While some researchers are concerned about declining church membership all over the United States, I am happy that somebody is being positive for once. The Barna Group (barna.org) conducted their research and determined that Bible reading has increased from 40% in 2000 to 47% in 2006. I am sure the figures for 2014 would have moved up to 51% because as more Christians yearn for the Word of God. Does this not encourage you? However, according to their finding, the number of “churchless” people in the United States in 2014 is enough to make the 8th biggest country in the world with 129 million. Are you not excited yet?
Carefully follow the next findings. 88% of Catholics say Pope Francis is compassionate, 87% say he is honest while 86% say he is intelligent. 22% acknowledge that the Pope is out of touch with “their reality.” I can guess this group. I love the next conclusion. 96% of practicing Christian millennials, maintain that the Bible has all they need to make them live a meaningful life. This is a wonderful confirmation of the transformative power of the younger generations burning with zeal for Jesus.
If you are interested in polls, you can explore their site and get to know more about other figures. But I found it encouraging as compared to the usual research polls that show lack of progress in the Christian faith. The Bible is a holy book meant to inspire all shades of people from the young to the old about their lives. It is a Christian heritage that brings the sacred to our level of understanding about how God has interacted with us. No wonder some people think that because God has interacted with us, we can take him for granted and avoid him entirely. I do not think so. We should view the Bible as a gift from heaven meant to inspire us to do heavenly things for ourselves.
The task of preaching the good news of Jesus’ love is free for all generations. All peoples, all races, all nations, and all kingdoms are invited to embrace the saving power of God found in the message of salvation in the Bible.
The days we have in this life are known only by to God alone. It is only He who can assist us to order our days in his peace. Job says in today’s first reading, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.” The case of Job is that of a man who almost lost his opportunities in the face of temptations. With the loss of his fortunes and family members, he was tempted to curse God, but he rather praised God.
The number of those who enter churches in the United States and around the world, are not people whose lives are without dramatic events. But these are people of faith who realize that God’s power can influence their everyday lives. The Bible makes them know God and what he demands of them: a good moral life. It is the epic of the Christian life to remember that love is the driving factor for all things under the sun.
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John and healed the mother-in-law of Simon. Once she was alright, she reciprocated this love by “waiting” on them with probably a sumptuous dinner. My point about the gospel of Jesus is simple: When you receive kindness from another person, reciprocate it. When you experience kindness, preach kindness. Tell another of the kindness and it multiplies. 51% of Americans who read the Bible everyday know that inspiration comes by listening to God speak to the heart. The gospel is free, and you too can discover what the Bible contains. Open it, read it, live it. The Word of God is surely free of charge. Keep praying!
Imagine the words of St. Paul, “If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.”BACK TO LIST