One of the men who works in our ministry came to me a few days ago. He has determined to do more reading this year. Personally I believe this is a worthy goal for all of us! As I have done so many times to others, my friend asked if I could recommend several books that would be worthwhile to read.
Here is the list that I gave to him. Perhaps it will be of some encouragement to you as well. Solomon was accurate when he observed, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). You cannot read everything. You should not. Recommendations have often helped me to know what books to read, what books to skim, and what books to avoid.
There is no substitute for the Bible. Yet books are helpful tools for personal growth. (Read more about the discipline of reading and the developing of a library here.) Paul asked Timothy to “bring…the books” (2 Timothy 4:13). Choose the books that influence you carefully.
While I have learned that what affects others does not always affect me the same way, the following books have been used of God in my life and I pray they will be in yours…
- They Found the Secret by V. Raymond Edman. This biographical sketch of men and women who learned the secret of the Spirit-filled life has been a special blessing to me. Edman was a missionary statesman and a spiritual man. This book will instruct and inspire. God used it to open my eyes to what I have in Christ.
- Disciplines of a Godly Man by R Kent Hughes. A pastor friend gave me a copy of this book several years ago. It is a book to read and reread. Discipline touches the inner man, relationships, character in every area of life, and Hughes shows the connection with each. This is not exclusively for men but it is especially applicable to them.
- 50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren W. Wiersbe. This volume combines several earlier books written by Wiersbe. It contains a wide variety of people and provides a wonderful overview of their lives and ministries. One distinctive of this book is that it serves as a resource for other good books. Wiersbe highlights both the authors that influenced these men and women and writings that they themselves produced.
- Tally Ho the Fox by Herb Hodges. Few people know Hodges or this powerful book, but it is one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. It is a call to return to the New Testament pattern of making disciples as a way of life. It is not just for preachers; it is for every believer.
- The Making of a Man of God by Alan Redpath. While most contemporary literature is consumed with making leaders and making success stories, Redpath’s study of the life of David reveals how God makes His men. This is a heart searching book and must be read prayerfully.
- The Example of Jesus Christ by James Stalker. Stalker was a a Scotsman and a prolific writer. His best known work is on The Life of Jesus Christ. The Example of Jesus Christ examines how Christ serves as the perfect example for believers in every area of life. Stalker writes thoughtfully and he makes the reader think.
- In Tune with Heaven by Vance Havner. This collection of Havner’s articles for the Charlotte Observer is one of the finest devotional books you will ever read. Havner uses Scripture, history, nature, and life experience to teach deep spiritual truths. It is a pleasure to read and very convicting.
- Point Man by Steve Farrar. Anything written by Farrar is helpful to husbands and fathers. He writes to strengthen the home and is enjoyable to read. This book is a classic on a man’s God-appointed responsibility to lead his family.
- Power through Prayer by E.M. Bounds. There are many books on prayer that I have benefited from but none have warmed my heart like Bounds. This little book should be read again and again. It will keep your soul stirred to seek the Lord.
- The Saving Life of Christ by Major W. Ian Thomas. One of my dear friends gave me a copy of this book years ago. It is a powerful read for every Christian. Thomas’ book on The Indwelling Life of Christ is also very helpful.
Most of these books for the new year are not new at all. Many of them have been proven over time to be a continual blessing. The list is not exhaustive and the recommendations are not endorsements of every thing these men have every written. It is my prayer that you will join me and my friend this year as we seek to “give attendance to reading” (1 Timothy 4:13) those things that will make us more the men God saved us to become.
For additional recommendations see Pastor Clarence Sexton’s recommended book list here.