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How a Gideon Bible Literally Saved My Life

How a Gideon Bible Literally Saved My Life

It’s early Saturday morning as I peck away here at my keyboard. I’m about to head off to the NSW State Conference of the Gideon’s to share my testimony with the delegates.  It’s something that I just am so delighted to do … because back in February 1995, it was a Gideon Bible that God used to save my life.

Quite literally.

I was standing on the 8th floor balcony of a Brisbane hotel, wondering whether to jump, and

Well, let me start back at the beginning.

I used to be a tough, hard-nosed businessman happy to tread on anyone to get where I was going. Right from the beginning, I was programmed for success.

As a partner in a successful IT firm, I travelled all over the world – especially in Australia – so I stayed in many, many hotels over the years. Hundreds. But something was always missing in my life.  All that I had – my career, my financial success – never satisfied me.

And every now and then, when there was nothing on TV in my hotel room, I’d pull a Gideon’s Bible out of the top drawer of the bedside table wherever I was staying. That’s how God started speaking to me – it’s how He grabbed my attention.

I remember one time in a Brisbane hotel, standing on the 8th floor balcony looking down at the concrete driveway below.

I was being pulled in two directions. My loss and grief and desperation were calling me over the edge. And somehow, through what I’d read in that Gideon’s Bible the night before, God was calling me back inside to pray.

I went inside, knelt down at my bed – just as I had done as a child – and said “Lord if you’re out there, now would be a really good time.” Those were my exact words. That’s all I had. And that’s all it took for God to wrap His loving arms around me.

Within just a few months of giving my life to Christ I found myself at Bible college studying a Bachelor of Ministry degree.  And through that, I became involved as a student volunteer in the Australian media ministry of Christianityworks. Today I’m the CEO and Bible teacher of what’s become an organisation with a global media footprint.

Every time I sit down in the studio behind that microphone I’m sharing the good news of Jesus with a weekly audience of over 15 million people through 1,050 radio stations in 160 countries around the globe. God is so amazing.

And very shortly, we’ll be going to air on a government owned radio network across India, Bangladesh and Nepal on Sunday nights in a time slot that, according to the network, has over 30 million listeners each week! (That just does my head in.)

Through Christianityworks’ radio ministry, we’re seeing countless lives changed – like the guerilla commander in the RDC Congo who after 13 years of killing people – “I don’t know how many have died at the end of my gun” – heard one of our Australian produced radio programs, laid down his arms and gave his life to Christ. Like the woman in Europe who wrote to me just recently about how, through one of our radio programs, the Lord pulled her back from the absolute brink of suicide! Don’t you just love that 🙂

And that’s the ripple effect of those Gideon’s Bibles tucked away in the top drawer of the bedside table of so many of the hotel rooms around this country and around the world!

When I think back to that turning point in the Brisbane hotel – I just shake my head in wonder. And I want to tell you that those simple, unassuming little Gideon’s Bibles played such a crucial role on my road to Damascus, in bringing Christ to me.

Without them – I don’t quite know where I’d be right now. There’s every chance I wouldn’t be here at all and certainly, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing – that’s for sure. To God be all the glory!

And to the hundreds of thousands of Gideon’s International staff and volunteers worldwide, to each and every one of the people who supports this vital ministry – I want to say from the bottom of my heart a huge, huge thank you for being there with the Word of God for me, when I needed it most. I don’t think you will ever really know the massive impact you are having in so many lives … and the ripple effect of that impact into countless more lives.

 


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30 Comments

  1. What a great bunch of testimonials i really enjoyed them all may God continue to bless you oh and pray for me i have been quitting smoking so long

  2. Berni, Thank you for sharing your testimony, as a Gideon we love hearing success stories. We do it for Christ, but the success stories really help recharge our batteries.

  3. God bless you Bernie, I’m gonna share your story with my Gideon brethren here in Nigeria. God would preserve you and make you completely what he wants you to be.

    Therefore lets not rest on our oars, for we are not yet there, let us continually press towards the mark of our high calling.

    I tell you every little effort counts in the kingdom of God. No effort is ever wasted.

    Praying for you and your radio outreach ministry. Amen

  4. Hi Bernie, it was inspiring to read your testimony and hear how God moves in different ways. It is amazing to see how God can raise up a ministry such as yours when you are totally committed to see God’s Kingdom come on earth. God bless you abundantly both personally and in your ministry to others. I am praying for a mighty harvest from the seeds you sow. Sarah

  5. I’m a Gideon in the United States, and your testimony is very encouraging. I’ll be relaying it in a meeting with some local camp leaders in Oklahoma tomorrow. Thank and may God bless you and your ministry!

    • Hi Frank,

      God is awesome, eh?!

      Thank you for doing what you do through the Gideons!

