As this season, my 17-year career ends, I find myself going through old boxes with old files that either never made it through the process or reached its statute of limitations. Therefore, the original documents are ready to be sent to a secure shredding company. As I went through the folders, I noticed that each file had its own story to tell, just like every book, or had an old memory in my mind that was attached to each of them. A story about the many conversations I had with a client, property issues, how courtesy and friendly some clients were or a memory of how God used me to minister to so many people along the years.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” – Hebrews 13:2 (ESV)
“I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2
Whenever browsing for a book without intentionally knowing what to read, shockingly, we find ourselves first drawn with an emotional attraction by either the title of the book or by some sort of connection through a shared experience through the title of a chapter. Many books are either listed as fiction or non-fiction stories, often written by someone to be sold and have some form of judgment by the readers of the book. But, let’s look at the definition of the word “book” for a moment. My favorite definition as Google.com has it, “a bound set of blank sheets for writing or keeping records in.” However, the most ironic thing about a book is it creates a story, and every story creates an imagination or scene being played in a potential reader’s mind.
With this in mind, whenever writing a book, you must keep the reader in suspense concerning what’s going to happen next or continue to engage them with an outstanding topic that creates enough of a tease that makes them want to continue reading the book. If I can’t personally connect in some way or the book doesn’t keep me connected, I’m putting the book on the shelf promising myself that I will pick it up someday and finish it to the end.
How many books do you have on your shelf, unread?
But, there is one particular book in mind I would like to discuss, and it is the book called the Bible. “At first glance, many people look at it as a normal book but it’s a collection of books, written by dozens of authors over many hundreds of years. Some are very brief–less than a page–while others are much longer. But in spite of their diversity, when you examine them, you discover they all have a common theme: God’s relationship with the human race.”-Billy Graham
So, on the other hand, the Bible tells me of a love story between Jehovah (Our Creator) and His son Jesus (Our Savior). This book is the Gospel, Book of Life, Account of God’s action in the world, His purpose with all creation, teaches that God loves and is Love and reveals that He sent His Son to earth to demonstrate His personal care and love for you and me. In John 3:16 it says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” So, God sent His only begotten Son, who redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (bore our sins)” (Galatians 3:13).
With this in mind, the Book of the Gospel tells me that the blood that was shed on the cross is my foundation, and I am redeemed. And because Jesus, whom I love……… gives me power. Jesus whom I love……enters my life and promises to never to leave me or forsake me. Jesus whom I love……is the lover of my soul and guides me along the right paths for His namesake. Jesus whom I love…… forgives me of all unrighteousness. Jesus whom I love…… gives me eternal life with him. Jesus whom I love……hears and answers my prayers. Jesus whom I love…… gives me the power to obey him. Jesus whom I love…… saved my soul and saved me from paying the punishment(s) for my own sins.
The bible is not just any book. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.- John 1:1 (NIV).” It’s the living Word that gives us hope, empowerment, encouragement, fulfillment, faith, revelation and one thing by which God reveals something to you that you did not understand before. What book can do all of this? Matthew 3:17 says, “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.” This is not only the greatest book of ALL times but the greatest love story that God has for His Son. It says in John 17:16, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
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