Sue and I love to spend time on the Door County peninsula of northern Wisconsin. This strip of land is straddled by the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan on the east and Green Bay on the west.
Although we head up there each summer to read and study, it’s also our favorite location for hiking, biking, going to fish boils, watching sunsets and attending outdoor plays in Peninsula State Park.
At the conclusion of one these dramatic presentations back in August, we found ourselves in conversation with a retired couple that had been sitting behind us. Allen asked us what we like to do in Door County. I told him that I regularly escape to the area in order to write. “Write what?” he wanted to know.
When I described my recently published books, the Bible Savvy series, his eyes lit up. He explained that he’d attended church all his life but had never been much of a Bible reader. Recently, however, he joined a small group of guys who are studying God’s Word together. He’s pumped!
Before our conversation concluded, Allen discovered that Sue and I reside in Batavia, IL, not far from where his son, Bob, and daughter-in-law and grandkids live. I made a mental note of that little bit of information and determined to drop off a copy of the Bible Savvy series for Allen with Bob when I got home.
Well, I finally got around to doing that this past week. (Better late than never.) I dropped in on Bob and his family (including a new baby), introduced myself and gave him copies of the four-book Bible Savvy series to pass on to his dad. It turns out that Bob, too, is an avid reader and he expressed an interest in checking out these books about the Bible for himself.
I’m telling you this story because I want to encourage you to be an ambassador of God’s Word. Jesus has called us to be his witnesses in this world (Acts 1:8), and one of the ways to do that is by turning others on to the Bible.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that Scripture makes people “wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 3:15). As they read God’s Word for themselves (I usually suggest the Gospel of Mark to first-time readers), they become acquainted with Jesus and drawn to him as Savior and Lord.
And for those who surrender to Christ and begin to follow him, the Bible is an indispensable resource for spiritual growth. Paul continued his promotion of Scripture to Timothy by emphasizing its usefulness in the lives of believers: “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Let’s make it our goal to spread the Word — God’s Word — today. If you’re a parent, start with your own kids.
This past weekend, Sue and I launched a parenting series at Christ Community Church, and we challenged moms and dads to set a goal for getting their kids into the Bible. If they’re too young to read it for themselves, pick up a Jesus Story Book and read it to them. If they’re old enough to follow a Bible reading schedule on their own, connect them with the Scripture Union plan and start talking about your insights from each day’s passage at the family dinner table.
But don’t stop with your fam. Spread the Word to friends at work and school and in the neighborhood. At the risk of sounding self-promotional, pick up extra copies of the Bible Savvy series and give them away as gifts. Over 13 million viewers watched last Spring’s mini-series, “The Bible,” on the history channel.
There’s an interest in God’s Book out there. Tap into it. Slip into conversations that you read the Bible every day and get so much out of it for your life. If that stimulates some curiosity — direct your listener’s attention to the Bible Savvy series and explain how it might help them understand the Bible for themselves.
Here are a few additional suggestions for spreading the Word. Point people to the Scripture Union daily Bible reading schedule. Tell them about the Bible Savvy blog that coaches Bible readers on how to draw something from the text for their lives.
Invite a friend to your Community Group (or whatever you call your Bible study small group). A person doesn’t have to be a Christ follower before beginning to study God’s Word with others. If they hear how much you’re getting out of your group — they just might want to join you.
And if you belong to CCC, plan now to participate in our upcoming Spread the Word Christmas outreach. We’re praying for 6,000 Christ followers who will each give one Bible to a friend this holiday season. We’ll be gift-boxing those Bibles on Saturday morning, November 9th, at our St. Charles campus — and could use a few hundred extra hands to get the job done. These Bibles have been attractively designed and purchased by CCC, and they’ll be accompanied by a DVD of testimonials from Bible readers (including a few celebrities) and a CD of original Christmas music.
Let’s spread the Word! (And for those of you who are following Scripture Union’s schedule, I blogged on Genesis’ Joseph story. Keep reading.)