MacArthur’s new devotional, Remember and Return, is content pulled from his trade book, Simple Christianity. Each of these short, 31 chapters takes a thought from the book and introduces it with a Scripture verse and concludes with a “Daily Challenge,” a new, poignant paragraph that is really what transforms MacArthur’s older content into a devotional. The book has some wonderful quotes by other authors, most especially puritans like John Owen. Remember and Return really doesn’t read like a devotional, but more like a book of theological truth with a “challenge” each day to apply it.
Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
A few authors seem to be given by God for daily devotionals. Oswald Chambers’ is such a writer, and this new volume, Devotions for a Deeper Life, shows the staying power of Chambers’ pen. Although most readers (including myself) have only read My Upmost for His Highest, these new devotionals, culled from content originally published in God’s Revivalist, read as fresh as those in Chambers’ well-known devotional. 365 excerpts also come with a Scripture verse, a thought for prayer, and a suggested Bible reading to go deeper.
Most daily devotionals are simply rehash, but this one pulls from the unpublished writings of one of our most-beloved writers and encourages us with fresh, new words.
Leadership Promises for Every Day: A Daily Devotional (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
One of the most practical of all of John C. Maxwell’s daily readings, Leadership Promises for Every Day, offers the simple wisdom we’ve come to respect and need from this gifted writer. Excerpts from many of John’s popular volumes, in addition to Bible verses that relate to leadership principles, combine to make this daily devotional a simple and inspiring way to grow in leadership skills a little each day. The placeholder ribbon and the leather-like cover are nice additions.
America at the Crossroads: Explosive Trends Shaping America’s Future and What You Can Do about It (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)
This new book by Christian pollster George Barna gives the latest facts about what America believes and trends that shape our future. Of course, anybody but an ostrich is well aware that America is in a moral nosedive. Barna simply reveals the fact with facts.
But America at the Crossroads isn’t just a book about facts and forecasts— it also includes Barna’s nudge on what we can do about it.
What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)
This repackaged version of Sproul’s 1997 classic What is Reformed Theology? is, in Sproul’s own words, “a shorthand introduction to the crystallized essence of Reformation Theology.”
Much of what Sproul refers to as foundations of reformed theology might better be understood as the theology of the reformers—namely that it is centered on God, based on God’s Word alone, committed to faith alone, etc. After all, these tenets are also true of other theological systems outside of Reformed Theology.
Larry Crabb has written one of the best books I’ve read all year. He describes the narrow way of Jesus’ teaching to include the hard work that true love requires –with a reward that is unmeasurable. In his own words:
I’ve written this book to think through what it means to really love and to explore the truth that sets us free to relate closer to the way we wish we could, to love like Jesus. As you journey with me in the following pages, and as I share something of my path to loving more like Jesus, think about your relationships and the circumstances in which you find yourself. What would it mean for you to battle for a better love?
I enjoyed The ReWired Brain because it helps in understanding how the brain works and why we make the decisions we do. With this knowledge, the book offers the insight that although we have “System 1” part of our brains that is more automatic, we also have a “System 2” mind that can override it. This second part offers the hope we have for change and healing through a “rewiring” our thinking. The book is full of stories—including the author’s own mini-autobiography—which illustrate how we can rewire our brains to live in balance with both systems.
The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations (Zondervan, 2016)
I really enjoyed The Daniel Prayer. Anne Graham Lotz uses principles from the prophet Daniel’s prayer in the book that bears his name. Daniel confesses his sins and the sins of his nation—and asked God to have mercy.
All of the sections of Anne’s book are peppered with personal stories that both inspire and urge us to pray. I especially appreciate her vulnerability and admission that it isn’t easy to pray—regardless of where you are in your walk with God.
I like Anne’s reminder that to pray is to enter spiritual warfare. The prophet Daniel prayed, and the angel who came in answer to Daniel’s prayer indicated that his delay was because of a battle with a demon.
The final section of the book offers what Anne calls “patterns for prayer.” At first I thought this might be examples of prayer from the Scriptures, like what Jesus taught in the Lord’s prayer or in John 17. Instead, to my surprise, Anne has penned her own prayers to God — for various topics. Very nice.
The Daniel Prayer offers no magic pill on making God answer your prayers, but it does what all good books on prayer must do. It inspires us to actually do the job of praying, and praying is what God responds to.
The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
In The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book, Dr. David Jeremiah reminds us that the Christian life is a battlefield. Our battle is not with the culture or with those who do not believe in God but with an enemy unseen and powerful.
Using a question-and-answer format, Dr. Jeremiah answers 75 questions pertinent to spiritual warfare. Each question forms a short chapter with answers rooted in scripture and practical application. Particularly relevant is the introductory section that answers the question, How can I be certain I’ve been called to battle? His answer is succinct and sobering: if you are a Christian, you are in battle—and you don’t have to lose.
The NKJV Study Bible, Personal Size, Paperback: Full-Color Edition (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
I love reading the New King James Version of the Bible (NKJV), but not until getting this study Bible did I realize why. The scholarship behind this Bible is simply phenomenal. As I read the names of the contributors, it made me want to study the notes again. An outstanding group of scholars whose words and theology can be trusted.
This edition of the NKJV Study Bible is a “Personal Size, Paperback.” It will be convenient for those who want to read more than write in the Bible. The full-color introductions, maps, and special features keep the reader’s eye glued to the pages. It’s an attractive Bible, although the print is fairly small.
The combination of an excellent translation, outstanding scholarship in the study notes, and this compact and colorful format make this edition a welcome addition to any library, travel bag, or bedside.