, , ,

Continuing on in my 30 Day Challenge and today is day 03 in the challenge.

Having looked at the subject/question for today I see that it is…

A book you love.”

And to be honest I had to smile at this one and I couldn’t help wondering how many of you have seen that this is the subject matter and predicted, as a result of my being a Christian, that I would choose the Bible?

Well see now there are a couple of difficulties that I have with that…

Firstly, technically the Bible is not only a book but also a collection of books.

Taken from Koine (or common) Greek the word ‘biblia’ or bible means “the books”.

In the orthodox Christian bible 66 books in total although this number varies in other versions.

Secondly, I have an aversion to being that predictable 🙂

So what book will I choose as a book that I love?  Will it be one of the books of the bible?  Will it be one of the books mentioned in the bible?  After all I am a keen reader and do have a fairly good collection of hagiography and religious writings and a keen interest in them.

Would it be one of the books I read in my childhood and which meant so very much to me?  A Christian based book from my childhood perhaps or even a secular book from that time?  After all I did love to read even back then.  Perhaps even one of the classics?

Would it be one of the books that I have written?   Since they were nearly all written for my kids and family and do have a special place in my heart.

I wonder which book you would choose?  What books interest you the most?  Love stories?  Classics?  Religious Books? Science Fiction?  True Life/Rites of Passage type books?  Perhaps an Autobiography or biography? A book which brings you great joy or one that stirs up sadness within you perhaps?

For me, as strange as it may seem, when choosing “a book that I love“, and bearing in mind my previous comments about the bible being a collection of books. the book that I have to choose is a book which brings me great joy and also great sadness. Even more strangely perhaps it is a book that whilst I love it, truly love it, I have never read it.

It is the book referenced in the bible in several places (Exodus 32:32; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 20:15 and referred to as “the book of life” or “the Lamb’s book of life”.

I have already stated that as a Christian I believe the Bible to be God-breathed and true.

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

The Scriptures teach me that those who are saved, who have given their life to Christ, will spend eternity with God and have their names written in the book of life.

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” (Revelation 3:5 NIV)

That God should choose to accept us, not by anything we have done – other than recognize His place and the place of Christ Jesus in our lives, is amazing to me and that my name should as a result of His love and grace and mercy be written in the book of life of course brings me tremendous joy and makes me so very much aware of His wonderful love.

How could I not love that book therefore even though I have not read it?  And yet I mentioned great sadness that is also attached to that book for me.  And that sadness comes from the realization that no matter how much God loves us, no matter how many truths are presented or how often the central truth of God and Christ is presented, some people will simply refuse to accept it and thus, as a result of their defiance, will not have their names written in the book of life.

I cannot even begin to describe the sadness  that this realization brings for me.

The biblical evidence of the presence of Christ Jesus is vast and it frustrates me that I cannot understand how anyone who reads the bible cannot see that.

Likewise non-biblical and indeed non-Christian evidence of the presence of Jesus in history is vast…

Tacitus – a Roman historian who was not a Christian wrote –

“Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. . . .” 1

Here is a non-christian ancient (AD 64) and roman historian recording the presence and impact of Christ.  And there are others…

Pliny the younger – Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor wrote to the emperor Trajan around AD 112 making reference to Christ in one of those letters.1

Josephus a first century Jewish historian. On two occasions, in his Jewish Antiquities, he mentions Jesus.1

Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:

The Christians . . . worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.1

That Christ existed and that biblical accounts are accurate and true is historically documented and undeniable and yet some still to this day deny it.

None of those I have quoted were Christians. None had cause or vested interest in documenting the fact that Christ did indeed exist and yet all (and others) did so.

For me personally I do not believe in Christ simply because the bible tells me it is true.

In fact I believe in Christ and that He truly is the Son of God given to save the world and reconcile us with God, because of my personal experiences as well as the fact the bible and other non-Christian historical documents prove that truth.

I am convinced of the validity of the Bible and I am convinced of the truth that some will through Christ accept salvation.  I thank God for His love and grace and mercy that has this is possible and I love the fact and find great joy in the fact that there is a book of life – a book which records the names of all those who are saved.

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” (Revelation 3:5 NIV)

20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 NIV)

But as much as I love the fact that there is a book of life and that I believe my name to be written in it, it saddens me so greatly that many will – by their own actions or inaction – not accept God’s offer of salvation and thus not have their name written in it.

So there you have it.  My answer to Day 03’s challenge.  A book that I love.  Different perhaps, but it has to make you think doesn’t it?