On The Shelf Or In Your Heart?
“It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave
a Bible-reading people.”
How big a place does the Bible have in your home? Although 93 percent of American homes have at least one Bible, Gallup calls the United States “a nation of Biblical illiterates.” Apparently, half of the American population can’t even name the first book of the Bible. The Bible is on the shelf but not in the heart.
Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune, stated, “It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people.” Is this why most “Christians” are vulnerable to deception? The Bible is on their shelf but not in their hearts. This great freedom-loving nation of America is subtly being enslaved by the deceptive ideologies of humanism, socialism and even communism. Many are unaware it is happening. But if we don’t wake up now, it will be a different world for our children and grandchildren.
It is time for the Bible to come off the shelf. It is time to read the Bible personally. It is time to read it to our children. The Bible is our greatest constitution. It is the basis for our mindset. It is the foundation for our nation. It is the blueprint for our success. God encouraged Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
How much of the Word of God is in your heart? How much is in your children’s hearts and minds? Apart from our personal devotions, my husband reads the Bible to our household each morning and evening. I loved reading the story of the Arnold family who traveled the continent preaching the gospel together. Every day, Arnold Pent conducted family devotions with his wife and eight children. It wasn’t a ten minute devotion either. He read the Word of God to his children for one hour after breakfast, one hour after lunch and one hour after supper, whether they were at home or someone else’s home. Consequently, by the time the children were 10 years old they could all quote at least 300 verses of the Bible. The older ones could quote the entire New Testament and many passages from the Old Testament.*
This may sound impossible for your lifestyle. However, I think the least God-fearing families could do is to read the Word of God together at least once a day. This should be a greater priority than anything else in our family schedule. If every family began to do this, we would see this generation change back to our godly heritage.
John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, wrote letters to his 10 year-old son on how to effectively read through the Bible in one year. These letters were later published in a book so that other children could be inspired to read through the Bible in a year.
To become people of the Book, to take up the responsibility of reading the Bible daily to our children and to make it a priority in our home is not just a good idea. It is imperative for the saving of our nation. It is crucial for the preservation of future generations—our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
To live for our own materialistic pursuits and avoid this responsibility will result in the downfall of our nation. My purpose is to live, not only for today, but in a way that will affect future generations for blessing and righteousness. I cannot do this without inculcating the Word of God to my children and my children’s children.
Let’s hear from two of our early statesman…
“I know not how long a republican government can flourish among a great people who have not the Bible… But this I do know that the existing government of this country never could have had existence but for the Bible. And further, I do in my conscience believe that if at every decade of years a copy of the Bible could be found in every family in the land, its republican institutions would be perpetuated.” (William Seward, a Governor of New York)
“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” (Noah Webster, Compiler of 1828 Webster’s Dictionary)
For the salvation and projection of our nation, may we come back to the original source of all truth, and with excitement and joy, daily read it to our families.