My Top Five Favorite Devotionals (Right Now)

CSI’m such a lover of devotionals. And though I am NOT a lover of early mornings (the struggle is SO real)…there is honestly nothing I love more on this earth than those mornings that I wake up super early and snuggle up in front of my fireplace for my quiet time with a cup of coffee and my trusty stack of devotionals. I say “stack” of devotionals because I’m a bit of a hoarder in the book department (as many of you know) and that tends to bleed over into my devotional collection. While a couple of my devos are constantly in rotation, a few others weave in and out as the mood strikes me, as I get new ones, or as my awesome publisher (who generously sends me boxes of books on the regular, which totally makes this whole writing gig worth it! HA!) sends me new ones to check out. So, as we close the book on 2014 and open up this new chapter called 2015, I thought I’d share my list of favorite devotionals that I am reading right now. Hopefully they will encourage and inspire you as much as they do me! These are in no particular order…

1) Arms Open Wide, by Sherri Gragg: This book is a different take on a traditional “devotional,” which I love. I’m not even sure it’s technically considered a devotional, but I’ve started reading it each morning during my quiet time and it is blessing my socks off. There are 34 readings total, each one about 5-7 pages in length, detailing the major events of Jesus’s ministry from a fictional perspective. Which makes the stories come alive for me in a whole new way. Rarely is there a morning that I close this devotional and don’t have tears running down my face. The word that comes to mind when I think of this book is GRACE. The dignity and grace that Jesus imparted to everyone He touched – people who were largely deemed outcasts and losers and sinners by the rest of society.
A Favorite Passage: “Jesus spoke with kindness and forgiveness, and His words reverberated deep within her soul until she believed that His message of forgiveness was for her, too.”

2) Savor, by Shauna Niequist: An early copy of this was sent to me by my publisher, much to my delight, as the book itself doesn’t come out til March. (But no time like the present to pre-order!) I have LONG been a big fan of Shauna’s books, so when I heard she was writing a devotional, I was thrilled. Shauna has a such a gift of making the most ordinary moment seem magical. This book is made up of 365 readings (I LOVE devotionals that are year-round!) and interspersed in between the readings are some of Shauna’s favorite recipes (Blueberry Yogurt Morning Cake and Peach & Caramel Sundaes and Poppy Seed Cake – OH MY!). The word that comes to mind when I think of this book is SAVOR, so it’s perfectly titled! Shauna’s message is all about savoring your life, savoring the NOW, savoring each and every moment, as imperfect and challenging and even painful as it might be. Anyone looking to extract more joy out of everyday life will LOVE this book!
A Favorite Passage: “When life is sweet, say thank you celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and GROW.”

3) It Is Finished, by Tullian Tchividjian: I’ve been a huge fan of Pastor Tullian’s on Twitter for years now, and I’ve only just started reading his books. (I’m reading One Way Love right now and it’s a game changer!) It Is Finished: 365 Days of Good News is his latest offering, and though I’ve only been reading it for a few days (it actually doesn’t technically release until January 1st, but Amazon has copies in stock and is already shipping!)…this book just makes me breathe easier. That’s the feeling you get when you read Tullian’s books – that it’s okay to stop working and striving and earning and just BE. This is another 365-day devotional (YAY!) made up of wonderfully encouraging readings that remind you that You. Are. Enough. And more importantly, that God’s grace is enough. The word that comes to mind when I think of this book is EXHALE. Because it really is okay and safe and even necessary sometimes to just be still and know that He is God. If you’re always stressing and sweating and planning and striving and waiting to exhale (and no, I don’t mean the movie – but man, is that a great movie or what!?)…this is the devotional for you.
A Favorite Passage: “God is not at the top of a ladder shouting ‘CLIMB!’ He is at the bottom on a cross whispering, “It is finished.”

