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“Paul had a few books, which were left perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read.

“Some of our self-sufficient brethren have thought a minister who reads books and studies his sermon must be a very deplorable specimen of a preacher. A man who goes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot and talks any quantity of nonsense is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead man’s brain – ah! that is the preacher. How rebuked they are by the apostle!

He is inspired, yet he wants books!

He has been preaching for thirty years, yet he wants books!

He has seen the Lord, yet he wants books!

He has a wider experience than most men, yet he wants books!

He had been caught up into the very heaven and had heard things which it was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books!

He had written the major part of the New Testament, yet he wants books!

The apostle says to Timothy, and so he says to every preacher, “Give attendance to reading.” The one who never reads will never be read. He who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own.

“Brethren, what is true of pastors is true of all our people – you need to read!”

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Related Articles:
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On Reading Widely
Six Reasons Preachers Should Be Avid Readers

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4 thoughts on “Spurgeon to Pastors: You Need to Read!”

  1. This is very insightful. Thank you for sharing. Spurgeon had a fear of the Lord that we need to see flow through many pulpits again today. We’ve got to study the word, so we can rightly divide the truth. Even if we could rattle off a sermon from what’s in our spirit, failing to prepare is not good practice. There’s always something new to learn, a deeper level. We must not taking preaching, teaching and prophesying lightly.

    Jennifer LeClaire
    Author, The Heart of the Prophetic

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Trevin Wax

​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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