In July 2007, 23 missionaries were held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Two of those missionaries were killed by the Taliban before the rest were released back to South Korea.
One of the survivors tells a little-known story about their time together in captivity as prisoners. On their last night together before they were separated, they figured that many, if not all of them, would be martyred for their faith. Each one of them surrendered totally to God and said they were willing to die for his glory.
One of them had managed to keep a very small Bible from being confiscated. Knowing they were about to be separated, he ripped it into 23 different pieces, so that each of them could glace at a portion of the Bible when they needed God’s strength, comfort, wisdom or hope.*
That’s how valuable the treasure of God’s word is to us! It’s his message of and about Jesus—of and about his saving, healing, loving, forgiving, reconciling, and renovating work for all people! It offers us strength and comfort and wisdom and hope!
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Is that true for us? Does the message of and about Jesus guide us through life’s darkness and uncertainty? Is it the source of our illuminating hope? Or is it something we leave on the shelf, willingly ignore, undervalue, or take for granted?
In the Bible, not only does God teach you about who he is and what he does, but he teaches you who you are and about what he can do through you as he unceasingly breathes faithful, healing hope into a faltering, battered world.
In Luke 1:37 the angel reminds us that “no word from God will ever fail.”
Just because you’re not held captive by the Taliban doesn’t mean you need it any less.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast called “Cherish” which is Part 1 in the “Crop” series. See the video here and the audio only here (click and scroll down). Enjoy!
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–* Today’s story is told in: Francis Chan, Forgotten God, p. 107.