Saturday, June 23, 2012


There are 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,101 verses, 783,137 words, and 3,566,480 letters in the King James Bible. That is a lot of material for a pastor to use to prepare his sermon. And yet, a pastor chose one particular passage on one particular day, and it just happened to be the very chapter I had read the night before. As an atheist, I had opened a Bible for the first time because I was bored, and I needed a good laugh. I expected some primitive, uneducated presentation of superstitious myth. What I found was more beautifully written than the writings of William Shakespeare, which I had always admired. I was astonished.

The following morning, I was telling my wife about it, much to her amazement since I had so strongly opposed any sort of religious thinking by anyone. I had made it my calling to challenge any and all who dared to speak of God. To me, there was no God. As I went on and on about it, our children came down stairs and turned on the TV in the living room. Judy and I were in the dining room, and although I could both hear and see the program that was on, I was so engrossed in my story, that I didn't object to it being a church program. They had gone into the kitchen to get some cereal and left it on the station; they intended to return and switch it to cartoons. Before they had a chance to do that, I told my wife that it would really be something if the preacher spoke on the one chapter I had read. He did! I moved to the living room.

I don't exactly know what I saw for the next three hours, but at the end of the third hour, a preacher pointed at the TV camera and said, "You there in your living room, get down on you knees and accept Jesus Christ as you Savior." I hit the floor. My life was changed forever in that instant as I put my complete trust in Jesus. I felt different. I knew that my sin was forgiven, that the Bible was true, and that God would use me to tell others. Don't ask me how I knew. I just did.

Since that time forty-one years ago, I have enjoyed His presence and His Word. I went to Bible College and then to Seminary trying to quench my thirst for knowledge of Him. Today, I have barely scratched the surface, but I love His Word more than ever. Because of it, I know that I am a sinner, saved only because He had mercy on me. He graciously provided His Son, His Spirit, His Word, and faith so that I could have an everlasting relationship with Him. And I know that one day, very soon, Jesus will return and put an end to the evil that permeates this world. We win! Praise the Lord.

Of the 1,189 chapters in the Bible, Psalm 117, the shortest, is the middle chapter. It's two verses call for all nations to praise the LORD. It tells of His mercy toward His creation. The longest, Psalm 119, contains twenty-two sections of eight verses each, all proclaiming the wonder of God's Word. But right in the middle between the shortest chapter, a call to praise God, and the longest chapter, a call to praise His Word, lies the chapter with the middle verse in the bible:  Psalm 118:8, which says, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." There it is. The Gospel in a nut shell. Trust the Lord.

Trust Him to forgive. Trust Him to save. Trust Him to return.

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