To spend time and mental effort in serious reading seems to be an increasingly rare phenomenon. The ‘sound bites’ of the politician, the banner headlines of the tabloid newspaper, the three-minute television news report, and the general rush and business of the world drown out serious thought. The mind-numbing racket of much modern music with the often evil and suggestive words of the ‘pop singer’ not only distract the mind from serious thought but poison it meanwhile.
No apology is offered for the fact that this magazine publishes some long articles and sermons. It is true that time is limited but time can be found for serious reading if the heart realises the need for it and the benefit gained by it. Many find it quite easy to spend almost two hours watching a football match, or at least thirty minutes watching the latest instalment of a daily television ‘soap opera’, or even reading a newspaper. How true it is that ‘where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ What is it that really interests us and holds our attention?
For any who do find it genuinely difficult to concentrate for long periods it may be helpful to take a pencil and mark the point you reach in any longer article when you have to move on to some other demanding activity. There will probably be time later to come back and start where you left off! Usually, longer articles are broken up into sections anyway and these natural breaks with sub-headings assist in reading smaller sections in the time available. Besides which, serious effort and repeated practice can greatly improve the ability to concentrate and read profitably.
No apology is offered either for the unpopularity of some of the subjects dealt with in the magazine. Even amongst professing Christians, serious matters of obvious Biblical significance seem to be so carelessly ignored. Hence, in this edition there is a very long article on ‘Separation from the World’. It will surely repay the time and effort spent in reading it if the words should warn you effectively to ‘Come out’ of a world of sin and senselessness. What blessing to have one’s heart enlivened and one’s resolve strengthened when the world is constantly threatening to quench the last embers of spiritual fire and fill our days with its passing fancies.
Beyond all such considerations is that which is to be the supreme concern of all who truly love our Lord, Jesus Christ. He was the Man who had to be about His Father’s business.
He came to do His Father’s will and that was His great delight. He was the One who knew His Old Testament better that anyone else and He was the Servant who ‘endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God’. How could we expect to be with Him in glory if our interests in this world never coincided with His in any real way? It is true that He is the Perfect One and we are sadly and sinfully imperfect despite our best endeavours, but He has set us an example that we should follow His steps.