We can learn much from the lives of others

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.” Hebrews 11:32-34 (CSB)
Our thought from today: “We can learn much from the lives of others”
It was the reading of biographies that got me hooked on reading. From the time I was very young my mother used to take me to the public library to borrow books. I can remember as a young boy reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln and being completely engrossed in it. Soon I was reading biographies of other famous men and women and I’ve never stopped.
As I sit here this morning writing this devotional message, I’m looking at several bookcases in my office filled with biographies and character studies. There is at least one biography of every U.S. President. There are biographies of Diedrich Bonhoeffer, Ben Carson, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Saint Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Martin Luther King, Henry Kissinger, Tom Landry, C.S. Lewis, James Mattis, Nelson Mandela, Antonin Scalia, Mother Theresa, Mark Twain, and dozens more. I have the entire thirty-volume series of short bios of famous missionaries published by Youth with A Mission, and I have Chuck Swindoll’s nine-volume series of character studies of great Biblical figures.
The thing I love about biographies and character studies is that we can learn so much from the lives of others – especially others who have accomplished significant things in their own lives. That’s precisely what the writer of the letter to the Hebrews was doing when he wrote Hebrews chapter 11, which we often refer to as “The Faith Hall of Fame”. In that chapter he writes about some truly inspiring acts of faith by figures both famous and unknown, from early Biblical history. He lists nineteen of them by name, and makes references to multiple others who remain unnamed. His purpose in doing so was to use their examples to inspire us to similar acts of faith.
That’s what biographies and character studies do for us. They take us deep into the lives of real people who have gone before us, and then their life experiences can teach and inspire us. I encourage you to read a biography or character study of someone who’s life is of interest to you and see what you can learn from their life.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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