I confess to a like/dislike relationship with devotional volumes. In my pre-teen years I discovered Our Daily Bread in booklet form, which I enjoyed but which truly became "daily" in that I would read all 30 or 31 entries in a single day. When I exhausted my parents' back issues I was forced to wait an entire month until the next installment was released.
As a graduation present I was given two copies of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers but, alas, always gave up reading in late January. One day, Oswald, one day.
Two years ago I began Spurgeon's Morning by Morning and Evening by Evening from Crossway Books, attractively bound and gold-edged by a Belgian printer and updated by Alistair Begg, but once again did not keep up the discipline.
I have in the recent past used the excuse that I resonate with C.S. Lewis, who said he preferred a page of meaty theology for breakfast rather than the superficial devotionals produced by well-meaning Evangelicals. But this year I plan to take up the devotional discipline again, prompted by two considerations and a timely volume that arrived in the mail courtesy of Day One Publications: 365 Days with Spurgeon, Volume 5 (yes, I'm a tad intimidated by the four previous volumes I haven't yet read).
Why this year?
1) My seminary studies in 2011 will be very full. Although they are bound to stretch me and grow me, I need an ungraded activity that has to do only with personal growth.
2) The realization that I have very little discipline. I recognize the deep irony that one of my favourite books happens to be Donald Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life, but it has taken reading through The Rule of Saint Benedict to truly chasten me as to my slothfulness in the area of devotions, not to mention other areas of my Christian life. Blogging SED means that I must be in Scripture everyday. It's hypocritical to attempt to say something spiritual every day when I haven't even read a word in the Word or communed with the Holy Spirit.
Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. (Corrie ten Boom)
Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy. (AW Tozer)
And in case you were wondering, the impetus behind the title of this post, taken from Spurgeon's Morning by Morning for January 1st: "To be with Jesus in the rest." That's where I want to be, day in, day out.