BOOK REVIEW – The One Year Christian History

by E. Michael Rusten  (Author), Sharon O. Rusten (Author)

Book Review by Jackie Houchin

   From the book jacket: “From ancient Rome to the twenty-first century, from peasants to presidents, this daily devotional is a window into how God worked throughout history, every day of the year. Days like…

  • April 15, 1912 when John Harper shared the gospel with passengers on the sinking Titanic
  • July 8, 1941 when Jonathan Edwards rocked New England with his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

Each story appears on the day and month that it occurred in history.”

Both my husband and I began this book on January 1, 2022, reading one devotional per day. It was a joy to then discuss what we’d read. We learned a lot of history, we were challenged in our faith, and we often praised God for such examples of godly, fearless, persevering men and women whom God chose to be His children. We, as modern Americans, know nothing about the sacrifices they made, the harvest, and the glory they brought to God.

In any devotional I pick up, I always check first what is written on my own birth date. In this book that date is in 1791 and is about William Carey and a few others forming what became known as the Baptist Missionary Society. The next year they sailed to India as missionaries. Carey served there without furlough for 41 years till his death. Among a lot of other things, he translated the complete Bible into six languages.

The question on that (my) date is; “Do you expect great things from God? Do you attempt great things for God? If you do, God can bring them to pass just as he did for William Carey.

And the scripture for that date is John 14:12-14: “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even grater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes, ask anything in my name and I will do it!”

There are stories of Bible characters like Nebuchadnezzar, Ezekiel and Daniel, Esther and Ezra.

In the New Testament, there are many days written on Jesus and Paul.

There are dates about Romans like Titus and Agrippa and Nero.

Many about early church leaders such as Agustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon.

Many early (1600-1700’s) protestant Christian martyrs.

Later evangelists like D. L Moody, and the man who began the Salvation Army, and missionaries like John Paton, Hudson Taylor, Adoriam Judson, and creatives like Fanny Crosby (Blind), athletes like Eric Liddle, and the persecuted like Corrie Ten Boom.

There are dates that cover evil rulers, as well, and how God used even them to bring Him glory and further His kingdom. There are events in our history, like the Mayflower landing, godly confederate soldiers, and those in the World Wars (C.S. Lewis).

This One Year Devotional book is amazing – both for the history you can learn, as well as the inspiration to live more faithful lives for our Lord Jesus.  I recommend this book for both reasons. Fill a year with Biblical history, Christian belief and sacrifice, and God’s wonderous working to spread His glorious Gospel.  (You can begin on any date, and circle around.)

You will be blessed like I was.

FIVE STARS     Amazon Buy Link  (Also available in Kindle)


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