Searching for the Word of God – Literally!
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My wonderful father passed away recently. His life was defined by the vast book collection he possessed – probably why I became a librarian as an adult! When the monumental task came to clear out his books, the “religion” section, which included the Word of God, was NOT supposed to be touched.
Dad owned an old, dusty Bible with a bumpy leather black cover. It sat on a shelf in the three homes my parents owned throughout their lives. I remember as a child, living in Pennsylvania, sneaking into their bedroom to open this Bible. I would do the old “open the book and point” to see what God might want to tell me.
Feeling safe that the books in the “religion” section would not be touched, I let the other books be boxed up and taken away. I really did think about pulling the Bible out for safe keeping, but I did not.
If you could only imagine my grave chagrin when I looked at the bookshelves and I saw an empty space where this Bible was located. This book was the ONLY book I wanted to keep out of the entire collection. I asked my brothers if they took it; I asked my nephew if he took it; I asked everyone, but no one knew what had happened to the Bible.
Weeks later, I was still thinking about that Bible. All the loads of books that were packed up were taken to three different Goodwill stores. Therefore, taking a chance it might still be at one of the stores, I journeyed to each Goodwill store this week in search of “The Word of God.”
At the first Goodwill store, I told my husband that the chances were one in a million the Bible would be there. It was not. At the second Goodwill store, I deeply hoped for the book’s presence. Nope, it was not there either, but I left feeling maybe God will give me GOOD WILL at the last store. As I spotted the third Goodwill store, excitement filled my soul because the store was called “Select Store and Donation Center,” so I went in more hopeful than ever I would find the Bible. Sadly, it was not there. However, I felt better knowing I at least searched for my father’s Bible. And come to find out, after the fact, all three stores I searched were called “Select Store and Donation Centers.”
Why did one book out of all the books my father owned create such strong feelings that resulted in this search? Maybe it was because that book was the beginning of God starting to touch my soul, maybe it was because the Holy Spirit was starting to fill my heart to prepare me for my future trust in Him, or maybe it was just the holiness and power I sensed attached to that book. I would like to think it was all of the above.
Why the Bible is Special[This list is not exhaustive.]
- Divinely inspired [from God];
- The world’s bestselling book;
- God’s Word to us;
- Relevant to us today;
- Teaches us about Jesus Christ;
- Changes lives; and
- Influenced the world for centuries.
Personal Benefits of Searching the Word of God[This list is not exhaustive.]
- Leads us to Christ and eternal life;
- Strengthens our faith;
- Gives us hope;
- Teaches us God’s ways;
- Keeps us from temptation;
- Gives us peace;
- Makes us more usable for his service;
- Guides us in our decisions; and
- Gives us wisdom.
Yes, I was disappointed the Bible was not in any of the three stores. As I drove away, I pondered my deep disappointment, but then I remembered something. Dad’s next-door neighbor was in the house perusing the shelves taking books before the unwanted books were hauled off. Maybe, just maybe, he has the book. I will be sure to ask!
At least I have HOPE now – but isn’t that just like God to give us hope when we are searching his Word.
But he answered, “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Gracious Heavenly Father. Let me search your Word. Sustain me by the wisdom you provide in your Holy Bible. Let me obey and follow your instructions at all times. Give me peace, security, and love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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