God's Word In The World

August 14, 2017
by Helen Hartai   - Listen to this devotional

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed. (GNT)

One day as I was puttering around my study at home, I came upon a little cardboard box that had been tossed into a box of books carted from my mother's apartment when she needed nursing home care. Inside the box tied with string, there was an old, old book with an embroidered cover. Eventually, the little box landed on my bookshelves, where it sat for a long, long time.

Every once in a while, I would take the book out of its box and look at it. But then, one day, I really looked at it. It was a miniature Bible dated 1628, and by the looks of it, it actually appeared as though it was printed in 1628.

After taking it to a rare book dealer, it became apparent that the age of the book was likely authentic. Apparently, there were about 450 of them printed in 1628. But today, there are only four known and catalogued in the world.

Whenever I happen to mention this in conversation, the first reaction that I hear is, "I bet it's worth a lot of money." That may be true. But its value to me is in its content.

The title page says (with its actual spelling and phrasing), "The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, newly translated out of the original Greek and with the former translations diligently compared, and revised, by his Majesties special command."

That makes it priceless! — to have God's Word in a language that I can read and understand.

I often wonder how many lives have been touched by the reading of these words of Scripture, and how it came to be in my possession, handed down through the generations for almost 400 years.

I also wonder how many lives have been left without comfort in times of sadness … without peace in times of turmoil … without hope in times of devastation … without direction in times of confusion … all because God's Word has been hidden from view, lying unread, gathering dust in some dark corner.

This little book of Scriptures isn't the first one that I have left on the shelf. The Bible that I received at my confirmation sat untouched for years, although I did try to read it when I was a skeptical, questioning teenager — reasoning that I couldn't reject something that I had never studied. So, I began to read at the beginning, in Genesis, but got bogged down in Leviticus.

Then, life got too busy to continue the quest for truth, until I discovered the truth in the old adage, "A Bible that is falling apart is usually owned by someone who isn't." After that, my confirmation Bible got such a workout that it is now falling apart.

The Bible is history … poetry … prophecy … wisdom … instruction. It is hope and comfort and encouragement. But the Bible is more than all that. It is God's written Word that points to God's living Word, Jesus Christ our Lord. It's all written in a language that we can understand under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who helps us to know and do God's will.

God's Word in the world can accomplish more than we could ever dream or imagine, if we take the Word of God off the shelf and let it take us out into the world to be good news to all.

Question for reflection: How would you describe your Bible? Like new? Gently used? Falling apart?

Prayer: Loving God, we thank You for Your words of grace and truth to us found in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Grant that we may cherish Your Word and make room for it in our lives. Amen.

About the author:

Helen Hartai <helenhartai@gmail.com>
Nestleton, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great testimony Helen.

    Good word Helen, thank you.

    What a fascinating story and a great message.
    Thanks for writing

    Thanks Helen, this is a very good devotional. I like the saying “A bible that is falling apart is usually owned by someone who isn’t”.

    Thanks, Helen, for an interesting story and a valuable reminder. I am right now trying to keep from getting “bogged” down in Chronicles!

    How very interesting. Oh yes, Helen, mine looks gently used but, sorry to ‘claim’, not falling apart. I could imagine our Lord slowly shaking His head with approval and knowing you as He does, then adding, “Thou good and faithful servant.”

    Dear Helen
    Thank you for your words of refreshment this morning and, a knock on my head as well. My reading of God’s word has been lacking and your message is very timely. Keep writing.

    It is strange to me, that one is reluctant to read the Bible when one is young, I have heard pastor’s say dig deep into the Bible, and I wondered how? One day I was reading and I couldn’t put it down. It drew me on, chapter after chapter. Now I can’t wait to read morning and evening.

    Helen, thanks for sharing your faith journey with us. Like yours, my confirmation Bible received from my parents is taped together. These days, my Bible gets read on a Kindle electronic reading device! Every day I must wipe the screen clean from fingerprints to keep reading clear. What I love most about this device is being able to enlarge the print for my aging eyes. Blessings.

    Good morning Helen, I so enjoyed reading your devotional today.
    Thank you for submitting the same.
    That was a very interesting story about finding the old Bible in your mother’s belongings.
    I’m glad that you find such richness in God’s word now as we all do.

    Dear Helen,
    Thank you for blessing us with the exposition on the word of God and your though provoking question on the state of our Bibles.
    I recently heard this phrase – “3 hot meals a day; 1 cold snack of the Word of God a Week”. May we find ourselves doing more in our relationship with God and this can only improve by studying the word of God.

    Good morning Helen. During the reading of many books in English about the Bible, I found out THAT we English speaking people, use the word, ‘that’ very often. This word has been inherited from the Greeks and their part in the early translation of the Bible. This word is often used in the Bible and we use it in our everyday language and I just used it in the last sentence. Since this came to my attention, I try to use other words instead of the word, ‘that’ or try to leave them out altogether just to keep my brain active. I find it interesting to know this remnant of the Greek language has followed us down through all the centuries and is still with us today.
    In God’s name, I pray for guidance and wisdom many times throughout the day.

    Dear Helen Hartai,
    Thank you for the grand devotional.
    The old old Word of God is new each time we read it.
    For God’s sake continue to write.

    Dear Helen – thank you for this devotional. What a wonderful story about your mother’s precious bible. I also love the question about the shape of our bibles!! I have not noticed any devotionals from you previously. I hope this will not be your last. May God keep inspiring you to write!

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