Drops in a Bucket

0 comments Posted on October 2, 2018

by Deepak Reju

In the new series 31-Day Devotionals for Life (P&R Publishing), biblical counselors and Bible teachers guide you through Scripture passages that speak to your situation, helping you to apply God’s Word in practical ways. Each devotional is written to address one specific problem or life circumstance—starting with grief, pornography addiction, adultery, doubts, contentment, and addictive habits, with many more topics to come.

Early in our marriage, my wife and I lived on the top floor of a townhouse, in a small one-bedroom apartment. Whenever it rained, leaks in the roof would drip through the ceiling and onto our floors. I remember placing buckets in different parts of the apartment and watching the water slowly drip, one drop at a time. I put large buckets out and thought, It’ll take a while to fill them. The water built up over time, and often I was surprised at how quickly those buckets filled up, overflowing if I didn’t pay close enough attention.

These devotionals are just like rain filling up a bucket. It’s slow, and it builds over time. Just a few verses every day. Drip. Drip. Drip. Just a few drops of Scripture daily to satiate your parched soul. God’s Word speaks into your specific situation a bit at a time, day after day after day.

We start with Scripture. God’s Word is powerful. In fact, it’s the most powerful force in the entire universe. It turns the hearts of kings, brings comfort to the lowly, and gives spiritual sight to the blind. It transforms lives and turns them upside down. We know that the Bible is God’s very own words, so we read and study it to know God Himself. We are not surprised that God’s Word has something to say about our specific situation, no matter what we are going through.

Our study of Scripture is practical. Theology should change how we live. It’s crucial to connect the Word with your struggles. Often, as you read these devotionals, you’ll see the word you because the author speaks directly to you, the reader. The devotionals contain reflection questions and practical suggestions. For the porn struggler, it’s not enough to say, “Put to death this sin” or “Trust Christ.” Instead we ask, “What’s your plan?” or “Who is your accountability partner? What are you telling them?” For the adulterer, it’s not enough to say, “Repent” and “Go back to your spouse,” but also, “Here is what confession should be like” or “Here’s how to rebuild your marriage.” Biblical and practical. The best books include both. Readers will get much more from their experience if they answer the reflection questions and do the practical suggestions. These features are offered for the sake of the reader’s own soul.

Our study of Scripture is worshipful. Fundamentally, any struggle is a worship problem. We’ve lost our orientation toward the One who should rule our lives, and we need to turn back to Him. The Word points us to Christ, who rescues us from our plight and reorients our life. The goal of your time in God’s Word should always be worship. As you grow in your affections for Christ, the King, you put to death your affections for ungodly things. The power of a greater affection for Christ can transform your soul. Adore Christ. Love Him. Cherish Him. Praise Him. Honor Him. Give your whole life to Him. Don’t hold anything back.

These devotionals can also be reread in different seasons of life. A wife who has lost her husband of forty years will read Bob Kellemen’s Grief: Walking with Jesus a few days after the funeral. She’ll be strengthened by God’s Word to bear up under her sorrow. A year later, as their anniversary or her husband’s birthday hits like a lighting bolt, pain and grief will resurface. She’ll pull out the devotional again and work through it, reminding herself of how Jesus knows her sorrow and pain.

Pastors and counselors often find that their counselees do not have good habits of studying God’s Word. The addict, chronically discontent person, adulterer, and others are so overwhelmed by their problems that they’ve lost sight of the discipline of studying Scripture. So these devotionals are useful as a tool to get the troubled Christian into the Word each day.

These devotionals are not meant to be a comprehensive guide to fighting life’s struggles. Good volumes are already written for that purpose. Thus, most devotionals include a list of resources to assist the reader in further study and reflection.

Do you know anyone who may be helped by one of these devotionals?

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