I picked up my Life Application Bible (LAB) the other day. It was the first study Bible I owned and it was given to me by the women’s group of the church I attended at the time. The back cover is no longer attached and the maps and concordance are falling out as well. I keep saying I'm going to get some red duct tape and fix it, but never have! The LAB is the one I read / studied when I first came to know Jesus as my Lord, not just my Savior. It has pages that are tear-stained, crumbled, and torn! I have written in it in all different colors of ink - it was a system at one time, I’m sure. And although I no longer use this Bible on a daily basis, it is still a source of life for me.
I had an overwhelming urge to go through a box of stuff on Thursday and ran across my Spirit Filled Life Bible and noticed that the same thing is beginning to happen to this Bible as well. The spine is broken and pages, although not falling out, are not as attached as they once were. I've had this Bible almost as long as the LAB. Memories came in like a flood – oh, the things I learned while reading this Bible. Here too, I found the man I eventually fell in love with – Jesus Christ. I smiled contently as I opened it, knowing I had just picked up an old friend.
I have several other Bibles as well and each of them has a different part of my life attached. Some are well used and some, well, let's just say we're getting to know each other! There’s the NKJV I received for my birthday a couple of years ago. It’s the first one that a friend actually wrote in – even if I did have to make him! I haven’t seen him since as he was moving to Virginia that day. It is the Bible I take to church with me and I am reminded to pray for him because of his gift. And I have a Message Bible. This is the one in which my granddaughter Mallory wrote a message just for me in the midst of the Psalms! She also found the maps and drew roads leading to Kansas and Kentucky…..right there in the middle of Israel and the Middle East! I smile when I see the evidence of God!
The outside of the Bibles are different, some showing signs of age and wear & tear, and yet all of them have one thing in common – they direct me to the One I need.
If I am in trouble - “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11. He’s thinking of me…of you…right now! And He has plans to give me a future and hope?! How cool is that?!
If I want words with which to praise Jesus Christ, I can open any Bible to the Psalms and praise Him with words from the psalmist. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6. Hey, I have breath! I will praise the Lord!!
Am I feeling unloved? Song of Songs 4:9 says “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes…”. I and yes, you, have stolen the heart of Jesus! Believe it, it is real!
Am I sick? Look at Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him. And by His stripes we are healed.” Life giving words! We are healed!
All this to say – my Bible is a friend. But each time I open it I find my real Friend, who is my Savior, my Lord, my Healer, my Provider, my Lover, my God. And the list goes on and on……