I don’t know about you all, but I love books. One of my favorite pastimes is to browse the shelves of the local used bookstore for a cheap volume by one my favorite authors. I am always running a list in my head of what I am looking for. The result of all this scavenging is that I usually have a large stack of books surrounding my desk or on my night stand.
One of the books I picked up recently was a book called the “The Private Devotional Lives of Finney, Moody, and Spurgeon”. I don’t know much about Charles Finney, or D.L. Moody, but I have always been a fan of reading Spurgeon’s works and sermons.
The book begins with an examination of the devotional life of Charles Finney. Again, I don’t know much about FInney, but a basic bio is that he was an evangelist during the Second Great Awakening in the United States preaching between his conversion in 1821 until his death in 1875. A cursory search on the internet reveals that his preaching and his theology is appreciated by some and harshly criticized by others. That aside, what I really like is what Finney had to say about our relationship to books and the Bible.
Here’s a quote from the “The Private Devotional Lives, …” book regarding Finney;
There was only one book that Finney studied. He read other books but had little time for them. The reason for this was that he had a deep realization of the amount knowledge he could obtain from the Bible. He thought of the Scriptures as a deep mine that grew richer as he dug deeper (p10).
And the book also provides this quote about the Bible from Finney;
“We must read it more than any or all other books. We must pause and pray over it, verse after verse, and compare part with part, dwell on it, digest it, and get it into our minds till we feel the Spirit of God has filled us with the spirit of holiness. Will you do it? Will you lay your hearts open to God, and not give him rest, till he has filled you with divine knowledge? Will you search the scriptures?(p10)”
Its ironic to me that a book I picked up in my quest for more volumes for my library has reminded me that my true library is the collection of books bound together in my Bible. While I am not advocating emptying our shelves of the many tomes we have so loved over the years, I am however feeling challenged to enter more frequently into that deep mine of inspired truth and knowledge that is the Scriptures.
What about you?
I hope everyone has a blessed and wonderful time of fellowship and worship this Sunday.
Grace and Peace,