The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language - eBook
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Vendor: Worthy Inspired
Publication Date: 2016
When does a classic become new, fresh and extremely relevant? When someone takes it out of an outdated format and makes it readable, searchable and understandable. The Imitation of Christ has been in print for over 500 years for a good reason. It is powerful, beautiful and heart piercing. James Watkins has taken those words and reworked them into ninety daily readings, arranged by topic. Whether for daily devotions or for sound insight into a particular issue, Watkins paraphrase blends the ancient with the modern to introduce this classic to a new audience, speaking to all Christians with credibility and authority and using inclusive language not found in the original.
James Watkins is the author of sixteen books including Death & Beyond, which won a Campus Life Book of the Year award, and The Why Files series, which was honored with a Christian Retailers Choice award. He serves as associate acquisitions editor at Wesleyan Publishing House (Indianapolis) and has won four Evangelical Press Association awards for editing. He is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a BA in Theology and his graduate work is in communications at Ball State University and Purdue University.
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DaveF5 Stars Out Of 5Highly readable, spiritually relevantAugust 10, 2016DaveFQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5I have read The Imitation of Christ before, but I can't remember understanding it as clearly as I did with Jim Watkins' paraphrase. He has done a valuable service to the church to rework this translation. Considering that it is a translation (done in the 1800s) from another language, it is possible that Jim's text, while a paraphrase, may be closer to the meaning of the original. Certainly it is far more readable!
I was prepared for a touch of irrelevancy, but I find that the spiritual issues that A Kempis wrestled with in a much earlier era relate so closely to my own that I feel a kinship with him. Again, I have to thank Jim's paraphrase for that. The fact that the book is organized by subject and divided up into daily readings (forcing me to ponder A Kempis' words in small bites) also has a lot to do with it. Jim Watkins has breathed new life into an old classic, and I truly appreciate his work. It's a devotional I expect to use regularly.
NOTE: To comply with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: I selected this book to review and received it free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Lissa5 Stars Out Of 5A Devotional with depthJanuary 19, 2016LissaQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0I want a devotional with meat on it. One that makes me think deeply about Christ. About my life. About what my heart, soul, and spirit should be spending time meditating on. There have been popular devotionals that others love, but I cannot seem to find any sort of depth in them. This one, however, may be small and some of the entries quite short, but nearly all of them make me think. They convict me of wrong thinking and actions. They remind me where my mind and heart should be focusing. And what really surprises me is how this was written so long ago and yet A Kempis faced the same issues we do. I guess I foolishly presume a man of God who lived centuries ago would not struggle with worldly distractions. He did not have technology. And yet he struggled. That's only one example. This is my daily go-to book. My only complaint is that it's not longer. That the shorter entries are as short as they are. This book makes me hungry for more wisdom. It brings things from Scripture that I know, but need the light shed in a way that re-illuminates the truth of Christ. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5be challengedJanuary 15, 2016lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Thomas A. Kempis wrote a very serious and compelling even convicting devotional to use in personal quiet time with the Lord. I looked up some information on Thomas A. Kempis who was a very intelligent and serious man who sought God. I also learned that this devotional has been the second highest seller of books right behind the Bible. Not only that, this writing has been around for centuries plus it is in several languages. When many other works have long since disappeared, why has The Imitation of Christ not only continued to be around but is still being demanded by readers all over the globe?
While it is true that it isnt inspired and without error like the Bible, I can say I now understand the draw to many people. Originally written in Latin this new edition is in todays language, making the compelling words easier to understand and apply to our lives. In the edition put together by James N. Watson, the writings are compiled by topic making the devotions easier to find when searching by topic.
A couple of the devotions I really marked up because they spoke to my heart by exhorting, pruning or sheering my spirit to imitate the Savior in my life. For example, here is part of a devotion I marked so I can return to it to contemplate it often: In the cross is health, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross I heavenly delight, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of the spirit, in the cross is the height of good deeds, in the cross is holy living. (pg. 19). What do you think of the quote or better yet what do you sense in your heart as the Spirit speaks to you?
There are devotions that are underneath topic headings such as trust, loving, wisdom or obedience. While this is not the complete list at least I hope it gives you enough to really consider obtaining a copy. Then sit before the Lord with your Bible, journal or notebook, writing utensils and this devotional. I promise it wont take long before you just sit there in awe of God along with coming away from quiet time with a challenge if you really think about the pearls of wisdom within the book.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5A classic in daily dosesJanuary 10, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When Watkins read The Imitation of Christ, it changed his life. He thinks it will change yours too. He has created an updated version, arranged for a 90 day devotional reading. He added headings to note who is speaking and biblical passages to reinforce each reading.
This book presents a spirituality uncommon in this modern world. We are encouraged to follow the example of Christ. Such a life requires sacrifice and endurance in trials. When you stop living for yourself, you will grow in union with me. (10) We are reminded of the spiritual benefit of sorrows and adversities, something rarely encouraged in today's world of pleasure and gratification.
We are encouraged to find all we need in Christ, giving up our bent to worldly pleasures. When people arrive at the point where they seek comfort in no created thing, they begin to perfectly enjoy God and are perfectly contented no matter what happens to them. (122)
Many topics are covered in the book including temptation, how it arrives and how it is resisted. We are asked to discipline our conversation (gossip). We are helped to understand what it means to be crucified to the world. The Christ-follower desires hard discipline and severe labor to become like his master. (95)
Watkins has identified the speaker of each section. Sometimes it is the Disciple and sometimes it is Christ. That means some of what we read is as if Jesus is speaking to us. Other authors have been criticized for writing words supposedly from Jesus. This book has stood the test of time, however. This book is over five hundred years old and is still a source of encouragement to Christians world wide.
I would encourage those to read this book who are ready to have their spirituality shaken up a bit. You will find yourself called to a level of spirituality and disassociation from this world rarely seen today. Watkins has given us just enough thought provoking material for each day.
Food for thought: We must learn to die to the world now, so we can begin to live with Christ now. (257)
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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