I love books and reading, and have become quite skilled at acquiring Christian books at low prices. I often buy them at a local used book store and at several different thrift shops. Because I live in the Bible Belt, there are an unusual number of Christian books to be found compared to other areas. I’m always surprised at the quality of books I find – both content and condition wise.
Something I’ve noticed is the number of used books I acquire that the original owner never finished reading! How do I know? Only the first and maybe second chapter have highlighting or underlining, and the rest nothing. Or for Bible study guides where you go through and answer questions – only the first or second chapters have the questions completed. Often these are really good books too, and the lack of completion surprises me.
It seems easy in life to start things and not finish them. It is all too easy to have good intentions that we do not follow through on. I’m usually good at finishing books and studies, but there are other things I can indeed be rather slack with!
I think this must be a common weakness of human nature. I’ve studied through many of the New Testament books in the last year, and something that jumped out at me was repeated emphasis on finishing the Christian life and enduring through difficult times. There seems a variety of verses on issues like endurance, perseverance, patience, pressing forward, finishing the race, keeping an eternal perspective, etc.
Here is a handful:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
Press on in the Christian life my friends…in the power of the Spirit…and through fellowship with other believers. Note that the 2 Peter passage includes making every effort to add knowledge to your faith.
Which brings it back around to the book theme…Finish that Christian book, devotional guide, Bible reading plan, or Bible study!