Posted by: Rex Boyles | November 19, 2007

“I’ve been reading … “

Forty-two (42) days ago, last Wednesday, Tim began his new life. (Read previous blog: “It’s about time.”) He confessed his faith in Jesus to a small group of men, a band of brothers – prodigals come home, and was baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins. 

He is making the most of his new life. He has “reconciled” with his daughter and with his ex-father-in-law . He has even invited friends and other family members to meet his new family in God. In these six weeks he has been, like the first Christian, “devoted to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer”. 

The reason I want you to know a little bit about him is so that I can tell you what he taught me …  taught his brothers last Wednesday night. (A group of our men meet “after hours” for some hardcore Bible study. No matter how tired they are … a dozen or more men commit a minimum of two hours to studying and learning God’s Word.)

Well, last week we were studying Genesis 6-9, about Noah and the Flood. To be more accurate – we were studying God, as He reveals Himself through His grief over sin … His “favor” toward faith … His wrath in judgment … His love through promises. As we read each verse – seeking to understand “the ways of God” – someone noticed (as all curious students will) the phrase: “clean and unclean” animals. “What does that mean?” (Remember, most of these guys are just beginning their journey of faith.) But before I could begin my explanation about the Law of Moses and the distinctions made between animals that could/should be eaten or sacrificed … Tim (42 day old Christian) spoke – almost as if he was thinking out loud – “…that’s talking about cloven hooves and chewing cud …”. He all but quoted the instructions regarding clean and unclean animals recorded in Exodus and Leviticus.

I stopped … looked at Tim … said, “That is exactly right!” I was amazed – as were the rest of the guys. It wasn’t that I was surprised that Tim would speak up, because he is eager to learn; so he asks serious questions and makes insightful comments, regularly. But to know such a detail – buried in the Law – was impressive. (One of the other new Christians gave him a “high five” for “getting it right”.)

I had to ask, “How did you know that?” His answer was simple – matter of fact – and it was music to my teacher’s heart: “I’ve been reading.” With some prodding he finally told us that after he was baptized he had decided to read “this whole book from start to finish”. He was saving Genesis for our Wednesday night “For Men Only” class; but he had already read Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and was starting in Joshua. (I had to laugh when he told us that there were some things in Numbers that “gave me a little trouble”. Me too!)

“I’ve been reading. “

Is there any better way …

to learn the Word of God?

to realize the promises of God?

to understand the wisdom of God?

to seek the will of God?

to know the Son of God?

Is there any better way …

to “build yourself up in the most holy faith”?

to lay up His Word in your heart, so that you “might not sin against Him”?

to find a “light” for your path?

to receive “teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”, so that you will be “thoroughly equipped for every good work”?

to find the answer, so that you can “give an answer” to those who ask about the “hope that is in you”?

In all of our “learning” have we forgotten the Word of God? In all of our quest for “spirituality” have we overlooked the truths revealed by the Spirit in the Word of God? In all of our reading – from a mentor’s list of favorites books – have we neglected to read “The Book”?  

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