One year ago, today, November 13th, “Faithful Promises of God” went live. What joy filled my heart! I had started the book on January 1, 2015. God had started urging me to write such a book about a month before. I was in the midst of the severe pain of Chikungunya and argued with the Lord that I could not write another book. “Faithful Hope” had been hard enough…I likened it to having a baby. With that book, I’d only worked for about a year before it went live. Writing a book involves writing, rewriting, editing, rewriting, editing and then you turn it over to another person to edit, generate the computer editing, uploading and getting a copy of the book, editing once again, making changes and uploading once again. Finally, the book is ready to go live…to have people buy it.
Perseverance is a task the Lord is not only trying to teach me but each of us. I’m sure you have a story or two about a struggle that God has allowed you to go through. Perhaps one story of perseverance has been reading through the Bible for your first time. I still remember the first time I read through the Bible. It was 1981, I had only been a Christian about six years and struggled to read any of the Bible, let alone from cover to cover. I’d fall to sleep while reading even though I’d just gotten out of bed. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me to keep reading, to persevere. I can’t even tell you the excitement I felt as I read God’s Holy Word!
I remember the day I called my dear mentor full of excitement with a verse that thrilled my soul! “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) That verse touched my heart! Even though I did not grow up in a church nor in a Christian family, I had been given the gift of Jesus even though I couldn’t see Him or touch Him, I knew He was my guiding Light! He was my hope!
All I wanted to do was live for Him but I’d had lived so many years as a sinner, I had to relearn how to live, how to act, how to please Him. My repentance was real but Scripture says that I am to “prove their repentance by their deeds”. (Acts 26:20b) My works, what I did, did not save me but yet that is the way people could tell that I’d had a changed life. He had brought me to His saving grace to glorify Him by using the gifts He’d given me to bring others to Him.
The evil one has a way of using those around us, even Christians, to remind us of our past, of our sins and failures so as to discourage us so we won’t change our behavior. We are new creatures in Christ, “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”. (Ephesians 4:23-24) Imagine that! He created us to change our behavior so as to be known as His! Never believe the lie that is thrown back into our faces that we are not good enough for Jesus! Never…
Ephesians 5:15-16 reminds us to “be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are
evil”. Once God has called us to live a new life in Him, believing that Jesus is the Son of God, it is up to us to change our way of thinking, through reading the Word, and change our behavior by putting the Word into action. God will give you the strength to go forward in the way He has planned.
Although I really don’t want to go through writing another book, I’ve had people tell me to put my “stories” down on paper. God has changed me in so many ways through the years. He’s allowed me to have the desires of my heart, being sent to foreign soil twice as a missionary. And each experience He’s allowed me to have has grown me and brought glory to Him. These experiences are to encourage you and in return, your life-story is there to encourage someone else.
My sincerest desire is to get people to read through the Bible for I know what it has done for my life. In the mid-1980’s, I’d gone to a conference and an older lady who spoke shared how important it was to read the Bible daily and said she was in her 50th time of reading through the Bible! WOW, I admired her so much and decided that I would read through the Bible each year from that moment forward. Truthfully, when I was going to college, it took me two years to read through the Bible but other than that, I’ve benefited from His Word daily. You know what? Once my first book came out, I started struggling in my daily reading and when my second book came out last year, it has been even more difficult. Seems that I get busy and don’t give myself time to do my daily reading or I have obligations and so on. But, I’m here to encourage you to press on towards the mark of His high calling! You cannot know what He’s called you to unless you are reading His instruction book.
In 2020, encourage at least one person to read through the Bible. I’d like to challenge churches to have whole congregations to read through the Bible in 2020. By this time next year, I’d like to find out that there are many who have benefited from “Faithful Promises of God” as they have started this journey. And for those who have gone through a painful experience, “Faithful Hope” is there to give hope that only comes from Jesus. One step at a time…get a version of the Bible you can understand. And start! I look forward to hearing from you…thank you for being there for me!