Some time ago in England, a young man’s Grandmother went to be with the Lord. The wider family was called to her lawyer’s office for the reading of her last will and testament and distribution of her assets, according to the document.
When it was the young man’s turn, his grandmother had written, “…and to my Grandson, I leave my Bible and all its treasures”.
Despite his upbringing and Godly heritage the young man had drifted somewhat from his walk with Jesus over the years. Although he dared not say it out loud, as he heard those words, he thought to himself, “…of everything she had to give me, why is she leaving me this old thing? I know what’s in here, I’ve read it all before. There’s no ‘treasure’. What does she even mean by that?”
Somewhat begrudgingly, he took his Grandmother’s old Bible home. Placing it high up on his mantelpiece amongst several other books, he promptly forgot it was there – never even opening it once.
Some years later, things weren’t going so well for the young man. Finances had become an issue and he found himself generally having lost his way in life.
He felt as if he had nowhere to turn.
One day, as he decided to do some cleaning and dust his mantelpiece, he bumped into his Grandmother’s old, unused Bible.
“Wow! This old thing!”, he said – taking it down and wiping off a thick layer of dust that had now accumulated on the cover.
Somewhat at the end of himself and motivated by the difficulties he was facing in life, he asked, “I wonder what this thing has to offer? Why was it so special to Grandma?”
As he opened her old Bible, he saw on the inside cover the same phrase written to him that his Grandma had stated in her will, “…to my Grandson, I leave my Bible and all its treasures”.
As he then began to flick through and open the first few pages, to his astonishment, a 20 pound note fell out from between them. Turning to the next page, another 20 pound note fell out. As he subsequently made his way through his Grandma’s beloved book, it transpired that 20 pound notes fell from between each of the pages as he turned to them.
The monetary value ended up being thousands of pounds worth of 20 pound notes.
The young man was amazed – all these years he had been sitting on a ‘treasure’ which he’d been totally unaware he had in his possession.
Simply because he’d never bothered to open his Bible.
Thought provoking story, isn’t it? And as I read it I was challenged in several ways. Spoiler alert, the ‘treasure’ to be found in reading the Bible has nothing to do with the value of the money!
But, I was encouraged – and as I explain, may you be also.
Firstly, I was reminded there is always room for me to read my Bible more than I often do, and secondly I felt as if God laid something on my heart.
He gently reminded me that if I, as a Christian, own a Bible but don’t read it then I’m like the young man in our story.
I have in my possession something which is immeasurably valuable, but if I don’t read it – and subsequently live it – how will I ever fully realise its value and apply the truth of God’s Word in my life?
Of course, we know God’s Word is a priceless ‘treasure’ and we need it in our everyday walk with Jesus. And we know, God always speaks and reveals truth to us through His Word when we read it. But we have to read it!
In the NIV, Hebrews 4:12a puts it this way, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword..”
That means that every time we pick up the Bible – God’s divinely inspired words to us – we learn something as He speaks to us through the truth of His Word.
As Christians, we all know that, don’t we? But how many times have we, myself included, been like the young man in our story in the sense that we have an attitude of “I already know what’s in there…”
Such an attitude of familiarity perhaps often means we don’t, at times, even bother to pick up our Bible. But, isn’t it amazing how whenever we do actually read it – perhaps even a passage we may feel we’ve seen many times before – God reveals something new and fresh to us?
Here’s my simple encouragement. If you only remember one aspect of this piece, remember this – may we be people who value, prioritise and make time to read His Word! And then, not only that, let’s be those who live out what we read! Let’s never take for granted what it is we actually have in our possession in God’s Word.
As James encouraged us, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only…” – James 1:22a (NKJV).
How do we know if we are people who read, value and then live out His Word? Jesus tells us a hallmark of such people in Luke.
“As for everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” – Luke 6:47-49 (NIV).
Jesus tells us right there in that passage of Scripture that His word anchors us in the storms of life and points us to God Himself. As David put it in the well known passage found in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – (KJV)
But, for it to light our path, we have to know, and put into practice, God’s Word. If we don’t read it, and then act on it and live it out, we are missing out on one of the major ways in which God wants to speak to, reveal Himself and offer direction in our lives.
The above Scripture would suggest that we also leave ourselves open to being tossed about by difficulties and the things life throws at us if Jesus and His Word don’t ultimately anchor us.
So, simply put, let’s purpose in our hearts to be those who always approach God’s Word with excitement and a child-like freshness and anticipation every time we read it.
Let’s be open and expectant of the ways in which God wants to speak to us. Then, let’s apply what He says to us through His words and live them out in our day to day walk with Jesus.
May we not be like the young man who was in possession of a great treasure all along – but who never realised it.
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By Jeremy Smith
About the author
Jeremy Smith is editor of, and one of the writers for, Authentic Magazine.
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