The Benefits of Reading Scripture [Awakening Faith]
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16 – 17)
Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading. If a man wants to be always in God’s company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.
All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection. By reading we learn what we did not know; by reflection we retain what we have learned. Reading the Holy Scriptures confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns people’s attention from the follies of the world and leads them to the love of God.
Two kinds of study are called for here. We must first learn how the Scriptures are to be understood, and then see how to expound them with profit and in a manner worthy of them. People must first be eager to understand what they are reading before they are fit to proclaim what they have learned.
The conscientious readers will be more concerned to carry out what they have read than merely to acquire knowledge of it. For a smaller sin is being ignorant of virtue, and a bigger sin failing to practice the virtue we know. In reading we aim at knowing, but we must put into practice what we have learned in our course of study.
Isidore of Seville
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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