Authored by: Oswald Chambers
Reviewed by: Kevin Miller
Keyword: Daily Devotional, Quotations, Christian Living, Wisdom Quotes, Topical Anthology
The Essence of the Book:
Oswald Chamber’s devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, is likely the most popular devotional book of the last hundred years. Each page contains a short snippet of Oswald’s thinking and illumination on a selected topic, providing focused learning for each day.
A second but lesser-known book worth recommending is Oswald Chambers: The Best of All His Books. Harry Verploegh researched all of Chambers’ works and pulled quotes for a topical anthology treasure—“missions,” “temptation,” and “righteousness” categories, for example, each yield a wealth of wisdom as you read each quote and ponder Chambers’ pithy insights. This reference book is perfect for browsing, research, ideas, gleaning, and growing.
Oswald Chambers. What a powerhouse!
This Scottish Baptist and Holiness Movement evangelist was known for his influential speaking and teaching as well as for transforming a YMCA location from a hostel with sordid entertainment into a highly popular center to listen to his Bible teaching. He was warned that nobody would come if he tried to alter the YMCA program, but God had his way through Oswald Chambers in powerful fashion.
Then and now.
If one were to list the top three Christian devotionals available—in quality and popularity—it would be understandable to list My Utmost for His Highest in all three slots. Spiritual depth, unusual insight, and startling relevance permeate this daily devotional.
Perhaps that’s because it was not written as a devotional.
Chambers died prematurely at age 43, yielding a spot to World War I soldiers who needed a doctor more, at least in his estimation. That means his wife Gertrude, called “Gert” by others and “Biddy” by Chambers, harvested all of the devotional material for My Utmost for His Highest from Chambers’ speaking and teaching. She deserves huge credit herself for the spiritual discernment in building this superb devotional. As so happens in many interwoven ways in the best marriages, spouses produce fruit together!
A most striking thing about Chambers’ work is that it mimics the Bible in this very special regard: one can read a Chambers devotional and gain greatly from it, then read that very devotional entry again years later and gain greatly in a different way. That’s evidence of truly Spirit-directed content.
The second book can be just as remarkable in its effect. Verploegh deserves the same credit as Gertrude Chambers.
If you haven’t read Oswald Chambers before, you are in for an incredible treat. If you have, you already know that it’s been too long since you let Chambers’ insight and depth impact you again.
Reviewed by Kevin Miller