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Book Review: "Truth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions, Volume One" by Alistair Begg

Since publishing my daily devotional book, Next Step Devotions, in 2022, I've paid more attention to other devotional books and have enjoyed using several from 2022 to the present.

I give more time to reading directly from the Bible daily than in devotionals written by others. This year, for example, I'm reading through the Legacy Standard Bible. Still, I've grown to appreciate the value of learning from others, especially people like Charles Spurgeon, Alistair Begg, and Ray Comfort. I read my own devotional book to keep those thoughts fresh in my mind and to experience it from a reader's viewpoint rather than as the author.

I've long been a fan of Alistair Begg. Originally from Scotland (with the accent to prove it), he has pastored Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1983. He is the leading voice of the Truth for Life radio, television, and publishing ministry. I've heard him speak at conferences several times and have benefitted from his wisdom and insights. I was eager to use Volume One of his devotional book throughout 2023 finally. It did not disappoint.

Below are some reflections on the experience of reading Alistair Begg's Truth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions, Volume One. First, take 75 seconds to hear directly from Begg about the book:

I appreciated Begg's devotionals for several reasons. Here are the main ones:

  • They are long enough to be substantive in content. Many devotional books (and good ones, I hasten to add) are limited in the words allowed per devotion. Perhaps they are designed to fit on a single page of a certain size, but whatever the reason, it prevents the author from going very deep with the subjects. Begg's was the longest of the three devotionals I read daily in 2023, including my own. I liked that.

  • Each devotional begins with a quoted Scripture. That seems basic, but it doesn't happen with all devotionals.

  • Each devotional ends with an additional extended Scripture passage to read related to that day's subject. I read those, which allowed me to highlight and ponder more of God's Word.

  • Each devotional includes suggested readings to complete the Bible in a year. I used my own plan instead of this one, but it's a nice feature for those not utilizing another approach.

  • As is true whenever I hear Begg speak, I felt like reading each day's devotion was like having a friendly conversation about Scripture and growth in Christ between the two friends. The man is winsome, godly, kind, and encouraging, and I sensed the pastor/shepherd's heart for God's people and those who don't know Christ. (And since I've heard him speak so often, I couldn't help but read his words hearing his Scottish accent. What makes that so captivating for Americans?)

After completing Volume One on December 31st, there was no doubt that I wanted to continue in 2024 reading Volume Two. That is the best endorsement I can give. Is it too early to hope for Volume Three to be released before 2025?

If you want a daily devotional that is soundly scriptural, well thought out, clearly communicated, and helpful in both Biblical understanding and practical application, I heartily recommend Alistair Begg's Truth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions, Volume One. It's available in print and electronic formats. The least expensive place to purchase it is from the Truth for Life website, where you can get (as of this writing) the print edition for a mere $8 and the electronic edition for $5. You won't touch that price on other popular websites or in bookstores.

Even if you have not been a "devotional book person" before (whatever that is), I challenge you to try this. You'll be glad you did.

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