2000-11- 13 - By The Book
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
I love to read. On a typical day I read between 5-6 hours. I shoot for eight hours, but I usually find that I max out at 5-6 hours. It is all my pea brain can handle. However, the fact that I read at all makes me an anomaly in our culture. And since my wife works in television I can say without prejudice, we really are a TV brainwashed culture.
Currently I am reading a book called "English Worthies," which I have mentioned before; "The Original Secession Magazine of 1863;" "Cromwell's Army: A History of the English Soldier From 1642-1660;" Oliver Heywood's Autobiography" (who wrote, what I consider, the best book ever penned by human hands, "Heart Treasure"); and a few old sermons. I am waiting for John Owen's treatise on Perseverance of the Saints, published in 1654, to come from England. I intend to devour it.
Books become my friends. They instruct me. I have never been insulted by a book. When I open them up, they are never tired, and always willing to let me interact with them. If I am ignorant as to their contents, they do not laugh at me. I have never heard a hard word, or an angry comment from a book. And I am convinced that any lover of truth, happiness, or knowledge will agree with me that they are also a lover of books.
I used to date a girl who wondered why I never read the classics like Homer, Aristotle, Shakespeare, or Ovid. She also wondered why I ignored modern works such as the writings of Charles Dickens, Tom Clancy, or Mark Twain. I just have never had time for them, honestly. I need grace in my heart, and understanding in my head, before I need entertainment. She never figured this out, and I am not sure why.
Here is what I have learned in all my reading (15 years or so). The Bible is a book without match. There is simply no book like it. I read about 4-6 chapters of the Bible a day. It never gets dull. Sometimes I use a Bible reading calendar, sometimes I use M'Cheyne's system, sometimes I use my own invented system. But one thing I always do is read the Bible. It is like calling out for a lifeline. It is new every morning. I can read a chapter that is almost memorized, and yet still, something will sneak up on me, and jump out at me. There is always something, in my daily Bible readings, that I needed that day.
I don't really know how everyone on this devotional list feels about the Bible. I get the feeling that many of you treasure the Word of God. And that is my punch line today. You should treasure the Bible. My fear, in writing devotionals, has always been that some might fall into the trap of reading these instead of Scripture. This would be a great tragedy. There is no substitute for a daily reading of the Word of God. And that is the most important thing I have learned in all my reading … there is no book like the Bible. I encourage you to find it to be the same if you have not already.
Soli Deo Gloria,