Selecting a Daily Devotional – 5 Things To Consider

If you’ve been connected to me via social media you’re well aware that I am a champion of daily devotional time.

Like many other things about me, I can also thank my mom for that.  She made sure that I knew how important it was to read a devotional that included both scripture and practical application –this application usually came by way of answering questions and/or meditating on scriptures from the daily reading or engaging a companion text or additional reading from the Bible.


I remember leaving for college and having my mom give me a copy of “Our Daily Bread” before my family left my dorm room.  When I moved to Mississippi, I had days when the weight of life was so heavy and I would call my mom — Who, after being my sounding board and giving me space to vent, would chime in and kindly ask me two questions:

  1. “Do you still get your book of devotionals?”
  2. “Did you read it today?”

I could have become upset with her, but when I look back on those times, I REALLY love my mom for that.

We all need someone like that. Someone who, despite their relationship with and love for us, will check us when we need to be checked and point us back in the right direction instead of joining our pity party.

You know…That pity party that we have self-catered, decorated, and set the table for a guest or two to join us in lamenting over the troubles of our life… We don’t really care who joins us.– Whoever will listen can take a seat– They can even chime in with their own sad song!  ๐Ÿ˜‚ But we know where that gets us— NOWHERE! Find someone who will get you out of the pit! 

But, back to the point of this post. Because of my mom, I am very invested in the types of devotionals I purchase – both for myself and others – because I know how much it matters to have a ready word. On the days when life is sunny and on those days when the sun’s rays are hard to find.


There are a number of things I consider when I select my devotionals.  This list has come together as a result of my 20 some years of reading devotionals and the past 5 years of experience I’ve gained while reviewing devotional texts and purchasing devotionals for myself or to give as gifts.  I would recommend that anyone on the verge of selecting a devotional consider these 5 things:

  1. Purpose
    • What is the purpose of this purchase?
      • Is it for yourself or someone else?
    • What are you trying to focus on by reading this devotional?
      • Is it something specific (such as, patience) or something more broad (like, personal growth)?
        • When will you read it?
        • Where will you read it?
  2. Material
    • Do you want this item to be a keepsake?
      • Leather/Leather-like materials make a better impression.
    • Will you only use it at home or do you need it for travel?
      • Paperbacks can work well for use at home, while travel needs will have to balance durability and mobility.
  3. Size
    • How big do you want it to be?
      • Purse size? Pocket size? Wallet Size? Briefcase size?
  4. Translation
    Do you have a particular scripture translation that you prefer?

    • Living Translation, King James Translation or the Amplified Bible?
    • If possible, you should try to find a devotional that includes this translation within the body of the text.
      • Keep in mind, not every devotional includes the full passage of scripture along with the daily reading.
    •  I try to select devotionals that do, but many will only include the reference and then require that you use your own bible or bible app to read the full passage.
  5. Format
    Aside from the translation, other important format details include things like note taking space and the print size.

    • Are you a person that needs larger print?
    • Do you like to write in the margins?
    • Does the stock of the paper matter to you?
      • If so, you will want to consider these details and pay close attention to the physical look and feel of the book before making a final decision.
      • This may also mean that you will have to take a trip to a local bookstore instead of using an online buying option.

This post provides a broad overview of four books I received to review.  I’m sharing my critique of each text along with a mix of photos and their publishers’ descriptions.  


Grace for the Moment Large Deluxe: Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year

By Max Lucado
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

The devotional that has touched millions of lives with inspirational thoughts for every day is now available in a gorgeous new package, and large, easy-to-read type. Upon opening my package, I was immediately struck by the gorgeous cover and the quality of the cover material.

Grace for the Moment offers inspiring devotions to grow in your faith as you embrace the hope of the Lord every day. Each daily reading features devotional writings from Maxโ€™s numerous bestsellers as well as a Scripture verse selected especially for each day’s reading.

This deluxe, large edition of the classic devotional makes a handsome gift to commemorate a special occasion. It offers a leather-flex cover, beautifully designed pages with large type, and a ribbon marker.

Whether you already know and love Grace for the Moment or youโ€™re looking for a new way to draw near to the Lord, this gorgeous, deluxe version will inspire your heart.

Fix-It Fran’s Critique of Grace for the Moment Large Deluxe: Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year

  • Likes
    • Upon opening my package, I was immediately struck by the gorgeous cover and the quality of the cover material.
    • The large print is very easy on one’s eyes.  (Though it may have made me more critical of the fonts used in the other texts).
    • I have a few bibles that I “adopted” from my mother’s collection and I image this will be an item to pass on to my own children on day. It’s just THAT nice.
  • Dislikes
    • The style is somewhat masculine.  (Not a big issue for me, but it could be a factor for some.)
    • It is large.  The actual product dimensions are 7 inches by 1.1  by 9 inches.
      • This will take up a good amount of space while traveling, on a bedside table or at your office desk.
    • It is on the heavier side
    • No graphics
    • Pages all “look the same”
    • Text comes from other Lucado books: No “new” content for readers that are familiar with this author.

