October 19, 2004
For you have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.
--1 Peter 1:23 (NLT)
The Cotabato Manobo Indians of the southern Philippines have believed the legend of the “papers” for generations. The legend told how the Creator had given some very important papers to their ancestors.
According to the story, news came one day that some people were coming to harm the Manobos. Before fleeing, one of the tribesmen took almost all of the papers and floated them out to sea, and the rest he took with him to the mountains. Legend has it that when he hid them in a crack in a tree, the papers turned into a dove.
After that, the Cotabato Manobo people believed that one day a Milikano (white man) would come and bring the lost papers of God with him. For many long years, they waited for this hope to be fulfilled.
In 1957, Tom and Elnore Lyman came and began translating the New Testament into their language. The people began to believe that their legend was being fulfilled. As a result of the life-changing message of God’s Word, many of the Manobo Indians since then have experienced salvation through Jesus Christ. Today, they are ecstatic to have the Bible in their language, and have determined to keep watch care over it so that it will never again be lost.
We also have the Bible. I can say with confidence that many of you probably have at least one Bible, and some may even have two, three, or more. Just as the Manobos treasures their “papers of God,” let us cherish God’s Word. It may be hard to believe, but there are millions of people throughout the world, even in the United States, who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and have never had access to a Bible. May we never take for granted the freedom we have to worship and openly read God’s Word. Today, thank God for this. Commit yourself to obey Scripture and share it with others.
GOD’S WORD IS THE ONLY HOPE FOR A WORLD THAT IS DYING.
Taken from Lessons from the Heart
Copyright 2001 by Jack Graham