I’m going to follow Jesus, I need to follow His example. Jesus found a quiet place to spend time with the Lord. The word “solitude place” here in Mark 1:35 is the word for deserted or desert. It speaks of a very quiet place where you can think and pray and not be distracted by everything around you (Mark 6:31). We need this so desperately in the busy life that we live. Do you have a quiet place that you go to? If not, you should seek to find one. Jesus even had a special place like this when He left the Galilee and traveled to Jerusalem Luke 22:39 “Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.” It is so important for us to have that quiet place that we go to. This is what people often call a prayer closet. Jesus tells us in the sermon on the mount in Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Whether this is a special place in your home or like Jesus a place in God’s nature, like a park or beach, make sure that you have your place of solitude to spend time with God each and every day. And it’s not really about where you go, but that you spend personal time with the Lord every day in prayer, worship and His word. Remember this will only take place in our life consistently when we make it our priority and schedule it. The apostle Paul opens most of his new testament epistles telling the church that he remembers them in prayer. In the first epistle at least chronologically in the New Testament we come to is the book of Romans. In Romans 1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” The phrase “In my prayers” could be translated “at the time of” my prayers. Which would come from the Jewish tradition that Paul grew up in, that each day a Jew would have set times for prayer. They actually prayed three times a day (Psalm 55:16-17). Also, we find that Daniel was so committed to his time of prayer that he was unwilling to compromise it at any cost, even if that meant that he would be thrown into the lions den. Daniel 6:10 says “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” This was also the practice of the early church Acts 3:1, “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.” I pray that the Lord gives each of us a deep conviction to be committed to making our morning devotions a priority and strengthens us to be consistent in it.

In Psalm 119:147, he goes on to talk about putting our “hope in God’s word.” Besides prayer this is a huge part of our devotional life, reading, meditating and studying God’s word. In the next couple weeks we are going to look at the different ways that we can approach God’s word in our devotions. Understanding the importance of a devotional life are the foundational steppingstones of being a disciple and following Jesus. I look forward to what God is going to do in us as we continue growing together.


1. 1. Do you have a devotional life? If so, what does it look like and how consistent is it?

2. 2. Do you have a special place that you go to do your devotions? Is this a place that is quiet and without distraction? If your answer is yes, share with the group about it. If your answer is no, discuss some ideas of where you might go from now on.

3. 3. Do you schedule a time for morning devotions? Like do you plan your life so that you have adequate time to spend with the Lord each and every morning? If not, are you willing to make a commitment and be held accountable by the group to start doing it?

4. 4. Do you find yourself getting distracted with your phone or other things while you’re trying to have your devotions? What sort of things distract you? What are some strategies you can do to keep from being distracted?

(We encourage you to not take your phone with you into your devotions as often it is more of

a distraction than a help)

Action steps:

Be committed to spending time each morning with the Lord. To do this, schedule your life around your morning devotions. If that means you need to go to bed earlier so you have adequate time in the morning to seek the Lord, then commit to do that. Hold each other accountable each week to be spending time with the Lord in prayer and His word every day.