With a new year, there’s a new ambition to read the Bible, to grow in godliness, and glorify God. No one should discourage or throw shade on a fresh zeal for God and his word. Desiring new rhythms, devotionals, and habits for holiness are a wonderful ripple effect from a God-hungry heart.
In addition to reading God’s word, other books often swim alongside the whale of the word. Devotional books are the species of literature resting near a Bible. And in this species, there are some bad, bad—yes, bad—books.
Devotional books are some of the most dangerous books on the market. Given their ideal, quick burst style, they also have the potential for unintended abuses of God’s word, a mishandling of context, or, worst of all, a contorting of Christ from the center, putting the Christian in the spotlight. When devotional books are more, “Rah! Rah! You rock!”, and less, “Behold the Lamb of God!”, just walk away.
The best devotional books remind us what’s been done for us, rather than shelling out behavior modification tips.Tweet
The best devotional books remind us what’s been done for us, rather than shelling out behavior modification tips. When we behold Christ, we become more like Christ—we behave, obey, and live like Jesus with Jesus.
We need gospel-riveted devotional books.
Here are a five of devotional books I’ve used, love, and recommend. I even wrote one, so, be ready for a shameless plug.
You can’t go wrong with the Spurge. There’s even a new podcast you can subscribe that reads these gems from Spurgeon.
Written in a first-person style, Joe’s writing is clear, pointed and to the point, and full of gospel hope.
If you’ve read Piper before, you know what to expect. If you’ve never read him, this is an excellent way to wade into Piper’s work. His passion for God, and for you to enjoy God, will refresh you.
Tripp is a gospel guru. And I mean that in the nicest, most honoring way possible. Paul is not only an excellent writer but God has given him a unique way of shining the gospel’s power and hope.
I tried to do a few things when writing this book; I hope you see the simplicity and supernatural power of the gospel—and what it means to live a gospel-centered life.
In 27 writings, you’ll see how the gospel forms your identity, worship, community, and mission. I’ve heard from missionaries who are using this book to teach people the gospel and its shockwaves. I’ve seen church-planting core teams read Gospel Formed for the shaping of the church’s culture. I’ve had folks who are new to the gospel-centered idea tell me it’s been one of the the most helpful
Jonathan Edwards had some good stuff to say. Owen does too.