Posted: June 23, 2013 in Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Preaching, Stories

tattered bible

In late 2012 seventy-five-year-old Marion Shurtleff purchased a Bible in a used book store near her home in San Clemente, California. After making her purchase and returning home, she discovered a couple of folded pages tucked in the middle of the Bible.

The contents of the yellowed notebook sheets contained a child’s handwriting that looked familiar. To her amazement, Marion discovered her name at the top of the first page. Upon a closer examination, she realized that she had held this very document in her hands sixty-five years ago. As a ten-year-old, Marion had written a four-page essay to earn a merit badge for the Girls Scouts in Covington, Kentucky -— more than 2,000 miles from where she had just purchased the Bible.

By her own account, Marion was deeply moved. “I opened the Bible and there was my name,” she said in a phone interview from her home. “I recognized my handwriting. I was shaking, literally. I was crying.”

Although it remains a mystery how the essay ended up in a Bible in a used bookstore half way across the country, one thing is certain. When we look deeply into God’s Word we see evidences of our lives, too. In the pages of Scripture we see individuals just like us—people who pursue faith and hope in God, people who also battle depression, doubt, lust, and pride. As we read the biblical stories about Abraham, Ruth, David, Mary, and Peter, we also recognize our own life story.

As each believer comes to faith in Christ, as amazing transformation occurs. Although each believer travels down the same gospel path -– a time when we did not know the peace that God wants everyone of us to experience, a specific time when we repented of our sinfulness and trusted Christ, and life of enjoying and experiencing confidence of having a saving relationship with Christ – each one’s story stands out as different and unique. Yes, there is one gospel and one faith. However, the stories of how believers came to the realization of their need for Jesus are innumerable.

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