Over the past 12 months or so, a few resources have come across my path that I have found so helpful and encouraging. As a creature of habit, I very much like having one set resource to help guide me with my Bible Reading time. The last few years though of parenting has meant I have taken a more sporadic approach though, jumping between resources. What I have found in this is a few gems that have so helped me that when I do sit down to open God’s Word, they bring joy and delight.
In August last year, Jenny Salt recommended DA Carson’s “For the Love of God” (Inter-Varsity Press, 2010). This comes in two volumes and I managed to grab them on special in a two book set. Dave and I have so enjoyed reading through these in the morning together. We often are short on time, yet these succinct devotional reflections are dripping with meat, expounding on the set Bible passage with such theological rigour I have come to know is typical of Carson. It follows a ‘Read Your Bible in a Year’ plan so if you have a little more time that we usually do, you can enjoy doing this too. Carson’s reflections build on your knowledge of the passage, highlighting things that you may not have noticed. Each day is dated, meaning that if you miss a day, you skip along to where you need to read for that particular day. This is without a doubt the best devotional book I have read to date. Purchase from The Wandering Bookseller.
I enjoy reading Ruth Chou Simon’s blog “Gracelaced”. I love her combination of very real reflections with her beautiful watercolours and whenever her posts come up in my Facebook newsfeed, I know i will find some encouragement. Her recent book “Gracelaced” (Harvest House Publishers, 2017) also does not disappoint. This is a beautiful book, one I have given away and also bought a copy for myself as I find that beauty is celebrated as you read, reflecting on who God is and the seasons he places in our lives. Sometimes her ‘Digging Deeper’ passages are a bit surprising, or the passage has been reduced to a snippet of a verse, which perhaps could have been expanded; however this is a minor thing in the scheme of the whole book. I would have no hesitation recommending this book to you. This is a bestseller and is available from Koorong.
“Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything” by Gloria Furman (Crossway, 2017) is the first book I have read that progressively works through a book of the Bible. Furman explores the book of Ephesians in a personal yet theologically-rich way. Her reflections are insightful and encourage you to think more deeply about the book of Ephesians. This book is ideally read alongside the book of Ephesians. Each book chapter coincides with a Bible passage, making this a helpful resource for study. Furman’s enthusiasm bounces off the page; her passion and real desire to see your life defined by the love of Christ is genuine and she adds her feminine flavour that encourages women to sink our teeth more deeply into our relationship with God. Purchase from The Wandering Bookseller.