Upon meeting a new friend, if you want to deepen your friendship, you must spend time with them, talk with them and listen to them. To keep a marriage relationship strong, you must spend consistent time together, talking and listening to one another. The same is true of our relationship with the Lord, yet our relationship with him is of the utmost priority in our life.
God’s chief means of communicating with us is through his Word. If we want to know him then we must spend time in his Word, listening to what he has spoken to us about himself. In our current day, time spent in this way has been called a “quiet time” or “personal devotions.” There are many amazing resources on this topic! Below are three from my bookshelf:
A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
This is a foundational book about the why and how to prioritize daily time with the Lord. If you are a newer believer in need of guidance on how to establish a consistent devotional time, this is an invaluable resource. This book can also be of great inspiration for those who have walked with the Lord for some time, but find themselves in a rut and in need of refreshment.
The content of this book is categorized cohesively by words beginning with the letter P: the priority of a devotional life, the purpose of a devotional life, the pattern of a devotional life, the problems of a devotional life, the practice of a devotional life and the product of a devotional life.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ style of writing is readable and biblically saturated. She ends each chapter with a “Make It Personal” section to give practical, direct ways to apply the content of the chapter. This section is then followed by a “From the Heart” closing where various godly women share in one to two pages about their own personal challenges and triumphs in having a consistent time alone with the Lord. Some of these godly women include Elisabeth Elliot, Kay Arthur, Barbara Rainey, Joni Eareckson Tada, and others.
Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
For twenty years from 1982-2003, Elisabeth Elliot mailed out a bimonthly newsletter containing biblical truth and updates about her ministry. This book is a collection of excerpts from her newsletters. I consider this book a devotional in that it contains reflections upon God and his work in his world. The chapters are short and, in the midst of a busy day, will direct your thoughts back toward him.
Do not expect this book to be a guided Bible study or an expositional commentary on biblical texts, but instead candid sharing from the heart of a godly older women who has gone before us. Elisabeth Elliot said of this book, “Mostly they (the excerpts) are about learning to know God. Nothing else comes close to being as important as that. It’s what we are here for.”
New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp
My mother-in-law gave us this book as an anniversary gift five years ago. I have now read it completely through twice during my quiet times and given it as a gift to many. I am always recommending this daily devotional!
This book was born out of tweets Tripp had posted after many people requested that he expand his tweets into a devotional book. At the top of each page, one for each day of the calendar year, there is written a short-italicized tweet followed by several paragraphs of Tripp giving further explanation for the meaning of the biblical truth found in the tweet. At the bottom of each page is a biblical scripture reference for further study and encouragement. Tripp is a pastor and biblical counselor who seeks to bring theologically rich yet digestible readings to spiritually nourish your daily time with the Lord.
I have heard it said as we eat food we get less hungry, but with God’s Word it works the opposite. As you daily feed on the Word of God, be it in small meals or big feasts, your appetite will increase. I hope these three books will be of help to increase your appetite for spending time with your Savior!