Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
One day, years ago, a teenager left home to attend college. His mother, Mrs. Mackay, worried about him, gave him a Bible and printed a verse of Scripture on the flyleaf. The young man soon discovered college life to be an endless series of parties, in which he spent all the money he could acquire on fleeting pleasures. On one occasion, he needed money for whiskey, and he pawned his Bible for it. He eventually made it through college and became a doctor in a large hospital.
One day, Dr. Mackay treated a dying patient. As the patient was dying, he asked for his “book.” After the man passed away, Dr. Mackay noticed the man’s “book” and couldn’t believe his eyes. It was the very Bible his mother had given to him years before, with his name and the verse of Scripture still on the flyleaf.
He retreated to his office and began poring over the book. Several hours later he knelt and asked Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord. Dr. W.P. Mackay later became a minister and the writer of the old Gospel hymn “Revive Us, Again.”*
What is it about the Bible? Why is it such a special book? And if it really is that special, then why are so many afraid to pick it up and read it? Charles W. Colson writes,
The Bible—banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons. Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints.
The Bible is indeed a very special book. I believe the reason many are afraid to read it is they know deep down inside there’s something different about this book. It alone has the power to change a person from the inside out. And, if not squelched, that change can spread from one man to another until an entire nation is changed. That is why the Bible is banned in some countries.
The Bible is the only book that is truly the Word of God. God spoke. Men wrote. We have the Bible.
Abraham Lincoln said, “I believe that the Bible is the best gift that God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book. I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
When I first began to read the Bible as a young teenager, I sensed God speaking to me. Through the Bible I learned that it is possible to actually come to know God. I came to know Him. He continues to speak to me through His Word everyday as I read this very special book. He has confirmed in my heart that I am His, and He is mine. The Bible has shown me how to live in a fallen world. It has shown me the way through the difficulties of life. It has given me hope in the future. It has been my compass, my anchor and my treasure. The Bible has become the foundation of my existence. I believe every word recorded in it. The Bible has not only guided me through the days of my life thus far, but it has shown me the way to Heaven. John Wesley once wrote:
I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit, coming from God, and returning to God; just hovering over the great gulf; a few months hence I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing—the way to heaven…God Himself has condescended to teach the way. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that Book! At any price, give me the book of God!
Are you interested in delving into the Word of God? Do you desire to know the mind of Christ? Do you want to know why you are here? Do you want to know what your purpose is in this life? Do you want to have an anchor to which you can cling? Do you want to have hope? Do you want to know the way to heaven?
All of these questions are answered in the Bible. All you need to do is pick it up and read it. Timothy Dwight wrote: “The Bible is a window in this prison-world through which we may look into eternity.”
*Morgan, Robert J.: Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes (electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), p. 55.