And one of my favorite organizations of all time is The Gideons, an absolutely astounding group dedicated to getting the word of God in the hands of every human being. (The volume shown here is, according to the organization's blog, "The 1 millionth Gideon Scripture, presented to John Nicholson, co-founder of The Gideons International.")
Which is a not-very-elegant segue into my reason for posting this morning -- I just stumbled across one of my favorite quotes of all time, an absolutely astounding summary of the significance of the Bible, long used by The Gideons. Feast your heart upon this, Christians!
“The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.
"Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christians’ charter.
"Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and hell disclosed. The Lord Jesus Christ is its grand object, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. Let it fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment, and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the highest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”
One used to find Gideons Bibles in every hotel room, but I'm sad to report that this is no longer the case. Knowing how eagerly our local Gideons reps respond every time I ask them to bring Bibles to the nursing home -- and how pro-active they are if I don't call for a while -- I doubt that it's the organization's fault. Is it possible that cowardly hotel chains have had too many complaints from atheist organizations?