In this video a group of Chinese young adults have received packages that contain new Bibles. As soon as they open the packages and see what it in there, the people all rush to the center and start reaching for the Bibles as quickly as they can.There is a shout of joy coming from their hearts as each person receives his or her very own brand new Bible. Then the shouting of joy turns to awe and amazement as they each grasp their Bibles in their hands and hug them to their breast. Many put the Bibles right up to their lips and kiss them and smell them and caress the Bible as if it is the very best gift ever received. Some begin to weep softly as they hold this priceless treasure and realize that it is their very own Word of God, written especially for them and to keep and cherish forever. I noticed some eagerly taking off the outer wrappers and opening their Bible, already searching for the Words of Life.
This 1 minute video touched my heart so deeply. I cannot get it out of my mind, and that is why I had to share this with you. Actually, this is a theme that has been on my mind for a little while. The wonderful treasure that we have...God's Word, written as a love letter to His precious children....you and me...a message so powerful that kingdoms have been created, others have been conquered, lives have been changed so radically that the whole world has noticed. There is no other Word by which men's lives have been saved and changed....I could go on and on and on. This book is THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD, written for us,
"the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
II Timothy 3:15-17
I recently was listening to a conversation among some church leaders who made the comment about an individual whom they considered to be a real Christian...he even brought his Bible to church. I piped up and said, "and that's unusual?" The reply was, "Well, yes, for a _______." (name of denomination). I had to bite my tongue to keep from commenting further, but this is what I was thinking:
To not expect or encourage a person to take their own Bible to church with them is like telling a soldier to go into battle without his weapon. It's like telling a Doctor to go into surgery without his instruments. Like expecting the carpenter to build a house without any tools. Like telling an expert violinist to make music without his violin and bow. It's like telling a student to take a test on a subject without him ever having read the book. It's like telling a believer that he's on his own in the world without any guidebook.
We wonder why denominations are having difficulty maintaining their churches and reaching the lost when they haven't been reading the instructions given to them by God...the whole foundation for establishing the church in the first place. When the average church member doesn't know how to find the book of John or Isaiah or Genesis or Ruth or Revelation or Matthew or Daniel or Micah or Zephaniah or Deuteronomy or Job or Psalms or Proverbs or Leviticus or Acts or Romans or Ephesians or Galatians or Philippians or Numbers or Nahum or Esther or Jeremiah or I Chronicles or I Corinthians or James, Jude, I Thessalonians or II Timothy or Hebrews....need I say more...?, then how can they expect to stand up against the foes of this life and have the Word of Life hidden in their hearts that they might not sin against God? (Psalm 119:11)
How will they know how to find words of comfort and peace when they are afraid or dying or lost or sick? How will they know how to "Train up a child in the way he should go, so that when he is old he will not depart from it?" (Proverbs 22:6). How will they know the only way to heaven..."For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life?" (John 3:16). Will they know that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me?" ( John 14:6 )
Oh, dear friends, we cannot take this book, the Bible, God's Word, for granted. Take one look at the faces of these precious Chinese children of God. Listen to the joy in their voices as they received the Word of God into their hands. Take note of the tears trickling down their faces, tears of joy, as they give thanks to the Lord for the gift of His Word, given to them so that they might find "the way, the truth, the life."
These Chinese Christians are most likely in an underground church, hidden away from the Chinese Government that forbids them to have their own Bibles, * and forbids missionaries from teaching God's Word to them. But they are willing to risk their lives for the sake of having this treasure that we so take for granted. It ought not be so. If you have a Bible...maybe you have more than one or two...where is it? Do you read it daily? Do you treasure it and hide its Words in your heart? The day may come when we are no longer permitted to have our own Bibles in our country. It could happen...don't think it can't. (* Click on link above for more information on this.)
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox for now. This sure made me look at my Bible differently. How about you?
Is YOUR Bible a treasure, or just an ornament on your table or bookshelf? Something to think about.