Tag Archive for 'Devotionals'

C.S. Lewis on Devotionals

“For my own part,” wrote Lewis, “I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that `nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

–C.S. Lewis

I feel this way now although 1) I got a lot out of Oswald Chambers devotionals in the past and 2) There are some very good, meaty devotionals out there now. But I would rather read a chapter of Calvin’s Institutes each day, which is only about two pages, or a commentary or Puritan theology or something of the sort.

Devotionals

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I’m not a big fan of devotionals even though I’ve read all of Oswald Chambers–the first one 2-3 times–and benefited from them a lot. They’re usually too short, and most of the Christian devotionals out there are pretty fluffy. I’ve you like them, or want to give one to someone as a gift, I’ve compiled some devotionals by Reformed writers that are endorsed by people I trust and are highly rated. Most are also attractive, leather bound or leather-like books. If someone would like one as a gift, give them a good one.

Devotionals With Substance from Amazon.com
Quality devotionals with meaty content compiled from Reformed and Puritan preachers and authors. Prices subject to change.
 
George Whitefield Daily Readings (Daily Readings (Christian Heritage)) Matthew Henry Daily Readings: Edited by Randall J. Pederson Loveliness of Christ
George Whitefield Daily Readings (Daily Rea…

by George Whitefield

$15.59
Matthew Henry Daily Readings: Edited by Ran…

by Matthew Henry

$14.99
Loveliness of Christ

by Samuel Rutherford

$11.90
Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions Truth For All Time - Gift Edition A Guide to Christian Living (Special Gift Edition)
Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan P…

by Arthur G. Bennett

$17.16
Truth For All Time – Gift Edition

by John Calvin

$12.60
A Guide to Christian Living (Special Gift E…

by John Calvin

$12.00
Voices From The Past - Puritan Devotional Readings Morning and Evening Gloss Black (Daily Readings S.) Morning and Evening - Matt Tan/Blue
Voices From The Past – Puritan Devotional R…

by Richard Rushing

$18.48
Morning and Evening Gloss Black (Daily Read…

by C. H. Spurgeon

$16.49
Morning and Evening – Matt Tan/Blue

by C. H. Spurgeon

$15.63

Same as the black one – also comes in matte black

Oswald Chambers and Devotionals

David Black asks (Friday June 29, 8:05 AM), “How about you? Do you read Chambers?” Why yes, yes I have. I’ve written quite a few posts about him or mentioning him on this blog. I read his classic My Utmost for His Highest about three times and my copy is as tattered as my Bible, which may not be a good thing, which I’ll get to below. I also read his other two devotionals one time each and his quirky little book on The Sermon on the Mount. David Black links to a post titled Rediscovering Oswald Chambers by Alvin Reid, which is a good introduction with good advice.

There aren’t many people who can get to the truth of a foundational matter in such a concise and profound way as Oswald Chambers. He is always pointing to Christ. I think he was also ahead of his time in what I call ‘real spiritual psychology’, similar to Martin Lloyd-Jones.

A friend of mine has the Complete Works of Oswald Chambers which is a hardcover book of over 1500 pages of his works and includes a CD with all of that on it plus videos of his life. He loves it. I would think for $25, anybody who is a fan of his would want this.

For many years, during my time alone with God, I read my devotional, prayed, reviewed memorized Scripture, and sometimes worked on a booklet for group Bible study. Each devotional reading has a verse with it, although I think most of them were added after the fact. I was unknowingly practicing ‘a verse a day keeps the devil away’ except for when I got the bug to read more, either the Bible, a book, or both.

But after I realized the paucity of this practice, I shunned devotionals altogether. Many years later, through what God started to do in me, I started to have such an increased desire to know Him that I started reading voraciously. I think I also got a little tired of Chambers. I’ve gone back to devotional type reading, taking a look at Deeper into the Word: Reflections on 100 Words From the New Testament by Keri Wyatt (I got the Kindle edition for 99 cents) when I remember to do it. I may start reading Calvin’s Institutes as a devotional, someday The Lord by Romano Guardini, a great Catholic scholar which I read quite a few years ago and is on my ‘to read again’ list. I would think MacArthur’s Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith would be pretty meaty. I’m also considering doing the M’Cheyne Bible-reading schedule along with D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, which I quoted from in a blog post. I think that would be the way to use a very good devotional like that one. And I should revisit My Utmost for His Highest.

Thank you for asking the question and giving me the idea for this post.

Also see:
Oswald Chambers: You Are Not Your Own by Randy Alcorn

Quote of the Day: D.A. Carson on Devotionals

Not all devotionals, just some. And this is in the introduction to his devotional.

Devotional guides tend to offer short, personal readings from the Bible, sometimes only a verse or two, followed by several paragraphs of edifying exposition. Doubtless they provide personal help for believers with private needs, fears, and hopes. But they do not provide the framework of what the Bible says—the “plotline” or “story line”—the big picture that makes sense of all the little bits of the Bible. Wrongly used, such devotional guides may ultimately engender the profoundly wrong-headed view that God exists to sort out my problems; they may foster profoundly mistaken interpretations of some Scriptures, simply because the handful of passages they treat are no longer placed within the framework of the big picture, which is gradually fading from view. Only systematic and repeated reading of the whole Bible can meet these challenges.

This is the type of devotional reading I used to do, although I never did the self-help types. But for periods of time I’m embarrassed to say, this was the only Scripture I would take in each day in addition to reviewing memorized Scripture.

His devotionals go along with the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan. So the emphasis is on reading the Bible with a comment from him instead of the other way around. You can find a blog devoted to this devotional and also download PDFs of both devotionals for free (and use Calibre to convert them into eBooks if you’d like).

Carson’s For the Love of God Blog