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!
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.
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.
Links 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
John Wesley, Sermon 16 'The Means of
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
Keep coming back to the website as further resources will be
added and existing ones updated.
- ResourcesUseful SuggestionsRead more
- Links and more ideasResources to help you further explore patterns of devotionRead more
- StoriesStories from the DistrictsRead more