Rekindling the Flame

1 Thessalonians 1:6

You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

In my study at home I have a small, yellowed piece of paper framed in glass. It was given to me by a missionary who works with Chinese believers.  

Today, millions of Chinese Christians are meeting secretly in house churches to study the Word of God together. Many of them do not have a personal copy of the Bible. Often entire churches do not have access to a complete copy of the Scriptures.

That is why this old piece of paper is so special to me; it happens to be a handwritten page—a portion of the New Testament in the Mandarin language. This piece of paper was once someone's copy of Scripture.  

Imagine . . . they didn't have a Bible—they had a page.

Much like the Thessalonians, these believers obviously hungered to hear and have the Word of God. They had no doubt copied it many times over so that other believers could read from God's Word, perhaps never before hearing the truths that were written on this small page.

What a contrast to most of us! The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association estimates that the average church-going family in America owns at least four Bibles. 

Perhaps one reason that we don't treasure the Scriptures is because we have such ready access to them.  It's easy to take precious things for granted. We may have copies of the Bible lying on tables, closet shelves, and bookcases but this can lead to a serious problem: how does the truth within the pages of that closed Book penetrate our lives?

There is a vast difference between having the Bible inside our home and having the Bible inside our heart.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:6, we are told that the believers received the Word of God. They readily received its truth, even though it would mean tribulation and persecution.

What we take for granted, the early church received with great hunger, as does the Chinese church today.  

We conclude these 30 days of contemplation with this challenge: let's ask Christ to rekindle in our hearts a greater love for His Word and a greater desire to hear and study it.  

Oh, that He would imprint on our hearts what we hold in our hands!  

God does not want you to simply possess a Bible . . . He wants the Bible to possess you.

Prayer Point: Ask God to give you a stronger passion for His Word. That is exactly what we need: a hunger and thirst for the written Word—which leads to a greater love for Jesus Christ, the Living Word. 

Extra Refreshment: Read all of Psalms 119 and take note of each verse delivering some truth or principle about the Word of God.


The Danger of Playing God
 
Would it surprise you to discover there are times when a discerning believer is encouraged to judge someone else?  Maybe it would surprise you to find out when judging another person would be absolutely wrong.  In just 2 verses, the Apostle James uses the word judge six different times.  And in this special CD thank-you, Stephen will explain where the Apostle James says it’s right to judge . . . and when it’s wrong.

Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!