365 Devotions for Finding Rest

By Christina Vinson
Published by Harper Collins Publishing

โ€œCome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.โ€ โ€”Matthew 11:28


Book Description

Rest. You crave it. Your body needs it. Your tired soul longs for it. But in the madness of your day-to-day rush, how can you possibly find it? Truth be told, when lifeโ€™s demands overwhelm us, the first thing we sacrifice is our own rest. But God has a different plan for us: He made us to enjoy deep, reviving refreshment in Him. 365 Devotions for Finding Rest will guide you in a yearlong journey toward embracing His rest in your life. Youโ€™ll be amazed as Godโ€™s peace and restoration transform you.

Fix-It Fran’s Critique of 365 Devotions for Finding Rest

  • Likes
    • This text is easy to read.
    • The subject– REST– It’s just everything!
    • It is the perfect bedside companion or devotional to use while traveling.
    • I still find myself traveling on occasion and wanting to have a devotional to use to “steady” myself while moving from home to airport to hotel to airport, etc and this has become a new companion.
    • I have a background in book construction and book preservation and the book is very well-made.  It feels like it will hold up to travel and repeated use without showing signs of wear and tear.
  • Dislikes
    • Font could be hard to read if one is tired.  Serif fonts are harder on the eyes.
    • The font size is rather small and could be difficult to read in the evening (while preparing for bed).
    • The construction of this book is NOT lightweight.
      • Carrying it in a shoulder-bag may be uncomfortable.
      • To avoid this issue, I travel with it in my roller-bag/checked luggage.

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Published by Zondervan

Book Description

Prepare your heart and mind to celebrate the risen Savior.

Itโ€™s time for fresh spring blossoms, colored eggs, special recipes, and family gatherings. This year, with each tradition, small celebration, and new story, take the time to stop and discover the ways Jesus is showing His love for you. In remembering His Easter storyโ€”the greatest story ever toldโ€”your own will become that much sweeter.

The perfect companion for Lent, Devotions for Easter invites you to find the messages of hope and mercy God places in even the smallest moments of the season. Forty days of warm, inviting readings, prayers, scriptures, and beautiful images will take you through Christโ€™s journey toward the cross and the miracle of His resurrection. As new life emerges all around you, let your heart be filled with joyful worship of Christ and the renewal He brings.

Fix-It Fran’s Critique of Devotions for Easter

  • Likes
    • Small compact size
    • Attractive cover
    • Images are vivid and captivating
    • Even balance of pages that text-heavy and those that are mainly images with moderate captions/inspirational quotes from the devotional passage.
    • Devotion length appropriate for morning meditation or lunchtime study.
  • Dislikes
    • No ribbon marker (Y’all know how I feel about my ribbon markers! ๐Ÿ˜€ )
    • Scripture references are in parenthesis. Difficult to find at times.
    • The content left me wanting more, especially with regard to scripture and application.  I would need to supplement this with another devotional and study from my Life Application Bible.

Leadership Promises for Every Day

By John C. Maxwell
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

God has entrusted you as a leader.

Whether you are new to leadership in your work, family, community or church, or

youโ€™ve been leading for years, youโ€™ll discover fresh wisdom in Leadership Promises for Every Day. Find day-to-day guidance and encouragement to grow to be a godly leader.
Written in John C. Maxwellโ€™s hallmark tone of confidence, clarity, and directness, this devotional will inspire you as it covers many topics that you run into every day, including success, stewardship, teamwork, and mentoring.

Daily Scripture, along with John C. Maxwellโ€™s seasoned advice and simple takeaway
messages, provides much-trusted guidance and encouragement. God has entrusted you to lead. Make sure you honor him by leading well.

Fix-It Fran’s Critique of Leadership Promises for Every Day

  • Likes
    • Small compact size
    • Attractive cover (of the 4 books reviewed in this post, this was my second favorite!)
    • This book has 365 devotions, but is VERY lightweight.
    • Varied layouts.
      • Use of numbered/bulleted lists
    • Devotion length appropriate for morning meditation or lunchtime study.
    • No ribbon marker (Did I mention, how I feel about my ribbon markers? ๐Ÿ˜€  )
  • Dislikes
    • Small fonts
    • No graphics
    • Pages all “look the same”
    • Text comes from other Maxwell books: No “new” content for readers that are familiar with this author.

Those are my general tips for selcting a devotional and my reviews of these particular books.

Are there any additional pointers you would add?

Do you have a different review of any of these books?

Please let me know in the comments!


 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received promotional copies of these texts in exchange for my honest and unbiased reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissionโ€™s 16 CFR, Part 255 : โ€œGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.โ€