Today we’ll start looking at 4 elements to include in a powerful devotional.
Have you ever had a great idea for encouraging others, but you just don’t know how to put it on paper? How do you start? How do you express your main point?
Today’s blog post and the next four blog posts in this series will answer your questions and give you a definite way to express your ideas in a devotional.
Let’s start with an informal definition of a devotional: a short piece of writing to inspire the reader to grow in her devotion to Christ. That word devotion makes me think of loyal affection and focused pursuit of Jesus, and this is exactly what we hope to accomplish by writing a devotional.
A devotional may be published technically as a devotional (for example, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ daily devotions ), or it might be published in some other venue, such as a blog post. Either way, as Christian writers much of what we write about falls into the devotional category.
In this blog series I’m excited to offer you 4 elements to include in a powerful devotional. Two disclaimers: 1) this is just one way to write a devotional, not the only way, and 2) this series will offer guidelines, not a rule book.
4 Key Elements of a Devotional
- Addressing Your Reader’s Need
- Exploration of Scripture
We’ll be looking at each of these elements in the coming weeks. For now read the devotional below. A devotional is typically short, from 250 – 1000 words. This sample is especially short because it had to fit a word requirement to be included in the Real-Life Devotional Bible. You’ll find that even a brief devotional can include all four elements.
Do You Think I’m Beautiful?
by Melanie Chitwood
(taken from Real-Life Devotional Bible)
My sons and I dance in the kitchen as we put away dishes while loud music blares. Lately, the sanctuary of our home is the only place I can dance without embarrassing them, a fact which usually doesn’t stop me from car dancing when a good song comes on.
Besides, today I would dance anywhere because I’m in a dancing mood.
Why? I got a new pair of boots. And these are not sensible boots. They are high-heeled and impractical. Today they make me feel beautiful.
Do you remember longing to be beautiful? Sometimes we hide from the longing. We wonder if a good Christian woman is vain if she wants to beautiful. Shouldn’t we be more concerned with our character than outward beauty? So we try to discard our longing by telling ourselves that physical beauty is a useless pursuit.
But deep down this doesn’t ring true. We desire to display both inner and outer beauty. What we really long for is someone to be enchanted with our entire being, our very essence.
What if we recognize this longing as a God-given desire that distinguishes our feminine hearts? When I turn this over in my mind and heart, I find something incredible. Our heavenly Father is the one who both created and fulfilled the longing of our hearts. God sees us inside and out, and he’s not disappointed or critical. He will “take great delight in you” and “rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17).
That’s why I’m dancing in my new boots today. Join me. Put on your favorite stylish shoes, crank the tunes and dance.
Can you identify the four key elements? We’ll use this example throughout the series, as I discuss each element in the coming weeks.
Thank you for stopping by Next Step Coaching Services!
Melanie and I are going to be double trouble for the next five weeks, and we hope you love it! In addition to Melanie’s posts about writing devotions, I’m going to be doing a free coaching session on Facebook Live each week to help us use the fall season to re-focus on our speaking and writing ministries.
This week I’ll be doing a session called Focus Your Message, so mark your calendar to join me @NextStepCoach on Facebook on Thursday, Sept. 14th at 3:30 pm Eastern Time.
I’ll hang out for a few minutes after the session to answer questions, and if you miss it live, you can always visit the Next Step Coaching Services Facebook page later to watch. I hope you’ll join me!