Some of you probably know the history of Journey devotional magazine better than I do. The goal when Journey began was to help women spend time in God’s Word every day. I’d say that is still the goal and true thirty years later. Each day’s devotion is designed to help women read the Scripture, ponder what it means to live God’s way, and then engage prompts to pray for ourselves and others.
Devotionals are part of ongoing spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading the Bible, and living out our faith in obedience to Jesus. Devotionals are intended to help us live a godly life—to know God’s character, attributes, and wisdom. At its core, a devotional is designed to lead us to help us take Scripture to heart, to have a short time of worshiping God, and to prioritize our devotion to God before and above all things.
Some people might think devotionals do not take one deep enough in the Scripture (that is why there are more thorough Bible reading plans and Bible studies). But devotionals are a great beginning of one’s spiritual walk. I have found that devotionals have four powerful benefits to help me each day.
- Devotional time reminds me what to focus on the rest of the day. My number one focus is God, His character, His will, and His ways. A devotion reminds me I can communicate and commune with God as I go about my day. I get to spend time with God every day! And that focus on His Word and prayer reminds me of the power of the Holy Spirit living in me and through me, and it changes everything about my day. Devotional time develops spiritual growth in me because I am focused on God and not tossed about by the culture.
- Devotional time each day reminds me of my priorities. There are many items on my to-do list but first and foremost are spending time with God and obeying His plans. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33). Life comes together when God is my priority. Life can be difficult, but I gain strength and inspiration to live out my life in obedience to God, keeping Him first.
- Devotional time reminds me of my calling to love God and love others. Matthew 22:37-40 says, “… Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” I need daily reminders to love God and love others, and I find those reminders in God’s Word and devotional time in prayer. My relationship with God needs to be right before my relationships with others will be healthy.
- Devotional time reminds me of who I am in Christ and who He created me to be. In a few verses, I can be reminded that God made me, formed me, and planned my days (see Ps. 139:13-18). He has a purpose and a plan for me. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). It is good to be reminded of this truth daily. And I love the reassurance that whatever the day brings, Jesus is for me, and with me. I need Him every day, and I know you do too.
Beginning September 2022, we will be adjusting Journey from a monthly devotional to a quarterly devotional. That means readers will receive three months of devotionals in one magazine. It means Journey will be mailed out four times per year. Each devotion includes the focal Scripture, the devotional thought, a prayer prompt, reflective questions, and a Scripture reference to dive deeper into God’s Word. Journey will continue to feature articles that will focus on walking in faith with God, knowing His Word, and how to love God and others well.
Most of all, Journey is trustworthy, biblically-based devotions that encourage and strengthen you in your walk with the Lord. We are on this journey with Him, and we are walking it together as a community of devotional readers.
I’m praying that we honor the Lord as we continue the journey—reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer with Him daily. The journey continues, and I’m so glad we are on this journey together!
Order your copy of Journey magazine here.
Michelle Hicks is the managing editor for Journey devotional magazine with Lifeway Women. Michelle served as a freelance writer, campus minister, and corporate chaplain before coming to Lifeway. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Michelle has a deep hunger for God’s Word and wants others to discover the abundant life they can have with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.