My life has been shaped by all kinds of writings that have pointed me to God’s Book. As an author, I love writing different books to reach more people in more ways, by God’s grace, with the life-changing truths of His Word.
I wrote 50 Days of Heaven by selecting the material most suitable from my book Heaven for a devotional, then rewriting it in a different style. Why write different sized books on one subject? Because they’re designed to reach different audiences with varying interests and preferences. The big books, like Heaven, are for pastors, teachers and serious Bible students who want to dig in and explore the depths of what Scripture and theologians say. They’re not meant for those who want a quick read and prefer small books or devotionals. (Though I have to say that the publisher and I have both been amazed that the great majority of readers of the big Heaven book are not pastors and teachers—they are laypeople eager to know the truth about Heaven and therefore willing to make an exception and read a very large book.)
Likewise, those who want a thorough treatment of a subject want more than what small books offer. As in The Three Bears, for some the small version is “just right.” But the right fit for Baby Bear or Goldilocks is the wrong fit for Papa or Mama Bear!
That’s exactly why I write books that are big, medium, and small, some more comprehensive, others more devotional, some for children, some for comic-lovers, some for those who enjoy murder mysteries. Not all people are alike, so not all books should be. It’s my joy and privilege to write different books on different subjects for different people, meeting different needs.
Speaking of 50 Days, our ministry now offers a free study guide to go along with the book. It was originally submitted to us by a kind reader, and then several of our staff further edited and further refined it. I appreciate all the work that was put into it, and I really believe that for many people, this might make a better study than the big Heaven book. A group could work through a few of the daily devotionals in a week, and then meet together to discuss the study questions.
Why study the subject of Heaven? Because it is the Christian’s certain hope, a hope that can and should sustain us through life’s darkest hours. But this doesn’t happen automatically. We must choose to think about Heaven and center our lives around it: “Set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand. …Let heaven fill your thoughts” (Colossians 3:1-2).
May God give us the grace to live today with eternity in view!
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.