4) One Thousand Gifts Devotional, by Ann Voskamp: There are not enough words in the English language to fully detail my love for Ann Voskamp’s work. For years I walked by her book One Thousand Gifts in the bookstore and never picked it up…until one day that I did and it wrecked me forevermore (in the best possible way). Ann’s writing is like poetry and her way of weaving thankfulness into every single moment of her life will quite literally change yours. This book and devotional opened my eyes to a whole layer of life and joy and blessings that I spent most of my life staring blindly at. My ONLY complaint about this devo is that it’s only 60 readings instead of 365…but it’s the kind of book you’ll want to read over and over and over again. PLUS it has a really awesome journal area in the back where you can list your own “1,000 gifts.” (Once you start listing them, you’ll never want to stop. It’s like taking your finger out of the hole in the dam and watching your life overflow with abundance and gratitude.) So, of course, the word that comes to mind when I think about this book is GRATITUDE. I really don’t think I ever truly understood thankfulness before Ann’s books.
A Favorite Passage: “The counting of all blessings is ultimately summed up in One. The radical wonder of it stuns me happy, hushes me still: It’s all Christ. Every moment, every event, every happening. It’s all in Christ and in Christ we are always safe.”

5) Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young: This is the #1 bestselling devotional of all time, and for very good reason. It literally feels like you’re speaking directly to Jesus. Or that He’s speaking directly to YOU. 365 readings spoken in first person and pulled directly from scripture, this book will bless you, restore you, encourage you, challenge you, heal you, redeem you, move you, and everything in between. It is my most cherished devotional, and I’ve already read through it probably three or four times. The word that comes to mind when I think of this book is TRUST. Though the readings cover a wide array of topics, the underlying theme of each one seems to be TRUST. Learning to trust God with your dreams, your heart, your time, your failures, your hopes, your fears, your talents, your LIFE. Much like the Bible, each time you read it, the messages take on different meanings according to what you’re going through at the time. What a gem this little book is!
A Favorite Passage: “Do not fear your weakness, for it is the stage on which My power performs most brilliantly.”

What are YOUR favorite devotionals? Comment below!

19 Responses to “ My Top Five Favorite Devotionals (Right Now) ”

  1. Cherie
    December 30, 2014

    Mine is “Streams in the Desert” by LB Cowman. Edited by James Reimann. I’ve been reading it for almost 18 years. Filled with God’s amazing promises for you!

  2. donna
    December 31, 2014

    I have always loved “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, and these past few years since my divorce, I have devoured Kristin Armstrong’s “Happily Ever After”…..thanks for sharing yours!

  3. Sonna Calvert
    December 31, 2014

    I love Jesus Calling.
    I also read Streams in the Dessert, Mrs. Charles Cowman. My Mama, who passed this year read it everyday since the 1950″s. Her original book is well worn. They are not always easy to read but they mean the world. I feel God and my Mama are with me when I read them.
    In 2013, I read Wellspring by Karen Moore and it was good for the year I was in. Running dry and needed feeling up. May try adding it again this year.
    I used to keep Be Still and Let Your Nail Polish Dry in my car for the unexpected…it says it is the Devo for Women on the Go by Andres Boeshaar, Sandra Bricker,Loree Lough and Debby Mayne.
    Another short one I would recommend is Daily Steps for God Chicks by Holly Wagner…
    Not as in-depth a review as yours but all feed a need…but Jesus Calling truly does it BEST!!!
    Thank you for your posts as well, I find they help me so much. just finished The Single Girl…what a wonderful book and help for a 57 year old woman still trying to adjust to being divorced after 27 years of marriage. Ordering “Las Vegas” today…I have never really been just had a lay over in the airport…anxious to see what this book is all about.

    • Jillian
      May 12, 2015

      I’m still trying to deal with my divorce and being single & it’s been almost 10 years now! I get it, lots of laughs! I think I will read, The Single Girl!

    • Mandy Hale
      May 13, 2015

      The Single Woman 🙂 But, yes, sounds like an excellent plan! xo, Mandy

  4. Julia
    December 31, 2014

    I seriously want to go out and buy all of these right now! Gonna have to get another job just to be able to afford this habit. lol Thanks for sharing. It’s always nice to get someone else’s perspective on a book of any sort before I go out and spend my hard earned money. =) Happy New Year!

