It is easy to be unaware of our freedom of religion in America every day. We can pick up our phone, click on an app and read the Scripture straight from the Bible. We can see devotionals and listen to faith-based audio materials. We can watch video clips of pastors or worship songs.
However, in other areas of the world, this is not the case. People in many countries are hungry for material that shares the encouragement and truth of the gospel of Jesus. However, everything is so heavily censored, that these people are deprived of this. Today, I am going to address why the Bible app and other religious apps in China being taken down should motivate us to know God’s Word.
Business Insider recently shared that Apple said, “We're required to comply with local laws, and at times there are complex issues about which we may disagree with governments and other stakeholders on the right path forward.” China believes that these apps do not go along with the laws there. In a government where printed Christian materials are few and far between, a wonderful way to get the good news to the people was through technology. Sadly, now around 1 million people no longer have access to the Bible apps that they were using. My dad bought up the point that this could happen to any of us one day, so it is so important to know the Scriptures.
Romans 10:17 tells us, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” My concern for people around the world in countries without freedom to access the Bible is that they will not be able to read the gospel message given by the Word. Many of us might have multiple Bibles in our homes that we do not think twice about the great value and privilege of having them. We may have gotten lax on our Scripture memory. We might even want to avoid spending time reading the Bible. Let this removal of the Bible app stir in our hearts a greater desire to speak against this when able, and to enjoy and learn more about the beautiful gift of having the Word of God in front of us.
I once heard a guest speaker at my friend’s church who explained that this happened in his country many years ago. He shared the testimony of how he had memorized Psalm 23 before they eliminated the Bibles. Every day while he was in camps and throughout his journey out of the camps, he would quote Psalm 23 as a reminder of who God was to him. Those words of the Lord were so meaningful and a treasure to him when there was no longer access to the Bible. He challenged us to learn the Word of God because you never know if that could be your story too.
The reason the Bible is so powerful is that it is the living word of God that is active, it stands the test of time, and it provides the way to eternal life and freedom from our sins in Jesus. It is easy to put aside news like this and believe it is not our problem. However, we are brothers and sisters in Christ to those who are suffering from this decision of the Chinese government.
Bible Verses about the Importance of God’s Word
1 Peter 1:25 - “‘But the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word that was preached to you.”
Regardless of what leaders decide, we can have hope that the Word of the Lord will stand forever.
Ephesians 6:17 - “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The Bible is the sword of the Spirit. It is our offensive weapon against the spiritual attacks from the enemy. We use Scripture in the battle against darkness.
2 Timothy 3:16 - “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.”
All of the Bible was given by God and useful for us in all things. When we know it, we can apply it.
Isaiah 55:1 - “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The scriptures will always speak and never return void. The Lord accomplishes what He desires through His Word.
Matthew 4:4 - “Jesus answered, 'It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
God’s Word is life to us. It teaches us, encourages us, convicts us, and grows us into the men and women the Lord intends for us to become. We need the Bible just like we need food each day. Every word of the Bible came from the mouth of God Himself. It is perfect and we can take great delight in the message of His great love for us.
How Can We Be a Voice for Others?
Pray for those who are unable to access Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring the Word of God into their minds and hearts. Pray that the message of the gospel will still be shared to those who are being persecuted. Ask the Lord to be near to them in this time. Pray that those in leadership will have softened hearts and stop the barriers and censorship of the Bible. Pray that the leaders have encounters with Jesus and accept Him as their Savior.
2. Speak Up
We may not be able to contact the Chinese government, but we can reach out to our government that this is disappointing as a person of faith. We need to remember to always express our concerns in a Christ-like way and represents the Lord in every word.
Knowing that others are unable to read the Bible should propel us even more to get into the Word daily. Read your Bible and delight in the gift of having access to God’s Word. Spend time this week thanking God for His Scripture.
Begin memorizing Scripture. As we head closer to the return of Christ, things will get worse. We need to be prepared for if we do not have the Bible physically anymore. We also are called to treasure the Word in our hearts. Spend time investing in Scripture memory. Ask God to help you learn and cherish His Words.
Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com