Wednesday, September 7, 2016

One Powerful Book

“For the word of God is full of living power….” Hebrews 4:12a
Recently I was visiting a Muslim lady and talked about being thankful. I asked her if she would like to hear a story from the Bible about some people who didn’t show thankfulness after being healed. I brought my Bible out from my purse and read the story of the ten lepers being healed miraculously by Jesus. Only one returned to say thanks. She was amazed at the power of Jesus that He just used His voice and they were healed. She was captured with intrigue. Yes, the Bible is full of living power. It was her first time to see a Bible and to know that the English name of Isa is Jesus. I absolutely love to see the reaction of Muslims who see a Bible for the first time or hear from it. It’s priceless! 
Sakina shared that she struggles with controlling her tongue. I knew this was my clue to introduce sin and the power it has over us. I explained, “Sakina, the Bible says something about this problem.”  Since I make it a habit to carry my Bible with me on visits, I pulled it out of my purse and said, “My friend, this is the Bible. Would you like to hear what it says about the tongue?” I watched and waited for her to process the sight of a Bible. “Sure,” she replied. She was gripped by the verses and exclaimed with conviction, “That’s me. That’s my problem!”
 It’s hard to describe the deep love I have for the Word of God. Ever since I was a young child there has been a strong affection for it. It is my most prized possession. It comforts me, convicts me, amazes me, warns me and transforms me. God comes alive to me through the pages. I have read the Bible more times than any other book. There are secrets and mysteries hidden in the Word. I watched my mom translate the Bible into Somali and caught her determination that Somalis be able to read the Good News in their mother tongue. I yearn for my Muslim friends to hear the Word of God, want it for themselves, and to read and understand it. So, I put a spare Bible or New Testament in simple contemporary English in my purse when I go off to visit Muslim friends. This preparation always makes me ready. They might even want that Bible! One time I read from my own marked up Bible to a Burmese Muslim lady. She begged to have a Bible so I gave her mine.  Many opportunities are missed because we do not have a Bible handy.
Observing Iman’s fear and hesitation at the sight of a Bible I remarked, “Iman, you are afraid of the Bible.”  She replied strongly, “No, I’m not…well, yes, I guess I am.”  Still to this day she refuses to read the Bible for herself.  The Bible is one powerful book. That is why so many Muslims are afraid of it. But I refuse to let their fear hijack me from using it.  Satan is disarmed when he hears the Word being read.
Dear heavenly Father, please help me to remember to put a Bible/NT in my purse and show me when and how to use it.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.