Pastor's Blog - Mining for Treasure
Call it Spring cleaning in the Summer, but I was deeply engrossed in book boxes. Over the years I have accumulated quite a library (probably to the idolatrous level) and decided that now that I have nowhere to store these precious pieces of literature, it was time to downsize the library and make better use of the books I already have. Sooooooo...I was cleaning out books. I still have a lot of boxes but definitely whittled it down tremendously. It was actually quite fun because I trashed some (ugh-stab to the heart), sold some and, even more fun, gave some away! It was a great joy blessing the men in our church with theological resources!
In the midst of all of these books, I also discovered the best book of all, the Word of God in many forms. I found my first Bible ever, given by my great uncle, a navy blue, leather-bound KJV. I never read it, I wasn't interested. With it, though, was a well-worn paper covered NIV Student Bible. These were my hungry years. I also found the Bible I used in seminary-a wide margin, NASB for notetaking. It is covered in writing, highlights, and Greek and Hebrew notes. In that box was the 1599 Geneva Bible, translated into English by John Knox while in exile at the risk of his life with study notes originally written by John Calvin. All of these are great treasures of mine. Call me a knowledge-hoarder, a Bible nerd...yes that's me!
We don't realize how blessed we are to have God's Word in our language. Do I stop and take the time to be thankful for those who risked and gave their lives so I could have the Bible in my heart language? I read the ESV now, and I find fresh fruit for my famished soul every morning from it. Those pages smell of the blood of martyrs. Yet, all over the world, blood continues to be spilled for the Word of God. Untold millions have never read it, never beheld the glory within. Many lose their lives over the Bible because it is the most illegal book in the world.
In God's divine Sovereignty and Providence, He used those book boxes of mine and my book hoarding mentality. In that box with those Bibles, I unmined some other treasure-Bibles in Arabic. Man it was awesome to hold the Word of God in a language that represents so many unreached peoples the world over. I decided to share the treasure. I packed up two Arabic Bibles and set them aside to take to church Sunday. There are 362,375,000 Arabic speakers in the world. Most have never read the Bible. Getting the Bible to them requires illegal Bible smuggling and underground evangelistic efforts. I had two Arabic Bibles in my hoard. I delivered these two precious troves to Waypoint Church Sunday and gave them to someone in our church who works with Iraqi Arabs specifically. There are 16,370,000 unreached Iraqi's on this planet. Gospel work among Arabs takes years before fruit is seen. The Triangle houses many Iraqi Arabs. Sunday, two Iraqi Arabs walked into our church and were handed two Arab Bibles. In. Their. Language.
Reach Durham. Reach the Nations.