Monday, 11 May 2009

15 April - The Gideons International

Nashville, Tennessee is the home of country and gospel music. What I did not know until recently was that it is also the location for the headquarters of The Gideons International. For more than 100 years, the Gideons have been placing and distributing God's Word all over the world. My father was a Gideon and I have also been one since 2006. So, when I found out that I would be travelling by Nashville on my road trip, I just had to stop by the headquarters of the Gideons!

The plaques outside the main entrance display three different Bible verses:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Holding forth the word of life. (Philippians 2:16)

Christ died for our sins. (1 Corinthians 15:3)

The first verse from the Gospel of John are probably the most translated words in the world.

On the other side of the Gideon headquarters, there is an "International Court" with a wall bearing plaques of this verse in all of the languages that the Gideons distribute their Bibles in.

It is not a coincidence that this verse is the most translated piece of Scripture - it contains the most important truth people need to know. That God loves everybody. That He gave His only Son to die on the cross to take the punishment for our sins which we could not pay for ourselves. That, by placing our trust in Christ, we can have our sins forgiven, our relationship with God restored and the assurance of eternal life with God in heaven. Martin Luther called this verse "the Bible in a nutshell".

This verse is the reason why the Gideons exist and distribute Scriptures - so that people can find salvation and new life in Jesus Christ. And in doing their work, the Gideons believe the following promise of God which is also displayed in the entrance inside the headquarters:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

Today, there are some 280,000 Gideons in 185 countries. And God's Word is going out in the world. On average, more than two Bibles are distributed by the Gideons around the world every second of every minute of every hour of every day! And, as God promised, His Word does not return void. The Gideons have witnessed in their ministry that God's Word has had the power of changing countless lives, giving people hope and a future through Jesus Christ. You can listen to just a few testimonies from such people here. It can change your life, too!


The Lovable Southern Baptist said...

Love the comments man, from a fellow Gideon.

Michael said...

thanks for the comment! will you be at the international convention next week?

The Lovable Southern Baptist said...

I would like to be but won't be able to, as my wife is disabled and I can't be away that long. She's having surgery in August that may make her more independent though. I've never been to an International convention, although I don't miss the Oklahoma state ones, and hope to go next year. Be safe on your trip, and God Bless you!

Michael said...

thank you! i hope to post something on here about the international convention when i return. i pray your wife's surgery goes well next month.