My maternal grandmother in the Philippines passed away earlier this year. Thanks to COVID-19, I wasn’t able to see her one last time or even attend her funeral.

But I wish I had the chance to tell her how she changed the trajectory of my life and a classmate’s forever without even knowing it. 

The greatest (true) story ever told

You see, when I was little (Primary 3 I think), she gave my mum a Picture Bible. And even though my mum wasn’t a Christian back then, she in turn gave it to me.

I instantly took to the vivid, comic-style artwork, the multi-faceted characters, and this God who was so patient with people who kept letting Him down.

Who was this God that was all-powerful yet intimate at the same time? This God who demanded nothing but perfection from His people, and yet kept forgiving them whenever they failed?

Who was this God who loved His people so much? This God who became a man, lived among His people and allowed Himself to be tortured and crucified by them? 

And so, two years later, when my best friend invited me to church, it was easy for me to say “yes”.

When I heard my first altar call, raising my hand felt like the most natural thing to do. It was the best decision I ever made, and it’s been one wild ride since.

But wait, there’s more! This is just one half of the story of The Picture Bible That Could.

Sometimes, I would bring my Picture Bible to school to read between classes. One day, the class bully saw me reading it and said: “Ey, you reading comics huh? Lemme see!”

At that instance, I felt this sense of peace wash over me. Somehow, I didn’t feel threatened (even though he threatened me physically before).

I then said: “Sure thing. Why don’t you keep it?”.

While this turn of events left him a little perplexed, he ended up taking the Picture Bible. And that was the last time I saw it.

But it wasn’t the last time I heard of it. 

A&E: Accidents and Evangelism

Two years later, I got a phone call. I picked up the phone, and lo and behold, it was the class bully! But he sounded different somehow. He sounded kinder.

“You know the ‘comic book Bible’ you gave me? I just want to say thank you.” he said.

“I’ve been going to church the past two years. I’m in a cell group now, and my life has changed. Reading your Picture Bible was what got me curious about Jesus!”

Wow. Isn’t that crazy? This was a guy who once threatened our math teacher with a pen knife! 

This account is a reminder to me that this story has the power to change lives.

This story about a holy, beautiful and all-powerful God who reached into space and time to love those who were unlovable so that they could be just like Him someday. 

It also reminds me of how God loves to work and use us in spontaneous and unexpected ways. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9) right? And that’s a good thing! 

I hope my little story encourages you too. You don’t have to be some big-time evangelist to bring people to Christ. Sometimes, all you need to be is available.

This book can change lives

Finally, if you’ve struggled to read large chunks of the Bible, or read it from cover to cover, why not try reading it in another form?

When most people try and read the Bible from cover to cover, they start off well. Genesis? No problemo. Exodus? Exciting! And then comes Leviticus. Time to give up. C’mon, we’ve all been there before! 

You’re never too old to read comic books, and you’re never too old to read a picture Bible. While the original picture Bible looks quite dated now, I’ve found The Action Bible to be a great new take on it. 

Who knows? After getting an overview of the whole Bible this way, you’ll find it easier to read the “vanilla version” of the Bible because you now have a better appreciation of the timeline of events, or a mental image of some of the harder-to-follow storylines. 

I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover. Studied it in Greek and Hebrew. Preached dozens of sermons.

And while doing those things have been incredibly enriching to my spirit, to my relationship with God and to others, I will always remember how the story of God’s love in such a “basic” form set me and my old class bully on our paths towards knowing Jesus more.

I believe God wants to use you in the most unexpected ways to bring people closer to Him. Because when God does it this way, all glory goes to Him. His ways are higher than ours after all! 

Trying to figure out the whole evangelism thing? and Cru are hosting a Zoom webinar where you can learn strategies from world-renowned apologist Sean McDowell and hear how young adults are sharing the Good News online. You can register for this free event here!

  1. Do you have a regular habit of reading Scripture? When was the last time that something you read in the Bible left a deep impact? 
  2. How can you be more consistent in making time to hear from God? Are there new ways of reading the Bible that you can try? 
  3. Who can you share God’s Word with? Whether through one-on-one conversations or broadcasted to the masses, don’t underestimate the power of Scripture to change lives!