WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 30, 2020
TOPIC: NINE BENEFITS OF READING GOOD BOOKS
BY T. O. BANSO
“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’” (Acts 8:30 New King James Version).
There are great benefits in reading good books like the one this Ethiopian Eunuch read which is just one of the books of the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (New King James Version).
You should cultivate the discipline of reading the Bible, Bible-based books, and other edifying, educative, informative, or entertaining books – books that won’t pollute or defile you. This also includes online publications. Avoid pornographic materials.
Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying, “The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book l ain’t read.” Get good books and read them. Don’t just buy them and keep them.
In Acts 8, there was a conversation between Phillip the evangelist and the Ethiopian Eunuch who was in his chariot returning from Jerusalem where he had gone to worship. He was reading a good book, the book of prophet Isaiah, and was having difficulty understanding the portion he was reading which was, actually, a prophecy concerning the death of Jesus.
Philip had been directed to where he was going to pass through not knowing why he was there. But the Holy Spirit told him to join Ethiopian Eunuch’s chariot. “So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’” (Acts 8:30 New King James Version).
The eunuch didn’t hide his ignorance. He answered Philip, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”(Verse 34 New King James Version). Philip explained the passage to him. He preached Jesus to Him. Obviously, he believed and asked to be baptized, which Philip did. The eunuch benefitted from reading a good book and his hunger was satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 says too much study will make one tired. However, the problem with many is not too much study but the opposite. Those who’re guilty of tiredness due to too much study should embrace balance. Those who are lazy and ignorant should get good books and read. They stand to gain a lot.
Here are some of the benefits of reading good books:
1. Reading good books like the Bible gives you spiritual benefits like revelation, direction, inspiration, encouragement, faith, etc.
2. Reading good books helps to exercise your brain. It keeps your brain active. Lack of reading can make your brain dull while reading makes your mental faculties sharp. It helps to improve your memory.
3. It enables you to increase your knowledge as you learn new things including new ideas, new names, places, and languages, new words thereby building your vocabulary, etc. Proverbs 1:22b says fools hate knowledge. Don’t be a fool. More reading gives you access to more knowledge which improves your outlook and makes your communication rich.
4. It gives you access to the wisdom and experience of others, especially those ahead of you thereby helping you to avoid repeating their mistakes. You are able to stand on their shoulders for greater accomplishment.
5. It provides a form of relaxation helping you to get relief from stress. It refreshes you. Some books actually entertain.
6. Reading good books reminds you of what you’ve forgotten and reinforces what you already know.
7. It helps you to acquire positive values that make you a better person.
8. It gives you an advantage over those who’re not exposed to the value-adding information you’ve accessed in the books you’ve read. Their knowledge is only limited to what they know but you’ve added what others know to what you know.
9. It affords you an opportunity to teach yourself. By reading up some material you can teach yourself some skills and later teach others. There are some self-taught experts in different areas today.
Be a reader. Read good books and the best of them is the Bible. Paul was a reader. He wrote to Timothy, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come — and the books, especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13 New King James Version).
Also, Daniel was a reader. If he had not been a reader he wouldn’t have known that the word of God says that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans — in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:2 New King James Version)
After reading this, Daniel turned to the LORD and pleaded with Him in prayer and fasting, wearing rough sackcloth and sprinkled himself with ashes.
Devote yourself to reading the Bible and other good books. If you have any difficulty understanding anything, don’t pretend – seek help. The Ethiopian Eunuch sought help, and he was delivered from his ignorance.
Stop reading unedifying and destructive books. Get rid of them. At Ephesus, those who believed included some people who had practiced magic. Acts 19:19 says those who had practised magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. The value of the books was fifty thousand pieces of silver. Don’t keep unedifying and destructive books. Burn them.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of reading unedifying and destructive books. I promise not to read them again. I will burn them. Holy Spirit, I receive Your help to discipline myself to read my Bible daily and other edifying books. Help me to put into practice what I learn from my reading and to teach others, too.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947