On a recent mission trip, I experienced a sad reality. Our team was sent out into desperately poor neighborhoods where we knocked on doors and spread the Good News about God’s love for them and about a new church with a great pastor in town. We entered into kind conversation. Whether they believed that God really could love them or cared whether God loved them or not, they were always courteous.
I have never been turned down so many times when I offered a Bible. You would think that at least they might take it and try to sell it or something. Perhaps they said “no” for holy reasons; they saw it as special and they knew they were not going to read it so better to leave it for someone who would read it. It was a strange experience to have so many people say “no” when asked if they wanted to have a Bible.
When I stop and think about it, how many of us have said “no” to the Bible today? We have the very words of God written down in a handy collection, but our life choices demonstrate that we think it is nice that there might be a God out there who loves us, yet we don’t think highly enough of Him to believe His Words should have any impact in our lives.
I’ve developed a habit of reading the Bible when I was 16 years old, so I have read it over and over. I can’t get to the end. It is always relevant to my life. The stories never grow old! I have gotten so attached to reading the Bible daily that even if I am in a situation where I don’t have time in the morning, I won’t leave the house without at least having a word or phrase from the Bible to take with me into the day. I may not be able to have my regular routine of devotions, yet the one word from Scripture is essential for me.
What I’m trying to say is that I don’t see myself as someone who says “no” to the Bible. Yet. each time another person declined the Bible I offered them, I began to take a deeper look at myself. When do I say “no” to the Bible? I do stop to get that word or phrase for the day, but many days I cannot recall it when I try. (I write it down because I can’t remember.) I don’t think of it again until I’m in a tight spot or confusing situation, and I try to think—what did God say to me today. I often have to go and look at what I wrote down. My normal way of living my life is to read the Bible then live what comes naturally to me and only consult it when I get to a decision or situation where I don’t know what to do.
God has given us His Word. After Jesus and the Holy Spirit, it is the most amazing gift we have been given. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I have been given a God-breathed tool that is useful for the most important training of my time in this world. It teaches me, rebukes me, corrects me and trains me to be a righteous servant and fully aware of every good work God sends for me to do! I want to stop saying “no” to the Bible.