February 22nd, 2010
Elliff, Jim. A Brief Account of the Life and Labors of George Muller and George Muller on Money and Possessions. Kansas City: Christian Communicators Worldwide, 2006. 164 pp. $11.99.
George Muller is a saint that should not need any introduction. Unfortunately, he does. Many have “heard of the name” but few have actually sat at the feet of this saint and learned what it means to fully trust in God. George Muller (1805-1898) is best known for the orphanage (over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime) he funded through his prayers. He never explicitly asked anyone for money. Stories abound about how God would answer his prayer and many of those have been preserved in a few biographies worth reading with A.T. Pierson’s George Muller of Bristol and Roger Steer’s George Muller: Delighted in God being two of the best to read for a more detailed study of the life and ministry of George Muller.
His foundation still exists today though they no longer deal with orphans. Now they work with the elderly and young families. You can read more about the work of the George Muller Foundation at their website. Most importantly, they still operate by the same principles that George Muller did—prayer.
This particular edition published by Christian Communicators Worldwide consists of the original biography written by Mrs. Muller (George’s second wife) during their missionary journeys in the late 1800’s. According to George Muller, who wrote the introduction to the original volume, “My beloved wife…undertook to write a a very brief history of my life and labours.” This was done because both of them had been repeatedly asked for a condensed version of his 1,600 page autobiography. She wrote it because George could not decide what he should cut out in order to condense the book to a much more affordable price. Therefore, the first half of the book is merely Mrs. Muller’s condensed version of the aforementioned autobiography.
The second half of the book was edited by Jim Elliff and details George Muller’s understanding of earthly possessions as opposed to an eternal perspective. In essence, Muller argues that we should not seek to make ourselves wealthy in this life. Rather, we must “pay it forward” (my words) toward our eternal life in heaven. What use will our wealth be to us when we die?
There is not much negative in the way of reviewing and/or critiquing George Muller. Obviously not everyone is going to agree with George Muller’s views on money and prayer. Regardless, it cannot be said that George Muller did not base his ministry and faith in what the Bible teaches. On the contrary, what can be said is that George Muller was one of those radical Christians who took serious the Word of God.
Every Christian needs to be familiar with the life of George Muller. His writings—more biographical in nature—will challenge you to a deeper level of faith and understanding in what the Creator of the universe is able to do for those who ask in faith. Pick up at least one of many works dealing with the life of George Muller. You will not regret it, I promise.