Exercise The Armor You Have

exerciseThis third week’s reading of Gurnall’s The Christian In Complete Armour focused on the last 2 phrases of the first part of Eph 6:11 – (1) The Christian is to use the whole armor of God, and (2) The Christian is to put on the armor of God. The last bit of the week’s reading also got into why the Christian must be armed, but we will save that discussion for next week.

Put On Your Armor

This week I want to focus on the section dealing with the Christian putting on the armor of God. Gurnall makes the great point that the Christian must “exercise what they have,” that is, the armor that they have. He says: “It is one thing to have armour in the house, and another thing to have it buckled on” (63).

The main point that he makes in this section, or the “Doctrine” (as he labels it) is this: It is not enough to have grace, but this grace must be kept in exercise. Oh how many of us need this reminder! I know that I do. The grace that the Christian has, specifically in regards to the armor that we have, must be used, must be kept in exercise, not simply stored in the shed for “one day when we think we’ll need it.”

The Reasons

Gurnall wonderfully explains the need of exercising this grace, and gives a few reasons why.

(1) Christ commands us to have our armour on, our grace in exercise. This is simple enough. Christ commands it!

(2) Satan’s advantage is great when grace is not in exercise.

“Satan knows what orders thou keepest in thy house and closet, and though he hath not a key to thy heart, yet he can stand in the next room to it, and lightly hear what is whispered there” (64-65).

(3) Because it is so awky (being odd or out of order) a business, and hard a work, to recover the activity of grace once lost, and to revive a duty in disuse. To illustrate this point, Gurnall offers this helpful analogy …

“You know what a confusion there is in a town at some sudden alarm in the dead of the night, the enemy at the gates, and they asleep within. O what a cry is there heard! One wants his clothes, another his sword, a third knows not what to do for powder. Thus in a fright they run up and down, which would not be if the enemy did find them upon their guard, orderly waiting for his approach. Such a hubbub there is in a soul that keeps not his armour on; this piece and that will be to seek when he should use it” (65).

(4) We must keep grace in exercise in respect of others our fellow soldiers. Just as in battle, one soldier is ready not only for his own sake, but for the sake of his group, so in the Christian life we are to be ready and to exercise our grace, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of our brothers and sisters as well.

An Objection

After giving the reasons for why the Christian is to exercise the armor that he has, Gurnall anticipates an objection … in essence, this objection is: “This is hard work! Who can and/or wants to exercise like this?” His first response?

“Thou speakest like one of the foolish world, and showest thyself a mere stranger to the Christian’s life that speakest thus … Dost thou complain that the heaven-way is rugged? Be the oftener walking in it, and that will make it smooth” (66).

Conclusion

To conclude, I want to comment on Gurnall’s last application of this truth. He says:

“Be exhorted, O ye saints of God, to walk in the exercise of grace … there is a sleep disease we are subject to in this life; Christ though he had roused up his disciples twice, yet takes them napping the third time. Either exercise thy grace, or Satan will act thy corruption” (69).

That is such a good and needed reminder for all of us. No matter where you are right now in your walk with Christ, we all need to hear that timely reminder: “Either exercise thy grace, or Satan will act thy corruption.”

How about you? What stood out to you this week? Comment below … I’d love to hear. Otherwise, enjoy your reading for this week!

The Armor OF GOD, Not of man

armor of godIn this second week of reading Gurnall’s The Christian In Complete Armour, we finish his exposition of the first verse of the passage (Eph 6:10) and move on to the first part of verse 11. Before moving on to verse 11, this week’s reading included two additional “uses” or applications of verse 10, as well as two responses to an objection that Gurnall anticipates could be raised against what he has said.

But the majority of this week’s reading was spent in the first two “branches” of verse 11. The “first branch” is the “furniture” that we are told to put on … that is, the armorAnd the “second branch” is the kind or quality of this armor … it is the armor of God.

The Armor

First, what is this armor that the Christian is to put on? It is both Christ himself, and the graces of Christ, such as the Word of God, righteousness, etc. Gurnall first observes that the Christless soul is a soul without armor, and is thus “naked and destitute of all armour to defend him against sin and Satan” (45). This observation was an eye-opening one for me, as I guess I had just never thought of unregenerate man in this way — as naked of all armor and completely unable to defend himself against Satan. But it is absolutely true. And it makes sense of why it seems to us, many times, that Satan has such “great conquests” in this world … why it looks, sometimes, like “hell is stronger than heaven.” And Gurnall gives this great answer:

“Consider but this one thing, and you will wonder that Christ hath any to follow him, rather than that he hath so few. Satan finds the world unarmed; when the prince of the world comes, he finds nothing to oppose; the whole soul is in a disposition to yield at first summons” (48).

