With Amy Boucher Pye
At the start of a new year, we might decide we’re going to make big changes in our lives through a raft of resolutions.
But true change often happens through a small series of steps, applied faithfully.
Spiritual growth can come slowly but surely, which is one reason many people at the beginning of the year purchase a new devotional companion or take up the reading of Bible reading notes. Did you know that in the UK, the three largest Bible reading note publishers still publish some two million printed notes yearly? Clearly, there’s a hunger for this type of Christian resource.
If you’d like variety in your devotional reading, you might appreciate the approach of Day by Day with God or New Daylight (both published by the Bible Reading Fellowship), which feature one author per fortnight looking at a topic or a passage of Scripture.
In contrast, Inspiring Women Every Day and Every Day with Jesus (both published by CWR) take the approach of one author (Selwyn Hughes in the case of EDWJ) or one author a month (in the case of IWED).
Multi-author Our Daily Bread is actually the largest of the devotional publications, with 190,000 printed copies in the UK (and a whopping 13 million copies in 55 languages around the world). I commend any of these for a boost to your walk with God.
Or you might prefer a devotional book that you can read at any time of the year. One wonderful one is Liz Curtis Higgs’s 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path, which we read about last month in Woman Alive. I love how she looks to some 30 translations of the Bible to unpack the meaning of the Proverbs she selected, which she examines word by word, along with sharing engaging stories from her own life.
Or why not try a year’s journey with the book of Proverbs? Timothy and Kathy Keller have produced The Way of Wisdom, which explores how we can obtain wisdom through the ancient poetic art form of the book of Proverbs. These sayings come to life the more we wrestle with them.
Tim Keller is known as being a deep and wise teacher, and his publisher has said that some who may find his longer works challenging may appreciate reading a smaller portion of his teaching in a daily form.
A daily dose of reading from the Proverbs, these small sayings packed with might and depth, can help us grow and flourish as we shift our outlook from being inward-focused to fixing our gaze on Jesus, and on others.
Whatever form of devotional reading you choose, may 2018 be a year where you flourish in God’s kingdom.