How many Bibles do you have in your home? If your house is like mine, you don’t know the answer. I have my favorite Bible that is the one I go to often. I have study Bibles, Bibles in various translations, and even Bibles that have study notes focused on certain themes such as history and archaeology. I have a small New Testament in my purse. With modern technology, Scripture is often just a click away. But what would you do if you did not have a single Bible? Someone shared the Good News of God’s love with you, and you trusted in Jesus for salvation. But you have no way to read more about Him, to see Him heal, to hear Him speak to the crowds, to watch Him die and return to life to save us. How would you grow in your faith? And what would you do when trials came?
We all have favorite Scriptures that we turn to when we are tired, stressed, hurting, or scared. One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43:1-5: “But now, this is what the Lord says… ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…you are precious and honored in my sight, Do not be afraid, for I am with you…'” (NIV)
Mahabala and Nitara are Christians in northern India. They believed in Jesus, and trusted Him, but they did not have a Bible in their own language. When Mahabala’s family kicked them out because of their faith, they grew discouraged. They could not go to God’s Word for comfort and guidance. Thankfully, Pastor Timothy was able to give them a Bible. They read it every day and grew in their faith. This did not please Mahabala’s family, who arranged to have him fired from his job. Without an income, Mahabala and Nitara faced poverty. They began to sell the jewelry they had. It was the last step before they had nothing.
Then Mahabala’s father made them an offer. If they would give up their belief in Jesus, he would give them money. First he offered them the equivalent of 18 months salary. Then nearly four years’ salary. Then more than seven years’ salary. But Mahabala and Nitara said no. They had learned that no matter what the future held, they were far richer with Jesus than without Him. They had read His words:
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 KJV
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
They trusted God for their future because they had read His Word and knew He alone ruled over the past, the present, and the future. Will you pray with me that every believer in India will have a Bible of their own and be able to read and believe God’s promises to them?