I was drawn to Steven K. Scott's new devotional book, Jesus Speaks: 365 Days of Daily Guidance and Encouragement, Straight from the Words of Christ, first of all because of its beautiful cover - it truly is gorgeous and inviting! Secondly, I love devotional books. I have a plethora of them and love to add different ones as a supplement to my daily Bible reading. I will often choose three devotional books and read one at breakfasttime, one at lunchtime, and one at bedtime. With that said, I was excited to add Jesus Speaks to my devotional routine because it seemed fresh and intriguing, and I thought it would give me some new insights into the life and teachings of Christ. The book description reads:
"What Happens When You Immerse Your Life in the Words of Jesus?
“Jesus’ words can replace stress with peace, sadness with joy, confusion with guidance, and fear with faith. That’s why Jesus Speaks will not only change your day, but it can also change your life, your relationships, and your eternity!”
—Christine Caine, best-selling author of Undaunted
“I’m certain readers…will grow in their intimate relationship with the Father as they focus on Jesus’ words daily through Mr. Scott’s profound and encouraging writing.”
—Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Atlanta
“I absolutely love Jesus Speaks! I am coming to love Jesus more and more as I gain a deeper understanding of who He is through what He says in His own words!”
—Sandi Patty, Grammy Award–winning Christian artist
“Jesus promised that if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, our prayers will be answered, and we will bear much fruit. Jesus Speaks provides an amazing springboard for any believer to abide in His words as never before.”
—Tommy Barnett, senior pastor of Phoenix First Assembly of God
“True intimacy with Christ is achievable. Jesus Speaks can be your first step every morning into His presence.”
—Dr. Ed Young, senior pastor of Second Baptist Church, Houston
“Jesus Speaks is like reading a daily love letter from our Lord and Savior. Steve Scott has focused on the spoken words of Christ in one of the most powerful, clarifying ways possible.”
—Chris Hodges, senior pastor of Church of the Highlands, Alabama
“With Jesus Speaks you can immerse your mind, heart, and soul in His words every day!”
—Josh D. McDowell, author and speaker
“The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”
When Jesus walked this earth, He gave His followers more than one hundred life-changing promises. He also gave more than one hundred teachings for living in line with God’s priorities—commands that lift us up rather than weigh us down!
This 365-day devotional invites you to let Jesus speak directly into your life. Each reading begins with a red-lettered statement of Jesus, directly from Scripture, followed by a powerful reflection on how He wants us to apply His truths to our daily lives.
No problem you face today is beyond the help of Jesus. No question you ask is beyond the answers of Jesus. The more you get to know this loving Savior, the more you will love Him! So come, immerse yourself in His words. He is speaking to you."
This book includes, as the title suggests, 365 devotions designed to bring you through an entire year of Jesus' words recorded in Scripture, and thoughts that flow from them that we can meditate on and apply to our everyday lives. Let's get the negatives I found about this book first so I can end on a positive note. First, I was kind of disappointed that the hardcover has a cover jacket as opposed to a printed-on cover - cover jackets annoy me, especially on devotionals, because they seem cumbersome and tend to flap around and get in the way. But that's a personal preference (that may seem petty), and I know not everyone dislikes cover jackets on their devotional books! Second, I didn't realize that this book flows from his previous book, The Greatest Words Ever Spoken. Steven directs us to read corresponding pages in The Greatest Words Ever Spoken as a companion to this devotional to get a fuller understanding of that day's topic. I didn't realize this and I don't have the book. It sounds great, so I am planning on ordering it now so I can get the fullest use from this devotional, but it's definitely something to note - I wish this was made more clear in the product description so people know to order them together if they don't already own the first book. Also, this is organized in a day-by-day calendar year format, so if you pick up this book in the middle of the year you'll need to start in the middle. My only other hesitation about this devotional is that it's written from Christ's perspective, like He's speaking directly to you. While I understand why he wrote it this way, it does feel a bit strange.
However, as I paged through this book, I found myself longing to know Christ more - there's just something about reading the direct quotes from Jesus Christ taken from the Bible that open up your understanding to God's heart for us and, as Dr. Gary Smalley says in the introduction, brings you to an intimate friendship and relationship with Jesus. Reading Jesus' words brings my focus off of myself and onto Christ. I also really soaked in how much Jesus loves me and wants the best for me, and it increased my trust and faith in Him. I do recommend this devotional - it's excellent - just pick up a copy of The Greatest Words Ever Spoken with it, so you can get the most benefit from it.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.