(Originally written August 5th, 2013)
Back in the spring, David asked if I’d be interested in writing a review of his latest book, “40 Days of Praise: A Hymn Devotional”. I was still reading “Devotions From Genesis” by Nicole Vaughn, so I let him know that if I did do his study, it would be as one who did it each day rather than a quick scan through. He was ok with that, so a few months later, here we are.
Being of the musical persuasion in my worship and intimacy with Christ, I looked forward to this devotional, to see what songs he’d pick and what truths would be drawn from them. Many of the hymns David picked spoke of reaching the lost. There are many hymns in the ancient and modern hymnals that speak to a wide range of thoughts, doctrines and persuasions, but for David, the focus was largely on the concept of what drives us to fulfill the Great Commission. Hymns of concecration such as “Take My Life and Let it Be” were familiar to me, while hymns such as “Master, the Tempest is Raging” were new. I always find it so amazing how God inspired people down through the ages to speak to the timeless issues of dedication, conflict, the storms of life, etc. To see how these people wrote of the struggle and of how God spoke to and met them in that struggle is always a comfort and encouragement to me.
If there was one thing about this devotional that caused some dismay, it was the lack of intentional Scripture reading accompanying each hymn. Various devotionals did reference Scripture, but some only alluded to it with no reference that could be looked up and read as part of the day’s session. To that end, this is a devotional best reserved for those who have been journeying in the faith awhile and who would rather spend time reflecting on God’s inspiration to others than on what God might say directly from the Scriptures. For the solid Christian, the ability to do their own study on this matter is not out of the question, but for the new, young, or struggling Christian, it would be better to pick this devotional up at a later time on deeper spiritual footing.
There were no other concerns with this devotional at all, and I ended up journalling about how Day 25 touched me already. Feel free to read that in earlier blog posts here.
Thank you for this copy of your devotional David, and may God use it to bless others as it blessed me.