With a new year, many Christians make attempts to revamp their study or devotional time. January 1 is the perfect time to open a new journal, begin a new Bible reading plan, and/or introduce a new devotional book into our routine.
Interestingly, I’ve discovered that devotional books can be a bit controversial as some professing Christians sit in judgment of the genre. These assume that one who is regularly reading a devotional is reading only that devotional and not delving into the study of Scripture. This is a straw man argument built up by their own spiritual pride, and such arrogance should be ignored.
Of course, a devotional book should never replace our reading and study of God’s Word. A good devotional, however, will point us to Christ and Scripture, and will leave us with a thought or two to ponder throughout the day. Over the years I’ve read many edifying and insightful devotional works, and I thought it may be helpful to share some of those with you as you consider what your own quiet time might look like in the coming year.
When I first saw the title of the above devotional, I hesitated, thinking it was surely a feministic work. How wrong I was! Author Diana Lynn Severance has done a marvelous job gathering stories of women throughout church history, and providing the reader with a short, 1-page biographical sketch of each. Every reading concludes with Scripture, and finds the reader encouraged to see God’s hand at work throughout the ages.
This devotional compiles J.C. Ryle’s commentary on the four gospels into short, ponderable daily readings. The reader will need to bring his or her own Bible to read the passage before delving into Ryle’s exposition.
Believe it or not, not everyone enjoys the teaching of Charles Spurgeon. For those of us who do, however, Morning and Evening is a classic staple on our bookshelves. As always, Spurgeon offers practical insight into the Scriptures, and always points his reader back to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
If you’ve read and enjoyed Voices from the Past, volume 1, then you will also appreciate the second volume in this work. If you haven’t read volume 1, then I suggest you start there! These devotionals compile reflections from the Puritans who, though not imperfect, in many instances offer valuable meditations on the Scriptures.
This book includes daily readings from the New Testament and a short reflection from the Psalms, along with a brief commentary and prayer. While this still should not supplant in-depth study of the Word, it is a helpful resource to turn your thoughts toward Christ and Scripture for each day.
This is a devotional that I’ve newly acquired for my personal reading in 2020. This work takes the teachings of James Boice from Genesis to Revelation, walking the reader through the Scriptures throughout the year. I am eager to open its pages and begin reading!