Blessings That Come From Reading

June 30, 2012

Blessings That Come From Reading

            Revelation 1:3 says “Blessed is he that readeth.” In its immediate context, the promise applies to those who read the book of Revelation, but there are a great number of good results that come from reading.  Not knowing how to read is a great hindrance.  That’s why schools need to put great stress on learning how to read.  The rest of a child’s education depends on his ability to read.

It’s hard for me to understand one who says, “I don’t like to read.” It’s about the same as saying,  “I have no interest in learning anything.” Perhaps it would be a little easier to understand one who says, “I don’t like to study.” Studying takes a little more mental effort.  It demands that we seek out information and categorize it.

It takes effort to learn how to read.  It goes slow if we have to learn how to pronounce words and look up their meaning.  As you build vocabulary, reading gets easier.  It takes discipline to spend time reading.  The more we read, the easier and more enjoyable it gets.

I don’t know what hinders you from reading, but I want to challenge you to do all you can to gain the victory.  If you don’t read you are going to find yourself at a low level of intelligence.  It has been said “knowledge is power.” I know there are those who can honestly say, “I have a college degree, but I can’t find a job.” That may be, but you’ll find one much sooner if you have knowledge and something to offer.

During what was called the “dark ages” it didn’t matter much the amount of knowledge one had.  He just needed to know a few basic things like how to plant a few seeds and cultivate the plants; and how to build a humble shack of a house and maintain it so as to shelter himself and his family from the elements.    The years of enlightenment came after that.  John Guttenburg (1400-1468) invented the printing press and books began to multiply.  Everyone wanted to learn to read.  May God have mercy on us and not let us slip back to the miserable existence of the people in the dark ages.  He who doesn’t know how to read or he who knows how but doesn’t read is little better than the people in the dark ages. There is so much to learn and, thanks to God, it’s accessible to us if we will only read.

There are various types of literature available for believers.  Among them are Christian novels, biographies, autobiographies, books on moral issues, Bible doctrine, commentaries and church history.  The novels are of the least value for acquiring knowledge.  They are more entertaining and may help you in developing reading skills and building vocabulary.  By reading biographies, autobiographies and church history we learn how others have reacted to life situations.

In the Apostle Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-10 we note that he mentioned twice his desire that the Colossian Christians increase in knowledge.  For us, it’s much easier to increase in knowledge than it was for the Colossian Christians.  We can have our own Bible as well as access to Christian literature.  For the believer, the most beneficial knowledge is that which we learn from reading the Bible.  We can facilitate our Bible reading with Bible study materials and commentaries.

Perhaps the greatest hindrance to reading for the modern Christian is the lack of discipline.  Paul’s advice to young Timothy was “Give attention to reading.” I Timothy 4:13 says “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”  It’s so easy to be occupied by watching television.  It gives you entertainment, but little knowledge.  With a little discretion one can gain some Bible knowledge by listening to Christian radio.  It takes discipline to set other things aside and read.  You may need to seek out a quiet place, if possible, where you can read.

Christians are blessed with an abundant source of good reading material.  If you are limited economically, you can take advantage of the library at your church, if there is one.  I have purchased most of the books in my library at second hand stores.  One needs to use discretion in doing that because many teach false doctrine.  The same is true of most Christian book stores.  In our day there are also a vast number of electronic books (e-books) that can either be read on your computer or with an electronic reader.  They are much cheaper than hard copies; some are even free.

If you are a new Christian and aren’t sure which books are reputable, it would be wise to consult with your pastor.  Don’t be left behind by being negligent in reading.  Another suggestion is that you get a little note book and keep a record of the books you have read.  Number them and start a new list at the beginning of each new year.  Give attention to reading so that you will “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).


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