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By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted July 30, 2014

EDGEFIELD – Finding something that has been lost is really exciting! I had the joy of seeing a friend of mine find a lost wedding ring last summer. It was during the HWY 23 yard sale and she had just sold a storage crate to a person. The person was loading the crate when all of a sudden; the lady who bought the crate asked “is this your ring?” It was my friend’s wedding ring she had lost a year earlier. She was ecstatic!
Then this week I found another similar story about Lois Matykowski whose wedding ring had been lost for five years. The Stevens Point, Wis., resident spent hours on hands and knees looking for the special band when she first lost it. And on one special day in June, Matykowski and her wedding ring were reunited—though she may now want it cleaned. That’s because Matykowski found the ring in a puddle of her dog’s vomit. According to Tucker the dog’s veterinarian, the dog probably gobbled up the jewelry piece years ago. The vet said it may have dislodged in a recent incident where Tucker gobbled up a Popsicle—stick and all. (http://www.worldmag.com/2014/07/quick_takes/page2).
In both these cases, the people had simply given up looking. Looking was hard and discouraging so they gave it up as lost. Many people give up reading their Bibles for the same reasons. The sad fact is that even though the Bible remains the most sold book in the world, it's also one of the most neglected ones. The Barna Research Group of Glendale California reports that in a typical week, only 10 percent of Americans read the Bible every day. I find this a little high honestly. Another survey found that 82 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is either the literal or "inspired" Word of God. That means that a huge majority of people say to themselves “I believe that God inspired the Scriptures, but I don’t care enough to even read them”

The survey also reported that more than half said they read the Bible at least monthly.  Yet half couldn't name even one of the four gospels. And fewer than half knew who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
People value the Bible, but are not willing to do the “work” to study, understand, and apply it to their life. The Bible is daunting to pick up and just start reading. But we will live in an age where the tools and helps for study are at our fingertips. The reality is that too many people park their Bible. This is a huge pet-peeve of mine. I look for Bibles "parked" in the rear window of someone's car.  I look for it in parking lots, especially the Antioch Baptist Church parking lot!  It is really common; a guy will come out of church, hop into his car, toss his Bible in the back, and leave it there until the next Sunday. That's quite a statement of the value he places on God's Word. I also look at the names of people who leave Bibles at church, and then I watch and see how long it takes them to notice their Bible is missing. Now I should not judge.  They may have other Bibles at home.  My sad point is that the Bible is owned, read on rare occasions, even taken to church—but not studied daily at home.

Imagine this hypothetical situation. You have been asked to sift several tons of sand from one pile to another by spooning it through a hand-held strainer or sieve. Without a doubt, you would find such a task boring. But suppose you were told that you would probably catch a gold nugget or a diamond at least every 15 minutes, and you could keep whatever treasure you found. Would that still be boring? With a little effort and little time, such riches can be found all the time in God's Word. The Psalmist knew this as he wrote in Psalm 119:72 “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”

Now with full and open access to such a great spiritual treasure, why neglect it any longer? I pray each of you commit to getting into God’s word daily!  Listen to the plea of Donald Whitney “Surely we only have to be realistic and honest with ourselves to know how regularly we need to turn to the Bible. How often do we face problems, temptations, and pressure? Every day! Then how often do we need instruction, guidance and greater encouragement? Every day! To catch all these felt needs up into an even greater issue, how often do we need to see God’s face, hear His voice, feel His touch, know His power? The answer to all these questions is the same: every day!” (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, p. 33)

I’ll be praying for you what Paul prayed on behalf of the Ephesian church in Eph 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints.”

Pastor Phillip

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