A little while ago I decided that it was time to have a new bible. The one I was currently using had served me well for several years but was showing the signs of use, the spine of the cover was bound up in tape and it was a little cumbersome to handle. I felt that I needed a slimline style one, which was more convenient and more respectable to use.
Those who have recently chosen a bible will know what a vast choice there is nowadays. Not only is there the choice of version ( of which there are many ), there is the type of binding, the choice of colour, page size, print size, additional contents such as reference or central reference, concordance or no concordance, with or without study notes, maps or no maps etc. As with so many things these days the choice is enormous.
As I tried to make my decision I couldn’t help but reflect on the sacrifices made, the lives given , the lives taken, the effort, strife, torment and torture suffered to retain and preserve the Word of God through the ages so that we can have in our hand the bible of our choice.
Historically, it has been with tremendous cost that we are able to have this choice today but we do also need to remember that there are still those throughout the world today without access to the word of truth and lives are still being endangered some even lost in endeavouring to bring the Word of God to them . Let us not forget the tremendous work being carried out in this respect by organisations such as The Bible Society, Wycliffe, Open Doors, Scripture Union, Gideons to name but a few.
We should never undervalue what it means to hold a bible in our hands and the ease at which we can obtain the one of our choice. I`m reminded of the story of Mary Jones, a bare footed fifteen year old welsh girl who had saved what money she had for six years and in 1800 walked twenty six miles across mountainous terrain to the nearest place where she could buy one. This incident was the inspiration for the formation of the Bible Society as it is known today.
It is now a very long time since the writers of the Old Testament recorded the history of Gods people and His heart for them and mankind and His plan of Salvation for the world, an account which is continued by the apostles and writers of the New Testament. All inspired by God for a purpose.(2 Timothy 3:16 see below) It is indeed amazing how all this has been preserved down through the centuries against immeasurable opposition so that today we can read it in a language we can understand and through it become better acquainted with the author, our Father God, and the way in which he wants us to live.
‘All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.’ 2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT
Prayer: Dear Lord. Thank you for your word and all those who have gone before and given so much and in many cases their lives to ensure its preservation. Please help and supply the needs of those producing and distributing your word in all its various forms around the world today. Please help me to always value your word and treat it with respect and never casually. Help me by your Spirit to read it with integrity and to apply its truths to my own life and to help others do likewise. Amen.
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