Don't Take it For Granted

A recent sermon at church reminded me of a great story from years ago. In the mid-1990s, I was on a mission trip to Russia with a group of school teachers. They let me come because I was a Bible teacher, though never in a school setting. We were part of a pilot group that would teach a Christian curriculum to Russian public school teachers.

We took Russian Bibles to give to each of the teachers at the conference. One of our team members, Joyce Klutts, an energetic senior citizen from our church, shared this story from her group.

On the first day of the 4-day conference she handed out the Russian Bibles, one to each teacher. As Joyce taught for the next several hours she noticed one man, Victor, who was not paying any attention to her teaching but was writing feverishly in his notebook. At the break, Joyce encouraged him to listen to the seminar and do his other work later.

During the entire afternoon sessions he kept writing in his notebook, oblivious to the seminar or anything else going on around him.

At the end of the day Joyce spoke firmly to Victor, telling him to please do his work some other time so that he would not miss any of the session tomorrow. He apologized and said, “This is the first Russian Bible I’ve ever had a chance to hold, and I want to copy down as much as possible before I have to give it back.”

Joyce told him, “The Bible is yours to keep; it’s a gift.”

Victor held the Bible to his chest, shook his head in disbelief, and tears hit the floor.

As Joyce shared this story with the rest of the team, we too were moved. Owning a Bible was such a common thing for us that we’d all taken it for granted and didn’t prize it as we should.

Victor had the right perspective and he became our teacher.

I’m including a video of believers in China, receiving their own Bibles, to remind us once again what a treasure it is to own a copy of God’s Word.

We Take Them for Granted, But Other Countries Treat Bibles Like Gold! from believe836 on GodTube.

7 comments to Don’t Take it For Granted

  • Chris

    We are so privileged to have Bibles, reminds me not to take this for granted! All the more a privilege to study and hide His Word in our hearts so that we may not sin against our Lord!

    Thanks Janet for all you do in encouraging the body of Christ!

    Love in Christ and prayers,
    Chris Gray

  • Richie

    Wow, what a powerful video! And what a contrast that was to your blog photo of many bibles thrown out on the ground. God, help me see the precious value of your Word!

  • Ethan

    Thankful for believers around the world who love God and His Word. This video made me stop and think about how many unused Bibles I have sitting on a shelf in my house.

  • Rebecca

    Oh, this made me cry!!

  • Chérie

    Every believer needs to hear this story and see this clip. We need these reminders. We are so blessed to have Bibles everywhere we turn. We don’t know what the future holds exactly but Jesus won’t come back for us because all is “just ducky” in the world. If I hadn’t been memorizing already, this would have straight-up stirred my heart to memorize. 
    Pastor Saeed, from my church is illegally imprisoned in Iran right now, and whatever scripture he had memorized before is all he has, and all he will have until he is released from prison. (Pray for him)
    Janet, bless your stinking little heart! You are so good at encouraging us to keep going in this amazing process of memorization. 

  • Josh

    Two years ago, I tried reading Christian fiction. (I don’t care much for fiction, though I was a avid reader of novels until the day I was saved.) it was a science-fiction story about the Christians in the End Times. In the story, the government had made the world change from paper to digital books, and then deleted all religious texts. Needless to say, few Christians had memorized much Scripture. I didn’t read much past that because the whole thing was too depressing (I prefer the hope that is in the Captivity Epistles; at least there, St. Paul is an inspiring example, unlike the character in the story).

    The reason I bring this up is because a similar scenario could happen here in our lifetimes. The fact that Bibles are scarce in so many countries, and that the West seems to be preparing to follow suit, is a powerful motivator to memorize. “Redeem the time.” “The night cometh, when no man can work.”

    Somehow, we have lots of time for worldly amusements like TV and fiction when we haven’t read the whole Bible or memorized much.

    • Josh
      One book you might enjoy is Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, it is a very good book about the Chinese underground Church. Taken from real individual accounts and put into story form.