24. Cleaning Out Your Bible

Today’s post was written by my friend Robby Rasbaugh, renowned at Bethel College for his awesome hair and love for people. Check out his blog for profound and humorous insights into life at Bethel College, IN!

I fondly remember my pilgrimage to Israel a few summers ago with Bethel College, IN. I got the rare opportunity to climb sacred mountains, swim in the Sea of Galilee, walk the same trails that Jesus walked, and eat an authentic Israeli falafel, which I highly recommend (the falafel as well as the Israel experience).

Throughout the expedition, our group encountered a few live archeology sites. You could see the archaeologists hard at work, carefully excavating the dirt, examining the terrain, and measuring and documenting everything. A lot of historic artifacts, left intact for thousands of years and untouched by human hands, were finally discovered and used to learn more about ancient civilization.

If I wanted to, I could turn this into a beautifully woven sermon illustration about how if you dig deep enough into God’s Word, you’ll discover hidden treasures of deep insight and unfathomable knowledge. I could go on about how through careful study and examination of the Scriptures, you can unearth nuggets of profound truth for your spiritual life. But that’s a post for another day. I’m talking about cleaning out your Bible. Because over time, the average Christian’s Bible accumulates a certain amount of junk, transforming it into a holy time capsule littered with hidden artifacts from your spiritual past.

Here are the top three things Bible veterans are most likely to find hiding in their Bibles when they do choose to do a little excavation.

Ancient Church Bulletins

For some reason, you felt compelled on a certain obscure Sunday three years ago to stick the bulletin in the pocket of your Bible cover. There really was no significance tied to that Sunday. It was just like any other Sunday bulletin where you only sketched in half of the sermon fill-in-the-blanks before giving up, but did a good job at filling in all the os and bs and other bubble letters. Even with all the clues in the ancient bulletin, there’s not a chance in Sheol that you’ll be able to remember what your pastor spoke about that Sunday. Yet it is probably safe to assume that your church praise team did “Mighty to Save” for worship that day, considering that song was all the rage back in 2008. [Sniff] Sorry, I just had a moment of nostalgia.

Jesus Bookmarks

Maybe it features the Ten Commandments chiseled on stone tablets and embellished with lightning bolts. Maybe it has a Christian acronym that was totally rad in the 90s, like W.W.J.D. or F.R.O.G. Maybe it’s in the shape of a cross with an inspirational verse and dark clouds eclipsing brilliant rays of sunshine. No matter what it looks like, the question remains: How did this elusive Jesus bookmark stay hidden in your Bible for so long? It probably got buried in the Minor Prophets years ago, deep in the neglected part of your Bible somewhere near Habakkuk (which is a great book by the way).

Money

Am I the only one who does this? Do other Christians ever hide money in their Bibles with the intention of forgetting it’s there and finding it later? In the past, I know I’ve surreptitiously tucked a few bucks in my Bible, secretly wishing that God would multiply them when I wasn’t looking; that my money would grow thirty, sixty or a hundredfold what was sown, and that I would discover it in a season of need and praise God from whom all blessings flow.

What about you? What do you find when you clean out your Bible? Let us know in the comments!

One thought on “24. Cleaning Out Your Bible

  1. Haha! I love that you have guest bloggers and that this was one of them. Both of you have wonderful insights and I’m glad to see them shared with the world. This one made me smile. I haven’t cleaned my Bible out in awhile, but I too find old bulletins. However, I almost never have bookmarks and no, I cannot say I have ever put money in my Bible (I usually am only reading the scriptures on money as I don’t seem to have any). I have however, had pens, highlighters, old notes, pencils, phone numbers, notes between friends (oh come on, there have been occasional sermons or Sunday Schools where notes just seemed more interesting-no?), as well as Bible reading guides, upcoming church event bulletins, or random notes of encouragement slipped between the pages. Yes, I should go through my Bible. I may find an ancient discovery I’d forgotten about.

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