rolling-cigarette-and-tobacco  Maybe you remember hearing (or saying) as a child, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Baloney! Words have the power to hurt us deeply, and we have all experienced it.

The words we speak to each other carry a lot of weight, but I want to talk about words that are even more powerful. If our words have the ability to help or hurt others, imagine how much power there must be in the words that the eternal God speaks.

First, I want to show you a few things that the Bible says about itself. Then I’m going to share a fascinating, real-life example of how powerful God’s Word can be. You will be encouraged.

The Creator has so much power that all He had to do to bring the entire universe into existence was to speak: “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:8–9). “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made….” (Psalm 33:6).

Not only did physical life start when God spoke, but eternal, spiritual life is also given through the words of God.

One day Jesus said to His followers, “… the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). Then a few moments later, Peter looked at Jesus (nodding his head I assume) and said, “…You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

At another time Jesus compared the Word of God to a seed (see Luke 8:4-15). A seed looks small and lifeless until it is buried in the ground, where it can come to life and become a living plant. God’s Word is like that. At first glance the Bible may look like just another book, but when we allow it to be planted in our hearts, it has the power to produce spiritual life. Peter must have been remembering Jesus’ words above when he wrote, “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

Even French skeptic, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778)–who taught that man is naturally good and that education is the only thing needed in order for us to be good–was struck by the splendor of the Bible. “I must confess to you,” he wrote, “that the majesty of the Scriptures astonishes me; the holiness of the Evangelists

[Matthew, Mark, Luke and John] speaks to my heart and has such striking characters of truth, and is, moreover, so perfectly inimitable [unique], that if it had been the invention of men, the inventors would be greater than the greatest heroes.”

There are many stories about amazing changes that God has made in people’s lives when they commit to reading the Bible, but I want to share just one.

In 1995 Gaylord Kambarami, general secretary of the Bible Society of Zimbabwe, Africa, traveled to the Murewa village in order to distribute copies of the New Testament. He met one man who refused buy a New Testament. Mr. Kambarami asked him why, and he said, “Because it pollutes people.” The secretary then told him that he would give him the Bible for free. The man said “If you give me that New Testament, I will roll the pages and use them to make cigarettes!” Gaylord replied, “I understand that, but at least promise to read the page of the New Testament before you smoke it.” When the man agreed, Gaylord gave him the New Testament.

Two years later, Gaylord Kambarami went back to the Murewa area. He was speaking in a tent meeting, telling crowds of people how the Bible could change their lives.

Mr. Kambarami himself picks up the story from here: “Now, the same man whom I had given the New Testament to smoke was in the audience. Before the closing of the service, he stood and said, ‘Please, let me say a few words to [Kambarami].’ … ‘This man doesn’t remember me; because when I last saw him I was a drunkard. But he came to our village and persuaded me to take the Bible. I told him I would use the paper to roll cigarettes, but I promised to read each page before doing so, which I did. So I smoked my way through Matthew. And I smoked the whole of Mark too. Then I smoked Luke. I started smoking John, but when I came to John 3:16 [“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”], a light shone in my face. And now I am a church going person. I saw the light.’ ”

I have seen the Bible change many lives. If you would like God to change your life, here is a challenge for you. Make a decision to start reading the Bible. I would suggest you begin with John (the 4th book in the New Testament), and after that, read Romans (two books later). As you read, ask God to help you understand what you are reading. If you need a Bible, I will be glad to give you one.

I would love to hear how your journey through the Bible is going.