I recently watched a video of Christians living in China who were given their first Bible. Let me set the stage for this. In a room full of Chinese Christians, two suitcases full of Bibles were placed on the floor and opened. These folks made a rush to the suitcases to get their own Bible. There were squeals of delight and great big smiles. The folks in this video were opening their new Bibles with reverence. They smelled the pages, rubbed the Bibles against their faces, and one even began to cry. I could just sense the gratitude in the hearts of these folks to finally get a Bible of their own. In a world where we are used to seeing people stampede to get into the doors at a Wal-Mart sale, this video really made me think about the value we place on our Bible.
Most of us take our Bible for granted. We have Bibles everywhere. I have a Bible on my nightstand, one on my iPad, one on my iPhone, and several on the bookshelf in my office. We have Bibles in different translations. In fact, we often argue about which translation is most accurate. We have Bibles with different decorator covers, large print editions, the words of Jesus in red, study Bibles, Bibles endorsed by famous authors and speakers, and I could go on describing our Bibles but I’ll stop.
So here is the question. How often to you open your Bible and do some serious reading? I don’t mean rushing through one chapter so you can check this task off your list and say you read your Bible today. I’m talking about sitting down, reading, studying, and actually letting God speak to you through His word. When is the last time you actually used your Bible so much that it fell apart and you had to go and replace it? I can almost assure you that our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ will cherish their Bibles and eventually wear them out.
Sometimes as followers of Christ we talk a good game. We seem to frequently have the Biblical answers for the problems of others. A recent survey reported in Christianity Today that out of 2,900 Protestant churchgoers only 19% read their Bibles every day. In reality, many Americans read their Bibles so little that they attribute things to the Bible that aren’t even there. Do a simple Internet search and you’ll locate all sorts of examples.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to read more from God’s word, study what God has really said in scripture, and listen to the message God has for each of us. We so often miss that last part. We don’t take time to listen to what God has for us in the Bible. Let’s treat the Bible with the respect that should be given to the powerful words from our almighty God.