A few weeks ago, I completed Sinclair Ferguson's new book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life. Because the book was a collection of short (three to four page) essays on biblical and theological themes, I decided to use it as part of my morning worship time. Inevitable, I found things to challenge and encourage me in my walk with Christ. Whether insights from John's Gospel or Hebrews or pastoral reflections on contentment (which made me pick up Jeremiah Burroughs' The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment!), I rarely came from the book without Gospel encouragement.
However, the most moving feature of the book was the conclusion, in which Ferguson shared reflections about his former Westminster Seminary colleague, Al Groves, who died of cancer last year. Including two letters from Al himself, I saw the heart of a man who knew great suffering and yet who was deeply in love with his Savior, Jesus. In many ways, Al represented the heart of the book: what it meant to live the Gospel-centered life, not only in good times, but also in painful ones. As a result, I found In Christ Alone a rich treasury of reflection on how to live more in love with Jesus.