Thursday, April 9, 2015

Be the Message Devotional by Kerry & Chris Shook

I can be critical of devotion books.  Many of them are sappy and shallow, full of biblical pleasantries and warm fuzzies.  This one, Be the Message Devotional:  A 30-Day Adventure in Changing the World Around You by Kerry & Christ Shook, makes an attempt at cutting through the feel good pleasantries and encourages the readers to delve down into what will reawaken them in the faith.

In full disclosure, I have not read the book Be the Message, from which this devotional material is based, so I don't know how well it supplements the original book.  It does work, though, as a stand alone devotional.  I had no trouble working my way through the devotional without having read the book.  Each day is broken down into six small parts, some to help you look inside yourself and take a look at your faith and others to look outside to the world around you.  As far as the title, Be the Message, I don't feel that the devotional book necessarily points in that direction.  The last of the six parts of each day is really the only part that talks about reaching out to the world around you.  That doesn't make the rest of the devotional book bad, but just know it isn't tightly focused on evangelism or changing the world.

My personal complaint about this devotional is because each day had six tiny parts to the day's devotion, it seemed a little too quick paced.  While there is a general theme to each day, not all the parts focus in the same direction.  They really were like tiny individual parts instead of flowing one into the other.  It's not bad, but I think the devotional would have a stronger impact if each part lead to one clear message each day and each message lead to one big overall theme.

This complaint, though, wouldn't cause me to necessarily disqualify this devotional from being something I'd suggest to others.  The actions and meditations were different than things I've seen in other books.  If you are using this for a daily quiet time, then I think this would perfectly suffice.  If you are looking for a book that centers on the theme of changing the world around you, I'm not sure this is the book for you.

I was given a free copy of this book from WaterbrookMultnomah in return for my honest review.

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