“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4
I always carry a small pocket version of the New Testament with me while I’m at work. It gives me strength through some of the rough times that we all have now and then. A day or two ago, I was talking to a fellow Christian and we looked up a verse with that tiny Bible of mine. He was shocked and kind of angry about there being notes and highlighter marks in my Bible. He said, “The Bible is nothing to be toyed with. You can’t just go writing in there; that is the Word of God. I just can’t forgive that.” Taken aback, I replied, “So you believe that the Bible is the Holy Word of God, but you can’t do what it says?”
I believe every word of the Bible. It is 66 books written over a period of 1500-2000 years by about 40 different authors from 3 different continents. The amazing part is that is the message is continuous. It’s contained in a single book binding, because it reads like a single book. The reason for that is that it was penned by about 40 authors, but the true writer of it is the Holy Spirit Himself. It seems crazy and maybe it is, but once you truly get the first 4 words of the Bible that states, “In the beginning, God…” the rest comes easier. If you think that there is an almighty being who created something as big as the universe and as small as a quark, then it’s not too far of a stretch to think he also created a book or brought someone back to life.
We should all give reverence to the Bible. Not only is it the word of God, but it really does contain some of the finest literature ever made. The Bible is filled with history, songs, and poetry. It is a close friend of mine, but really it’s a book. Granted, it’s not just any old book. It should be kept in high esteem, but all in all, it is just another collection of words if you don’t take those words to heart. You need to internalize God’s Word and make it a part of your everyday life. If you put more faith in the book rather than the Creator, you aren’t living as a Christian.
Just like any book, our minds are not usually adept enough to retain all of the contents of the Bible. For that matter, even if we did remember all of the scriptures, it’s not easy implementing its teachings. Many people I know can spout off certain special verses for different situations, and that’s great, but the real test is are they living those verses? The Bible contains great instruction, but if you can’t put those things to practice, then what good is it? I’m not saying it’s easy to forgive or to love our neighbor, but Jesus says we must, so that’s that. You may be saved by Christ, but the only way to truly help our brothers and sisters is by applying what we have learned from Him.
Whatever it takes to remember and truly ingrain the words of the Lord, whether it’s highlighting a Bible or tattooing the verse on your forehead, if that’s what needs to be done, then I’ll do it. I still have the Bible that my Grandad Harlow preached from and whenever I’m in the pulpit, that’s the book I have with me. It’s absolutely falling apart and even held together in spots with black tape, but I wouldn’t use anything else. It would be like going to battle with a weapon that’s still in its case. The devil loves to see dust on a Bible. You show me a person with a well-worn, marked up, and dog-eared Bible and I will show you a life lived for Jesus. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
God’s blessings to you.