It’s very simple:
Choose one that talks to you
THAT'S IT. The rest is explanation and suggestions…
You want to feel like it's been spying on you. If sometimes you feel violated while reading, even better.
Violated doesn’t mean in-your-face: it means personal, like it was written by someone who knows your feelings, your fears, and your thoughts.
You’re not looking for nice and comfy
Nice and comfy means you’ve arrived. Have you arrived? If not, you need to have the not-arrived parts pointed out to you.
I promise you’re telling lies to yourself, about how good you are and how bad you are
You need to be called on it
The right devotional will do that, in private, before you get embarrassed in public. Humility and confidence are a delicate balance.
If you’re a woe-is-me person, you need to be reminded that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is for you and in you. Personally, I can’t hear that enough
Some signs a devotional might be for you:
- you don’t understand it all. You have to read sentences twice, or three times, to understand.
- when you do understand, you sometimes don’t like what it says
- you have to stop reading, lift your eyes, and think about it
- you wish you could take a piece you just read and somehow inject it in your bloodstream and make it part of you
- you highlight, underline, and write down things
- when you finish, you’re encouraged, even when it hurts
I have a small collection of devotionals. Each year I decide which one to use based on knowing how each talks to me. Sometimes I rotate between two. I think it’s a good idea to try different ones to know how each talks to you.
Here’s my little collection to get you started:
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I’ll probably use it for the third year in a row. It talks to me more than any other. You can read it online for free; I have this page bookmarked on my phone and read it every morning.
The Indwelling Life of Christ by Major Ian Thomas. Not really a devotional, but 50 short chapters that to me are the best description of the Christian life.
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Maybe the most popular devotional in the world right now.
Daily Light by Samuel Bagster and Anne Graham Lotz. Bagster wrote this for his family a bazillion years ago. Billy Graham’s family uses it, and Anne has added some helpful things. I love the little leather version.
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon. Old school. Rich.
Leadership Promises for Every Day by John Maxwell. Straight ahead practical for leaders.
Any suggestions for devotionals that talk to you?