As part of the BookSneeze program I recently received a copy of Robert J Morgan’s book On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes in the mail.
I’m going to admit right now that I haven’t read the entire book and that’s for a very good reason. I don’t want to spoil the effect of reading the book as it’s intended, one page a day for a year.
Having said that, I have read quite a number of the stories the book contains to get an overall feel for what it contains and I’ve been thrilled by what I’ve read so far. The book isn’t a daily devotional as such, but a wonderful addition to a daily reading and study plan. Morgan has researched the lives of Christians throughout the ages to tell the ongoing story of God’s involvement in the world he created. There are many stories of hardships overcome and each one gives great testimony of God’s faithfulness when his people give their lives to him.
Each day the book gives the reader an opportunity to read about an event in Christian history that happened on that day. There is also a verse or two from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible to complete the day’s reading. While I haven’t found that the scriptures chosen always speak directly to the story shared on the page above it, knowing that all scripture is helpful in teaching and building up those who follow Jesus, the verses are still a delightful way to reflect on God’s goodness.
My favourite aspect of the book is the connection it brings between biblical history and the modern day. When we read the Bible we encounter stories of men and women of God encouraging and directing us. When we read Christian history we’re reminded that God has continued to work throughout the last two thousand years. There’s a certainty that it can bring to us. We know that God is continuing to unfold his plans for this world; we understand that the same Jesus who saved those first century believers has continued seeking and saving the lost over hundreds of years. His work has continued wherever men and women have been faithful to his call upon their lives.
The encouragement I take from this book is that if God has been working in the hearts and lives of his people throughout history, he can work through me. When I read of the failures and setbacks that have ultimately resulted in triumph for the kingdom, I know that God can still work through someone as unworthy as me.
This is a book that is full of encouragement for all believers as well as providing excellent sermon illustrations and resource material for those in ministry. If you’re looking for a gift that will last all year round, Robert J Morgan’s book On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes is an excellent choice to put in the hands of any Christian to be ready to start reading on the first of January.
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