The fact that unregenerate man is naked and has no armor, Gurnall says, also gives us reason why the devil has such a great spite against the Gospel. He says, “As gospel-light ascends, so Satan’s shady kingdom of darkness vanisheth” (49).

However, though we are all in this state by birth, by the grace of God, He has rescued some from this darkness, from this nakedness and destitution, and given us Christ, and thus given us the armor of Christ. What a wonderful truth he captures in this quote:

“Naked he [that is, Satan] finds us, and slaves he makes us, till God by his effectual call delivers us from the power of Satan into the kingdom of his dear Son” (46).

The Armor OF GOD

The “second branch” that he deals with is the kind or quality of this armor … that is, it is the armor OF GOD. And he says that it must be “of God” in two ways: (1) In its institution and appointment and (2) In its constitution.

So first, this armor must be “of God” in its institution and appointment … that is, it must be of divine origin. Gurnall says: “It is not left to every one’s fancy to bring what weapons he please; this will breed confusion” (50). However, there certainly are those that do choose to bring and use “other armor” than what God has given.

“And those who do more, or use other, than God commands, though with some seeming successes against sin, shall surely by called to account for this boldness…God is very precise in this point; he will say to such as invent ways to worship him of their own, coin means to mortify corruption, obtain comfort in their own mint: ‘Who hath required this at your hands?'” (50).

I like the word that he uses there — boldness. Because that’s precisely what it is … sinful boldness, deciding that you know better than God! And what is an example of this sort of boldness? One such example he gives is “the Papist,” that is, the Roman Catholic. He says,

“Their masses, matins, vigils, pilgrimages, Lent-fasts, whippings, vows of chastity, poverty, with a world of such trash! — where is a word of God for these? Who hath required these things at their hands? A thousand woes will one day fall upon those imposters, who have stripped the people of the true armour of God, and put these reeds and brushes in their hands” (51).

Secondly, he says that this armor must be “of God” in its constitution … that is, not only must God be the appointer of the means of armor, but he must also be the one that makes them efficient.

Prayer is an appointment of God, yet this is not armour of proof, except it be a prayer of God, flowing from his Spirit [Jude 20]. Hope, that is the helmet the saint by command is to wear, but this hope must be God’s creature; ‘who hath begotten us to a lively hope,’ [1 Peter 1:3]. Faith, that is another principal piece in the Christian’s furniture, but it must be the faith of God’s elect [Titus 1:1] … Thus you see it is not armour as armour, but as armour of God, that makes the soul impregnable” (54).

There is so much more that could be shared from the riches of these 20+ pages of reading this week, but we’ll stop there for now. One thing that I have to mention, though, is how amazing it is (especially from a preacher’s point of view) that Gurnall is able to say so much, without rambling, but able to point out so many important truths (15 pages worth) about just 4 words: THE ARMOUR OF GOD!

Next Week

It was a great week of reading, and the Lord really used it in my life to teach me more about this verse and the importance of putting on the armor that God has directed us to put on. Next week we will finish the verse by looking at the “entireness of the armour” (it is the whole armor of God) as well as the “use of the armour” (we are to put on the armor).

I hope you are looking forward to this next week’s reading as much as I am.

As usual, I’d love to hear any thoughts or insights that you have about this past week’s reading. Just comment below!

God is All-Mighty

Almighty GodLast week was our first week reading through the 1-year reading plan of William Gurnall’s Christian In Complete Armour. And let me tell you … i sure did enjoy it. It took me a little bit to get back into the mindset of being able to read a Puritan book (everything from the Old English to the complicated and lengthy logical outlines that the author uses). However, after getting myself back into that mindset, it was a very rich and rewarding week of reading.

First things first, let me just say that I miss a good old-fashioned Puritan title. They are so long and descriptive that you almost understand what the entire book is about by just reading the title. Listen to the full title of this book:

The Christian In Complete Armour; A Treatise Of the Saints’ War against the Devil: Wherein a Discovery is made of that grand Enemy of God and his People, in his Policies, Power, Seat of his Empire, Wickedness, and chief design he hath against the Saints. A Magazine Opened, From whence the Christian is furnished with Spiritual Arms for the Battle, helped on with his Armour, and taught the use of his Weapon: together with the happy issue of the whole War.

