Written words hold power
The written word appears to be more powerful than the spoken.
A famous boxer named Joe Louis, phrased it slightly differently - "One in the
eye is better than two in the ear!"
Could this power stem from the fact that written words are a
permanent record and can be read many times over and used for "...doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of
God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)?
Contrast this with the fact that once something has been
spoken, unless individuals have the enviable ability of total recall, most of
the words which have been uttered have now been scattered to the four winds.
When considering those who have impacted the lives of many
others, it doesn't take long to realise that many of them have actually been
writers and it's through God's anointing on them that they have presented
life-changing thoughts. Obviously the most amazing book would be the Bible with
its many authors showing different aspects of God's character and plan for the
world. But what about lesser-known but still divinely inspired authors? Who can
forget the story of Jim Elliot being murdered for his faith as told by his wife,
Elizabeth? It's not even possible to count the people that have since
committed themselves to work for the Lord in Jim's place after reading this
tragic but incredible story.
Amy Carmichael's testimonies have blessed people as she
shared her struggles in India and God's glorious power in sustaining her. The
poetry that flowed from her pen has struck chords in peoples' hearts
world-wide and often, when I am wandering through a difficult patch in life, her
words come to mind. "He said, I will accept the breaking sorrow, which God
tomorrow, will to His Son explain. Then did the turmoil within him cease. Not
vain the word, not vain...for in acceptance lieth peace."
But even the written word sometimes needs explanation. The
Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 9 was sitting in his chariot, reading and struggling to
understand what the prophet Isaiah was saying. God specifically sent Philip to
bring understanding and salvation to the eunuch.
In 1983, when the MV Doulos was in Vladivostok, Russia, a
lady came on board and was given a tract. She read it and wanted to become a
Christian but didn't know how. In 2002, she finally found a "Christian"
country that she could get to without needing a visa (very difficult to get in
Russia). She arrived in Cyprus and went to the information booth and asked if
they could direct her to a church where she could become a Christian and be
baptised. The lady behind the counter just happened to be a Christian and
directed her to the right place. (Many times I've noticed the Lord's
strategic placing of people who are available for Him.)
It was exciting the other day to read firsthand of another
pastor who was travelling on a ferry when he noticed a lady reading a Bible. On
his way past he remarked that she couldn't possibly read anything better then,
feeling as if he should clarify himself lest she think he was a nut, he
mentioned that he was a pastor and sat down a little distance away. Almost
immediately, the lady stood in front of him and stated that a pastor was just
what she needed and proceeded to bombard him with questions. He was able to take
her through a quick study on God's forgiveness and had the joy of seeing her
experience that same free gift in response to repentance.
In the back of my father's last book, "The Ultimate
Secret" is the true story of a man who gave out tracts in George St, Sydney,
Australia, for many years. In his latter years, he had no idea of how much God
had used him just by handing these tracts out faithfully year after year.
So you may not be very good at speaking one on one. How about
trying to give out a New Testament, a tract, a book...how about being available
to talk with people who are needing insight and understanding? There are so many
people who would love to have someone to write to them and encourage them, so
many who would value the input that you could have in their lives for God. How
about asking God to lead you to these people?
It can be very scary, but very exciting. This newspaper is
about what is going to happen in the last days. If these really are the last
days, then we need to make each moment count. There are many ways to do this but
in the age of computers and videos, don't ever discount the effectiveness of
the written word. God's own Letter to us proves this.
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