It’s Worth A Read!
Rom. 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.
Paul was reminding his readers that spending time in the Scriptures was important! Reading and learning from the past informs the present and the future. The past serves as a road-map for the future when we realize that what has been written has been left to us for instruction.
It is in reading the word that the Word is revealed to us and this is how we receive encouragement and hope. We are blessed by the Word of God which is living and breathing and actively engaged in changing our lives. The result is hope in the midst of discouragement. It’s worth a read!
The Bible is something that most of us tend to take for granted. It’s something that we’ve had around us for all of our lives and so we fail to realize how blessed we are to be able to put our hands on the word on a daily basis and learn from it and soak it in! Sadly, because we take it for granted we don’t take the time to learn and glean from the word in ways that could be transformational.
If the Bible were a new book today there would probably be someone doing an infomercial about it. Why? For the very same reasons that Paul has identified above.
Who wouldn’t want to have access to a hand-book of instructions on how to live our lives? Everyone is looking for this kind of information and searching for the next best-seller, or motivational speaker. What is the answer? It’s in the book!
And who isn’t looking for hope these days? And yet the scriptures provide us with a road-map for living that does provide hope, a hope for the here and now and eternal hope. It is in the word that we find great encouragement for life and living.
But maybe it’s that one word that throws us off — “steadfastness.” In that word we find our sense of responsibility in all of this — we are to be steadfast. We are to be the ones who will spend time opening the book and reading it. We will never know anything about the former days or the things written for our instruction if we don’t exercise self-discipline by spending time reading and learning. Notice, it takes both reading and learning, reading with a sense and/or desire to learn from what has been written, and learning brings with it an expectation of application. We are to apply what we learn to our lives and in this way it is we who are transformed and through this transformation we are encouraged and have hope.
The things written in the former days were written for a purpose — to inform our lives. So take the time to open the book, be steadfast, and find hope — it really is worth a read.
Lord, thank you for all that sacrificed to provide us with your word. Amen.