International (MNN) — Think back forty years ago to 1973. Gasoline was only $0.40 a gallon, the World Trade Center in New York became the tallest building in the world and the Sears Tower opened in Chicago.
This was also the year that Bible Pathway began. Dr. John A. Hash decided to run an ad in a religious publication offering a free Bible study guide to help people read through the Bible in a year. Much to his surprise, 1,000 people responded and requested a copy of the Bible study guide.
When he contacted a printer to begin publication, he found out a minimum of 20,000 copies was required. Dr. Hash did not let that slow him down. He sold his new car, cashed in his insurance policies, sold rental property and also sold his family home.
Dr. Hash and his wife continued to mail out copies of the guide, Bible Pathway, for free. One day he realized that money was going to soon run out, so he prayed and continued to trust the Lord. Over one weekend he received more than $10,000 to continue his work.
By the end of the 1980s, more than 60 million copies of Bible Pathway had gone out to 186 different nations. They also started to distribute a "Pastor's Library," which includes a study Bible, a set of Bible Pathways, a Bible dictionary, and/or concordance. "It will usually be the only library the pastor will have," says Karen Hawkins of Bible Pathway.
Bible Pathway continues to grow, and Hawkins says they use this ministry as "a way to encourage people to read all of the Bible." They encourage people to read 15 minutes a day, for a whole year, to finish the Bible.
This is not always an easy task, especially once you get into the Old Testament. "We have the devotional commentary to help people understand and then also to give a practical application. God didn't just put it there for us to read: He means for it to instruct us as well," says Hawkins.
"Our whole purpose is, if we get in the Word every day the Holy Spirit takes it from there. But if we aren't in the Word, if we're not in the Logos, He can't make it rhema, He can't speak to our heart. So we will try every means possible to reach the world with God's word."
You can request your devotional book by clicking here. There are many ways that you can support this ministry as it continues to spread the Word of God around the world. "The demand for Bibles and [copies of ] Bible Pathway are great, and always succeed our ability. It takes about $40 to send a Pastor Library," says Hawkins.
They "can always use used Bibles, new Bibles, we can always use finances." And prayer. Pray that Bible Pathway continues to grow. Ask God to work in the lives of those who are reading the Bible. Pray that more people will come to know the Lord through this ministry.
"You get in the Word and the Holy Spirit takes it from there."