The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. (Ps. 19:8)

In South America, a cluster of Christians have come to be called “the people of the dirty Bibles.” That sounds odd, maybe even blasphemous, but it’s actually a beautiful compliment. These laborers who make their meager living from the land are so in love with God’s Word that at the end of a long workday they hurry home to open their Bibles before they even stop to wash their hands. The pages of their Bibles are smudged and streaked, but imagine how clean their hearts must be!

God’s Word is treasured in places where Bibles are in short supply. As you read this, a North Korean family is risking everything to hide a battered New Testament. A seeker in one of the countries that was once a part of the Soviet Union is standing in line to get a Bible from the limited supplies brought from the West. A Pacific islander is looking in on a translator to ask once again, “Is it finished yet?” Meanwhile, an estimated 90 percent of households in the United States and Canada own a Bible, often more than one, but how passionate are we about it?

When reading and studying God’s Word becomes a delight rather than a duty, maybe our Bibles will be smudged too.

Hide God’s Word in your heart, not on your shelf.

Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. Along with Keith Drury, he co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.