What Are You Reading?

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What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

I Timothy 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

We want to focus on verse 13 in today’s devotional.

Ecclesiastics 12:12  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Solomon was directed by God to write these words. It was true in his day that there was no end of making many books. We noted in an earlier devotional that the library in Alexandria had some 700,000 volumes back in Paul’s day. There are many books on the market, but most of the books are not worth the paper they are written on.
God directed Paul to encourage Timothy to give attendance to reading. We can learn many things through good reading material. There is a book, that has been around for a number of years now, that was brought to my attention recently. The title of the book is “Jesus Calling”. The book is written by a woman named Sarah Young. It is interesting to note how quickly and how easily people are drawn to different books. I suppose the title can be enticing to some. There are a number of problems with this book. We need to give attendance to reading, but if we notice Paul’s words in I Timothy 4:12, the phrase is connected to two other defining words: exhortation and doctrine.
The word translated as “exhortation” means “admonition and encouragement”. Admonition is authoritative counsel or warning. Doctrine refers to teaching that is right. Teaching that is right is founded in God’s Word.
The main gross error in the book “Jesus Calling” is that the writer suggests to the readers that Jesus was talking directly to her. Thus she is suggesting that the Scriptures are not complete. God warns several times in the Scriptures against adding to or taking away from His Word. Revelation 22:21 is the last Word that God gave to man.
Some have argued that we should not put God in a box. The fact is that God decided that He was going to limit His communication with man with that final verse. There is more than enough Scripture within the bounds that God established as His Word. We will never master that all in this life. We do not need any more Scripture.
It is interesting how many people are interested in writings other than the Bible. They again prove God right when He directed the apostle Paul to write:

II Timothy 4:1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Many people want their ears scratched. Many people believe they know better than God. They refuse to humble themselves and submit to God’s Word, but they are ready for some “new” thing. No true child of God should entertain reading this book. We need to read. We need to read good books. Good books are books that build upon God’s Word, not seeking to add to God’s Word.
Sarah Young’s method of writing this book smacks of occultic practices. She claims to sit with pen in hand and writes down whatever she “receives”. In the occult a person is encouraged to not think critically, but just open themselves up to whatever comes to mind.
Sarah Young is not a God appointed apostle. God chose 40 different holy men to write the Scriptures. God chose them to give every generation after that time access to His Word. Those men were holy men. They were not looking for just anything to write. They were men who knew the Lord and who were led by Him to write the Scriptures.
There have been many writings made that claim to be Scriptures. The Catholics have their apocrypha. The Mormons have the writings of Joseph Smith. The Seventh Day Adventists have Mary Ellen White’s writings. The Charismatics have their many false prophets. There are many people who want something other than what the Bible has to say.
Sarah Young encourages others to listen to what Jesus tells them and write it down. She does not need to directly say that, but she encourages that by what she has written.
God directed the apostle Paul to warn that there are many false Jesus’. There is only one true Jesus. The true Jesus is identified by and in the Word of God. The many false Jesus’ try to undermine what the true Jesus said. The false Jesus’ are tools of the devil.
The Bible warns that in the last days there will be a “falling away”. There will be an increase in people who will be looking for something other than what God says. It is true that those who follow false religion will find their religious pursuit empty. The heart of man desires truth. Many ignore God’s drawing all together. Some listen in part, but they settle for any of the many false religions out there. Sarah Young is one of those who is seeking for something more, but has thus far rejected God’s drawing in her heart and life. She like many others needs to get into a good church and she needs to submit to God’s Word and be saved and then she will be content to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t settle for some fraudulent writings. Read good material. Start with God’s Word. Get saved and then ask your pastor to help you find good reading material. Read the Word of God and be blessed. Trust in the true Jesus.
Pastor Bartel

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