Whew … that was a mouthful!

This Week’s Reading

As for the reading, Gurnall introduces the passage that he will be exegeting throughout the whole book (Ephesians 6:10-20), and then begins in on verse 10. In his introduction, he lays out how he will be outlining the passage: v.10, he says, is a “short but sweet and powerful encouragement,” and v.11-20 “is spent in several directions for their [the Christian] managing this war the more successfully, with some motives here and there sprinkled among them” (11).

So, this week’s reading was focused on Ephesians 6:10 - “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” And over and over again, as I read these twenty-something pages, I was reminded afresh of the mighty power of God, and how His almighty power is at work for the good of His children, and how as His child, my faith will be strengthened and I will remain steadfast in accordance to the degree that I am growing in my trust in the almighty power and sovereignty of God!

Some Quotes

Let me share a few quotes with you that stood out to me this week (honestly, there are too many to share, but here are a few):

In the introduction, Gurnall introduces the subject with this great imagery:

“The subject of the treatise is solemn, A War between the Saint and Satan, and that so bloody a one, that the cruelest which ever was fought by men, will be found but sport and child’s play to this” (3).

This next quote comes in the section where Gurnall is talking about the believer’s call to persevere in his Christian course to the end of his life.

“We have known many who have gone into the field, and liked the work of a soldier for a battle or two, but soon have had enough, and come running home again, but few can bear it as a constant trade” (15).

And a few sentences later he continues on the theme of perseverance…

“O, this persevering is a hard word! This taking up the cross daily, this praying always, this watching night and day, and never laying aside our clothes and armor, I mean indulging ourselves, to remit and unbend in our holy waiting on God, and walking with God. This sends many sorrowful away from Christ, yet this is the saint’s duty, to make religion his every-day work, without any vacation from one end of the year to the other” (15).

This quote was an encouraging one on the joy in heaven of God’s children not yielding to sin and temptation

“In a word, Christians, God and angels are spectators, observing how you quit yourselves like children of the Most High; every exploit your faith doth against sin and Satan causeth a shout in heaven … Your dear Saviour, who stands by with a reserve for your relief at a pinch, his very heart leaps within him for joy to see the proof of your love to him and zeal for him in all your combats” (17).

And finally, I loved this imagery about God’s sovereignty in our salvation, and His opening our eyes to see His beauty and might

“That light which finds out a Deity will evince, if followed close, this God to be almighty; yet in a carnal heart, it is like a rusty sword, hardly drawn out of the scabbard, and so of little or no use. Such truths are so imprisoned in natural conscience, that they seldom get a fair hearing in the sinner’s bosom, till God gives them a jail-delivery, and brings them out of their house of bondage, where they are shut up in unrighteousness with a high hand of his convincing Spirit. Then, and not till then, the soul will believe that God is holy, merciful, almighty” (26).

Your Turn…

I’m looking forward to starting our second week of reading today!

How about you? What stood out to you this week? What truth did God remind you of through your reading this week? If you have anything to share, feel free to comment below! I’d love to hear from you!

Here We Go …

christian in complete armourWell, today’s the day! Today is the day that we will start the reading plan for William Gurnall’s massive book: The Christian In Complete Armour. I am beyond excited to start my reading today, and I hope you are too!

So, if you’ve already got the book and plan to read along, make sure you begin today (if you haven’t already gotten a head-start). And, be sure to check back here each Monday as I plan (Lord willing) to write a short post and share a few quotes from the previous week’s reading.

And … If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out this post where you can read about what we’re doing and download the reading plan.

I am praying that the Lord blesses all of us as we read through this great work of the Christian faith together in 2015!

Top 3 posts of 2014

2014 is officially over. And since everyone else is posting their “top” lists of 2014, I figured I’d do the same. So here they are … my top 3 posts of the year, ranked in order of page views.

1. ’50 Shades of Grey’ Movie

50 Shades of GreyThis post shocked me at the influx of readers it brought to my site. I was horrified and shocked when I watched the trailer for this movie and wrote this post back in July, and I continue to be so to this day. We are now just a little over a month from the release of this movie, and my prayer is still the same as it was back in July: That the many professing Christians who will be tempted to watch this with their friends or family will not give into that temptation, but that they will instead seek godliness and moral purity.

