of the Gospel
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
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Doing devotions does not require a devotional. But most find a devotional to be a big help, especially when just getting started. There is no easier way to get started with daily Quiet Time than by using a daily devotional. Some cover an entire year, others a month or less. Some focus on a single topic, others are more generic. Some are highly structured, others are more free form. There are thousands available. And if you are still asking just what a devotional is, here you go: What is a Devotional? I hesitate to make recommendations but if you wish to avoid the trouble of searching, we've highlighted a few here (more suggestions welcome).
My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
No list of devotionals would be complete without this all-time classic. Chambers came to Christ in his teens by way of the ministry of the great Charles Spurgeon. Although the devotions originated with Chambers, it was his wife that edited and complied them into this devotional after his death. From the Amazon review: "This acknowledged classic contains 365 daily readings that take heady doctrine and make it practical, realistic, and intensely personal. With humor and humility, Chambers speaks plainly to the common man struggling with devotion to Christ in daily living. Worldly cares and self-serving desires begin to lose their appeal as Chambers aides the reader in transforming his mind by viewing life through the instruction of God's Word. Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate, attests to this: "no book except the Bible has influenced my walk with Christ at such deep maturing levels."
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Possibly the best selling devotional at Amazon. From the Amazon review: "Jesus Calling is a devotional filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year. After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her. It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue. She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but journaling helped her grow closer to God. Others were blessed as she shared her writings, until people all over the world were using her messages. They are written from Jesus' point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling."
The main criticism of this devotional is its emphasis on the 'soft' side of Jesus while neglecting his 'hard' side.
The 365 Day Devotional Commentary by Lawrence O. Richards
This is not for the faint of heart. If you are just getting started with devotions / Quiet Time, flee. This book combines reading through the Bible in a year, with both commentary and daily devotions pertaining to each day's Scripture. From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that you will need to devote at least a half hour per day. The benefit? More than once I have read through the Bible in a year. But my focus was more on completing my reading and less on understanding what God had to say to me through Scripture. Although requiring a major commitment of time - and you don't dare get far behind! - there is a great benefit of doing something more than just a read through the Bible.
More, more, more. There are devotionals for men, for women, for teens, for boys and girls, for mothers, for young and old. Some come in journal form so you can make notes right in the devotional. And while there are many 365 day devotionals, you might want to get started with a one month devotional, just to test the waters. Whether or not you want to purchase from Amazon, it is a good place to go to learn about what is available - including some free on Kindle.
Did I mention free? You don't have to purchase a devotional in book form. And for many, you can subscribe and receive a daily email (and reminder!) with today's devotion.
Daily Devotions from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Enhance each day with verses from the Bible, reflections and questions / answers from Billy Graham, and prayer. Organized in calendar format, the devotion for any day of the year may be accessed.
Daily Discipleship from the Navigators. The Navigators offer two daily devotions. Pick one, subscribe, and you will receive an email each day with that day's devotion.
Insight for Today (from Chuck Swindoll). Links to the last three months of devotions, so you can do a day at a time or play catch up, if you desire.
Christianity.com. Like The Navigators devotionals, you can subscribe and receive daily emails. The difference is that there are a lot more than two to choose from. A big plus is that before subscribing, you can click on the link to see today's devotion - a big help if you are uncertain as to which devotional you wish to follow. You can subscribe to a whole bunch of things at once, but don't get too carried away.
4 Free Online Devotions. Rather than take credit for rustling these up, follow the link to four more online devotionals along with plenty of info about each.
More to come ...
Whether you choose a book, online, or some other form make sure you choose well. If possible, take a look at several days worth of devotions to make sure you are getting something that resonates with you and that you can stick with!