God has been calling me deeper into His Word lately…not simply to read what I think is sufficient every day, but to have a passion for it.
I am reading for the second time the book The Heavenly Man and the stories inside are unreal. It is about a pastor from China who went through years of torture for the Gospel. There are many things that could stand out, but the thing that is most powerful to me is his intense passion for the Bible.
When he was sixteen, no one had seen a Bible but everyone had heard about it. The believers relied on teachings that had been passed from person to person. This young man prayed and fasted for a very long time, and God miraculously provided him with a Bible. He took to memorizing as much as he could and he traveled in order to preach in all the surrounding towns. A revival took place. He quickly became famous because he owned a Bible; he also quickly became one of the most wanted criminals in his province in China.
At one point he was placed in a hole in the ground in solitary confinement as he awaited his fate with the courts. He prayed fervently for a Bible and again God miraculously provided one for him. In the first ten days he read through the ENTIRE Bible and memorized 55 chapters.
There are areas in the world today where people are being persecuted and killed for their faith. I look at myself and the reluctance I have at times to read the Bible as much as I should and wonder: What would it take? What would it take to be so passionate?
I have no idea what awaits me in the future. I could live out the rest of my days comfortably, doing ministry with the favor of the vast majority of people. However, I could live out some very difficult days in the future. God may call me to serve in a country where it is illegal to preach the Gospel. I may have to suffer for His name. The question I have to ask right now is: Am I truly taking advantage of the blessing I have right now in owning a Bible? Am I drinking the Word in, soaking it into my life? Am I solid in my knowledge and study habits of the Scriptures? Do I have passion for the Word of God?
The testimonies of persecuted Christians deeply encourage and challenge me to step it up. What about you?