“A Christian Mind is a Terrible thing to Waste”

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The Scottish-born American industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), once said, “Man’s reading program should be as carefully planned as his daily diet. For that is food without which he cannot grow mentally.” The Christian is commanded by God to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially, in the service of Christ. Therefore, the Christian, whose ongoing spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2), is to be more and more linear, as well as, incrementally deeper, will not only be a person who saturates himself in the “only” perfect book, the Bible; but will also be one who does not disparage the reading of great books, both Christian and non-Christian (2 Peter 3:14-18). Thus, his reading diet will assuredly include solid Christian titles (through “the plundering of the Christians for all their gold,” by reading solid books from the following genres: theological, doctrinal, historical, biographical, and practical); But, it will also include non-Christian titles (through “the plundering of the Egyptians for all their gold,” by reading solid books from the following genres: fictional, political, historical, biographical, and technical). Why? Because Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that God has given gifts to His church, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. These gifts from heaven, were not meant only for their own age, but for our own as well. They were not ministerial gifts from Christ for only those who would hear them, but also for those who would read them! Pastor Albert N. Martin has rightly said, “The Christian who providentially has access to Christ’s gifts to His church ... and does not use them, is guilty of arrogant, prideful presumption, believing that he does not need these gifts for his spiritual maturation, and ... he’ll end up being spiritually stunted with ... spiritual immaturity!” So then, do not forget the words of our Lord, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him, much will be required ...” (Luke 12:48). Why not begin today by picking up a biography of some great believer, pastor, or missionary, and learn more about God by seeing Him at work in someone else’s life? And always remember, that a book may preach when the author is not. Many authors, though dead, still speak today! Even the great nineteenth-century pioneer missionary to both India and Persia (Iran), Henry Martyn, once affirmed this, “Blessed be the memory of that holy man (David Brainerd)! I feel happy that I shall have his book with me in India and thus enjoy, in a manner, the benefit of his company and example.” In conclusion, let us draw near to God, first, by taking heed to our heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our public Worship service, both through our praises and prayers to Him, with God’s people; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria! Happy Reformation Year 500!!

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