      🙂

      Berni

  6. hi. i need an angel with a physical skin to help my son, matthew go forward in life and to 4get about his current friends who are doing him no good please through the grace and holiness of our lord Jesus.Amen

  7. Berni

    Was wonderful to hear another testimony of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus from the lips of the person who was saved. Your encouragement to us Gideons , who go about the process of placing as many copies of The Word of God as we possibly can, is priceless. As you mentioned to Jun, we always require more members and resources to continue the increased demand for more scriptures, both her in Australia and overseas.
    If anyone is interested, just reply to me.

    Keep up the great work with your radio ministry. It works!

    Stuart Wolf

  8. Hi Berni, We are so lost without Him in our lives.
    Thanks for making a huge difference in our lives. Keep going and lots of love to you Berni.

  9. Please Berni, make this comment section a little easier to read….but your story is amazing! Wow! Praise God! I’m sure that your story will inspire many others, will help many others, thank you for your honest, hard hitting story. May God continue to bless your ministry & your family….

  10. Hi Bernie…I never tire listening to salvation accounts such as yours… as a Gideon I am delighted to know that our work for the Lord is bearing fruit… what a blessing to know that souls are being saved… praise God!… please pray for the Gideons that we get more support… financial as well as prayer support, and for more members to join to carry out this important work… it’s a great feeling handing out bibles to school children and leaving bibles in motels etc… it’s a physical thing we can do for God… so if anyone who qualifies is interested… PLEASE JOIN!… it’s a great way to serve! and the benefits are ETERNAL!
    God Bless.

  11. Thank you Bernie for your heartwarming testimony. It is always a comfort to find a Gideon bible when you are in foreign land. However I have noticed that they are increasingly less common in many hotels especially in Asia, any idea how to reverse this trend?

    • Jun, in part it is that hotels are saying no when asked if a Bible can be placed. In part it’s because Gideons don’t have the resources and the people to cover all the new ones. Please pray for them and if possible support them.

      Blessings,
      Berni

  12. The Gideons organization is full of men (women) that are committed to distributing gods word and witnessing to everyone who will listen the relationship we can have with god when we accept him into our heart

    Thank you for you ministry I enjoy it weekly.

    God Bless.

  13. Thank you for this thrilling testimony, which brought me to tears as I read it with wonder. I have been a member of the Gideons International in Scotland for over 35 years and I never fail to be encouraged by the work our God does in bringing people to himself whilst reading His precious Word – the Word of God in Hotel room, prison cell, soldiers billet, or school pupil’s carrier bag. Psalmist say the ‘entrance of your word brings light’. Thank you for this encouragement!!!!!!!!

  14. Thanks Berni for your honesty.. understanding that once you felt that crossroads desperation that drives to the foot of the cross. and that you found a ressurrection which resulted in the salvation of so many others is a relief and a hope.

  15. Hi Bernie, I can associate with that. Those involved with the Gideons Bibles must pray over them, because I was saved as well by using the little red Gideon Bible we received at school. It was the only bible I had. Isn’t God’s grace and mercy beyond words. I’m glad He saved you through His word at that time. He certainly has a great plan for your life, as he has for each one of us.

    • Karen, if you have not already done so can i encourage you to write out your testimony and send it to Gideon National office or Email to me I will pass it on. in doing so you will be encouraging the members of the Gideon ministry to continue placing the word.

  16. Thanks so much for that Berni. My Mum and Dad were both members of Gideons giving bibles out to students, schools and Nurses. It is si lovely to hear that the faithful work of these people can really change lives. God Bless you

  17. very inspiring story indeed Bernie.You are such a wonderful man of God.Listening to your voice on radio,I am abssolutely sure that if King David was alive today his voice would be just like yours !! Its that pleading voice

  18. “widens” ???? – looks like predictive text took over my words !!…its’ supposed to read “Gideons”

  19. That is such a powerful testimony. ALL praise to God for HIs abundant Mercy & Grace & all thanks to HIm for working through such faithful servants like the widens, who continue to spread HIs word. Keep up the great work Berni !!!- Be Blessed.

  20. All glory to God! Thank you Berni. Keep powering on in Him.

  21. Awesome! Its great to know the wonders happening because of the Gideons. Personally I have seen my knowledge of His Word increase because of one (Gideons) I have always kept in my pocket.

  22. Many thanks Berni for your beautiful testimony. We thank God for the wonderful work you are doing; also for the supply and distribution of the Gideon Bibles, may they never be removed from circulation by our governments.

  23. What an amazing testimony Berni, just another example of how God has been so good to ME because I find such strength in hearing you bring the word – I’m so happy He saved you, and countless others in the process. God Bless you.

  24. Thats so inspiring to hear.God is so amazingly wonderful in His love and Grace and these testomonies bring to life “that nothing is impossible in God”. Bless you Bernie

  25. It is surprising how many young people feel they need to commit suicide in Australia (and probably as many around other countries). However, if they get to know God’s love, they will be given a second chance for a rewarding and peaceful life. I too have been there and saved by God’s grace and mercy. regards, Michele Australia

  26. Awesome you are a big source of encouragement, God Bless .

  27. Hi Berni, How great to hear you testimony! May it be a blessing and encouragement to many! Sincerely in Christ, Ingrid Lang, DK

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