Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives - eBook
I was looking for a really good daily devotional that is grounded in the Word and written by those that have a pastors heart...and I found it!
December 18, 2013
Excellent devotional book
Of the many devotional books I have used this is a stand out.
The organization is a page for each day of the year with a scripture to be read prior to the devotion. They are meaty and thought provoking. I would highly recommend this book.
April 4, 2013
A perfect, Gospel-centered, daily devotional
The Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) is a ministry focused on providing biblical counseling materials to the church. Their materials connect the Gospel to all of life and are designed to equip local churches to minister to all of the needs of their congregations. I have previously reviewed some of their books (here and here), and helped teach one of their courses (How People Change). I am constantly impressed by the quality of their work and how practical it is for the real problems people face.
New Growth Press has compiled a collection of excerpts from books written by such CCEF authors as Timothy S. Lane, Paul David Tripp, David Powlison, Edward T. Welch, Michael R. Emlet, William P. Smith, and more. The result is a year-long devotional, "Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives," edited by Nancy B. Winter. This hardcover book includes daily devotional readings for every day of the year. The selections are short and readable, yet thoughtful and weighty. The readings are meant to complement a Scripture text to be read each day.
These devotional nuggets provide a practical out-working of a Gospel-centered perspective on all of life that under-girds the counseling approach of CCEF. The sovereignty of God, the reality of the kingdom, the cross of Christ, and grace-based sanctification are a few of the themes explored in these pages. Included in the back of the book is a listing of the source of each excerpt. Particularly poignant daily readings can be traced back to the book they were excerpted from, allowing the reader to turn to the source for more from the author on that subject. Also helpful is a lengthy index of Scripture passages commented on in the book. This index could be used as a guide for reading through the Bible. As you read passages, you can turn to the index and see if any devotional thoughts are available that intersect with the verses you just read.
If youÃ¢ÂÂre looking for a new devotional for 2012, look no further than this volume from CCEF. IÃ¢ÂÂm confident its Gospel-centered, practical application of Scripture to all of life will make a lasting impression on your heart. It can help facilitate real change, by the power of the Holy SpiritÃ¢ÂÂand that is what CCEF is all about.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by New Growth Press. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
November 9, 2012
Powerful, Daily Gospel Reflection
I can say, without a doubt, that some of the most potent, Christ-exalting, gospel-centered biblical counsel I have encountered has come through the speaking and writing of the faculty at the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF). These men and women are not interested in quick-fix, self-help, moralistic nonsense. They are unswervingly committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are of the conviction that real, Spirit-wrought power for the changing of the human heart occurs as we dive more deeply into the gospel, applying it to the myriad of circumstances and situations of our daily lives.
The writings and resources of the CCEF are incredibly extensive. Effectively working through all of them, though undoubtedly worthwhile, would take years to accomplish. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs why I was immensely excited when I was introduced to Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives (New Growth Press, 2012),ed. by Nancy B. Winter. This daily devotional is a collection of some of the most powerful excerpts from the writings of those on staff at CCEF. The authors include, but are not limited to, Paul David Tripp, Edward T. Welch, David Powlison, and Timothy S. Lane. Organized by the calendar year and paired with a daily reading from the Scriptures, these vignettes are sincere, to the point, and clearly hopeful in the power of God to change hearts through the gospel of Christ. While deeply steeped in the grace believers have received from God in Christ, each devotion then includes questions for personal reflection and application. As I mentioned, these devotions are not designed to give the reader 5-steps to personal change/fulfillment, but rather are written to make the reader aware of the sovereignty of God, the grace presently available in the gospel, and hope that real Sprit-wrought change is possible.
Two things that make this resource particularly helpful are the Source Index and Scripture Index included at the conclusion of the volume. This will be of great assistance to readers who, when particularly impacted by a given devotional, desire to know the resource from which the excerpt came. Additionally, the Scripture Index allows the reader to use the devotional as a companion when studying a specific book of the Bible.
In a day and age where so many Ã¢ÂÂChristianÃ¢ÂÂ devotionals are filled with mere fluff, Heart of the Matter is a distinctly different resource that will assuredly encourage believers to reflect more seriously upon the gospel and be used by God to powerfully change hearts and lives to the praise of his glorious grace. I wholeheartedly commend it to you!
*A copy of the book was provided by the publisher, at no charge, for the purpose of review. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review.
November 8, 2012