A Life's Work

Have you read a good book lately? I certainly hope you have. I generally have more than one going at any one time. There are a lot of good books and I read them all a little differently. For instance, the other evening I got involved in a good biography and ended up finishing it before I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning.

Now if I were reading a commentary, that wouldn't happen. For I normally use commentaries as reference tools and refer to a good one as I am studying a passage of Scripture. I don't know if I've ever read a commentary straight through. Then, of course, there are topical books--books that help you understand a topic or doctrine. They are not usually the kind that you "just can't put down" but as you read through them checking the scripture references, learning about the topic can be very helpful. And then there are a few books that you only read one chapter at a time because they repeatedly challenge you, causing you to examine some aspect of your life in the light of the Word.

I would like to introduce you to a set of books you probably will only read one chapter at a time. Not only is each chapter complete in itself, but I found I was so "full" that, when I was done, I needed to put it away so I could meditate on what was said. I am referring to the two new books published by Gospel Folio Press which contain articles that were originally published as correspondence of Mr. John Bramhall. These articles have been published in magazines over the years also. But it was felt that a collection of these gems--which are so rich in devotion and instruction--should be published in book format so more of us can be enriched.

Mr. Boyd Nicholson, Sr., states in the foreword to the first volume of this set, "We have reached that time which, for the Church, is characterized by love waxed cold, power diminished, and a creeping sloth that settles for carnal alternatives, soulish excitement, and worldly methods. If ever we need a renewed beholding of His countenance and glory, it is in this day, and every day until we behold our beloved Lord 'without a cloud between.' This is what John Bramhall's ministry is all about. It is directed to the turning of our hearts and our vision to renewed occupation with Christ."

The books are arranged topically. In Volume One, the articles are arranged under three basic topics: Faith at Work, The Blessed Hope, and Love's Sweet Secret. In Volume Two, the articles are under the headings of The Grandeur of God, The Son of God's Love, and The Lord The Spirit. As I read each chapter, I was compelled to lay the book down and begin to meditate on--no--to worship my Lord! Beautifully bound in full color, you will want to put these books by your favorite chair in the living room and be enriched as you read them little by little. The first volume is called I Am My Beloved's and the second one is My Beloved Is Mine. Get both of them--you won't be disappointed.

Another book that has come across my desk lately by a well-known and respected Bible teacher is Portraits From Paul's Pen by Ross Rainey. This book is in the study category. Complete with self-examination questions at the end of each chapter, this is a study of the seven portraits that Paul gives to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2. The Son, Soldier, Athlete, Farmer, Student, Vessel, and Servant each have practical applications for our lives. A good study for young believers especially. A book for elders to give to that young person in the assembly you are trying to encourage along in the faith. This would also be good for a Bible study group to use and study these portraits together.

These two men are wonderful gifts that the Lord has given to His Church to build us up and equip us to come to the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." May each of us turn our eyes to Him who is able to cause us to be all that He asks us to be for Him.

John Bramhall's books are available from GFP.