The Book That Transforms Lives
The potential and power of God’s Word to change lives.
By Jim Poitras, used with permission.
While I impatiently patiently wait(yep, that is a thing…with me) to speak to the national board in Ghana, Linda (my queen) sauntered around the missionary coordinator’s office hauling books off the shelf. I think she was on some sort of “Bible Study Methods” adventure (or so I discerned from the type of books she was gathering). She would sit down, glance at a book or two, and speak to herself (pretty common occurrence. Perhaps, she was listening to an expert opinion). She would then jump up and scurry off to get another book. Like I said, I took it all in impatiently-patiently. She started giggling…to herself. Remember, I am doing my utmost to be impatiently-patiently. I’m not really given to noises, even happy ones, when I am in preparation mode and a holding pattern to speak to the country’s elite. But, she ignored my impatience-patience and started to read aloud the subject of her morning humor.
“The Bible has made monumental impact in our society. Once a South Sea Islander proudly displayed his Bible to an American soldier during World War II. ‘We’ve outgrown this sort of thing,’ the soldier said. The Islander smiled back and said, ‘It is a good thing that we haven’t. If it weren’t for this book, we would have eaten you by now’” (What You Need to Know about the Bible in 12 Lessons, by Max Anders).
I chuckled too and politely grabbed the book (yep, that’s a thing…with me). I hurriedly jotted the quotation down and proudly proclaimed, “That is going to become part of a new blog.” All because my wife industriously searched, surveyed, and sampled treasures from the bookshelves while I was impatiently-patiently waiting. (Don’t worry she meticulously put everything back in proper order). No-one will ever know I copied a great story from one of her findings. Oh, yeah, unless they read my blog. In that case multiplied hundreds will know. Potentially! Right?
Bottom line here: thank God for the Book that radically transforms lives. It has certainly impacted mine through the past thirty-five years. (Yep, that’s my current age. Spiritually, that is!) It’s still the world’s best seller. In the last century alone, about five billion copies have been printed and portions have been translated in over 2,100 languages.
Here’s a sampling from the Word concerning its power to transform:
“The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple” (Psalms 119:130, AMP).
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, AMP).
“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, AMP).
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105). “
“Establish my steps and direct them by [means of] Your word; let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalms 119:133, AMP).
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5, KJV).
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb” (Psalms 19:7-10, NIV).