Review: Jesus Calling

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A dear friend whom I love gave me “Jesus Calling” as a gift.

Sarah Young’s book of daily devotions touches general themes of the Christian life and references Bible verses. God’s peace and presence are the two themes which appear over and over throughout and seem to tie all the others together.

This little book is sweet and charming to the eye. The language is poetic. The design is quaint. The devotionals are written in first-person as though Jesus Himself is speaking to you and me, without the intermediate person of the author. This made me more inclined to pay attention to the text. There were days when it felt like the devotional was written explicitly for me. On such days, it spoke directly to my life circumstances.

But while I liked the first-person voice for one reason, I disliked it for another. I felt the author was audacious to write in the voice of Jesus. It felt as though she claimed to know the mind of God outside of what He’s revealed in Scripture. The devotional includes minimal content from the Bible. Sometimes it quotes fractions of verses, and it lists references at the end. But the devotions felt only vaguely related. They often lacked that “solid” feel that you’ll be familiar with if you’ve read something truly biblically sound. I say “often” because this was not always the case, but I definitely didn’t like it.

Occasionally, the devotionals focus on God’s infinite majesty and sovereignty, His Might and His splendor. However, this focus usually takes backseat to making the reader feel valued and appreciated. Not much of the material is convicting or confrontational. It made it feel as though Jesus is afraid to tread on my toes when, in reality, He requires me to take up my cross, daily.

To summarize, I found that Jesus Calling sacrifices focus on God for the sake of a compelling read that focuses on “me”. I might (*might*) mention it if someone wanted a sweet, daily devotional that requires little time. However, there are resources that are more faithful to honor God as the most worthy.

Let’s talk

  • Has any one devotional impacted you more than any other?
  • What do you think about devotions being written from God’s or Jesus’ point of view? Pros? Cons?
  • Have you read Jesus Calling?

2 thoughts on “Review: Jesus Calling

  1. Thank you! Good review. You really nailed it for how the book focuses on the reader instead of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of other problems with Jesus Calling, including this “Jesus” not being Biblical in what he says. But, you got the key problem perfectly. Thank you!

    author of: RUN! It’s Jesus Calling


    1. I followed your link and read the preview from your website. It seems like there’s a whole lot more that could be said than what I said in my short review. One thing that you said and that I liked was something to the effect of that Jesus Calling is very general and lets the reader read into it what they already believe. And by “I like it”, I mean to say that I find it to be true, looking back on my reading of the devotional, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. Thanks for your comment.


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