The great apostle Paul told young Pastor Timothy, “Give attention to reading” (1 Tim. 4:13).
To a great degree the mind is affected by that upon which it feeds. A non-believer of God or Christ, whether young or old normally read story books, tales, and other literatures, and newspapers with “attractive” headlines. Because of the fantastic stories or reading materials fed to their minds, they have no interest in reading the Bible or to attend Bible study. To them the Bible is a boring book to read, and there are more important things to do than to read the Bible or to attend Bible study.
Rev. Mike Keyes of the Keyes Ministries International in Northern Mindanao, said: “I do not read newspapers anymore, only the Bible.” In our office, there are no newspapers to read in our waiting area, only the FGBMFI Saturday bulletin and the latest book bound, The LEGAL 500 by John Pritchard which is sent to us yearly without cost on our part. We were not even interviewed at all. This is the publication of the 500 best lawyers or law offices in Asia Pacific, namely: Australia, China, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In the Philippines, we find the ACCRA law firm headed by Senator Edgardo Angara and the Hernandez, Salazar & Sycip, as among the outstanding. Particularly in Davao, listed in the book are, of course, the same above-named law firms, because they have branch offices in Davao City, and out of the more than one thousand lawyers and law offices in Davao, only the Dominguez, Paderna and Tan, and the Cariaga Law offices are listed. Praise God! Glory to God!
Some clients and friends who are Christians would beg to bring home the FGBMFI magazine, but invariably, some of the magazines become missing without our knowing who got them. At any rate, I’m happy that some people, especially the Christians, are interested to read our Saturday bulletin. On the other hand, the thick book bound publication (about 1-1/2”) of 500 lawyers and law firms in Asia Pacific is seldom read or opened by any client or visitor waiting. They simply have no interest who are the lawyers or laws offices listed. So, there remain somewhat “untouched”.
The Word of God, or the Bible is the true manna from heaven. Why called manna? Because it cost us nothing to know the Word. It was given free by God himself (the ten commandments written with finger of God [Exo. 31:18 & Deut. 9:10]) and through holy men of God like Moses and the prophets as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pet. 1:21). It does not only feed the soul spiritually but gives to the reader and believer a true guide on salvation, and a guide for correct, peaceful, healthful and fruitful living. It gives the obedient a prosperous, peaceful and long life (Prov. 3:1-2).
In order to have a healthy tone of mind and sound religious principles, we must live in communion with God through His Word. It contains the most interesting and most instructive history and biography that were ever written, the good part of it is for our example to emulate and follow. The bad part is a lesson for us to avoid. Those whose imaginations have not been perverted by the reading of fiction or other kinds of undesirable reading literatures will find the Bible the most interesting of all books.
The Bible is the Book of books. If we love the Word, searching it as we have opportunity like searching for material treasure, that we may come into the possession of the rich spiritual treasures that it contains and be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, then we can be assured that God, or Jesus is drawing us to Himself. He will become our “idol”. Idolatry is a sin and will bring us to hell. However, I personally believe that it is all right to idolize Jesus Christ in all matters and things. He is our perfect example.
Therefore, we should resolutely discard all worthless reading. Such reading will not strengthen our spirituality, but will introduce into the mind sentiments or ideas that will pervert the imagination, causing us to think less of God or of Jesus and to dwell less upon His precious lessons, instructions, guarantees and promises.
Jesus Christ claimed that He is the bread of life. His words are our spiritual bread and food. As we eat physical or earthly food not only three times a day, with merienda in between, we should likewise feed ourselves as often as could be with the Word of God, which is our spiritual food. A true Christian must set aside a special time daily to read and meditate on the Word. As the original disciples “ate” the words of Christ everyday, their understanding was quickened. They were not degree holders or educated in the best known universities but supernatural wisdom was bestowed on them as they listened to and followed the teachings and instructions of the best teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ. Their canonized writings irrefragably and eloquently prove their wisdom. The wisest man that ever lived on earth said, “Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Prov. 4:7 KJV). And Solomon was not a degree holder or a summa cum laude of any university. God gave him the wisdom he needed because he asked for it (1 Kings 3:9). And because his request pleased the LORD God, he was given bunoses of a large and a wise and understanding heart, and both riches and honor (1 Kings 3:10-13). There was only one thing that Solomon did not enjoy - “length of days, and long life, and peace” (Prov. 3:2), because he failed to meet the conditions imposed by God which was “and if thou wilt walk in my way, to keep my statues and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days” (I Kings 3:14 KJV). He was twenty years young when he became King and he reigned forty years as King, then he died. Only sixty short years. Why? Obviously he failed to comply with the conditions set by God. Our Bible records:
“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel. Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” (1 Kings 11:1-3 KJV)
I am sure his private marital life was not peaceful, although his kingdom was peaceful. By the way, Solomon means “peace”. Why? Because of too many wives and concubines! Those married who are wise know this! Mahirap pakisamahan ang nag-iisang asawa. Papano na lang kung pakisamahan mo ang 1,000 women! (It is difficult to please only one wife, how much more difficult to please a thousand women).
The Word of God will not only make us wise unto salvation, but will make us a wise man. “From a wise man comes wise speech: the words of the wise are persuasive” (Prov. 16:23 NLT). Solomon adds: “Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies” (Prov. 20:15 NLT).
One day my client brought to my office a security guard-employee who has been given free quarters in the display center of a large surplus vehicle company (the largest in the Philippines), accompanied by his two co-employees. He keeps the key to all the vehicles on display for sale. One of the cars appeared to have been stolen while he allegedly was out of his quarters for some personal reasons. A portion of the fence was destroyed ostensively to allow the passage of the stolen car.
I told my client to bring the suspect to the police for investigation instead because my own would be viewed as bias. Passing by the display center of my client, the suspect asked from the two employee-escorts to be excused a while to answer the call of nature. Allegedly after ten steps away, the suspect suddenly jumped over the fence and lost himself in the darkness of the night.
There was no witness at all to the thievery or robbery. I opted to file a qualified theft case, not robbery because it was an “inside job”. Not having any witness, I thought of quoting in the complaint Solomon’s Prov. 28:1 which says, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion”. The City Prosecutor resolved to file the case for qualified theft basing his resolution on the Word of God. In fact, he quoted Prov. 28:1. So, my knowledge of the aforequoted Word of God helped the Prosecutor to resolve the case even without any human witness.
Indeed, it is important for us to know, read and study God’s Word. Our minds will be quickened and our understanding enlarged and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Those who receive and assimilate this Word, making it a part of every act, of every attribute of character, grow strong in the strength of God, and become credible and influential. It gives vigor to the soul, perfecting the experience, and bringing joys that abide forever, and, of course, success in life. “Experience is the best teacher”.
Let us continue to read and immerse ourselves in the study of the Word of God. Blessed are those who attend our Saturday fellowship in Grand Men Seng Hotel for they receive instructions from the Word of God by well-chosen preachers and teachers of the Word. (FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin March 31, 2012)