When I was in elementary school, my parents and teachers realized I was having difficulty reading. My parents contacted a local tutor and drove me to her home every week, where she patiently taught me to read. With her help I actually became a very good reader and developed my ability to recall what I have read, which I benefit from even to this day. I learned to enjoy some wonderful books with her help, especially a series about a boy detective who solved mysteries in his community and school.
Later in my life, one rainy summer day I was sitting in a coffee shop absorbed in reading about a far greater mystery from a collateral book I had received in one of our ministry’s classes. As I read “The Church: The Great Mystery Revealed,” which is chapter 10 of God’s Magnified Word, tears of joy flooded my heart because I understood for the first time some of what the great Apostle Paul had understood about the depth of God’s Word—the great mystery.
Have you ever thought about how different your life would be spiritually if you couldn’t read? Did you know that the knowledge of how to read was at one time almost lost? But God has met the needs of disciples in our day and time by preserving the knowledge of how to read and making this education available in a widespread way throughout the world. God has worked mightily to provide us with the text of the Bible, the education in how to read, and a ministry to teach us how to build our Biblical understanding when we do read the Bible.
Let’s investigate some of the importance of faithfully reading the Bible and some of what God has faithfully done for us so that we can read His Word. First, we will consider the importance of reading the Bible daily. Then, we’ll look at some history of the skill of reading itself and related events from as long as twelve hundred years ago that are still influencing nations around the world and contributing to our being able to read and teach the Bible today. Finally, we will see a bit of the joyous privilege we have to steward what God has given us by teaching others how to understand and apply the Word after they’ve read it.
We gain spiritual understanding, strength, and enjoyment as we faithfully read the Word and live it. In the Book of Ephesians is this remarkable truth.
Ephesians 3:3 and 4:
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge [understanding] in the mystery of [pertaining to] Christ).
Think of that! What a blessing to understand that which the Apostle Paul understood about the Mystery! Part of the great mystery is the revelation of “Christ in you,” the significance of which is so great that had the Devil known it, he would not have crucified the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 2:8). The Mystery is the revelation that fulfilled the Word of God (Colossians 1:25), and it is the truth concerning the magnificent power and life available to the Church because of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ.
Now, even in our century as we read the Church Epistles—which Paul wrote—we become knowledgeable of the same truths that were given to him. God’s heart for us is that we build our Biblical understanding by gaining a clear and accurate knowledge of what is written. Since we can only apply the Word of God that we know, reading God’s Word is vital to a fruitful, joyful walk of spiritual strength.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
God wants us to be filled with the knowledge of His will, increasing in that knowledge and applying what we know as we read His Word. God’s desire in our knowledgeable application of truth is “that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).
Spiritual strength and ability result from faithfully reading the Word with understanding.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.
To “eat them” is a figure of speech meaning that Jeremiah assimilated the Word of God and made it his own….
This is an excerpt from the July/August 2005 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2005 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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