More Books Like Jesus Calling


Sarah Young wrote her daily devotional as if Jesus were speaking to her, addressing her directly. It reads almost like a personal letter from Jesus Himself.

A common theme in Jesus Calling isTrust Me.  Relax, don’t stress.  I’m in control.  I have a plan.  You don’t have to worry about your resources or your plans to make things work.  Peace is a gift I offer to you.

There are several important facets found in the pages of Jesus Calling:  a strong commitment to the authority of the Bible, a dedication to holy Christian living and a belief in a personal relationship with God who hears and answers prayers. Other resources have these priorities in common. 

My Top Five Picks

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby 

I’ve split this article up into three sections. The first list is exclusively devotionals. The second list is books that focus on living the Christian life, either in general or certain aspects of it. Finally, I made a list of top Bible versions and a couple of classic Bible study workbooks. 

Books Like Jesus Calling: Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

My favorite devotional for years. Timeless wisdom. Titled after the sentiment that we need to give our best efforts for God’s glory. 

Morning and Evening Daily Readings by Charles Spurgeon

Two devotional thoughts for each day: one to be read in the morning and one in the evening. Chock full of wisdom and insight. Profound thoughts. 

The Valley of the Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur Bennett

Thoughtful, written prayers from the Puritan tradition that continue to instruct and inspire. 

Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman, edited by Jim Reimann

Long time best seller written by Lettie B. Cowman, missionary to China and Japan. Focuses on God’s provision and purpose in dark times. First published in 1925, now with updated language. 

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul DavidTripp

Down to earth and relatable. Bringing God’s Word and wisdom into practical, everyday life.

God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life by Timothy and Kathy Keller

God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life is a daily devotional that explores the book of Proverbs for insight for living the Christian life. Written by pastor and author Timothy Keller and his wife, Kathy. 

Jesus Listens by Sarah Young

Jesus Listens turns the conversation around and includes prayers written by Sarah Young to Jesus. Relevant scripture references are listed after each daily devotional thought. 

Books Like Jesus Calling: Christian Living

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Rick Warren addresses the questions of existence, significance and purpose. 

Why am I alive? 

Does my life matter? 

What on earth am I here for?  

If not, get yours hand on a copy of The Power of a Praying Woman. It includes practical helps to know what to pray and how to pray. Believing in something isn’t the same as knowing how and why to do it. 

In answering these three questions, he outlines the basic tenets of the Christian faith in the context of living a meaningful life with purpose. 

Warren provides a framework for life management built on the foundation of a Christian belief system. He paints a big picture that gives context for the way we live our lives daily. 

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

Richard Foster’s classic on the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life should not be missed. 

He explains and explores 12 inward, outward and corporate spiritual disciplines. 

There’s so much insight and wisdom here whether you’re new to the Christian life or a mature believer. 

Mere Christianity

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer was imprisoned by the Gestapo and executed in 1945 for his part in an assassination plot against Hitler. 

But his work as a theologian endures as his legacy is captured in various works, including this classic about Christian community.

One of the most challenging aspects of the Christian life is living in community. Bonhoeffer tackles it head on, just as relevant today as when he wrote about it decades ago. 

The benefits of reading spiritual classics are worth the investment of wading through an older style of writing. 

Gentle and Lowly

Prayer by O. Hallesby

Prayer was written in 1931. Timeless and short, it packs a punch.

In the first chapter Hallesby says, “To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts.” He takes the initiative to communicate with us. 

Prayer is such a vital spiritual discipline, often misunderstood as well as impossible to fully understand. 

Anything that helps unravel the mystery of it is worth studying.  

Anyone determined to live the Christian life well can learn immeasurably from this book.

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund

Dane Ortlund draws from the insights of Puritan writers to explain theological truths to modern readers. The name of the book comes from the only reference in the Bible to the heart of Jesus, calling it gentle and lowly. A beautiful exploration of Christ’s love for us.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Every person in the world knows pain and heartache.  And every person can number their blessings.

Ann Voskamp challenges us to be intentional about looking for and expressing gratitude.  It colors my thinking to this day.

I understand that her poetic prose doesn’t appeal to everyone.  Grammar Geeks beware.  But the message is universal and important.

Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa Terkuerst

This title might feel like an odd pick for Christian Life Management, but there’s only a short list of themes that are appliciable to every human on the planet. 

Forgiveness is one. 

If you’ve lived longer than 5 years, surely there’s someone you need to forgive. 

Constructing a theology of personal forgiveness ranks as a top critical life skill. 

Lysa Terkuerst has a black belt in it. 

She’s been through the deep waters. She’s lived it. She’s also studied the subject incessantly in the Bible and lived to tell about it. 

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

Jen Wilkins tackles the challenges of Bible study head on. She admits that the work of Bible study can be difficult. She even admits that there are seasons in a woman’s life when serious Bible study isn’t possible. She addresses the problem of Bible literacy and the obstacles to Bible Study. She discusses how to use tools to study the Bible and some strategies and approaches to take. She even takes readers step by step through an example using the book of James. Beginners and seasoned Bible studiers can learn a lot. She articulates so many important things, even the difficulty of studying the Bible and the importance of understanding the context, culture and original audience. She also gently points out the fallacy of making the Bible all about us instead of all about God. 

Books Like Jesus Calling: Bibles and Bible Studies

New King James Bible

The New King James is the version of the Bible that Sarah Young includes most often for the scripture passages included in Jesus Calling. The large, deluxe version of the devotional has the verses printed out on each page after the devotional thoughts.

Amplified Bible

The Amplified Bible is longer than other versions, because the translators often choose multiple words to express each concept rather than just one. Also referenced often by Sarah Young in Jesus Calling.

ESV Study Bible

A team of scholars worked on The English Standard version to produce a readable, accurate translation of the texts from the original languages. 

Life Application Bible NIV

The study notes in the Life Application Bible are practical helps for applying the Bible to your life. The New International Version was also the work of a team of scholars producing a widely accepted modern translation.

The Message

The Message was not written by a team of scholars, but by one man, Eugene Peterson. It is considered a paraphrase not an official scholarly translation, similar to Ken Taylor’s Living Bible.

Breaking Free Workbook by Beth Moore

Beth Moore has written many Bible Studies in her decades of teaching the Bible, but Breaking Free is a cornerstone study outlining a scriptural journey for destroying the chains of sin to walk in forgiveness and holiness. 

Experiencing God Workbook by Henry Blackaby

A classic from Henry Blackaby about discerning and following the leading of God. Rather than asking God to bless our dreams and visions, Blackaby encourages us to find where God is working and join Him there. 

secret to success of Jesus Calling