Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Books #2: Thoughts for Young Men by J. C. Ryle

We are down to the last two books. And both of these books were introduced to me while I was in seminary. Thoughts for Young Men was introduced to me from some friends and I am so thankful for it to this day.

If you have never read anything from J. C. Ryle, you will be in for a surprise if you were to pick up this book. He is so very unique in his writing style. He is direct. He is confrontational. Yet I always feel as I read him that he writes from such a loving and caring heart.

This is a very short book, a very easy read. So, who should read it? Well, of course, young men. He is very concerned about the youth of his day and for all generations to come. I would venture to say that any older man can greatly learn from this book as well. Just because the title states it is for young men doesn’t mean his words are not applicable to those who are older. In addition to that, I think his words are very timely for women of all ages as well. Not only are many of the principles he speaks of transgender, but maybe women can learn a bit about men through reading this. However, I would encourage them to read it first with an eye towards themselves.

His words have so encouraged me in my walk with Christ over the years. It is this book that so motivated me as a young man to be serious about the things of Jesus in all that I do. The Lord has continually used Ryle over the years to convict my heart, to enlarge my vision for ministry, and to move me to glorify God in my actions. I hope I will never be the same for reading this book and I hope you will not either. Let me leave you with two of my favorite quotes. There are so many to choose from. Literally, every page is filled with highlights and underlines in my book. But these two I have randomly chosen. Please, please, please, read this book!

“Never be ashamed of letting men see that you want to go to heaven. Think it no disgrace to show yourself to be a servant of God. Never be afraid of doing what is right” (39).

“For another thing, resolve never to forget the eye of God. The eye of God! Think of that. Everywhere, in every house, in every field, in every room, in every company, alone or in a crowd, the eye of God is always upon you. ‘The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Pro. 15:3), and they are eyes that read hearts as well as actions . . . Remember that you have to deal with an all-seeing God—a God who never slumbers  nor sleeps” (68).

By the way, if you are a Kindle sort of person. This book is available for $.99. It will be the best buck you ever spent. Greater than any sort of dollar menu at any fast food restaurant. Get it HERE!

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