Romans 1:28-31 - 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
As I read this passage, it struck me that "...retaining the knowledge of God..." is very important. The result of not doing it is very bleak and painful. For a start reminder of what happens when someone doesn't retain the knowledge of God, read the rest of the verse. It took Paul a little more than three verses to outline the results of not retaining His words. I'm pretty sure Paul wasn't referencing reading God's word daily, but in my opinion, it certainly can be applicable to daily devotions.
For me, not doing devotions has many effects on my life (none of which are positive or good!). I like to look at things from a straightforward approach. I think of devotions as the "squid" on my face. (I like to think of the squid as the most important thing in my life at that moment. The squid has "attached" itself to my face so that the only thing I can see and focus on is the squid itself.) It's not meant to be a negative reminder at all. If I continually sit at the Lord's feet, read his word, and let Him teach me what I need to learn, His word and teachings become the "squid"...with His word ever-present on my mind (and thoughts), it becomes nearly impossible to think about anything else...most of which will lead to trouble. As I go throughout my day, if the "squid" remains stuck to my face, what else can I see? I surely won't be able to see the pretty girl who's dressed to impress, nor will I see the "gadgets" that tempt me. My point is this: If I stay in the word and focus on God's teaching in my life, there won't be a lot of room for me to stray. Pastor Wayne refers to "guard rails" periodically. Daily devotions, for me, are a guard rail of sorts. They keep me straight, safe, and headed in the right direction. Another way I like to think about daily devotions is using the visual of blinders. If God's word acts as my blinder, I won't be able to look left or right and can only focus on what's straight ahead. In my life, when I've gotten away from doing daily devotions, I can look back, without fail, and see that once the "squid" was no longer there, I could spend more time "staring" or "wanting." The longer I stay away, the more the blinders slip and allow me to see things Satan wants me to focus on. The end result has always been stuff outlined in verses 29 through 31.
Father, I thank you for Paul's "gentle" reminder about the importance of retaining the knowledge of You. The best way for me to retain that knowledge is to sit at your feet, daily, and journal on the lessons you teach me. You have never failed to teach me wonderful lessons. Although I stray, you always welcome me back to your "classroom" for more instruction. Your grace and forgiveness are truly amazing, undeserved, and immeasurable. Help me keep the "squid" suctioned to my face so that the only thing I will focus on is You. Please forgive me for not always keeping you as the main focus in my life. I'm made of flesh and my humanity sometimes gets in the way of what's truly important. Thank you for being such a wonderful and forgiving Father. Amen.