Day-by-Day Devotionals: My Recommendations

I’ve been asked by quite a few different people (from my church and elsewhere) if I had any suggestions for a day-by-day devotional book.  Those little white pocket-size devotional booklets are often fluffy, moralistic, cheesy, or theologically weak – I can see why people are looking for something better.  To make a longer blog post short, here are a few I recommend.  (By the way, you can preview these books online before you purchase them.)

Holiness Day by Day by Jerry Bridges.  In this book, each day’s devotional starts with a verse from Scripture then consists of a one page reading from various books Bridges wrote.  This is a good one for most Christians – it is understandable, theologically sound, and gospel centered.  There is no fluff here!

Another one page daily devotional I recommend is J. M Boice’s Come to the Waters.  This daily reading starts with a verse from Scripture and then has a one page portion of Boice’s writing.  This book is also solid and understandable, though each devotional isn’t necessarily an explanation of the gospel. Come to The Waters is also readable for most Christians.

Here’s a day-by-day reading written by J. I. Packer: Daily Readings for Your Spiritual Journey.  This day-by-day devotional book is just like the first two I noted.  There is a verse and then a short section of Packer’s writing. This too is solid and understandable – it also covers a broad range of doctrines and application.

Another one I’ve purchased and given out is Comforts from the Cross by E. Fitzpatrick.  This devotional is a little different from the above only because it is a little longer and more explicitly gospel-centered.  Each daily reading is around two pages – and each day there is a verse and a closing prayer.  Also worth noting here is that this devotional is for one month, while the others listed here would take around one year to complete.

Finally, I should mention D. A. Carson’s two volumes called For the Love of God.  This daily, one page devotional is structured after M’Cheyne’s one year Bible reading plan.  Each day consists of a meditation on the day’s Scripture reading.  This one, like the others, is solid, biblical, and covers a variety of Biblical doctrines and application.

What we’ve done (here at church) is purchased several of these (the ones by Bridges and Boice, to be specific) and handed them out to those in the congregation who were interested in a daily Christian reading.  I think this is a good idea.  Get rid of those little fluffy devotional booklets and replace them with some (or all!) of these books I’ve listed above.  And, as always, if you have other good suggestions, list them in the comments.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

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5 comments on “Day-by-Day Devotionals: My Recommendations

  1. Tom Lassiter says:

    “For the Love of God” sounds very good in particular! I am always recommending MCheyne’s Daily Bible Readings to people. I am a litlle surprised, Shane, that you left out the “Prince of Preachers”! C.H. Spurgeon wrote several good devotionals. There is “Morning & Evening” which provides a 1-page devotion for each morning and each evening, for the entire year. The Spurgeon Devotional Bible is also good. In this one, Spurgeon expounds upon a specific portion of Scripture, verse by verse, also taking one through the year. And then, there is “Faith’s Checkbook” which focuses on the promises in the Word of God (one reading for each day of the year). I recommend them all. I’m with you, Shane. Those other little “fluffy” devotionals are a waste of paper and ink, for the most part. Oh! There’s one more I must not forget: “The Valley of Vision,” which is a collection of Puritan prayers. If I’m not mistaken, any of these mentioned can be purchased cheaply from Reformation Heritage Books, which can be found online.

    • Yes, I can confirm that The Valley of Vision is excellent–although it’s not per se a day-by-day devotional. I’ve had more than my fill of “fluffy, moralistic, cheesy, or theologically weak” devotional booklets as well, so I’m glad to have these recommendations!

      Michael Kearney
      West Sayville URC
      Long Island, New York

  2. justdoug says:

    Nice, helpful site, thanks!

    A couple of other outstanding ones that I use for (mostly daily) home devotionals:

    Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, R Rushing editor. Excellent!

    The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, K DeYoung. (short chapters of exposition on the Heidelberg Catechism).

    I’ve started a site that sb up ~ end of year, http://www.pilgrimsontheway.com. Planning to cover key aspects of the historic, apostolic, reformed faith.

    Doug Wallace

    • Tom Lassiter says:

      Doug, I am excited about this new site! Please keep everyone posted on the progress.

      • justdoug says:

        Thanks for the encouragement Tom, I’ll keep you posted.

        I may be moving website platforms from Jimdo to Concrete5 in the next few months, trying that new platform out now.

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