The Waterproof Bible

Posted: September 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

I have had this Waterproof Bible for several years now. When I saw it for sale, I loved the concept and picked it up to travel with.  I envisioned camping by an alpine lake in the wilderness in the pouring rain, reading my Bible. Or visiting Malaysia on a trip with students to share the Gospel on campuses, standing in the courtyard reading the Scriptures to a young person who is hungrily receiving the Word when an equatorial monsoon starts pouring rain down on us, but I continue to read. Or consider the many opportunities I would have to read the Bible while resting in a hot tub or swimming pool.

I envisioned the uses of a waterproof Bible to be endless and priceless.  

So, I ordered the Waterproof Bible in my support of Mr. Bezos at Amazon and waited in anticipation for it to arrive.  I ordered the camouflaged copy as I envisioned reading the Word while on hunting trip, as I wouldn’t want to scare the deer away with the cover of a typical brown or blue cover.

When it did finally arrive, I tore into the package to inspect my new purchase and there it was in its full camouflaged glory ready to be consumed on a rainy day.

But…

I have come to realize, there aren’t too many applications for a waterproof Bible in my current life journey. Come to find out, if I am outside and there is a hint of rain, I won’t be reading my Bible, I’ll go inside. I don’t own a hot tub and bringing my waterproof Bible to the public pool, didn’t really seem like something I would be doing, especially given my feelings on public hot tubs and their close resemblance to human stew.  Come to find out, when the equatorial monsoons hit Malaysia, everyone goes inside. And to seal the deal, I haven’t got to hunt for 35 years.

I finally journeyed the long road to tested the Bible in the kitchen sink, filled it with water, immersed the Bible to the bottom and read the pages under water, it worked great and dried out in a little over a day.  But, I couldn’t find a reason that was substantial enough, that would lead me to stand at a filled kitchen sink reading my Bible under the water.

In my mind, I see a huge list of reason to have the Waterproof Bible, mostly organized around some kind of adventure that has me stranded on South Pacific Island alone.  But, in reality…I really haven’t used the waterproofness of the waterproof Bible to its full capacity.

But, the concept is terrific, isn’t it?  The Bible we can take everywhere. It isn’t limited to nice weather, clean surroundings, safe places. The pages are durable and waterproof. This can literally go anywhere. I can take this to the highest mountain and lowest valley, to the widest plains and most rugged wilderness, to the brightest city and darkest forest, to the every place the English language is spoken and to the even greater places the languages of the world are uttered.

These pages won’t crinkle up and distort and smear and smudge when water hits them. These pages won’t tear or fall out. The words on these pages can go anywhere.

But this Bible had a predecessor. The original Waterproof Bible was a few men in the first century who considered it their responsibility to take the Word to every corner of the known and unknown world. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they hid the Word in their hearts and put their feet down on the first century dry desert soil and began to beat pathways vaster than the Roman Empire’s expansive roadways, for they wouldn’t just travel along the paved and stone roads, they would cut through the fields and cross rivers, and traverse great desserts and sail lakes and seas.

And their numbers would grow, as they would become more than a few scared disciples who fled out of abject fear when Jesus was seized, finding themselves, all but one, hiding in Jerusalem when Jesus was nailed to the Cross. They would encounter the risen Savior, an encounter that would so change their lives, that the very trajectory of their existence would be forever transformed. Every one of them would be transformed!

Evidence that demands a verdict, unbelievable if only ten followed through. But all of them?

The waterproof Bible they would begin to carry changed the way they viewed people. At once they would claim the Jewish race was above all others, slavery was just because class systems demanded some to be viewed as dirt, women seen as worthless and legal righteousness only attained by keeping oneself stain free in a system of the religious structure.  The change would bring about seeing humanity differently through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, realizing humans are loved and desired by God, not because of what they can offer him but because of what he did for us.

They now understood that The Way they would follow would stand out apart from all other religions past, present, and future. This Way, this Faith, would be about New Life. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  So they stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.  And began evaluating others from a Spiritual point of view.

Now even the least and the outcast had value, because of Jesus!

Now even women gave value and influence and were cherished, because of the reconciling strength of Jesus.

Now every race and creed needed the Word to be spoken to them so they might also hear, for how will they hear if no one speaks? In those days the greatest event in history took place in such a way that it transformed men to become the very first waterproof Bible. And they would go where the Spirit lead them to go for…

              God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; we are his waterproof Bible, God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

And they would find themselves tired, afraid, alone, beaten, bloodied, hungry, shipwrecked, isolated, imprisoned and yes, wet. But the Word was waterproof, it was life-proof, it was fear-proof, lonely-proof, hunger-proof, blood-proof, even death-proof.

They would bring this Bible to the ends of the earth and present the love, grace, and salvation to every person, regardless of color, race, sex, age or creed.  Even those who brutalized and put to death the messengers were not safe from the message they presented.

Now, they have passed the baton in the great relay race of life to you and me.

As God’s partners, they are begging you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.  You, indeed you, sitting here this morning, if you are received the gracious gift of eternal life, you are now his waterproof Bible, his ambassadors.

Every generation is presented with the world at its fingertips and we are asked, “what will you do?” What will you leave behind? What will you change? Where will you bring life?  There are a plethora of organizations and slogans calling us to be involved, but only one worth our time. There are millions of good ideas and worthy occupations but only one worth our lives.

We are Ambassadors. We are the Waterproof Bible.

God has entrusted to bring reconciliation to the world by going into the world, and preaching reconciliation through Jesus.

Paul points out that he no longer viewed humans as he once did, through the lens of selfish humanity, but now views them through the holy spirit. He looked at the world, not as parts of human constructs built up by greed, prosperity, power and abuse, but through the eyes of Jesus, that says all men are being called to Christ’s salvation. That’s why he got in trouble for not denouncing slavery. He wasn’t concerned with slavery, because some form of slavery would always exist…even now…even you…he was more concerned about all men knowing Jesus as lord, slave or free, servant or master, knowing the strength of the Blood of Jesus that sets the captives free, whether they are slaves on earth or not, but would also drive kindness to one another.

Go daily whatever the “weather” and be the waterproof Bible to whomever you come into contact with. This alone will heal the chaos of our world.

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