2. Apple Watch: iNeed?Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.53.22 AM

This post was about a very interesting article in TIME magazine about the new Apple Watch. I am still curious as to what the reception will be for this gadget when it releases in a few months. Will Apple be the first to legitimize the “wearables” industry? I’m not sure, but if anyone could do it, it would be them.

3. Reformed Gospel Tract

reformedgospeltracts_1st_previewAnd finally, to round out the top 3, is this Gospel Tract that I continue to be a huge fan of. It is still the one that I turn to most often, and I would highly recommend that you check it out for yourself or your ministry.

Purity Is Possible

purity is possibleSexual purity is something that should be on all of our radars as Christians. And for men, it increasingly is. There are a plethora of resources out there to help guys, young and old alike, deal with the issue of sexual impurity, pornography, lust, etc. And praise the Lord for those resources!

However, what has been lacking for quite some time is a solid, Gospel-centered resource geared toward women and their struggle with sexual impurity, whether it be through the medium of erotica novels, private fantasies, or online pornography. Believe it or not, the numbers are out there … According to a 2007 Nielson study, one out of 3 visitors to a porn site is female, and another study in 2006 found that close to 20% of Christian women are regular viewers of pornography. That means that 1 out of every 5 women in our churches is regularly viewing pornography. That may shock many of you. It shocked me. And that’s not to mention the countless women in our world and in our churches who are reading (and ready to go see) things like 50 Shades of Grey and other “written pornography.”

But what makes it worse is that it’s a reality that the church has by and large turned away from. Every time I’ve heard or read sermons, interviews, articles, etc on the issue of pornography or sexual impurity, it is directed toward men. But the numbers show us that women, too, are struggling with this sin and need help just as desperately.

So let me tell you about a great little new book by Helen Thorne called Purity Is Possible: Ho To Live Free Of The Fantasy Trap. Thorne saw this neglect and, being burdened by it, chose to share her story and advice in order to offer help to the many, many women out there caught in this same trap. The book is short (right at 100 pages), but is packed with Gospel-centered, practical, and biblical truth and advice.

This is the age we live in, like it or not, accept it or not. As Christians, as pastors, as church-leaders, we can do one of two things — either continue to ignore it and act like it’s not really that big of a problem, or tackle it head-on. I plan to use this book as an invaluable resource to help me in my role as a pastor to counsel and help women with this deadly sin. I am thankful that Thorne has written this book, and through it, will hopefully help many, many women be set free from their bondage to sexual impurity. I would encourage you to get a copy (or 5) and be ready to hand them out to women all around you.

Tim Challies also has an excellent review of this book, which you can read by clicking here

Also, check out the trailer for the book below

In Accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Cross Focused Reviews and The Good Book Company for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Surprised By Scripture

N.T. Wright — If you have not heard of him by now, you are certainly part of the minority in the Christian (and secular) culture today. TIME magazine called him “one of the most formidable figures in the world of Christian thought” and Newsweek identified him as “the world’s leading New Testament scholar.” Christianity Today recently featured him as the topic of their cover story, playing off the title to his new book and calling their story “Surprised by N.T. Wright.”

surprised by scriptureNeedless to say, Wright has made quite an impact in the church worldwide, as well as popular, secular culture today. And with his new book on Scripture, he is certain to once again spark controversy with one group of people, and admiration with another. The new book is titled Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues, and in it Wright compiles several essays from articles he has written, talks given, and lectures taught in order to dive into the waters of some of the most hot-topic current debates in Christianity today in order to see what Scripture has to say (in his opinion) regarding those topics.

So what’s the “surprise” that the title speaks of? Wright answers:

“The ‘surprise’ in the title thus refers both to the fact that many people may not expect the Bible to have much to say on these topics in the first place, and also, second, to the fact that when it does speak to them it may not say what people have imagined” (x).

So what are some of the topics that Wright tackles? There are 12 chapters total, but some of the most “hot button” ones include whether or not we need a historical Adam, an argument for ordaining women, a plea for environmentalism in light of Jesus’ return, and the relationship between science and religion.

