I have much more I could share on peace and reconciliation, but that is all the Lord has led me to share at this time. May Jesus bring more of both to you in this Christmas season. The Lord turned my attention once again to my mentors.
I have shared with you some of the living mentors who have influenced my life. I have also been mentored by great men and women of God of past generations through their reading their biographies and their books. I love books—they are full of life! Especially when they are books by people who love God, who have lived life with God on this earth, and who have not only plumbed the depths and heights of the riches of the Bible, God’s Word, but have lived those depths and heights.
I have nearly 4000 volumes in my library. That may seem like a lot, but it is really miniscule. When my wife asks, “Why do you need another book?”, I just respond, “Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, had 12,000 volumes in his personal library. I still have just a fraction of that.” I once had the privilege to visit another famous Baptist preacher in his study—Dr. Haddon Robinson, President of Denver Theological Seminary—raised in Harlem and saved out of gangs. His office looked just like a library—filled with library stacks shelving thousands of books—another Spurgeon. I don’t come close.
Once I was in a Facebook dialogue and I was quoting some writers from the past. One person told me he didn’t want to hear about “old dead guys.” I responded, first of all, that the writers of the Old and New Testaments were old dead guys. Second, I referred him to the Scripture:
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
Then you will find a resting place for your souls.“
Great men and women of God throughout church history have walked that good way to the ancient paths. We have so much to learn from their lives and their teachings. They show us the way to The Way, the truth to The Truth, the life to The Life—Jesus Christ.
Here are a few of many who have impacted my life: A.W. Tozer, deeper life devotional writer; A.B. Simpson, founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance; Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great Welsh Reformed expository preacher; Andrew Murray, Dutch Reformed missionary to South Africa; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran pastor executed by Hitler; George Mueller, the apostle of faith; Oswald Chambers, Baptist devotional writer of My Utmost for His Highest; Charles Spurgeon, great Baptist preacher; John MacMillan, spiritual warfare pioneer and writer of The Authority of the Believer; E.M. Bounds, Methodist prayer warrior; C.S. Lewis; J. Edwin Orr’s books on the history of revivals.
And women like Mrs Charles (Lettie) Cowman, writer of devotional books like Streams in the Desert; missionary Amy Carmichael; Quaker Hannah Whitall Smith, author of The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life; mystics like Theresa of Avila and Madame Guyon, and many more. I won’t share all of these, but give you a taste of some that have impacted me the most. And, hopefully, you not be put off by “old dead guys,” but will be inspired to read them.