Please Think Through this Author's Claim before Trusting Her Daily Devotions

Please think through the claims of the author of Jesus Calling before trusting her books for your daily devotions.

God definitely guides families, churches, groups, authors, pastors, teachers, and individuals as we pray.

However, if someone claims to receive personal messages from God to share with the world, we should be concerned. This is the basis of most cults, such as Mormonism. See Articles on Mormonism.

Bible teachers throughout history have felt God's leading, but no trusted Bible teacher has exclusively used Christ's voice or claimed that his/her words were messages from Jesus.

Why am I explaining this? Because Sarah Young, the author of Jesus Calling, claims that her books are messages Jesus has given her in prayer, and that's why she writes in Christ's voice.(1)

Many of Young's devotions are biblically sound and helpful. But overall, the Jesus in her books does not reflect the balance, personality, or language of Christ in Scripture. And some of the statements she assigns to Jesus are not supported in Scripture.(2)

If we overlook these things because the book is comforting and encouraging, we lose some of our discernment and become more vulnerable to deception (Colossians 2:8).(3)

Many solid Bible teachers have concerns with Young's claims.(4) It's so important that we evaluate Christian materials not by how they make us feel, but how well they represent God's precious Word (Proverbs 14:15; 1 John 4:1).

Please think through the claims of the author of Jesus Calling before trusting her books for your daily devotions.
Additional Insights and Resources:

(1) In her early editions of Jesus Calling, Sarah Young explained that she copied the methods of the women who wrote God Calling, two "listeners" who claimed to record messages they received from God in what most people describe as "automatic handwriting." See Review of God Calling

Young explained that after reading God Calling, I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying…This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus' presence and peace. The messages that follow [in Jesus Calling] address that felt need.” (I've underlined and bolded this text)
Introduction, Jesus Calling, 2004, Thomas Nelson, pages x, xi

Even though this explanation is omitted in newer editions of Jesus Calling, it's obviously the authentic foundation for Young's method of writing. 

(2) Two examples of Christ's voice in Jesus Calling which don't resemble anything in Scripture:
✔ "Softly I announce my Presence. Shimmering hues of radiance tap gently at your consciousness, seeking entrance." (Jesus Calling Jan.8).  
The wording in the above quote is similar to New Age writings and it takes quite an imagination to make them fit something Christ says in Scripture.

"I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions--a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming "Glory!" to awe-struck shepherds." (Jesus Calling, Dec. 25) 
I'm not aware of anywhere in Scripture where Christ expresses a negative attitude toward His birth. And it's very unlikely that Jesus was born somewhere filthy. Popular nativity scenes don't necessarily represent the actual birthplace of Christ as described in Scripture. See Born in a Barn (Stable)? 
(3) Reader Reviews show this lack of balance and discernment:
If you read some of the 30K reviews on Amazon, you'll soon discover that Jesus Calling has replaced Scripture for some people. This shouldn't be a surprise since Young herself "yearned for more" than God's messages in His Word. Other readers admit to the importance of Scripture, but they fail to discern that Young's words are not always supported in Scripture. The examples below are not unusual. They are representative of many others:

"This is the best written book to grow your faith on a daily basis."
"I gave up on devotionals years ago because they were always asking you to DO something or too expository. This one pretty much tells those born of God's Spirit to chill and be lead by the Spirit."
"I honestly don't know how I have lived without this amazing book… Honestly, I even have it with me when I go to sleep. It's comforting just holding onto it."
"My relationship with God, Jesus my Lord and Savior, and every person on this planet has improved because of the daily dose of Jesus, who I seek, from this wonderful book."
"Love this book! I like to open to any page at random for a message straight from Jesus. It’s a great way to start the day or to connect with the God of my knowing at any time of day. I actually don’t identify with religion in any way but I do love Jesus and believe in God. This book is such a lovely way to feed my spirit and fill my cup."

(4) A few examples of biblical Reviews:

In this article, Randy Alcorn writes, The biggest problem with Jesus Calling is very simple: Jesus did not speak these words. If these were His words, then Jesus Calling would be Scripture, which is by definition the words of God. So if it’s not (and it isn’t) on an inspired and trustworthy level like Scripture itself, then it’s making a false claim. In fact, regardless of whether it’s biblically sound, it’s an entire book built on falsehood.
This article explains: Young may be sincere in her desire to encourage believers, but putting words in Jesus’ mouth is always dangerous. 
This article is written by Marsha Montenegro, a woman who was saved out of New Age practices. She says Jesus Calling is similar to New Age books.
This article includes Sarah Young's claims with actual quotes from her explanation of her books. 
If you read this article carefully and feel I'm unjustly judging Young's claims, please refer to John 4:1-3, Colossians 2:8, 2 Timothy 2:15, and 2 Timothy 4:3-4. If you read this article and becoming angry, please ask yourself which is more important, defending God's Word or Young's words.


  1. Well said! I've had this concern for years after learning that she claimed what she was writing were Jesus' words given to her. Have tried to explain this to my friends who swear by her devos and writings; usually falls on deaf ears so I'll share this and keep praying their eyes are opened.

  2. Thank you for your adherence to the Scriptures! The first time I read a little of "Jesus Calling" it didn't set well with me. I couldn't understand and still don't understand why believers are taken in by this book. While believers are supposed to look different from the world, I'm seeing fewer and fewer believers who do look different and there are so many who are defending secular, New Age, and non-Christian viewpoints. Thank you for standing so strongly in the Word. People often view me as "negative" because I also have voiced concerns about "The Chosen", "The Shack", and "Jesus Calling", and yoga (I am especially criticized for thinking yoga is wrong). I'm always encouraged by the Word and reading your devotionals. Thank you for your dedication and service to our Lord and Savior and to humanity.