Mixed Emotions

For a while now, I have had sort-of mixed feelings on Wright. Why have I liked Wright? First off, he is a great writer. From a pure writing standpoint, Wright is among the best. The guy cranks out books like they’re hot-cakes, and he’s good at it. Pure and simple, his writing is enjoyable to read. Secondly, he has written some very good and helpful works. His work on the resurrection is top-notch, perhaps the best scholarly work on the resurrection to date. He has also been quite helpful in my own understanding of the new heavens and new earth, as opposed to the all-too-popular view of heaven where we’re all floating around on clouds and plucking harps.

With that said, another part of me has also been quite critical of some of Wright’s other works, most notably his views on Paul (labeled the New Perspective on Paul), justification, works/law, etc. This isn’t the place to go into that debate, but I have read Wright extensively on these topics and am not convinced by his arguments, and think that they can be down-right dangerous.

The Tipping Point

But now with this book, Wright has tipped my feelings toward him even more toward the latter, viewing his teaching as erroneous and dangerous at points. He has, in a sense, shown his cards a little more fully in regards to his views on some of these contemporary issues. His first chapter in the book on healing the divide between science and religion was quite troubling to me, where he seems to argue that it’s almost irrelevant whether you hold to evolution, theistic evolution, creationism, etc … it’s not the central issue, he argues. I couldn’t disagree more. And the troubling chapters continue. In chapter 2, Wright argues that it’s not necessary that we have a historical Adam in the sense that Adam and Eve were the first, and only, created humans through whom the rest of the human race comes. Rather, he says:

“Just as God chose Israel from the rest of humankind for a special, strange, demanding vocation, so perhaps what Genesis is telling us is that God chose one pair from the rest of early hominids for a special, strange, demanding vocation. This pair (call them Adam and Eve if you like) were to be the representatives of the whole human race, the ones in whom God’s purpose to make the whole world a place of delight and joy and order, eventually colonizing the whole creation, was to be taken forward” (37-38).

He goes on in chapter 4 to make, what he calls, a “biblical case” for ordaining women, whereby he completely re-interprets (and re-translates) pretty much every passage dealing with the issue of man/woman relationships and roles in the church. At one point he even says, “I fully acknowledge that the very different reading I’m going to suggest may sound initially as though I’m simply trying to make things easier, to tailor this bit of Paul to fit our culture” (79), to which I reply: It doesn’t just sound that way … that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Conclusion

Chapter after chapter in this book were troubling and frustrating to read. Sadly, not many of these chapters outright surprised me (since I sort-of knew his views on inerrancy, as well as some of the other issues), though they did help clarify in my mind how I should think about Wright as a Bible scholar to turn to and glean insight from on the Bible. In short, I would not recommend this book to you, nor would I recommend N.T. Wright as a consistently reliable, sound Bible teacher/scholar. Certainly, he has some good things to say and has written some quite helpful works on various doctrines (and I’m sure he will do so again in the future). However, there are many others who have written similar things and who will be much more consistent in their views on the inerrancy and authority of the Scripture, and therefore much more consistently reliable and faithful teachers to turn to regarding the Bible.

In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank HarperOne Publishers for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

“The Christian In Complete Armour” Reading Plan

christian in complete armourHave you ever wanted to read a classic book of the Christian faith, but it was just so big and daunting that you didn’t know where to start?

That was exactly my initial feeling with William Gurnall’s The Christian In Complete Armour, which clocks in at almost 1,200 pages! While at T4G this past year, various speakers were raving over this classic Puritan work on spiritual warfare, so I decided to pick up a copy. However, though my excitement was at its peak back in April, it is now December and I have yet to crack open the book and begin to read it. Every time I wanted to, the sheer girth of the book led me away from it.

In my experience, though, I’ve found that books such as these become much more attainable when you tackle it with a thoughtful, disciplined reading plan. I did this with Calvin’s Institutes a couple of years ago (see here) and was amazed at how accessible that seemingly humongous book was.

What shocked me, though, was that when I went on Google and began to search for a similar plan for Gurnall’s work, nothing was to be found. Nothing. Here is this classic Puritan book, recommended by every speaker at T4G, heartily recommended by Spurgeon, and listed as John Newton’s one book he’d pick to read other than the Bible, and there’s no sort of plan to help readers tackle it.

So, you know what I did? I decided to create one myself. I did the math, and here’s what I found:

  • The book is 1,189 pages long
  • I wanted to develop a 5-day-per-week reading plan in order to give the reader 2 days off each week for catch-up and/or reflection
  • That means there are 260 days in the year to get this book read
  • Which means that you could finish the book in a year by reading ONLY 4-5 pages per day!!!

