Favorite Devotion Books for Families

Published on 12 January 2024 at 01:00

Good devotion books are so helpful in creating regular and engaging devotion times for families.  You can and should simply read the Bible with your family.  The Bible covers every topic that is necessary for shepherding your children in this fallen world.  However, it's also beneficial to have devotion books that include pictures to capture the attention of the youngest family members, and books that include rich life applications that we might not think of on our own.  

 

It's important however, to be very discerning when it comes to picking devotion books.  You certainly don't want to just do a google search for "Christian devotion books" and blindly pick one to use.  When you are looking at devotion books, you want to make sure that the text doesn't go beyond what the Bible says.  Sometimes devotion books like to "flesh out" the story and add made up details.  If in doubt, check the account in the Bible and don't teach your kids extra details that are not biblical.

 

Some devotion books use one Bible passage and have a devotion based on that passage.  In these books, it's important to look for specific law and gospel in every devotion.  Some devotion books miss the mark because they are extremely law heavy without much specific gospel.  For example, a devotion that is only encouraging God-pleasing living, doesn't provide the motivation from the gospel for God-pleasing living.  It becomes empty and can be discouraging when we realize that we keep trying and failing to live up to God's standards.  We sinners need to hear that we are forgiven because of the innocent death of our Savior Jesus Christ.  If you read a devotion with your family that doesn't mention what Jesus did for us, try to find a way to add it in for your family.

 

Also be wary of devotion books that put the emphasis on us and what we do instead of on Christ.  For example, if you take the story of the big catch of fish and add, "Peter wanted to please Jesus, so he obeyed him and put his boat out in the deep water"  you are taking the focus off Jesus and His redemptive work for lost sinners.  You are instead putting the emphasis on Peter and his works.  We want to teach our kids that God is an amazing God.  We want to teach them that He loved them so much that He was willing to send His only Son to die instead of them!  When they know this, the fruits of faith will flow.  Trying to teach kids to do the right thing just for the sake of being good is moralizing and misses the point of the Bible.

 

Be discerning in your choice of devotion books.  Your goal is, of course, to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  The last thing you want is false doctrine to sneak into your house and undermine the faith of the precious lambs that you are shepherding.  

 

If you are unsure where to start, here is a round up of our families favorite devotional books.


Jesus

This simple picture board book is so perfect for babies through 2 year olds.  It has one simple Bible word on each page and engaging pictures to encourage conversation.  You can either just read the word, or read the word and expand on it by talking about the picture.  This book is a great way to start devotions with babies.  Your baby will get so much benefit out of this by reading it nightly.  Babies love repetition, and it's so good for their brain development.

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A Child's Garden of Bible Stories

This book is a great first Bible Story book.  Kids as young as 2 can easily understand these stories and interact with the pictures.  The stories are shorter for short attention spans.  The text is accurate to the Bible accounts.  And the pictures are lovely.  All of our children enjoyed this Bible Story book when they were young.

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The Story Bible

This is our family's favorite Bible Story book.  The illustrations are absolutely stunning and so descriptive of the stories.  The text is very very close to the text straight from the Bible.  It's slightly more difficult to understand than your typical little kid Bible Story book.  However, it is so rich, and children will grow into this book through their grade-school years.  I would recommend this book for ages 3-12.  It's truly a treasure!

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Little Visits with God

Our kids have really enjoyed this devotion book.  My 8 year old says, "I just like the simple stories with big meanings."  Each devotion has a Bible verse and applies it well to a real life scenario that hits home with kids in grade-school.  Make sure you get the anniversary edition.  The new ones are not nearly as good.  And watch out for devotions that lack specific gospel.  There are many devotions in this book that are only law.  If the devotion doesn't talk about Jesus and His sacrifice for sin, find a way to add it in.  It's often as easy as saying, "We don't always do a good job at (fill in the blank, whatever behavior the devotion is talking about).  Thankfully, Jesus did it perfectly for us!  And then He died on the cross to forgive us for the times that we fail to do that behavior.

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Together with Jesus

This is our absolute favorite devotion book for middle school ages through adult.  Like Little Visits, it has a Bible passage and a devotion that applies it to your life.  This one is written in a manner that is easy enough for a middle schooler to understand, but rich enough to provide comfort and edification to children and adults alike.

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Comments

Julie Reim
6 months ago

Very well written and to the point!
Thank-you and I hope many will read this and take your suggestions - all very good!