A MAN was in prison and was in need of some money. He wrote his mother and asked her to send five hundred dollars immediately. Soon after, he got a package in the mail. It was a Bible. On the top of the Bible, there was a letter that said, “Son, I love you. Pray and read your Bible.”

The man was ticked off. He got on the phone and called his mother. “Mama, I appreciate the Bible, but what I need right now is five hundred dollars.”

She told him over the phone, “Son, pray and read your Bible.” He got more ticked off and hung up on his mother.

He then wrote a letter. “Mother, I know you believe in God, but that’s the problem with you Christians. You are so heavenly minded that you don’t know how to function in the real world. When I need five hundred dollars, I don’t need a Bible. I need a check or five greenbacks! If I need money, don’t send me a Bible and tell me to pray!”

He got a letter back that said, “Son, pray and read your Bible.”

He was so irritated at his mother, that for the six months he was in jail that Bible stayed in the corner.

After a long while, he finally got out. His mother was there to meet him. He could hardly speak to her. “Mama, you let me down. I needed you as my mother and you let me down.”

She said, “What do you mean, son?”

“I wrote you. I called you. I begged you for five hundred dollars and every time you gave me this same old line to pray and read my Bible.”

“Well, son, did you pray and read your Bible?”

“Yeah, I prayed and read my Bible, and I’m still as broke now as I was when you told me the first time to pray and read my Bible.”

“Son, do you have your Bible?”

He reached in his bag and he handed her the book.

“Son, let me ask you one more time. Did you pray and read your Bible?”

“Yes, Mama. I told you I prayed and read my Bible.”

“Son, you neither prayed nor read your Bible.”

She opened up the Bible and at every major divisional section within the text, there was a hundred-dollar bill taped inside of it. If the boy would have just read his Bible he would have understood that the thing he was looking for was in the text. Because he didn’t take seriously the Word of God, what the Word of God had to offer he never received.

Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking.