ISBN: 978 1 907950 07 0
A thirty-day practical introduction to reading the Bible. This devotional is different from others that I have encountered so far. Firstly, you will realise you can use it independent of a bible if need be, making it ideal for those situations when you can’t juggle 2 books at once. That is because it includes the scriptures at the beginning of each chapter it will focus on in detail. It doesn’t focus on the whole Bible chapter though, instead includes the snippet of about 30 or so verses from the chapter to dissect.
Perhaps its biggest strength is how relatable it makes the scripture with the practical explanation that follow the verses. Most of the time a captivating story will be used to bridge the scriptures and the explanation. This manages to lend to the explanation very well making it not only practical, but insightful too.
Best read a chapter or two per day, you will find this allows you to absorb each topic very well as continuously reading more chapters would possibly result in glossing over some details. Initially I thought this devotional was great for new christians but that trail of thought was challenged when I started learning from the different perspectives and well throughout examples given in this book. Unlike most devotionals, it is light enough to quickly digest in the mornings allowing you to still pick a more heavy devotional later in the day.
The drawn cartoons in the middle of the explanations gave me a bit of a chuckle every now and then but a good amount of them were too dry in humor or flew right over me. If I had to really criticise the devotional on anything, it would be the fact that it seems to harp on repeatedly about some topics over and over. I almost wished it would go into deeper issues in the christian walk but acknowledge that it was probably designed to keep the reader sharpening themselves on the ABC’s of the gospel. That being said and knowing that all believers never stop dealing with these matters in the faith, I am confident I can pick up this book every now and then and get a timely word or refresher.
All things weighed, this book would make an affordable good gift for someone (less than AU$10) or a nice starting point for someone struggling to get into their word or someone struggling to find time for their bible study. Another great use would be using a chapter for leading or facilitating a church small group for bible studies, if permitted. This book will build their devotional stamina, if there is such a thing. You will find yourself hungrier for a much heavier bible reading program after this.
Personally I enjoyed the prayers at the end of each chapter, especially the one by Mother Teresa. I also loved the focus on building a good relationship with God and what that entails practically.
However the most common command in the Bible is, ‘Do not fear.’ It occurs 366 times in the Bible (one for each day and an extra one to cover leap years). – [Chapter 22: Overcoming Fear, page 101]