The Bible is Still the World’s Best Seller!

As tonight, 23rd April 2012, is World Book Night, I have been reflecting on the issue of education (as well as that of women’s education) throughout the world and have also been thinking about the different attitudes towards it in societies everywhere. I would like to know what justification there can be for recent vicious attacks against young girls who are trying to go to school in Afghanistan. Is it a matter of culture and tradition or do those who perpetrate such deeds find justification for what they do in their religious writings?

Young girls have been poisoned, gassed, mutilated… all because of their natural desire to have a basic education.

I was dismayed by the following true story from Afghanistan…

One morning as two young sisters in Kandahar were going to school a man pulled up alongside them on a motorbike and asked: “Are you going to school?”

When he learned that they were, he pulled one of their burqas off and sprayed the little girl with burning acid. This horrific attack has left her scarred for life and nowadays her vision is blurred, making it difficult for her to read.

How I wish that these young girls could attend school on a regular basis without constantly living in fear of such attacks or even of being murdered. Sadly it is a fact that my experience of school many years ago was so encouraging and positive when compared with girls in Afghanistan today.

One of my first memories when I started school was of being seated at a desk one morning and of the teacher coming along shaking a large box of letters from the alphabet. “See how many words you can make out of these letters,” she said. And so, in time the words became sentences and those sentences became paragraphs and the paragraphs were joined to tell a story; I have to say that this activity has stuck in my memory over the years because I found it so enjoyable.

Soon I came to find the art of reading enjoyable too. My family would travel to Smithfield Markets in Belfast where we picked up armfuls of books at just a few pence each and upon our return home I would be engrossed in reading them, often to the neglect of everything else!

What a privilege it is to be able to read – but what an enormous privilege it is to be able to read God’s Holy Word, the Bible. Somehow when I came to know Jesus as Saviour, all other books (while some of them were interesting and even spiritually helpful) paled into insignificance when compared with my daily companion – the Bible.

In this tremendous volume I found all the instructions I needed to live this life to the full and the joy of the assurance that my sins were forgiven; I was taught to respect and love my fellowmen and women; I found comfort, solace and direction; amazing stories which gave me courage and poetry that inspired me. But above all I discovered that the Author loved me personally and wanted to share His riches with me forever.

It has been estimated that world sales of the Bible are currently more than a hundred million every year and yet I feel that most people in the world have still never read the Bible through even once; sadly this also applies to those who have made a profession of having trusted the Saviour.

I remember finding conviction in the words of the Bible before becoming a Christian and I believe that those who sincerely want to find truth will be spoken to. I also believe that the best place to start reading is in the New Testament – and then the Old Testament.

My prayer is that the Bible will be translated into every dialect and language of the world and that men, women and children throughout the world will be given the opportunity to discover within its pages the remedy for sin and the recipe for happiness.

“Search the scriptures,” Jesus tells us in John 5v39, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Jesus loves you, He died for you and He rose again in triumph for you – over sin and death and hell, if you will only repent and trust Him with your life, your all. I pray that you will read His beautiful story today, if you have not already done so.  

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