Now before you profile me as a "book nerd," let me say I don't like to read. Matter a fact, I'd about do anything more than reading. I wasn't a big reader growing up. My flesh hates it. So, why do I read? There are many things I didn't do right as a young man, and there are many more things my flesh and my spirit don't agree on. I have learned this, if you are going to succeed in life, you must be a reader!
According to Kaiser Family Foundation (http://www.kff.org/entmedia/entmedia012010nr.cfm) children spend 7 hours 38 minutes A DAY (53 hours a week) on T.V., video games, and computers. Compare this with a recent Nielsen study, children read books 25 minutes a day (just less than 3 hours a WEEK).
With Kindle's, IBooks, and digital newspapers and magazines, I understand (and participate in) that you can read digitally, but my point is we aren't reading books any more. If we removed from children books about Harry Potter, Vampires, and sorcery, I wonder how much time would be spent reading?
The old saying is true, "Readers are Leaders." I read because I want to serve the Lord more effectively. I read because I want to grow in knowledge. I read so that I understand my history and try not to repeat mistakes of the past and imitate the successes of my forefathers. I read so I can learn more about my Lord and His promises. Ultimately, I read because God thinks it is important.
Consider this, most scholars believe one of the oldest characters in the Bible is Job. We are not too distant from the creation of the world when most believe Job lived. Listen to his words before Gutenberg's printing press, the internet, or even scribes and scrolls:
"Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth... " Job 19:23-24aThe importance of writing things down that are important for others to read was a concept from the beginning of time. Listen to the Lord's words in Exodus 17:14:
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua..."Our Lord wanted things written down for future leaders to read. A neglect of reading has cost our families, churches, and nation the leaders that God has intended them to have. We must get back to reading.
You will find books talked about all throughout the Scriptures. Most every reference referring to the importance of writing down so that other generations can follow and read and learn of the great wisdom, promises, and acts of our God. God could have chosen many avenues to speak to us, His children, but He chose a Book, the Bible. This Book we are to study (2 Tim. 2:15).
In Heaven, there are books (Rev. 20:12). Our names as believers are written down in books. Obviously, God is more than capable of remembering who His children are, but He wrote it down in a book because books are consistently God's way of recording what is important and what should be remembered.
The Devil, as always, tries to take God's perfect plan and distort it. The Devil has used the power of books to destroy people's lives. In Acts 19:19 there were a great number of souls saved from a wicked lifestyle of curious arts and witchcraft and sorcery, and one of the first things they did after being saved was "brought their books together and burned them." (friendly reminder to see the best selling list of children's books today). Even believers get caught up in reading too much fiction. Racy novels filled with adultery and lusts sit on the counters of too many believing adults. Christian fiction books about murder, sorcery, and suspense are consistently top sellers at your local "Christian" book stores. Reading a good fiction book has it's place. I don't believe this is a sin at all when the story is one that does not violate God's Word. Just be sure your reading diet is not too heavy on the fiction.
Then, one has to be careful about reading the non-fiction materials that are classified as "Christian." 2 Thessalonians 2 warns about reading material that is not sound in doctrine:
"That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter..."Reading nonfiction "Christian" books that are not sound doctrinally can shake and trouble your mind and has led and is leading too many away from the truth. Many believe that no one is writing sound books any more and they just can't be found. This is a lie from Satan. Here are just a few sources where good solid, doctrinally sound books can be obtained:
- Challenge Press – www.baptist-books.com
- Particular Baptist Press – www.pbpress.org
- The Baptist Standard Bearer – www.standardbearer.org
- Bible Baptist Church Publications – www.baptistpublications.org
- Calvary Publishing – www.calvarypublishing.org
- The Multiplying Model – www.multiplyingmodel.com
Paul, when he was at the end of his life, when he knew "the time of his departure was at hand," made a last request for his last few days on this earth. His request? "The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." Paul's last requests for his last few days on earth was a cloak to keep his body warm, books to keep his mind sharp, and Scripture to keep his heart right.
Thanks for READING.