If you are still looking for a devotional to start the new year off, you might enjoy A Good Start by F. B. Meyer. While written primarily to younger people, older readers will also enjoy this little book, which aims to:
…bring the highest principles of our holy religion to bear on the practical business of every-day life.
Probably all our sermons should have more of this element in them. The Epistles of the New Testament are admirable specimens of the blending of the doctrinal and practical. We are shown how to apply the loftiest principles to the solution of every-day problems. People are not apt to do this for themselves, and like to be shown how to eat and drink, and do all they have to do, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and to the glory of God. This is what these chapters aim to do.
Meyer refers to the chapters of his book as “Work-a-Day Sermons” and homespun — practical, ungilded, and useful might be another way to put it. The twelve chapters cover:
- A steadfastness in the year ahead.
- Thoughts toward marriage.
- Being true.
- Working hard.
- Being a light in this world.
- How to spend Sunday.
- Simple and natural pleasures.
- Discerning good and evil.
- Celebrating Christmas.
Some thoughts in the book might appear old-fashioned, but their value can still be appreciated today. Like any devotional, you’ll want to read it first to see if it fits your family.
One of our greatest modern teachers [Emerson in his essay “American Civilization”] tells us “to hitch our wagon to a star.” And the great purpose of this book will have been amply realized if the readers shall learn the art of linking the simplest actions of life with those eternal truths that burn evermore, as constellations in the firmament.
A Good Start is a great start to the new year — and it’s free!
Suggestions for young readers
- Enjoy one chapter each month.
- Keep a notebook handy to write down points that you feel are important to you now.
- Make it a point to develop these ideas into good habits.
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