10 Top Men’s Devotionals for the New Year
By Chris Bolinger, Crosswalk.com
Maybe you know a guy who wants to get into his Bible more.
Maybe that guy is you.
In either case, a devotional may be the answer. A typical devotional takes a set of Bible verses or passages and, for each, presents thoughts designed to help the reader understand the verse or passage and apply it to his life. A good devotional entices the reader to explore the Bible more regularly, ideally making Bible reading – and application – a daily practice.
While few devotionals are labeled specifically for women or for men, most devotional writers target women. That’s because the vast majority of devotional readers are women. As a result, devotionals geared for a male audience are pretty rare.
If you search for devotionals on a popular Christian book retailer’s website and then select an audience of “Men”, you narrow your search results from over 11,000 offerings to about 300.
Which of those 300 men’s devotionals should you consider?
In some cases, a free resource may be a better choice.
Free Resource: Bible Reading Plan
Some men don’t want to read someone else’s thoughts on Bible passages. They want to dig into the Bible on their own. They may even want to tackle the challenge of reading the New Testament or the entire Bible in a year. For such men, I recommend a Bible reading plan. There are plenty of free ones. Here are some examples from Ligonier Ministries:
5-day Bible plan: Bible in a year, with readings five days a week
52-week Bible plan: Bible in a year, with each day of the week focused on a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels
4-a-day Bible plan: Bible in a year, with four readings a day, starting in Genesis, Psalms, Matthew, and Acts
Books-of-the-month Bible plan: Bible in a year, completing specified books each month
Chapter-a-day Bible plan: Bible in three years, one chapter per day
5x5x5 NT plan: Read through the New Testament in a year, reading Monday to Friday.
And while committing to a complete Bible reading plan is a big challenge for a busy guy (even one who loves structure, goals, and milestones), he may fall behind. Then he may never get caught up, and eventually, throw in the towel.
So, a devotional still may be the right choice. And there are a growing number of free ones out there.
Free Resource: Online Devotional
A free devotional may be hosted on a website, distributed via email, or made available via a smartphone app. Here are some to consider:
MIM Devotions for Men: The Man in the Mirror ministry makes daily devotions available on your smartphone via a free app. The devotions are good, but the app strives to offer a lot of other services. If you just want devotions, then the app may be overkill.
Every Man Ministries: The Every Man Ministries website has a blog of daily devotions for men. Each devotion has a compelling image, a Bible verse or passage, and a paragraph or a page of thoughts from ministry founder Kenny Luck.
WIRE: WIRE is a twice-weekly email with a devotion that can be read in about a minute. Each devotion applies Biblical principles to an issue that men face in their daily lives.
Men’s Daily Devo: RESOLUTE, a men’s ministry founded by Vince Miller, sends a daily devotion—Bible verse, brief thought, action for the day, and prayer for the day—via email.
The price is right with free devotionals, but the content can be hit-or-miss. Entries are not always edited with rigor, and topics can be repeated.
In most cases, a traditional men’s devotional, in book form, is the right choice. It isn’t free, but it’s not terribly expensive. And it could have a huge positive impact on you (or the recipient).
How do you pick the right one?
How To Choose Your Men’s Devotional
You could ask Google. Or Siri. Or Alexa. But what do they know?
You could search for “best men’s devotionals” and get a list of books to consider. Or five lists. Or 50. Who generates these lists? What criteria do they use? It varies.
Searching bookselling sites (such as Amazon.com) may give you a list of “best sellers,” but you don’t know the time frame over which results were tallied.
Some search “services” claim to rank books based on online reviews. You certainly can check out reviews for yourself. But the vast majority of people who read a men’s devotional never post a review of it, so the value of good (or bad) reviews is unclear.
Frankly, the best strategy is to read excerpts from books that you are considering. If you are buying the devotional for someone else, then try to read through his eyes. Sure, it’s a challenge, but you can do it.
Top 10 Hand-Picked Devotionals for Men
To compile this list, I looked for books that:
- Focus on the Bible and how to apply it to your life
- Consistently speak from a man’s perspective
- Challenge men to go deeper in their walk with Christ
- Have achieved significant sales
Two books are classics; the other eight have been published in the past 10 years.
