Devotion

DD Devotion iconWe express our devotion to those we love through acts of kindness (eg buying flowers or chocolates, taking a friend for a meal, sitting at the bedside of an ill relative). Love - and devotion - is never a matter or words or emotions. If faith without works is dead, then love without works is unfulfilled.

He left his Father's throne above -
so free, so infinite his grace -
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
for O my God, it found out me!

Charles Wesley
(1707-1788)

Similarly, our devotion to God is expressed in what we do. Our actions do not make us more 'loveable' to God, nor do they earn us any spiritual credit. It remains true that we are accepted by God by grace alone. We are 'saved by grace through faith' (Ephesians 2:8), saved because of our faith in what God has done in Christ, not because of what we do for God.

But although spiritual practices do not earn salvation, they can and do open us up to the love that God has for us. They help us to grow into maturity as children of God. They open the sails of our life to the wind of the Spirit. We find ourselves transformed.

"God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

(Romans 5:5b) (NRSV)

Devotion refers to those inward spiritual practices that we pursue as part of our individual discipleship - disciplines such as prayer, fasting, studying the scriptures, pilgrimage, giving and journalling. In John Wesley's terms, such practices form 'Means of Grace' because God uses them to help us become like Jesus.

Just as Jesus spent time with the Father away from the crowds, devotion can involve withdrawing from others to be with God. We 'go into our rooms and shut the doors' (Matthew 6:6). We give time and space for our spirits to grow.

"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."

(James 4:8) (NRSV)

But although practices of 'devotion' are individually pursued, they are never individualistic. Although they are personal, they are never private. They impact the world through impacting hearts. They change communities by changing individuals.

Such practices of devotion form part of aspiritual rhythm, and sit alongside practices of worship and evangelism, justice and compassion. Together, they allow for transformation and change in the lives of those who follow them.

In this section of the website, a range of areas will help you to develop practices of devotion.

DD Explore iconIn the Resources section, you'll find information about different practices as well as a description of their scriptural roots, their significance for Methodists (and other Christians), and simple guides on how to begin and develop these areas.

DD Further Resources iconLinks and more ideas provide signposts to websites, books and organisations that can help you pursue practices of devotion.   
   

"In using all means, seek God alone... Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul. Therefore, eye him in all, through all, and above all."

John Wesley, Sermon 16 'The Means of Grace'

DD Stories iconFinally, the Stories section shows you how such practices have changed (and are changing) the lives of individuals and communities. We also invite you to share your own stories so that others can be inspired and encouraged in their journeys of faith.

Keep coming back to the website as further resources will be added and existing ones updated.

  • ResourcesExploreUseful SuggestionsRead more  
  • Links and more ideasFurther ResourcesResources to help you further explore patterns of devotionRead more  
  • StoriesStoriesStories from the DistrictsRead more  
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