Thank you for the helpful lesson. I am learning much from your instruction and hope to continue growing as an all-around writer. As a minister for many years, devotionals have remained a means of encouraging others to maintain the good habit of daily bible study. And I write my devotions with that hope. I pray that no offense will be taken at my comments, for they come from curiosity and confusion and that's on me. However, when I review certain devotional publications, which have ministered to and inspired millions of people for many years, I must conclude that they have a good grasp of devotional writing. For example, The "Our Daily Bread" from RBC Ministries. They begin each devotion with a scripture, though it may be boxed off. I've always read the scripture first.
Second, some devotions I think are not meant to entertain. And perhaps too much creativity can distract from the power of the word of God. The body of the devotion (to me) is to illustrate the truth of the chosen scripture, such as Jesus' parables did. And yes we don't want a dry telling of some bygone event. Maybe a balance needs to be found.
Your example devotion was a brilliant piece of work. And that's what my mind was on until the last 1/3 of the piece: it made me think of the writer. Your ending was more devotional for me than the first half.
To "inspire" (again, for me) does not necessarily involve flattery or making the reader feel good. Sometimes we must feel bad and be convicted before we can experience the ultimate good which is derived from knowledge of the Word.
The devotions which have really lifted me up, and inspired me, and helped me to draw closer to God, were the ones that made me want to reach for my bible to mine for more of the precious truths hidden there. They created a hunger for God, rather than satisfied a hunger to feel good or be entertained. Anyway, I'm still trying to figure these things out, and how to grow as a devotional writer. Of course my forte is teaching bible, so my approach may be different and sound like I'm coming from out in left field. But I'm only out here because I knew you were going to hit another home run! I'm trying to catch your hit, I hope it hasn't flown over my head.
Keep Being a Blessing,