As the author of a number of devotional and prayer books, I thought it might be helpful to share my perspective on what a devotional book is, or at least what it is intended to be. Personally, I read several devotional books each morning along with my Bible, and whether it’s Oswald Chambers, Spurgeon, John Baille, or my own book, it helps me begin the day. How does it help? It helps immediately, no matter what the theme of the reading may be, to remind me that God is bigger than I am. When I read a devotion, it causes me to focus on the One who wants to spend time with me. It helps me to draw near to Him and to rest in His care even for a few moments. It reminds me I’m not in charge, and no matter what the world might be doing to make things crazy, God is still there, steady and faithful. 

A devotional reading also gives me a scripture to focus on, to think through more carefully. It helps me to see why that scripture not only applies to the reading, but how it is still relevant to my life today. It causes me to recognize that the Word of God is solid, no matter what translation I choose to read.  The intention of that scripture is the same. It reminds me that God, who knows my heart, can use any scripture to help me understand His truth. I sense His great desire to know me better.

Sometimes, a devotional reading will leave me with a feeling, that I’m so blessed because I needed to read that very thing that day. As a writer of devotions, I will confess that I most often write what I also need to hear. Most of the time, when I read a piece I wrote several years before, it doesn’t strike me as a thing I did at all. It strikes me as a thing God did and how humbled I am to simply be His keyboard. When I get out of the way, God’s Spirit can lead me to create a message that will bless the lives of others. That is always my intention and prayer.

So, the gift of a devotional book is that it reminds you God is worthy of your love and praise. It shines a light on an aspect of life and helps you gain a new way to respond to it. It blesses you with a peaceful moment to share between you and God that no one can take away. The One who is within you, is far greater than the one who is in the world, and so He is with you always, holding you up, affirming you, and protecting you. Draw near to God and He draws near to you. 

How wonderful it is to give Him your love and devotion. The One who sees you and knows your heart, is devoted to you as well.