Preserved, Printed, Precious - God's Word

Did you know that books were once hand-copied? It took several years to complete a single Bible.

Then in 1440, Gutenberg invented the printing press and it revolutionized the world. 

Even though each metal letter had to be arranged by hand, the Gutenberg press could produce hundreds of books in a year. 

The first book Gutenberg printed was the Bible. Eventually, the Bible became affordable and available to the common man.

I often take the availability of Bibles for granted. I don’t think about the historic events that placed this sacred book into my hands so I can pick it up whenever I want to hear God speak. 

If I'm not careful, I can begin to view Bible reading as a duty instead of a privilege. 

Do you ever feel that way?

If so, Psalm 119:18 is a good prayer:
“Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your law.”

This devotion based on a Bible Love Note from 2012 called “How Precious to You?”

The picture to the right is my copy of a page from the 1455 Gutenberg Bible. When my husband was in the Army, we were stationed in Mainz, Germany where Gutenberg invented his printing press. After they printed the pages, scribes still hand-embellished them with calligraphy and small pictures. This is a copy of one of those pages.

Misunderstandings About The Stripes of Jesus

Misunderstandings About Isaiah 53:5

The phrase “with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) is often used to claim that all Christians should experience earthly physical healing.

The context of this verse is usually sin and redemption (Isaiah 531 Peter 2:24). But Matthew 8:16-17 does link it to demon-possession and physical sickness.(1)

And it's true: our redemption - body, soul, and spirit - is fully accomplished in the spiritual realm.

But our redemption is not fully realized here on earth (1 Corinthians 15:22-25; Hebrews 2:5-9).

By Christ's stripes, sin, Satan, trouble, death, and sickness were defeated when Christ said, "It is finished" (John 19:30).

Yet, sin, Satan, trouble, death, and sickness still exist here on earth (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). No matter how much faith we have, they exist (John 16:33).

We are in the process of renewal in Christ and sometimes God's plan includes supernatural healing here on earth,(2) but perfect spiritual, emotional, and physical health will not be available until eternity when we're completely transformed (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2).(3) 

Our faith is built on that unseen reality (Hebrews 11:1). 

Misunderstandings About Isaiah 53:5 (1) Matthew actually refers to Isaiah 53:4 which is in the context of Isaiah 53:5.
(2) There are many reasons for sickness and for healing. Sometimes sickness is related to sin or unbelief, but not always. Sometimes healing is credited to faith or repentance, but not always. If we create formulas for healing that blame the sick person, we are no different than Job's friends whom God rebuked. Just as we are saved, are being saved, and will be saved - we are healed, are being healed, and will be healed.

(3) See also 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 which explains that Christ's mission won't be complete until His second coming and Hebrews 2:5-9 which explains that not all things are subject to Christ-followers here on earth.

To do a short Bible study on this devotion, see today's Bite Size Bible Study.

Bumps in the Road of Life Test Our Faith

Bumps in the Road of Life Test and Strengthen Faith - Romans 5:3-5

Anyone can have faith on smooth roads. It's the bumpy roads that test and reveal our true faith.

We lived in Budapest for 5 years and we make annual trips back to meet friends and/or do ministry.

I love Budapest, but it has provided a great many bumps in the road for me. In the last fifteen years my plans in Budapest have been interrupted by a broken ankle, serious dental problems, a torn PCL,(1) serious food poisoning, multiple difficulties with accommodations, and bad cases of the flu. 

I’ve met some of these events with faithful calm, letting my suffering produce perseverance (Romans 5:3-5).

Bumps in the Road of Life Test and Strengthen Faith - Romans 5:3-5However, when the rubber met the road this last week with another bad case of the flu, I left skid marks of discouragement and annoyance.

So God reminded me of my blind friend who is also here in Budapest doing ministry. He reminded me of a bazillion blessings I have, and He reminded me that He can work all things for good (Romans 8:28). He also reminded me that I could ask for prayer - will you pray for me, dear readers?

Basically, He rotated my tires so I'll be ready for the next bump in the road.

Do you need your faith tires rotated?(2)
(1) The posterior cruciate ligament is located in the back of the knee.
(2) Rotating car tires prevents uneven wear and corrects poor alignment. We need to align our purposes with the Lord or we wear ourselves out!
Some good 1-minute devotions to help with your tire rotation:
14 Reasons to Thank God
Practicing Gratefulness
5 Benefits of Suffering from Joni

If you would like to pray for me and the ministry of Bible Love Notes on a regular basis, I would so appreciate it. A dear friend of mine now leads a prayer group for BLN on Facebook if you'd like to join: Bible Love Notes Prayer Group.

The Unique Foundation of Christian Happiness

The Unique Foundation of Christian Happiness

Happiness is enjoyed by good and bad people alike.

Happy people can:
Love money and use people or use money and love people.
Ignore godly Biblical values or ignore ungodly cultural values.
Focus on power, position, and profit or focus on the purposes of the Lord.

The Unique Foundation of Christian Happiness
Happiness comes for both good and bad reasons, but Christian happiness is the most unique kind of all.

In Matthew 5, Christ lists a number of difficult things which make His followers happy.

Christians can be happy despite terrible earthly circumstances because our happiness is tied with ribbons of hope and slipped into the sure, strong hands of our Lord.

When persecution, trouble, and injustice enter our lives, we go to our Lord for these reminders:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven...”  
Matthew 5:12

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Philippians 4:4

Happiness is knowing Jesus!

What Scripture Says About Prosperity

What Scripture Says About Prosperity

Wealth is not a sign of faith. 

God gives wealth to wicked and godly people alike. 

The prosperity gospel has no Biblical basis. Those who teach it take Scriptures out of context and ignore passages like those below:

What Scripture Says About Prosperity
1. We can't focus on money and still serve God (Matthew 6:24-33).

2. We're commanded to store up our treasures in heaven, not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).

3. Christ was homeless (Matthew 8:20), and He said wealth often interferes with people's devotion to Him (Matthew 19:21-24). 

4. Jesus suggested we sell our belongings and give to the poor because life isn't about possessions (Luke 12:13-34).

5. The Apostle Paul, a man of great faith, sometimes struggled to feed himself. He said Christ gave contentment, not wealth (Philippians 4:10-13).

6. Scripture says poor people often have more faith than rich people (James 2:1- 7).

Our finances are in God's hands. We don't know what tomorrow will bring (James 4:13-16).
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