The Devotional Side of Doctrine

Dave Gifford

READ : Ephesians 3:16-21

Sometimes I wonder how I survived my teen years as a new Christian. During that time I tended toward a one-sided focus on doctrinal concepts such as sin, judgment, repentance and strict conduct. I fell into a strict, and for me, joyless way of understanding my faith.

Oh, I had plenty of fun, but my love of humor and fun was divorced from my faith rather than flowing from it. It left me with feelings of guilt and dread. Someday, I thought, I will get serious and shape up!

Only recently have I experienced the

joy

of the Lord without jettisoning a serious concern for solid doctrine and for the authority of the Bible. I discovered that one

can

positively integrate conservative Christian beliefs with a zest for life and happiness. Indeed, many of the same beliefs that used to get me down are now the very beliefs that God uses to encourage me, motivate me and bring me joy.

This month’s devotions are personal reflections on my surprising, positive discoveries which contrast with my original misconceptions. I hope they will inspire you to reflect on the goodness of our Christian faith.

PRAYER

Lord, bless readers and author together as we explore our wonderful faith this month. In Jesus’ name. Amen.