Usually in the fall of each year, friends will ask me what devotional books I am currently using or what I plan to use for the upcoming year. I spoke of what I used in 2020 and what I anticipate using in 2021 in my blog post of December 15, 2020.
Last fall, I decided to turn the tables somewhat and ask several friends what devotional material they were using in 2020, planned to use in 2021, or would recommend.
I’m happy to say that more than a few friends responded, so this is going to be at least a two-part blog post.
A caveat: While most devotionals start on January 1, don’t feel you have to start on that day. If you’re reading this in the middle of the summer, it’s fine to start then. Don’t feel you have to read the material on the day it’s “supposed” to be read. Just learning more about God pleases Him.
If you’re looking for a way to ensure you read through the entire Bible in a year, I’ll repeat what I heard my Aunt Alice say many times. And every time she said it, she prefaced it by saying, “Aunt Lillie used to say…..” (Aunt Lillie was my grandmother’s sister, so she was my great-aunt, and an extremely religious woman.) Aunt Lillie’s wise words were to “Read three chapters of the Bible every day except Sunday. On Sundays, read five chapters. By the end of the year, you’ll have read the entire Bible.” Actually, you’ll finish a couple of days before December 31 rolls around.
Tammy Redman, whom I’ve known from church for years, uses Jesus Calling and Jesus Today. Jesus Calling is by Sarah Young, and so is Jesus Today. A friend, Carol Dubay, gave me a copy of Jesus Calling for Christmas. Carol is also going to read Jesus Calling in 2021. I’m enjoying it tremendously already, and I know I will continue to do so.
Dr. Anne Littleford is also a Sarah Young fan, as are Mary Ellen Miller and Anita Hodges; I’ll write more about their devotional reading material next week.
I’ve been in Bible studies and Sunday School classes with Karen Keplinger for many years. Karen used Hearing His Voice last year. This book is written by Chris Tiegreen. In years past, Karen’s used Come Away My Beloved by Francis J. Roberts, as well as My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I used My Utmost for His Highest in the early 1990’s as part of my daily devotional reading. Because of it’s small, compact size, I now take it with me when I travel, and write the name of the city I’m in on the corresponding date. It’s a suitcase staple.
Again, don’t feel you have to wait until next January to start reading one of these devotional books. Just start today if you already have the book in hand, or start whenever you get it. Read and heed these words, found in Isaiah 55:6: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.” (ESV)
Copyright December 31, 2020 by Rebecca A. Henderson