One of the highlights of our blog articles last year was a special series on hymn histories. (You may access all of them in the ETJ archive here.) Each Wednesday in the new year we are excited to share with you a new series of articles on “Christians You Should Know.”
I believe that many of the greatest saints of God are anonymous on earth, but will be well known in Heaven. Yet throughout history the Lord has allowed the lives of certain men and women to stand as examples of faithfulness. While none of these individuals were perfect, there is much that can be learned from their lives.
Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” Notice that they have spoken to us in more than one way! In the first part of the verse their words speak; in the second part of the verse their works speak. Their “conversation” has something to say! The greatest benefit comes from what they have taught us from God’s Word. But there is also tremendous truth to be seen in the way they lived their lives.
Follow their faith! Look at their end…
The very next verse says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). The great life is the life that leads you to Jesus Christ. Men and women come and go – Christ is eternal. People change – Christ is the same. The measure of any life must be in the degree it brings us closer to the Lord Jesus.
We have selected a wide variety of men and women, young and old, from varying backgrounds and time periods. There will be theologians, authors, missionaries, pastors, evangelists, businessmen, janitors, musicians, athletes, politicians, and some who simply defy categorization. The list is subjective and, no doubt, someone’s favorite will not be included. But we trust that perhaps you will get acquainted (or reacquainted) with some fellow Christian who will inspire you as you pursue the will of God for your life.
Each article will include:
- A brief sketch of the person’s life. These summaries are being taken from The Reese Chronological Encyclopedia of Christian Biography. My friend Dr. Ed Reese was passionate about passing on these biographies and diligent in his research. Mrs. Reese has given us permission to use excerpts from this amazing volume. We would recommend you invest in a copy for yourself.
- A Bible verse. This verse will be their “life verse,” a passage that profoundly influenced them, or a verse that encapsulates the message of their life.
- A helpful application. The goal of these posts is not information or entertainment. What can we take away from their lives?
- Recommended resources. These may be books written by the person or biographies about their life. This will be a help for further research and reading.
In my study I have a large collection of biographies. Through individuals I have never met the Lord has given me so much instruction. Just as Abel, the first man to ever die, God continues to use their testimony. “He being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4).
Someday we will meet these family members at the Father’s House. What a reunion that will be! Until then, it is our hope that these brief introductions will help you to learn something of their life, to love more of the Christ in them, and to desire more for your own walk with Jesus.
The first “Christian You Should Know” is my personal favorite, because the story of his sacrifice had such a profound affect on me as a young man. Watch for the first post next Wednesday and every Wednesday in 2023. We look forward to making this journey together.