Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce is only 76 pages long, but it packs a powerful punch. It tells the story of a young man, comfortable in his wealthy life of ease. God has a funny of way of upsetting lives of ease, however, so it becomes the story of a young man on fire for Christ for the rest of his life.
Wilberforce has been one of my heroes for a long time. I watched the film “Amazing Grace” for the first time a number of years ago and it awakened within me a deep admiration for this man whose greatest passion was Christ’s glory.
William Wilberforce was one of the most influential leaders in his time. He is probably most well-known for his labors for the abolition of the slave-trade throughout the British Empire. The amazing thing is that throughout the years of striving towards this goal, he maintained a strong and vibrant faith. In fact, his faith in God was the impetus behind his endurance.
Here is where my deepest admiration for him is founded. Wilberforce didn’t give up because his strength was not found in finite things. His deep faith in Christ convicts me to be diligent in seeking my Savior. His joy in the Gospel and infectious delight in God’s grace convicts me to be intentional about finding joy in everything because of Christ’s work on the cross. Wilberforce’s life gives me hope. He accomplished so much to advance the Kingdom and none of it was because of him. It was all Christ.
In short, Piper’s short biography has only served to increase my first admiration of this spiritual giant and to encourage me to seek fast after Christ. It makes me long for the day when the Body of Christ is united, I stand alongside Wilberforce, and we bask together in the glory of our triumphant King.
(Picture taken from Goodreads)
As an eighteen year old living in the 21st century, it is all too easy to waste this life that I’ve been given. I am grateful to men like John Piper who are burdened with the desire to save my generation from the folly of wastefulness. With this burden in mind, Piper penned a book in 2003 called Don’t Waste Your Life. I just finished reading this book and I have to say, I think it is one of the most meaningful, convicting books that I have ever read.
He starts by documenting his search for fulfillment, the tumult he felt without it, and the great joy that overwhelmed him when he realized Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of everything and that to bring Him glory is to take joy in Him. He continues to weave this thread throughout the remainder of the book, which caused my heart to yearn towards Christ and also forced me to come to grips with the shallowness of my current life. I know that I am wasting my life, but I am also given hope that that can change.
I would more than likely have been even more convicted if I had had the time to sift through this book more slowly. Piper’s writing style was a bit deeper than most of the nonfiction books I’ve read in my life. He doesn’t beat around the bush when he says things, but sometimes it can seem to take longer to describe the bush. I needed to read this book in a relatively short amount of time and found it difficult sometimes to really grasp what he was saying in my lack of time to stop and meditate.
All in all, though, it was a very good read and I can foresee reading it again in the future. To you, my fellow readers I would say, “May the cross of Christ be your only boast, and may you say, with sweet confidence, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Piper 179)
Piper, John. Don’t Waste Your Life. Crossway, 2003.
(Picture taken from Goodreads)