Here are some of the richest devotional materials I’ve come across. I think its beneficial to have a devotional work or two to plow through year-by-year. These Bible-saturated works have worshipfully ushered me into the presence of the Lord time and time again. I thank God for them!
Scholar Richard Rushing spent 10 years compiling these devotional bits from the the great Puritan thinkers (Baxter, Bunyan, Charnock, Edwards, Owen, Rutherford, Sibbes, etc). I walked through it day-by-day a few years ago and always found fresh, deep, provocative reflections. This is one of my favorite devotionals available right now. I have a copy on my desk at work and another on my desk at home. It’s that good!
Spurgeon was a master at balancing his sophisticated intellect and pastoral heart. His daily offerings from various verses throughout the Scriptures are always practical and gospel-saturated. Few share his ability to go so deep so quickly, never wasting a word. This new ESV edition, edited by Alistair Begg is my personal favorite.
Samuel Rutherford was one of the Scottish divines who lived in the 17th century. A significant part of his ministry included writing letters to those under his care. In them, Rutherford encourages his people by pointing them to take comfort in Christ. Rutherford was uniquely qualified to comfort the afflicted as he lost his beloved wife only two years into their marriage. Spurgeon wrote of these letters, “When we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men.”
Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Scottish minister in the 19th century. He ministered faithfully for eight years and then died of typhus at age 29. His memoirs were published by his close friend and college companion, Andrew Bonar. Spurgeon said of this volume “This is one of the best and most profitable volumes ever published. The memoir of such a man ought surely to be in the hands of every Christian , and certainly every preacher of the Gospel.”
I discovered the letters of John Newton when Tim Keller put them on his 2008 Summer Reading List. As Keller put it, “These letters are classics of spirituality and devotion.” This famous slave trader once converted, became a minister of the gospel and wrote of the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” These letters are worth reading and rereading.
This collection of Puritan prayers is excellent. Capturing the tenacity with which the Puritan pastors and thinkers pursued their personal faith, they stir the heart with their depth of passion. Much like the Psalms, these prayers will add vocabulary to your prayer life. If growing in prayer is your aim, then The Valley of Vision must become part of your repertoire.
Not merely for the Church History buffs, this work takes some of the finest moments in the last 2,000 years and makes them accessible day-by-day. The spiritual benefits of reading the biographical snapshots of faithful brothers and sisters over the centuries makes this book a great place to start (or continue) a growing appreciation of Church History.