It's very important, as a Christian, to stay grounded in the Word of God, and to spend some time daily reading and studying. Some people set aside 5 minutes a day, some 15 and some much more. I'm not here to tell you how long you should spend in your devotional time, that is between you and the Lord, but I would like to share some of my favourite devotional materials that I have used during the years.
1. Tabletalk magazine by Ligonier Ministries - Ligonier Ministries was founded by Dr. R.C. Sproul. Every month this magazine comes out with a theme or focus. It contains several articles about that topic written by different authors and each of them sheds light on the theme from a slightly different perspective. Every week day there is a scripture reading, devotional writing and a Coram Deo section at the bottom. Coram Deo is a latin term that means Before the Face of God and that section contains an application or further reflection for that days reading. There are some other verses to read as well, that back up the message in the daily reading. I also like that they include the daily reading of the Scripture if you are reading through the Bible in a year. I'd say this has been my most consistently used devotional during my Christian life.
2. Drawing Near by John F. MacArthur - John MacArthur is the pastor of Grace Community Church and I have learned a lot through his ministry Grace to You. This is a devotional that again has readings for each day of the year. His writing style is easy to understand, and you'll find the daily writings to be encouraging and challenging at the same time.
3. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon - This book is a treasure. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was an amazing preacher from 19th Century England. His writing is very visual and he often describes things in such a picturesque way that I feel like I can see what he could see. Each day of the year contains a morning devotion and an evening devotion. These are great for personal devotions, once you get used to the more formal style of writing.
4. Voices from the Past - This is a more recently published devotional, but as the title suggests pulls it's pages from writers in the past, in fact, during the Puritan age. I haven't read this book, but it's on my wishlist. It features snippets taken from books of Puritan writers and gives you a chance to become familiar with their work. By the way, I love the cover art!
5. Our Daily Bread - I remember picking up these little booklets at church and reading them in the morning before I'd go about my day. They are brief, easy to read and turn your thoughts to the Lord. I haven't read one of these for years, but I remember them fondly.
There are countless devotional books and publications out there, so find one that suits you, but be careful and make sure you find one that is biblical and focuses on glorifying God through Jesus Christ and equips you to serve him. Don't settle for warm fuzzy feelings, seek the truth and be fearless! Oh, and don't wait until January 1st to start one, just pick one up and start where you are.
Also, I'd love to hear what devotionals you enjoy. Let me know in the Comments below.