Last week I lost my preaching Bible. And I still haven’t found it. It’s pretty devastating. I have other Bibles (I feel like only other speakers will feel my pain) but I had gotten this one to the perfect point where it lay open so I wouldn’t lose my page and was perfectly creased so I could hold it at the same time as a hand held microphone. Sounds crazy I know, but I’m serious. I’m still praying it turns up somewhere!
However, today I went into Koorong to buy a new Bible. I was standing there for a least half an hour trying out the different Bibles to see which one “felt right”. None of them did. They were all stiff and lifeless. I eventually found one similar to my old Bible, but it’s still not the same.
It got me thinking. Bibles that are unopened are useless. The Bibles in the shop felt soulless because they had never been opened, never been used for their intended purpose. Bibles need to be worn in.
The power of a Bible is not in the nice thin pages, the gilded lining or the leather cover. The power isn’t even really in the fact that the words have been translated painstakingly from Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic into English or that the original text dates back thousands of years. The power is in the reading, hearing, understanding and applying of the words. The words God has given to us as his people.
Often we complain about not knowing what God wants us to do or worry that God never speaks to us but that isn’t true. God has spoken to us and the words are written in the Bible we just have to open it. There is so much wisdom in the Bible and yet many of us never give it a chance. There are so many answers to questions that people have been asking for centuries that never make it into our heads or hearts because we never open the book.
How is your Bible looking? Does it still look like it did when you bought it?
I challenge you to rack up some time with your Bible. Dive into it and read the words that have been faithfully recorded and preserved by the people of God. Open it so many times that the spine starts to break. Wear out your favourite book so that it begins to fall out and you can see the fingerprints and coffee stains on the page. That is when the Bible has done its best work – when it has been well used and worn. Not because it makes us look more spiritual, but because the Word of God has been at work in us.
A lifeless Bible is an unopened one.