Thought For Today; by David Ager.
“So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today” Proverbs 22:19
Being married to a librarian, I cannot properly do other than come out in support of books and reading. From the days when book reps would hand out freebies to help secure a deal, we acquired a linen shoulder bag proudly proclaiming “Books are my Bag”. I can often be seen using it; apart from being a very convenient (and eco-friendly) way of carrying things, I do also take it about out of conviction. It says what I believe.
People read books, of course, for a variety of reasons – and now in a variety of ways with online access, Kindles and so forth. (I do have to confess, though, that I am slightly old-fashioned in the matter of reading and do prefer to have something I can hold in my hand, flicking the pages back and forth – as when I need to remind myself of how a certain character came into the story or what points one and two of a list of five were when I have begun to lose the thread.)
One of the major reasons for reading is to acquire knowledge and so equip ourselves to find our way in the world with a certain independence. The more we know, the more proficient we can be in the exercise of our field of work, pursuing our chosen hobby, contributing to conversations on the state of the world and so on.
I was struck though by a verse in the book of Proverbs that I have only recently come across. The anonymous wise teacher is urging that we pay attention to her sayings, to “keep them in our hearts” and “have them ready on our lips”. It was the reason for doing this that most caught my attention: to engender trust in the Lord. In other words, to lead us to a greater not lesser dependence.
Reading the Bible is something that is fundamental to our discipleship of Christ. When we meet for worship together there is provision for at least two readings, if not three, and we are also encouraged to follow a pattern of personal daily Bible reading. While this should extend our knowledge and make us more fruitful in our walk with Christ, it should not make us more independent. Rather, the more we read, the more we should recognise how dependent we are on Jesus to work in and through us as we go about our daily business.
So, go on reading, but go on trusting – especially in these challenging times.
“Enable us, Father, to respond to the grace of your Word in the spirit of loving obedience that our wills may submit to your perfect will and our lives become more and more conformed to the image of Jesus.”