“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24,25
Steven J. Pagels
It was time to make a decision, but it wasn’t going to be easy. The Bible that I had been using for most of my schooling and my entire ministry was falling apart. Loose pages occasionally fell out. And my name, which had been imprinted on the front cover, had worn away so that only a few letters remained. I needed to decide: Do I try to repair my Bible, or do I go out and get a new one?
I went to the library, hoping that someone who specialized in taking care of books would be able to help me. The librarian looked at my Bible and let me know that she couldn’t restore it to its original condition, but she did know someone who could. The library sent many of its older volumes to a local book bindery. She assured me that the people who worked there were very good, but they weren’t cheap.
A precious gift
You might be wondering why I would spend the money to fix my old Bible when I could buy a brand-new Bible for half the cost. For one, my Bible had sentimental value. It was a gift from my parents, a gift that I treasured, a gift I had used more than any other gift they ever gave me.
Besides that, it was my personal Bible, and for more than half my life it had been my constant companion. I had highlighted many of my favorite passages. I had scribbled all kinds of notes in the margins. I wasn’t sure I was ready to move on.
A priceless gift
As I agonized over my decision, the Lord led me to a realization. It didn’t really matter which Bible I held in my hands, whether it was new or old. What mattered was that God had given me the priceless gift of his Word. Unlike everyone and everything else in the world, the Word of God endures.
Peter made a similar observation two thousand years ago. Grass sprouts up, and then it withers. Flowers blossom for a season, and then they die. People live, and then they pass away. But God’s Word remains. God’s promises live on. They never wear out. They never grow old. And those promises still will be comforting and encouraging God’s people long after I am gone.
Do you understand what that means for your life? It means that you have no reason to doubt. It means that you have nothing to fear. When God says that he loves you, he means it. When your Savior declares that your sins are forgiven, he guarantees it. When the Lord promises that he will be with you always, you can be certain that he will never leave your side.
Can you guess what I did with my old Bible? I spent the money to have it rebound, and, Lord willing, I will be using it for many years to come. But even when I decide that the book has outlived its usefulness and I replace it with a new one, every promise on its pages will remain because we have God’s guarantee that his Word endures forever.
Contributing editor Steven Pagels is pastor at St. Matthew’s, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
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Author: Steven J. Pagels
Volume 103, Number 10
Issue: October 2016
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