Published on May 26, 2021 by Eugene Ho

Evangelical Press, 2007 | 153 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

By Fred Zaspel


What a gem this little book is. I don’t know of a resource better suited to bolster our anticipation of eternity – and strengthen the believing heart in the process.

The book consists of brief daily readings – selections from beloved authors and preachers from the history of the church, Scripture, and hymns – wonderfully selected, enriching, and rewarding.

The title is drawn from the marvelous and beloved hymn, “Immanuel’s Land,” drawn from the writings of Samuel Rutherford, and Sharon James picks up and explores its anticipation well: “the dawn of heaven breaks!” Surely this is a needed and valuable devotional exercise that is too often neglected.

In his famous, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, Puritan pastor Richard Baxter encourages us to think daily about heaven, our everlasting rest. Sharon James includes his much-needed exhortation:

Go away into a private place, at a convenient time, and put aside other distractions. Look up towards heaven. Remember that your everlasting rest is there. Meditate on its wonder and reality. Rise from sense to faith, by comparing heavenly with earthly joys, until you are transformed from a forgetful sinner, and a lover of the world, to an ardent lover of God. Meditate on heaven until you are changed from a fearful coward to a resolved Christian. Meditate until your unfruitful sadness is turned to joy. Meditate until your heart is weaned away from earth to heaven until you are taken up with the delight of walking with God.

You will be as one who stands on the top of a high mountain looking down on the world below: fields, woods, cities, and towns will seem like little spots. In fact that is how insignificant all earthly things will now appear! The most powerful rulers will seem as grasshoppers; the busy, contentious, covetous world, will be like a heap of ants. You will not fear the threats of men. You will not be attracted by the honours of the world. Temptations will lose their strong appeal. Afflictions will seem less grievous. Every mercy will be more greatly appreciated. And, by God’s grace, it is for you to choose whether you live this blessed life or not!

The Dawn of Heaven Breaks is well-suited for every believer. These brief readings serve powerfully to shape our perspective with eternity in plain view. Perhaps especially appropriate for the aging, the dying, and the suffering, but a wonderful treasure for every believer.

What a delightful read this is. Devotional reading at its best.

Wayne Grudem says of this book:

This book by Sharon James helps us anticipate eternity and encourages us to tune our hearts to that blessed hope we have in Christ Jesus – for the present and the future. Each chapter is a selection containing: well-loved hymns (many penned in the contemplation of heaven); Bible verses (most of these having become dear to our hearts during our Christian walk); and extracts from the writings of godly men and women past and present. The mix is excellent and well balanced, with much to encourage us to seek all that is promised to the believer in this life and the ‘blessed hope of the coming of the dawn.’


Table of Contents

Anticipating heaven

‘I will raise them up at the last day’
‘Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away’
The Saints’ Everlasting Rest
Living in the light of eternity
‘It is well with my soul’
Absolute assurance

Times of illness and pain

God’s presence with his people in times of pain
God is our treasure
Physical healing is not always the will of God
‘O Joy, that seekest me through pain’
‘Set me free from my prison’
Suffering and glory
Outwardly wasting away — inwardly being renewed
God’s providence in all things
A patient heart
Illness and our spiritual life


The blessings in growing older
God’s faithfulness throughout life
The golden bowl is broken
Loneliness — and the unchanging friend
Exceeding great and precious promises
The triumph of faith
Prayer of an elderly Christian: ‘You are taking down my earthly tent with much tenderness and love’
‘Abide with me’
The loss of memory
My journey into Alzheimer’s disease
‘Our God, our help in ages past’
My resting place
Becoming more like Christ

Facing death

Absent from the body, present with the Lord
‘Underneath are the everlasting arms’
‘The Sun of righteousness… fills the whole hemisphere’
‘Yet will I fear no ill’
The prospect of heaven gives courage in the face of death
‘Alone with none but you, my God’
Crossing the river
The Lord will provide
‘Rock of Ages’
‘We will not fear’
‘Where, O death, is your sting?’
On facing death
‘Just as I am’
I do not fear death
A prisoner’s dying thoughts
Christ — our hope in death
‘For ever with the Lord’
A Passion hymn

And then… eternity

The coming of the Lord
The coming of the King
God will be with them
Judgement: the putting right of all wrongs
God’s gracious purpose for the whole cosmos
The biblical hope of bodily resurrection
Old Testament prophecies about the new heavens and earth
The glories of the renewed universe
Will we know each other in the new creation?
Continuity in the new creation
Service in the new creation
‘Then, Lord, shall I fully know’
Heaven, a world of love
‘The dawn of heaven breaks’

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Evangelical Press, 2007 | 153 pages

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