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[the heavenly man] | Ryan Johnson

It is amazing how the story of certain people encourages your faith in a very real and powerful way. Some of the most dramatic increases in the grace of God that I have experienced have been through reading Christian biographies. However, because the normal everyday lives of real people are supposedly so dull and boring we are encouraged by Hollywood and network television to participate and experience a more exciting life through fictional characters who face unrealistic situations. Sadly, I have fallen into this pattern myself, to where I live and experience an “ideal” or “desirable” life through people who only really exist in the mind of a screenwriter. For a Christian who has a Savior that spoke “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), this kind of existence falls far short of God’s design. It seems that the kind of “stealing” that Jesus speaks about in the beginning part of verse 10 has taken on a form that is different than many Christians are aware of. Therefore, we miss out on experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in our life because we fail to recognize that God has created us with a purpose, an intention, a goal, each day. Yet, I digress…

My original intention in writing this post is to tell you about a book that I have been reading called “The Heavenly Man.” It is a story that chronicles the salvation and life experiences of Brother Yun, a pastor in China who has seen God’s power in ways I can not even begin to imagine. I would commend the book to anyone, but my intention is not to summarize the book here. Instead, I want to testify how God has imparted encouraging grace to my soul through reading the real-life testimony of this brave brother in Christ. I have seen increases in my devotional life, my prayer life and my passion for ministry. Brother Yun’s faith has challenged me and the Holy Spirit has used his testimony to convict me of my lack of fervency in so many ways. For this time in my life, God has used His Word and His Spirit in this brother’s testimony to lead me to the water’s of grace and mercy.

For years this book has been on my CBD “Wishlist”. I have been told on countless occasions about how this book has been an encouragement to others. Nevertheless, God kept me from buying it then, and waited until all my other books were in boxes in my garage at home.

Thank God for the testimony of faithful saints. If you, like me, seem to be experiencing a dry time in your life, pick up this book or one like it. Take it in doses with your daily time in the Word and in prayer and God will use it to challenge and encourage your boldness for the Gospel of Christ.

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