Reading Books and Dying Well from Desiring God on Vimeo.
“If I’m about to die, and I’m going to see Jesus in a few hours or days or weeks, and I will know even as I am known (1 Corinthians 13:12), why would I want to read anything now? A little more fallible human insight that I could get from reading the Bible or something else? (I mean I’m fallible, not that the Bible is.) Would you do that? Why would you do that? Three reasons:
One, reading and thinking over what you read is how God speaks now — speaks now, not just in heaven — speaks to you now — both through His inspired word and through illumined spiritual teachers, and reading them is a source of hearing God commune with you.
Number two, reading and thinking over what you read is how God nourishes and strengthens the soul for dying… . You want to read something, you want to have some truth flowing into you here, because your mind is going, and you need truth coming into your soul to help you die well.
And third, reading and thinking over what you read is a way worship is ignited and joy is increased and peace is sustained — for the journey and the river [that is, the final river-crossing].
So form the habit of reading now, and don’t ever think you will outgrow it as you approach the grave.”
— John Piper, “Reading Books and Dying Well” (excerpted from He Stood by Me and Strengthened Me for the Sake of the Gospel)