Should you use devotion books, only the Bible, or both?

Two years ago, I went through the devotion and Bible study “One in a Million:  journey to your promise land” by Priscilla Shirer.

It changed me, but let me clarify. The need for change was about me – where I was, where I had been, and what I had done {or not done}.

God used this study to bring me face-to-face with myself. Then, He used it to drive me deeper into His Word.

What are you looking for?

Before I go any further with this post, let me tell you where you’ll find it. Whatever it is you think you are looking for, true satisfaction and fulfillment can only be found in God and His Word.

The New Year has my inbox flooded with advice. Even though I’ve spent very little time on social media the past few weeks, I can’t get away from the free advice there, either.

Besides all the suggestions for “how to get healthier” and “be more organized”, I’ve also seen several posts and pieces outlining why I should steer away from devotional books/material and read only the Bible.

Today, I’m here to debunk this theory…

But first, let me say emphatically that God’s Word is the handbook by which I do life. It is my absolute #1 resource. The Bible has the authority to convict, teach, and transform my heart and mind.

It has become evident this is a life-long process.

For me to follow advice that encourages me to not take advantage of the many excellent Bible-based devotional resources available today simply makes no sense. It’s the same argument I give in response to the suggestion we not incorporate modern worship in our church services.

Are you saying God does NOT speak, today? Or that He gives gifts to the creative individuals among us – the authors, musicians, poets, artists, writers, and so on – only to have them NOT share it with the Church?

What do you use in devotion time? Find encouragement and helps in both the Bible and devotion books. Learn more here...Everything we have is from God. This includes our gifts, talents, and skills. I believe He intends for us to use these {once sanctified} to build up others…to bring Him glory.

The truth is I need to hear and read what others have to share – maybe even what God has given you. This may come in the form of a devotional book, prayer manual, sermon, song, blog post, commentary, or even a novel.

God still uses people.

He uses our stories. He gives ideas and dreams. His Word, woven in among the pages of a book or between the lines of a melody, has the power to change lives.

A personal revelation of His saving and healing power can show up amidst the brush strokes of a sanctified painting, as well as in the preacher’s message on Sunday.

It is always my goal to choose devotional material that lines up with God’s Word. Make it your goal, too, and non-negotiable. Now…

  • Have I purchased a devo or study book and later found it lacking the Biblical foundation I require? Yes, absolutely, but I try to do my research beforehand.
  • Have I ever read the works of an author and enjoyed the book, but then discovered my own beliefs do not completely line up with his or her’s? Yes, many times. I’ve completely abandoned a few books along the way, but I’ve also gained nuggets of encouragement from some I did not entirely agree with.

God used the study book ¹One in a Million and its author, Priscilla Shirer, to speak into my life. I am grateful for it, and for the hundreds of other Bible studies, devotionals, commentaries, and reference material that have enhanced my spiritual journey over the years.

The advice keeps rolling in. And I’m not buying the suggestions to steer away from devotional books/material and read only the Bible this year.

Be sure to hear me out, though…

  • *I have put my hope in [God’s] word.* (Psalm 119.81)
  • God’s *word IS a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.* (Psalm 119.105)
  • *I will delight in [God’s] decrees and not forget [His] word.* (Psalm 119.16)
  • *I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.* (Psalm 119.48)
  • *Your eternal word, O Lordstands firm in heaven.* (Psalm 119.89)
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¹One in a Million: journey to your promised land by Priscilla Shirer

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2 thoughts on “Should you use devotion books, only the Bible, or both?

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Karlene. The Bible is our guide, the source of our truth and our instruction for life. And I also think there is a place for devotionals and other writings that help us see that we are not alone and that point us back to God and His word. I think you are right on target.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #RaRaLinkup today.

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