But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 Timothy 3:14-17 (NIV)

Bagels and cream cheese were at the top of my shopping list. I was intent on catering to the request of a young house guest and happily  went off to purchase his breakfast items.  I wasn’t in the least prepared for what I saw in the bakery section.  There were bagels all right. Plain ones. Ones made of wheat flour. Ones with white flour. Others with potato flour. There were preservative-free ones. Ones that contained eggs – ones made with egg substitutes. ‘Raisined’. ‘Cinnamoned’. ‘Multi-grained’. Sliced. Whole. … The list goes on. I couldn’t decide what to buy so I went with my gut and bought plain ones even though the nutritional value seemed lowest.  As it turned out, my visitor was quite happy with my selection.

My bagel  buying experience made me think of Bibles  available to us in 2011. Way back then, I remember two versions  The King James and  the Good News. I liked reading the Good News because of the cartoon drawings.  I liked reading the KJV because I enjoyed Shakespearean writings.  I wasn’t reading for understanding and I certainly wasn’t reading for growth. The ‘nutritional’ value didn’t matter to me.

These days the choices are wider.  Hard copies. Online versions. Language Options. Illustrated.  Modern Language types.  Read-assist features.  Gender-directed.  Age- Specific. Journal formatted. Cross- reference features. With or without commentaries and concordances. Besides this, we have comparative Bibles, reference texts and expository writings…  We have more tools than ever to help us understand His blueprint for our lives, yet we don’t read as much as we ought to.  We barely seem to be able to find time to do the ‘needful’ each day, let alone to find time spend time in quiet communion with Him… For us, it’s a choice. We just don’t always admit it.

There are others who don’t read because they have nothing to read … they simply don’t have a Bible. They don’t have the luxury of choosing versions or editions or formats. They don’t care if the Bibles they receive are leather bound, large print or modern English.  They hunger for His truth. They believe the Word of God to be the Word of God and long for His word in print.  How do we respond?  A missionary who visited our church shared some statistics with us about new believers in faraway places and their need for Bibles. I can’t remember all he said,  but I remember the story of the village with only one Bible …

All believers need the Scriptures in order to “be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” How can we help get the Word out?

Inventory / Introspection: How many Bibles do I own? How often do I read each one?  Am I willing to use my resources in getting His Word to believers who don’t have the gift of choice?

Father, I am blessed beyond measure. I don’t always recognize Your blessings until it’s no longer with me but today I choose to thank You. I thank You that I live in a land where I can freely access online Bible reading and Bible study tools. I thank You that I can read Your words with my own eyes and that I can listen to electronic versions if I choose to.

I thank You that there are no censors or restrictions and that I can share Your words with those You’ve placed in my life. Your Holy Words are not for display purposes. Help me to be honest in my assessment of my resources and to respond to those who need to read Your words.

You do not contradict Yourself. I choose to listen to Your direction.  Amen


Toni R

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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