Using The Scriptures

The second in a five-part series by Joy L* I pondered a new missionary’s comments. He was describing ‘Scripture reading times’ with non-seeking Muslims. I grew up in a missionary home in an Islamic country and had never witnessed this approach by any missionary. And in the ten years my husband and I were missionaries in an Islamic country, I had not heard of anyone simply reading Scriptures with non-seeking Muslims. I wondered if it really worked. Everyone I knew talked about Scripture with Muslims, but did they actually encourage Muslims to read the Bible for themselves? After thinking and praying about following that practice and asking the Lord for courage, I decided to plunge in and try it out. First, we tried it in our home when we had Muslims over for tea or dinner. We lined a bookshelf in the living room with Bibles in different languages. They were put in full sight of guests who often noticed them and made mention of them. We would pull out the Bible in their language and let them look it over. Then we would ask if they would like to hear a story Jesus told. Finding the portion, we would ask them to read it out loud and tell us the story back. They often asked where they could get a Bible and then we would give them one. Once we felt comfortable and natural doing this in our home, I decided to keep a small Bible wrapped in a cloth in my handbag. Every time I would visit Muslim homes, I would see if I could get them to read passages. During conversations I would bring my Bible out and ask if they would like to hear the Christian perspective on the issue. Most of the time, the Scripture reading was gladly received. After about twenty years in Muslim ministry, another turning point in becoming a more effective witness to Muslims had just taken place. I discovered that it is far more powerful to use the Bible than simply to share about it. Now our Muslim friends equate us with the Bible. They know a Bible will usually come out during a visit. One day Layan** was in our home when she suddenly blurted out, ‘Where is your Bible?’ And Aliya**, a strongly opposed Muslim PhD student, asked one night, ‘Are you not going to read the Bible with me?’ * Joy has spent more than thirty years ministering to Muslims in the East and the West and shares further insights on her personal blog. **Names have been changed to protect identities. MORE FROM LEARNING THE ROPES SERIES BEING SET APART THE POWER OF PRAYER TEACHING THE REALITY OF SIN THE ATTRACTION OF HEAVEN

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