Reading: Romans 1:13-19
Paul certainly was not someone who was ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He gave his life to preaching and teaching others. Paul was absolutely certain that the Bible could save every man on earth. Nothing else is needed for man to find salvation. He only has to read the Bible, believe God’s Word, and obey it. Isn’t that what verse 17 is telling us in today’s reading? We have to live by faith, and make God’s Word part of our daily lives. That is how the Word saves us. Isn’t it wonderful to have all that power in our hands?
The lesson, “Good Advice” was written by Bruce S. Wright and published in A Children’s Six Minutes in 1922. Now out of print, the book may be read freely online.
Most of us, men and women as well as girls and boys, do not take kindly to advice. We very much prefer that people keep their advice to themselves. There are times, however, when we are compelled to listen to advice, because of the source. Here is a bit of advice that commands our attention. It is from the great English novelist, Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens’ youngest boy, Edward, left home when he was sixteen years of age and went to Australia. His father wrote him a parting letter, which is worthwhile for all boys, whether or not they leave home. In that letter the great Dickens said,
“I put a New Testament among your books for the very same reasons and with the very same hopes that made me write an easy account of it for you when you were a little child. Because it is the best book that ever was or ever will be in the world. And because it teaches you the best lessons by which any human creature who tries to be truthful and faithful to duty can possibly be guided. As your brothers have gone away, one by one, I have written to each such words as I am now writing to you and have entreated them all to guide themselves by this book, putting aside the interpretations and inventions of men. Never abandon the wholesome practice of saying your own private prayers, night and morning. I have never abandoned it myself, and I know the comfort of it.”
Now that we are done reading this letter it does not sound like advice at all, does it. It is all so wholesome and sturdy that we feel like speaking right out loud, “Thank you, Mr. Dickens, thank you very much.”
For Further Study:
- If you keep reading in the rest of Romans chapter 1, you will see what happens when people do not believe in the power of God. Starting with verse 21, what sins occur when people do not heed God’s Word? Take special note of the fact that God sees all sins as evil, and there are no “big” or “small” sins in God’s eyes. We should learn to appreciate how serious sin is, and keep training our hearts to learn how to be like Jesus.
- Think of yourself five years ago. Write a letter to your younger self, telling him or her why it’s important to learn God’s Word.