1. Devotions for the Man in the Mirror, Patrick Morley (75 devotions, 1993)
Morley’s best-selling 1989 book, The Man in the Mirror, won the Gold Medallion Award and has helped thousands of men “solve the 24 problems men face.” His devotional, originally titled Walking with Christ in the Details of Life, offers 75 excellent readings designed to help men “cultivate a deeper walk with Christ.”
2. The One Year Devotions for Men, Stuart Briscoe (365 devotions, 2001)
Briscoe’s devotions are meaty but very readable, challenging, and peppered with references to hundreds of Bible verses and passages. He covers over 100 topics, and a handy topic index at the end enables you to pick your daily reading by topic rather than going with whatever is assigned to that day. Nearly two decades after its publication, this book continues to set the standard for a daily devotional for men.
3. A Look at Life from a Deer Stand Devotional, Steve Chapman (75 devotions, 2009)
Any man who loves to hunt, fish, or just spend time in the outdoors will appreciate Chapman’s insights into life. While it leverages themes and stories from the book A Look at Life from a Deer Stand (more than 300,000 copies sold), the devotional works on its own, thanks to Chapman’s relational writing style.
4. Once-a-Day Devotional for Men, various authors (365 devotions, 2011)
Using devotions from Livingstone, the group that produced the Life Application Study Bible, this book strives to lead the reader into a daily conversation with God. The method? Each devotion ends with an open-ended prayer such as: “God, here is the impossible situation in my life…” and leaves plenty of room for the reader to write down the rest of the prayer.
5. The One-Year Uncommon Life Challenge, Tony Dungy (365 devotions, 2011)
Dungy, who coached the Colts to a Super Bowl win and now is an NFL TV commentator, draws on his years of football coaching experience to apply Bible verses—mostly from the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs—to everyday life.
6. Kingdom Man Devotional, Tony Evans (90 devotions, 2013)
Popular pastor and radio personality Evans provides 90 readings designed to shape men into the Kingdom leaders whom God calls them to be. The writing style is direct and engaging, and the application questions at the end of each reading are superb.
7. The One Year Impact for Living Men’s Devotional, Scott Whitaker and Nathan Whitaker (365 devotions, 2016)
Nathan Whitaker has been the co-writer, likely the ghost writer, for books by Tim Tebow and Tony Dungy (including Dungy’s devotional). Here, he and his brother Scott provide a year’s worth of daily inspirational messages, closing each with an “impact application” question.
8. Men of the Bible Devotional: Insight from the Warriors, the Wimps, and the Wise Guys, various authors (180 devotions, 2017)
This book offers 180 one-page readings on men in the Bible, each with a single Bible verse and a brief character study of the man. Not every devotion has application points for the reader, but the stories are engaging.
9. The One Year Daily Moments of Strength: Inspiration for Men, various authors (365 devotions, 2017)
The team at Walk Thru the Bible Ministries offers this devotional to encourage men to “meet with God” every day. Each daily devotion ends not with a prayer but a “bottom line” (typically a call to action) and a “moment of strength” which is a related Bible verse or passage.
10. Daily Strength for Men, Chris Bolinger (183 devotions, 2018)
I went looking for a devotional that would give me a daily “shot in the arm” of encouragement and strength from God’s Word. When I couldn’t find one I liked, I wrote one. A distinctive feature of the book is two days for each Bible verse. The first day offers the verse and a meaty and relevant devotion. The second offers the complete Bible passage containing the verse, a related passage, questions for reflection and application, and a prayer.
I hope this collection of devotionals for men will encourage you (or someone you know would be encouraged) to make this a year of learning more from your maker about being a man of God.
Chris Bolinger is the author of Daily Strength for Men, a 365-day daily devotional from BroadStreet Publishing. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, DailyStrengthForMen.com, and other retailers.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Gift Habeshaw
Chris Bolinger is the author of three men’s devotionals – 52 Weeks of Strength for Men, Daily Strength for Men, and Fuerzas para Cada Día para el Hombre – and the co-host of the Empowered Manhood podcast. He splits his time between northeast Ohio and southwest Florida. Against the advice of medical professionals, he remains a die-hard fan of Cleveland pro sports teams. Find him at mensdevotionals.com.