Jim Graham has been one of my closest and most precious friends for almost twenty-five years. He has taught at different Ellel Centres and Conferences on many occasions and His fatherly input, encouragement, correction and direction have always been immensely valued.
I knew Jim wasn’t well at the beginning of 2016 as he had cancelled some teaching appointments, because of what he thought must be flu. But on the 19th March 2016 I received an email from him, containing the detailed diagnosis of his condition by his medical consultants. In this he said: “In reality, Peter, it looks like I am heading to the finishing line. I am content and completely free of anxiety. Please pray that I will finish well! Looks like, too, Peter that my teaching days are over.” My eyes filled with tears as I dwelt on those many years of rich fellowship and the prospect of Jim no longer being part of God’s family on earth.
I will never forget the few hours we were privileged to spend together on the 6th April, mainly talking about the Lord, but it wasn’t until the 25th April that I heard of the existence of Jim’s personal ‘translations’ of Paul’s Epistles. I wrote to him immediately, urging him to consider allowing them to be published. Very graciously, he arranged for a copy of all the letters he had completed to be sent to me, together with a Preface he had just written.
Three times, as a publisher, prior to Ellel Ministries, I was fortunate enough to discover and publish significant books and see them become best-sellers. Moments like those are never forgotten. But when I started to read what Jim had sent, I realized I was holding in my hand something far more precious and valuable than anything I had ever discovered in the secular world. This was a ‘publishing moment’ to exceed all others.
For, as I read the text of The God-Life, I realized I was standing on holy ground! From time to time I had heard Jim illustrate his teaching with profoundly impacting readings, but I had no idea that they were extracts from his personalized translations of most of Paul’s Epistles. In his email Jim had said “my teaching days are over”. But what I was reading was so profound that I sensed the very opposite would be the case – Jim’s wider teaching ministry to the whole Body of Christ was only just beginning!
When Jim wrote these personalized translations of Paul’s letters he was doing it in obedience to a personal Word from the Lord, but largely, as he thought, for his own benefit. But now the whole Church, until Jesus comes again, can benefit from Jim Graham’s profound, Holy Spirit inspired, understanding of Paul’s amazing letters.
The God-Life is an absolute gem which deserves to hold a special place alongside the very best of all the modern paraphrases of Scripture. It will be an inspirational blessing to countless other people, as they journey through life to their own finishing line. It is totally brilliant.
Before publication I sent a copy of the manuscript to various key leaders – and discovered that their response was just like mine:
“this brilliant paraphrase” George Verwer. “Nothing short of a spiritual treasure” George Otis Jr. “A remarkable book” Jill Southern-Jones. “The God-life is a God-send” Stuart McAlpine. “Brings the Scripture to life” Alistair Petrie! “This superb interpretation” David Pawson.
And a student proof reader said, “This book absolutely blew my mind! It is so powerful. I can’t wait to buy it and make sure everyone I know reads it.”
Having now got the finished book in my own hands, I can tell you that it’s already become a rich devotional blessing in my own walk with the Lord. If you would like to join me in being blessed by Jim Graham’s ‘legacy’ to the Body of Christ, you can order a copy right away by clicking on this link: https://uk.store.ellel.org/the-god-life.html