Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
May 19, 2013
Tasty morsels of truth for folks who never read a book
Have you read any good books lately? This was a question I posed to a young man. His reply stunned me: “No, I can’t remember the last time I read a book. I don’t have time to read.”
I enjoy reading. I like books. I got hooked on books when I was a boy. Tarzan and the Rover Boys were some of my early heroes. I have been reading books all my life.
My mother was wise. She did not push me to read the Bible when I was a boy. Instead she got me interested in a book of Bible stories. Reading about David and Goliath and Daniel in the lion’s den stirred my interest in the Bible. Eventually I became fascinated with the wonderful stories of Jesus.
But back to my young friend who never reads a book. His comment prompted me to look into matter. I discovered that his disdain for books is not uncommon. Millions of literate people never read a book.
A survey in England reveals that two in five Britons have never read a book. Other surveys report that one-third of high school graduates never read another book after graduation. And consider this: 42 per cent of college graduates never read another book!
Reflecting on this I wondered if some of the readers of this column are among those who never read books. So with that in mind I decided to share a few tasty morsels of truth from some good books in the hope that these scraps of wisdom might stimulate non-readers to repent and read.
“I walked out of that hospital room a new man. The Lord Christ had entered in. The transformation was as dramatic as I could have ever imagined. There is no other way to describe it. From then on, my longings, my hopes, my dreams, and my every effort have been to live for Him who rescued me, to study for Him who gave me this mind, to serve Him who fashioned my will, and to speak for Him who gave me a voice.” – Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods)
“I do not know what God will do with you and me, but I know this: When we stand before our Lord one day, our lives will not be without meaning. ‘No one is without a divinely appointed task,’ John Ruskin said, ‘and the divine means for getting it done.’” – Steve Farrar (Finishing Strong)
“He that is moved neither by the praise nor the censure of men enjoys great tranquility of heart.” – Thomas A Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him.” – Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
“If you are ‘in Christ’ you’re ‘in life;’ if you are ‘out of Christ’ you’re ‘out of life, here and now, and hereafter.’” – E. Stanley Jones (In Christ)
“If we fall down – and we will fall down – we get up and seek to obey again. We are forming the habit of obedience, and all habits begin with plenty of slips and falls and false starts. We did not learn to walk overnight. Or to play the piano. And we do not condemn ourselves unduly when we stub our toe or play a wrong note, do we? We must not condemn ourselves unduly in the spiritual life either.” – Richard Foster (Prayer)
“I would plead strongly with those whose churches have not yet done so to regard all the baptized, including children, as rightful recipients of Communion. Baptism is the way into the family; the Eucharist is the family meal.” – Tom Wright (The Meal Jesus Gave Us)
“A Christian society is made up of men and women whose powers in the ministry are largely unused because they are unsuspected. The Christian coach will be one who is more concerned, therefore, in developing others than in enhancing his own prestige.” – Elton Trueblood (The Incendiary Fellowship)
“Christianity is the only religious faith that says that God himself actually suffered, actually cried out in suffering. Now what good is that? To Jesus’ followers assembled around the cross, it certainly seemed senseless; that there was no good in it at all. But in fact they came to realize that Jesus’ suffering was of immense good to them, as can we. Why? Because they would eventually see that they had been looking right at the greatest act of God’s love, power and justice in history. God came into the world and suffered and died on the cross in order to save us. It is the ultimate proof of his love for us.” – Timothy Keller (King’s Cross)
“Basically there are two kinds of people: people who choose joy and people who don’t. People who choose joy pay no attention to what day of the week it is. . . or how old they are . . . or what level of pain they are in. They have deliberately decided to laugh again because they have chosen joy. People who do not choose joy miss the relief laughter can bring. And because they do not, they cannot. And because they can’t, they won’t.” – Charles Swindoll (Laugh Again)
May the Creator of heaven and earth motivate you to pick up a good book and, inspired by these tasty morsels, begin to enjoy the feast that reading can provide! + + +