by: Dr. Steve Heidenreich
I’m reminded of the Wendy’s commercials in 1984 that said, “Where’s the beef?” In the commercial they showed a hamburger, which was made up more with a fluffy bun than the beef. Throughout the whole advertisement an older lady kept saying, “Where’s the beef?”
My question today is, where’s the Bible? Today, we have a lot of fluff being passed off in Christianity, and someone needs to remind us of the Bible. So, I’m asking Christians today, “Where is the Bible?” We have a lot of fluff in our life, and in our home, and even in some of our ministries, but the Lord wants to know where is the Bible?
I would like to share how important the Bible has become to me in my life, home and ministry. I think sometimes we take for granted that God has given us his Word and how important It should be in our lives. Thank God for soul-winning pastors who still believe in going house to house. Back in August 1970, a pastor and deacon stopped by our country farmhouse and led my wife to Christ on a Thursday night. Then he returned the following Saturday and gave me the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I was saved. The greatest day of my life is the day of my salvation. Being guided by the pastor, he showed us the importance of having our own Bible. As a young couple we went to the Christian bookstore and put a Bible on layaway. After a few weeks, we got our 1st copy of the King James Bible. Little did we know that this Bible would play such an important part in our lives all these 43 years of living.
I personally came from a rough background as a child. I came from a broken home and was practically raised on the streets. I always knew that there had to be something better. After reading the Bible and being taught It in Sunday school, and listening to the preaching of God’s Word, It began to change my life. As my wife and I began to apply the principles of the Bible to our lives and our home, God began to bless in a wonderful way. Our love for each other grew stronger and stronger as the years went by, and our marriage has continued to be blessed after 45 years. I can’t thank the pastors and spiritual leaders enough who have always encouraged me to be in the Bible. The most prized possession that I personally own today is my Bible.
It is a great responsibility to rear children for the Lord. There is no way that our children are going to have an opportunity to turn out right without getting them in the Bible. I believe that the most important thing for a parent is to know that your children are going to spend eternity with you forever. The best way for our children to know that they are going to Heaven is to get them to know their Bible. 2 Timothy 3:15 says, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” We have 4 children, and we taught them early in life that they must read their Bible every day. We praise the Lord for the time that they received the plan of salvation and trusted Christ as Saviour. I cannot tell you the joy of knowing that my children will spend all eternity with my wife and I. All of our children have married saved people, and by the grace of God all of our 8 grandchildren are saved and on they’re way to Heaven. My wife and I have always prayed that the Bible would be an important influence in their life’s decisions as they serve the Lord.
We are not going to rear children for the Lord if the Bible is not present in our homes. It is sad today that you can walk into many homes and not find a Bible anywhere. We have replaced the Bible with Xbox’s, Nintendo’s, computers and all types of electronics. Our children and grandchildren spend hour after hour on these things. They begin to think and act like computer games, and we wonder why they end up like they do. We are so worried that our children won’t fit in and have what others have, so we spend more time trying to give them the things of the world instead of giving them a Bible that will make them what they ought to be. Most the time they are never encouraged to spend any time in God’s Word. We wonder why we are losing our children to wayward behaviors; it’s because we have allowed all these outside influences to have more time with them than with God’s Word. Many parents spend more time shaping their children into athletes or helping them chase the American dream than being what God intended them to be for His honor and glory. It’s sad that most young people are more excited about being the next American Idol than being the next servant of God. The main reason that even happens in our Christian homes is that the Bible has not made an impact upon our children’s lives.
I was always taught what you do with the Bible determines what God does with you. If you want God to do something with your children, then get them to do something with their Bible, like read It, memorize It, teach It, and give It away to others who don’t have one.
God has given my wife and I a ministry of getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all the world. When you think of it, that is a great responsibility that people from all nations, kindreds and tongues would have an opportunity to hear the Gospel at least once. I’m often reminded as I open my Bible that there are over 3 billion Bibleless people in the world today. They have nothing to compare their false teachings to if they do not have a Bible. The greatest instrument that the Holy Spirit of God has is the Word of God to convict them of their need of a Saviour. I have had many opportunities to travel worldwide teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m always amazed when people trust Christ, one of the first questions they ask is, “Can I have a Bible.” They know that they need to learn more about God. What they have been taught in the past has done nothing to change their life. I can’t explain the way people react to getting a Bible. I have personally been able to give away thousands of Bibles in my lifetime.
When I was in the Philippines as a missionary, at one of our Wednesday night Bible studies I was asked by the people of our church if we could give away 50 Bibles on one of our Sundays. The Holy Spirit laid upon my heart to give away my own Bible on the 1st anniversary of our church which was Bible Sunday. It was a blue Bible, trimmed in gold and it was my favorite Bible. I told the people that I would give it to the person who brought the most visitors on Bible Sunday. Two ladies went out and worked very hard to bring visitors for that Sunday. On Bible Sunday the people in the mountains of the Philippines came out in unbelievable numbers. We had 3 services, and 1,109 people came, and we gave away hundreds upon hundreds of Bibles. The exciting thing was that the 2 ladies who worked so hard, brought 160 first-time visitors for that one blue King James Bible. I have traveled to many different countries and spoken to many people from different religions, and the Bible has always been the best promotion to get people to come to church.
I took a mission trip to Thailand. I was asked to go with the missionary to the Burma border to a refugee camp. As I arrived and stood outside the refugee camp, I was shocked by what I saw. There were thousands of poorly made bamboo buildings with grass roofs. As we walked through these homes, I saw poor people with so little. I asked if we could have a Bible study in one of the homes. They gladly received this and gathered 14 people to hear the Bible taught. We used our missionary as the interpreter to speak to these people. After giving a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, these 14 adults trusted Christ as their Saviour. One of the older ladies in this group could speak English. I asked her if there was one thing I can do for them before we left the camp. I knew they had very little material things. They told me that the camp had been there for 14 years, and the previous month was the 1st time they got flour. They have been living on so little, so when I asked the older lady what one thing I could do for her, I was amazed at her answer. Thinking that she wanted something physical or materialistic to help her and her family, she said, “Could you please leave your Bible for me that I may read It to my people?”
I wish the Christians of America could have such a strong desire to know the importance of their Bible. We have taken for granted the opportunity of personally having our own copy of the Bible. America has been blessed with the Word of God. We have It on our iPhone, iPad, iPod and computers, and still give It very little attention. If we would spend more time putting the Bible into our minds and heart, we would be better off. I pray that this article may help you put the Bible back in your life, your home and the place of service that you have for the Lord.
Dr. Steve Heidenreich