Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
Doctoral dissertations traditionally have been an investigation into something never before researched, something that has become more and more difficult with the proliferation of information. When Vido Mati, a 24 year-old Ph.D. candidate from Barcelona, Spain, had to find an appropriate subject, he considered writing about an obscure eighteenth century philosopher whose surname was Hierro.
As Vido began his research in the archives of the university library, he discovered a document written by the old philosopher in the spring of 1741. A paper written in his own hand, yellowed with age, appeared to be his actual last will and testament. It was tucked into one of the books which had been neglected on the shelf for two-and-a-half centuries.
Vido’s heart raced with excitement as he read the words, stating that all his worldly goods and personal effects would be left to the man who should study his writings, which he felt had been sorely neglected by his fellow citizens.
Vido lay claim to whatever might still be there; and to his surprise and joy, he discovered that there were unclaimed assets of more than $250,000 USD. Furthermore, a Spanish court upheld his claim, and he received the inheritance.
What he lay claim to was there for anyone to take, a neglected fortune that had escaped the notice of people for a long, long time.
There may well be a volume in your home or library which contains even greater resources than the will of the Spanish philosopher, Hierro. It’s a Bible. Within the pages of that book you will find the answers to the three most pressing questions of life: Who am I? Why am I here? And where do I go after I die? It also answers the most perplexing issue confronting people today–how can I find a purpose for my life?
It’s a love story telling how God created humankind to have fellowship with Him, yet as our forebears turned their backs toward God and walked away from the Garden, conflict and difficulties came. And then, in His own time, God sent His Son to show us the way home.
When I went into China for the first time in 1979, I was with an international group of people who were interested in seeing what life was like behind the Bamboo Curtain, which was slowly letting the rest of the world see inside. Many young people wanted to try out their English skills. A young man in his early 20s approached a British tourist and began to ask the typical questions: Where do you live? What is your life like? Do you have a car? But then he asked one which wasn’t on the three-most-asked questions list: “Do you have a Bible?” Actually, he was hoping that he could get one from the foreigner, as at that time getting a Bible meant registering with the government.
Nonplussed, the visitor said, “Yes, I have one.” Then the conversation went like this:
“Do you have it with you?”
“No. It’s at home in my library.”
“Do you read it?”
“Well, not really.”
Puzzled, the lad then asked, “If you have a Bible, why don’t you read it?”
You can have an ignorance of many things in the world and get along quite well. You can trust the experts. You can get a condensed version or hit the Internet for a synopsis of a few paragraphs. But a knowledge of who God is, what is the plan He has for your life, and how to reach heaven’s shore, is valuable beyond price.
Remember the will that was tucked into the dusty volume of a philosopher’s ruminations? Within the pages of the Bible, you will find God’s will and purpose for your life. Discover it and grow rich in grace and wisdom.
Resource reading: Isaiah 40:1-8