Thinking Out Loud

October 31, 2015

Jesus is Calling, But He’s Only Got a Minute

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:47 am

Jesus Calling quote

For Halloween, a look at the book with the bright orange cover…

I realized today that despite all that’s been written about the format and content of the popular devotional book Jesus Calling, my chief complaint is that the writings are simply far too short. Heck, I’ve posted things on Twitter that are lengthier than what passes for a daily devotional. If this is devotion, if I were God, I’d be looking for a greater degree of loyalty.

It’s as if Jesus is calling, but he’s in Europe, and it’s a toll call, and he’s run out of Euro coins and can only speak for a minute.

Full disclosure: Sometimes my devotional kickstart is equally short. If I’m running really late, I might just have time to read the key verse at and the one I get weekdays by email from But on those very days, I’m heading into an environment that in many ways resembles an eight-hour-long small group meeting. I often wonder how many scripture verses are quoted or alluded to by me or the people I interact with. (I need an intern to follow me and count them, like the student who followed Kramer on that Seinfeld episode.)

But if Jesus Calling were my only source of spiritual feeding for an entire day, I think I would be shortchanged.

That’s the part the scares me. That people are buying and using and gifting this book and it becomes a surrogate for real quality time with God.

So again, this is aside from all other doctrinal considerations about this title that have been analyzed to death elsewhere; I just think the book is baby food. Perhaps as Hebrews 5:12 and I Cor 3:2 remind us, maybe much of the Church in North America, Australia and Western Europe just isn’t ready for solid food.

Jesus Calling Collection

If you were looking for our more traditional Halloween post, two of my favorites are



  1. An interesting perspective… I tend to think of devotionals as a invitation to pull out my Bible and to read God’s Word personally to hear God’s message for my day.

    When I started my blog, so many people gave me advice to keep it short! They didn’t have time to read one more long blog, devotion, or article about God. My prayer is that my blog, or brief conversation with a person, or card sent with a one sentence message always points people back to Jesus!

    That said, your point is well-taken. If we think a gulp of God is going to satisfy our thirst for Him, we have missed the point of a “spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4)

    Comment by Debbie M. — October 31, 2015 @ 10:40 am

    • Your first paragraph reminded me of something I wrote recently at Christianity 201:

      img 040615Imagine it’s a very hot summer day and you are sitting on a dock at the edge of a very cool, refreshing lake. Your discomfort will disappear if you just get into the water, but you sit hesitating on the hot deck boards, not sure if you want to go in or not.

      Finally a friend runs down and simply pushes you off the dock. With a splash, you are suddenly cooled and refreshed.

      Like so many, I often struggled with Bible reading and scripture study. I needed someone to push me of the dock, so to speak, into the text, and that’s what Christian authors and Christian musicians did for me way back when, and continue to do today. Their books and songs propel me into the text, and into passages in the text I might not ever have considered.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 31, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

  2. You are correct about this book and many books like it. We somehow have forgotten to chew our own meat, preferring to have someone else find it and chew it for us and then feed to to us in a pre-digested state. God, through the Holy Spirit, speaks to believers as they read the Word for themselves. We lose a lot by taking short cuts.

    Comment by yokedwithhim — November 1, 2015 @ 1:30 am

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