South-African Dutch Reformed leader, author of devotional writings
Murray was Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Murray became a noted missionary leader. His father was a Scottish Presbyterian serving the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa, and his mother had connections with both French Huguenots and German Lutherans. This background to some extent explains his ecumenical spirit. He was educated at Aberdeen University, Scotland, and at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After ordination in 1848 he served pastorates at Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town, and Wellington. He helped to found what are now the University College of the Orange Free State and the Stellenbosch Seminary He served as Moderator of the Cape Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church and was president of both the YMCA (1865) and the South Africa General Mission (1888-1917), now the Africa Evangelical Fellowship.
He was one of the chief promoters of the call to missions in South Africa. This led to the Dutch Reformed Church missions to blacks in the Transvaal and Malawi. Apart from his evangelistic tours in South Africa, he spoke at the Keswick and Northfield Conventions in 1895, making a great impression. upon his British and American audiences. For his contribution to world missions he was given an honorary doctorate by the universities of Aberdeen (1898) and Cape of Good Hope(1907).
Murray is best known today for his devotional writings, which place great emphasis on the need for a rich, personal devotional life. Many of his 240 publications explain in how he saw this devotion and its outworking in the life of the Christian. Several of his books have become devotional classics. Among these are Abide in Christ, Absolute Surrender, With Christ in the School of Prayer, The Spirit of Christ and Waiting on God.
Works by Andrew Murray
Revealing and challenging, Absolute Surrender is a wonderful devotional. Based around a series of sermons by Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender extols the need for "absolute surrender" to God. Murray provides concrete steps for bringing about such surrender in one's life. He also describes both the fruit of surrendering, e.g. true experience of the Holy Spirit in one's life, and the different "stages" one goes through on the "path to Christian liberty." Thus, anyone not fully experiencing Christian liberty can profit from reading this book, either in a group Bible study or simply in personal study. Full of insight, Absolute Surrender is a timeless devotional that will aid every believer in surrendering to Christ.
If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would you be convicted? Christians have asked themselves this question, or ones like it, for millennia. In his book, The Deeper Christian Life, Andrew Murray helps us come to grips with those nagging insecurities in our Christian walk. A shallow relationship with God leads us down a road of doubt and insecurities. Can I be forgiven? How can I forgive? Murray tells us that we can go deeper in our relationship with God, and with that deeper relationship comes growing confidence and joy in the gospel. That joy springs from the knowledge of God's grace in forgiving us, and enables us to extend that grace to others in our lives.
Murray suggests that his devotional, The Lord's Table, is not meant to replace scripture, but rather to strengthen believers' appreciation of God's word. Murray's meditations provide a thoughtful guide for believers who desire to develop a deeper understanding of the Lord's Holy Supper. The devotional covers the week before, during, and after the Supper, and each entry is labeled with the day of the week so that readers can manage devotions with ease. Murray first explains how believers can prepare to receive God's blessing during the weeks before the Supper. Murray further encourages believers to be filled with God's love, repent of sinful deeds, and meditate on his grace. During the day of Holy Communion, we are called to pour out our hearts to Christ as he strengthens us through his body and blood, which quenches our thirst and feeds our souls. In the days after communion, Murray tenderly urges us to dwell on the redeeming power of sanctification. Murray's text is an excellent resource for those who desire to grow in their faith through Communion.
Derived from a series of addresses delivered by the author in 1895, Andrew Murray's compilation of 13 meditations provides the biblical interpretation to encourage Christians throughout different stages of their spiritual walk. As a South African Dutch Reformed leader and pioneering missionary, Murray's ecumenical acumen is evident in his detailed pieces, which are both reflective and enlightening. Murray's devotional is loosely organized into three sections. The first section, in which Murray emphasizes a transition from what he calls the "Carnal" into the "Spiritual," focuses on the importance of self-sacrifice. The second section highlights the importance of prayer and the Christian's responsibility in preparation for the Kingdom. The final section encourages Christians to revel in the rewards of a faithful walk with the Lord: blessings of the spirit, peace in God's grace, and the ultimate comfort in Christ's redemption. In this eye-opening devotional, Murray helps Christians find assurance in the knowledge that God is "all in all."
