Christians are readers.
I don’t think there is any way around this. The revelation of God’s Word is just that — Words. God uses the sword of the Spirit (Ephesian 6:17) which is sharper than a two-edged sword that is living, active, and designed to convict us (Hebrews 2:12). We are transformed by the renewal of our minds when we compare our lives to the will of God revealed in His Word (Romans 12:2).
Not only are Christians readers of the Word of God, but we are readers of great expositors of godly wisdom gleaned from years of walking with God. As a born-again Christian, I have so greatly benefited from reading books about the gospel, books about relationships and marriages, and many other books about the various aspects of the Christian life. Some of those books have been good enough to read twice and some of them fall by the wayside and collect dust on my shelves.
How a classic becomes a classic
You know that feeling when you pick up a book that is just so clear, original, and cuts to the heart to describe your experiences as if the author knows you personally? Those books are far and few between, but they are long-lasting. The same is true of Christian literature. Each generation might have only a handful of these types of books. But when these books survive for a few generations we would be wise to pick them up. They become classics for a reason.
Below I’ve chosen a few books that have stood the test of time to survive the past few centuries: timeless classics. Don’t take my word for it, find your own classics to read. You’ll find yourself encouraged to know that Christians in a different era believe the same things as you. They also struggle with the same sins. They also are formed by the same Word of God that you read.
Christ’s Glorious Achievements by C.H Spurgeon
This book is full of godly wisdom and a beautiful portrait of everything Christ has done for the believer. I should know, I’ve read it twice. The book is a collection of seven sermons given by Spurgeon. If you can’t think of seven things that Christ has done for you, I urge you to buy this book immediately and start worshipping Christ for His glorious, unmatchable achievements.
Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen
This book is extremely helpful in deciphering the deceitfulness of our own hearts. What could be more important than fighting sin in our lives? If you desire to grow in holiness this book is a necessary addition to your bookshelf. The first step to putting to death the deeds of the flesh is to study “the reality of sin’s opposition to the life of grace in believers.”
A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin
It’s hard to imagine a faithful man who influenced the church through his writings more so than John Calvin. You may have heard of “Calvinism” or perhaps even are aware of his seminal work, The Institutes of Christian Religion, which runs well over 1000 pages. If you want to ease into Calvin, a perfect way to start is this pocket-sized short volume. He begins with describing the goal of God’s work in our lives, “to bring our lives into harmony and agreement with His own righteousness, and so to manifest to ourselves and others our identity as His adopted children.” If you want to know how to do that, click below.