An often overlooked resource for spiritual growth is a daily devotional.
It doesn’t replace thoughtful, systematic Bible study, but it’s a great way to help protect your spiritual immune system. Think of it as a spiritual “vitamin”—an encouraging word to stimulate your thinking and encourage your heart.
Of course not all daily devotionals are created equal. But there are some classics that seem fresh very time you read them. These daily thoughts from great Christian thinkers, scholars and preachers of the past are timeless.
Mornings with Tozer by A.W. Tozer or My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers are examples readily available and reasonably inexpensive. This last year Katie and I have been reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. (Feel free to recommend others in the comments.)
Our evenings get pretty busy, so we actually read both Spurgeon’s morning and evening selection at breakfast. These very brief comments on a single phrase of Scripture are so rich and thought provoking that we each prefer our own copy to note and follow along as we take turns reading it out loud.
This well-known 19th century British pastor writes much of God’s grace, at the same time challenging us to greater love and service. Quite frankly, he delights in Jesus and helps us do it too. We frequently share his thoughts with others on Facebook or forward them by email.
The language is dated and the content is dense. But the effort is well rewarded. Katie says “Spurgeon’s insight from a small passage of Scripture can amaze, bless and humble me all at the same time. I’m grateful for the time he spent meditating on God’s word and the way that continues to bless me or anyone who reads it.”
You can buy the book or find it online for free. (Follow the link to see each day’s selection automatically. )
But reading it this year, by yourself or with someone you love, is a resolution worth making.
Here’s a sample to get you started.
From Morning and evening, by Charles Spurgeon.
“They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” Joshua 5:12
Israel’s weary wanderings were all over, and the promised rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may be thy case or mine. Joyful is the prospect, and if faith be in active exercise, it will yield unalloyed delight. To be with Jesus in the rest which remaineth for the people of God, is a cheering hope indeed, and to expect this glory so soon is a double bliss. Unbelief shudders at the Jordan which still rolls between us and the goodly land, but let us rest assured that we have already experienced more ills than death at its worst can cause us. Let us banish every fearful thought, and rejoice with exceeding great joy, in the prospect that this year we shall begin to be “forever with the Lord.”
A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do service for their Lord. If this should fall to our lot, there is no reason why the New Year’s text should not still be true. “We who have believed do enter into rest.” The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance; he gives us “glory begun below.” In heaven they are secure, and so are we preserved in Christ Jesus; there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and this is not denied to us; they rest in his love, and we have perfect peace in him: they hymn his praise, and it is our privilege to bless him too. We will this year gather celestial fruits on earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like the garden of the Lord. Man did eat angels’ food of old, and why not now? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan this year!