I thought I’d do a Top 5 this week that’s a little more serious and talk about the books that most influenced me as a Christian. All of these books I have read more than once and I refer to them on occasion. These books are in no particular order because each of them played a significant role in my life when I read it. To borrow a phrase from the movie "The Hurricane": "Sometimes you pick the book. Sometimes, the book picks you." That was me with these old "friends"…
#5 – The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer – This book was required reading when I was in Bible College and while I had heard of A.W. Tozer, I had never read anything by him. I read this book in 1 sitting. I could not put it down. The thought of pursuing God like a deer pants for water, and the prayers he writes at the end of each chapter alone are worth the price of the book.
#4 – Foxe’s Book of Martyr’s by John Foxe – This is another required read from Bible College. I read this when I was 22 years old and I never thought that being a Christ-follower could cost me my life. I gave me an appreciation for the followers of Jesus who had gone before me and it burned into my mind the phrase that "Of cowards, nothing is ever written."
#3 – Harvest by Chuck Smith – This book is the story of how Calvary Chapel got started and the rag-tag group of men God used to start this movement. I’ve read this book probably 10 times. I remember the first time I read it – I closed the book and prayed that my life could be numbered with theirs. It’s still my prayer to this day.
#2 – Living with the Giants by Warren Weirsbe – This book was one that one of my professors mentioned in class one day and I bought it on a whim. I devoured it as I read the stories of so many unsung heroes of the faith throughout the ages. The chapter on Charles Spurgeon’s son, Thomas Spurgeon is amazing. It’s a great read.
#1 – Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon – If I had to pick a favorite book of all time, this would probably be it. I absolutely love this book. Some of it is dated and hilarious (Like the quote: "Thin chested men ought not enter the ministry" – Why? No amplification!) But this book has so many rich nuggets of truth about serving the Lord in the ministry that has lasted for 2 centuries. That’s no small feat. Last week when I was in Orlando and I visited the Holy Land Experience again, I was able to see some of Spurgeon’s original notes tot he sermons he gave which became this classic book. It was very exciting to me.
Honorable Mention: On Being a Servant of God by Warren Weirsbe – This is a phenomenal book on what it is to serve God. It’s a book on servanthood and it’s one that I believe EVERY Christian should read.
I’d love to hear your top 5. What’s the book some of us has never read that totally changed your life? It might change ours too…