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B. Y. O. B.

I was told that someone removed from the shelf in the teenage classroom all of the Bibles. The Bibles were replaced with a note issuing a stern warning that students in Bible classes should B.Y.O.B. (bring your own Bible). That's an interesting way to make a point, and it makes a very good point. We often study and worship, and this is true of both youth and adults.

No soldier would go into battle without his weapon (sword), so why do we so often go into battle without the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). Worship and Bible study may not be a battle, but they might be compared to training for battle. Soldiers carry their weapons to the firing range in order to sharpen their skills as a marksman. Shouldn't we bring our swords with us as we receive instruction, which is tantamount to a whetstone upon which we may sharpen our blade? I believe we should take the Bible with us wherever we go. I used to say that we could carry it in our hearts, but now I wonder if we shouldn't be carrying it—literally. One brother I know has a small New Testament which he carries in his back pocket. I have never seen him without it. Several times we have been discussing a Biblical text, when one, or both of us, could not think of the exact wording. This brother would reach into his pocket and pull out his Bible. Like a good soldier of Christ, he was prepared.

It does bother me to see people come to Bible class and worship without their Bibles, but what bothers me more is to find Bibles abandoned on the pew when worship is concluded. If the worship service is training for battle, then when we leave we enter the battlefield. How dangerous is it to go into battle without your only offensive weapon? Oh, I know that sometimes we get distracted and forget it. That's human nature. But often the same Bible will lay unclaimed for days, weeks, even months. How much study can be done in a forgotten Bible (cf. Mt. 5:6; Acts 17:11; 1 Pet. 2:2)? How much power can be wielded by a mislaid sword?

The Bible is so important to our spiritual lives that to simply lay it aside and give no thought to bringing it with us, nor even to where it might be is unacceptable. I imagine that the "trick" played on our teenagers did not set too well with many, but I say again, it made a good point. I think the Bibles should be returned, because some fail to bring a Bible for more substantial reasons than neglect. However, let each of us resolve that next Sunday, as we are preparing to leave for the church building, we will take a moment to find our Bible and bring it with us. —Robert Lambert

Glad Tidings of Good Things
Vol. 9/March 18, 2004, pg. 3