Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
When God Breathes on Our Words, by guest blogger Julie Ackerman Link
Anyone can put words on a page; only God can breathe life into them.
The phrase came to me after reading 1 Thessalonians 1:5: "Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction." And the idea is based on my ongoing amazement at how God uses, for reasons beyond my understanding, the devotionals in Our Daily Bread. The devotionals are short (220 words!) and simple, yet God has been pleased to "breathe" life into them for millions of people around the world.
Just this week I received some rather dramatic feedback from a reader. “I’m currently doing time in jail,” the man wrote. “I’m really depressed and discouraged. I fell into one of my moods and decided to give up on life. I knew how I was going to do it, had it all planned out. Then I decided to make a list of reasons to do it and reasons not to do it. The list by Sunday was 17 reasons to die and only 6 reasons to live.
"Well, I read your little magazine called Our Daily Bread every day. Sunday morning I looked at my list and saw the reasons to die outweighed reasons to live. I figured it was my day to do it. I was really sad and crying and looking out my window, it was a gray sky. I looked up to heaven and talked to God for a moment. The sun came out and brightly shined in my window.
"I looked at my little table and saw my Daily Bread book, so I picked it up and turned to April 6, 2014. The title shocked me; it said, 'Choose Life,' in big, bold letters. I couldn’t believe it, but it was real. I threw all my stuff away that I planned to use, read the Bible some more and called my Mom. Thank you so much. You literally saved my life."
This is the devotional to which he was referring. As you can see, it wasn't my words that made the difference but the title and the timing of when he read them.
When people respond, I think, really, it was that meaningful? How could it be? And the only answer is God. It keeps me humble. God’s ways continue to surprise me. Yes, anyone can put words on a page; only God can breathe life into them.
Editor and author Julie Link also serves on the MAI Board of Directors.
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- July 27, 2016 Remembering an MAI hero
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- April 19, 2016 Courage to take the plunge