There are many Christian Saints whom I am eager to meet in heaven. Imagine being able to walk and talk with the men and women who gave themselves fully to God throughout the ages! Imagine listening to them praise Him for His faithfulness and care, and imagine hearing of the trials He carried them through. Imagine being able to see the Christlike beauty in their soul formed by years of walking with the Lord. Oh yes. That shall be a joy in Heaven.
Until then, we can glean wisdom from the lives of the Saints by reading well written biographies about them.
The Bitesize Biographies help us with this.
These books are small and yet packed with information, fact filled and yet very personal.
They engage the spirit and mind of the reader by exploring the godly legacy left by a Christian man or woman. In this book by John Crotts, it is John Newton whose life we shall learn from.
John Newton was a man whose life showed the Amazing Grace of God. It is perfect that he was the man to write that hymn- a hymn that speaks for all of us.
John Newton was a man truly amazed by grace, and this slim volume reflects on why we must live in daily amazement because of grace as Christians.
In this biography, we read about his childhood, at his godly mother's knee, where he memorized Scripture and Isaac Watt's hymns.
We read of his youth as a rebel and blasphemer once his mother died.
We read of his blind years, when God's protecting, providing hand was unseen to John.
We read of his efforts to reform his life with morals, failing again and again before being overwhelmed with Grace.
We read of the wife God sent him, Polly, whom he loved with a passion all through their marriage, and who served beside him in his ministry.
We read of his pastoral heart, shown in the letters that he wrote to counsel and encourage those who needed help and guidance.
We read of his love for the Gospel and his desire to be in fellowship with every man who truly preached the Gospel, refusing to be divided over trivial man made doctrines.
We read of his time mentoring William Wilberforce, and how he helped Wilberforce to change the world.
And we see the proof of Romans 8:28 in clarity, that God works all things for His people's good.
John Newton's life illustrates that every terrible, dark, sinful thing can be used to bring Glory to Christ.
The time John Newton spent working on a slave ship allowed him to expose the brutality of slavery, and gave him passion to write and speak against the slave trade.
John Newton's friendship with poet William Cowper and the hymns John's mother had taught him as a child helped him to write the awe inspiring hymns he did, amazing Grace among them.
John Crotts has many quotable paragraphs in this finely written book. Some of my favorite lines come from his chapters on John Newton's letter writing ministry, his love for Polly his wife, and the hymns he wrote, outpourings of his worship. I will be re-reading this book in the future, Lord willing, and I also have a family member who has placed it on his to read next list. He is now reading Wilberforce's biography from Eric Metaxas, and is eager to read John Crott's Bitesize Biography of Newton.
Thank you to the author and to Cross Focused Reviews for sending this book to us to review!