Give Attendance to ReadingBro. David Chancellor
6/15/2003 6:00 PM
1 Timothy 4:13
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
The ability to read is a quality of real value to one who would serve God. Buddy Robinson didnt know how to read when he got saved, but it wasnt long until he had a deep desire to read the word of God. Even before getting saved, there is a desire in the heart to read the word and see what it says. God draws through his word. Paul encouraged Timothy to read the Old Testament scriptures. In those days it was considered VERY important to read the word of God.
But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
Paul knew what he was speaking of when he said this. Each year in the synagogue, they read through the law. Paul spoke to those who knew what the law and the prophets said. We want, in our services, to have an emphasis on the word of God. This is why we read along during the service. Read it like it reads. Dont just read the word, read it to get the point. Punctuation is there for a reason. It helps us to understand what is being said, and to get the thought that is included. We want to hear what is in there. It helps sometimes to hear it read out loud, expressively. When we read, were trying to take the word of God and make it a part of us. Every time these hard some of the law, and they grew up knowing it. Those that grow up in church know what the Bible says, because theyve heard it. This doesnt mean it shouldnt be read personally, but it means that it has been heard. We read to make it a part of us.
And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
The king was supposed to read the word of God. We would do well to get our leaders to read and understand it. We might value the word of God more if we had to do what he did. The king had to write out his own copy of the scriptures. Weve read about how in communist Russia, if the saints would have a Bible, they went about it this way, also. The king was then to read the scriptures every day of his life. This doesnt leave any days out. Why read every day? To have a reverence for God and to find out what God would have us to do, so we can then do it. We should read to find Gods purpose for our lives. Read the word seeking to apply it to your life. Dont read it to apply it to someone else. See what God has in it for you to do. The Bible will help to keep us in our place. It will help us to see where were at, and how things are with us.
People today try to elevate themselves. They seek positions and titles to stand out above the rest. Pride has been the downfall of many a man. One example of this was Saul. He offered sacrifice when he wasnt supposed to. He got out of his place. He took his eyes off of the word of God. The word of God will keep us in our place. Stay in the place that God puts you in. Moses let these know that if the king didnt keep his nose in the word of God, that he would fail. Just reading through it isnt enough. We want to get something out of it and increase in knowledge. Sometimes you can get something out of a few verses, and sometimes you have read longer.
Grammar is important so that you can understand the meaning. Read it like it is. Context will help us to understand what is being said. Paragraph markings and pronunciation markings are there to help us understand it. These are there to help us really get what it has to say. If the king understood the word of God, he could lead the people right. If not, there was trouble down the road.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
This one was trying to see if Christ knew the word of God and what it said. Of course, he knew. Not only did he know the author, but he was there when they had it read in the synagogue. Jesus answer was, Youve read the word, what does it say? When people ask us, the answer might be, Have you read the Bible yet? The answers are found in the Bible. When you know the answer, do it. People get in trouble when they try to justify themselves. Its important how we read and how we apply what we read. Are we reading it for someone other than ourselves? What do we read it for? Do we read it for what it says to us? Its important how we read. Do we read it looking to support our traditions? Read it with this in mind, What does this say? There are parts we may have to read and study to really know what it says and to understand it correctly. When it comes to interpretation, we should be concerned that we get the right one and not misapply the Word. Other things might help us (concordances, commentaries, etc.) but it always comes back to the Bible and what it says. We want to get out of it what is there for our souls.
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
God was speaking to Joshua. He wanted him to have courage to keep the law. Joshua failed once by making a pact with the Gibeonites. They didnt prosper in that one. We need to take and really hang on to what God has to say. Stick with what God says. It wont always make you popular, but its how it should be.
There is always something to chew on or meditate on with the word of God. Keep it in your mind. Think on it a while. Work through it until it becomes a part of you. Chew it until you get the good out of it. Keep taking in the word of God. Theres plenty for us to read and learn. Read in both the old and the new.
If you attempt exhortation and doctrine without reading, youre building a weak foundation. We live where the word of God is readily available. Get it and read it. Its important. We need the leadership of God in our lives. Pay attention to what youre reading, how you are reading it, and what it says. Understand the words and get the meaning.