  5. Kim
    December 31, 2014

    I couldn’t agree more about Jesus Calling. Has been my daily devotional for several years now as can feel Him speaking to me through Sarah’s words. I so enjoy your blog! While I’m not single it gives me fresh perspective on not loosing Me while dating the lovely man in my life. Blessings to you in 2015!!

  6. elena
    December 31, 2014

    Jesus Calling for sure!!! speaks to me daily!!! love it..

  7. December 31, 2014

    I am so glad you posted this list! Just the other day I was looking up devotionals to buy and could not find any that I really wanted, now I have 5! If you had to pick one to buy for the new year, which would it be?

    As this year draws to end in just a few short hours, I would like to say thank you to you. I used to be scared of always being single and was ready to settle with my ex. But then, I found your blog and realized my own worth and deep in my heart I have finally given my love life over to God. No more trying to manufacture, manipulate, or push round pegs into square holes. You put words to what my soul feels. I pray you have a blessed 2015.

  8. Tiffany
    January 1, 2015

    My two favorites are:
    1) Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
    (done a couple years ago; contemporary)
    2) My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
    (I first read 20yrs ago; an “oldie but goodie”)
    I truly felt good speak meaningful messages to me through both of these three first time through & in different emphasis the second time.
    Then, this past year I actually decided to repeat them by using one in the morning & one in the evening. I loved going through them again & sort of bookending my day with God thoughts.

  9. Beverly Stratton
    January 1, 2015

    If you have a nook or kindle, you can sometimes download some of these titles cheaper than purchasing hardcovers. That is how I got to read Mandy’s.

  10. Ndim Emilia
    January 3, 2015

    You need to check out ‘open heavens’ by E.A Adeboye (general overseer of the redeemed christian church of God) it contains 365 readings and all are inspiring, and everything you need to make your day beautiful. I love this devotional so much.
    Emilia from Nigeria

  11. Eunice Lai
    January 6, 2015

    I’m going to get Arms Open Wide and read it through this year. Devotions and reading the Bible have always been a struggle for me but I will try again. One Thousand Gifts was one that struck a chord when I read it a few years back. I may resist it again

  12. carrie
    January 7, 2015

    Thanks for the list! I was given Jesus Calling, when I. Deployed this summer, and the mornings or evenings that were difficult, I would see it, and pick it up, read that day’s devotion and the day before and next… Always relevant, as though Jesus was with me and talking to me. It was such a blessing and even now that I am home, the same happens. <3

  13. Wondering
    January 11, 2015

    “Jesus Calling” and “Jesus Lives” (a companion devotional that stays with me on the floorboard of my car so that I can grab a quick read before going in to work). Another one is like these: “God Calling” — absolutely awesome. It gives the same sense that “Jesus Calling” offers: that God is speaking directly to you (which in a way He is if He has placed the book into your hands). All three are wonderful to read in the morning, evening, and throughout the day.

  14. January 26, 2015

    “When life is sweet, say thank you celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and GROW.” – I should keep that in my head!

  15. Macey
    February 4, 2015

    The One Year Experiencing God’s Presence Devotional, is INCREDIBLE. You can tell this man truly walks with the Lord. The devotionals are so deep & packed with so much insight! He takes you into the heart of God & gives you a deeper understanding of who God is! It is WONDERFUL. I definitely agree on Sarah Youngs’ devotionals, they are all amazing & some of my favorites. They are beautifully written & are so encouraging & faith building!
    Heaven Calling ( Hearing Your Fathers Voice Every Day Of The Year) Devotional is a blessing as well. Just started it this year of 2015 & it is definitely special.

  16. Ngozi Onwubuya
    October 29, 2015

    It makes u draw closer to GOD. Tks

  17. Ylaya Zumo
    July 7, 2016

    Jesus Calling (morning and evening devotional book) draws me closer to Him. Every day as I read the message, I receive grace, hope and joy. Jesus learns me to trust Him and gives me comfort and courage. I feel His love and His Presence! He changed me! My favorite passage: “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

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