My wife Jessa and I have begun a practice of—in addition to praying together each night—reading a specific book together. After recently finishing, due to a desire to weave more joy and happiness in God into our lives, the excellent Desiring God by John Piper, we next turned to another topic that has been upon our hearts…
One book that was repeatedly recommended to us as an inspirational tale of someone who did a wonderful job spreading the good news of peace, love, joy, and salvation is entitled Sadhu Sundar Singh: A Biography of the Remarkable Indian Disciple of Jesus Christ. In this short and easy read, you can discover Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh’s remarkable journeys and his spirit of simplicity, holiness, and sacrifice. The biography of Singh actually pairs quite well with a book directly written by Singh himself, entitled With and Without Christ, in which he explains his experience of meeting people with Christ and without Christ, and describes the joy and meaning behind what it means to live with Christ.
This is what Singh says about his life with Christ and without Christ. “Without Christ I was like a fish out of water, or like a bird in the water. With Christ I am in the ocean of Love, and while in the world, am in heaven…”
I have several other inspirational highlights from Singh’s writings that I found quite meaningful, and that I hope speak to you on this blessed Sunday. This first quote reminded me of my article “Father’s World” in which I explain how God created all things for good:
“There is no evil or harm in using any of God’s created things, provided that we do it with thankfulness and with a proper sense of their value. But danger lies in giving the Creator’s places in our heart to the creature. We should give to the Creator the Creator’s place, and to the creature the creature’s. We can neither live without water nor live in the water. We must drink, but not sink. If we do not drink we shall die of thirst; if we sink we shall die of drowning. So we must use the things of the world in such a way that, while they sustain our bodies, they do not become too strong for us and choke the vital breath of our lives, which is prayer.”
And this next one reminded me of my writing and musings on the God Shaped Hole in each of our hearts:
“In comparison with this big world, the human heart is only a small thing. Though the world is so large, it is utterly unable to satisfy this tiny heart. Man’s ever-groaning soul and its capacities can only be satisfied in the infinite God. As water is restless until it reaches its level, so the soul has not peace until it rests in God.”
Here is a good perspective on purpose, which I describe to you how to identify here:
“Now it is meant that everyone should fulfill in his life the purpose of his Creator and spend that life for the glory of God and the good of others. Everyone should follow his calling and carry on his work according to his God-given gifts and capacities. ‘There are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit’ (I Cor. 12: 4, 11). The same breath is blown into flute, cornet, and bagpipe, but different music is produced according to the different instruments. In the same way the one Spirit works in us, God’s children, but different results are produced, and God is glorified through them according to each one’s temperament and personality.”
And finally, on not wasting one’s life (which is outlined in great detail in another wonderful book by John Piper entitled, fittingly enough, Don’t Waste Your Life):
“We ought to make the best possible use of God-given opportunities, and should not waste our precious time by our neglect or carelessness. Many people say, there is plenty of time to do this or that; don’t worry. But they do not realize that if they do not make good use of this short time, the habit formed now will be so ingrained, that when more ‘time’ is given to us this habit will become our second nature and we shall waste that time also. ‘He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much’ (Luke 16-10).”
For more, read Sadhu Sundar Singh: A Biography of the Remarkable Indian Disciple of Jesus Christ and also With and Without Christ. Now it’s your turn. Which of these quotes spoke to you? What meaning did you find? What spiritual books are you currently reading that you would recommend to others?