I received four books as gifts last Sunday. It was a really amazing day. Two books were written in English, and the other two books were written in Korean. I am happy when I receive a book as a gift. Also, every time I go to a bookstore to buy a book, my heart beats. Every time I go to bookstores, I go there with holy expectations. A holy expectation is an expectation for an encounter. An encounter with a good and new book is such a blessing. If you read a good book, you become a good person. When you read a new book, you become a new person.
God has changed my life through books. God has healed me through books. He helped me to have healthy self-esteem through books. Through books, He healed my sense of inferiority. He helped me to become a man who pursues depth through books. I learned how to think through books. I learned how to control my mind through books. Through books, I learned how to fear God and how to respect people. I learned how to endure hardships through books. I learned how to make pearls from wounds. I learned how to make an opportunity from crisis. I learned how to break through the difficulties. I learned how to overcome obstacles. I learned how to become mature through conflicts. I have learned the secrets of good relationships with God, with myself, and with my neighbors. I learned how to communicate with people through books. I also learned how to write books through books.
God has arranged good encounters through books. I met great authors through books. Through books, I met people who were models of humanity. I met excellent teachers. Books are the paths to good encounters. Like I had a good encounter through someone else's books, some people also had good encounters through my books. A good book lives on its own. It visits people with its own vitality beyond time and place.
I found that there is a way in books while I read them. I found that there is a solution to the problems of life in books. I live with confidence that, if there is a problem, there will be indeed a solution. We live with confidence that, if there is a disease, there will indeed be a medicine to cure it. We have not found certain solutions or medicines yet. But they must be hidden somewhere. Books contain all the knowledge and information that we need. Wonderful wisdom and enlightenment are contained in them. The answers that I was worried about, questioned, and inquired were contained in the book. The beautiful sentences that eloquently expressed my thoughts and ideas were contained in the books.
Reading a book is not an easy task. It is difficult to find someone who reads books steadily after graduating from school. It is also difficult to find someone who regularly reads a book every month. We have negative thoughts about studying because we suffered a lot while studying for college entrance examination when we were young. So after graduating from school, there are many people who build walls against books. However, if you deeply realize the benefits of reading, you will love books. Also, when you learn how to read books well, you will come to know the taste of books. In order to make reading books a joy, you need to learn how to read them. If you learn the method of reading, you will not only learn how to read books but you will also be equipped with ability to read nature, people, and times. Our church provides the method of reading through the "Reading Instructor Course.' This very high quality course is offered for those who live as lifelong learners in an aging society. Many people have gone through this course and have been living as lifelong learners.
The most important reason to learn the method of reading is to make us capable of reading and understanding the Bible. The Bible is the book of books. The Bible is God's Word. The word of God is full of God's knowledge and wisdom. We encounter the Triune God through the Bible. We encounter the excellent, beautiful and precious God. When we encounter God, we will be changed. We will be holy when we make contact with the Holy God. We will reach from glory to glory when we make contact with the Glorious God. We will take after the good character of God when we make contact with the Good God. Through the Word of God, our soul is restored. The Word is the power that lives and works. That is why the Word heals the broken spirit. God holds the secrets of rest, secrets of happiness, secrets of living abundant life, secrets of health, secrets of prosperity, secrets of prayer, secrets of victory, and secrets of learning in the Bible. Therefore, reading the Bible makes us wise. What we read makes us who we are. What we read makes us beautiful. Keep the Bible near you. Read and meditate on the Bible daily. May God grant you abundant blessings through the book you read.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.