Let’s start out by telling our readers a little about you. (Current ministry context, family, joys in life, etc.)
My name is Joshua Mills. This past September I began my studies in the Master of Divinity program at Toronto Baptist Seminary. In my local church, I have been responsible for preaching at our Wednesday night meetings and serving in our local street evangelism outreach. The two greatest joys in my life are knowing Christ and serving the local church. It has been a tremendous blessing to my soul, to be in a Christ-exalting local church and sitting under sound preaching.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading several books that have been assigned to me for seminary classes. One that stands out to me is Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldsworthy. This book focuses on teaching the preacher to preach Christ from the whole Bible, using biblical theology. It has been beneficial in my sermon preparation. Additionally, a brother and I have been going through the book, God Is, by Mark Jones, which has been an extreme blessing as we sit back and ponder the glorious attributes of God. In my free time, I am currently reading through Thomas Watson’s A Body of Divinity.
What are some books you regularly re-read and why?
Other than the Bible, I always love to re-read books that will stir my soul. I find myself going back into history and reading about past revivals, where God mightily used men. One of my all-time favorite books I often re-read is Words to Winners of Souls by Horatius Bonar. Every time I read this book I am challenged to re-examine my devotion to Christ and seek him more earnestly. Additionally, I love to re-read Arnold Dallimore’s biography on Whitefield as it often gives me a healthy dose of humility.
What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?
I recently read Seven Leaders by Iain Murray. This was an immensely encouraging look at the life of seven different men in the past and how they are a model for men today. Additionally, after reading this book, it further led me to read the biographies of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John MacArthur, both written by Iain Murry. There is much to learn from giants of the past, and I find reading biographies are the best thing for my soul apart from the Bible.
Speaking of biographies and such, is there any particular one that has influenced you a great deal in your faith?
I would have to say reading the Memoirs and Remains of Robert Murray McCheyne have had the most significant influence upon my soul. When reading the pages, you can feel the warmth of McCheyne’s devotion to Christ. It is a contagious devotion and encourages you on to devote all that you have to Christ. One quote that sticks out to me is this one: “Live near to God, and so all things will appear to you little in comparison to eternal realities.” McCheyne was a man who lived near to God. It is my prayer that I would be a man marked by this as well.
If you were sitting down with a fellow believer and they asked for your top five book recommendations on Christian living, what would they be?
- Knowing God by J.I. Packer.
- Our Great God and Saviour by Eric J. Alexander.
- A little book on the Christian life by John Calvin.
- The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges.
- Holiness by J.C. Ryle.
What books have molded how you to serve and lead others in the gospel?
The one book that has molded me the most in serving and leading others in the gospel is the Bible. No book can compare with the infinitely valuable Word of God. With that said, there are a few books that I often refer to grow in these areas. The first one being the letters of John Newton, published by the Banner of Truth. In these letters, you see the pastoral and evangelistic heart of John Newton. It serves as a warm model for aspiring pastors. Additionally, other books I would recommend are Evangelism, and The Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer, and, What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
Finally, let’s conclude with this question. What are you learning about life and daily following Jesus?
This season of life has been hectic. It has also been incredibly refreshing at the same time. In this season of busyness, I have seen the faithfulness and provision of God over and over again each day. One thing the Lord has taught me recently is that my ministry is an outflow of my devotional life with Christ. If I am continually pouring myself out with nothing in the spiritual tank, eventually I will hit empty. My priority is my own soul and communion with God. Everything else must be out of my devotion to Christ.