Can Change Your Life
The Bible can change not only a life but an entire lifestyle. Most of us have heard the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but few of us have heard how the Bible played a very vital part in that historical event. The Bounty was a British ship which set sail from England in 1787, bound for the South Seas. The idea was that those on board would spend some time among the islands, transplanting fruit-bearing and food-bearing trees, and doing other things to make some of the islands more habitable. After ten months of voyage, the Bounty arrived safely at its destination, and for six months the officers and the crew gave themselves to the duties placed upon them by their government. When the special task was completed, however, and the order came to embark again, the sailors rebelled. They had formed strong attachments for the native girls, and the climate and the ease of the South Sea island life was much to their liking. The result was mutiny on the Bounty, and the sailors placed Captain Bligh and a few loyal men adrift in an open boat. Captain Bligh, in an almost miraculous fashion, survived the ordeal, was rescued, and eventually arrived home in London to tell his story. An expedition was launched to punish the mutineers, and in due time fourteen of them were captured and paid the penalty under British law.
But nine of the men had gone to another distant island. There they formed a colony. Perhaps there has never been a more degraded and debauched social life than that of that colony. They learned to distill whiskey from a native plant, and the whiskey, as usual, along with other habits, led to their ruin. Disease and murder took the lives of all the native men and all but one of the white men named Alexander Smith. He found himself the only man on an island, surrounded by a crowd of women and half-breed children. Alexander Smith found a Bible among the possessions of a dead sailor. The Book was new to him. He had never read it before. He sat down and read it through. He believed it and he began to appropriate it. He wanted others to share in the benefits of this book, so he taught classes to the women and the children, as he read to them and taught them the Scriptures.
It was twenty years before a ship ever found that island, and when it did, a miniature Utopia was discovered. The people were living in decency, prosperity, harmony, and peace. There was nothing of crime, disease, immorality, insanity, or illiteracy. How was it accomplished? By reading, the believing, and the appropriating of the truth of God!
The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 50-51.
Reading Of The Bible
Dear Abby: A young man from a famous family was about to graduate from high school. It was the custom in that affluent neighborhood for the parents to give the graduate an automobile. Bill and his father had spent months looking at cars, and the week before graduation they found the perfect car. Bill was certain that the car would be his on graduation night.
Imagine his disappointment when, on the eve of his graduation, Bill's father handed him a gift-wrapped Bible! Bill was so angry, he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house. He and his father never saw each other again. It was the news of his father's death that brought Bill home again.
As he sat one night, going through his father's possessions that he was to inherit, he came across the Bible his father had given him. He brushed away the dust and opened it to find a cashier's check, dated the day of his graduation, in the exact amount of the car they had chosen together.
Chicken Soup For The Christian Soul
Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery and Nancy, HCI, p. 154.
Trust In The Bible
Dear Ab In January 1997, according to Moira Hodgson in the New York Times, Sam Sebastiani Jr., a member of one of California's most prominent winemaking families, died from eating poisonous mushrooms that he had gathered near his home in Santa Rosa, California.
"The mushroom Mr. Sabastiani is thought to have eaten," writes Hodgson, "was an Amanita Phalloides, also known as the death-cap mushroom. It is the cause of 95 percent of lethal mushroom poisoning worldwide and is fatal more than 35 percent of the time; toxins in its cap destroy the victim's liver by rupturing the cells.
"Experts…are warning inexperienced mushroom enthusiasts to leave the picking to trained mycologists, who will not be fooled by poisonous varieties that closely resemble their nonpoisonous cousins."
Roseaane Soloway, a poison-control-center administrator, says, "A level of presumed expertise is not enough to save your life."
"One of the most sinister aspects of deadly mushroom poisoning," writes Hodgson, "is the delay between ingestion and onset of symptoms. The stronger the poison, the longer it takes to show itself, and by the time a patient is aware of the problem, it may be too late."
Some things you shouldn't attempt to learn by trial and error, for the price of a mistake is far too high. That's the way it is with our beliefs about the meaning of life and our choices about right and wrong. Much is at state, and the full consequences of our actions may not be seen until it is too late. The only expert you can fully trust is the Bible.
Choice Contemporary Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 26.