I don’t know about you, but I love books! Not all books, of course. There are many books worth nothing more than what you could sell them for as packing material. But there are countless ones worth a great deal, and not just in dollars and cents. Quite a few fall into the “priceless” category. There are several different formats of reading material other than bound books, such as e-books, magazines, tracts, booklets, et cetera. Take your pick!
The ability to read and comprehend is one of our greatest gifts from God. It affects not only life in this world, but in the next as well.
One of my fondest memories is that of my mother reading to me. I don’t remember any of the titles she read, just that she wanted me to know how to read and enjoy it and benefit from it. We didn’t have a huge collection of reading material as I grew up. I do remember a set of Collier’s Encyclopedia. I read and re-read Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and Daniel Defoe' "Robinson Crusoe" was a favorite. The downtown Carnegie Library was almost a second home when the time came to write term papers.
I’m a sucker for a good book sale, especially if it has religious books available. These are the most important volumes I have, since they help in my understanding of my Bible. Several have been given to me, for which I’m grateful.
There are two reasons I’m sharing all this personal information with you about my love for reading.
First, I want to encourage you to read good material that will help you to grow as a person. I know I’m “preaching to the choir” with many of you, since you already understand the importance of reading as well or better than I do. We certainly shouldn’t blindly accept everything we read. Authors have been known to be inaccurate with “facts” and their personal opinions.
Second, we all need encouragement to read and study the word of God as much as we can. Jesus said to some who criticized his disciples, “Have you not read what David did....” (Matthew 12:3; Mark 2:25; Luke 6:3). Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, “When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ” (4:3). In a similar passage, the apostle said, “when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16).
Recall that the Law of Moses, the first five books of the Old Testament, were intended by God to be read to and by the Israelite people.
Finally, I sincere believe it would be difficult to overdo this practice of reading, as the opening words of Psalm 1 make clear: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."
Thanks for reading today’s column!