More than five centuries ago, Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, revolutionized the way books were made by creating a system of movable type: Load tiny metal letters into a tray, ink the type, and press the tray of letters down onto a sheet of paper. For five hundred years, books changed very little: pages sandwiched between front and back covers. That was until electronic (digital) books became available. Not only would Gutenberg be dumbstruck at the sight of modern printing presses, he would be even more shocked at how books are distributed digitally. Today books and magazines are easy to store and access. You can take hundreds of books with you, stored in your digital reading device, and read them anytime, anywhere.
Reading was on the mind of Dr. Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University in the early 1900s. It was his opinion that one could get an excellent education by spending 15 minutes a day reading from a collection of books that would fit on a five-foot-long shelf. A book publisher challenged him to make good on his idea by selecting the classic works of literature—and the Harvard Classics was born: a 51-volume anthology of the world’s greatest works of literature.
Reading 15 minutes per day to be exposed to some of the world’s greatest minds could be valuable. But how much more valuable might that 15 minutes per day be if we were exposed to the greatest mind in the universe, God Himself? What if we spent 15 minutes daily reading 66 books, all inspired by God, packaged in one volume that will fit on a two-inch-wide shelf (or digital reading device)?
That’s what we get when we read the Bible. The Harvard Classics may be valuable for exposing us to great minds that were seeking truth. But God’s Classics, the 66 books of the Bible, are indispensable. Jesus Christ didn’t say, “I am seeking the truth.” He said, “I am the truth!” (John 14:6)
The Greatest Book
Most folks are reading more today than they ever have. The question is not, “Are we reading?” but “What are we reading?” The Internet has become a magnet for the eyeballs of humanity—we can spend an hour reading the news, sports information, self-help advice, celebrity gossip, and even edifying content before we know it. Our reading time can slip away like sand in an hourglass before we’ve read a single word of The Truth—the book God gave us to guide us through this life.
What priority does Bible reading have in your daily reading schedule? The answer could be a matter of spiritual life or death. Why? Because the Bible is a living book. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
In all of creation, life begets life. It takes a living book to sustain a living, spiritual person. It takes a book written by the Spirit of God to connect with the spirit of man. It takes a book of absolute, unchanging truth to serve as a standard by which other so-called truths can be evaluated.
If you find yourself reading more, but growing less, perhaps you should ask whether God’s Word is getting the priority in your reading life.
Here are 10 reasons why we need to get into the Good Book:
•The Bible will reveal who you are (Hebrews 4:12) and who you need to become (2 Timothy 3:16).
•The Bible is the most trustworthy book on earth, written by God through human authors (2 Peter 1:20-21).
•The Bible will provide guidance for your daily life (Psalm 119:105).
•The Bible will keep you from sinning (Psalm 119:11).
•The Bible can create faith in your heart to meet a specific need (Romans 10:17).
•The Bible can lead us to salvation in Christ (2 Timothy 3:15).
•The Bible is a weapon against the lies of Satan (Ephesians 6:17).
•The Bible accomplishes the purposes for which it was given (Isaiah 55:11).
•The Bible’s truths will endure forever (Isaiah 40:8).
•The Bible’s truths are perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, and righteous (Psalm 19:7-9).
Make 2016 the year in which you read God’s Word more faithfully and consistently than you ever have before. This time next year, you’ll be glad you did.
In 1828, a family named Hermès settled in France and opened a harness shop in Paris. Soon they were selling upscale products to European noblemen, and they haven’t stopped. Today you can still buy expensive, high-quality Hermès products worldwide.
Hermès closed its stores in America for three days a few years ago and flew their employees to an upscale hotel in Princeton. Motivational speakers were there to inspire and reinvigorate the company’s sales force. Hermès recognized that joyless employees wouldn’t be successful selling $2,300 bracelets. They needed motivators to fire up their enthusiasm.
Many companies rely on inspirational conferences to rekindle enthusiasm, enhance attitudes, and restore focus to employees. But human advice only goes so far. To really find spiritual focus, sit at the feet of Jesus. Nothing equals the motivation He gives for victorious living, and no one can equal His insight. Best of all, we can arrange a personal meeting every day.Soaking in the World
In recent years, the frequency of hearing accounts of people, cars, or even houses suddenly falling into a large hole as the earth collapsed beneath them has risen. These events are caused by giant sinkholes.
Sinkholes are caused by water saturation. In some cases, underground water pipes burst or leak, causing unseen erosion. In other cases, the culprit is rainwater or underground springs. What’s shocking is the suddenness of the collapse. On the surface, everything looks fine. But beneath the surface, the integrity of the earth has been compromised. When least expected, a sinkhole suddenly forms and the ground collapses.Watering Down the Bible
Have you ever tasted something that has obviously been watered down? Even the finest coffee or tea loses some of its flavor when it is diluted with too much water. A watered down message can lose its potency as well. In the world today, there is an attempt by some to water down the Word of God in an attempt to make it more palatable to the changing morals and attitudes of our culture. But the Bible doesn’t conform its message to public opinion polls. It doesn’t change its doctrines in response to societal consensus. It should never be watered down.
God’s Word is eternal—ever old, ever new, and ever sure. The Bible is as venerable as, “Thus says the Lord,” and as contemporary as, “The Last Days.” It spans the ages, being ageless. We can count on it in every condition: in sickness, in health, in poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth.In a world of lies, His Word is truth. In a world of opinions, His Word is accurate down to the last jot and tittle.
Because God is eternal, His Word is established in the heavens. Because He cannot fail, His Word cannot be broken. Because He is unchanging, His Word is certain. Heaven and earth may pass away, but the Scripture will endure forever.
 George Keith, “How Firm a Foundation,” An American Church Hymnal (Nashville: John T. Benson Publishing Company, 1937).
If you’ve ever been able to help someone in need, then you know the truth of Jesus’ words: “It is better to give than to receive.” Dr. David Jeremiah continues his focus on stewardship by sharing some tools and tips for becoming an enthusiastic giver, so you can enjoy the many blessings that result.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah