“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
James 4:8 (English Standard Version)
I have read and interacted with a variety devotionals (and devotional-type materials) over the past several years. Some have been great and others have left something to be desired, but I’d like to think that at least most of them share a common motivation:
To encourage the reader into a deeper relationship with Christ
through a brief challenge from His Word
that results in further study, reflection, and change.
With that purpose in mind, one devotional has so significantly challenged me that I find myself going back to it over and over again:
My Utmost for His Highest
By Oswald Chambers
Organized into a 365 day format, the short daily readings (which were compiled by his wife after his death) convey a message of the absolute truth found in God’s Word, passionate conviction, and a sincere love for people.
While I do have (and often refer to) this “updated edition” in “today’s language”…
I actually very much enjoy the older version as well. Something about the complexity of sentence structure and depth of words not often used continues to captivate me.
What devotionals have been the most meaningful to you?
**09.16.11 Update: If you’re here from Kelly’s Korner Show Us Your Life: Favorite Bible Studies/Devotion Books, welcome! I am constantly involved in and/or leading Bible Studies and could name several that have both challenged my faith and assisted in deepening my walk with the Lord. A couple of other devotional-type books I would highly recommend are Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon and The Valley of Vision, which is a collection of Puritan prayers.
Ultimately, though, some of the best, richest, deepest and most challenging Bible Studies I have ever been a part of are the ones where a group of us have gotten together (usually over coffee…) and just studied God’s Word. . .reading Scripture verse-by-verse, asking countless questions, praying for wisdom from the Holy Spirit, seeking answers from trusted commentaries, and committing ourselves to simply seeking after and knowing God.**