When Watkins read The Imitation of Christ, it changed his life. He thinks it will change yours too. He has created an updated version, arranged for a 90 day devotional reading. He added headings to note who is speaking and biblical passages to reinforce each reading.
This book presents a spirituality uncommon in this modern world. We are encouraged to follow the example of Christ. Such a life requires sacrifice and endurance in trials. “When you stop living for yourself, you will grow in union with me.” (10) We are reminded of the spiritual benefit of sorrows and adversities, something rarely encouraged in today's world of pleasure and gratification.
We are encouraged to find all we need in Christ, giving up our bent to worldly pleasures. “When people arrive at the point where they seek comfort in no created thing, they begin to perfectly enjoy God and are perfectly contented no matter what happens to them.” (122)
Many topics are covered in the book including temptation, how it arrives and how it is resisted. We are asked to discipline our conversation (gossip). We are helped to understand what it means to be crucified to the world. “The Christ-follower desires hard discipline and severe labor to become like his master.” (95)
Watkins has identified the speaker of each section. Sometimes it is the Disciple and sometimes it is Christ. That means some of what we read is as if Jesus is speaking to us. Other authors have been criticized for writing words supposedly from Jesus. This book has stood the test of time, however. This book is over five hundred years old and is still a source of encouragement to Christians world wide.
I would encourage those to read this book who are ready to have their spirituality shaken up a bit. You will find yourself called to a level of spirituality and disassociation from this world rarely seen today. Watkins has given us just enough thought provoking material for each day.
Food for thought: “We must learn to die to the world now, so we can begin to live with Christ now.” (257)
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
James Watkins is the award winning author of sixteen books. He serves as associate acquisitions editor at Wesleyan Publishing House. He is also a frequent speaker at churches and colleges world wide. Find out more here.
Thomas a Kempis was a priest, monk, and writer who lived in obscurity in fourteenth-century Germany.
Worthy Publishing, 288 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.