Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Eight men sat in a small, dimly lit room in a rural Chinese village home. Seven were preachers, and their eyes were glued to the Bible held by the eighth man. It was a leather-bound zippered Bible with gold-edged trim on the pages.
The western visitor suddenly became aware that the seven men were staring intently at his Bible. One of them generated enough courage to say, “What a beautiful Bible. May I look at it for a moment?”
“Of course,” he replied. The Bible was gently handed from person to person as though it was made of eggshells. They asked how much it cost. And their faces fell when they learned it was the equivalent of twenty dollars.
Then the visitor received an inspiration. He decided to make this a personal ministry project. The qualification for receiving one of these Chinese Bibles should be so high that these leaders would be inspired to greater achievement. Yet, at the same time, ensure that he would not need to provide a great number.
He told them, “If a person is mightily used by God, then I will bring him one of these Bibles.”
“What do you mean mightily used of God?” the preachers queried eagerly.
Thinking fast, he replied, “Those who have led at least 10,000 people to the Lord and discipled another 10,000.”
To his astonishment, the preachers burst out laughing. They said, “Oh, this is too easy. There are five of us here who can now qualify for your zippered gold-edged Bible, and we know ten more.”
After his trip, the visitor chuckled, “I’m bankrupt.” But more seriously, he added, “I’ve been working in China with house church leaders for many years. But one thing never changes...I am literally taken by surprise during each visit at how fast the church is growing.”
RESPONSE: Today, I will take more seriously my responsibility in sharing the Good News of Jesus and fulfill the church’s function of evangelism.
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, that Your church is continuing to grow quickly in China. May that be a reality in my country as well.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Eight men sat in a small, dimly lit room in a rural Chinese village home. Seven were preachers, and their eyes were glued to the Bible held by the eighth man.