I admire Mark Finley, world church evangelist, for many things. I admire how he has led so many people to Jesus, I admire his dynamic presentations, and, most of all, I admire his mind. He is so wise and creative. He has helped with so many situations within the church, situations involving pastors, families, and individuals. I have longed for the gifts that I see in him and have often wondered where his wisdom and creative ideas come from.
Last year we found ourselves in a meeting, trying to know what to do about an issue in the church. Mark told us that he had read through the Book of Acts in hopes that it would bring wisdom, but he didn’t receive the guidance he was seeking. So he read the book again. And then again. More than thirty times he read Acts, page by page, seeking to understand how God might handle the situation.
Mark told us that many times he has read and re-read God’s Word when he needed wisdom, direction, or creativity. Since his young adult years, he has depended on God’s Word to teach him how to deal with challenges in life, church work, and doctrinal beliefs.
Years ago I thought the Bible was boring and too difficult to understand. I preferred to read books on how to live the Christian life, how to have a good marriage, or how to be a good mother. But no matter how many books I read or how many principles I learned, I kept failing. I simply couldn’t be the person I wanted to be.
The only thing that really helps me is to read and pray through Scripture. That’s the only way I will learn what God thinks, understand what He wants from me, and have the power to actually change. As I read and pray, the Holy Spirit changes my heart, and my mind is filled with the gifts of wisdom and discernment. While reading the Bible used to be a struggle, it has now become a joy!
Jesus tells us, “The words that I speak unto you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, NKJV). This is so true! I’ve been following the Believe His Prophets (BHP) reading plan, reading one chapter of Scripture each day. Most days I also read other sections of the Bible in addition to the designated chapter, because I hunger for more. I feel so close to God when reading the Bible.
The BHP reading plan also includes a portion from one of Ellen White’s books to read each week. Currently, we are reading Christ’s Object Lessons. One of my favorite passages has been this: “The Word of God is the seed. Every seed has in itself a germinating principle. In it the life of the plant is enfolded. So there is life in God’s Word. . . . In every command and in every promise of the Word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the Word is receiving the very life and character of God” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 38, emphasis supplied). This is so powerful and true!
In this issue, Jill Morikone shares a story of how the power of God’s Word transforms hearts and minds even in apparently hopeless situations. I think you’ll enjoy reading what she wrote, as well as the other articles in this issue.
Remember, Jesus promises that His Word is life! I pray each of us will experience more and more of His life-changing power in our lives and be used by God to love many more people to Jesus.
Please share with me what God is doing in your life. Your experiences will encourage and inspire others.