I don’t know about you, but that seems really doable to me! The average book has around 300-400 words per page. Let’s take the high end of that. So that means that one day would have 400 words per page, with 5 pages, so that’s 2,000 words. If your average reading speed is 250 words/minute (which is less than average) that means that you could do your reading in 8 minutes for the day.

So let’s summarize all of that … if you commit to reading less than 10 minutes per day, for only 5 out of 7 days of the week, you could have this entire 1,189 page book read in a year! Sounds doable to me!!

Now What?

So here’s where we go from here: I would love to have you join me in reading this book in 2015! I will begin reading the first full week of January (which will be January 5). Each Monday, I will write a post with some reflections and perhaps some quotes that stood out to me from the previous week’s reading. If you are reading along, this will be the place where you are encouraged to join the conversation. Use the comments section on the blog and share your thoughts, reflections, questions, quotes, etc.

There are a few different versions of the book out there, but from my research, the best one is the version published by Banner of Truth. You can purchase it from WTS Books by clicking here. This is the version that the pages in the reading plan are keyed to, so if you want to read along, this is the version you’ll need.

I hope that you plan to accept this challenge with me! If you do, take a minute and leave a comment below to let me know. I’d love to know who will be reading along. My hope and prayer is that we would all (even if it’s just me) be incredibly encouraged, strengthened, and built up through reading this book in 2015. Won’t you join me?

You can download the reading plan in pdf by clicking here.

Or you can click on the images below for each of the 3 pages:

1 Christian In Complete Armour - Reading Plan2 PDF Christian In Complete Armour - Reading Plan3 PDF Christian In Complete Armour - Reading Plan

Alby’s Amazing Book

alby's amazing bookFar too often children (as well as adults) can view the Bible as one long, boring book. Children, especially when they do not have the influence of godly parents teaching them the Bible, can grow up to think that the Bible is like a boring history book with no real application or relevance to their life. This is a difficult trend to overcome, and requires a lot of training from parents and others. But one new children’s book is hoping to help combat that mentality as well.

This new book is Alby’s Amazing Book by Catalina Echeverri. Alby’s Amazing Book is a short story about an adventurous squirrel named Alby. Alby loves to read, not just to learn, but because he loves to enter into the amazing adventures of the stories in various books. But there is one book that he loves the most — the Bible. The Bible is a book like no other for Alby, not only because it takes him on all kinds of adventures, but because he knows the author of this book. The author is God, and Alby knows that this book was written by God for Alby.

As children read through this short book, I hope that they will get excited, like Alby the adventurous squirrel, about this amazing book known as the Bible. The book is well-ilustrated and will capture the attention of just about any kid. I look forward to reading this with my child in the years to come, and seeing them get excited about the Amazing Book that Alby loves, and that I love as well!

Check out the trailer for the book below:

In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Cross Focused Reviews and The Good Book Company for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Christmas Promise

the christmas promiseIt is incredibly hard to believe that it’s almost mid-November and just a little over 6 weeks until Christmas! With the Christmas season comes a yearly, constant battle for the Christian parents to keep the central reason for Christmas at the forefront of their family’s mind. With all the consumerism and materialism swirling around us in the culture, it is increasingly hard to do this year after year. But there are things that can help.

Enter a new children’s book by Alison Mitchell and Catalina Echeverri called The Christmas Promise. This is a beautifully illustrated book with engaging prose for young readers. The central focus of the book is that on Christmas, God fulfilled a promise that he made a long, long time ago. And this promise is that He would send a king to redeem the world … but this would not be any ordinary king … this would be “a new king, a rescuing king, a forever king.”

I loved the fact that the book focuses on the fact this this is a fulfilled promise from thousands of years ago in the Old Testament. The book repeatedly makes reference to this fulfillment, which assists parents as they begin to start weaving this whole redemptive story together for their children, even at such a young age. Another thing that I liked was at the very end of the book there are Scripture references to the Gospel accounts of the Christmas story, as well as Scripture references for some of the Old Testament promises that are fulfilled. I thought this was a great addition, and it encourages parents to take their children to these promises and fulfillment stories to show them where the book is getting these ideas. Overall, I really liked this book and thought it was well done, both in terms of content and illustration. I can’t wait to read it to my child in a few years.

Check out the trailer for the book below

In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Cross Focused Reviews and The Good Book Company for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.