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Book Review – A Brief Account of the Life and Labors of George Muller

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George Muller is known as a man who lived by prayer. During the course of his life he believed he had seen some 50,000 answers to prayer. He fed, clothed and housed over 10,000 orphans during his life and distributed millions of tracts, books and Bibles. He also supported missions organizations and spoke to Christians around the world. He did all this without once asking any person for money. Instead he took his supplications to God and trusted Him to provide his every need. Never once did God let him down. Muller stands in church history as a testament to God’s providence and the value of believing the promises of Scripture that God will take care of our every need.

Apart from a preface and occasional commentary by Jim Elliff of Christian Communicators Worldwide, A Brief Account of the Life and Labors of George Muller is written almost entirely by Muller’s second wife (known in this volume only as Mrs Muller). The first section is a reprint of a short biography of Muller first published in 1883 and the second lengthy section isentitled George Muller on Money and Possessions. In this part of the book Muller provides insight on some of the Scripture’s teachings on money, possessions and a life marked by trust in God.

As this is the first biography I have read on Muller I could not help but be impressed by the depth of the man’s faith. It must have taken extraordinary faith and courage to assume such responsibility while doing so little (outwardly) to support his endeavours. Yet because he knew that all he did had to be in God’s strength and not his own, he was able to trust in the Provider. It struck me that what he did in eschewing fundraising was neither necessary nor sinful. Surely God would not have condemned him if he had decided to actively seek funding from others. But if he had not maintained his resolve, he would not stand as an inspiration to so many other Christians. Clearly God used him in a powerful way to become an example of the value of faith, and even more importantly, of the faithfulness of God to His promises.

This book is certainly not exhaustive and at only 161 pages can serve as merely an introduction to Muller’s life, especially when compared to his first biography which was published in three volumes and spanned over 1600 pages. This short volume stands as an interesting primer to Muller by the one who knew him best. And having introduced him and having shared the most important aspects of his life, the book turns to Muller himself, and allows him to provide the insights God taught him in how to live by faith.

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