For granted

Just a few of my Bibles...

Just a few of my Bibles…

Oh my, the things we take for granted. Let me change that “we” to “I.” A few weeks ago, I came across this video on social media. [A view of Christians in China opening their Bibles for the first time.] It made me really stop and think. Do I react like this to God’s Holy Book? Have I ever? What would it mean for me to not have His Word readily available?

As an American, I “rejoice” (but do I?) at the fact that I am allowed the freedom to worship. I don’t know what it is like to be without that freedom. I guess I don’t think about the freedom; I just take it for granted.

As an American and a Christ follower, I have many, many versions of the Bible in my house. Included in my list is the “Family Bible.” You know the one—King James Version that has all of the family births and deaths recorded in it. Mine also includes inoculation dates, certainly not near as many as there are now (but that’s another story).  My Family Bible used to (emphasize USED TO) have a prominent space on the coffee table. But now, of course, we no longer have a coffee table. We have a large leather ottoman on which to place our feet, drinks and chips. Definitely would look weird to have a Bible displayed on this piece of furniture.

I have another King James Bible (somewhere). It’s white, and has my confirmation date of April 14, 1968 imprinted in gold. That Bible was pretty special to me. For a while. Until the NEW King James—or was the first updated-in-today’s-language version the Revised Standard Version?—became available. And then there were more! I won’t take the time to list all of the versions, but I am going to pause here to count how many Bibles have in my possession.  … I count 13, but I know of at least 3 others that are squirreled away in other places (i.e., not the closet). Then I have various children’s and teen versions of the Bible. And to top it off, which Bible do I usually go to? You guessed! One of the two I have downloaded to my iPad.

One time, I was in another country and our team had brought a bunch of Bibles over to give to the children there. They seemed to be gratefully received; that is, until we noticed many lying in the ditches. It made me really sad. But now that I think about it, am I really any different? Oh, my Bibles aren’t lying in the ditch, but is the closet any better? I certainly don’t seem to cherish God’s Book as much as I should.

I may take the Bible for granted at times…but I am really thankful.

Yes, I do take God’s Word for granted, at least sometimes. But, in reality, I am enormously thankful for it. Besides, I do tend to be rather hard on myself. (Insert Jesus’ love and forgiveness here.) In addition, I love how God’s Word is not confined to a book. It’s far bigger than that, because each one of us can (to quote a great kid’s song), “…take God’s promises and hide ‘em in my heart.” So I don’t forget. So I can share His Word with others. So that I can remind myself and other people about all of God’s promises, and that in Jesus, they are all “Yes and amen!” As 1st Corinthians 1:20-22 says, “ For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,  who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

That’s just what I need! A guarantee that God is with me and is for me every single day, when I take things for granted and when I have moments of thankfulness.

Father, “Oh, how I love your teachings! They are in my thoughts all day long (Psalm 119:97).” Help me “not to take Your Word for granted, but hide it in my heart, so that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).” Thank you, Lord, for Your precious Word, for sending Your precious Son to be the Word made flesh, and for giving me and all who believe the Holy Spirit, who lives in our hearts. Amen.

May God bless you and help you to receive those blessings with thankfulness and joy!

Jeanne

 

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