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A valuable book (23-03-23)

Bible Readings: Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path. (Psalm 119. 105)

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. (Hebrews 4. 12 – 13)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3. 16 – 17)

One mile beyond Castell Y Bere lies the hamlet of Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, in a picturesque valley at the foot of the majestic Welsh mountain, Cader Idris. Here stands a monument to Mary Jones. It marks her birthplace and also the point from where at the age of 16 years old she walked bare foot across the hills to Bala some 25 miles away to buy a Welsh Bible.

Mary had begun to read the Bible as a small child at Sunday school and also read to a local farmer and his wife. She quickly learnt that the Bible was precious and to be valued, and God began to speak to her directly from the scriptures. In time Mary decided she must have a bible of her own. She began to save her pocket money, what little she had. She saved for many years until she had sufficient. At this point, she discovered the nearest bibles for sale were at the house of Rev Charles of Bala. She bid her parents goodbye and set out to walk to Bala.

To her dismay, when Mary arrived at the house of Rev Charles and explained her quest, she discovered that the last Bible had already been sold. Using a cry of anguish direct from the psalms, she burst into heartfelt sobs. Rev Charles was so deeply moved by the child’s determination, that he proceeded to give her his own personal Bible. The words of Scripture were already in her head and her heart, and now she had her very own copy of the Bible in her hands, a free gift. The whole episode made such an impression on Rev Charles, that it became the inspiration for the creation of the British and Foreign Bible Society with the intention of spreading the Word and supplying bibles far and wide.

In later life, married with a family of her own, Mary sat sewing with a friend, who asked to see her Bible. Betsy looked at the Bible, inside and out, then handed it back saying: “I really believe, Mary, that this Bible is one of the reasons why you are so different from the rest of us.” May this be an encouragement to us to be diligent in reading the Bible day by day. We will indeed discover a lamp for our feet and a light on our pathway through life. We will find that God’s word is living and active. It can instruct us, convict us of right and wrong, and train us in godliness, so that we are equipped for every good work.

How much do you value the Bible? Enough to walk 25 miles barefoot to get hold of your own copy? Enough to set aside a regular time every day to study it? It will always be worth it!

A Prayer

Dear Lord, may your living word, sharper than a two-edged sword, take root in our hearts and minds day by day. Amen.

Speak, O Lord, Keith Getty and Stuart Townend sung by Kristyn Getty

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