Since the early 1990s, the China Christian Council&Three-self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China have set the second Sunday in December aside as "Bible Day" for the churches in China. Chinese Christians read the Bible with a pious, honest, serious, persistent, and resolute attitude. On the eve of the Protestant Bible Day in China, I would like to share this summary of what I have observed from my personal experience with brothers and sisters, as well as stories from the Bible. The purpose is to provide a witness for the Lord and the gospel.
1. An old sister in her eighties read the Bible every day and sometimes took her granddaughter to read with her. Doing this not only fostered the child's faith but also helped the sister solve her problem of poor vision and reading difficulties. Sometimes, the grandmother and her granddaughter also tested each other on their knowledge of Bible verses.
2. An elderly female teacher in Taipei, over 90, had been a believer for decades. She was old, unable to move, and somewhat confused. Sometimes she didn't even recognize her children, but she persevered in praying and reading the Bible every day until she returned to heaven to be with the Lord.
3. A 94-year-old elder, who consistently read the Scriptures for two hours every day, not only read but also shared the knowledge he acquired from reading in the church and Wechat moments. A 92-year-old sister took a bus to the church all by herself and began to read the Bible after praying. She still read the small print Bible without putting on her glasses. I asked her, "Are you able to read clearly? "She said, "My eyes are not dim. Thank God".
4. An elderly sister in her seventies suffered from various diseases and underwent several operations. No matter how bad her health was, she made sure she read and transcribed the Scriptures every day. With her calligraphy gift, she wrote Bible text banners for churches and nursing homes. She signed a contract to make 1000 copies of Bible quotes, which she made using old calendars, giving them to the brothers and sisters in the Lord, and it became a small gift given by the church to distinguished guests.
5. Hundreds of church members under the leadership of shepherds insisted on reading and transcribing the Bible all year round. Members from both the old and young generation, pastors, and even ordinary believers were copying the Bible while reading the Bible. They regarded it as part of their daily life. Many brothers and sisters have already transcribed the Bible more than twice.
6. A sister suffered from an incurable disease. After the operation, she thanked the Lord for healing her and bringing her back to life. After she was discharged from the hospital, she began to read and transcribe the Bible every day. Sometimes she spent several hours reading and transcribing the Scriptures and forgot to eat. Her family advised her to stop because her vision would be impaired after taking drugs. She said, "No, I can't. If I don't read or copy the Scriptures for a day, I'll feel I owe God a debt."
7. After a brother's old mother went to be with the Lord, his family asked him: "Look at mother's remaining properties. What do you want? The brother said, "I don't want anything. Just give me her Bible." This was the first Bible he had in his life. It was something holy that guided him to read the scriptures and worship in the church. Since then, he became a believer. He read the Bible every day all year round. There were Bibles on the sofa, study, bedside, office desk, and car, which made it easy for him to read anytime he wanted.
8. There was a brother who was a great reader. He read extensively and had a large library at home. Once, he thumbed through a Bible story and was immediately attracted by the plot. After that, he asked for a Bible from a friend who believed in God. When he opened the Bible, he inadvertently opened the book of Psalms and received the wonderful words into his heart. From then on, he took the time to read the Bible every day. Finally, he attended a gathering in the church with other believers, and while he sat there, he shed tears. Eventually, he joined the baptism class, was baptized, and became a believer in the Lord.
9. An elderly brother with retinal detachment in both eyes had poor vision but never forgot his faith. He still read the Bible every day, using a magnifying glass to read small fonts, or looking for a sunny place at home to read. He also read the NIV, the Thinker, the modern Chinese version, and the contemporary version of the Bible every day, comparing them and drawing nourishment from the truth.
10. A sister shared her thoughts on the Bible with me: "I read two or three chapters of the Bible every day, which is what I have to do. I also transcribe the Bible every day, because it is a life of faith that cannot be shaken, and that is what we Christians should do. If you want to improve your life, look for answers in the Bible. The more you love reading the Bible, the better your life will be. I love reading the Bible, and I love transcribing the Bible because it enlightens me and provides many benefits. "
11. An elderly sister had a bad temper. Before she believed in the Lord, she was somewhat unruly and even called people names. After believing in the Lord, the church gave her a Bible, which she has been reading every day ever since. In her own words: "Sometimes when I want to get angry, I tell myself don't get angry, don't get angry, control yourself. What do I do? I read the Bible so that I can focus on the Scriptures and listen to God's teachings without getting angry." Family members say she's changed.
