How you use a daily devotional depends on you—your learning and reading style, the amount of time you decide to put into it, how deep you want to go.
Here are some ideas on how to use and get the most out of Heaven and Nature Sing:
Ask the Holy Spirit to Speak to You
The Holy Spirit is our Counselor and Teacher. Ask Him to give you understanding of what you’ll read each day, especially the words from the Bible itself.
Our (the authors’) words in these devotionals express our own experiences and thoughts. We hope they mean something to you, too.
The Holy Spirit can open your eyes, mind and heart to both relate to these thoughts yourself and give you even more understanding for you personally.
Ask Him for understanding, for personal application, for His insight for you for that day.
There’s no prize for finishing first! Read through each day’s devotional slowly so you get the full meaning of what each author is expressing.
It usually helps me to re-read parts that stick out to me, or even re-read the whole devotional after I’ve been through it once.
Write Your Thoughts Down
Keep a journal next to you as you read so you can write down your thoughts.
This can simply be a spiral notebook—the kind kids use for school. You can get them for about 50¢ at any Walmart or Target. Or if you prefer, spend $10-15 for a “real” journal, with or without lines. You’ll find these at bookstores, online…lots of places.
Here’s a 1-page PDF print-out you can use for a journal if you like. Print as many as you like. You can 3-hole punch them and put them in a binder, or collect them in a folder or two.
Some of the devos ask you questions at the end. Take some time to think about how you’d answer, and write down those thoughts. It doesn’t have to polished or even edited. It’s just helping you sort out your thoughts and anything you believe the Lord is speaking to you.
Mark Up the Book
I’m an underliner, myself. When I get a book—especially a devotional—I underline, circle, comment and draw arrows in it.
So feel free to grab a pen or pencil and mark up your own book if it helps you.
There are some devotionals I own that I’ve gone through year after year. Sometimes I’ll put dates next to little comments I write down, or underlines. It’s fun to look back and see what the Lord was speaking to me at the time.
Read It with Your Bible
Heaven and Nature Sing is meant to be a companion to your Bible, not a replacement for it.
You can read it along with a daily Bible reading schedule you’re using. Or you can follow the Dig Deeper suggestions at the end of every devo. These scripture passages relate to the main theme for that day.
(There are dozens of great Bible reading plans out there. Do an online search or ask a friend what he or she likes to use and try one.)
Use It to Connect with Jesus
You’ve probably heard this: “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship.” And it’s true. The whole point of being a Christian is our relationship with Jesus.
You’ve probably also heard that what you get out of something is proportionate to what you put into it. We agree with that, too.
Your faith journey rests in your relationship with Jesus, so spend time with Him. Reading your Bible and a devotional each day is one way to do that.
And just like our human relationships need time to develop and deepen, so our relationship with Jesus needs time to develop and deepen.
Heaven and Nature Sing is a tool you can use to help you with that. So don’t rush it. Devote a period of time that’s quiet and undistracted. Set aside or even turn off your phone. Just spend some unhurried time with the Lord.
Use It to Connect with Others
We know of people who are reading Heaven and Nature Sing with others—a friend, a spouse—and comparing their thoughts.
Not only will that other person have a different take on each day’s reading than you will, but it’s a great way to stay accountable to read it every day, if that’s important to you.
If one or more of these ideas helps you go through the readings in Heaven and Nature Sing—or any other devotional—great!