Lettered Hope

Saving Power of the Bible

FaithJessica ScheksComment

This past Sunday in church, a brother from the Gideonites came to our service and spoke to our congregation about their mission and what they are doing all over the world to share God's precious Holy Word. He shared story after story about people from all over the world and how receiving a Gideon Bible brought them to salvation.

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{Side note: The Gideons are the ones who make sure there is a Bible in every hotel room, motel room, and hospital room in the United States.}

As this man spoke, the statistics he shared with us about how many people in countries like Pakistan (places I wouldn't expect to have so many people gladly accepting God's Word) were astounding. I can't remember each number, but there were several stories that stuck out to me:

In a remote jungle somewhere in South America there was a drug lab of about forty men. In that drug lab happened to be one New Testament from the Gideons. The men fought each day over who got to read it. The drug lab is now shut down, every single man was saved, and over ten have gone on to become pastors! This story made me tear up while listening - I was listening to a miracle!

There was another story about a woman in California addicted to cocaine and heroin who had hit rock bottom when she found a Gideon Bible. She slowly began reading it; it wasn't like she read one scripture and her life completely changed. But now she's been sober for many years and is a believer!

And there were at least half a dozen more stories about so many people in foreign countries who had no way of obtaining a copy of God's Word until the Gideonites came and distributed it to them. And just from reading the Bible, these people were saved!

While sitting in service listening to this man speak, the thought came to my mind, "God's Word has saving POWER!" I began to think about how miraculous it was that people who had only read the Word were so touched by it that they developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accepted him as their Savior. Growing up in America, I feel like many of us really take the Bible for granted because it's so easily accessible. We can read it whenever we want, it's definitely not considered rare like it is in other regions of the world. And I just kept thinking about what an amazing testimony that would be -- to say that you began reading a Bible given to you by a missionary group and the stories were so powerful and transforming that it caused you to have a hunger and desire for Jesus that could not be filled by the Word alone so you asked him into your heart to be your personal Savior.

Since the Bible is so common to me and many other Americans, I feel ashamed because I don't feel that way when I read the Bible. It's something I've grown up with; something that's always there; something I take for granted. Even though I felt so much joy listening to the man speak to our congregation I also felt a call to repentance and prayer - asking the Lord for forgiveness for not recognizing the power contained in the Scriptures every time I read, and pleading to Him to anoint my mind as I read the Scriptures so that I can view them the way that so many around the world have as it was the only way they came to know Jesus Christ!

Our pastor spoke before the Gideon brother, and he brought out 2 Timothy 3:16-16 >> "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

My heart was overwhelmed and I wrote a prayer down in my church notebook while the Gideon brother was still speaking:

Lord, please bless me as I read Your Word - touch my mind as I draw from the Well of Living Water that I would feel that saving power that so many have felt while reading a Gideon Bible in a hotel, jail, drug house in a jungle, or on the street that has transforming power. Thank you, Lord for Your divine Word!

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As I typed out this prayer, I was thinking of what I need to do on my end for the Lord to answer my prayer. First and foremost, I need to dig deep into the Word every day. And before I do that, I need to pray this prayer each time I read. The Bible is the Bread of Life - just like Manna, it should be eaten daily. You can't expect to receive the life-giving power if you don't eat from it daily. You can't eat a week's worth in one day either, just like the Israelites could only gather enough manna to last them for the day, you can't "work ahead" on your Bible reading. You are working on creating a lifelong relationship with the Lord, you need to take it one day at a time, and spend time getting to know Him daily. You could never date someone and expect to get married if you weren't diligent about getting to know them and spending time with them! Each day starts anew! God's mercies are new for you every single day - so spend time with Him each day in His Word. When I make a point to do this, it doesn't matter necessarily how my day goes; it always feels like it was a great day since I started it off with such a great perspective. A perspective focused on eternity that helps me to realize what really matters.

Join me in praying that we can form lifelong habits of digging into the Word each day so that I can receive the life giving, saving POWER that God's Word has to offer us! Comment below with tips or strategies you use to read daily and keep yourself accountable!