This past weekend, an extraordinary event took place in Blackduck, Minnesota. Residents of this small northern town hosted their annual Bible-reading marathon for the third year in a row. During the days of June 27-28, volunteers took turns reading through the entire Bible. Event organizers estimated that it would take a little over 19 hours to read the word of God from cover to cover. News about the reading has spread and other communities are now considering hosting their own event (http://www.grand
The reading of the Scriptures was important in the early church. Apostolic writings were circulated to be read among the churches: “When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is comingfrom Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). As he closed his second letter to Thessalonica, Paul strongly encouraged the reading of his words to the brethren: ‘“I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren” (1 Thessalonians 5:27). Among other encouragements that the apostle Paul gave to Timothy as a young man ministering in Ephesus, we read this: “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). Perhaps the modern church would do well to give more attention to the reading of the word of God.
But there is something else. James told his readers to “receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). This reinforces what we have already discussed -- the value of reading (corporately or individually) the Scriptures. But he goes on to add a caveat: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). Reading and hearing the Word of God is vitally important, but if we make no effort to change our lives in accordance with what we have read and heard, we are fooling ourselves. Remember, we are to read AND do.
God loves you!