What Are So Few Bibles?

Sunday, August 2, 2015
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Listen while you read: "Grace Greater Than Our Sin"1 (Lyrics)

Yesterday, God answered a question that I had asked in a moment of discouragement over 42 years ago — and I was blessed beyond words!

A friend and I had taken Bibles with us into Russia, even though it involved considerable danger, because doing so was strictly prohibited at that time. The Lord led us through several obstacles to a tiny church where we gave them to the overjoyed pastors.

I vividly recall watching in horror as they began to tear out page after page and place them in piles. On noticing my expression, they quickly explained that these would be distributed to the members of their congregation, who would copy out each page and then pass them along for others to copy. In such a way, the Word of God was spread among the believers who were so hungry for His Word.

As we left that church, teenagers crowded around me with tears streaming down their faces, crying words that would haunt me for many years. "Young people never get Bibles — only old people." I remember the feeling of futility that engulfed me. What was the point of it all? It had taken a lot of planning and a high degree of risk, and for what? What were so few Bibles among so many?

Yesterday, as I shared this story with a group of ladies in a seniors' residence, the Lord gave me my answer with reference to the miracle of feeding the hungry crowd that had gathered in the wilderness to listen to Jesus. When the disciples suggested that they be sent away to get something to eat before they fainted from hunger, Jesus replied, "You give them something to eat." (Luke 9:13 NIV)

John 6:8-9 – Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (NIV)

Luke 9:16-17 – Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, [Jesus] gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. (NIV)

Suddenly a light went on. When the pages were torn from those few Bibles and their words were copied over and over again, their message was multiplied, just as the loaves and fishes had been, and many thousands would eventually be fed. My part was in simply being obedient to His direction to take the Bibles to the pastors in Russia (my five loaves and two fish).

As for my question, "What were so few Bibles among so many?" one day, I shall know, when I meet the untold number of recipients who were fed by these precious words of the gospel. In the meantime, my heart can rejoice.

I'm sure that we all have days when we wonder exactly what effect all our efforts and dedication will have in glorifying God or extending His kingdom. Such days can be discouraging, and when months or years go by, and we see no concrete results, we may even be tempted to give up. Next time this happens to you, think back on this account. Hopefully you will see, as I did, when our all is in the Master's hands for Him to bless and break, miracles will happen.

Prayer: Father of understanding and compassion, we are so grateful that You know us inside out. Be with us when doubts and questions assail us. Lift our failing spirits, and give us Your encouraging smile, so that we will keep on keeping on, until that day when we will hear Your loving words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Y. Greer <sygreer11@gmail.com>
Sandycove Acres, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very inspiring Sharon. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this insightful experience. Blessings.

    Sharon – What a great recollection of a wonderful story. It blessed my heart. Thank you.

    Hi Sharon:
    Great story! Thanks so much for sharing.
    God bless you always.

    Thanks for sharing your story and how God works through everything we do for Him. What seems small in our eyes can be used mightily by Him. Thanks be to God!

    Excellent. Thanku Sharon.
    My goodness, you are a well-travelled lady. What a difference you have made in lives.
    Blessings and I needed that prayer today.

    Hello Sharon:
    How few Christians would take the risk you did to spread the gospel. God must have a special place prepared for you in his kingdom (John 14:1-3).

    Thank you for the devotional on Why Are So Few Bibles.
    It was a miracle when Jesus and the disciples fed so many with the five loaves and two fish. I’m sure the few bibles you took to Russia fed many, too. Thank you for being one to risk so much to feed a starving people.

    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for this insightful message. I admire your willingness to place yourself in danger for the sake of the gospel. And even though you didn’t understand at the time, it’s wonderful how the Holy Spirit revealed to you now that your simple obedience to His will produced a multitude of blessings. Praise God, His Word never returns void – what a lesson for us all!

    Thank you,sharon, for the devotional.
    I pray for those dear people who must copy small portions of scripture– but I thank God that they do so, sharing them with one another. May they contiune to be diligent in it until they will have Bibles. And we pray that the regime that enslaves to evil will hear and believe, many, many individuals forming a mighty Jesus-spirited people going forth with the Word and the Way of our Lord.
    Keep writing.

    Your message revived 40 plus year old memories of Dr. Sidney Correl and The United World Missions.
    Very dangerous travels, considering the penalty for acts of subversion. I recall Dr. Correl traveling under the guise of cattle breeder when he traveled to USSR. He was detained briefly once, the authorities had become suspicious of his frequent trips.
    Still, as your message today affirms, God does not permit the risk and efforts to fail His purpose. Thank you for reminding us of that promise.
    (Alabama USA)


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