Book Review: A Devotional

Saturday, January 09, 2016

I write today's review with a bit of a heavy heart...I was hoping to be able to offer you the perfect companion to your consistent Bible reading, but I think I may just have to issue a warning. This volume of devotions by Nancy Guthrie was very promising. It's beautiful, it's compact, and after having been challenged and encouraged by several of her books, I thought that Abundant Life In Jesus: Devotions For Every Day Of The Year would be something special.

Guthrie loves God and His Word. Her compilations of sermons designed for Advent and Lent have been a big part of my life for several years. This review isn't all sunshine and roses, but I do not want to blemish her name.

When I first opened the book I was excited to notice that every single day's title puts God at the very center. Guthrie makes it very clear that abundant life is found not in God's blessings, but in God Himself. She wants her readers to get to know God. My next stop was a careful reading of the introduction, where I was very impressed with the way that she described her hopes for the book.

Then I got to the part where she explained her choice to write the devotions as if God was the one speaking. This is where the book becomes too similar to "Jesus Calling" and steps too far away from "My Utmost For His Highest" for my comfort. She makes it clear that these are all HER words and DO NOT come from God, but again, the style just isn't something that I'm comfortable with.

As you seek to behold  God, tools like these can be helpful, but this is one that I cannot recommend. Keep your eyes out for Guthrie's Advent and Lent books and maybe even her future projects. In the meantime, pay careful attention to what tools you use alongside your Bible reading.

Do you have a favorite daily devotional? 

Have you been encouraged or challenged by Nancy Guthrie before? 

* I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


  1. I appreciate your honest review, Victoria. Jesus Calling was promoted by so many bloggers that I was on the verge of buying it. My daughter, who researches everything thoroughly, talked to me about it. Then our pastor shared something about it warning women to be careful of words that were not God's words. Thanks again for your honesty.

  2. I agree that Jesus Calling and things like it should be carefully considered. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Mehmaw2:46 PM

    I appreciate Nancy Guthrie and her insightful teaching, however, I was saddened to see that this devotional (which I was going to borrow when you were done!) was written in the style it was. Her introduction was very honest and straightforward, but how many people really read the intro?

    The book itself is pretty, too! Quite a shame it was written like it was. It had much going for it...but it just takes a little to ruin the whole thing.

  4. Thanks for an honest review! I've really been liking the She Reads Truth devos. I love that they also have a He Reads Truth that follows the same topics/scriptures, but writes from a male perspective. So Christopher and I can do devos together that speak to each of us while still reading the same portions of the Bible. :)


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