The New Life aids Christians in their examination of the scripture and offers valuable information to believers who want to overcome sin and live the Christian life. While Murray's book is specifically designed for young converts, the text is useful to all Christians. Murray's chapters cover a variety of different topics that Christians, particularly those new to the faith, will find remarkably helpful. Murray discusses how Christians should approach the tasks of missionary work, prayer, confession, and baptism. The text also provides practical guidance regarding money, self-denial, discretion, and the temptations of worldly evil. New Life is a personal devotional, but it is also a resourceful tool for large congregations, small groups, and prayer meetings. The text is simply and easy to understand, and while each individual entry is rather short, Murray supplies substantial scriptural reference for further exploration.
Andrew Murray's passion for the spiritual well being of Christians shines through in his School of Obedience. Murray is well-known as a powerful and engaging writer, and School of Obedience is no exception. In it, Murray takes traditional Christian ideas about obedience, and recasts them to show believers the true power and importance of those ideas. He emphasizes, in particular, how obedience to God is obedience to a Personal Being, our Creator and Sustainer. He also calls believers to obedience each day and every day. With less than ten chapters, School of Obedience, is a short essay on the nature of obedience, but one that anyone can profit from reading.
Andrew Murray's True Vine is a thirty-one day devotional focusing on Christ's Parable of the Vine and the Branches in John 15. The devotional for each day, though short, elaborates and expounds upon John 15, providing spiritual insight along the way. Murray repeats important themes--like abiding in Christ--throughout the different days. Noticing how they develop and grow with each successive read, countless small groups and individuals have found Murray's keen spiritual teachings fruitful. An excellent devotional, True Vine is recommended for daily spiritual nourishment.
In this enlightening treatise, Andrew Murray explores the difference between two covenants--the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Murray's discussion of covenants is instructive, describing the nature of a covenant, the difference between the two covenants, and the transition between them. His ultimate goal, however, is to show "what exactly the blessings are that God has covenanted to bestow upon us." And here Murray's spiritual insight and ability for profound teaching shines through. His "humble attempt" to instruct the believer can have a renewing and transformative effect. Two Covenants is thus a prerequisite for anyone trying to better understand either biblical covenants or one's own personal sanctification.
In Waiting On God!, Andrew Murray introduces Christians to the concept that we need more of God. We need to “train our people in their worship and to wait on God.” Murray divides this instruction into 31 chapters, which are ideal for daily devotions for any given month. With each of his mediations, Murray provides accompanying scriptural passages. Like much of Murray's work, Waiting On God!is a book of depth, producing new and important insights every time one reads it.Waiting On God! and the sequel, Working For God are outstanding devotionals from Andrew Murray that will uplift and challenge the believer who wishes to draw closer to God in both devotion and service. Although these daily lessons are relatively short, they are packed with spiritual insight. This public electronic version is based on images of the original publication, undated except for the date (3rd March 1894) by the author at the end of the Preface.
The power of intercessory prayer is a great gift from God. God listens to those he loves, and works all things for their good. Murray, in his classic work With Christ in the School of Prayer, calls the church to exercise that powerful gift. Murray skillfully describes the role of the Holy Spirit within the church and exhorts Christians to use the blessings God has given us. This book is a guide to living a life as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
In Working for God, Andrew Murray calls Christians to be instruments of God. Murray divides this call into thirty-one chapters, which are ideal for daily devotions for any given month. With each of his mediations, Murray provides accompanying scriptural passages. Like much of Murray's work, Working for God is a book of depth, producing new and important insights every time one reads it. Its theme are clear--e.g. waiting on God, preparing oneself as an instrument of God--but are never overwhelming or repetitive. Overall, Working for God is another outsanding devotional from Andrew Murray.
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