A Guide For All Time

Posted on: April 5th, 2015

The publishing business is a multibillion dollar a year industry with no signs of slowing down. It is us who make the business successful and keep it going by simply reading. We read for pleasure, we read to learn and grow, and we read because we want to or when someone makes us. Reading lets us visit other places without the travel. It gives us insight to the author’s thoughts and feelings we would never know without spending a little time with his words.

There was a time when books were hard to come by and most could not afford them. However, with mass production, libraries, and now the Internet this has changed for many people. You can still buy hard copies of books, magazines, and newspapers or you can e-purchase them. Many still cannot afford books, and this is sad, but it is more affordable today than a few years ago.

If I speak thirty minutes to an audience, chances are in an hour or two they will forget much of what I said. It is doubtful they would be able to quote my words. In a day or two many would not even be able to say what I talked about. Here is the value of written words, they can remain with us and they do a better job of keeping the author’s thoughts. The original message is useful to others who have the same needs or wants. This is what God did when inspired men penned the Bible, especially the New Testament. (Col. 4:16)

All books are not equal nor do they have the same value to an audience. A book’s worth to me depends on several issues. For example, if I am a little down then a good joke or comic book might just be what I need. I sure do not want to read something too serious or depressing. If I need to learn math I am not going to turn to an English book. So a book’s value has to do with how important and relevant the information is to me.

Whether I realize it or not, no book is more critical to my spiritual needs than the Bible. (2 Peter 1:2-4) It tells me about God, why I am here, and that I am a sinner. It also states what I need to do to get forgiveness and to enjoy God’s blessings. (Acts 2:38-42)

Have you ever read something only to question the information, or to wonder if the author knows what he is talking about? If you do not have confidence in the author and his words, then what he says means nothing to you. Even if he is right, it does not matter because you doubt him.

Many people dismiss the Bible because they do not believe God. They doubt Him, or at least His Word, and so the Bible is meaningless to them. It makes no difference what Scripture says or teaches. Iif it does not suit their needs and wants they throw it away. (John 5:39-47) Paul said God gave Scripture so the “man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Paul also wrote about the gospel being “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 1:16-17)

The Bible stands above every other book in all that is important. It answers the questions of life and tells us how to live to get the most from our time. God’s Word has stood the test of time and overcomes the critics who challenge its claims. No wonder it is the best-selling book of all-time with an estimated six billion sold since 1815. It has more copies in circulation today than any other book and each year it out sells all other books.

Read what you will to learn and be entertained, but never put down the Bible for too long. It is the book you can read time and again, over and over, and still learn more and grow wiser. Scriptures teach us how to love more and with deeper meaning. (1 John) They want us to forgive those who sin against us and show charity to those less fortunate. (Matt. 18:21-35) The Bible encourages us to add all of the best qualities to life and to shun all of the worst. (Gal. 5:19-23) It is a message we never outgrow because our needs remain the same and the Bible supplies what we need.

Terry Starling