If you know me well, you probably already know this, but I really don’t like to read. It’s sad to say, but it seems and feels like work to me. Obviously, I can read, do read, and greatly benefit from reading. However all of that being said, I still don’t like it. I do love the results. Reading God’s Word everyday purifies my sinful heart, clarifies my naturally distorted perspective, and powerfully motivates obedience and service. Without it I would be overwhelmed by my sin and dead in the water, for sure.
This past week or so, I’ve been reading 3 different books to help prepare for a graduate course I will be teaching in June. They are books I have known I should read for a while, but now this class provided sufficient motivation to get it done. For me, a book serves me well when it informs me, corrects me, encourages me, or even irritates me. It’s not that I’m looking for more irritation in life, but the fact is the irritation can really help clarify my thoughts and motivate further study. These books I’ve read have served me in all of these ways.
A quote that was included in one of the books was particularly “moving” for me. Kurt Gebhards in the book “Evangelism: How to Share the Gospel Faithfully” by John MacArthur (and others), writes about our responsibility and opportunity in sharing the gospel with our children. On page 207 he quotes J. C. Ryle as saying, “Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you love them, think often of their souls. No interest should weigh with you so much as their eternal interests. No part of them should be so dear as the part which will never die. The world, with all its glory, shall pass away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a scroll; the sun shall cease to shine. But the spirit which dwells in those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all, and whether in happiness or misery (to speak as a man) will depend on you.” These words encouraged me.
This coming Lord’s Day will be our next mission’s emphasis Sunday. Pastor Troy will be preaching in the morning service and showing a video about new frontiers of evangelism in Moslem countries in the evening service. It’s a day we set aside to emphasize our opportunity to invest in world evangelism through Grace Giving. So pray about what God would have you invest! See you Sunday, Lord willing.