Reading is for our good. We all know that it is true, but many of us think of it the same way we do vegetables. We know we must have some, so we eat the bare minimum, but we certainly do not enjoy it. When someone recommends a book to us we know that it probably would be quite beneficial if we read it, but still it seems like too much effort. It’s easier to just sit on the couch and watch some TV and it is easy to think it’s not that big of a deal if we don’t read. What we are forgetting is that there is much that we don’t know and there is much that we still need to know. This is especially true when it comes to the things of God. None of us know enough about God! None of us know enough about prayer, about trusting Him, about how we are to live holy lives. The truth is we all have a long way to go, but we have not been left in the dark. God has revealed himself to us. He makes himself known through a book, the Good Book.
The Bible, God’s Word, Scripture, the Sacred Writings, the Sword of the Spirit, the Roadmap for Life, the Ultimate Instruction Manual, the Lamp to my Feet and the Light to my Path.
We’ve given it lots of titles and it has continued to be the best selling book of all-time yet many of our copies remain dusty on the shelf. God has spoken and His Words been written down that we might benefit from it. Have you been reading the Bible regularly? If not you’ve been missing out on the very words of God. He breathed it out. Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3 said “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Have you been trying to live without the sustenance of the Word of God? Have you been starving yourself and only tasting scripture on Sunday morning? Even if you read no other book this year, you need to read the Bible. You might not make it all the way through, but you do need to make a regular practice of reading the Scripture.
We have incredible access to the Bible. Are you aware of that of the world’s 6,800+ languages only 513 have a copy of the entire Bible (that is around 6.6%). Most of us on the other hand own multiple copies. We can read it on our phone, we can look it up on the web. We can listen to audio versions. We have multiple translations to choose from appropriate to our reading level. We have the freedom to read it. We have the time to read it, yet sadly many of us simply don’t read it, or if we do, we read such a small amount that it is quickly overrun by all the other information that flows into our minds each day. Reading the Bible is an incredible privilege and responsibility. Plainly put, we are poor stewards of this incredible access to God’s Word if we do not make regular use of it. I cannot encourage you strongly enough, Go read the Bible! Join with the author of Psalm 119 and say, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:97,103.
Your pastors want to encourage you to read some really good books this year. We want to recommend books that will help you grow in your Christian maturity and help you be transformed into the likeness of Christ by the renewing of your mind. We are reading them as well and want to discuss them with you. Of course, the primary book we want everyone to read is the Bible, but then in addition to that we want to recommend two other small books for you to read this year. You can do it.