THE WORD OF GOD – LIFE’S INSTRUCTION BOOK
Early this dark, snowy Monday morning, on my lap lay a richly covered brown leather Bible. It is my favorite one because it was given to me by a special friend.
Obviously, the Bible means different things to many people. We did not have a Bible in our home when I grew up, yet I had respect for it.
One Christmas, early in our marriage, Susie and I we were playing Monopoly. I was accused of cheating. Susie, her sister, and her sister’s husband challenged me to swear on the Bible that I did not cheat.
Even though I did not know or believe in the Bible, when I placed my hand on the big black book, I said, “I don’t think I cheated.” All of us erupted into laughter.
Years later I found myself in a difficult situation. Reluctantly, I had agreed to debate whether the Bible was true or false. (You can read about this in great detail in my book Meet my Head Coach if you’re interested).
My prep time began at the university library. Reading as much as my busy schedule as a basketball coach at the University of Alaska permitted, I was somewhat prepared to speak with a level of intelligence about whether the Bible was fact or fiction.
Intellectually, I realized the Bible was true. Yet emotionally, I was unwilling to embrace the demands set forth in the Bible. The cost seemed too expensive. At this point in my life, Basketball and the Bible were incongruent.
One day before basketball practice while skimming through a Bible concordance, I was amazed what the word of God had to say about jealousy, bitterness, laziness, selfishness and other character qualities that rob teams of their potential.
I thought to myself, “If I can really know this book, I can solve most of my players’ personal problems.” Years later, Northwest Counseling was founded on Psychological and proven Biblical principles. Thus the birth of NBC camps.
These past 50 years, the word of God, who became flesh and dwelt amongst us, has become my most treasured life gift.
I call it a gift because I didn’t earn the faith system given to me by the grace and mercy of God.
Therefore, I really understand why some of my friends struggle with saying yes to Jesus Christ.
Rather than try to influence them with logic, I know love is the one way to help open minds and hearts. Force doesn’t work on changing us either. God alone can change us.
For Susie and me, the word St. John so careful records in His Gospel of Good News changed and transformed our philosophy of living.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
– John 13:34-35
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
– John 1:1