ISAIAH 55:1 (ESV): “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
JOHN 1:1 (NKJV): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
DISTRIBUTING GOD’S HOLY WORD
LET ME TELL YOU a tale about eight simple words: “May I offer you the Word of God?”
Recently, I had the good fortune to join Gideons International.
Those are the Bible people — the folks who place the Holy Bible in the motel/hotel rooms in a bed stand near where you’ll sleep. Perhaps you’ve reached into the drawer to read the Bible or, like me, you bring your own.
We also present the Bible to military bases, hospitals, prisons, colleges, churches, medical offices, and various public events.
MY FIRST EXPERIENCE
My first adventure was passing out small Bibles to students, faculty, and staff at a local university. My anxiety level was high whenever someone — usually a student — approached my “zone,” the sidewalk assigned to me.
Mustering up my courage, I would utter those eight simple words, “May I offer you the Word of God,” and extend my hand with the Bible.
Most students kept walking, some taking a Bible, others refusing with a short wave of their hand. Never was I able to go through the basic Gospel message or God’s plan of salvation. People were busy, and we were asking them to take a moment from pressing matters.
While I had hope for even a few conversations with someone who really was searching for answers to life’s basic questions — like ‘Who are we?’ ‘How did we get here?’ and ‘What, if anything, does my life mean?’ — it never happened.
This probably was not the best place or the right time.
OFFERING ETERNAL LIFE
“May I offer you the Word of God?” the faithful servant presents a gift so precious, so faithful, so rewarding … yet so few will take it.
- “May I offer you the Word of God?” It is the Bible, the Holy Word of God, given to us for instruction, for peace and comfort, for forgiveness of sins, for the promise of eternity with our Creator.
- “May I offer you the Word of God?” It is the salve that heals, caffeine for our souls, batteries for our zeal.
- “May I offer you the Word of God?” It is the answer to life’s perplexing questions, the crooked path made straight, the narrow gate, the difficult road.
- “May I offer you the Word of God?” It’s thinking of other’s needs above our own, of not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought, of discarding the past and running the race set before us.
- “May I offer you the Word of God?” It’s being given the crown of life, a house with many rooms, streets of gold, and the river of life.
“May I offer you the Word of God?”
No, you say? Okay, I understand. God still loves you, and I’ll pray for you. My prayer will be that someday, maybe in a hotel lobby, or a hospital ward, or a military base, or a prison cell … in a church or even in your home, you’ll reach out for the Word of God.
It could save your soul.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
If you are a Christian, you should take every opportunity God gives you to introduce someone to God’s Word. Jesus calls it being “fishers of men.”
If you are not yet a believer, but you “attend” church, you should take the opportunity God gives you right now to read His Word, to savor its message, and to let it sink into your heart.
If you are agnostic or atheist or follow another religious tradition, may I offer you the Word of God? It is the Creator’s own message to His creation, the men and women He fashioned in His image.
If you read His Word and believe His Word, you will be eternally grateful.
Seriously. Eternally grateful.
Let’s join together in singing a hymn of praise to our Lord:
PSALMS 30:11-12 (NIV): “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.”
ABBA FATHER, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, we humbly bow before Your throne. You who made the Heavens and the Earth, the sun to rule by day and the moon and stars to rule by night, who merely spoke the words, and it was so. In the beginning, before the creation, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Then, God created. Lord, equip us to be Your faithful servants, extending our fellowship, witnessing to Your saving grace, and asking those we meet, “May I offer you the Word of God?” In the mighty name of Jesus, Your Son, our Lord, we lift our prayer. AMEN