“Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
On the first two Sundays of January, I preached sermons about the importance of spiritual growth and having a regular devotional time in the Scriptures. I am convinced that the Word of God can change the people of God. This is such a passion of mine because I have seen it take place in my own life. I am not going to rehash those two sermons here, but if you would like to listen to them, you can visit our website at http://donelsonviewbc.com/#/audio-sermons to get various ideas to make Bible study a part of your regular routine. (Or read my two previous blog posts).
I this post, I do want to mention one additional weapon for your arsenal in fighting for spiritual change. That weapon is Christian biography. Because spiritual change (or sanctification) is often slow in our own lives and in the lives of our loved ones and because the Bible can seem like a dry, lifeless book at times (I say this to my own shame), one of the BEST ways to remain encouraged, challenged, and confident in the Word of God to change people is to read the stories of other Christians throughout the centuries to see how God overcame the sins, difficulties, and discouragements in their lives.
Aside from the Bible, there has been no greater tool in my own life to stoke the fires of my faith and to keep me walking along the path of following Jesus.
Consequently, I want to recommend some biographies that have been helpful to me. Some of these books I read just recently and others I read several years ago. Regardless of when they were read, their stories still speak to me and keep me expectantly looking for the hand of God in my own life today.
Here’s the list (in no particular order):
- Grace Abounding (John Bunyan) (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/bunyan/grace.html)
- 70 x 7 and Beyond (Christensen) (you can buy this for $0.01 on Amazon.com)
- Surprised by Oxford (Carolyn Weber)
- Heaven Without Her (Kitty Foth-Regner)
- The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom) (book or movie)
- Out of a Far Country (Christopher Yuan)
- Same Kind of Different as Me (Hall, Moore)
- Charles Spurgeon (type “Preaching Through Adversity” in Google–first link)
- Polishing God’s Monuments (Jim Andrews) (deals with immense suffering)
- Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret (Taylor)
- Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire (Jim Cymbala)
These are just some of the books that I have read over the years that have been a tremendous help to me spiritually. I hope that maybe one or all of them might help you, too. Additionally, the website www.iamsecond.com is an excellent resource to hear people tell their God stories.
My hope is that as you read the stories of others, God might speak into your own life, too.