"Life Application Study Bible Devotional: Daily Wisdom from the Life of Jesus"

I must admit, I've never been a big fan of the typical "devotional". I find them too simplistic, enabling the problem of our already-busy lives. Rather than really slowing down and excavating deep into God's word, devotionals dig more like spades.

That said, I still volunteered to review this study/devotional bible to give it a chance. The basic format of this particular study bible is this: each daily devotional is one page long. Along the outer margin of each page is the passage being considered, and each passage is typically only a verse or two. Since this bible is only a "gospels" devotional, longer passages aren't a necessity. It's definitely not bogged down in heavy bible reading. The main section of each page consists of a review and setting of the passage in consideration. The last paragraph of that main section typically asks a couple questions for life application. Finally, in the same outer margin mentioned earlier is a prayer recommendation that relates to the topic under consideration.

Given my reservation for devotionals, I found that I actually like this devotional bible. This one has caused me to pause and rethink my position on devotionals. God has a marvelous way of speaking to people through His word, regardless of depth of study. If He chooses to speak, He will and send the needed messages at the right times.

In the early weeks of review, I was literally enduring a week of strong physical temptation. For two consecutive days, the passage spoke to my struggle as though God sent me a personal message on those particular days. The words were precisely what I needed to read/hear. It's difficult to dismiss those occurrences as mere coincidence.

So, do devotionals "work"? I guess I'd say they do. Do they provide all the sustenance we need in our spirit? I still say no. But even body builders don't eat full meals every time they eat. Sometimes they snack.

All-in-all, I give this devotional bible 4 stars. It doesn't blow my mind, but it certainly changed it.

I received this bible from Tyndale Publishers free of charge in exchange for my unbiased review of it. I was not promised rewards or threatened to provide a positive review. All opinions are mine.

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