Let’s face it. Doing devotions is hard. It’s often times boring, and who wants to wake up before the sun to read a book about how to live life, when you can barely keep your eyes open? I’ve just described myself here but I’m sure the situation is the same for many Christians out there.
Devotions fall into this odd place between pietism, prayer, and sanctification. It’s this place, in the mind of a Christian, where things like journaling belong. It’s just not something we do everyday and yet it’s something vital that will help each and every one of us grow. So where do we start?
When I read Prayer by Tim Keller it covered some ground I had not yet considered during my so called “prayer time”. He gave me a precedent and challenged my whole view on what happens during those times I struggle to pray. His newest devotional, 90 Days in John 14-17, Romans & James, co-written with Sam Allberry, is a good start for those struggling to get going in their journey towards the Celestial City.
This is classic Keller. His tone and voice is almost audible as I read through this volume. If you’re looking for a devotional I would recommend starting here. Sure, Romans and James could be expanded, but it’s a good push off the dock into the shallow end of the lake. Not only is Romans and James represented here, but a crucial portion of the gospel of John as well.
This devotional is designed to cause the reader to deal with the text of scripture before dealing with the content added by the authors. They want to engage the reader with the words of God and in so doing, want to effect a change of heart as one sees the beauty and clarity of the revelation of God.
Points of Contact for our Students
Whether your’e working through this devotional or something along the lines of Valley of Vision, it’s important to have a life in which you’re devoting time to the study of the Word. We all need a mentor to walk through the text as we struggle and fight to understand the Word rightly. Among the greats are J.C. Ryle, Matthew Henry, Thomas Goodwin, and Thomas Manton, and many have used their writings to help them grow.
Let Tim Keller, though not on the same level as those above in my opinion, be your guide as you trek into a deeper understanding of the Christian scriptures and of the character of God. Spend 90 Days in John 14-17, Romans & James and see your worldview conform to the image of God in Christ through the power of the Spirit in the reading of the Word.