I was moved to tears watching this 1 minute video. Why? These Chinese Christians have received something that they had hungered after with deep longing. Their expressions and emotions are like those you’d expect from people who had lost their children and had finally found them again, or maybe like those who received life saving medication. What was it that moved them to this profound gratitude and joy? They received their first Bible in a country where Bibles are illegal!
Stop for a second and think through this with me. These Christians, in the past would own a communal Bible. They would tear the pages out and pass the pages around so that everyone could have a portion of God’s Word. Now, they have the whole revelation of God and they are elated. They have drink for their thirst, food for their hunger, and light for the dark road. Watching this both thrills me for what they can now enjoy, but it also convicts me of what I take for granted. Yes, I’m a ‘good Christian’. I read my Bible daily. I carve out time in a busy schedule to read the Bible, but if I’m perfectly honest, there are times this is due more to duty than passion. Don’t get me wrong… persevering even when the passion is not there isn’t bad. It is certainly better than being driven by other passions that take you away from God’s Word.
After watching these dear brothers and sisters hold their very own Bible for the first time, I had to stop what I was doing and take a personal inventory. I gathered all the Bibles I had around the house (this is not including my wife’s or children’s Bibles). I count 23! This does not include the hundred or so Bibles that I have in digital format! So here’s the question I asked myself. If I have 23 Bibles, do I get 1/23 as excited (or 4%) as excited as they are? Do I take having the very Word of God to hand for granted? Am I more passionate about books, social media, current events, politics, hobbies, or my job than I am about God’s eternal Truth? Those are good questions to ponder. If this is where you are at, maybe take some time to pray along with the Psalmist…
Turn my eyes away from what is worthless! Revive me with your word! (Psalm 119:37, NET)
May our passion for God not be diminished by our religious liberties, but rather enhanced!