I am always suspect of the devotional genre. Far too often it is fluffy and lacks substance. For example, each devotional is based on a solitary verse, and then the author shares a personal story loosely based on the verse. The Scripture is not interacted with, and the verse is not put in context. The devotional lacks power because the Scripture is not paramount. Don’t get me wrong – a devotional should not be an academic endeavor – but it should be more than a feel-good reflection. The pictured devotional is NOT one of these superficial ones.
This review is of a worthwhile devotional book on the life of Abraham. From author David Ramos, it is entitled: Climbing with Abraham, 30 Devotionals to Help You Grow Your Faith, Build Your Life, and Discover God’s Calling. Available on amazon in both print and e-book. I appreciated this devotional and recommend it to you.
It is 75 pages long (I have the print edition) and each devotional averages 2 pages in length. In 30 days, you will read passages in Genesis chapters 11 – 25 that take you through the life of this patriarch. On each day, Ramos thoughtfully interacts with the passage and offers explanatory thoughts. And it always gets personal by helping the reader relate to an aspect of Abraham’s life. Each devotional ends with a “takeway” (key point shared in a sentence) and a brief prayer.
Here are some sentences or excerpts I underlined as I went through it:
If there is no possibility of failure then there is no evidence of faith. At every stage in life we will be wanting for something: healing, employment, peace, direction, hope. And at every stage we will be faced with the question, Am I going to believe God in this? (page 18)
He kept his faith because he put it not in the promise itself but in the One making the promise. (page 44)
God does not run away from messes – He enters them. (page 46)
Prayer: God, help me to know when you want me to rise up and fight for what you are giving me, and when to hold back and wait on your perfect timing. (page 50)
When the perfect will of God meets the complete obedience of man, it is the most powerful force for change on earth. (page 55-56)