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Reading and Quoting

I like good quotes, and use them often. The ones I can remember, that is! Little soundbites can put into meaning and perspective some thoughts we have, but can’t quite describe adequately ourselves. So we can relate to little phrases that bridge the gap between our thinking, and our understanding. I have some of my own favourites, and you will have yours.

However, a little quote doesn’t tell you much about who said it, does it? We don’t know if the words came from a literary genius or a numpty, but we take the words given us at face value. Recently it has become more obvious that we use the Bible a bit like a book of quotes. Of course that has great advantages as we remember some of the very many promises God has scattered within the pages of His Word, but there’s that big BUT! So, right there I have to stop and rethink because other, less faith based, or Christlike folks, can (and frequently do) use little quotes, out of context, to ‘prove’ a narrow point. I don’t think there is anything that can be done about that.

This thread of thought brought me round to the need, and yes urgency of reading the Word of God in its entirety, and not just falling into the trap of using it as a ‘promise box’, good as that is to the Christian. The thing that differentiates the ‘quoter’ from the ‘reader’ is, and always will be, the knowledge of the truth behind those few words. Not only that, but that we get a glimpse of the physical writer of the text, but also the overall author and His heart. You don’t get that kind of depth from a quote, and you will never get it from someone whose only intention is to use some words taken from the Bible, to try to disprove and discount its worth. So, can I encourage you to read the Bible often, then you will be armed with more meaningful quotes which have a real background of understanding? Happy searching for those deeper nuggets of gold, because they are there for the reader, but not the casual quoter.

... you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17

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