‘When thou comest, bring with thee … the books, but especially the parchments’, 2 Tim. 4. 13.
It was on one of my occasional visits to a local book depot that I met the founder of the charity that runs it. We stood talking about how many books they are now able to send out all over the world as a result of donations – their desire being to provide Christian literature to book-impoverished countries and, through that literature, to enable believers to be taught and grow in their knowledge of the truth. As we talked, thinking on the role that books had played in the life of the Lord,1 and the early church,2 I was reminded of the verse above.
I wonder what importance we attach to the written word, whether in the form of books or magazines. We are tremendously blessed in that we can access so much sound material. But do we value it? Sadly, it might even be the case that we do not pick up our Bibles on a daily basis in order to read from the word of God whilst many people around the world still do not have a Bible in their language.
As the apostle was imprisoned in Rome, what was it that brought pleasure to him? No doubt it was the books and the parchments. We do not know to what the apostle is referring, but books or scrolls would not be printed but handwritten. Providing such material for reading could have taken a number of painstaking hours to write or copy. However, these labours gave the apostle the opportunity to read and to meditate. Even though he was conscious that his life would soon be ended, he did not slacken his efforts to get to know more of the word of God and the God it reveals.
What is it that we count precious? If we were conscious that our life was drawing to its close, either through illness or awaiting martyrdom, in what pursuit would we seek to spend our last days?
It is encouraging to know so many of the Lord’s servants who are prepared to spend time writing in order to provide spiritual food for God’s people. The work of Precious Seed International goes on, in spite of the hours that it takes to edit and prepare each copy. In this issue we see a number of profitable series come to an end – the one on prophetic truth, the short series on the sovereignty of God. Similarly, the series on the life of Elijah, and the series on Philippians by Keith Keyser were concluded in the February magazine – for those who missed any part it is available in book form from our web store. We express our sincere thanks to the authors of them all. We trust that in this magazine there will be material to cheer as well as challenge the Lord’s people.
Ministry Articles Editor
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