There is an old adage in education stating that by 3rd grade you learn to read and then you spend the rest of your life reading to learn.  You learn to read and then read to learn.  Think about that for a moment and realize the importance of reading.

Recently I visited the school where my two older grandsons attend.  I was honored to see a sign posted that recognized the “readers of the month.”   The younger of the two received the award in 1st grade and the older one represented the 3rd grade.  Ok, so I was a proud Pop.  But it really was because I realize the importance of reading and the impact it will have throughout life.

It really is that important.  My Teresa was a school counselor for many years.  She began in elementary school and then in the later years she moved to high school and worked with seniors.  This gave her a unique opportunity to observe children all the way through their public school years.  She has noted that it was interesting to see the children whom she remembered struggling with reading in the early grades, were usually the ones who struggled later on.  Their struggles often included failing the graduation exam, dropping out of school or developing behavioral issues.  This was not always the case but it was a very good predicter.

Ralph Blackwell was his name.  He was a teacher I had during my high school years.  He frequently encouraged us to be readers and would often tell us to “teach yourselves to think.”

The word “read” is found six times in the book of Matthew and each time it is the LORD chastising the Jews by saying “Have you not read?”  And then following this question, He would note something from the Old Law.  It is noteworthy that He expected them to read.  Let us not be guilty of the same accusation by neglecting to read the law by which we are under, that is, the New Testament.

A most interesting passage is found in Ephesians 3: 3, 4.   Here we read (pun intended), “how that by revelation, He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

Note the progression by placing the following numbers by each word:

1) mystery

2) revelation

3) written

4) read

5) understand.

The first Messianic reference is found in Genesis 3:15.  For hundreds of years and through many prophecies, the full revelation of the Christ would be described as a mystery.  In the Ephesians passage, Paul says what started as a mystery now has been revealed through revelation; Paul as a penman of that revelation (the New Testament) committed it to writing.  But for us to get to number 5 and the understanding requires us to READ.

There is a section of Scripture called the Beatitudes.  Most recognize these to be the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5 – 7.  It is interesting to note there are 7 Beatitudes in the book of Revelation.  The first one is found in Revelation 1:3, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it;”

Let us resolve to read, hear, and keep the words that will determine our eternal destination.

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