By Todd Gatto
In January, Fox Valley Baptist Church, East Dundee, Ill., began a program to read through the Bible in a year. We are using the MacArthur Daily Bible as a guide. It is amazing how God has used this tool to open opportunities for sharing and learning His Word.
For example, I recently fell a couple of days behind in my daily Bible readings after the birth of my son. I had planned to get caught up while my daughters were at a function this weekend in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Being so close, I walked to the Lincoln Park Zoo to park myself on a bench and read. As I sat, a grandfather with family in tow walked by. In jest, he made the comment, “I’ll trade you that book for my granddaughter.” Half-stunned, I contemplated the comment as the family laughed and, with their granddaughter, who was obviously as astonished as I was, made their way to the next exhibit.
My first thought was that I had missed an opportunity to share the gospel, but as the Spirit moved I realized that the opportunity would not have even occurred had I not brought my Bible to the zoo in the first place. As I got up from the bench, I pondered just how often I had noticed someone with a Bible. There were definitely not many at Lincoln Park Zoo that day, nor in the park around the zoo, nor on the walk back to my car. I cannot remember the last time I saw a coworker (even my Christian friends) during a break with a Bible, or someone reading a Bible in a restaurant at lunch. Come to think of it, I don’t see too many Bibles outside of church on Sunday. So where have all the Bibles gone?
Joshua 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Psalm 1:1 and 2 say, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” What would happen if Christians began carrying their Bibles with them on a regular basis? What opportunities would it raise to share the gospel of Christ? What impact could we have on our surroundings?
I ran into that family two more times that day. I wish I could say I was more successful in witnessing. That I told the family the Book was about Someone Who loved them so much He traded His life for the granddaughter, the whole family, and all the world. That they could have the Book without charge, because that is the price of eternal life for those who believe. But I did not. God had taught me His lesson. I now keep my Bible with me, in the open, so anyone can ask me about it.
Todd Gatto attends Fox Valley Baptist Church in East Dundee, Ill.