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Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

A co-worker who was teaching Christian leaders in Vietnam shares this experience:

I immediately realized that not one of these pastors owned a Bible and that they were waiting to hear from scripture. As I started sharing, one pastor raised his hand. “Excuse me brother, is that the Bible or is that you?”

“This is scripture,” I answered and immediately the leaders took out a notebook and eagerly started writing every word down. I then understood that this was the only way that they could collect scripture verses. I wanted to cry.

As I continued the teaching, the same question came once again. “Excuse me brother, is that the Bible or is that you?”

“This time it’s me,” I answered and suddenly everybody put their “Bibles” down and took out a different notebook and once again wrote down every word I said. Then came lunch break and the leading pastor stood up. “We will now have a time to test our Bible knowledge,” he announced.

I wondered how my Bible knowledge, with more than ten Bibles at my disposal, would measure up with these leaders who do not have their own copies. The leader asked the first question. “What does it say in Obadiah 2:4?”

I shrank in my chair. Please don’t look at me, I thought. I know there is a book of Obadiah but I must confess it has been some time since I read it. The pastors started laughing and then one raised his hand.

“Obadiah only has one chapter, brother!” I felt so ashamed. How is it possible I did not know this and these believers without their own Bibles knew.

Then came the second question. “What does the Bible teach in Nahum 1:7?

An elderly pastor in the front row raised his hand like an eager school child. He then started quoting the scripture: “The Lord is good, a strength in the day of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

“Well done brother,” said the leader. “You may sit down now.” But the elderly pastor was not finished yet. “Please,” he asked, “may I continue?” After a nod, he quoted the whole book of Nahum faultlessly.

I was also later introduced to another believer who came to know the Lord only during recent years. His passion for the Word of God is displayed in the fact that he has already memorized seventy-eight chapters of the Bible.

RESPONSE: Today, I will begin a program to internalize God’s Word and hide it in my heart.

PRAYER: Lord, give me a passion for Your Word like believers in Vietnam.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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