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  • Writer's pictureVic Bernales

Learning to Love Reading Books

Growing up, I didn't like reading (I liked music, though). Besides, our family did not have many books. In fact, when I was growing up, there were only three books at home that I can call my own.

The first book I owned was the blue "New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs." This New Testament Scripture was given to me in school by The Gideons International representatives. It became my companion when I was growing up.

Through this Gideons' New Testament I became familiar with the Gospel story of Jesus and the letters of Paul and the other apostles. I also liked to read the book of Proverbs. The sayings are usually short and full of wisdom.

However, it was not until I heard a clear presentation of the gospel and until my mind was opened to the truth of Christ that the New Testament, and later the whole Bible, became more alive and meaningful to me.

The two other books in my possession were the two-volume "Philippine History" by Gregorio F. Zaide. I became interested with the history of the Philippines and the Filipino people because of these books. I've read them several times before it was destroyed by a flood during Typhoon Undang in November 1984. I did not own a book again until I went to college in Manila.

I have many books now. Most of them are books on theology, biblical studies, church history, and pastoral ministry. I've acquired most of them during my seminary years.

Some of these books were given by friends. A few of them I've read once or twice. Some I've read only half-way through. Still some I've read a chapter or two only. Many of them I still have to open and read.

Although I was not a bookworm from the beginning, I've learned to love reading books. I especially love those books that deepen my knowledge of God and the Holy Scripture.

My experience of conversion gave me the appetite to read. I realize that it is impossible to be a Christian and not to love reading, especially reading the Bible and books that help you better understand it.

It is a fact that Christianity is a Word-base religion. God, by His Spirit, has guided the prophets and the apostles to write a book chronicling His wonderful acts of creation and redemption for His people to read and meditate upon.

By reading the Bible and by hearing it read, explained, and applied, true saving knowledge of Christ comes (Rom. 10:17). And the more one hears its truths and lives by them, the more one grows and matures in the Christian faith.

The truth of the holy Scripture sets one free from the lies of the devil and from the superstitions that are so rampant in our anti-Christian and humanistic world today.

Reading notable books by respectable Christian authors must be a normal discipline for every disciple of Christ. But aside from acquiring and reading books, Christians must also consider giving away books or literature that advance the cause of Christ and His kingdom.

Daniel Webster once said, "If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will" (Quoted in Ernest Reisinger's 'Every Christian a Publisher,' from 'Free Grace Broadcaster,' Issue 51, Winter, 1995, 17).


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