BIBLE, value of
An unknown writer said, "This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way
of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy,
its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it
to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct
you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the
pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character.
Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its
grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the
memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is
a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it
will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to
glory itself, for eternity.
In the year A.D. 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued a decree which he hoped would
extinguish the spreading flames of Christianity. One of his primary objectives was the
seizure and destruction of the Christian Scriptures. Later that year, officials enforced
the decree in North Africa. One of the targets was Felix, Bishop of Tibjuca, a village
near Carthage. The mayor of the town ordered Felix to hand over his Scriptures. Though
some judges were willing to accept scraps of parchment, Felix refused to surrender the
Word of God at the insistence of mere men. Resolutely, he resisted compromise. Roman
authorities finally shipped Felix to Italy where he paid for his stubbornness with his
life. On August 30, as the record puts it, "with pious obstinacy," he laid down
his life rather than surrender his Gospels.
Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 41.
Anatoli Shcharansky, a dissident Soviet Jew, kissed his wife goodbye as she left Russia
for freedom in Israel. His parting words to her were, "I'll see you soon in
Jerusalem." But Anatoli was detained and finally imprisoned. Their reunion in
Jerusalem would not only be postponed, it might never occur. During long years in Russian
prisons and work camps Anatoli was stripped of his personal belongings. His only
possession was a miniature copy of the Psalms. Once during his imprisonment, his refusal
to release the book to the authorities cost him 130 days in solitary confinement. Finally,
twelve years after parting with his wife, he was offered freedom. In February 1986, as the
world watched, Shcharansky was allowed to walk away from Russian guards toward those who
would take him to Jerusalem. But in the final moments of captivity, the guards tried again
to confiscate the Psalms book. Anatoli threw himself face down in the snow and refused to
walk on to freedom without it. Those words had kept him alive during imprisonment. He
would not go on to freedom without them.
Discipleship Journal, Issue #43 (1988), p.
It is said that when the famous missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, started his trek
across Africa he had 73 books in 3 packs, weighing 180 pounds. After the party had gone
300 miles, Livingstone was obliged to throw away some of the books because of the fatigue
of those carrying his baggage. As he continued on his journey his library grew less and
less, until he had but one book left--his Bible.
Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 28.