12. After the reform and opening up and the restoration of Christianity, an elderly woman who had been a believer for decades had her own Bible. She was illiterate, but when others read the Scriptures for her, she always listened silently and said "Amen" to the Lord. Although she was bedridden, she regarded the Bible as her favorite gift from God and asked her family to put it on the head of her bed every day. When the elderly woman returned home to the Lord, the Bible that belonged to her was placed by her bedside pillow as usual.
13. To further deepen his understanding of the Scriptures, a certain believer, in addition to being shepherded in the church by the preacher, also bought some dictionaries, explanations, and other reference books related to the Bible, such as dictionaries and explanations. Every time he went to church, he took the Bible, a concise Bible dictionary, and a dictionary of difficult words in the Bible, to compare and understand the difficult points mentioned in the preacher's sermon.
14. In a church, led by the senior pastor, believers began to read and transcribe the Bible. The most active ones were the elderly sisters and brothers. Some elderly sisters in their eighties insisted on reading and transcribing the Scriptures every day. They also urged their daughters, who were believers and nearly sixty years old, to read and transcribe the Scriptures. When some of them finished transcribing the whole Bible and took it to the pastor, the pastor not only praised them but also gave them a new Bible with an autograph as a sign of encouragement. Some of the elderly believers transcribed the whole Bible with a writing brush, which was still kept by the church. A brother who was nearly 90 years old bound his copy and put it in a prominent place in his home. When the pastor asked for advice on whether to keep it for the church, the old brother said, "My codex of the Bible will be left to my grandchildren and passed on from generation to generation."
15. A brother once attended a religious conference organized in the city. While some of the great monks talked about humility, the brothers shared the story of how the Lord Jesus Christ humbly washed the feet of the believers. The monk was surprised: there is such a thing! And the brothers said, yes, it is written in the New Testament, in the Gospel of John. The monk said I'll have a look at it if I have the chance. After that, the brother came to visit the monk, gave him a Bible, and shared his Christian faith with him.
16. An elderly brother not only persevered in reading the Classics all the year-round but also wrote the experience and poems while reading the classics. In the past ten years, he published more than 1000 articles (poems) in the main network media. Almost every day, he had to type on the keyboard and keep writing. He thought that it was not enough to read the Scriptures, but also to have the experience of spreading the gospel. Otherwise, the Bible would be read in vain. Therefore, some of his reading articles were also forwarded by Christian media at home and abroad.
17. An elder brother who was in charge of a church congregation had been a believer for more than 30 years. In addition to reading Scriptures throughout the year, he often organized "examinations" on Scriptures, quiz contests, and often asked believers to recite passages during gatherings. Although a great number of the congregations were brothers and sisters over the age of 60, under his leadership and encouragement, everyone recited the Bible passages very well. The writer took part in a recitation competition of their Scriptures and felt inferior.
18. There were several painters, designers, and calligraphers in the publicity department of a church. While reading the Scriptures, they created some oil paintings, calligraphy, and sculpture works according to the four Gospels concerning the miracles performed by the Lord Jesus. Some of them became well-known scenic spots in China, such as the Bible theme park in some provinces. Some of them were good at architectural design, and according to the description of sanctuaries in the Bible, they designed the interior and exterior of some churches.
19. An elderly sister who fell sick was going to be hospitalized for surgery. She told her family: "Don't forget to bring me the Bible. Her family brought both her Bible and a Bible audio player to the ward. When she regained consciousness after the operation, she wore earphones (so as not to disturb her fellow patients) to listen to the Bible every day. During her stay in the hospital, she not only read through the Bible once again but also listened to all 150 Psalms of the Bible 11 times from the beginning to the end.
20. A brother who was the deputy general manager of a company was given the responsibility by his boss, to oversee the investigation by the law enforcement department in the company due to contract issues. He sat quietly in his office, reading the Bible and the New Testament, waiting for the investigation. When about seven or eight people arrived in his office, they said: "take the important things and let's go." The brother said calmly I have nothing to bring, but a Bible." Before they left, the brothers said to them, "After I have read a passage of the Bible, I will go with you.". He randomly opened the New Testament and by the grace of God, it turned out to be Titus 3:1. He read aloud, "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey their orders, and to be ready to do every good work." At that time, all the people in the office stood listening to the Bible, and after reading, they left together. When he went to the law enforcement department office, the director also joked with him. "Do you still have the Bible in your bag?" The brother said, "I took it with me." The director said, "Since the Bible is so good, then I'll read it when I get the chance." In this way, the brother secretly seized the perfect opportunity to gift him a brand-new Bible.
(The original article is published by Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Nonye Nancy