Grace and Truth for Life: Charles H. Spurgeon’s devotionals from his 1865 classic, Morning by Morning, paraphrased, updated, and adapted for following Jesus in the 21st century, by Larry E. Wilson, 2023, paper, 368 pages (available from Amazon here, $US 9.99)
For a number of years I received regular emails from my fellow pastor, Larry Wilson, with the slightly cryptic subject line. “G&T4L.” To help him concentrate on his own devotional reading (beyond the Scriptures themselves) he was working through Spurgeon’s daily devotional, Morning by Morning, doing exactly what the lengthy subtitle of this book suggests — making a well-loved classic more accessible for contemporary readers. As quite a few of us discovered what he was doing, we requested to be included in his email distribution list.
As the email recipient list grew, so did encouragements to Wilson to make his work available in more permanent form, which he has now done. Not only did he update the language, he also has tried to identify Spurgeon’s biblical quotes and allusions, as well as other references the great preacher made. Spurgeon generally did not cite sources, perhaps assuming (probably correctly) a certain degree of biblical literacy and familiarity with hymns.
The type is large and clear, making for easy reading. Wilson has maintained the calendar dates for each page-long meditation. He emphasizes his hope that this book will not replace Scripture reading, but rather supplement it (page 1).
“About the Author” focuses on Wilson’s service as a pastor, church planter, and interim pastor in various US states and in the Canadian Province of Alberta, though now retired. Those who have served alongside him will testify that he served as a shepherd with the sheep, meeting their needs, speaking with, not at, them, not lording it over them. Wilson, like Spurgeon, speaks to the heart. What the brief description of Wilson’s service does not mention is the period in which he served as the General Secretary of the Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, which also entailed being the editor of the denominational magazine, New Horizons. Those editorial skills are evidenced in this volume.
Wilson summarizes his goals as he writes:
… not so much for those who are already familiar with and appreciative of Pastor Spurgeon, but rather for new hearers in our “brave new world.” I want to help them benefit from Pastor Spurgeon’s Christ-centered insights and counsel. I’ve got two main goals: (1) to help many to connect or reconnect with the living God through his one Mediator, Jesus Christ; and (2) to help many to keep up living contact with him by the Spirit of Christ working through the Word of Christ (page 1).
My recommendation: read, and pass on to others. Enjoy the blessing. Grow in grace.