November 11, 2016
A Prized Possession
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I had been saved for two years, and was still thought of as a “new Christian,” when I was drafted into the United States Army. It was not a surprise to me that my local church group gave me a going-away celebration, but I was surprised that almost one hundred percent of the congregation came. It was held at my parents’ small home, and we had a truly great time of fellowship with all the normal refreshments, games, and conversation.
The group presented me with a gift. It was a small (but not too small) leather Bible. The leather cover had a beautiful embossed imprint with my name engraved on the front. It also had a zipper and a plastic cover that snapped to keep it closed and clean, which would be very helpful considering the places I would be bringing it. A card, signed by all seventy-seven people who were present, accompanied this gift.
I have had other Bibles, but this one, along with the card, became prized possessions that I still have some fifty years later. I remember reading that Bible and the card many times. They were a great defense against loneliness, and reading the Bible became my favorite thing to do.
Looking at my record before I was saved, some were afraid that I might not be able to withstand the pressures of the military. However, the day I was saved, I made a determination to never look back. I asked the Lord every day, “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach me Thy statutes” (Psalm 119:135), and God helped me to grow in grace during that two-year period I spent in Asia in the midst of war. The Lord was with me always, as was my Bible and the names I read and reread on my card. I thanked God for my new Bible and for the strength I received from it.
Today’s focus verse tells Christians to comfort and edify each other. There are many spiritual challenges out there, especially to the new convert, and as the family of God it is important that we do what we can to support our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are each responsible for our own choices, but we can strengthen each other through our words of encouragement, a helping hand, a thoughtful gift, or simply holding up one another in prayer. This is how we help each other to overcome.
May we do our best to reach out to those who might need extra encouragement today.