Over the last few weeks, I’ve been enjoying a wonderful new devotional book to start my day. Charles Spurgeon is one of my heroes of the faith, and Randy Alcorn is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so when I saw We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven by Randy Alcorn, I knew I wanted to check it out.
In the book, Randy Alcorn compiles some of Spurgeon’s best thoughts on the topics of heaven and eternity and puts them in a highly readable, enjoyable devotional format. The book begins with a thorough introduction that includes a brief biography of Spurgeon, an explanation of how the sermon excerpts were compiled, and how and why the language and grammar was updated. This is followed by fifty daily readings. Each reading consists of a brief explanation of which sermon or work the excerpt is from and what the occasion was (for example, if it was preached at a funeral or on a holiday), then the excerpt itself, followed by a few brief closing thoughts from Randy Alcorn, often including further information on the context.
I’m not completely through all the readings yet, but I’m far enough to know that We Shall See God ranks at or near the top of the list of my favorite devotional reads! Even the introduction with it’s brief biographical sketch is inspiring!
Spurgeon’s 3,561 sermons are bound in sixty-three volumes. They are contained on thirty-eight thousand pages of small print and total about 20 million words. In addition to his sermons, he wrote many books…
Starting when Spurgeon was twenty-one, his sermons were published in annual volumes. These volumes went to press for sixty-three years, the last of them put into print twenty-six years after his death. In the span of six years alone, from the time Spurgeon was twenty-one until he was twenty-seven, his books sold over six million copies. It’s possible that even today no author, Christian or otherwise, has as much material in print as Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
His preaching and writing affected his world far and wide while he lived and continue to do so even today. His sermons have been printed in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, and many other languages. Today, some 120 years after his death, Spurgeon’s works are still read and studied and preached on by Christians of various backgrounds and denominations. (xvi-xvii)
Spurgeon is someone I think everyone should be familiar with! His influence has been and continues to be enormous, his life story is inspiring, and his writing is simply profound. Obviously, though, the volume of material is just so incredible that it’s sometimes overwhelming or hard to know where to start. I’ve read his Morning and Evening, All of Grace, The Treasury of David, and several others, not to mention numerous excerpts and sermons online, but I love that We Shall See God breaks Spurgeon’s prolific writing down into short, easy-to-digest chunks. Randy Alcorn’s follow-up comments are always enjoyable and often even shed more light on the circumstances surrounding the excerpt.
And it’s far from narrow in scope. Even though the focus of the readings is heaven and eternity, it touches on so many other important themes throughout: covenant, kingdom, holiness, and so much more.
We Shall See God makes a perfect introduction for someone who isn’t familiar with this man who has been so mightily used by God, and also provides a fantastic way to get a daily dose of inspiration from him even for those who are. I would love to see more in the future in the same format based on other themes in Spurgeon’s work.
I definitely recommend We Shall See God as a must-read for all!