There are a lot of great Christian devotional books out there. Some old and some new. I’ve read a few and still re-read one or two of them.
But, there are two books that comprise the best devotional set of all time. They are the book of Psalms and Proverbs.
Have you ever noticed that if you pick up a copy of the new testament that Psalms and Proverbs are always, at least almost always, included? The reason is because they contain life guiding information that every other devotional in the world is based on.
Psalms leads us through the ups and downs of life and how we should react, namely by turning to God no matter what the circumstance or how we feel. Whats more, Psalms shows each of us that being absolutely open and honest with God is not just good, it’s expected. There are times in Psalms where King David says things that honestly shock me at first. My first thought is “why is David talking to God that way?!? Does He want to get lit up by lightening?”. The answer to those questions is no. He doesn’t. What David had figured out is that God loves him not because of what he’s done, but rather in spite of it. God invited him to be open, honest, brave, repentant and dependent. And David took Him up on the offer.
It’s not easy for me to pray to God in this manner. Being raised in a violent home, it is not in my nature to cry out in David’s manner to God. At certain times it seems that David is nearly accusing God of not holding up His end of the bargain. When I read these things I’m almost shocked by His audacity. Does he want to get struck down by lightening or something?!?
But with a little more study you’ll learn that this manner of relationship is what God wants. He wants honesty. He wants us to know that He’s more than big enough to take it. After all, no relationship can succeed without honesty. Even if it hurts sometimes. He want’s to hear our cries and our anger. He also wants to hear our love and praise. All are necessary to a healthy relationship, with God or anyone else.
So, I’m inviting you to give it a shot. You don’t have to ditch your current devotional reading habits. Just incorporate daily time in these two books. And then practice what you learn in your communication with God. Personally, I’m not interested in a Father who will strike me down if I mess up and say he wrong words or say them in the wrong way. Lucky for you and me that God is not that kind of Dad. He is one that loves each of us individually in a way that we will not truly be able to fathom until we see Him face to face.
Always remember that Jesus, who had the power to obliterate every enemy who crossed Him, instead chose to submit to ridicule, torture, and murder so that you and I could find the path to forgiveness and salvation.