They don’t make Bibles like my first one anymore. It was given to me on my tenth birthday—the year my family became Christians. The cover is white with a golden zipper. Hanging from the zipper is a cross--something I used to look at and fondle--thinking of the impact of this symbol.
The greatest thing about my King James Version Bible was its vivid color illustrations. To a new Christian they made the Bible come alive. In one picture David is defeating Goliath. In another a beautiful rainbow arches over Noah’s ark. Then there’s a picture of baby Jesus in a manger, and a few pages later, He’s healing a sick boy.
I underlined in my Bible—a lot. And as I looked through it today, I wondered why I had underlined certain texts. I know why I underlined the Ten Commandments. I wanted to obey the God I’d come to love—the One who had changed my family. But why did I underline Psalm 116:1: “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.” Did I go through a tough time, and find reassurance in that text that God hears my voice—My voice? And why did I underline Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well in John 4? Did it mean something to me as a young girl that Jesus treated this woman with such kindness and respect?
I must have really liked Psalm 119 because I started underlining the whole chapter. A chapter that leads up to that well-known text in verse 105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” When I read that today I paused. And thought. And wondered.
When does it stop? When does the Bible cease to be our lamp and our light? When do we start taking matters into our own hands or getting advice from anyone or anything except God and His word?
I think we run the danger of becoming so familiar with the Bible that we take it for granted. How many Bibles do you have in your house? I don’t even know our total. But I do know how precious that white Bible was to me when it was my one-and-only.
The Bible is still today what it has always been: God’s word. Words that teach us the right way to live; words that show us what Jesus is like; words that comfort us when we’re hurting; words that give us a future hope when we’re tired of this world; and words that assure us that we’re forgiven and accepted by God. It’s a lamp to keep us from stumbling. And a light when the way is dark. I believe it holds the answer to our every predicament and the fulfillment of our every need. Something to be cherished and to be read daily.