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Thursday, May 03, 2012

HANDLE WITH CARE


Part I

Some people use their Bibles as repositories for all manner of things. Many women keep dead flowers in them. Do you suppose it is because they know that those precious flowers will not be disturbed in that Book, and that they will be safe there from damage? Let them find books of philosophy and therein keep their flowers. But let every Bible be so heavily used that nothing is safe in it except its reader’s heart and
mind.

Some people like the soft feel of a genuine leather binding, and will use their Bibles as coasters for their Sunday afternoon beers, or sit an ashtray upon them because the textured surface keeps it from slipping and sliding around. Others display them proudly on their coffee tables, so that their friends and neighbors will know that they are reverent, but then they will scream at their children for touching them.

Many Bibles are so overstuffed with papers and cards and old church bulletins and notes and the occasional pencil, with pictures of the grandkids and newspaper clippings, funeral and wedding announcements, that you just know those people couldn’t possibly be actually sitting down and reading those books.

More often than not, Bibles are found at the bottoms of stacks of other books. Far too often does the preacher hear, “Well, I know it’s around here somewhere…” Every Christian should know, not where his Bible is, but where his Bibles are.


Part II

Occasionally you walk into someone’s home and you see a well-cared for Bible, yet it is so worn from heavy use that the color of its cover has faded. Raw leather shows at the corners, yet its pages are neither torn nor wrinkled.

If you should walk into someone’s home and see such a Bible, pick it up and open it — carefully, please. In it you will find many notes, written in small letters so that there is room for more. You will find whole passages marked, rather than the single verses that we’ve all been taught to memorize in our youth. You will never find anything else lying atop that Bible, except perhaps a pair of glasses.


Now, that person will not have the distracted look of a harried person, but the peaceful gaze of a contented soul. There will be joy in his or her eyes that fairly sparkles with vibrant electricity. The merest glance will tell you that here is a person at peace with himself and at peace with the world. Most of all, at peace with God.

Imagine, just a single glance at a well-worn Bible will establish in your heart a connection with that person faster than any other thing.

Let your Bibles become the most highly-prized treasures in your home. Let them be treated with the careful attention that the Word of God deserves. Handle them with great care, but handle them often.

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