The Bible to me is a book on love and redemption. It is like a “spaceship” taking off from the throne of God. It embodies the will of God and drives His perfect love right into the hearts of everyone. It is this love that ignites the fire of life. This same love has overcome the authority of Satan, removed the roots of evil and extinguished all fears of death. It gives a hope of life to those who are at the brink of death.
I know from the Bible that God loves me. I learned about God through my paternal grandmother who was a Christian. The first time I read the Bible was when I was 13 – and it was the year the Cultural Revolution started. Although I had only managed to read the book of Genesis, the idea that God is a powerful Creator of heaven and earth, had already left a deep imprint in my childhood memory.
What the Bible means to me
Today, the Bible has become my daily bread. I first read the Bible in 1967, more than 40 years ago. Quite often it is God’s Word that guided me through times of difficulties. The Bible is a compass for my spiritual journey: whenever I was off-track, God’s Word will point me to the right path.
The Bible commands us “to love our enemies”. As the scripture says: ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this, you will make them burn with shame’ (Rom 12:20 GNT)”. This is a little difficult for me to understand. In the course of my Bible training, my teachers explained the Bible so patiently to me that I gradually began to have a better understanding of His Word. My spiritual life has changed when I finally understood in a deeper way that: true love requires one to love his enemies.
God’s Love is also unconditional. God loves the world that he sent Jesus to die for us on the cross, yet which of us is worthy of His love? God loves us not because we are lovable, or because we first loved Him. He loves the good, the bad, the wise, the foolish, the virtuous and many others — this is great love. It all started with a compassionate love that leads on to a miraculous grace. Compassion and grace can never be separated. God has compassion over us sinners. He knows that we were not able to overcome sins, hence he poured forth His spirit of compassion, and we received His grace. God’s love is built upon His compassion that leads to grace. Therefore, we ought to imitate Him and love our enemies with a heart of compassion. We were once enemies of God, but because of Christ’s death on the cross for us, He reconciled us to God. Christ has exemplified how we ought to treat our enemies: to accept and bear with them, to “die for them” so as to redeem them.
Thankful to God and UBS
I returned to church in 1995, and in 2000 I attended the inaugural Bible Training Course conducted in Qinghai. After the course, I returned to serve at my usual meeting point.
I am thankful that God did not forget Qinghai, a remote and backwards place. He has given us good pastors who have been pouring out their love and concern over us, and they have been putting in a lot of effort to shepherd the churches here.
I am very thankful to the United Bible Societies (UBS) as you have been supporting the CC/TSPM with the giving out of Bibles and Christian materials to our Qinghai churches. May the Lord bless UBS tremendously! I recalled the time when I longed to have a Bible of my own. I could scarcely afford a new Bible so when a church friend gave me a used Bible I treasured it like it was a precious jewel. Later on, when my church bookshop brought in a batch of Bibles, I managed to buy a copy. I was so elated with my new Bible I could not sleep that night.
In 2007, UBS gave books to the volunteers and students of the Bible Training Center. All of us were full of gratitude. We will follow the Lord, serve Him and spread the Gospel widely in Qinghai so as to lead more souls to the Lord and express our gratitude to Him.
By Pamela Choo
Translation provided by Ng Hwee Hong
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership
This story relates to Project No: 71245X