Author: Steve Adams
Monday 18th September 10:00am.
It's the best selling book of all time. Every month in every year it remains the best seller. Sure, there have been some rare occasions where it has been outsold in certain weeks by Harry Potter books and even Shades of Grey, but after the short-lived big sales of such books, this book again returns to its position as best seller. We're talking about the Bible. Odds are high you've got one on your bookshelf. You may even have multiple copies and different versions. Even if you're not a Christian, you probably have one lying around the house somewhere - even if it's just gathering dust or being used as a substitute for a missing castor or foot on a piece of furniture.
If you're a Christian reading this, you're probably saddened by the idea that someone would own a Bible, which contains the wonderful good news of God's salvation, and never open it.
Christianity has more than it's fair share of clichés and well known witty sayings. Amongst the treasure trove of such sayings is this one, "You might be the only Bible that somebody ever reads". Clearly this doesn't mean that we're transformers, being human part time and a walking book part time. Although I have certainly met some Christians of whom "Hardcover" might seem like a fitting description.
So what is meant by this well known saying? All of the Bible tells us something about God and has a special focus on His saving work through Jesus Christ. Terms such as "Light of the World", "Witnesses" and "Ambassadors" are used to describe the nature of followers of Jesus Christ (Christians). Therefore our lives are to share a common purpose with the Bible, to give a visible and "readable" display of the glory of God and His saving work. In 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, Paul goes so far to speak of the Corinthian Christians as a "letter from Christ".
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (ESV)
You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
If it saddens you to know of people who own a Bible but never open it, I would invite you to consider the following. If you as a Christian might be the only exposure someone has to the Bible and Jesus Christ, what might someone looking at your life see and come to know about Jesus? This presents both a challenge and an exciting opportunity. Such pondering may lead you to the challenging conclusion that your workmates, friends and family don't see anything that would point them to Jesus. Like a Bible sitting on a shelf gathering dust - so much potential but not serving its intended purpose. At this juncture it needs also be said that being a nice person does not in itself point a person to Jesus. After all the world is full of people who do not know Jesus who abound with kindness, care, generosity etc. Such characteristics should adorn God's children but they are not an exclusive sign pointing to Jesus.
Thankfully, there is also an exciting opportunity that this challenge presents. God uses normal, everyday, faithful believers to point people to Jesus. Just as God called the Israelites to himself that they might be a "light to the nations", so too are we to bear witness to the one who in His love, grace and mercy has called us to Himself and saved us. You may be the only Bible someone ever reads. Brush off the dust and cobwebs. May our lives be like a Bible that is heavily worn, highlighted and examined. Through the many who peruse its pages, pray that God might be pleased to call as many as possible to Himself through our witness for the glory of God.
If your conclusion was that your life has been like a closed book, don't let this article be a discouragement. That's exactly what your enemy would want - that you feel discouraged and give up. Rather, allow it to be an encouragement to see the privilege and opportunity that the rest of your life on earth affords you.