My Utmost for His Highest, a daily devotional written by Scottish preacher and WWI chaplain Oswald Chambers before his death in 1917, has sold more than 15 million copies and changed the course of countless lives since its initial publication in 1927. Today, the classic work remains both a bestseller and a powerful source of spiritual nourishment—and a newly updated edition will introduce Chambers to even more readers. Our Daily Bread Publishing is releasing a 90-day hardcover gift version of My Utmost for His Highest: Modern Classic Edition in April, to be followed in October by a full 365-day version of the devotional.

Macy Halford, who was tasked with bringing My Utmost for His Highest up to date, relied on an intimate knowledge of the book as well as her background in writing and editing during the revision process. Halford’s experience includes working at the New Yorker as an editor, and her first book, My Utmost: A Devotional Memoir, detailed how Chambers’s writing helped shape her into the Christian she is today. The memoir also offers a history of Chambers’s life and legacy. Halford’s work on My Utmost for His Highest: Modern Classic Edition involved making changes to the language as well as using the New International Version Bible text, and the Oswald Chambers Publications Association Ltd. has authorized all revisions.

“I wouldn’t have felt comfortable taking it on,” Halford says, “had I not also spent years immersing myself in the life of Oswald Chambers and familiarizing myself with his thinking and theology.” Editing decisions were guided by Halford’s desire to make My Utmost for His Highest more understandable and accessible to all audiences. “Utmost is not an easy book; it has great power to stun with its ideas, but these ideas come at you at an angle, often in language you’ve never heard before,” Halford says. “One of the main goals for this project was to add context to passages in Utmost where Oswald’s meaning wasn’t entirely clear.”

Readability and context became priorities over some of what Halford calls “Oswaldisms,” or the specific phrases and vocabulary originally used by Oswald. Some phrases do remain in the book, however, and are included in a glossary. These include “amateur providence,” which is a person who tries to fill the role of Jesus Christ in another’s life as a self-declared essential spiritual guide.

Despite Chambers’s complex ideas and Victorian writing style, his vision of Christianity and the Christian life is clear and simple. It changed the way Halford viewed her own faith while growing up in a Texas church “where creeds, ideologies, religion, and politics were all mashed up,” she says. “It was extremely confusing! Utmost was clarity. It still is. It cuts right through the noise and confusion that, as Oswald puts it, crowd out the life of faith inside us—all the noise of our various ideologies and opinions and, again as Oswald puts it, our habit of ‘using religion as a higher kind of culture.’ ”

Halford knows that Chambers’s devotional has the ability to draw readers closer to God, and she expects that with the Modern Classic Edition, one can read it without feeling lost. “We are always in danger of forgetting, as Oswald puts it, the ‘great fundamental truths,’ ” she says. “My Utmost for His Highest contains multitudes; I want to invite readers to explore them and, hopefully, to gain as much from them as I have.”